Hi friends! Probably the single best part about starting this blog has been the connections that I’ve made. When I began sharing my journey, my whole world opened up to a community of readers who just like me, are learning to live a greener life. At the same time, I’ve also connected with the experts, authorities in their own field – nutrition, farming, herbs, cooking… who I learn from everyday.
It got me thinking, why not join these communities together? This topic of wellness is so broad, and I realised that the best way I can serve you, to answer your questions about beauty food, home, family and lifestyle – is to connect you with these same experts that I’ve gotten to know, and learn so much from. So, I started reaching out and the response has been amazing! We’re lining up our very own A-team, a group of smart and passionate people who are here to help us along our path. They’ll be advising us in their own niche, with recipes and answering questions!
The first Little Green Dot Advisor that I’d like you to meet is Alina Uchida, of Abundant Earth. Alina is a clinical herbalist and aromatherapist, and has agreed to help us with our recipes. From now on, whenever you see me post a recipe which uses essential oils, herbs or tea for wellness – know that I am first consulting Alina to get you the best information. I’m so excited about this and I hope that you are too!
I asked Alina to give us an introduction to essential oils – I hope you enjoy learning more about those below. Also, if you have any questions, send them my way and together we’ll learn how to create our own natural and safe solutions!
Don’t forget, we’re all in this together! Militza X
Essential Oils 101 by Alina, Abundant Earth
Do those rows of little brown bottles of essential oils fascinate yet intimidate you? Here’s a quick intro to essential oils, how they work and what to do with them.
Essential oils are naturally produced by plants to preserve their health and survival. Naturally antiseptic, essential oils protect plants from infection, infestation, and attract pollinators.
You may not realize it, but you are surrounded by essential oils. They give flowers, herbs and spices their characteristic smells. Peeling an orange releases a vibrant citrus scent, which comes from essential oil stored in the rind. It is the essential oil in peppermint leaves that you smell in the steam from your hot peppermint tea.
One of the ways essential oils work is via their aroma. Smell has a powerful impact on our mood, emotions, memories and thoughts. You are sure to have your own aromatic triggers. A familiar perfume that brings a loved one to mind, a whiff of roasted coffee grounds that arouses your appetite, or how about the seductive fragrance of warm, melting butter that lures you to the popcorn queue at the movies?
Besides aroma, each essential oil possesses unique physical healing properties, which makes them useful for common ailments. Lavender, an anti-inflammatory and wound healer is fantastic for cuts and burns; peppermint, an analgesic, is effective for headaches; and eucalyptus, antimicrobial and decongestant, is useful for coughs and colds.
Skin application is an effective way of introducing essential oils into the body, as they are absorbed easily through the skin and enter the bloodstream. Try rubbing a clove of garlic on the sole of your foot. You will have garlic on your breath in a matter of minutes!
Safety note – It’s important to remember that essential oils are extremely concentrated –approximately 3,000 lemons are needed to produce 1kg of essential oil – and in aromatherapy, less is always more. In fact, certain oils may have the opposite effect when too much is used. Essential oils are extremely effective when used responsibly and with respect. When applying to your skin, dilute essential oils in a carrier oil, eg. sweet almond or jojoba, or natural base cream. Test your blend on a small patch of skin on your inner arm when using new oils. If in doubt, consult with a professional.
p.s. This Thursday I’m sharing a recipe to make your own Pure & Clean – Linen & Body Spray using a purifying blend of oils that Alina has created for us! I’m so excited about this new direction! Make sure to check it out!