If you’re looking to increase your energy, Essential Oils have long been considered a natural, safe way to enhance your mood and wellbeing.
Essential oils are basically very concentrated plant extracts, carefully distilled from the flowers, leaves or bark of a plant to retain its original scents and properties.
They work in several ways. Firstly, essential oils use the olfactory receptors (your sense of smell) to trigger the limbic system, promoting a feeling of wellbeing, memory, or relaxation.
Secondly, through massage*, the potent molecules of essential oils can enter into the bloodstream, increasing blood flow which can feel energising, relaxing, or sensual in nature.
There are a number of oils with proven clinical evidence that can help increase your energies. In fact, over 100 different essential oils are used by aromatherapists and those with a keen interest in supporting health.
With this much choice, it can be challenging to know where to start, and how to use your oils for their best benefit. So, below are our expert suggestions to get you through the season with pep and verve in your step!
*One word of warning though. Essential oils are powerful, with beneficial properties that affect the body. Never massage or apply undiluted to the skin unless you know what you’re doing. Applied topically (to the skin), essential oils should be diluted in a carrier oil, like olive, sunflower, sweet almond, grapeseed or jojoba. As a rule, essential oils should not be more than 2% of an oil or solid balm (i.e. maximum 2ml of essential oil in total in 100ml carrier oil). If you’re at all unsure about how to use essential oils, it’s wise to consult a qualified aromatherapist first.
Which Oils Are Right for Energising:
Spearmint Essential Oil: Traditionally thought of as a digestive aid, spearmint and its cousin peppermint oil have been shown in clinical studies to aid the improvement of energy levels. It’s also brilliant for reducing sweating (mint is often used in deodorants!). And for menopausal women, spearmint can help bring a hot-flush down quickly.
Athletes and sports people needing to recover quickly from sore muscles can benefit from its cooling effects too.
How to use it: The best way to take advantage of spearmint oil is to inhale it or apply in a balm, or carrier oil as part of an essential oil blend. You can use it in a vapouriser or a few drops in a small bowl of water on a radiator.
TOP ENERGISING TIP: For a super-quick way to start your day, pop a few drops on a damp towel or flannel over your shower head or a bathroom radiator. You can even drop a little on your hot tap, allowing the scent to wake you up as it heats!
Sweet Orange Essential Oil: A 2016 study found that when inhaled, sweet Orange Essential oil increased focus, alertness and performance in athletes.
It has a warm, citrusy scent and is often preferred by those suffering from SAD (seasonal affective disorder) to help manage mood. There is significant anecdotal evidence supporting its use for low-level anxiety and depression, which impacts heavily on energy levels.
It’s also a good choice for young people and students who study for longer periods of time, and wish to avoid overusing anxiety provoking stimulants like caffeine.
How to use it: Sweet orange is lovely in a roller ball or patted into pulse points to help constant mood improvements.
TOP ENERGISING TIP: Orange oil has been the focus of a number of studies for its antimicrobial properties.
Studies in 2012 found that it inhibits the growth of E-Coli and another study found it killed Staphylococcus bacteria, so pop some into your household cleaning regime for the fragrant benefits, and a safe, energising environment.
Rosemary Essential Oil: Sometimes called the memory oil, Rosemary has been used since the era of ancient Greece to improve concentration. In 2018, studies showed that inhaling rosemary oil improved the focus and recall of 79 students between the ages of 13 and 17. When a group of student nurses were tested, they also reported significant improvements, whilst also feeling on average 9% less stressed.
This works because when inhaled, Rosemary works to break down a compound called acetylcholine, which is important to increasing the brain’s ability to remember and learn effectively.
This makes rosemary ideal for those in education, and interestingly older people at high risk of Alzheimer’s and Dementia.
Rosemary is also proven to support hair loss, again through an energising route, by increasing blood flow to the follicles, promoting regrowth.
How to Use It:
Rosemary is best used when inhaled. A beautiful old-fashioned handkerchief, with a few drops added can work wonders. It also works well in vaporisers and burners.
TOP ENERGISING TIP:
Add a few drops of rosemary to a mug or pot of boiling water and inhale for instant memory improvements. Please don’t get too close to the water though, as steam can scald!