For any of the essential oils or mists mentioned in this article, visit Herbal Creations or Violet Green.
Planning a wedding can be stressful. After all, there's the initial engagement stuff, party, thank you cards etcetera and we aren't even talking wedding yet. then you've got the dresses & suits, invitations, ceremony, flowers, catering, reception and that's only the beginning.
So how do you get through it all without getting too stressed? One excellent way is with essential oils, which are basically concentrated, fragrant plant essences used in the art of Aromatherapy. They are extracted from the fruit, flowers, leaves, grass, bark, roots and stems of certain plants and herbs. The oils are extremely potent and have therapeutic qualities that can be used to help treat certain ailments and conditions as well as supporting our varying emotional needs, perfect when organising a wedding.
You probably know something about oils already as they're widely used in everything from chewing gum to house cleaning products, and oils such as eucalyptus, lavender and teatree are very common in many homes. But did you know that lemon essential oil can neutralise staphyloccocus, meningococcus and typhus in less than 15 minutes in the laboratory.
These are powerful substances. It's a really fascinating natural therapy, one used by the Egyptians centuries ago, for mummification among other things and it is still used in many areas today.
So you're getting married. There are a huge number of oils and uses for them to help you get through it all, retaining your peace of mind and sanity! Some of the better known ways of using oils are in an oil burner or diffuser, in the bath (lovely with a splash of olive oil or full cream milk, just like Cleopatra), in massage with a pure cold pressed carrier or blend of carrier oils, in a spray bottle diluted with water or just on a tissue under your pillow. Foot baths and hand scrubs are also heavenly at just the right time, especially at the same time.
Always remember to only use pure essential oils. These contain the volatile oils and other important natural components which are vital to the oil being effective and generally safe to use against the skin. There are a large number of oils which should be avoided by children, in pregnancy & breastfeeding and with certain medical conditions, so before jumping in it would pay to do more research if you have any concerns.
You're at the very start of it all and certain close relatives (or friends) are already commenting on every suggestion.
Oil Burners and Relaxation Blends
Burners are basically a bowl above a tealight candle. The bowl is filled to three quarters with water and up to six drops of oil are added. When feeling a bit stressed and on edge, I'd have at least some lavender in the oil burner. You can try blending up to four different oils, maybe try adding others to the lavender to see which you prefer or get creative with a blend with 2 drops each lavender & bergamot, and 1 drop each of geranium & marjoram or mandarin. Experiment. Ask for essential oils for engagement presents if anyone asks what you would like and make a list of those you need.
The real art of aromatherapy. This involves both absorption through the skin and via the nose, soothing and calming as well as having all the therapeutic effects of the massage itself. Blend up to 6 drops of essential oil in 15ml of a pure cold pressed carrier or blend of carrier oils. Lighter oils such as apricot, grapeseed or almond are excellent for general massage work. Research into essential and carrier oils is a fascinating area.
Revitalise. Even a simple foot rub can change your whole outlook for the day.
A revitalising foot blend might contain 2 drops each of lime and geranium with 1 drop each of ginger & rosemary. Or blend 2 drops of peppermint with four drops of lavender to soothe, yet stimulate.
Exercise. If you're working out a lot in preparation for the big day, try a muscle massage blend for before and after exercise with 2 drops each of lavender, peppermint & rosemary and 1 drop of ginger. Or try 2 drops each of geranium, rosemary & juniper.
Romance. Indulge in a romantic body massage with your fiancé. Take turns. Make sure you have a warm shower beforehand to open up your pores and then blend 2 drops each of bergamot, sandalwood and ylang ylang in the 15ml carrier oil for a truly enjoyable evening.
Nerves may start to kick in about now, so try some of these stress-busters.
Complete Relaxation Aromatherapy Baths
A favourite way to use essential oils is in the bath, just make sure the bath isn't too hot or the important therapeutic parts of the oil will have vanished by the time you get in. Light some aromatherapy candles first of all. You can add a splash of olive oil or full cream milk to your bath and then 6-8 drops of oils (equal parts of ylang ylang & lemon is just divine). Mix it all up before you get in and as you sink beneath the water know that the oils have touched every surface of your body. Now breathe.
Lavender essential oil alone is heavenly when feeling stressed or anxious. Neroli is another beautiful oil, particularly for brides. This comes from the orange flower but is very expensive unfortunately. a cheaper option would be a citrus oil like lime, grapefruit, mandarin, orange & lemon for the ultimate mood-boosting experience. A particularly lovely bath blend is 4 drops each of rose and lavender with 2 drops of chamomile if you have access to pure rose oil. Even purchasing just a few drops of the more expensive oils can be worth it all at times. true rose, jasmine, neroli and violet are pure bliss.
Something lovely to do while in the bath is adding essential oils to your candles.
Light the candle and when a wax pool has formed, blow the candle out and add a drop of patchouli or lavender to the wax and then relight. You do have to be really careful when using oils near naked flames though, so don't add the oil without blowing out the candle first.
Time to indulge your senses. you deserve it:
A easy instant lift. Just use a large plastic bowl (don't use it for cooking afterwards though!) and fill three quarters with warm water, add a splash of a 15ml oil blend as above and sink into it.
Use straight lavender or try one of these lovely foot bath blends:
3 drops rosemary, 2 drops peppermint and 1 drop lavender
4 drops lavender and 3 drops grapefruit
4 drops lavender, 2 drops bergamot and 1 drop ylang ylang
and while you're in the foot bath try the hand scrub.
Use the rest of the 15ml blend and give yourself a hand scrub by pouring a small amount onto your hands and then a couple of teaspoons (or more) or salt or sugar. Massage for a few minutes and enjoy the feeling, then dip your hands into either your foot bath or a bowl of water to remove the oil and salt and your hands will feel amazing.
Making another 15ml blend, why not give yourself a nail massage, both fingers and toes to stimulate and strengthen.
Oils such as lavender, geranium and clary sage are lovely and effective
Today, everything is perfect. No matter what happens, this is your wedding day, so ignore the little hiccups and try these to make the day pass with happiness and joy.
Dilute a few drops in a spray bottle for an easy instant mood improver. In a 200ml bottle add 5-6 drops of oil to 2 tablespoons of alcohol (vodka works well). Shake well and top up with water, then use liberally! Mist around your body, over your head, around the room and even the linen on your bed.
One of the best ways to use the oils. Some lovely blends to try (which can also be used in the bath or massage:
3 drops grapefruit, 2 drops ylang ylang and 1 drop ginger for a complete system boost of mind, body and spirit. This helps with stress and tension
Or try 3 drops geranium, 2 drops mandarin and 1 drop rosemary to revive
Try 3 drops sandalwood, 2 drops bergamot and 1 drop lavender to soothe
Another grounding formula is 3 drops neroli, 2 drops petitgrain and 1 drop orange which is very balancing and relaxing
Easy. Just drip a couple of drops of oil onto a tissue and breathe when required. Extremely useful for insomnia as you can sleep with the tissue under your pillow, and lavender is ideal for this.
Also a great way to stimulate your mind to wake you up in the afternoon. try a citrus oil such as lemon or lime for this. Use your tissue as often as possible, even leaving it in your bag gives a heavenly rush of scent as you open it during the day
Peppermint and lavender are great if you are nervous and have nausea before the ceremony
Whichever methods you use, once you have started to create your own favourite blends, you will be an aromatherapy user for life. it's addictive
BERGAMOT Top Note Citrus
Uplifting, Reviving, Fresh, Cooling, For tension, irritability & stress
CHAMOMILE Middle Note Flower
Soothing, Gentle, Calming, Comforting, Relaxing, For insomnia, nervousness & emotional excesses
FRANKINCENSE Base Note Wood
Calming, Regenerating, Soothing, Fortifying, For meditation & stressful times
GERANIUM Middle Note Flower
Calming, Balancing, Cooling, Comforting, Stabilising, Regulating. For anxiety, mood swings, to refresh & relax, giving confidence
GINGER Top Note Spice
Energising, Warming, Stimulating. For recharging your batteries, stomach problems, nausea and when everything gets on top of you and it's not fun anymore
LAVENDER Middle Flower
Soothing, Nurturing, Comforting, Calming. For times of stress and for insomnia
LEMON Top Citrus
Stimulating, Uplifting, Clearing, Cheering. For a real get up and go feeling to help with mental fatigue
MARJORAM Middle Herb
Relaxing, Strengthening, Penetrating. Useful for muscle aches, headaches & stress
NEROLI Base Flower
Balancing, Restoring, Soothing, Calming. One of the main bridal oils, an aphrodisiac, for emotional overload and stressful times
ORANGE Top Citrus
Celebrating, Cheering, Uplifting, Stimulating. For nervousness, a digestive aid and to boost immunity and joy
PATCHOULI Base Wood
Regenerating, Balancing, Sensuous. To stimulate you to get on with what needs to be done, with enjoyment rather than a feeling of balance in life
PEPPERMINT Top Herb
Cooling yet Warming, Refreshing, Stimulating. Useful for digestive problems, nausea, nerves & mental fatigue, boosting confidence when moving into new experiences
ROSE Base Floral
Heavenly, Enchanting, Pure Indulgence, Nurturing, Supportive. For all stressful conditions and emotional problems
ROSEMARY Middle Herb
Stimulating, Uplifting, Focusing, Clarifying. For ease of muscle pain, mental exhaustion and to energise
SANDALWOOD Base Wood
Strengthening, Grounding, Reassuring, Balancing. An aphrodisiac, to balance the mind and enhance relaxation
YLANG YLANG Base Floral
Romantic, Sensuous, Relaxing, Calming. Another aphrodisiac, soothing anxiety & tension and improving confidence
Have a wonderful wedding and enjoy the build-up to it as it's all part of the experience. Congratulations,
BSc., Dip Herb., Dip. Aroma.
For any of these oils and more suggestions visit Herbal Creations or Violet Green. You can also contact Karen Malone by e-mail.