In these unprecedented times, self care is even more important than ever. Facing a pandemic brings more than just the chance of viral infection but also a slew of unexpected challenges such as overeating, under-exercising, overworking, financial stress, and an array of emotions - sadness, fear, anxiety, worry, grief, depression, insomnia, restlessness, overwhelm, just to name a few. These emotions and other stresses can take a toll and put more strain on our health if not careful.
I have gravitated towards certain essential oils in my approach to gaining/maintaining health through such adversity. Essential oils contain a plethora of chemical compounds which allow them to have multiple benefits supporting a wide array of physical and emotional concerns, making them a versatile and powerful natural ally for supporting overall wellness. I've chosen 5 to share with you that are affordable and versatile enough to mix well and help with many issues people may currently be experiencing, followed by a couple recipes I love. Enjoy and stay well!
The Essentials (alphabetically):
Black Spruce (Picea mariana)
Chosen for: Balance, renewing energy.
This is one of my favorite essential oils, as it brings me a sense of peace, like I am rooted deep as a tall tree and yet still reaching for the sky, waving with the winds of the world around me with the wisdom and calm of an ancient soul.
It is calming, centering, balancing(1), making it a perfect choice in a world with so much uncertainty and fear in the air.
It brings compassion for ourselves and others, plus supports intuition and invokes strength and endurance at the level of the soul(1).
It also can be used respiratory conditions, as well as poor circulation, muscle aches/pains, rheumatism, mental fatigue, burnout, and depression(1,3).
Eucalyptus (Eucalyptus globulus)
Image by Dawn Rodriguez
Chosen for: Respiratory support, clarity.
I love the clarity and stimulating effect eucalyptus brings. Of course, this was a no-brainer because it is widely known as a decongestant and for its respiratory support(1,4), making it a perfect choice when respiratory health is of utmost importance.
It also can be used for rheumatic pain, muscle aches and pains, insect bites, and headaches(1,4).
Emotionally it couldn’t be more fitting for this time as it is known to dispel melancholy, revive the spirit, support one when they need room to breathe or feel hemmed in by their surroundings, and help us find new ways of approaching situations during times of overwhelm rather than just reacting(1).
And a cool hack: eucalyptus essential oil can be used to remove stains and grease from fabric(4). As for exact details on how this works, I have not tried it but will soon, and will update the article. I imagine you'd want to wet the stained area with just enough eucalyptus essential oil to cover it and let it soak in for a few minutes. Then rinse with hot water and air dry(4).
Lavender (Lavandula angustifolia)
Chosen for: Versatility, emotional support, meditation.
As typical as it may sound, lavender is a must due to its amazing versatility, powerful nature and enticing floral scent - one I always find cheering and relaxing (though not everyone finds it relaxing! Some people I've talked to find it more stimulating and even agitating).
It boasts a plethora of properties like analgesic, anti-inflammatory, wound-healing, antiseptic, insecticide, sedative, and stimulant(1,2,4). It can be used for headaches, burns, bug bites, menstrual cramps/pain, muscle aches and pains, skin care of all skin types, tension, anxiety, depression(2,3) and so much more. It's a great choice to try first if you're in a pickle and are not sure what oil is best since it is so versatile and gentle.
I also find meditation very helpful and important especially now, and lavender’s harmonizing qualities balance the heart chakra and bring the higher and lower chakras into harmony with each other(1).
Mandarin, green (Citrus reticulata)
Chosen for: Uplifting, cheering.
I find this citrus peel oil so very uplifting and renewing - a beautiful tangy joyful scent that's a little more floral than sweet orange.
With people spending most of the time in close quarters with loved ones or roommates, irritability, moodiness and restlessness can sneak into our usually pleasant demeanor. Mandarin soothes these emotions, calms the sympathetic nervous system, and brings emotional stability with an optimistic and even playful energy(1).
It can help lift dark, negative and morbid feelings(1), much needed support in the time of a pandemic.
It also is a powerful skin healer, digestive tonic, mild diuretic(1,4), and antiseptic(3).
I chose mandarin over other citruses as, like sweet orange, it is not phototoxic, so it can be used topically without chance of getting burned if exposed to sunlight(1). It is also gentle enough for toddlers and pregnancy(1,3,4).
Hint: You can use red or yellow mandarin or even sweet orange in the place of green mandarin if you prefer.
Sandalwood, Australian (Santalum spicatum)
Chosen for: Grounding, peace, meditation.
With precious sandalwood, I feel a deep connection with my deepest self, the earth and the universe all at once, and with that connection comes utmost peace. It has such a beautiful, soft but deep sweet scent that is incomparable. It reduces overthinking, melts away agitation, fosters openness, warmth and understanding. It helps us quiet mind chatter, instilling a state where mind and spirit can realign as one(1).
It also is anti-inflammatory, antidepressant, decongestant, sedative, and anti-infectious(2), making it yet another versatile and powerful essential oil both emotionally and physiologically.
Hint: Sandalwood is a precious and costly oil, as the tree has to grow and mature 30 years before it can be harvested for its essential oil and such(2). Use it sparingly and with care. I have chosen sustainable Australian sandalwood over its more well known relative, Santalum album, due to the latter being endangered(2). If you do not have the pocket book to afford sandalwood, you can substitute with patchouli (Pogostemon cablin) or vetiver (Vetiveria zizanoides), though they don't have quite the same sweet deep aroma or properties, they will bring depth and grounding to your blend.
You can use these essential oils alone or together many different ways. Here are some multipurpose blends I have created out of these 5 essential oils to get you started
. For more information on methods of application and safety, visit this reference from NAHA.org
You Can Lift This Blend
Lift your energy, the blues, and your breathing with this blend meant to support respiratory health, helping loosen mucus and promote better breathing. It's also stimulating and energizing, while calming agitated emotions.
- 2 drops eucalyptus
- 3 drops black spruce
- 4 drop mandarin
- 1 drop lavender
Recommended for steam inhalation, diffuser. For diffuser, follow your diffuser's instructions for use. For steam inhalation, add the essential oils to a bowl of steaming water, place head over bowl and place a towel over your head. Breathe the steam for 5-10 minutes as needed.
Calm and Nourish Blend
This blend will calm and uplift your emotions as well as promote healthy skin.
- 3 drop lavender
- 3 drop mandarin
- 1 drop sandalwood
Recommended for bath, diffuser, topical. For bath: Mix essential oils in 1 tablespoon of oil such as evening primrose oil and add to bath water for both calming and skin benefits. I suggest showering with soap first and then filling the tub to soak with the oil blend for 1/2 to 1 hour for max skin softening from the carrier oil. For diffuser, follow your diffuser's instructions for use. For topical application, add essential oils to 1/2 oz of lotion or carrier oil (again, such as evening primrose, olive oil or sweet almond oil) and apply to skin as needed.
Peace and Meditation Blend
A beautiful scent that promotes peace and spirituality. I love the deep woodsy sweetness of this scent.
- 1 drops lavender
- 2 drops black spruce
- 2 drop sandalwood
Recommended for bath, diffuser. For bath: Mix essential oils in 1 tablespoon of oil such as evening primrose oil and add to bath water for both calming and skin benefits. I suggest showering with soap first and then filling the tub to soak with the oil blend for 1/2 to 1 hour for max skin softening from the carrier oil. For diffuser, follow your diffuser's instructions for use.
Please enjoy and ask questions if you've got 'em!
All recipes are created for healthy adults. Not intended for use with infants or small children. Use lower dilution for children, pregnancy, and elderly.
The information provided herein by Blue Dawn Aromatherapy are for educational purposes only. The statements on our website, labels and other printed material have not been evaluated by the FDA and any information provided by Blue Dawn Aromatherapy or Blue Dawn Aromatherapy’s products are not intended to treat, diagnose, cure or prevent any disease.
- Battaglia, Salvatore. The Complete Guide to Aromatherapy: Vol 1 - Foundations & Materia Medica. 3rd Edition. Australia: Black Pepper Creative, 2018.
- Falsetto, Sharon. Authentic Aromatherapy: Essential Oils and Blends for Health, Beauty, and Home. New York: Skyhorse Publishing, 2016.
- Clark, Marge. Essential Oils and Aromatics: a step-by-step guide for use in massage and aromatherapy. Silverleaf Press.
- Purchon, Nerys and Cantele, Lora. The Complete Aromatherapy & Essential Oils Handbook for Everyday Wellness. Toronto: Robert Rose, 2014.