I am very excited to be chatting with Natallia Maguire. She runs a thriving fitness business teaching Pilates, yoga, Zumba and much more up here in the North of Scotland and online. But we’re not here to talk exercise.
When I saw Natallia had recently become certified in “General Aromatherapy” from the Institute of Aromatherapy, I knew I wanted to hear more and see if there was something in this “stuff” to enhance our homes. We are in the glorious Inverness Botanical Gardens surrounding by colour and scent – the perfect place to talk about this topic.
I’ve been interested in essential oils for as long as I can remember but I never seem to get very far with using them. I kind of dabble in them from time to time and then have long periods of forgetting about them. Definitely still a novice on this one! This whole area fits perfectly with my journey to becoming increasingly natural and minimalistic around the home whilst still seeking pleasure.
Natallia starts off recalling a time when she too knew pretty much nothing about the power of essential oils. Over the last few years she not only completed the first phase (of 3) for her certified course but has been on her own extensive exploration of oils and all the associated issues. She believes they are incredibly useful and add plenty of joy in a wider variety of ways than you would imagine.
First things first. One thing that puts me off using them is that I am a little scared of getting it wrong. Natallia reassures me that yep, there are some rules to follow but there is no need to be overly concerned.
In a nutshell:-
· Oils usually require DILUTION with water, vinegar or a carrier oil such as jojoba, coconut or almond.
· If using on your skin it is worth doing a patch test and if you have an underlying medical condition or are pregnant then do have a quick check with your doctor.
We talk a little about the fact the distillation of oils is unregulated and there is no formal recognised grading system in the UK. As a result, there’s a wide variety in the quality available. So, it is worth doing a bit of research on the actual oil you’re going to buy. A good indicator is price but there are impartial reviews online that will help too.
In general, Natallia currently stays away from ingesting essential oils but says there are many that you can do this with and they can be both restorative and cleansing.
If you want some further reading this compact little article covers most of the bases on safety.
So, nothing to worry about, as long as we’re sensible. 😄
Not only do essential oils smell divine but many of them are very good cleaners and antimicrobial. As I scour the internet the list of uses seems endless. They can be used as natural air fresheners, pillow mists, cleaning mixtures, deodorisers, mold killer and even a spider & mouse repellent !
I ask Natallia what oils top the list for her and for use in her home. Her absolute favourite is ROSE. She adores the smell, its healing properties and its ability to attract love. She is also very fond of chamomile, mandarin and bergamot which all have very positive associations as well as a gorgeous fragrance E.g. Christmas mandarins as a child.
Although she is not a big fan of pine, she still seeks to include it in some of her mixes and feels that it’s important to utilise the widest range of oils in order to maximise benefits.
I’m already a tad familiar with one of the most common oils, LAVENDAR. I’ve got this in the cupboard and have even used it! It’s really good for relaxation and sleep but I didn’t realise the extent of its capabilities – not only is it antibacterial but it is also helpful for laundry, cuts, burns and even a nosebleed! That is something we have try at home as both myself and my kids suffer regularly with bleeding noses.
I have always been completely unadventurous and tended to stay with a single oil. I ask Natallia about mixing differing oils. She tells me that this is where the internet becomes super handy. There are so many options possible and it really is about experimenting. As with most things EVERYONE is different. It’s all about finding out not only what aroma you enjoy the most but also how it works on your skin, in your home or as a cleaner.
Natallia has not used shop bought perfume for 2 years, now preferring to mix her own jojoba and essential oil.
She keeps small sprays in a number of places from her bag to the car and around the house. One of her favourite mixes is “Thieves” oil which has a fascinating backstory. The origins date back to the middle ages during the time of the Bubonic plague. Thieves would rob plague ridden dead bodies for their clothes and jewellery. What was most intriguing is that the thieves seemed to escape the “Black death” themselves.
The story attributes this to a heady combo of lemon, cloves, cinnamon, rosemary and eucalyptus. This combination is said to be anti-bacterial and anti-inflammatory.
It is no surprise that I am excited by essential oils. They are a great natural alternative to synthetic fragrances holding a range of properties that sees them healing, cooking, cleaning and more. They’re pretty easy to use and they’re multi-functional. What’s not to love?
Now I just need to invest a tincy bit more time to work out exactly HOW I will incorporate them more into our household routines. I can’t wait to get going.
What about you? Are you currently using them?
If yes, I’d love to hear how. If no, is this something you fancy dipping a toe into?