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101: Must have Essential Oils

Leslie Francesca

Written by Nutritionist Courtney James

Despite the doubts surrounding them, essential oils can be beneficial in helping you achieve balance and alleviate physical and emotional ailments. Personally, I’ve found that, through the use of certain oils, I can find energy, rejuvenation, balance and calm. Given my sensitive body, I prefer to use them externally (as opposed to ingestible oils) or in a diffuser, as the benefits can be very similar to ingesting. Below are my go-to essential oils and how they made it on my list.

Lavender. This oil is a must-have for me. At night, as soon as I inhale it, my brain and body know that I am ready for a deep slumber. Lavender can also provide amazing antibacterial qualities when taken internally, but I reserve it only for its relaxing properties. Simply add a drop to the bottom of each of your feet, as well as a drop on your hands (best applied with a carrier oil such as coconut or rosehip oil  — roughly 2-3 drops to every 3 tablespoons of oil), rub together and take a deep breath. Added bonus —  when I roll my head onto my hands when falling asleep, I inhale it with every breath.

Clary Sage. This oil is extremely important to consider when addressing female hormone balancing and cramping. Apply directly to the abdomen and massage into areas of pain or just need a little extra love and attention. (Massaging this area in and of itself can be a great way to ease discomfort, as our hands on their own are marvelous healers!) On a spiritual level, clary sage can serve as an ‘eye opener’ (hence the name clary, which means ‘clear’), allowing us to expand our perspective and see things we may have not otherwise notice and, moreover, see them with clarity and certainty.

Geranium. An incredible opponent of infection, geranium is also used in conjunction with clary sage oil as a hormone regulator. Among its other distinguishing properties — powerful astringent, alleviates PMS symptoms, heals wounds, diuretic and detoxifier. Plus, it possesses a nurturing scent, which keeps me feeling safe and loved.

Frankincense. This age-old remedy was likened to liquid gold, due to its powerful healing properties. Commonly used in candles and natural deodorizers, frankincense has recently become more prominent as a cell regenerator, as well as combatting hypertension and arthritis. It can be especially helpful for women as it regulates estrogen levels. It also possesses an amazing ability to speed up gastric bile production which, in turn, helps food to move through the intestines more quickly. I am such a fan of frankincense that I’ve incorporated it into my night routine, mixing it with lavender oil on my hands before bed.

Lemon and grapefruit. These are two of my favorite citrus oils — great to add to a bath, as they help detoxify, cleanse (both body and mind) and increase circulation. Grapefruit’s potent purifying properties allow it to fight both water retention and cellulite.