Ahhh, the great British summer. Temperatures seem to veer wildly between 12 and 35 degrees, any barbecue planned more than 30 minutes in advance runs a strong risk of getting rained off but conversely, if you chance a trip to the cinema you'll probably end up missing the only sunny afternoon of the weekend.
Here in High Wycombe we're currently enjoying what the media like to refer to as a 'scorcher' and it seems to be the same across the country. As we all know from many a past experience, it will probably turn into a 'washout' some time in the near future but for now most of us are just concentrating on trying to survive the heat.
With that in mind I thought it might be useful to give a few suggestions on some essential oils that can help you get through this hot spell - even if it does only last one more day!
I LOVE peppermint essential oil on a hot day. Its menthol content means it has fantastic cooling properties and I often use it in a body spritz to make the most of this. It's also a great oil for helping to soothe headaches, which I find many people suffer from when the weather is hot and humid.
To make your own body spritz take a mini spray bottle, add 3 or 4 drops of peppermint essential oil and 50mls of distilled water and give it a good shake. You can then spray on to your chest, arms, legs or feet whenever you feel in need of some relief from the heat. Shake it well before every use.
If you're suffering from a headache try dabbing a little of the spray on your temples, being careful it doesn't get into the eyes.
One word of caution; this oil is very stimulating so it's not a good idea to use it too close to bedtime or it may affect your sleep. It's also one to avoid using on children, pregnant women and anyone who is using homeopathic remedies.
I find roman chamomile very useful in the summer due to its soothing, calming and anti-inflammatory properties. It's great for relieving skin soreness or irritations such as insect bites, eczema or even sunburn. I also find it useful for helping to get rid of hayfever symptoms.
Try adding 15-18 drops of roman chamomile essential oil to 30ml of aqueous cream. Blend really well then apply to the skin to soothe any soreness or insect bites. For hayfever I find it useful to add a few drops of the oil to my facial moisturiser (approx 3 drops for every 5ml of cream) then apply it daily.
Roman chamomile can also help with insomnia and is gentle enough to be suitable for children so if the kids are completely hyper after a day running around in the sun try blending a couple of drops with a teaspoon of milk and adding to their bath water - everyone will feel calmer!
I've yet to meet anyone that doesn't like the scent of grapefruit essential oil. It smells exactly like you would imagine - a fresh, zesty, citrus aroma that is really uplifting. When I feel sluggish and tired with zero energy on a searingly hot day this oil is the perfect pick-me-up. I find it can energise me, help clear my mind and improve my mood. I've offered this oil to several of my clients in aromatherapy treatments this week and every one of them has selected it!
Try diffusing the oil in a room or even add a few drops to a tissue and inhale the aroma. I don't recommend applying to the skin if you're going to be out in the sun as it can make the skin more sensitive to sunlight.
Well I hope this selection of oils helps keep you going through the hot spell. Keep cool everyone and let's enjoy the sun while we can!
Note: As with all use of essential oils, there are some safety precautions to consider. Essential oils are extremely strong and should NEVER be applied neat to the skin or taken internally unless advised by a fully qualified aromatherapist or health professional. If you have sensitive skin it's a good idea to perform a patch test with your chosen oils, making sure they're properly diluted in a base oil. If there's no reaction after 24 hours then you can safely use the oils.
If you are pregnant or have underlying health issues it's always a good idea to seek the advice of a qualified aromatherapist to find out which oils are suitable or even speak to a health professional for advice. Extra precautions should be used when treating the elderly or the very young. Once again, it's best to get advice on the most suitable oils to choose.