Ahh, summer. Long, golden days brimming with al fresco fun, good times spent with family and friends, and replenishing out-of-office rest and relaxation.
However, along with the many radiant positives that come with our brightest season are some less-desirable challenges as well. Most common to us all, we’re talking sunburn, insect bites and that sluggish summer listlessness that can weigh you down when that mercury spikes and stays up, up, up.
Fortunately, Mother Nature has the answer (doesn’t she always?). The gentle practice of aromatherapy - using pure essential oils extracted from the fruits, leaves, flowers, bark and stems of plants - can positively boost comfort and wellbeing. With their inherent cooling, soothing, insect repelling properties, specific essential oils like Peppermint, Lavender, Tea Tree, and Eucalyptus can be used in skin mists and compresses to naturally soothe your summer struggles.
Plus, uplifting floral, citrus and herbal essential oils are simply perfect for boosting the mood and promoting an atmosphere as optimistic and sunny as the summer day outside. Floral Geranium and Lavender, sweet juicy Orange and zesty Lemon, Lemongrass and Lemon Myrtle - to name just a few - can be diffused alone or in bespoke combinations for a scent that resonates with and refreshes you.
Below, take a look at some (easy and accessible) aromatherapy solutions to help you stay cool, calm and comfortable.
Use essential oil in a cold compress to cool off on hot days.
Place 1 x drop of Lavender and 1 x drop of Peppermint essential oil onto a cloth and soak in a small bowl of cool water. Wring out the cloth and gently press to the back of the neck, forehead and wrists for soothing, cooling relief. Dip, wring and repeat until the face cloth becomes warm. Cloth can be returned to the fridge for re-use throughout the day.
TIP: For extra cooling, pop the cloth in the fridge or even freezer prior to use.
Soothing Sunburn Body Mist
Sometimes, despite our best intentions and slip, sop, slap practice, skin can receive an accidental scorching from the sun. To help soothe sunburnt skin - or even as a refreshing after-sun treatment for skin that’s not burnt but feeling hot and uncomfortable - an aromatherapy skin mist is wonderful. Simply add 3 x drops of Lavender, 2 x drops Tea Tree and 1 x drop Peppermint essential oil to 100ml of cool water in a clean spray bottle. Shake well and spray onto body. Keep in the fridge to keep the solution fresh and cool, and use throughout the day as required.
TIP: For extra soothing and hydration, add 1 x tablespoon of Aloe Vera Gel (commonly found in health food stores and pharmacies) to your solution.
Note: Omit Peppermint from the recipe if you intend to use mist on the face.
Natural Insect Repellant
Essential oils can also help to repel bugs without the potentially toxic chemicals of non-natural insect repellants. The likes of Peppermint, Lemongrass, Tea Tree, Eucalyptus, Lemon Myrtle and Lavender can help keep summer pests from biting. To make your own natural insect repellant spray, add a mix of up to 10 drops of the aforementioned essential oils to 250ml water in a clean spray bottle. Ideally, a mix of up to 3 unique oils is best. Spray onto skin and surfaces as needed and keep in the fridge for use throughout the day. Note: Avoid spraying directly into the face.
TIP: For a simpler alternative, use up to 10 x drops of Natio Focus on Defence Pure Essential Oil Blend, which offers a pre-blended mix of excellent repellant oils.]
Indoors, these oils can be vaporised or diffused (depending on the equipment you have available). Simply add up to 6 drops of essential oil to your vaporiser or diffuser to help keep flies and mozzies at bay.
Note: Pets can be more sensitive to Essential Oils than people, with many Essential Oils best avoided altogether for their comfort and safety. Always consult your vet prior to use and follow label instructions.
TIP: again, an essential oil blend such as Natio Focus on Defence Pure Essential Oil Blend offers an easy, pre-mix of essential oils reputed for effective insect repellency.
Calming Insect Bite Relief
To help reduce inflammation, apply 1 x drop of Lavender neat to the bite.
To help relieve itch, dilute 1 x drop of Peppermint in 10mls carrier oil and gently dab onto the bite.
Positive Mood Booster
Vaporised or diffused, cooling, energising and uplifting essential oils can offer refreshing relief from summer sluggishness, helping to revive the spirit and create an atmosphere of positive energy. Cooling mint, zesty citrus, cheerful florals and sweet woods are especially nice during the warmer months, and can be combined per your personal preference. Blend your own or sweeten your summer with some of the below essential oil combinations:
TIP: Refreshing, revitalising essential oils are great for road trips! No need for equipment, you can simply apply a few drops of aromatic essential oil to a tissue and tuck into your car’s fan vents or console storage to support alertness and/or promote freshness and optimism as you travel.
Always follow the dosage instructions on the bottle, and instructions for your vaporiser/diffuser. And again, remember that pets can be more sensitive to Essential Oils than people, with many Essential Oils best avoided altogether for their comfort and safety. Always consult your vet prior to use.
That's just a handful ideas and recipes to get you started and support a super summer, naturally. Once you get started, the sky’s the limit, so take your aromatherapy alchemy as far as you’d like. Or if you like your essential oil elixirs readymade, Natio can support you there too. Take a look at our Home Happiness range of pure essential oils, blends, roll-ons, carrier oils and accessories.
Wishing you a safe and scent-sational summer!