Relax with essential oils and herbs

Escape the stresses of the modern world and relax

Do yourself a favour and relax.

Do yourself a favour and relax.


Essential herbs and oils can help you relax and enjoy life, writes Alan Hayes.


In today's hectic world, stress and tension can take a severe toll on your health and wellbeing.

Life should not be a merry-go-round of stress or a devastating experience. Instead, it should be a time of joy and fulfilment; but only you can make it like that.

Firstly, and most importantly, set aside a little time for yourself each day to do absolutely nothing. Just relax: stare into space, watch the waves at the beach, or watch the wind in the trees. In fact, do anything that allows you to turn off.

Secondly, learn to relax your face. Once it is relaxed, the body tends to follow.

Do this by relaxing the lower jaw; every time you feel your teeth clenching just let go. Your forehead will then follow and you'll lose those wrinkles across your brow.

Another way to ease those tense muscles is to gently rub a drop of eucalyptus oil into your forehead. A few drops of lavender essential oil rubbed into the wrists or onto the nape of the neck also has a calming effect.

Drink a relaxing cup of herbal tea if it helps. Herbal teas that will help you to relax are lemon balm, chamomile, peppermint, lemon verbena and a combination of basil and borage - use twice as much borage as basil.

Another great way to relax and unwind is to lie back and luxuriate in a warm bath.

For a relaxing bath, take some finely-ground oatmeal and cook until it is soft, then transfer the mixture into a muslin bag. Hang the bag in the bath water so the liquid can work its soothing magic.

When essential oils are added to bathwater they will release their special properties to penetrate your skin, as well as exerting their therapeutic value through the inhaled vapour, to relax the body and soothe jangled nerves.

At night run a bath using chamomile, jasmine or lavender oil. Add about four to six drops of oil once the hot water has settled. Lie in the bath for 10 minutes with your eyes closed, and take deep relaxing breaths.

The relaxing vapours will envelop you. For maximum effect close all windows and the bathroom door.

In the morning you can enjoy the benefits of fragrant oils with an aromatic shower. Oils that will invigorate and help you to keep your calm during the day are thyme, bergamot, marjoram and rosemary.

To start, dilute 10 drops of your favourite oil with 15ml of odourless vegetable oil. Rub your entire body with a little of this fragrant oil, diluted half-and-half with water.

Plug the shower drain and while showering sprinkle in the same aromatics as the water collects. Your feet will benefit from the fragrant soak, while the ascending aroma will relax your mind.

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