The Essential Crone: Four Oils You Need In Your Self-Care Arsenal
An Essential Oil Primer
Essential oils are derived from the bark, sap, roots, flowers, leaves and seeds of plants. These botanical essences protect the plant from fungus and microbes while attracting pollinators and repelling pests. By harnessing the therapeutic qualities of certain plants for health and beauty we get to share in the benefits of that inner power to survive and thrive. Who doesn’t want to stay fungus free, attract pollinators and repel undesirables while smelling divine?!
Use of essential oils is not a new practice. Jars of frankincense (a tree resin known for its healing and regenerative properties) and coconut oil were found in the tombs of Egyptian pharaohs. Cleopatra was known to take donkey milk baths with lavender and rose petals. The Aborigines’ introduction of melaleuca oil (tea tree) to Australians provided them with a potent antiseptic for their World War II first aid kits. Thieves who survived the plague by using specific herbs and spices provided the impetus for protective essential oil blends and herbal recipes used today.
Fun Facts: Not all plants produce essential oils. Although there are more than 250,000 plants in the plant kingdom, only approximately 450 create usable essential oils. Out of the 450 oil producing plants, only 125-150 (or less than one percent) are currently known to be therapeutically effective.
Essential oils are extracted from plants in multiple ways, the most common being steam distillation. No matter how an oil is extracted, it is vital to use certified pure therapeutic grade essential oils for aromatic, topical and internal use. The skin is the body’s largest organ, so what we put on, goes in. When we enjoy an oil aromatically (in the palms of our hands or in a diffuser) we are inhaling the particulates of the essential oil. If the plant was distilled with a solvent or other chemical additives in order to “push” more oil out, that solvent is now included in our metabolic process.
Note: When introducing a new oil to your skin, always dilute one drop of oil with one teaspoon of a carrier such as coconut, jojoba or olive oil. Keep out of reach of children and pets. Avoid contact with eyes, inner ears and sensitive areas.
Aromatically, essential oils affect the limbic system where emotions, memory, sense of smell and behaviors live. Smells also trigger memories which can bring us to a happy or not so happy place depending on how the dots connect. The limbic system also has a part in controlling several vital physiological functions, breathing being one of them. It is a wonderful and entertaining adventure to use essential oils in a conscious way to positively influence both our physiological and psychological realities.
Feminine Oils for the Crone Woman
The physical, mental and emotional reorganization that occurs during these years cannot be overstated. And the need for effective, safe protocols is huge. (Reframe or go up in flames!) Here are four must-have oils for the hormonally-challenged crone.
This multi-tasker supports uterine health, breasts, hair, scalp and libido while calming hot flashes, PMS symptoms, menstrual cramps and stabilizing cortisol levels. It is antispasmodic and sedative in nature. On an emotional level, it improves spiritual clarity by helping us let go, embrace the change and develop our intuition. When we are bombarded with hot flashes and other challenges, it is imperative we choose to shift our attention away from counterproductive thought patterns such as “what it used to be like” and “how I used to be.” Think of clary sage as a good friend who nudges you back on track when you’re heading off the rails.
*Apply to back of neck and bottoms of the feet. Inhale soothing calm, exhale confusion. To ease cramping, gently massage into lower abdomen.
Gorgeous geranium is a wonderful, gentle oil that supports emotional and hormonal balance. It assists with low libido, PMS, estrogen fluctuation and mood. Aromatically it is stress relieving, and provides feelings of connectedness, heart healing and unconditional love.
*Add to the bath or your favorite moisturizer for nurturing skin care and emotional/hormonal balancing.
Lovely lavender is relaxing, regenerative, soothing and stress relieving. Its sedative qualities promote better sleep. As with clary sage, lavender also helps to stabilize cortisol levels. It has anti-anxiety and anti-inflammatory properties. On an emotional level, it supports expression of our personal truths, opening the doorway to a calm and peaceful mind.
*For cool, calming relief add a few drops to a damp compress. Mist bed linens for delightful dreamtime. Apply to earlobes and forearms before sleep.
Peppy peppermint is a cooling, invigorating, anti-inflammatory, energizing oil. Keeping the mind alert, it helps to combat mental fatigue. It provides effective relief from hot flashes, brain fog, head and muscular tension. This oil has been referred to as the happy oil of a buoyant heart. This buoyancy allows us to function on a surface level while we build strength to explore deeper issues that may need our attention.
*Make a mist by adding a few drops to a spray bottle and spritz for immediate cooling directly on the body or in the air. Apply a drop to the back of neck or area of concern. If too strong, dilute with any high-quality vegetable oil (coconut, olive, avocado). Add a drop to your hand fan and enjoy an extra-cooling breeze to clear your mind.
Like the four corners of a great pyramid, utilizing the power of these oils will provide a solid supportive base for you to build a renewed, refreshed, reframed, wonderful, relaxed, nurtured and confident crone!
Mimi Tatsumi has decades of experience with intuitive touch and healing touch, oxygen therapy, and crystals. She’s taught Aromatouch and aromatherapy, yoga and Lomilomi massage in Japan and throughout the U.S. including Maui, which she called home for many years. During her 18-years as a massage therapist and educator at the renowned Spa at Four Seasons Wailea, she developed exclusive treatments. When she’s not busy helping clients find peace and relief, she can be found globetrotting with her son or spinning records live on the fly as a radio DJ. If you’d like to try her recommended oils, please visit her here.