Esthetician Vered Back has a special way with essential oils. With a long list of glowing New York clients, we knew Vered’s facials were no joke when we put our hand to a few of her obsession-worthy oil blends ourselves. She’s even turned one of her anti-aging blends into a bottled fragrance – they smell that good. With Vered’s keen knowledge of essential oils and our constant curiosity about natural remedies, we knew there were probably a few fascinating tips Vered could offer us when it came to dealing with mood and seasons. Here are Vered’s insights in response to a few reader questions.
Q: “I always get a little blue in the winter. What can I do to keep my energy and mood up?”
A: There are a lot of things we can do and should do to prepare our body (immune system) and mind, to be in a better mood and get more energy. Let’s start with the immune system, so we won’t get sick and moody…
- Increase your Vitamin D3 to at least 2000mg; I would take between 3000-5000 mg for a few weeks then go back down to 2000mg.
- B complex – important for maintenance your nervous system.
- Omega 3, 6 and 9 are very good for depression, the immune system and will feed your body and skin.
Some herbs for a better mood:
- Rhodiola Rosea: great for when the weather gets cold and we get sour-faced. It is also good for energy.
- St. John’s wort: good for depression, but it takes time for it to work, so start now. Be careful if you are on medication as it can react with it, so check with your doctor.
- Stress-free Herb Tea Blend: Lemon balm, oat straw, lavender, sage, rose petals and valerian. I recommend drinking it twice a day. If you can substitute it for coffee, that would be even better. I pre-make this blend for myself in a glass container for convenience, but if you wanted to make one large pot at a time, I would add 1 tablespoon of the lemon balm and a ½ teaspoon of the rest. Steep the mixture for at least ten minutes.
- Milk Thistle: cleans the liver. The liver is connected to our emotions, which is why we can get nasty when we drink too much alcohol. So, drink up! Milk thistle, I mean – not alcohol. Alcohol interferes with dopamine production!
That’s leads us to the next thing that will increase your dopamine production. I’m sure you’re sick of hearing about it, but it really works: EXERCISE! I’m not going to get into what kind…whatever you choose for yourself that makes you feel good. Yoga, dancing, running, and even taking a half hour walk a day will be beneficial.
Q. “I’ve heard you can inhale essential oils as aromatherapy. How should one do that and for how long? I’ve never fully understood the idea.”
V: Inhaling essential oils may just be one of the most effective ways to relive depression, increase energy, improve your health and just feel good overall. The reason is that essential oils have direct pharmacological effects systemically via the blood supply to the brain. They have also an indirect effect via the olfactory nerve pathways into the brain. Essentials oil fragrances are absorbed through blood circulation and nerve pathways from sinuses into the central glands of the brain, which control emotional, neurological and immunological function.
Depending on what you are trying to achieve, if you are sick, or you just want to lift your spirits, you would choose the appropriate oils that would treat those symptoms. There are a few ways you can use essential oils through inhalation:
- Palm inhalation: Apply 2-3 drops inside your palms. Rub your hands together and inhale gently and deeply. Do this for 2 to 3 minutes whenever you feel the need.
- Diffusers: Just a good overall thing to have in the house for anti-microbial properties. If someone in the house is sick, you may place it in his or her room.
- Inhaling through a treatment, a massage, a facial, or a steamer: You get a direct effect to your throat, sinuses, lungs and, of course, the brain. This is why it’s so important that your holistic practitioner uses high grade essential oils, so you will get a real benefits from the treatment.
The best essential oils to inhale for depression are rose, lemon balm, lavender, lemon, tangerine, jasmine and orange blossom. These essential oils can be used neat without mixing it with carrier oil.
The best essential oils to inhale for the cold or flu are oregano, thyme, eucalyptus, lime, peppermint, frankincense and hyssop. Make sure to dilute these essential oils with carrier oil such as organic sweet almond oil, jojoba or coconut oil (unscented).
My favorite way of inhaling essential oils is to apply my Signature Scent Body Oil and Signature Scent Perfume. All the essential oils and absolutes that I use in these formulas contain powerful aphrodisiac qualities.
I hope this helps you all to stay healthy and happy into the spring!