Finding health and wellness through essential oils
As a girl who used to spend a ridiculous amount of money on skin care products, I started searching the market for more natural solutions when I became pregnant and I stumbled across doTERRA oils and I’ve been a fan ever since.
Essential oils can be used for a wide range of emotional and physical wellness applications and I was fortunate to interview the owner of ‘Essentially Natural Living’ Donna Slater. Donna’s whole ethos is around finding health and wellness through natural living and essential oils.
I asked Donna some questions about her journey into wellness and how essential oils can be beneficial for pregnant women.
Tell us a little bit about yourself, Donna?
Hey there, so I'm Donna and I run 'Essentially Natural Living' which is a website aimed at inspiring and educating people on how to move towards a life more connected to nature, away from chemicals and pharmaceuticals, whilst utilising the therapeutic benefits of essential oils. I'm also a wife, mama to my 4.5-year-old free-spirited daughter and 2 grubby spaniels. I can generally be found in my kitchen whipping up an all-natural body butter recipe, or in wellies wandering around my small plot of woodland in Hampshire, UK.
How did your journey into the world of wellbeing start?
It's a bit of a long story, but bear with me!!
About 10 years ago I experienced (what I now know to be) an autoimmune issue where I would extremely suffer painful joints on a daily basis, each day would be different in the location and intensity, but it affected me so badly and I was genuinely concerned that we'd have to get a stair lift fitted before long to get me up to the bedroom! The doctors couldn't find anything wrong with me and sent me away with some high strength anti-inflammatories and slightly disbelieving looks. I was not happy to be mindlessly taking the tablets, so I did what any self-respecting Generation X'er would do and I consulted Google. There I came across Paleo as a non-inflammatory way of eating - it was worth a try. Within 7 days my symptoms had all but disappeared. Months of pain gone almost overnight by cutting out gluten and dairy!
It made me realise we are not treating our bodies well in this modern day. We abuse them and take them for granted and the body can only take so much. But from my experience, we CAN heal if we just give ourselves the chance. From a paleo starting point, I began to look into other ways to reduce my toxic load.. through skin care, household cleaners, fragranced products which led me to essential oils. Since integrating these gifts of nature into my life I've never looked back. I'm healthier, happier and more balanced... and I want everyone else to feel these things too.
What are the main benefits of essential oils for pregnancy?
We often suffer a lot of ailments when pregnant, our bodies are changing, growing and going through so much whilst we grow a tiny human in our wombs. It can be tiring, achy work, but essential oils can definitely support you through this time.
For example, diffusing Lavender in your bedroom can help you drift off when you're struggling to sleep because there is a party going on in your belly
Grapefruit or ginger oils can be used aromatically to help cut through that constant nausea
Eucalyptus oil can be useful for clearing the airways when you're all stuffed up, but limited as to what you can take to help.
Essential Oils can be incredibly useful during pregnancy, but extra care must be taken during this time. Ensure you are using only the finest therapeutic grade oils from a reputable company (i would only recommend doTERRA oils, but please do your research when shopping about) and at the appropriate dilution levels. (consult an aromatherapist with experience of working with mamas to be if you're unsure)
What would be your number one choice of oil for pregnancy?
That's a difficult question as there are so many great oils, but if you made me pick just one it would be Frankincense (Boswellia Caterii).
It's a wonderful oil with so many uses: Frankincense can relieve Headaches, reduce tension in the body, promote a feeling of being grounded during anxious periods, supports sleep and is an excellent oil to use alongside your hypnobirthing practice if this is a method you're looking at using during labour. Plus it has amazing anti-aging qualities, so pop a drop or 2 in your moisturiser each day and marvel at how your wrinkles or crows feet begin to disappear! Even more important once a baby arrives and you are facing more sleepless nights ;-)
What oils should a pregnant woman avoid?
Essential oils are extremely potent plant compounds and should be treated with respect by everyone, but especially when you're pregnant. There are a few oils which should not be used during pregnancy due to the adverse effects on you and your baby, such as Wintergreen, Cinnamon Clove and Oregano (this list is not exhaustive), but please do your research and consult a professional if needed.
Clary Sage can be excellent once you've hit your due to date to encourage baby to make their entrance, but absolutely not to be used during the rest of your pregnancy.
What inspirational quotes/mantras do you like to live by?
"Be Brave. Be Wild. And stay forever hungry for Art, Love, Knowledge and Adventure". -Erin Van Vuren
As well as running ‘Essentially Natural Living’ Donna is also launching ‘Wild Soul’ woodland retreats in the Summer, designed for women to explore their spirituality and develop new skills through Shinrin-Yoku, Natural Craft Making, Spiritual Exploration, Fireside Meditation and a Cacao Ceremony.
You can visit Donna's website at https://www.essentiallynaturalliving.com/ or @essentiallynaturaliving_uk for some great tips and tricks to help kickstart your wellness in 2019.