Ask Dr Bo

Your questions about how to use essential oils answered by Absolute Essential founder Dr Bo Hendgen.

Thank you for your questions! We have been overwhelmed by the response and apologise that we cannot print all of them here. The good news is we have published them online at goodmagazine.co.nz/askdrbo

Q. My husband has recently been diagnosed with cancer and I’m his (willing) support person and carer. I’m well physically but find it very difficult to stop myself being constantly on red alert and worrying about him and possible outcomes. I’m struggling a bit with sleep too. Please can you advise me how I can help myself to be more resilient and get through? Alison

A. As scent affects our moods immediately it’s important to surround yourself with uplifting aromas in your direct environment, like your home. The easiest way to achieve this is via diffusing clinically formulated pure blends of essential oils. I recommend three different ones to choose from: 

  1. Uplift – A bright and upbeat blend to help support a positive mood. Great for balancing and shifting perspective. This will be incredibly helpful for you during this ever shifting landscape of emotions.
  2. Stress Less – A gently relaxing blend to help in times of tension and pressure. Promotes sustained energy, calm focus and relaxation. It’s my go to when I feel anxious, worried or stressed.
  3. Purify – A very fresh and cleansing blend to effectively kill germs and support the immune system.

All of the above may also be applied to your pulse points on the wrist up to 6x a day.

Naturally when we are worried about our health or the health of a loved one it will affect our sleep.

I recommend running yourself a hot bath. Blend 10x drops of Deep Sleep (a pure essential oil blend) with 1 tablespoon of Epsom Salts. Mix it with ½ cup of milk (any) for better dispersion in the bathwater. Rest in the bath for no more than 15 min (released toxins tend to be reabsorbed after 15min) and go straight to bed, maybe with an easy read book if you like reading to take your mind off things.

Also add 1 drop of Deep Sleep pure essential oil blend to your pulse points, neck, wrist, back of knees and ankles. Repeat the latter when you are unable to have a bath.

Q. I’m brand new to the essential oil world and wanting to know which oils are the best to start with? I’ve heard a diffuser is better to use than burning candles. Would love some info around what would be amazing please. Lou

A. I love that you ask this as it is a concern for many, and quality essential oil products are such an incredible tool to use for a healthy life and home health care.

The Absolute Essential Starter Collection sets you up with 7 popular essential oils and blends. If you’ve always wanted to explore the benefits of essential oils but haven’t known where to start, this is the collection for you. These 7 best-selling therapeutic grade oils and pure blends have been hand-picked by our health experts as the ultimate must-haves.

Using an ultra-sonic diffuser is very convenient and effective for bigger spaces however keep an open mind for other recommended applications to serve you better in your personal space.

Ensure your diffuser is crafted from ceramics and not plastics as this can disintegrate with the essential oils and send out plastic micro-particles which you breathe in, not healthy…

However, you are correct that the ultra-sonic diffuser is a much more efficient distribution of scent than the candle burners, firstly you have a fire danger if you forget it and second when the water runs out it tends to bubble and burn everything dry.

Q. My question is about stress – acute and chronic. All of Auckland and Aotearoa has been disturbed, rattled, upended by multiple floods then Cyclone Gabrielle. My community of Muriwai can be described as a collective whole as traumatised.

How can we use oils to ground ourselves? How can we use fragrance as part of a multi-pronged toolbox to stave off anxiety, depression and despair? Ruth

A. It has been such a challenging time for many people and communities in Aotearoa. We all have to dig a little deeper to find our resilience to pivot to the “new now” and to what I’m observing in Muriwai as well as other affected communities Kiwis are a generous helpful bunch looking after each other.

“Scent is the only medicine you can apply directly to the brain” and hence 100 per cent therapeutic essential oils and blends deserve a place in your recovery toolbox.

Furthermore “scent works by association” which means we can train our brain to relate to / react to a scent a certain way.

Take our certified organic Confidence essential oil blend – a potent and energising blend to encourage mental clarity and positive action. If every time you catch yourself with negative, despondent self-talk, add a couple of drops to your hands, rub them and take a deep breath, to instigate a release of the cocktail of happy hormones like dopamine and assert the feeling of hope and possibilities.

Alternatively if the mood gets dark add 10 drops of Uplift essential oil blend to your diffuser and replenish as needed. It is known for its bright and upbeat instant mood support.

The feeling of anxiety we may experience every time it rains for example is best managed with Tranquility pure essential oils blend in a diffuser, bath, on pulse points or simply rub 2 drops pure onto your chest when you are feeling anxious.

I would recommend these three blends for your trauma toolkit.

Q. I’d like to know the best blend for healing long term repeated trauma from family members which then rippled out to the community being all that was known. Would a rose blend for self-love be best? Pamela

A. Long term trauma and grief are indeed treated effectively with Rose Damask essential oil. Due to the price of this incredibly precious essential oil I like to also suggest a couple of blends I have created with this purpose in mind.

Sweet Rose essential oil blend is a soothing and balancing blend to support self-care, relaxation and restoration, very healing for a grieving and sad heart.

Our Heart Chakra blend is a gentle and harmonious blend to support emotional balance especially during times of stress, trauma or grief. The key active ingredients in this blend are precious essential oils of : Melissa True, Melissa officinalis to calm, refresh and ease feelings of grief; Bergamot, Citrus auranthium var. bergamia to promote composure, calm and confidence and Rose Maroc, Rosa damascena to strengthen, ease anxiety and relax.

The pure essential oils are blended with organic Jojoba so you can apply this straight to your skin (heart area). This blend is not suitable for the diffuser or bath.

Q. I’m hoping Dr Bo can help me. I’m very keen to start using essential oils however I find there are so many different brands on the market that all say they ‘are the best’. What makes Absolute Essential oils the best and how are they different? Noelene

A. I’m very glad you are asking this. For the beginner essential oil user this is a bit of a jungle out there to walk yourself through. In general I would advise to be very clear on the purpose of use of your essential oils.

If you intend to utilise essential oils for health benefits here is what you should look for: common name, Latin name, country of origin, plant part, extraction method and a statement of purity, e.g. Lavender True, 100% pure lavandula angustifolia maillette, distilled, flowers, France. Plus, growing method and company and products certifications such as certified organic, vegan, cruelty-free, ethically sourced, NZ made.

Also a statement regarding the quality e.g. medicinal, therapeutic, flavour & fragrance as only 4% of the world’s production of essential oils are performed with the intent of producing a therapeutic product, the remaining 96% is produced for the flavour and fragrance industry.

We define this superior quality simply by our low temperature and slow extraction methods. A similar rule applies to carrier oils. Following these guidelines will help you.

Your Absolute Essential toolkit

Uplift – A bright and upbeat blend to help support a positive mood.

Stress Less – Promotes sustained energy, calm focus and relaxation.

Purify – A very fresh and cleansing blend to effectively kill germs.

Deep Sleep – A natural and deeply relaxing blend to support restorative and restful sleep.

Tranquillity – A relaxing blend to help reset the senses and support tension relief.

Chamomile Roman Water – This light and gentle floral water is very soothing.

Castor Oil – Virgin – A pure extraction to support skin hydration, joint mobility and lymphatic flow. 

Apricot Kernel Oil – Virgin – A light, nourishing, moisturising oil that makes your skin glow.

Argyle Clay – Raw – Restorative for sensitive skin, supports cleansing and purifying processes.

Sweet Rose – A soothing and balancing blend to support self-care, relaxation and restoration.

Heart Chakra – A harmonious blend to support mental and emotional balance in times of stress, loss or grief.

Lavender True – A first aid staple in every home.

Peppermint – A cool and refreshing plant distillation to support relief of body, tummy and head tension.

Eucalyptus Australiana – A clean and refreshing plant distillation that supports decongestion.Lemon – From uplifting to happy moods to relieving tired feet – a classic essential oil.

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