This article is written in partnership with Mountain Rose Herbs—they’re dedicated to putting people, plants, and planet over profit and sharing the healing power of plants through their new line of organic essential oils. We are honored to work with them. ~ ed.
I finally got a vaccine appointment.
It felt like I found the golden ticket in my Wonka chocolate. Getting the notification that I had a confirmed time slot felt surreal, and a rush of gratitude washed over me. It was scheduled in the middle of the morning on a weekday, which isn’t ideal for a working gal, but this was a high priority reason to step away from my computer screen.
I’ve been one of the folks who has rarely left my house since last March. I’ve wiped down every grocery with Clorox, worn a mask to the mailbox, and panicked after every idle sniffle. Thankfully, I have my health, but my anxiety has been off the charts. This opportunity to feel a little bit safer is one I welcomed with open arms…and a temporarily sore one.
When it came to work, leaving to get the vaccine was not only allowed, but encouraged. Still, I had my own items to cross off my list that I didn’t want to delay. I was determined to be as speedy as possible so I could get right back to it. My directionally challenged brain navigated to the vaccination location, and I muddled my way through the line when I arrived.
Adjacent to me was a man who was doing his post-shot, 15-minute wellness checkpoint, and he was hacking up a lung. There were more coughs per minute than the speed of my nervous heartbeat. His mask was worn below his nose, and I was imagining the worst. I felt the heat rising to my temples when, suddenly, my name was called.
I apprehensively took my seat as the vaccine administrator swiped my forehead with her thermometer. “You’re too hot,” she said. Um, what? I have taken my temperature more times in the last year than I’d like to admit, and I refused to believe this was the time I actually had a high one. “Take your jacket off,” she instructed while I ripped it off my body faster than Bruce Almighty. “Nope, you’re even hotter now, why don’t you go walk outside and come back?”
Okay…now my anxiety soared to heights that looked down on panic attacks of my past. What if I can’t get it done? What if I have COVID-19?
I did what any grown, professional, 29-year-old woman would do: called my mom. Her reminders to breathe worked as best as they could, and I reclaimed my spot in line after a few minutes. My temperature magically returned to normal, and I was able to get the shot.
Even though I made it back home safely and a fresh coat of protection, my spiked anxiety was remaining at peak levels. With no time to really do much about it, I reached for a Calming blend of essential oils and grazed it on my wrist. Inhaling the clary sage and lavender gave me immediate relief from the stress hormones of the day. Pretty sure I can (at least partly) thank the Linalool for this release—it’s a compound present in these floral antidotes that lays a comforting blanket over our central nervous systems.
It’s not a difficult task for the first and only zero waste company in Oregon, Mountain Rose Herbs, to extract the most potent scents from their sustainably sourced oils. They’re taking the same cultivation connection they have to their spices, teas, health products, homegoods—and applying it directly to their essential oils. They’re rolling out one of the largest selections of certified organic essential oils on the market, and they’re pure enough to drastically affect your mood if you use them properly.
As the home of bonafide botanicals, it doesn’t take more than a few seconds of looking at their website to notice how deeply they care about the farmers that they partner with, the environment they’re committed to saving, and the fruits of their labor that they lovingly share with the world (literally).
We love plants because we’re inherently meant to be around them. There’s an earthly connection between plants and people that, if ignored, can leave us feeling anxious, down, and aloof. It’s not just about the presence of plants, either. Scents directly impact our sense of well being, as they’re the messengers to our brain through our olfactory bulb. What we process through our olfactory bulb affects our mood, our memories, and our creativity.
That’s also why aromatherapy functions as therapy, which I can’t get enough of these days.
Mountain Rose Herbs’ resident Aromatherapist and essential oil extraordinaire, Christine Rice, has been in the family for 14 years getting her hands on the best the botanical world has to offer. She’s leading the charge in the essential oil space through Mountain Rose Herbs’ National Association of Holistic Aromatherapy business membership and delivering botanical blends that brighten our spaces and calm our minds.
Christine exudes an affinity for plants and gardening that pervades all of her blogs, videos, and blend recipes that she shares with Mountain Rose Herbs’ customers. She makes it all feel accessible, easy, and experimental—which is perfect if you’re an essential oil novice like me.
By using organic, sustainable botanicals to create essential oils, we can reclaim the peace in our homes, and in our minds, in three key ways.
Clarity and Focus Blends:
I can’t be the only one in the past year that’s asked myself, where the heck is my mind? Thankfully, there’s essential oils for that.
>> The Pick-Me-Up blend I mentioned before was crafted by Christine for those groundhog days of this quarantine winter, and it’s the zing I needed to feel alive again. It’s got a mixture of zesty ginger, rosemary, and black pepper that’ll quite literally put a pep in your step.
>> Lavender Tea Tree Oil is a great base for a blend of your own creation, which you can use this handy, dandy, conversion calculator to make. Although it’s related to the more well-known tea tree essential oil, it has a softer floral aroma with bright citrus notes that is both calming and uplifting to the mind. This one works well with blue tansy, cedarwood, geranium, grapefruit, lemon, mandarin, and sweet marjoram.
Mood Balancing and Calming Blends:
We’ve all been experiencing a collective trauma this past year. Add in the blues of winter and being stuck at home, and we’re all feeling heavier than the two feet of snow that’s still melting outside my door. Christine has created an aromatherapy mixture that she’s shared with friends and family, blended to elicit emotions that help us deal with our feelings of grief.
>> With sweet orange, petitgrain, roman chamomile, and organic nutmeg essential oils, you can soothe your sadness. Try out her simple recipe, here.
>> There’s also a dreamy floral Sleep blend that not only was I relieved by, but my pup, Winnie couldn’t get close enough to the dab of it on my wrist when we were in bed. She was nuzzling her nose and her side into me, trying to soak in the marjoram and Roman chamomile for herself.
Blends for Homemade Cleaning Supplies:
Yes, Clorox be gone. I can only imagine the looming health detriments from inhaling synthetic cleaning supplies daily for a year. When Christine mentioned the possibility of mixing up cleaning blends with their all-natural essential oils, I was ecstatic.
>> Shield is a spiced combination showcasing clove, rosemary and lemon essential oils which works seamlessly in cleaning recipes while imparting a warm feeling into our homes. Support is another cleaning agent for stagnant spaces with its sweet citrus and camphoraceous top note and it has the power to stand in place of all the plants I’ve killed.
These ideas are just scratching the surface and giving us some mind joggers to get us started with essential oils using the Mountain Rose Herbs touch. With Christine’s wealth of knowledge and creativity, we can apply sustainably sourced essential oils to our minds, our moods, and our homes in whichever way makes the most scents for us.