Introducing Blessed Ummi’s latest blog series, “Ummis’ Voices”, a new initiative for mothers within our community a space to share their passions or their deepest thoughts and reflections. We will feature a variety of topics, ideas and themes relevant to mothers. For our pioneering guest blogger post, we are happy to have Samira Alhadi, a mother of three, share with us her passion for practicing natural living in her home through essential oils.
Essential oils have been gaining huge popularity in Singapore over the last 1-2 years and rightly so! I have been using essential oils for just about EVERYTHING for the last 3 and a half years. However, when I first started using them, essential oils were something rare or misunderstood. Those who were already purchasing store-bought essential oils were mainly burning the oils in essential oil burners to keep their rooms smelling nice but some of these were not necessarily pure essential oils; their full potential was not widely known yet in Singapore.
More often than not, you would find essential oils mainly used in spas for relaxing aromatherapy massages or facials. Recently though, more and more people have began to learn about the full potential of essential oils! They have gone from being just pleasant-smelling substances to being the go-to for everything under the sun – for its calming properties all the way to supporting physical health and more! Essential oils, however, are not something new. In fact, they have been used for thousands of years for cosmetic purposes as well as for their emotionally and spiritually uplifting and balancing properties.
So what exactly are essential oils?
In simple words, essential oils are simply the life blood of a plant. They carry oxygen throughout the plants and protect the plants as well. When essential oils are steam distilled from plants, they work the exact same way in the human body when we apply, diffuse or even just inhale the oils. The oils penetrate through cell membranes very quickly due to the minute size of the oil molecules, and diffuse through blood and tissue. When inhaled, the oils rise through our nose all the way to our limbic brain, the part of our brain that deals with emotional and psychological responses. There are hundreds of beneficial compounds in just a drop of oil!
Of course, as with everything, choosing a good quality essential oil is really important. Not all essential oils sold in the market are pure; to keep them at low cost, some essential oil companies even add additives, fillers and synthetics, and the resulting product may contain as low as only 5% essential oil meaning that you will have to use more oil to get the desired effect or worse still, have a reaction to the remaining 95% of the other ingredients in the oil.
Sometimes, oils sold may be pure but they may be distilled from poor quality plants which may have been grown in farms with poor farming practices. For example, the use of pesticides or other harmful chemicals may have a detrimental effect on plant quality. Therefore, being confident of the source you are getting your essential from is really important.
Reading books on essential oils or aromatherapy can be very helpful too. Also, check your labels of your essential oils to ensure latin names are provided and that you are purchasing the essential oil from the plant with the correct botanical name. Sometimes, you may think you are buying a good quality Lavender essential oil (Lavandula angustifolia), but in actual fact you are purchasing Lavandin (Lavandula intermedia) instead. Lavandin has a stimulating effect while Lavender is more sedative, and so if you have purchased Lavandin (cheaper) instead of Lavender, you may wonder why you have gotten more alert instead of relaxed, and you may be sorely disappointed!
Also, know that essential oils are so potent that using less than a drop at each time for young children can already bring about so many benefits. Using a tiny amount of mild oils like Lemon, Lavender and Frankincense, for example, can provide support to your child’s respiratory and immune system. You need to be vigilant as the key to be a successful oily mum is to oil a little but regularly when the little one is under the weather!
When I first started using essential oils, I was then a new parent to a 1 year old and I was becoming more aware about natural and healthy living, so I decided to keep an open mind and give essential oils a go after being introduced to them by an alternative therapist, who has now become a good friend of mine. Furthermore, my son suffers from G6PD deficiency and since so many medicines and foods were on the avoid list, I needed to find something I could use for when he was ill.
I first tried the oils when he was down with the flu. When oiling regularly, I found that my son was recovering and building his immunity at the same time. I found that the oils targeted the root cause of the illness (getting rid of the viruses) rather than just suppressing the symptoms that came along with it (the coughs, sneezing, fever and so on). Also diagnosed with Dystonic Cerebral Palsy, the oils were also helpful in providing support to the challenges he faced. When I began to incorporate the use of essential oils together with complementary therapy sessions I sent him for, the results were phenomenal. Alhamdulillah, there was a noticeable improvement in his development especially in the areas of speech and cognitive understanding. Physically, he was also stronger and he became more confident. I witnessed him walk independently at the age of 3 and I know that using the oils were a big contributing factor to his milestones. We are still using the oils, up to this day, to further support his growth.
Along the way, I also had some challenges with my health. I had a few miscarriages and was hospitalised with gallbladder issues. Seeing how the essential oils had worked for my son, I decided to use the oils to support my own health and helped me with my fertility issues. Alhamdulillah, I conceived my second child and kept my pregnancy with the support of the oils. I also embarked on a “lifestyle change” personal project where I worked on losing weight, changing my palate and eating healthy. I began supplementing my diet with vitamins, minerals and essential oils and I took the effort to change my personal care products to more natural products. With so many products out there containing carcinogens and other toxic substances, I knew I had to start reading labels and getting rid of things that were not good for us. All in all, I would describe the essential oils as providing me the opportunity to experience a holistic shift in my lifestyle.
Just a few months ago, I have just given birth to my third child and I am still using my essential oils as an integral part of my daily life. I take my supplements every day and I oil myself and my children daily. Some of my favourite oils include single oils like Peppermint, Lavender and Lemon and blends of various essential oils. I continue to remain grateful to God everyday that I was introduced to these oils and truly wish that everyone would incorporate the use of essential oils in their lives! There is truly an oil for everything!
Samira is a full-time working mother of 3 and a passionate user of essential oils. Read more about her experiences with essential oils on her blog where she shares some of her most personal testimonials!
All opinions and suggestions furnished in this article and in all of our blog posts are meant to represent the perspectives of the respective writers. All advice mentioned is never meant to replace a doctor’s advice especially if you have pre-existing medical conditions. Readers are encouraged to practice discretion while reading and to do proper research for finding information perfect for your and your family needs.