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Essential Oils Introductory Class

Camphill's Cosmetics Workshop has a long tradition of working with pure natural ingredients, making soaps, lip balms, therapeutic essential oil blends, natural deodorants, jojoba oil (extracted from jojoba grown on the farm) and much more. Last market I joined a group to learn more about essential oils and how to work with them.

After waking up our sense of smell  with a selection of dried herbs, we started with the basics of essential oils, the importance of knowing all the effects of an oil before using it, for example citronella is great for keeping mosquitoes away but has a depressant effect on the central nervous system, so should be used with care. Oils should never be used internally, and are very powerful so should always be diluted with other carrier oils.

This group was particularly interested in learning about using their own garden plants, so Craig touched on how to extract oils from fresh lavender and other herbs, before we moved on to testing our own senses of smell on the oils set out for us. Now it was time to mix our own, learning about the proportions to use for base notes, mid and high notes. The first thing we made was a scented room spray using orange, lemon, grapefruit and bergamot oils, building a scent the way you might blend a wine.

Next we experimented to see how scented oils react with different skins. We all tried Camphill's two his and hers deodorants and were amazed how differently they developed on each of us, not one the same. A real workout for the olfactory senses.

Then there was still time to move onto therapeutic essential oils and we put together a cold and flu mix with eucalyptus, tea tree, lavender, lemon, peppermint and rosemary, all fantastic oils for fighting viruses, clearing sinuses and supporting the immune system. We got to take home not just the oils we'd mixed but a whole new understanding and respect for essential oils.

If you are interested in joining a future class to learn more about essential oils, keep an eye on Camphil's Facebook page for dates, or email natural@camphillvillage.org.za for more details.