Ever wondered about the benefits of essential oils? Ever wondered what exactly essential oils are and how they're used? With oils being the next big trend in beauty and health, I had the pleasure of quizzing the ever-candid Wellness Advocate and Mama of two - Courtney Kirby - of Courtney + The Babes
, all things essential oils, health and wellness for: pregnancy / the Mama-to-be, breastfeeding, Motherhood in general, and your darling babes.
What’s your background in essential oils, how did you get into them, how long have you been using them? And what benefits/effects have you noticed since using essential oils (as opposed to or in conjunction with western/modern medicine)?
"I grew up with essential oils in my home. They weren’t the quality I use today so it was mainly for use in oil burners. My mum would burn them daily and I loved the aroma. I was reintroduced to dōTERRA essential oils when I was pregnant with my first son in 2011. I studied pure oils a lot after I got my first few bottles and discovered how versatile they can be.
Making the shift from store bought cleaning products and over the counter medications was something I was interested in, and from then onwards I’ve been using them in my home for many different reasons. Emotional and physical support, cleaning, making my own beauty products and so on. Pure therapeutic grade oils can be used topically, internally and aromatically as they don’t contain nasty chemicals.
Rather than band-aiding the issue, oils work on a cellular level and work on fixing the source of the problem. They're gentle and safe and I’ve seen results with consistent use. If I can use something natural to support my body I’d much rather take that option.
I use oils daily for immunity, anxiety, antioxidants, promote good emotional health, support healthy respiratory system, metabolism, digestion and skin health."
What are some things to be mindful of when selecting essential oils?
"My advice is always use pure therapeutic grade oils! They’re highly concentrated so one drop of oil applied topically will reach every cell in your body. You’ll find better results if you use less oil more often than wasting 20 drops and only applying once. They need to be introduced as part of your daily routine, like brushing your teeth and drinking water."
Being that oils are 50-70% more effective than herbs at treating the body - are there any restrictions for a person to use oils topically (ie. pregnancy, a baby’s age, a breastfeeding mother etc)?
"During pregnancy it’s always a good idea to steer clear of Clary Sage as this may bring on early labour. It’s a great oil to use when your babe's ready to make an appearance as it can accelerate contractions. Peppermint may decrease milk supply whereas basil is good for increasing supply. There are a few oils I personally feel safe using on newborn babe’s like Frankincense and Lavender but for new users I suggest 6 months plus is a good time to introduce the oils. Always use a carrier oil like fractionated coconut oil when applying essential oils on children."
What are your fave oils and C+TB blends for babies/toddlers/kids, to aid common symptoms like: sleeplessness, fussiness, irritability, teething etc.?
"My favourite oils for babes are… lavender and vetiver for sleeplessness and fussiness, roman chamomile for teething and peppermint, fennel and wild orange for tummy troubles. The most popular C+TB blends for children are sleep, tummy, peaceful child, breathe and no germs."
And for calm during pregnancy?
"Lavender and bergamot are beautiful diffused together. Apply 2 drops of each to your wrists and behind your ears for instant zen."
You’ve been very open and candid throughout your blog posts, about your battle with anxiety (thank you for sharing your story), which I feel like most mother’s have experienced at some point (if not experience at a low-moderate level daily). What is the best advice you’ve received, that would help other mothers struggling with, or experiencing anxiety?
"Ask for help and know you are NEVER alone. Honestly, the support I’ve received from fellow women and mothers on Instagram (of all places) has been mind-blowing. I’ve received more love and understanding from these beautiful people than my own family. It’s more common than you realise.
The lack of sleep was a big one for me. Sometimes this is something that can’t be fixed so making sure I made time for myself was a big deal. Exercising, walking along the beach listening to music, reading a book, 10 minute guided meditations using an app called Insight Timer, going for a skate… Do something good for your soul. Take yourself to a movie on a Sunday when a family member can mind the kids.
I found myself a lovely doctor who is compassionate and down to earth, I’m comfortable talking to her about everything and she’s been a beautiful connection for me. Through my doctor I was referred to a psychologist who's saved me. I feel lucky I found her to be honest.
Talking to someone is important. Don’t be scared to talk about these things, there are ways to control and even conquer these feelings."
What is the connection between emotions and scents? And what are your fave blends that help to elevate low moods?
"Scent and emotion are processed in similar brain structures located in the limbic system. The limbic system is apart of the brain thats responsible or processing emotion, memories and sense of smell. There is a gland in the limbic system called the Amygdala which plays a big role in storing and releasing emotional trauma.
A great way to stimulate this nerve and get it doing it’s thing is with our sense of smell. Meaning, oils can be a pretty powerful way to release and feel our emotions."
I’m in awe of your mists - combining both crystals and oils - genius! Can you describe the connection between oils and crystals - does one/both enhance the other’s effectiveness? Do oils ever lose their effectiveness or need to be recharged like crystals do (ie. laid out under a full moon’s glow)?
"Oils and crystals are similar as they both come from the earth. I like the idea of having two natural gifts and combing the two to promote physical and emotional support. With essential oils you receive immediate benefits and by adding a crystal you are enhancing healing by the transition of energy that the crystal holds. And yes, crystals do have energy! They are created under great pressure and heat which means the atoms and molecules form concise shapes called latices that form so tightly producing a strong electromagnetic field within the gem (inevitably introducing the shape of each crystal). The electromagnetic field of the crystal you use will have an effect on the body’s electromagnetic field. A little science behind the connection is always good proof for me!
Essential oils don’t need to be cleansed or recharged like crystals do as they don’t carry vibrations and electronic pulses. They do however have expiry dates, pure oils will generally last a few years if they are stored in low temps and out of direct sunlight. You can also use oils like lemon, lavender and juniper berry like in the C+TB Cleanse mist to clear any negative energy stored in your crystals.
I like to say there are sister crystals to some of the oils I use. For example, vetiver is a very calming essential oil used for sleep and anxiety problems like smokey quartz is well known for it’s soothing and calming energy."
Catch up with Courtney along her journey, as she lives and breathes (pun intended haha!) oils and wellness for mental and emotional health, and Motherhood. Head to her STORE for oil and crystal based products, and BLOG for further insights into the world of blending essential oils and crystals.
Courtney also teams up with fellow Earth-loving Rachel Crethar, of Rock + Co, holding workshops across Australian cities, and occasionally skipping over the pond to New Zealand. Head to WORKSHOPS to learn more.
Much love xx