Aromatherapy, essential oils & potions, Food, foraging & recipes

Quick creations

Despite the cool misty September mornings it is still incredibly hot here in western France.  A lovely extension to summer.  I’ve been busy in the kitchen today making two of my favourite things.

A blackberry crumble cake with blackberries picked from the hedgerows here.  And a lovely nourishing whipped body butter using my new avocado, mango and olive butters and scented with lavender and sweet orange – almost good enough to eat as well.  I love it when my hands do the thinking and talking for a change.

Hedgerow blackberries

The cake is a variation on a recipe from The Forager’s Kitchen by Fiona Bird and what’s especially nice about it is the addition of ground hazelnuts to the crumble.

whipped body butter

Elizabeth’s whipped Body Butter

  • 50ml vegetable oil (I used a combination of sunflower and sweet almond but the possibilities are endless)
  • 50ml nut/seed butters (I used a combination of mango, olive and avocado – you could use a combination or just one)
  • Essential oils of your choice (I used lavender and sweet orange)
  • Combine both ingredients in a top boiler or bain marie until everything has melted
  • Place in the fridge for an hour or so
  • Remove from the fridge and beat with a hand or electric whisk until light and fluffy
  • Add in your essential oils while beating (using around 30 drops of essential oil per 100ml)
  • Place in a jar and keep in a cool place

Et voilà!  Your very own luxurious body butter.

I’m now going to put my feet up and enjoy a slice of cake ♥

What are you creating this week?

Aromatherapy, essential oils & potions

Calm Chamomile


“The bathing with a decoction of camomile taketh away weariness, easeth pains to what part of the body soever they be applied.”

Nicholas Culpeper – Culpeper’s Complete Herbal

There are wonderful patches of chamomile lawn in the garden here which give off the delicate appley scent of the herb when walked upon or freshly mown.  I’m trying to keep some areas mower-free to allow the chamomile to grow so that I can harvest the flowers to make chamomile tea and other lovely concoctions.  Chamomile is great to use in hair treatments (especially for blondes), skin cream and calming eye patches.

I love Culpeper’s quote.  It has not lost any importance over time and Chamomile is still one of the most popular essential oils when looking for something soothing, calming and anti-inflammatory.  Great to use in baths and massage oil, one of my personal favourites is a combination of Chamomile and Lavender in an evening sea-salt bath ~ a real stress-buster and aid to sleep.  Aaaaahh…….

What do you use Chamomile for?  Leave a comment and share your thoughts ♥

Aromatherapy, essential oils & potions

Lavender ~ a firm favourite

Lavender“A compassionate herb of the highest order”

For my final blog to celebrate Aromatherapy Awareness Week I wanted to leave you with something simple.  The above quote by Peter Holmes* says it all.  Lavender remains one of the most popular and versatile essential oils, an all-time favourite for so many and one of my own most treasured oils.  It’s lovely to see the blossoms just coming out here in France.  The smell of summer……..

Elizabeth ♥

Celebrating Aromatherapy Awareness Week 9th-15th June

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* Peter Holmes is the author of Clinical Aromatherapy: Essential Oil Profiles)

Aromatherapy, essential oils & potions, Food, foraging & recipes

Summer recipe ~ Lavender and Ginger cookies

Lavender and Ginger CookiesAs part of my week-long blog to raise awareness of aromatherapy I thought I would go back to the raw ingredients themselves.  And because I felt like baking today, I decided to give you a delicious recipe for Lavender and Ginger cookies!

You will need:

  • 4½oz / 125g butter
  • 4oz / 110g sugar
  • 1 egg
  • 6oz / 170g self raising flour
  • 1 level tablespoon dried lavender flowers
  • 1 level tablespoon chopped ginger


  1. Cream butter and sugar, add egg and beat well.
  2. Add lavender, ginger and flour and mix well.
  3. Roll dough into a sausage shape, wrap in greaseproof paper and freeze for 30 minutes
  4. Slice dough into cookies (should make about 30) and place on a greased baking tray
  5. Bake in a pre-heated oven for 20 minutes (Gas mark 3 / 170C)

Et voila!  A lovely batch of cookies.  Enjoy ♥

Celebrating Aromatherapy Awareness Week 9th-15th June

Aromatherapy, essential oils & potions

Simple sea salt aromatherapy bath

Sea salt aromatherapy bathOne of the easiest and most effective ways to benefit from essential oils is simply…..

to take a bath

Yes, that’s right.  A simple bath allows us to inhale the oils through the steam of the bath and absorb them topically through the skin.

It’s almost too easy!

In my experience what deters a lot of people from taking an aromatherapy bath is the idea that they will have to use carrier oil in the bath.  I understand why this might put you off.  Who wants to clean an oily bathtub when you’ve just stepped out from a nice, relaxing soak?  And if you’re already in pain you certainly don’t want to increase your chances of slipping and falling.

Well fear not.  This simple method is oil-free but just as good for your skin as it uses natural sea salt.

You will need:

  • A warm bath
  • Up to five drops of your chosen essential oil or blend of oils
  • A tablespoon of natural sea salt or Epsom salt (NOT table salt)
  • Time to relax……


Run the bath and while it is running, add up to five drops of essential oil to your tablespoon of salt.  Add the mixture to the full bath (not running water).  Relax in your bath for at least half an hour to forty-five minutes.

*You can replace the salt with a carrier oil such as sweet almond or apricot kernel if you would like a more moisturising bath. 

*Please do NOT add essential oils directly to the bath water.  They must be diluted in either salt, carrier oil or unfragranced bath gel as otherwise they will just sit on top of the water and could possibly burn any skin they come into contact with.

Happy bathing!  And of you have any questions please hit reply and leave me a comment ♥

Celebrating Aromatherapy Awareness Week 9th-15th June

Aromatherapy, essential oils & potions

Voluptuous Vetiver ~ the little-known stress-buster

Voluptuous VetiverVetiver was first introduced to me eight years ago and I’ve been hooked ever since.  It’s not an oil you hear a lot about, but with its smoky, sultry, warm aroma and seductive scent, it’s an oil that makes me want to sit back, relax and forget all my cares.

With its great depth and subtle layers of aroma, Vetiver reminds me of a fine wine.  It has so much to offer and can be used for many different reasons.  One of its lesser known qualities as an essential oil though, is its usefulness when managing stress.  We’ve no doubt all heard about using oils such as Lavender, Chamomile, and Rose to de-stress.  But Vetiver, for many of us, remains a bit of a mystery.

Let me enlighten you.  Vetiveria zizanoides (don’t you love that name?) is a densely-tufted grass with fibrous aromatic roots native to India and Sri Lanka.  Vetiver oil is steam-distilled from the roots of the plant, is thick and viscous, and amber or brown in colour.  The smell is an almost indescribable blend of warm earth, smoky aromas with a sweet resinous quality.

It is the depth and earthiness of Vetiver that seemingly has the ability to nourish us, ground us, reconnect us with the earth’s energies and bring us, energised and regenerated, back to ourselves and that deep place of knowing that we each hold within.

Recommended for stress, burnout and insomnia, Vetiver, with its deeply relaxing properties, is unsurprisingly known as the “oil of tranquillity” in its native India and Sri Lanka.

Vetiver can be used alone but does combine really well with Lavender in the oil burner (my favourite way to benefit from this beautiful oil).  Other good oils to combine with Vetiver would be with either Jasmine or Sandalwood.

There’s really nothing quite like the smell of Vetiver burning on a warm summer’s evening, the scent slowly meandering through the house…..

Happy de-stressing ♥

Celebrating Aromatherapy Awareness Week 9th-15th June

Aromatherapy, essential oils & potions

Eight of the best: Essential oils for beating back pain

Eight of the bestWe’ve probably all experienced back pain in some form or another at some point in our lives.  I certainly have.  In fact it’s because of back pain that I started studying massage and aromatherapy in the first place.

Suffering the excruciating pain of sciatica and a herniated disc, I found the combination of physiotherapy and aromatherapy massage to be the best solution.  But it still took months of weekly massage sessions and lots of hard work with my physio before I started to feel comfortable and confident in my own body again.  For me it was a far better option than the surgery I had been offered and gave me the long-term tools to look after my back.

Back pain can have a number of causes including physical and sports injuries, stress, bad workplace posture, lack of core muscle strength, and conditions such as arthritis and ankylosing spondylitis.  It’s therefore important to know what is causing your pain before you decide which treatment option to follow.

If you do decide that aromatherapy and essential oils are part of your plan then cast your eyes over the following list.  These are the first oils I would reach for because of their natural analgesic (pain-relief), anti-inflammatory, muscle-relaxing and warming properties.

Obviously massage is a great way to get the oils into the system but a few drops of essential oil blended in a carrier oil can also be rubbed gently over the area or used in a bath.

Eight of the best essential oils for back pain:

  1. Ginger (Zingiber officinalis)  ~  analgesic, warming and stimulating
  2. Black Pepper (Piper nigrum)  ~  analgesic, warming and stimulating
  3. Sweet marjoram (Origanum majorana)  ~  sedative, warming and analgesic
  4. Eucalyptus (Eucalyptus globulus)  ~  analgesic, warming and anti-inflammatory
  5. Lavender (Lavandula angustifolia)  ~  analgesic, sedative and anti-inflammatory
  6. Chamomile (Anthemis nobilis)  ~  anti-inflammatory and soothing
  7. Helichrysum (Helichrysum italicum)  ~  analgesic and anti-inflammatory
  8. Rosemary (Rosmarinus officinalis)  ~  analgesic and stimulating

If you have a question about any of the oils on this list hit reply and leave your question in the comments ♥

Celebrating Aromatherapy Awareness Week 9th-15th June

*Essential oils should never be ingested and should be used with care, especially if you have a pre-existing condition, are on medication or are pregnant.  If in doubt always ask a trained aromatherapist.  The information on this website is purely for information and self-care purposes and is not in any way meant to replace traditional medical care or supervision.