Daily Archives: 5 March 2012

Top Ten Aromatherapy Oils

Top 10 Aromatherapy Oils

I like to think of myself as quite grounded and logical, not someone who is swayed by anything non-tangible. However, I am a strong believer in the power of aromatherapy.

During life’s low points, physical or emotional, they really can help.

Many years ago, we featured an article on aromatherapy in the Dairy Diary. It seemed like the perfect excuse to give it a go. It works wonders for me in times of stress (it even helped me feel better during fertility treatment).

Here’s the low-down:

Cedarwood
Is a powerful antiseptic and mild astringent.
■ This oil is good for treating acne: See 2, 4 or 7.
■ To improve bronchitis and respiratory problems: See 1, 4, 7, or 9.
■ To help control dandruff: See 5.
■ To calm nervous tension: See 1, 6 or 7.

Chamomile
Is an anti-inflammatory, analgesic, antiseptic and disinfectant.
■ To soothe dull aches and pains: See 2 or 7.
■ To treat acne: See 2 or 6.
■ To calm anxiety and PMT or treat insomnia: See 1, 7, 9 or 10.
■ To treat indigestion: See 1 or 7.
■ To help control and soothe eczema: See 1 or 2.
■ To help treat a tension headache or migraine: See 1, 5, 6, 7 or 9. 

Eucalyptus
Is an antiseptic, anaesthetic and bactericidal.
■ To relieve a chest infection or catarrh, colds and flu: See 1, 5, 6, 7 or 9.
■ To help control high blood pressure: See 5, 6, 7 or 9. 

Frankincense
Is an astringent, anti-inflammatory and pulmonary antiseptic.
■ Can help with cystitis: See 1 or 7.
■ To bring calm in stressful situations: See 1, 5, 7 or 9.
■ To rejuvenate dry or mature skins: See 1, 2 or 6.
■ To help colds, coughs and bronchitis: See 1, 5 or 6.
■ To calm and uplift, when suffering from mild depression: See 1,5 or 7.
■ To help control blood sugar levels in diabetes: See 1 or 7.
■ To relieve discomfort associated with shingles: See 1 or 7. 

Jasmine
Is an effective antiseptic, diuretic and detoxifier.
■ To help with emotional pain and baby blues: See 1, 5, 7 or 9.
■ To ease symptoms in the early stages of flu: See 1, 3, 5, 6 or 7.
■ To ease period pain: See 1 or 7. 

Juniper
Is a diuretic and detoxifier.
■ To boost circulation and help with cellulite: See 1 or 7.
■ To calm emotions and help with confusion: See 1, 5 or 7.
■ To help with eczema: See 2. 

Lavender
Is an analgesic, antidepressant, decongestant, antibiotic, antiseptic and sedative.
■ To help prevent scarring from minor burns: See 2.
■ For insomnia: See 1, 5, 7 or 10.
■ To calm and soothe PMT: See 1, 5, 6, 7 or 9.
■ To treat acne, stings and eczema: See 2. 

Patchouli
Is an antidepressant, antiseptic, anti-inflammatory and stimulant.
■ To treat Athlete’s Foot or cracked skin: See 3 or 7.
■ To control dandruff: See 4. 

Peppermint
Is a stimulant and antiseptic.
■ To freshen breath: See 8.
■ To stimulate the mind: See 5. 

Rosemary
Is a stimulant, analgesic, antiseptic and astringent.
■ To soothe aches and muscular tension following exercise: See 7.
■ To help alleviate rheumatism and arthritis pain: See 1, 2 or 7.
■ To treat spots: See 2 or 6.

How to administer each essential oil

1 Bath Add 5 drops of essential oil to the bathwater, lie back and relax.

2 Compress Add a drop of oil to 1 litre (1¾ pints)of warm water and lay a piece of gauze on thesurface of the water. Place the gauze onto theaffected area and leave for 10 minutes.

3 Footbath Add 3 drops of oil to a bowl of warm water and soak feet for 15 minutes.

4 Hair rinse Add 1 or 2 drops of oil to 1 litre (1¾ pints) warm water and use as a final rinse.

5 Handkerchief Put a few drops of oil onto a handkerchief or tissue and inhale when required.

6 Inhalation Once a week, add up to 10 drops of oil to a bowl of hot water, put a towel over the head and inhale the steam.

7 Massage Add 10 drops of pure essential oil to 20ml (¾fl oz)of sweet almond or grape seed oil and rub into the skin.

8 Mouthwash Add 1 drop of oil to ½  litre (18fl oz) of water, swill around the mouth and spit out.

9 Oil burner Add up to 5 drops of oil to water in an oil burner.

10 Pillow Put a couple of drops of oil on your pillow just before you go to bed.

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Squash, Bean and Stilton Risotto

Rich and creamy with a fantastic colour, this combination of textures and flavours results in simple, modern, comfort food!

10 minutes preparation time
40 minutes cooking time
546 Kcal per portion
23.6g fat per portion of which 11.6g is saturated
4 servings
Suitable for vegetarians

Butternut squash 1, weighing about 900g (2lb)
Olive oil 2 tbsp
Butter 50g (2oz)
Onion 1, peeled and diced
Garlic 1 clove, peeled and crushed
Arborio (risotto) rice 250g (9oz)
Dry cider 150ml (1⁄4 pint)
Vegetable stock 750ml (11⁄4 pints)
Frozen broad beans 150g (5oz)
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
Stilton cheese 75g (3oz)
Sage leaves 8, shredded

1 Preheat the oven to 200°C/400°F/ Gas 6. Cut the squash into about 8 big chunks, removing the seeds. Put the chunks in a roasting tin with 1 tbsp of oil and roast in the oven for 40 minutes, turning the pieces a couple of times during cooking. They should be softened and caramelised on the edges.

2 Meanwhile, heat the rest of the oil with the butter in a large saucepan. Add the onion and cook over a medium heat for 5 minutes. Stir in the garlic and rice and coat well in the butter for a couple of minutes. Pour in the cider, let it sizzle and, when it is almost absorbed, pour in about 200ml (7fl oz) of the stock.

3 Cook over a low heat until the stock is absorbed. Continue to add more stock in batches as it becomes absorbed into the rice. With the last addition of stock, add the broad beans as well.

4 Remove the skin from all but the ‘best-looking’ pieces of squash. Set these aside for the garnish. Mash the flesh from the rest roughly with a fork, in the roasting tin, and add it to the risotto with the saucepan juices. Check for seasoning and, when the rice is just cooked, break small chunks of Stilton over the top. Garnish with shredded sage leaves.

Cook’s tip
Roast butternut squash is great served as an accompaniment to roast meat dishes. Squash can be peeled before cooking, but it’s quicker to do it afterwards. Let it get really brown and sticky for the best flavour.

Recipe taken from the Year Round Dairy Cookbook.

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