Elizabeth Burchill is a Clinical Aromatherapist who offers treatments in London and Hertfordshire, runs workshops, collaborates on retreats and has a brand of natural, cruelty free aromatherapy products.www.blovedcandles.com
We met Elizabeth at a London Mind Body Spirit event in 2019 and fell in love with her vibe, her ethos and her products. Here she tells us a little about her passion of aromatherapy and the candles that she so expertly crafts.
There are 2 reasons why I became involved in aromatherapy. My stepfather had terminal cancer and during his illness my mother was offered a complementary treatment by the local hospice. She chose an aromatherapy treatment. The therapist gave her a back massage using a bespoke blend of essential oils to suit my mother’s needs. She also made her some products to help her sleep. In the midst of all the chaos, anxiety and grief that she was experiencing, this treatment made her feel calm and the products really did help her to sleep. I was fascinated by witnessing such tangible results.
I tried to fall pregnant naturally and failed. I did a few rounds of IVF which also failed. This changed my perspective on life, but also on work. I had a successful media recruitment business and I selected the hospital nearest to my office in London so it would not interfere with my job. I also worked from home on every transfer day as I was terrified of not performing for my clients. I couldn’t afford to lose the business if I was going to have a child or possibly twins. Needless to say, this attitude didn’t help and when everything failed, I realised how I could have done things very differently and paid far more attention to self-care. This knowledge means that I can help others.
I started making products as a form of therapy, however, I wanted to learn more about essential oils and their properties to ensure I could use them safely and effectively.
I did a diploma in aromatherapy which is accredited by the International Federation of Professional Aromatherapists and I am happy that I can now help others via treatments and products with a variety of ailments and issues. If anyone is trying to get pregnant, I would absolutely recommend complementary therapies, relaxation and natural products. Taking the time for you is essential. Work stress and life stress can always have an impact even when you don’t realise that it is. Taking time out for suitable exercise, therapies and relaxation is really important to ensure your body and mind are in the best place possible to give mother nature or fertility treatments a little nudge.
B Loved candles are made with soy wax and pure essential oils and are designed to ground, balance, uplift, refresh, calm or sharpen your senses; depending on your mood. I am very careful where I source my essential oils from for my products. Responsible sourcing is of paramount importance for aromatherapists. The Aromatherapy Trade Council (ATC) was set up to ensure that companies adhere to fair pricing, responsible marketing and ethical sourcing of oils. Their members are bound to this.
I would never source my oils from multi-level marketing companies as they do not label their products correctly. They do not use the Latin names or chemotypes. It is extremely important to understand which chemotype you are purchasing as they can have different therapeutic effects. There are different types of Basil for example, one in particular being very dangerous. If they are not listed correctly on the labelling, then avoid at all costs. All good brands have correct information on the labelling in terms of Latin names, chemotypes, how to use, for example: do not use neat, do not swallow/ingest. The Federation of Holistic Therapists, IFPA, IFA, CNHC all have statements on their websites regarding safe usage. They do not support therapists using essential oils neat on clients or advising clients to ingest. Both can be harmful. Only Aromatherapists with specific qualifications and relevant indemnity insurance can offer advice to clients on this.
Another reason why I would not buy from multi-level marketing brands is that the cost of one bottle of oil is usually astronomical in comparison to other more reputable UK based brands. This is not, as they claim, because the oils are ‘therapeutic grade’, there is no universally accepted independent body that certifies essential oils as therapeutic grade. It is usually an internal standard. Where third parties are employed to test oils, we cannot be sure they are doing it correctly due to the varied necessary skills required. It is not because they are ‘beyond organic’, any sensible person will realise that an oil is either organic or it isn’t and none of the MLM brands have official organic accreditation, as far as I am aware. The reason for the high pricing is due to the amount of reps involved in the sale of one bottle of oil (multi layers). Everyone needs a cut. So, please do not be duped by these companies when you have wonderful, high quality brands on your high street at a fraction of the cost, with correct labelling.
The Soil Association certify brands which are organic. They have a rigorous testing procedure with regular spot checks to ensure standards are maintained. The great thing about the Soil Association is that they ensure their members adhere to harvesting regulations. This is highly important as over harvesting can be detrimental to essential oils. Not all brands can afford the accreditation, particularly smaller companies, but those who can usually seek it. If you prefer organic oils, look out for the Soil Association badge on essential oil brands. Tisserand are good value and are accredited.
In terms of my products, I would recommend B Loved ‘The Calmer’ candle for pregnancy and post baby relaxation, if you get a moment. The blend of oils is Sweet Marjoram (Origanum marjorana), Lavender (Lavandula angustifolia) and Ylang Ylang (Cananga odorata). All of these oils are very calming and there are no known contraindications for pregnancy or post pregnancy. Sweet Marjoram is comforting, relaxing, wonderful for stress, restlessness and anxiety. Lavender is so calming, restorative and balancing and will help with sleep issues. Ylang Ylang is a powerful oil that is super calming and uplifting. Another one that is great for stress, tension and anxiety.
‘The Balancer’ candle is wonderful during pregnancy when you can be feeling off kilter with mood swings. It does what it says on the tin. A beautiful blend of Geranium (Pelargonium graveolens), Patchouli (Pogestemom cablin) and Bergamot (Citrus bergamia) will leave you calm and uplifted and harmonious. Again, there are no known contraindications in pregnancy with these oils. Geranium is a lovely oil for women. It is excellent for balancing hormones and moods, it is extremely calming and beautifully uplifting. It is perfect for reducing stress, anxiety and nervous tension. Patchouli is a very earthy scent which is both uplifting and grounding. Bergamot is sweet, uplifting, relaxing and balancing. It is superb for relieving anxiety and stress.
‘The Grounder’ candle is a very centring blend. Frankincense (Boswellia thurifera) is a wondrous oil which has many benefits on each system of the body. It is excellent for the nervous system and it deepens breathing thereby encouraging a sense of peace. Vetiver (Vetiveria zizanoids) is grounding and extremely calming and can help with insomnia. Bergamot (Citrus bergamia) will uplift and balance you. All of these oils are said to be fine during pregnancy. This particular candle is lovely for meditation. This is something that can be really beneficial during pregnancy.
If you are interested in using essential oils during pregnancy, I would recommend that you find a qualified Aromatherapist to help you. You can find ones in your area via the IFPA website. https://members.ifparoma.org/find-a-therapist It is imperative that you find someone who is properly qualified rather than a massage therapist or reflexologist who dabbles in oils during massage. There are many essential oils that are contraindicated during pregnancy, such as Rosemary or during certain trimesters in pregnancy, such as Jasmine. Fully qualified Aromatherapists have this knowledge due to their thorough training.
Aromatherapists can provide you with a pregnancy massage with safe essential oils relevant to your needs. They can also make bespoke, safe products for you to use at home. They understand the power of the oils and the correct way to use them. They will offer you a treatment unique to your needs and you will really feel the difference when essential oils are involved.
Aromatherapists are not just available to give massages, they can help pregnant clients with blends and products for morning sickness, constipation, sore breasts, stretch marks, skin changes, anxiety, mood swings, insomnia and more. They can also advise on how to use oils at home if you are struggling with Thrush or UTI’s. In terms of postnatal care, they can offer help with postnatal depression, lack of confidence, cracked nipples, c section scar, after pains and much more.
Clary Sage is a great oil to use in labour as it helps to release anxiety and tension, it is a balancing oil. It is known as an emmenagogue, however Tisserand argues in his book ‘Essential Oil Safety’1995, that it should not be contraindicated during pregnancy due to the small amounts used in aromatherapy, which should not present a danger.
On the whole, there is a variety of essential oils, natural products and treatments which can serve women well during pregnancy, labour and postnatal care. My advice would be to take full advantage of them!