There’s so much that we know about Diana, Princess of Wales. On the surface she had it all. A prince, a lavish lifestyle, two young sons and the adoration of the world. Yet, as time went on, it became more apparent, that underneath it all, she was a vulnerable young woman. Newspapers talked about her husband’s infidelity and love for another woman, and of Diana, there was constant speculation about her battle with bulimia, increasing isolation and simmering tensions with the royals. Finally, during her infamous interview with Martin Bashir, she laid bare her soul and talked frankly of the struggles with her marriage, mental health and the media.
DIANA, PRINCESS OF WALES AND AROMATHERAPY
Something that’s not so well known is that she was an early convert to wellness, natural health remedies and the power of aromatherapy. Essential oils have been used for centuries for healing purposes. Simply put, they’re plant essences, usually produced by steaming or pressing various parts of a plant to capture the compounds that produce fragrance. This could include flowers, bark, leaves or fruit. Essential oils can vary in quality. Generally, the purer the oil, the more expensive it is. That’s because it can take several pounds of a plant to produce a single bottle of essential oil.
It's re-known that her favourite aromatherapy brand at that time was Aromatherapy Associates and that its founders treated Diana. In her biography, it’s also documented that Co-founder, Sue Beechey, who had been practising the art for over twenty years, would make up essential oils in her Chelsea practice. Then they’d be transported over to Kensington Palace and Diana would often use these during a session of acupuncture, where needles puncture the skin along certain points and meridians to restore the balance of ‘Chi’ energy. Diana often used aromatherapy and holistic treatments to ease her mental health struggles including anxiety and depression and to help her overcome eating disorders.
THE WORLD SINCE DIANA’S DEATH
Since Diana’s death, the world has evolved. Yet the pressures that Diana, Princess of Wales experienced haven’t gone away. If anything, they’ve exacerbated and are felt by many more of us. Nowadays, our lives play out for all to see on social media. Endorsement from the ‘like’ button has become a prerequisite for maintaining self-esteem and happiness. Trolling at the other extreme has caused no end of problems, with people ending up in prison having committed a criminal offence and their victims, mentally scarred for life and worse, some even committing suicide.
Modern day pressures, our obsession with perfection, self-image and celebrity lifestyles and an increasing reliance on social media and technology are taking their toll. Alongside this, we’re increasingly clamouring for natural solutions to these issues. Diana was clearly ahead of her time on this curve and now more of us than ever actively seek out ancient philosophies and alternative remedies to deal with 21st century problems.
ESSENTIAL OILS FOR ANXIETY, DEPRESSION AND MENTAL HEALTH
Essential oils have been used for millennia to treat anxiety and depression. When we inhale, molecules within essential oils travel from the olfactory nerves directly to the brain and impact the limbic system, particularly the Amygdala. According to Wikipedia, the limbic system ‘supports a variety of functions including emotion, behaviour, motivation, long-term memory, and olfaction.’ Emotional life is largely housed in the limbic system, and it critically aids the formation of memories. It’s no wonder that certain smells can trigger long-forgotten memories, strong emotional responses or fond nostalgia about past events. Certainly, many essential oils contain scents that we’re already familiar with. Think of lavender, citrus or rosemary, for example. The smell of recognizable scents can cause flashbacks to happy childhood memories. These positive associations impact our mood and can lift us or help us transition into a different mood-set. The limbic system also plays a role in controlling several unconscious physiological functions, such as breathing, heart rate, and blood pressure. Certain essential oils can help us to slow down our breathing and this in turn slows heart rate and blood pressure.
We’d recommend trying our Scentered De Stress Range. It’s blended with Chamomile to promote calmness and uplifting and relaxing Neroli and Mandarin to help soothe tension and support feelings of well-being.
If you prefer diffusing oils, try our De Stress Home Aromatherapy Candle. For those that prefer a topical option, apply our De Stress Aromatherapy Balm to pulse points (wrists, neck and temples) and inhale deeply three times. Alternatively, if you’d like to try both, opt for the I Want to De Stress Set which includes a travel sized De Stress Candle and a full-sized De Stress Aromatherapy Balm.
We would love to hear about your mental wellness journey. You can also keep in touch via our Instagram @iamscentered or sign up to our newsletter for updates, news and offers.
Back to Blog