Woman to Woman, No Pitch! Today’s Topic: Essential Oils

Birgitta Kastenbaum
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Finding balance in life, like being told to be more present, is a great destination if you can get there. Without a roadmap it’s like wandering lost with a dead iPhone and no GPS to guide you.

As a Life Coach, Death Doula and educator I strive to help my clients create that roadmap. I believe that empowering others is the best way to do that. I work with people in the midst of significant transition. Some are in transition in the midst of life, others at the end of theirs. It’s a unique perspective and privilege to have such an intimate view into people’s lives at a moment of imbalance. But together, we find a way to create balance, and with balance through any transition there is peace. And what better way to embrace all that you want to do, be and accomplish than calmly and with a clear head!

I grew up in the countryside of Holland, The Netherlands surrounded by an artistic and nature loving family. I lived a life steeped in natural healthcare. It made organic sense that I would turn to nature for ways I could best support my clients. Plants offer are the tools my clients can use to build the space necessary to create balance.

We do this together with Essential Oils.

Essential Oils are a beautiful and powerful support for our wellbeing, both physically and emotionally. They are indispensable tools on the road to a life lived in balance.

What are essential oils? 

We fill our home with the aromas and every day uses of plants without any thought to what else these plants can do for us. Lavender in our soap gives us a beautiful scent. We turn to peppermint tea when we are sick. Lemon in baking and cooking. In fact, there has been an explosion of herbs, plants, and flowers in our happy hour cocktails. Mixologists are embracing the aromatic and flavorful proponents of plants and herbs. Understanding, I believe, that these plants and herbs are medicinal in the same ways that a cocktail can ease a tough week or celebrate a milestone.

Essential oils simply provide us with a different and more exacting delivery system. The oils are extracted from the flowers, plants, trees, and herbs to provide a pure substance with greater concentration. The healing benefits from the oils can then be isolated and applied with intention.

Unlike our lemon scented dish soap that is a mix of chemicals to create a lemon scent, essential oils are the real thing. Their purity allows them to be diffused, topically applied and digested for specific uses. Reading the labels and knowing what’s in your essential oils is as important as knowing how to use them. There has been an explosion in essential oils on the market as the health community has embraced more natural and holistic means to wellness. Read labels. Question ingredients. Essential oils are a gift from the earth, not a chemist’s concoction!

My Essential List of Essential Oils

One of the joys I get from working with people is teaching them about Essential Oils. From a small vial, with a little knowledge, come calm, focus, pain relief, and even, aphrodisiac proponents, plus so much more.


Aromatic, Calming

A few drops of Lavender essential oil added to Epsom salt and a big spoonful of coconut oil to a bath will melt away your stress. Lavender is also great to soothe skin irritations. Apply a small drop to the irritation and gently rub the oil in over the irriated skin. Place a few drops on a dryer ball to make sheets and clothes smell lovely without using any harmful chemicals.

A drop on your pillow is lovely and calming when you are ready for sleep.


Focus, Detoxing

Great for when you need to concentrate on a task.

Detoxing: If using an essential oil safe for ingestion, add a few drops first thing in the morning to a tall glass of water to help detox and get your digestive system going (to determine if it’s ingestible: look on the side of the bottle. If it has a table reading supplement facts it is safe for internal use). If you are drinking an essential oil, be sure to use only glass or ceramic. Never use plastic cups or Styrofoam containers. In the same way that oils can pull toxins from our bodies, powerful oils can pull toxins from the plastic into the water.

Extra tip: Lemon essential oil is amazing at getting sticky stuff like residue from a price sticker off things. Simply put a few drops of lemon oil on the sticky stuff rub it in with your finger and wipe it off with a paper towel.


Energy, digestion, breath freshener

Instead of coffee or sugar for energy at the lull point in the afternoon, place a drop of peppermint on the palm of your hand, rub hands together, cup hands in front of nose and mouth and inhale! Three deep breaths should do the trick. Now gently massage the back of your neck. Peppermint is also a super powerful breathe freshener. Just one drop on the tongue is enough or put one drop in a glass of water for an instant mouthwash. Peppermint is known to help with digestive issues. A drop in sparkling water makes an easy refreshing drink. Remember to make sure your essential oils have a supplement facts label! Oils and oil brands vary greatly not all can be taken internally.

Mom tip: Need to get kids up and out of bed? Rub a little peppermint on the bottom of their feet and energize them by having them smell it from your hands.

Sometimes just waving your hands in front of someone will do the trick.


Grounding, calming

I also use oils prepared in combinations. One of my favorites is Balance. Balance is a proprietary blend from doTERRA. It’s a combination of Spruce leaf, Ho Wood leaf, Frankincense resin, Blue Tansy flower, Blue Chamomile flower, and Osmanthus flower in a base of Fractionated Coconut Oil. It is grounding, calming and helps to bring you back to center when you are feeling pulled in a million different directions.

Place a drop of Balance on your palm, rub your hands together briefly, cup hands and inhale deeply three times. Wait a few seconds and repeat. Add a quiet mantra or prayer to strengthen your intention. For example, as you inhale say: I will stay calm and carry on, I am supported and connected. I will lead with kindness and love. Giving yourself mini breaks like this with Balance can be a powerful reset tool.


Erica’s 2¢

I approach new things with a little (ok, a lot) of skepticism. But I am always open to experiential learning. Turmeric and Lemon have opened my eyes to the benefits of the plant world. I even participated in a New Moon Circle lead by Birgitta. We celebrated the new Sagittarius moon. It was amazing to be in a sisterhood of women, all of our ideas supported and encouraged. You never know from what part of the universe you will learn something new and something useful. I feel about Essential Oils the same way I feel about my Vitamixer: Life Changing!! Thank you, Birgitta, for taking the time to teach us a little about Essential Oils!





About Birgitta Kastenbaum

Founder of Bridging Transitions, Death Doula, Life Coach and Essential Oils/Aroma Touch Practitioner, educator, speaker. Birgitta believes that everyone can use a guide. Life can be challenging and having the education, support and empowerment to move through the rough time with a little more ease and grace can profoundly shift our experiences. It allows us to carry our love and heartaches differently and helps us use the wisdom gained to live our best life. Birgitta works with people through all stages of transitions whether it’s being in the midst of life, illness and or end of life, to help them achieve their best life. Birgitta serves clients in the Los Angeles area and is available via video conference around the country. Please contact Birgitta at her website for consultations on any of life’s transitions, for information on workshops and retreats and if you would like to learn more about doTerra Essential Oil.

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