Back in January of this year, I found myself sitting in on a workshop hosted by my mother, Cecile Ellert: she wanted to educate people in a neighboring town about the safe use of essential oils and their application to help with depression and anxiety. At first we wanted to talk about women’s intimacy with the application of essential oils, but we were afraid it would be too much to talk about on a first meeting. “Who here would like to have a workshop dedicated to women’s needs and intimacy?” asked my mother… The number of hands from women in the room that went up with enthusiasm and curiosity was surprising, “Yes!”. We rarely associate essential oils with women’s needs and intimacy, and yet I see it as our personal responsibility as women for us to be informed.

Essential oils aside, women still to this day have a hard time to embrace and talk about their intimacy, whether it is physical, emotional and spiritual. Laughing the awkwardness away, or saying “oh my god, you are so funny when you say that!” I don’t see how being educated about our body’s needs, and understanding to heal it, is funny?

After the workshop I started talking with two women that I knew from before, and we were discussing women’s intimacy at large and how important it would be for larger groups to be informed. We have a responsibility to know how to care for ourselves intimately, physical or otherwise, because only we know what’s best for us.

I was taught to see essential oils as tools that I can use at any point: but most importantly as a preventative measure to avoid toxicity administered by medication and chemical bodies. Internal toxicity is at the heart of many chronic and other annoying pains we as women encounter on a daily basis. Yeast infection? UTI? Thrush? Itchiness “down there”? The list goes on; but it’s important to retain they all share the same cause. Internal toxicity is the manifestation of when we take medication, anti-depressants, the pill, and when we have a poor diet. We are what we eat, and that’s a fact that has never been truer than for a woman because of how it manifests intimately.

Myself for example: my mother has been telling me for years now that I have an overgrowth of candida: a fungus that grows in the gut, but can later spread all over. I just finished college; it’s not a secret that my diet wasn’t the best for some time, so she had good reasons to state the fact. The most prominent effect of my shenanigans was that I was having UTIs, chronic pain and other little issues, in addition to cognitive problems. These ailments are the bi-products of fungus, yeast or bacterial overgrowth, that in women manifest in our vagina and uterus, which was the case for me. Candida (which is what this was) is in everyone and lives in our gut, but an overgrowth is the direct product of eating all the wrong things and imposing toxic substances to the microbiome and gut… but let’s keep that whole topic for another time. Back to our nether-regions!

How did I get by during my years of food rebellion and eating like a teenager well into my 20s? (I am now reformed) Essential oils! The upside is that people always said I smelled lovely. I had automatic reactions to treat myself when I felt it was a bad day, but also daily routines to maintain a certain level of wellbeing… mostly for survival purposes. Something I wish all women would know, young and old, is that geranium is your best friend… that, and tea tree. Geranium is one of those oils that acts on rebalancing your hormones, improves your mood, is anti-viral and bacterial, and is not harmful to your skin in its undiluted form. Tea tree acts on a larger spectrum, but is also mainly anti-viral, and anti-fungal women’s intimacy purposes. One or both of these oils on a tampon (few drops each) and left in for a few hours will do you so much good, not simply for your hormones but also for any bacterial and viral problems happening “down there”. When I have a case of yeast infection, I know that if I put two drops of tea tree on a tampon that my bladder will cease and desist: yeast infection is in the name and since tea tree is anti-fungal, its going to target that problem right away. Geranium. I like it for its actions on my mood but also on my hormonal balance, which can be tampered or altered very easily as the result of poor diet, and if you’re taking any hormonal contraception. Period cramps? Geranium applied on your lower stomach. The latter oil is a great option to add to your daily face cream because it also works on any blemishes you may have while simultaneously working towards all the things I mentioned earlier. The best part is that they both smell great. These oils have many other characteristics, but I chose to mention those I felt would be most useful in targeting women’s intimate needs and problems.

To me, all this information is normal and part of my life, for which I am very grateful. Maybe it has largely to do with the fact that my mother is an aromatherapist and when she first introduced oils to me I had no say in the matter if I was going to adopt them or not. Mother knows best I guess! When my friends come to me with their intimate problem (physical and emotional), I’m always repeating myself with what I think would be the best course of action to protect themselves, treat their ailments, with essential oils, and/or diet change. The emotional aspect is always something to tackle for long-term results, which can also be achieved with essential oils. I wish that more girls my age, and my friends were more cautious and aware of what essential oils could do for their sexual lives and their intimate problem: sadly some of them fall back onto antibiotics because it ends up being the “easier option”. You treat yourself with plant extracts and energies that by no means will negatively impact your body or emotions, and you come out of it smelling like a rose (in some cases, literally).