Depending on your current lifestyle, carving out even ten minutes to practice self-care can change the course of your day for the better. Create your own set of rituals to energize and prepare you for the day ahead.
- Shift your mood by diffusing essential oils
Also known as essential oil therapy, aromatherapy is an art and science that involves using essences derived from plants. Essential oils have long been used in the holistic health sphere due to their various health benefits.
Whether you want to perk up or settle down, we recommend adding a few drops of the appropriate essential oil to your diffuser. In addition to simply smelling good, these are natural, safe remedies that can positively impact our central nervous system by helping to relax muscles, reduce inflammation and improve mood. Research suggests that diffusal of essential oils can improve perceptions of stress in a busy workplace, including hospitals.
Which essential oil should I choose?
Citrus oils, including lemon and orange, uplift your mood. Orange oil is a relaxant and associated with decreased insomnia. Lemon oil is said to improve concentration and circulation.
Mint oils are energizing; peppermint oil is known to relieve pain such as headaches.
Tree oils, including eucalyptus and cedarwood can soothe and ground you.
2. Upgrade your oral care
One way to maintain dental health is through oil pulling. This traditional remedy was first practiced in ancient India, and is believed to cure a number of systemic diseases when done regularly. Oil pulling is thought to remove leftover food particles, fight bad breath, prevent cavities and improve gum health. When performed as recommended, this method can be used to support pristine oral hygiene, along with brushing and flossing.
Upon waking, simply swish one to two tablespoons of coconut oil or an oil pulling mouthwash inside your mouth for ten minutes, then spit out into a tissue and dispose, since the oil may clog your sink.
3. Energize with a morning shower and nurture your body with natural ingredients
For those who might have difficulty waking up at early hours, a morning shower makes all the difference. It can help boost alertness, while taking off all the sweat and dirt from the night before. Cooler temperature showers are recommended to avoid raising body temperature dramatically.
Traditionally, Filipinos used different native plants to wash their hair, such as gugo. Gugo is a woody plant used as shampoo due to its ability to cleanse the scalp without stripping moisture from hair. Shampoos containing this are ideal for individuals suffering from dry scalp, as well as those looking to thicken and soften hair.
Another well-loved traditional remedy is coconut, the Philippines’ third most dominant crop. The country boasts 3.5 million hectares of land planted with coconuts - in fact, the coconut tree is sometimes referred to as the “Tree of Life” for its countless healing benefits. When incorporated into shampoo, coconut extracts moisturize hair and help prevent heat damage.
For even smoother, silkier hair, we recommend using a hair oil post-shower. Moroccan argan oil has long been a popular choice due to its ability to strengthen, repair and boost hair growth. Argan oil effectively protects hair from heat damage by forming a protective layer around the hair shaft, and can also reduce brittleness of hair.
Choosing a body wash may depend on your preferred fragrance - fortunately, there is a myriad of natural, plant-based soaps to choose from, each of which possess their own unique scent. For example, sampaguita soap is perfect for those looking for a delicate, floral fragrance, while soaps made with tea tree oil tend to carry a fresher, mintier aroma, alongside its natural anti-bacterial properties..
In addition, it is important to know which plants work best for your skin type or goals.
Similar to its oil, coconut milk is rich in vitamins and works well to deeply moisturize skin. In soap form, the milk lathers well and helps combat dry, dehydrated skin.
Having been used for over 5000 years, aloe vera is one of the most well-known medicinal plants. Since its leaves contain numerous vitamins, minerals, antimicrobial and anti-inflammatory properties, the plant is often formulated in skin care and cosmetic products, including body wash. Aloe vera is also praised for its potential to ease sunburns.
Papaya soap - for face and body - is highly sought after primarily because it effectively removes dead skin cells and brightens the complexion without making skin look oily.
After cleansing, lock in moisture by using body butter or lotion. For those with continuously dry skin, opt for a body oil.
- Nourish from the inside out
Given the country’s seemingly unlimited supply of coconuts, it only makes sense for Filipinos to take advantage of the fruit’s medicinal properties. The numerous benefits of the virgin coconut oil (VCO) were initially discovered and harnessed by natives; it is a rich source of lauric acid, which helps promote good gut health, supports hormonal activity, increases fat burning and strengthens immunity. Existing research also suggests VCO may aid in bone loss prevention and work as an antibacterial. The oil can be taken alone as a supplement, or included in dishes.
- Keep self-care essentials handy
Don’t forget your kikay kit - along with any personal favorite makeup products, stay safe by bringing your own hand sanitizer. As alcohol tends to be quite drying, choose a sanitizer that also contains hydrating, soothing ingredients like aloe vera, vitamin E and elemi oil. Keeping your lips moisturized throughout the day is equally important, so be sure to pack lip balm as well. For those with a hectic day of work ahead, feel free to carry one or two essential oils with you to serve as natural stress-reducers.
Kultura carries a unique selection of personal care and wellness products, each made from effective, natural ingredients that are based on traditional Philippine medicine and culture. Check out our website and start your wellness journey today!