Skin care and hair care have been relatively simple swaps, but I hesitated before tossing my bottle of ibuprofen. If I have a headache, I want relief now—which is exactly the roadblock Saje Natural Wellness educator Fiona Hepher says most people run into when making the natural transition (glad I'm not alone).
"People are always looking for a quicker, faster, stronger fix," Hepher says. "When it comes to essential oils and working with natural products, they work synergistically with the body. And not necessarily in a certain timeframe—some work incredibly quickly while others take a little longer to kick in. We’ve just been programmed to not wait that long."
The payoff for your patience is getting truly natural solutions to your ailments (instead of questionable chemicals).
The payoff for your patience is knowing that instead of questionable chemicals, you're getting truly natural solutions to your ailments. Plus, instant gratification isn't the only common reason for hesitation—I'm not the only person concerned that replacing drugstore products with natural ones will actually be effective.
Many Saje essential oil blends are recognized by Health Canada and the FDA, so you know your plant-based remedy is actually legit. And, with nothing to hide on the ingredients front, each bottle lists exactly what's inside (so no guesswork or fishy-sounding additives—just 100 percent natural ingredients).
With credentials like that, I was intrigued. Would these clean fixes really work for me? Or would I just smell like an (admittedly delightful) walking essential oil shop by the end of the week?
Scroll down to see what happened when I tried using essential oils to tackle all my wellness concerns for one week.
A fix for bloat?
Gut health was the first fix that piqued my interest. I've tried just about everything for relief from IBS (from supplements to elimination diets), so I gave Saje's Gutzy blend a shot.
On day one of my trial, I slathered the formula on my hands and gave my belly a mini massage (with clockwise motions to mimic the clockwise configuration of the intestines, according to the directions).
At first I didn't feel much of anything—besides noting I smelled faintly of licorice, thanks to the star ingredient, fennel—but Hepher encouraged me to give it 20 to 30 minutes to sink in. "You should feel relief from any tightness or overall upset in your stomach, and bloating falls into that category too," she says.
After a full week of my fennel-aroma ritual, I noticed my usual post-lunch discomfort had lessened considerably, and anything that can take the edge off of that is a total win in my book.
My 3 p.m. coffee replacement
Most days I'm up between 4 and 6 a.m. to go to the gym before work, and on Mondays I take a Spanish class until 9 p.m.—basically, my days are long, so I'll take any opportunity for an energy boost I can get.
During my au natural week, I committed to staving off my urge for an afternoon cup of coffee or tea by using Saje's Energy roll-on, which actually perked me up more than I was expecting (see ya, coffee addiction).
Hepher suggested I also try dabbing Peppermint Halo on my temples first thing in the morning (like an instant caffeine buzz!), spritz myself with Refresh mist before my sweat sesh (natural preworkout!), and take a whiff of the Energy inhaler in the afternoon (total brain-fog killer).
By the time I got to the end of Spanish class (when I'm usually so tired I'm struggling to speak in English, let alone Spanish) I actually felt way more alert than I had the previous weeks. #Score.
Considering my days are so packed, I deal with my fair share of stress, but I was skeptical whether any of the Saje Natural Wellness blends would actually be able to help (without physically completing my assignments for me).
As much as I would love to spend an hour in the tub soaking with the Unwind Bath Salts every night, my schedule just doesn't allow that much time for self care—so Hepher offered an alternative.
"Separate it into a three-part ritual: morning, noon, and night," she says. "Take a deep Saje breath of the Stress Release blend to start your day, mist yourself halfway through the day with the Stress Release spray if you’re feeling overwhelmed, and mist your bedsheets with the Tranquility spray before bed."
I tried the ritual on a day I was totally slammed, and believe it or not, using those three products really helped ease my gnawing anxiety. Instead of just trying to ignore the slightly panicked, tight feeling in my chest, taking deep breaths of lavender, orange, and geranium oils helped me feel more at peace—and therefore more equipped to tackle my to-do list.
Now that my desk resembles an apothecary with a chic collection of essential oil remedies at hand, I've absolutely continued using them to support my daily wellness.
I love the ritual of applying the Brainstorm roll-on before heading into a literal brainstorm (hey, the content doesn't create itself!), or taking a big breath of the Energy inhaler before starting a new project to help me think more clearly.
"There are only benefits to essential oils, not side effects," Hepher says. And considering my action-packed, unpredictable days, knowing I have a natural remedy squad to back me up is invaluable.
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Photos: Saje Natural Wellness
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