Essential Blends with Phillipa from Freedom Oils

I LOVE essential oils & was so excited to chat to my friend Phillipa to learn more about them! Phillipa has a gorgeous business called Freedom Oils where she creates her own blends & even her own oils from scratch! Insanely clever & I had so many questions for her, I hope you enjoy learning more as I did!

When & how were you first exposed to essential oils?

In 2016 my daughter was diagnosed with an autoimmune disorder called PANDAS. It was a very scary time in our lives trying to understand what was happening to her. I had joined a lot of support pages on Facebook and people were suggesting trying oregano essential oil because it has very strong antibacterial and antiviral properties. At that time I had no idea about essential oils other than they smelt nice and I knew lavender oil was known for being relaxing.

So willing to try anything, I went online and brought some oregano oil along with a few others and was absolutely hooked from there. They were a huge help to my daughter (although I would never claim they have cured her, she is not cured) during her flares I noticed the difference compared to her not using them. It wasn’t long before I found myself using them for my own emotional wellbeing and I was amazed at how much they were helping me too.

Soon after I brought them I was invited to a friend’s house where she was hosting a party for a well-known essential oil company. My fascination from there turned into a passion and I have not stopped learning about them ever since. Although I think this company’s oils are great, I do not use them in my blends.

What attracted you to them & made you see how they could impact yours &
your families lives?

Plants were our first medicine. We have used them as we have evolved over hundreds of thousands of years. I have a favourite quote from a highly respected aromatherapist called Valerie Worwood. She sums it up better than I ever could!

“Plants are chemical factories inhibiting the interface between light and dark, sun and earth, drawing energy from each and synthesizing this into molecules of carbohydrates, proteins and fats. They provide our food and the food of the animals we eat. Plant cells are similar to ours in that they have membranes, DNA and a range of organelles including golgi bodies and mitochondria. We’re family. We’ve evolved together. We can’t think of plants as inferior to us because while they can live without us, we cannot live without them. That’s the relationship between us, so turning to plants for help is like turning to extended family.”

What made you start a business around essential oils?

In May 2020 after our first lockdown I met up at a café with a close friend of mine (Briar from The Mum Uniform) and started chatting about what I would do if I ever lost my job to Covid. She had recently started her own business and was having a lot of fun doing it. I talked about how much I would love to start selling essential oil blends, so she encouraged me to just start before I was ready and to take the first step and give it a go. I will be ever grateful to her for giving me a push, it hasn’t always been easy but I love it, the feedback I get is incredible. It makes me so happy to help others so I can definitely see myself doing this full time in the future.

How are essential oils made?

There are many different ways of extracting essential oils, most commonly is by steam distillation. I have recently bought a distiller for myself so I can start making my own essential oils, it’s very exciting!

Depending on the type of plant and the species there are other methods such as cold pressing (citrus peel oils) CO2 extraction, solvent extraction, enfleurage and a few others.

What makes them so powerful for us to use humans?

Plants use their essential oils in many different ways depending on what they need them for. They are used to attract pollinators, repel predators and resist disease etc. They are so important to the plants survival, protective and defence mechanisms. They can heal parts of plants caused by sun damage, temperature extremes and can also heal the animals or herbivores that have eaten the plant.

Personally, I prefer to only use organic oils. The plants are much more potent when they are left to defend for themselves and are not sprayed with herbicides and pesticides.

Each essential oil is so different, they are made up of many different chemicals that are used to target and help certain systems in our bodies, eg nervous system, immune system, respiratory system etc.

Essential oils are tiny molecules that are easily absorbed into our body’s cells because our bodies recognise them and ‘let them in’. We absorb the oils either through applying them onto our skin, or by inhaling them through the olfactory bulbs in our noses that are directly linked to our brains.

The olfactory system is a primal part of our brains that evoke an emotion or memory. For example if you smell smoke you instantly sense danger. Different aromas can bring back memories, the smell of Pine might remind you of Christmas or a walk in the forrest. Essential oils can play a significant part in the control of our emotions, mood, memory and behavior.

Where do they come from?

I buy oils from where they are best grown. For example, my lavender comes from Bulgaria, Eucalyptus from Australia and my Manuka from New Zealand.

You could have the exact same species of plant grown at the exact same time on opposite sides of the earth or country, even on different sides of a hill and the oils produced will be vastly different. Things like temperature, soil condition and altitude all have an impact on the plants and therefore the oils.

What ways does your family use them?

We use them in every way possible! They are always our first port of call when dealing with emotional support, illness, headaches, sleep, cleaning….everything in between! My daughter will often make up her own blends as she needs them. I feel so blessed to be able to pass on my knowledge to my children so they can use them to deal with whatever life may throw at them. My husband is often used as my guinea pig when trying new blends, but he’s a good sport and will always give me his honest feedback.

What are some ways you would suggest others use them if they are
starting out?

This is another reason I wanted to start my business. There is so much conflicting information and terrible advice out there! Just because essential oils are natural it doesn’t automatically mean they are safe. They are made up of many different chemicals and if not used correctly can be toxic or cause serious skin reactions. When I first started using essential oils it was a bit overwhelming to know which oils blend well with what, how much to use, how much to dilute.

I wanted to take all the guesswork out for people so they could feel safe using my oils and knowing they are amazing quality.

What are some of your fav blends you make?

Sleep is my best seller, I get a lot of great feedback from people about it. Breathe blend has gotten me through some really tough times. My favorite scent is Jasmine, so my go to diffuser blend is Calm, and my husband and son suffer from really bad hay fever so during spring/summer I feel like I am constantly topping up their rollers.

How much are you supposed to use?

For diffusers my general rule is 4 drops per 100ml of water, but it doesn’t really matter, you can use a few more or less depending on how you are feeling. They are very precious and we have to be mindful of Mother Nature and how much raw material is used to make them. So I would advise to use them sparingly and intentionally.

For topical use dilution it is dependent on age, much the same as how most medications are used.

I heard you are supposed to clean your diffuser regularly – how often?

Ideally after every use, although I know that’s not always practical. After every 3-4 uses and at least a clean between different blends!

To clean you will need some white vinegar and a soft cloth and a cotton bud. Unplug from power point. Add approx. ½ cup of vinegar in the diffuser and let soak for around 15 min, gently clean the vibrating plate with the cotton bud, get into all the small spaces. Use the cloth to gently wipe off oil residue from the sides of the diffuser. Rinse with warm water, and you are good to go.

I remember you sayin you put them in your bath with salts etc – what ones are great for the bath?

It’s really important to know what oils are safe to use in the bath. Oregano oil for example is a ‘hot’ oil and will burn your ‘sensitive areas’ this would be anything but relaxing! Peppermint oil is ‘cooling’ so while you are in a warm bath your body will feel cold.

Safe oils such as lavender, roman chamomile, ylang ylang, and frankincense are great options. It’s best to mix the oils first with Epsom salts to help them disperse through the water rather than the oils sitting as blobs on top of the water. The salts will dissolve and your skin will absorb the oils so you just need a few drops of essential oils, not too many! When using this method it’s important to also use soap or body wash which will help to dilute the absorption of oils into the skin. If you have very sensitive skin or are wanting to use oils in the bath for children, add ¼ cup of milk as an emulsifier so they are not absorbed into the skin.

There is a lot of talk about ingesting oils, what are your thoughts around this?

I do not advocate for ingestion of essential oils. I have seen people on social media put a drop under their tongue, use them in vegie caps and have seen people adding lemon drops to their daily glass of water. This is not safe at all, these oils are highly concentrated. Lemon oil contains aldehydes which are chemicals commonly used in products like disinfectants and solvents etc. Ingesting them can cause harm to your esophagus, liver and other internal organs if not used correctly.

Some oils can be useful when used in cooking and baking in very small amounts but you should always seek advice from a trained certified aromatherapist before considering ingesting essential oils.

How about using oils on your skin?

They should always be used with a carrier oil. You can use them in a roller to have on the go, or used in a massage oil.

Rub the blend onto pulse points such as wrists, temples (careful of the eyes!) back on the neck. The immunity blend I recommend using on the soles of the feet covered by socks. For the sleep blend I recommend using it on your wrists before bed. When we sleep we often have our wrists and hands near our faces so we will get a good ‘whiff’ of it while we are sleeping.

Now I’m sure everyone is keen to check out your beautiful blends! How can the browse what you have & order their own?

My website is , I can also take orders via DM on Instagram and facebook, I also have a shop on Felt which is like the NZ version of Etsy. I always welcome any questions, so please feel free to ask if you are unsure of anything.

You can check out Phillipa’s beautiful blends on the links above.

I absolutely love the blends I purchased from Freedom oils, I opted for ‘Calm’ which I love to put on in our family room & when I have Reiki clients!

One of my favorite blends at this time of year would have to be her Christmas Spirit blend PLUS her beautiful gifts packs & roller blends make such stunning gifts!

How gorgeous are they!

I hope you loved learning more about Phillipa’s beautiful NZ Made business & more about essential oils & how they are made! I know I did.

Thanks so much for reading, be sure to follow Phillipa’s journey on her links above.

Sending love

Gemma XO

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