Why gardens hold the secret to well-being: An interview with Amy Anthony
Is the antidote to your anxiety hiding in your garden? Is the herb in that pot the remedy for hair loss? Or is what you thought was a weed actually the ingredient your soup recipe has been lacking?
Expert aromatherapist and avid naturist Amy Anthony knows the answers to all these questions.
Find out why Amy believes that health and wellness grows in the garden – you just need to know where to look.
How a master aromatherapist is made
Like so many of us, Amy’s journey began with buying a bottle of essential oil and wanting to learn more. As hard as it is to believe,
Amy was once in marketing research! She left the field because of how much she loved plants and she’s never looked back.
Amy is now a Certified Clinical Aromatherapist who works in multiple sectors. She's an aromatherapy consultant, educator and practitioner. She’s also an artisanal distiller, certified master composter, gardener, herbalist and host of the podcast Essential Aromatica.
Amy is largely guided by intuition, informed by her many years of education and practice, and she harvests many of the plants she needs from her own garden. “Aromatics are woven into my daily life in many ways,” says Amy, “both obvious and nuanced.”
It’s the thought that counts
Amy doesn’t believe that aromatherapy is a lifestyle. She feels that essential oils are to be respected and used mindfully, with care. She says intention is everything and that it’s important to identify underlying issues before choosing which oils to work with and how to use them.
She’s a proponent of combining essential oils with massage, meditation and yoga. She believes that “aromatherapy is beneficial on an as-needed basis, but also on a protocol if you’re working with a specific issue or situation, like a respiratory infection, sleep issues or anxiety.”
Amy says the question to ask is: What plant do we need to turn to at a particular point in time to address a certain need? “We’re changing all of the time,” she muses, “just as the rest of the Earth is.”
The blessing of easier access to knowledge
Based in the United States, Amy thinks the fact that aromatherapy is unregulated is both a blessing and a curse.
She says it’s wonderful how easily you can get your hands on any oil, but the danger that they will be misused and/or misrepresented is not. She says it’s up to us to ensure we know how to judge authenticity, quality and representation. Luckily, there is some trustworthy information available and it’s up to us to engage with it.
When we enquired as to what Amy feels users should aim for and what they should avoid, she exclaimed, “Oh my! This is a hot topic!” Her thoughtful advice can be summed up as:
- Don’t over-diffuse! Less is more when it comes to aromatherapy.
- Don’t even consider taking essential oils internally.
As wonderful an aid as aromatherapy is, it’s not a cure-all. Educate yourself about each oil’s benefits and its limitations, and use it accordingly.
Essential oil hints, tips and tricks
“Please remember how concentrated and powerful these oils are! Less is more! Inhalation, one drop per application, is enough to shift mood and mind states!”
This was Amy’s reply to our enquiry about any hints she had for using essential oils.
She recommends a drop or two of oil on a cotton pad for inhalation, especially if you’re struggling to sleep. She also urges users to be curious and seek out experts like herself and organisations like the AIA, the IFPA and NAHA.
A way to connect
“Aromatherapy - essential oils - are a way to connect,” says Amy. “Working with the oils, especially through inhalation to impact our nervous systems and … emotions, mood states and entire being, is a gift from nature,” she continues. She’s created a class and a podcast episode about this connection called Connection, Nature and Aromatherapy that she hopes people will find beneficial.
Engaging with Amy
Find Amy at nycaromatica.com and on Instagram. “I continue putting up offerings on my website, including Plant Talk, articles and videos where I totally geek out on plants!” she says. “There are several free and pay-what-you-wish video-based classes on topics like Diffusing Essential Oils and Exploring the Lavenders as well as on more advanced topics like Chakras and Essential Oils and Detoxing the Brain.”
Planted in passion
Amy Anthony’s passion for everything related to essential oils and learning how to use them to improve our lives is obvious!
If this has inspired you to start finding out more about aromatherapy and what it can do for you, Volant is the perfect place to start. With a wide range of handcrafted, carefully curated diffusers and essential oils, your journey into the world of aromatherapy has just begun.