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The Aromatherapist

The ancient traditions of using plant and extracts for ceremony, medicine and overall wellness are being revisited as we look to mother nature for nourishment and health. Elana Millman has believed in the restorative power of plants since a young age, when she first learned about aromatherapy. She currently runs a holistic healing practice and is the author of Aromatherapy for Sensual Living: Essential Oils for the Ecstatic Soul, a how-to guide on how to use essential oils in sensual, creative and curative ways.

I love essential oils because they are a window into the secret world of plants and an ancient, almost romantic world, where nature was revered for its many secrets. Long ago, the role of perfumer, priest and doctor was held by the same person, which is so interesting to me. I am sure I was an alchemist in a past life because working this way with plants always made so much sense to me.

About three years ago, I started to hear people in the cannabis community talk effusively about the power of terpenes (the aromatic compounds in cannabis that are responsible for different healing aspects). It was as though a lightbulb went off. Essential oils and cannabis both have terpenes; what if I mixed them together?

I use my experience as an aromatherapist and my love for cannabis to create new products for my own healing and beauty routine. The relationship between cannabis and essential oils is incredibly exciting. When you combine them together, they work synergistically to super-charge each other and enhance their own properties. It’s dramatic. All of this is unscientific, due to the current lack of research and funding on this subject, but I’ve personally felt the results. I was amazed and humbled by how my body and spirit were impacted.

Wellness is the steadfast commitment to good health of mind, body and spirit. It is the elusive balance of all three that we seek in our busy modern world. I named my company “Sacred Leaf” because I believe these natural elements are a sacrament, and that they should be valued and used in great reverence for the amazing beneficial aspects they hold — whether we’re talking about lavender, sandalwood or cannabis. This practice is my way to stay connected to myself, to the divine, and to make sure I’m not distracted by things that aren’t important. It’s a communion.

Photography by Angela Lewis

“Aromatherapy has successfully infiltrated our world. The flowers are speaking and we are listening. Innocuously, most people have a bottle of lavender, peppermint, or even oregano tucked away in the back of the drawer or medicine cabinet for an emergency bout of insomnia or nausea or to conquer a cold or flu. We have been told that flowers heal and cure and we believe. Through positive experimentation, most people understand that essential oils can be used, not only for beauty or as perfume, but also for medicinal purposes..” Read more in Elana’s book Aromatherapy for Sensual Living: Essential Oils for the Ecstatic Soul