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Courtney Kirby of Courtney + The Babes

The botanical apothecarist on the crystals everyone should own, how to know when we’re sensitive to an essential oil, and her natural remedy recommendations to treat physical ailments and emotional distress.

Let’s face it: we all need a little more Zen in our lives. On that note, crystals and their potential powers fascinate us. Especially these days when they are slowly becoming incorporated into our beauty regimes — quite literally — in our skincare bottles. Believed to have a positive effect on both our physical and emotional health, Courtney + The Babes’ founder, Courtney Kirby merged her love and affinity for these stones and essential oils to craft roller blends and wellness products to help enhance self-care routines.

Devoted to bring a little more magic and a lot more healing into our lives, Courtney blends and creates everything by hand in her Melbourne home. Treating skincare issues like eczema to mental and emotional problems like depression, the mom of two babes advocates for natural solutions that, powered by good vibes, benefit mind, body and senses. 

To learn more about botanical apothecary, essential oils and crystals, Courtney also has a blog that discusses how she crafts her blends for any ailment, condition or emotion; the oils which are suitable for children, and even diffuser recipes. So sit back, read, inhale and relax.

Crystal Kit from Courtney + The Babes

“If I’m drawn to something, it’s generally a piece I need in my life,” Courtney says about crystals

We love the brand philosophy and ethos. As a collection deeply inspired in part by crystals, can you tell us how they work to promote physical, emotional and spiritual healing?

You can think of crystals as a spiritual way to balance energy — that could be emotions, relationships, health or intentions. Each crystal has its own level of vibrational energy. Some uplift moods, others are calming, some can help us focus, while others can boost creativity.

By using different crystals, invisible energy levels can be increased, decreased or altered to positively impact one’s emotional and spiritual life while creating balance.

C+TB Roller Blends are said to bring relief to physical ailments and emotional distress from eczema to anxiety. What is it about essential oils that you believe in so fervently, and what has your personal experience been like in using them?

Essential oils work on a cellular level. One drop of oil applied to the soles of your feet reaches each and every cell within your body. I myself and those I’ve introduced the oils to have had such success in using them for a number of physical and emotional ailments. Seeing almost instant results when using a natural product and knowing they go directly to the problem and work on fixing the issue safely — rather than taking over-the-counter medications with all sorts of unsafe ingredients — just feels like a better alternative to me.

“I recommend all new oil users to dilute their oils with a carrier oil such as fractionated coconut oil. By doing so, they’re diluting the oil but not diluting the effect.”

Tell us more about the Tummy, Calm and Deep Sleep blends.

Tummy includes oils like fennel, ginger, peppermint, wild orange and lavender. When massaged directly into your abdomen, the blend may help calm nausea, digestion issues, bloating, cramping and constipation. I use this blend daily and cannot live without it!

Calm includes oils like blue chamomile, frankincense, blue tansy, spruce needle, ho wood and wild orange. This blend can be applied to the wrists and behind the ears as often as required to promote feelings of serenity, stillness, peace and the release of tension.

Deep Sleep includes oils like vetiver, lavender, cedarwood and marjoram. As well as promoting a deep, restful sleep, this blend is also beneficial for anxiety. Apply it to the back of your neck and soles of your feet.

How do we determine our own sensitivities to various essential oils?

I recommend all new oil users to dilute their oils with a carrier oil such as fractionated coconut oil. By doing so, they’re diluting the oil but not diluting the effect. There are a few essential oils that are grouped as “hot” oils, such as oregano and cinnamon. I do not recommend putting these oils directly onto the skin. A little goes a long way. For example, one drop applied consistently throughout the day works a treat.

Which oils should pregnant women avoid using?

Pregnant women should avoid using clary sage, marjoram and cinnamon. Using peppermint during breastfeeding may decrease milk supply.

As sufferers of eczema ourselves, how does your recommendation of frankincense, lavender, helichrysum, tea tree and geranium work in treating it long-term?

“Essential oils work on a cellular level. One drop of oil applied to the soles of your feet reaches each and every cell within your body.”

Courtney And The Babes Essential Oils

Courtney sells 16 kinds of Essential Oil Roller Blends to “assist with many different physical ailments and emotions”

The soothing, healing, antibacterial and anti-inflammatory properties of this blend work wonders for eczema sufferers. Unlike the common antibiotic and steroid creams that can be addictive for people with eczema, these oils address the skin from the inside and outside. A study conducted in 2009 found that several essential oils were effective in suppressing an enzyme produced by people who suffer from eczema that triggers pain, redness and swelling.

What combination of essential oils would you recommend for someone who suffers from depression, and how do each of them help?

Essential oils have been proven to elevate moods. Smells are carried directly to the brain and they serve as emotional triggers. Our basic emotions and hormonal balance are in response to the most basic smells. This makes the scent of an essential oil a powerful thing in our day-to-day lives because they are a direct pathway to memory and emotion.

Bergamot is a great antidepressant because it’s very stimulating. It creates a feeling of joy, freshness and energy by improving the circulation of your blood. It’s also shown an ability to work as a natural remedy for anxiety.

A study done in 2012 showed that lavender had amazing results for people suffering from post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), which can also lead to depression. The results revealed that lavender oil, when used daily, helped decrease depression by 32 per cent; and helped decrease sleep disturbances, moodiness and boosted their overall health.

Where and how do you source for your essential oils and crystals?

I only ever use certified, pure, therapeutic grade essential oils in my home, on my body and in my products. These oils are steam distilled and tested several times to make sure any nasties are eliminated. The essential oils are sourced from locations around the globe where the soil, climate and growing conditions are perfect for producing the highest potency therapeutic plants.

The crystals used in my mists are sourced from a beautiful village in India where a small community work together to crush and polish the chips by hand. Each time I receive a delivery, I can feel the positive energy surrounding them. It took me months to source the strawberry quartz I use in Love Like. My heart was set on that particular crystal.

“Each crystal has its own level of vibrational energy. “

Cleanse by Courtney And The Babes

“Essential oils work on a cellular level. One drop of oil applied to the soles of your feet reaches each and every cell within your body”, says Courtney

What are your tips on buying healing crystals for one’s home and in jewellery, and what are three crystals we should all own?

I like to go by instinct. If I’m drawn to something, it’s generally a piece I need in my life. I’ll take it home and do some research in my crystal books. I usually find that it’s related to something going on in my life at the time.

Smokey quartz, clear quartz and black tourmaline are three crystals every rock lover should own. Smokey quartz is grounding. I keep a piece beside my bed and in my bag at all times. I also find it to be very calming when I’m feeling anxious. Clear quartz is extremely healing and energy amplifying. Black tourmaline is a must for protection from negative energy.

Besides using your products, what other self-care rituals do you practice?

There’s something about the ocean that calms my mind and clears any stagnant energy in my body. I’m lucky enough to have a gym nearby that sits beside the ocean where I do yoga, boxing and cardio several times a week. I’m an anxiety sufferer and it really helps keep my mental health in check.

I also always have my journal nearby to record my thoughts. I’m quite sentimental so it’s nice to have special moments, feelings and dreams to look back on. Even hard times have a special page in my journal — it’s important to look back and see how far I’ve come. It makes you realise how strong you really are.

Why did you choose to bottle your formulas in clear bottles as opposed to dark violet ones?

It came down to the crystals. The mists wouldn’t have been so aesthetically pleasing if you couldn’t see the gems sitting at the bottom of each bottle. As I’m quite the perfectionist, each product needed to be in sync. Hence, all the clear bottles!

What does conscious living mean to you?

Consciousness, for me, is making my own decisions in life based on my experiences and what makes me happy. I don’t always make the right decisions but that’s how life works. I choose to surround myself with a small group of people who I know will support me no matter what.

I’ve learnt to ask myself the following questions: What do I want in this situation? Am I being true to myself? Am I making a wise decision?

Then I remind myself to give without needing anything in return. To show compassion. Be mindful of my words. And just let go.

Images courtesy of Courtney + The Babes