Learning there was one of the BEST educational experiences of my life!
Archive for the ‘Aromatherapy’ Category
Pascal Debauche, a biochemist with Pranarom International, spoke about Oregano(Origanum compactum) and Cinnamon Bark(Cinnamomum verum) essential oils and their bactericidal actions at Botanica. Right off the bat, I found it interesting he noted that one single essential oil can contain up to 250 molecules. His talk focused on two of the most powerful, natural phyto-aromatics; Oregano and Cinnamon Bark.
However, other Bactericidal Essential Oils that he mentioned are:
- Ajowan(Trachyspermum ammi)
- Thyme(Thymus vulgaris ct. thymol)
- Clove(Eugenia Caryophyllata)*
- Lemongrass(Cymbopogon citratus)
- Tea Tree(Melaleuca alternifolia)
With the exception of Lemongrass and Tea Tree in the above list, the chemical component responsible for the aggressive action against bacteria is called a phenol. Oregano, for example, is comprised of 55-60% phenols(a combination of Carvacrol & Thymol constituents).
In his clinical study, the two essential oils were tested on 65 bacteria. Oregano and Cinnamon Bark proved to have the highest effect, with a great potential to target bacteria, as well as having anti-oxidant properties. This combination makes them both possible candidates as natural food preservatives(further testings will confirm).
In summary, phenols are the most aggressive anti-infectious chemical family found in some essential oils. With that being said, they are also one group that has to be handled with the most care.
Notes of Caution:
- Phenols are used for acute conditions, for short periods of time.
- For topical blends, always dilute essential oils that contain high amounts of phenols in a carrier oil, not greater than a 1% dilution. Skin sensitization can occur, as well as mucus membrane irritation.
- It is advised, prior to application, to apply on a test patch to confirm that there is no adverse reaction.
- Phenols are not suitable for children under 5.
- *Clove is an anticoagulant and is not recommended for persons with a clotting disorder.
For more information on essential oil safety, you can consult Robert Tisserand’s book here.
Great! Let’s put it into action-
Diffuser Blend for Cold & Flu Defense(original formula)**
Sweet Orange(Citrus sinensis)-20 drops
Lavender(Lavandula angustifolia)-20 drops
Tea Tree(Melaleuca alternifolia)-10 drops
Cinnamon Bark(Cinnamomum verum)-3 drops
Blend the above essential oils in a stock bottle. Use up to 10 drops in your diffuser. Diffuse for up to 10 minute intervals, a couple of times per day.
Until next time…
Kc, Nationally Certified Aromatherapist
**Statements on this blog have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration and are not intended to diagnose, treat, cure or prevent any disease.
Naho Maruyama, a graduate of the University of Tokyo, Faculty of Pharmaceutical Sciences, was one of the presenters at Botanica 2012. Her lecture was on the effects of essential oils on the cell walls of fungus. Her rating of the anti-microbial activity of the essential oil components (with greatest effect listed first) is:
And, in terms of complete essential oils, her line up is as follows: Palmarosa, Tea Tree, Cinnamon, Lemongrass, Melissa and Thyme ct. thymol.
One of the clinical case studies presented was on the treatment of Tinea ungunium, fungal infection of the nails(toe nails).
They applied the following formula 2 times per day:
- Tea Tree(Melaleuca alternifolia)-25 drops
- Lavender(Lavandula angustifolia)-10 drops
- Palmarosa(Cymbopogon martini var. motia)-10 drops
- Honey-10 grams
- Carrier Oil-30 grams
Warming the foot(say in a warm water foot bath) was found to be useful in influencing saturation and increasing absorption. The above, with regular sterilization of shoes, showed a clearing in 9 months.
It was noted that not only are essential oils receiving strong attention for the pharmacological activities on bacteria, viruses and fungus but on the indirect effects as well; anti-inflammatory responses and immune enhancement being examples.
During Botanica, it was awesome to see the amount of time, effort, research and results dedicated to the clinical applications of essential oils in other parts of the world. This presenter from Japan was no exception.
Up Next: Natural Microbicides
Until next time…
I had the great fortune to visit with yogini, Debbie Smith. We shared stories of the past and our future dreams and inspirations. It was so great to connect with a conscious soul, with a shared desire for natural well being; body, mind and spirit.
Debbie is a gifted yoga teacher at the Victor Yoga Studio, in Victor, NY. If you are local, I highly recommend dropping by for a class to experience her offerings first hand.
Until next time…
Posted in Aromatherapy, Natural Body Care, Travel, tagged Aromahead Institute, Aromatherapy, Aromatics International, Baru Oil, Botanica, Brazil, Brazillian Cherry Essential Oil, Essential oil, Morning Myst Botanicals on November 13, 2012 | 2 Comments »
Do you know the best thing about joining in on educational functions? The awesome opportunity to hang with old friends and a chance to make new connections as well.
I have always loved being a part of a group, sharing like interests. In the past that has meant vegetarian societies, meditation sangats and community visitor associations. In this instance @ Botanica 2012, was all about plant medicine lovers! You can imagine there was no shortage of compassionate, forward thinking, intuitive folks present. All traits, that in my experience, are generally found in complementary care givers.
So, by day we were graced by one impressive speaker after another and by night, the fun continued as we met up with other conference attendees to compare notes, share case studies and business know how. Such a fabulous combination!
The next speaker was Ann Harmon, a distiller from the Pacific North West and owner of Morning Myst Botanicals. I have long appreciated the quality of her hydrolats and after meeting her in person, see why the caliber is so high. Her confidence and love of plants was alluring. She talked about the importance of using organic plant material when distilling, as pesticides and herbicides are water-soluble. I was lucky to not only hear her general lecture, but take the 3 1/2 hour workshop post conference. We enjoyed a wonderful slide presentation of the copper stills in action and played with hydrolats of Lemon Thyme, Helichrysum, Holy Basil, Yarrow and more. Instructions on how to home distill (on the stove-top) were introduced…which I am eager to try! Liz Fulcher, a friend and colleague, recently blogged about these healing waters. Click to check out her informative writings.
Other perks of the event were a wide array of vendors with goods that ranged from distiller direct essential oils, to natural skin care to published author works on the subject of backyard remedies. Old favorites included Aromahead Institute highlighting their Aromatherapy Scholars program. This 400 hour certification is available in person and online and is second to none in comprehensive, holistic essential oil education. Aromatics International flew in from their home base of Montana and exhibited a wide range of GC/MS(Gas Chromatography/Mass Spectrometry) essential oils that ranged from Gingergrass to Vintage Patchouli. A new-found supplier was Tunupa, a family owned operation from Brazil. Not only were they charming, the line up of exotic essential oils and carriers from their native country was enough to make any aromatherapist giddy. My top two must haves:
Baru(Dipteryx alata)-from the minute I tried the sample, I knew this liquid carrier was something very special. It immediately penetrated the skin and felt so nourishing (unlike anything that I have tried before). It is also known for:
- High Omega 6, Omega 9 and Vitamins A, B’s and E.
- Helpful for rheumatism, arthritis and eczema conditions
- Skin Nourishing
Brazilian Cherry(Eugenia uniflora)-I love wood, especially Cherry. So my curiosity was peaked when I saw this single. Unique in fragrance and known for the following properties:
- Restorative (especially for hair)
- Highly antioxidant potential
The story of Botanica continues with more posts, speaker snippets and insider tips. Stay tuned.
Until next time…
It was heart warming to witness eager attendees from 33 different countries, with the common goal of experiencing the most cutting edge information and case studies in herbal and aromatic medicine. Each of the four days of Botanica 2012 the audience was packed with a wide array of professionals ranging from doctors, nurses, herbalists, microbiologists and clinical aromatherapists. The networking opportunity was fantastic and provided an invaluable view of how each country practices their trade based on culture, government and legal structures.
Anne Varley, a medical herbalist from Ireland, spoke about “The Map is not the Territory.” I did appreciate her insight on being open to the actuality of the case and time at hand. She talked in-depth about how not to confuse models of reality vs. the actual reality in regard to phytotherapy and complimentary medicine. I think this is a very valid point for life in general as well. What looks logical on paper or data that was compiled years past, may very well not be the most efficient way to handle the current situation. I like the quote from Deepak Chopra, “Instead of thinking outside the box… get rid of the box!” Politics of Irish herbal practice were discussed, including the herbs of Ginkgo Biloba and Hypericum’s ban and the campaign to have them re-instated as valuable healing agents. This talk gave me a feeling of gratitude for our current ability to use herbal and aromatic medicine in the United States, as well as a sense of fragility on the topic.
Switching gears, we had the great pleasure of listening to a heart centered talk from Judith Hoad, a herbalist who also combines acupressure and homeopathy in her work. It was an honor to witness this loving being and her respect for all life. ‘Eco-kin’, a term that she coined, illustrates her deep respect for all living beings, including the plant world, our relationships with one another and how we communicate. She spoke about the intelligence embedded in all living cells and how this intelligence exists in plants as well(although not the same as humans, nonetheless still present). Co-creation Gardening, a book written by Machaelle Small Wright was recommended and Stephen Harrod Buhner’s teachings.
I had an opportunity to visit with Judith and her spirit was bright and demeanor humble. This woman, who as a side note has lived “off the grid” for over 50 years, was my all time fav of the event!
Lots more to come! Stay tuned for Part 3.
Until next time…
Posted in Aromatherapy, Travel, tagged Aromatherapy, Botanica, Botanica 2012, Burren, Dublin, Galway, Herb, Herbs, Ireland, Irish Wildflowers, Natural Healing, plant medicine, Rhiannon Harris on November 10, 2012 | 4 Comments »
Wow! I can’t believe it has already been 2 months since my trip to Dublin, Ireland for Botanica 2012. Time has literally flown by! Well, I’m just now getting to sharing some of my experiences there. Luckily, it feels like just yesterday that I was walking briskly along the cobblestone streets admiring the bountiful flower scapes draped out of each window box.
Botanica was organized by an industry top gun, Rhiannon Harris, owner of Essential Oil Resource Consultants and founder of the International Journal of Clinical Aromatherapy, an invaluable resource for clinical aromatherapists world-wide.
Because this event was so rich, I thought that I would break up the posts in parts, in order to share more.
So, Part I:
The International Celebration of Plant Therapeutics was kicked off with a cheerful Ireland lassie, Vivienne Campbell. She spoke about a variety of the native plants and herbs, including their uses throughout history. One in particular was Stinging Nettles; an iron rich herb common in Irish dishes. Known for it’s detoxifying & tonic qualities, as well as strengthening the kidneys, nourishing to the blood and much more. She suggested using it in the form of tea(steeped 10 min.) or even cooked up with cabbage. I am very interested to try it and more so to wild forge some in my own backyard! Her side note tip: Wear rubber gloves to avoid getting “stung.” If you enjoy using nettles, comment on this post, I would love to hear your experiences.
A couple more of her suggestions: Ballymaloe, An Irish Cookery School, advocating using fresh, local wild herbs. And, Wild and Free: Cooking from Nature by Cyril O’Ceirin; a great book on wild foraging. Some of their local picks:
- Tormento-an astringent herb, helpful for IBS.
- Silver Wheat-nutty flavor, helpful for sore throats.
- Black Thorn-a type of plum and a traditional, valuable food source.
- Primrose-good to relax nerves & ease insomnia.
This speaker was so full of life and her enthusiasm for plant medicine just poured out of her. For more information on Vivienne, check out The Herbal Hub.
During my stay, I had the fortune of traveling from Dublin to Galway, a three-hour tour from the East coast to the West coast, with some of the most magnificent sights(now I know why they call it the Emerald Isle!). Plus, we had an awesome guide sharing juicy tales of myths and legends going as far back as the medieval times. We hiked over the Burren terrain-A one of a kind view of very interesting rock formations along the coast, home of native and rare Irish species. It has even been said that over 70% of Ireland’s wildflowers can be found there in the limestone array, many of which are used in the creations found at The Burren Perfumery. We unfortunately did not have time to stop at the perfumery, Ireland’s oldest perfumery and soap making shop. But, it is definitely on the list for my next visit.
More to follow in Part 2: Coming Soon!
Until next time…
Naples’ entrepreneur Kc Rossi is growing her plant-based business called Heart Blossom Essentials, LLC that promotes wellness with pure-essential oils.
“I am a lover of joy, all things natural and optimistic living,” says Rossi of herself. The peace and pleasure she has found through her vegetarian lifestyle that includes daily meditation, plant-based medicine, yoga and positive psychology is something she is sharing through her business, she said.
Here is what Rossi had to say about her life as it relates to Heart Blossom Essentials-
Tell us when and why you started the business
I started Heart Blossom Essentials September 2010 really out of my sheer love for the plant world. Experiencing the amazing results from natural remedies and seeing that toxic household chemicals could be replaced with simple, eco-friendly ingredients gave me motivation to share the goodness.
Tell us a little about your background
In 1994, I received my first certification in Aromatherapy from the Pacific Institute of Aromatherapy. Since then, I have expanded my studies in the field of clinical aromatherapy with the premier educators in the field; including Rhiannon Harris, Andrea Butje, Robert Tisserand and Dr. Kurt Schnaubelt. I am Nationally Certified through the National Association of Holistic Aromatherapists and the Alliance of International Aromatherapists. I have a thirst for knowledge and believe in constant, never-ending improvement in all aspects of life. My latest adventure is taking me to Dublin, Ireland this September to attend the International Botanical Conference, a gathering of worldwide herb and essential-oil authorities.
Next post: My Botanica 2012 experience in Dublin, Ireland! Stay tuned. )
Posted in Aromatherapy, Essential Oil Blends, Natural Body Care, tagged "sound healing", "teeth grinding", Aromatherapy, Bruxism, Cherry Plum, clenching, Deepak Chopra, essential oils, Flower Essences, Louise Hay, meditation, Relaxation technique, Stress management, Tooth on July 29, 2012 | 6 Comments »
With the fast pace, pressure and demands of our modern lifestyle, stress is no stranger to many. Effects of tension can manifest in a variety of ways both physically and emotionally. One symptom that is on the rise is teeth clenching and grinding (medically known as bruxism). It is amazing how common this disturbing and many times painful habit is. Over the last couple of years, I have experienced first hand the frustrating and what seemed unavoidable repercussions of this act, including several chipped teeth, 4 fractured molars and jaw/head pain. The standard recommendation is to wear a mouth guard while sleeping. You can be fitted for a custom one by your dentist or pick up a generic one at the pharmacy. This seems like a surface “fix” and who wants to sleep with a mouth full of rigid plastic for the rest of their life? Not me!
So I began to incorporate daily practices in effort to soothe the root cause. They are:
Becoming aware of body mechanics-furrowed foreheads, raised shoulders, clenched jaw, squinted eyes, held breath. The act of tuning in to specific body parts, checking their position and manually re-adjusting can be a great relief. The simple consciousness of “checking in” and breathing into the targeted area, allowing release, can be a profound first step in letting go of tension and stress. Many times we are unaware that we are even holding tension in our body. A night-time practice of relaxing the jaw and mouth area is especially helpful. Positioning the tongue upward with the teeth apart and the lips closed, gently moving the jaw up and down and side to side, and massaging the jaw and sides of the face and head are good habits to begin sleep.
Nutritional support is a big help. I have found excellent results incorporating a product called CALM(a calcium/magnesium supplement). Other stress busting vitamins are a good vitamin B-complex, Vitamin C and Zinc. Also, staying hydrated has been shown to decrease teeth grinding, as well as cutting back on alcohol, caffeine and refined, processed foods.
Flower Essences are a safe and natural addition when addressing the emotional side of bruxism. According to Louise Hay, the under lying issues can be pointed to anger, resentment and feelings of powerlessness. Willow, Cherry Plum and Bach’s Rescue Remedy are helpful when dealing with the above.
Ayurveda, the traditional Hindu system of medicine, advocates sounds for healing. I personally have found great results using this method every evening prior to bed or when I am feeling facial tightness. It works amazing! Dr. Deepak Chopra says, “Take a deep breath and make the sound while exhaling. Each sound may be repeated from one to three times. This should be done daily for optimum results.” The sounds for relaxing the jaw, helpful for clenching, migraine and tension headaches are YA, YOU, YAI. You can run through all of them a couple of times using the mentioned method.
Incorporating daily Meditation, Tai Chi, Yoga and/or Brisk Waking cannot be underestimated when putting together a healthy and relaxing routine. Lower blood pressure, increased body/mind awareness, stress reduction and centeredness have all been reported by adding one of the above for as little as 20 minutes per day.
Essential oils have a profound effect on the nervous system. They heal on a holistic level, touching all aspects of the root cause; mental, emotional and physical. An effective blend(2 % dilution for daily use) is as follows:
Organic Jojoba: 1 oz.
Lavender(Lavandula angustifolia): 5 drops
Vetiver(Vetiveria zizanoides): 2 drops
Ylang Ylang(Cananga odorata): 2 drops
Marjoram(Origanum marjorana): 2 drops
Place in a cobalt or amber 1 oz. glass bottle. Gently massage around jaw line, neck and behind the ears. Apply once per evening, prior to sleep. Safe for children above 2 years of age. Avoid if low blood pressure is present.
I am a big believer of taking baby steps when incorporating new and different practices into your lifestyle. Start with one or two of the above suggestions. When you are feeling comfortable and established with the new routine, review the list again and add one or two more and so on. Before you know it, your clenching and grinding will be a thing of the past. Now that’s something to smile about!
Until next time,