Archive for the ‘Natural Body Care’ Category

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.
Botanica Friends
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.

Botanica Friends 2

Enjoying the Dublin Gala with dear friends from my home town.

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:

  • Emollient
  • Astringent
  • Restorative (especially for hair)
  • Highly antioxidant potential

The story of Botanica continues with more posts, speaker snippets and insider tips. Stay tuned.

Dublin Girls

From left to right: A Microbiologist from Poland, Me, an Essential Oil Importer from Long Island & an Aromatherapy Educator from Slovenia having fun post class.

Until next time…
Breathe Joy,

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Bud Therapy

Photo credit: David Lev

Gemmotherapy was presented by Nick Churchill at Botanica 2012, in Dublin, Ireland. When I saw the title in the presentation roster, my initial thought was that it was related to gemstones. As a lover of both precious and semi-precious gems, I was excited! But, I quickly found out that the subject was very different and equally as intriguing.

The topic was on remedies created from the material gathered from embryonic tissues found in buds and young shoots (plant stem cell therapy). Gemmotherapy was started in France over 50 years ago and now is very popular in Italy and Romania.

Unlike other herbal harvests, the embryonic material and marrow stem (undivided cells) are harvested during a very short window of time, in some species that can mean 2 days, in others 2 weeks, in order to capture the most vital components before rapid development. Interesting to note that the meristems have the potential to become any other part of the tree. Imagine energetically how that potentiality infuses the remedy and then in turn the recipient!

The very nature of buds is expressed in an “outward energy.” Not a coincidence that the functions of many of the remedies derived have emunctory healing properties on our organs. Mr. Churchill referred to them as a “cellular chimney sweep”, whereas these unique photochemical components act on our biochemical pathways in a drainage, detoxification and tissue regenerating manner.

Mulberry Bud

Mulberry Bud
Photo credit: HM Vanderbeek

Examples mentioned:

  • Black Current(Cassia), known as the “Jewel of Gemmotherapy”-for it’s cortisone like behavior on allergic states, such as Hay fever
  • Mulberry-for diabetes support
  • Cedar-for scaly, dry skin conditions
  • Japanese Creeper-for arthritis of the small joints

The remedies are delivered in a maceration of glycerin and pure alcohol. A dose example would be 3-5 drops taken in water 2-3 times per day, over a period of time(weeks or months, depending).

This was one of the most fascinating subjects of the conference and definitely got my eyebrows raised! For more information, feel free to visit the following links:

Gemmotherapy School
Gemmotherapy Information and Remedies
Gemmotherapy Forum

Until Next Time…
Breathe Joy

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Wanted to share a recent article written by Julie Sherwood, staff writer from the Messenger Post, that included our interview:

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.

Click here to view the whole article.

Next post: My Botanica 2012 experience in Dublin, Ireland! Stay tuned. :o )

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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:
Body Mechanics:

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:

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.

Relaxation Techniques:

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,
Breathe joy…

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Check out my guest blog today on Jodi Lobozzo Aman’s

Heal Now and Forever Be In Peace…

There is something really beautiful and profound in simplicity. In today’s world where more is generally perceived as better, it’s nice to pare down to basics, go deeper and establish a relationship with each essential oil. Taking the time to ‘get to know’ your essential oils will not only give you more aromatically pleasing blends, but an opportunity to create successful healing remedies as well.

Six essential oils that can transform how you deal with ailments both emotionally and physically are Lavender, Peppermint, Tea Tree, Sweet Orange, Roman Chamomile, and Eucalyptus.

Click here to read the complete post, comments and awesome recipes.


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So, I am sitting here in a little french espresso shop waiting for my cafe mocha(with soy) & grilled veggie panini.  The shop owner is a petite, soft-spoken woman who’s first thought was, “We must put on some nice music for you to enjoy.”  Awww…NYC!!  The sounds, the scurry, and the best people watching in the Northeast.

We are exhibiting at the NYIGF, where over 35,000 international buyers from all industries; ranging from gift to hotel, spa, airlines, corporate amenities, department stores, etc.  Everyone eager to find the next, perfect link to make their quarter.  We connected with our longtime customer Henri Bendel, and made some other great contacts, soon to unfold.

Happiest Happy Uplifting Room Mist

I brought along Happiest Happy; a room spray I designed to uplift, while purifying the air.  Such a delight to mist throughout the day to keep our booth fresh, and inviting…not to mention the side benefit of enjoying pure essential oils of  bergamot, grapefruit, lime, and rosewood.  A multi-functional, must have on the travel check-list.

Today, I am going to explore EX*Tracts, a division of all natural bath & body care products within the gift show.  Looking forward to scoping the scene, and being on the other end(as a customer) for a change.

Stay tuned***********************************************

…And the story continues: 

Ex*Tracts was the most beautiful part of the show.  Smaller companies, with the love for handmade, and the utmost attention to detail.  Of course, my first question was how PURE the product lines offered were.  It was an interesting mix of bumbling, and rationalizing; with one response that pretty much generalized all “really natural” products being more of an allergy hazard, than the synthetic variety.  Ha!

But, one company stood out from the crowd- Farmhouse Fresh.  A Texas based company known for their “Country Cool” appeal.  And that it was.  Packaged in old-fashioned glass milk bottles & ice cream dishes, this line was fresh & clean, with a touch of intellectual whimsy.  Each product is clearly marked if it is vegan or gluten-free, and what percentage the all natural portion is(ranging from 88-99%).  Plus, every item is paraben, and sulfate free.  Great to know main stream retailers like The Ritz-Carlton, Waldorf Astorias, & The Mirage are now offering their line- which is so awesome for us savvy consumers!

Hmmm, back to the homestead.  The month of trade show travel is now complete!

Until next time…

Breathe Joy,




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Well, what can I say, there was never a dull minute in Chicago! We flew in on the day of a blizzard, with over 700 flights cancelled(luckily, our plane was the last one approved for landing), and proceeded to catch a cab to the Merchandise Mart.  Over 3 hours later(for only 17 miles), we reached our destination, and were ready to set up. Somehow a trade show in the Windy City in the dead of winter is like a sauna in Las Vegas, in July–there is bound to be one melt down!

The week continued to stay interesting, with very colorful neighbors.  One in particular was on the reality television show; Wife Swap.  Her life consisted of an unruly homestead with 10 dogs, 4 cats, 2 birds, and a 200 pound goat(that lived inside the house)…oh yeah, and a husband and a daughter.  Needless to say, you can imagine the stories that arose over the course of the show.  Kept the time rolling. :o )

During the evenings, we found some great veg. eats:  Karyn’s Cooked, a longtime favorite, that did not disappoint.  Their extensive menu ranged from Kombucha, to at least 12 delectable deserts(all vegan!)….can you say YUM!  Chicago Diner is another must – a little off the beaten track, but worth it. With entree’s that resemble any carnivores delight, using seitan, tofu, etc.  High quality & super fun.

A new spot, Green Zebra, was a real treat to experience.  Vegan nouveau with items like Pink Peppercorn & Thyme house made soda, to Crispy Sweet Potato Dumplings with crabapple ketchup, walnut-sage pistou + honey crisp apple.  Unexpected pairings put this gourmet cafe high on the “will return” list.  And to top it off, I was able to meet up with a fellow aromatherapist–BIG BONUS!

As far as my picks @ the show-

Green Daffodil takes the cake for soy candles, soy lip balms & other natural body care items.  Their line is handmade, and vegan with a fresh look & feel.

As far as collectible art, glassworkonline took my breath away.  With much of the inspiration coming from the sea(a spot close to my heart), artist Vaughan Anderson has an angel’s touch when it comes to glass.  Of course, with my passion for sea turtles, I had to indulge in this piece.   The attention to detail is mesmerizing!  + it’s always such a pleasure to connect with the artist in person, and share stories of common threads.

And the journey continues to the Big Apple.

Next Stop: The New York International Gift Fair

Until then…

Breathe Joy,



Travel Tip:

If you are sensitive to synthetic fragrances, I would avoid the W hotel in Chicago.  They have a “signature scent” sprayed throughout the property on a daily basis, that is more TOXIC than CHIC!

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Well, back from yet another jaunt on the trade show circuit.  This time, home of monogrammed everything, bubblegum pink, and black & white polka dots.  Yes, you guessed it…Atlanta, GA. Don’t get me wrong, I love the southern charm, manicured nails & all.  First stop was Whole Foods to stock up on vegan yummies, protein powders, and fresh squeezed juices to stay healthy when on the road. Among all the super foods in my cart, I did stumble along a little bit of indulgence to top it off. Homemade, vegan chocolate coffee cake.  OMG!!!  So super moist, delicious, and just what the doctor ordered when a bit of comfort is top priority, after a long day.  This was definitely the find of the market, and at only a buck a square to boot…jackpot!

OK, time for work… off to America’s Mart.  The “World’s Global Market”, 3 buildings jam-packed with over 4,000 permanent showrooms, and hundreds of temporary vendors with goods from soup(literally) to the rarest of diamonds… and everything in between.  We were exhibiting in Building 2 West Wing, where only Gourmet was showcased.  Organic raw honey, mixed with fresh raspberries, lemon, or cacao to the front of us & upscale pecan goodies to the side, made the week of selling our wares ultra palatable.

Of course, what’s a girl to do around so much ‘retail therapy’ but partake.  Cash and carry jewelry department here I come. :oObsidian Jewelry has been a favorite for years. Jeff Kohnfelder, is the talented designer, where his tag line reads “It’s all about the stones”, and it is.  After years in the field, he still gleams with excitement to talk of the latest find from some obscure mine, or the newest nugget uncovered.  My eye zoned right in on one of those gems, an Amethyst Sage pendant chunked over purple drusy quartz, and amethyst.  Yay, baby…you’re coming home with me!  This piece, a type of lavender chalcedony, is riddled with manganese dendritic inclusions, and truly is a one of a kind.

Next, the spa floor.  Soothing auras filled with soft shades of pastels, the latest lip shimmers made with resveratrol for anti-aging, candles galore, and all things zen.   One new item caught my eye; Moso Natural.  A small, young company that has created an air purifying bag filled with 100% bamboo charcoal.  This capture from the Far East helps remove odors, bacteria & allergens naturally.  www.mosonatural.com for more info on this eco-friendly little number.

And, the tour continues.  Next Stop: Chicago

Until then…

Breathe Joy,



PS: Very grateful to travel with

Pink Himalayan bath salts with pure essential oils for soothing comfort & deep rejuvenation. Ahhhhhhh………..

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After settling into winter, and the hustle & bustle of the holidays is over, I am ready to forge ahead into the New Year with gusto.  Kicking it off with trade show travel for Angelic Gourmet, my first stop was the Philadelphia Gift Show.  Of course we were there exhibiting our handmade confections, but as a side perk I got to see all the latest, and greatest products & packaging.


With thousands of lines, from hundreds of national manufacturers, I was most enticed by Sallye Ander Soap, a long time favorite.  The company only uses pure essential oils, and all natural bases in their handcrafted soap, and boasts to create “The World’s Best Soap”.  Just the mere fragrance when you pass by their 20 foot booth is enough to turn your head, and lift your spirits.  Plus, it always amazes me just how pleasant plant people are!  Maybe it’s all the inhaling of essential oils, or just the deep overall respect for nature, and ecology.  Either way, it is like a magnetic pull to betterment, and a sweet comfort to be around.


Another high quality, all natural manufacturer(and personal show buddy) is Honey House Naturals.  Known for their Bee Bar, a solid lotion made with shea butter, royal jelly + other natural anti-oxidants. The perfect lube to seal in moisture, and protect from the elements. It’s no wonder it has a slew of devout followers, since 1994.

Well, here’s to a fresh & smooth start to 2012.

Next Stop: Atlanta

Until then…

Breathe Joy,



PS: One thing I won’t leave home without–

All Natural Hand Sanitizer

Purify Me!  A waterless hand sanitizer made with organic aloe vera gel & therapeutic essential oils.  Alcohol free, non-sticky, long lasting, and delicious smelling! A *must have* for all your traveling!

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This weekend I had the privilege to learn from a brilliant mind, Rhiannon Harris.  Once a year she ‘flies over the pond’ from her home town village in Provence, France, and loads up nurses, certified aromatherapists, and herbalists with oodles of cutting edge, and insightful information pertaining to the world of medicinal uses of essential oils.

Space...it's a good thing.

During one segment of the workshop, we were discussing the routes of penetration through the skin, and she drew an image on the white board of what looked like building blocks(basically rectangles stacked on top of one another with small gaps in between).  We were learning about the difference between intracellular routes, and intercellular routes when something profound hit me.  It wasn’t until my drive home that I was able to formulate my newest revelation.

For the last 17 months, as a side to my full-time business(www.angelicgourmet.com), I have been aggressively adding to my building block foundation in the world of Aromatherapy.  I have been able to learn from four of the world’s top educators in the field, which included the following courses: Aromatherapy Certification Program(including Anatomy & Physiology), Essential oils and Dermatology, EO’s and Clinical Muscular skeletal, Certified Herbalist course, Aromatic Blending, Acupressure Fundamentals, the Business of Aromatherapy, Butters & Balms, Aromatherapy Research & the Synergy of Constituents, Aromatherapy Teacher Training, and most recently Advanced Clinical Aromatherapy overview. A total of over 404 classroom hours.

I have started a holistic aromatherapy company, formulated an all natural product line(including over 40 items), designed a website; www.heartblossomessentials.com, created a blog, Facebook page, & twitter profile, exhibited at the Northeast Music Therapy conference in Saratoga Springs, NY, hosted multiple home parties, and consulted with dozens of individual clients.

As I was running through the list in my head, the picture of the cellular structure of the skin flashed back. I took a deep breath, and realized that it is now time to give homage to the inter(the area between) part of my process.

In other words…take some S P A C E!

I am looking forward to watching what surfaces in the remaining of 2011. It’s always so interesting that some of the most profound births arise out of the quiet times vs. the ‘building phase’.

But for now… I raise my cup of Chamomile tea to assimilation & rejuvenation!

Until next time,

Breathe Joy…


www.heartblossomessentials.com                                                                                                                                      Photo Credit: The McGraw-Hill Companies.

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