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Posts Tagged ‘Aromatherapy’

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:

  1. Phenols
  2. Aldehydes
  3. Alcohols
  4. Ketones
  5. Esters
  6. Ethers
  7. Hydrocarbons

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.

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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…
Breathe Joy,
Kc
www.heartblossomessentials.com

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Thyme

Jurgen Reichling, a German professor at the Institute of Pharmacy and Molecular Biotechnology, was one of the speakers at Botanica this past Fall. He presented on the antiviral effect of pure essential oils on HSV-1(Herpes Labialis, caused by the Herpes Simplex Virus-Type 1); commonly known as cold sores. The essential oil of Thyme(Thymus vulgaris ct. thymol) was at the top of the list, inactivating the virus within 10 minutes of contact. Next, in the power line up, were the citrus essential oils, followed by Pine. He shared the following formula:

  • Thyme(Thymus vulgaris ct. thymol)
  • Tea Tree(Melaleuca alternifolia)
  • Eucalyptus(Eucalyptus globulus)

The above essential oils were combined at a 6% dilution in a gel base, applied five times per day to the affected area. The results of the study showed clearing of the blister(s) outbreak in an average of 9 days vs. the typical 12.5 day period, if left untreated.

An interesting note highlighted was that the complete essential oil was more active than the individual main components. The synergistic effect of the whole essential oil had more activity and action on the virus. Are you surprised? I’m not! I think Mother Nature knew what she was doing. :o )

More snippets coming your way.

Next up: Pharmacological Activities of Essential Oils

Until next time…
Breathe Joy,
Kc

www.heartblossomessentials.com

Photo Credit: American Meadows

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Debbie Smith

Debbie Smith, Certified Yoga Teacher and author of the Retreat and Restore blog

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.

Here is the link to our recent talk.

Until next time…

Breathe Joy,

Kc

www.heartblossomessentials.com

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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

**And**

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,
Kc
www.heartblossomessentials.com

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Ginkgo Biloba

Ginkgo Biloba
Photo credit: http://www.pfaf.org

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.

Love FlowersSwitching 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…
Breathe Joy,
Kc
www.heartblossomessentials.com

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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:

Stinging Nettles

Stinging Nettles. Photo credit: Wikipedia

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.

Irish Wildflowers

Irish Wildflowers. Photo credit: Dennis Flood

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…
Breathe Joy,
Kc
www.heartblossomessentials.com

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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.
Nutrition:

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:

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.

Aromatherapy:

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…
Kc
www.heartblossomessentials.com

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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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Memory and clarity are desirables when it comes to the mind. Many factors including age, hereditary, stress, poor health and diet play a role in how keen our mental sharpness is. However, essential oils can improve the ability to focus and concentrate. Among the top stimulating choices are Peppermint, Basil, Rosemary and Lemon.Image
Yesterday, I went on a road trip to Lyons, NY. Home of H.G. Hotchkiss, “The Peppermint King”. Established in 1839, this family run operation grew, harvested, distilled, bottled and distributed the essential oil of Peppermint. Their essential oils won 17 Prize Medals at World Expositions, the first being in 1851 in London. It was delightful to peep in and imagine the hustling and bustling of this operation over 173 years ago.

The Bottle Filling Area

“Touching garden mint, as the very smell of it alone recovereth and refresheth the spirits.” -Pliny AD 77

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Peppermint(Mentha x piperita)

Ok, back to our line up. Focus! Focus!

  • Peppermint(Mentha x piperita) is reached for when ‘digesting’ information is required. It has a stimulating effect when learning. It is uplifting, refreshing and enhances creativity.
  • Basil(Ocimum basilicum ct linalool) is a strong cerebral stimulant, fortifying and good for clearing the mind(cephalic), as well as relieving intellectual fatigue.
  • Rosemary(Rosmarinus officinalis) is probably one of the most widely chosen essential oils when focus and memory are needed. It strengthens the mind, promotes concentration and enhances presence. Even when you rub fresh rosemary leaves between your fingers, the piercing aroma released instantly brings attention and clarity. Rosemary is especially helpful when confusion and/or pressure is present.
  • Lemon(Citrus limon) “One of the most clarifying oils for the Intellect(Yi) is Lemon- Light and refreshing in nature, it is indicated for the heavy-headed and congested individual whose concentration is “muzzy” and dull. It helps, in addition, to maximize learning and memory-especially of details and numerous facts.”-Mojay

The alliance of the above essential oils prove to be a synergistic combination enhancing the effectiveness. They can be mixed in equal parts and diffused or a couple of drops of the master blend can be placed on a cotton ball and kept near during concentration or when clarity and memory are needed. Safety Note: Not for children under 5, pregnant women or if you have epilepsy or high blood pressure in your health history.

Until next time…
Breathe Joy,
Kc
www.heartblossomessentials.com

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