Wednesday, September 19, 2018

So glad we had this time together

Christi wrote this... I needed the tissues when I read it.   

If you are old enough to remember the poignant way Carol Burnett sang out each episode of her Saturday night variety show, this refrain may wax nostalgic:  “I’m so glad we had this time together.  Just to share a laugh or sing a song.  Seems we just get started and before you know it.  Comes the time we have to long.”  After saying goodnight to all she would tug on her ear, smile, bow, and the curtain would close.  As a child this ending always made me choke up a bit and brought tears to my eyes although I really didn’t understand why at the time.  Now I know she stirred a universal emotion that we all feel when it is time to say goodbye, particularly when we’ve enjoyed the experience and we don’t want it to end. 

My arrival at Nature’s Gift fourteen years ago really had nothing to do with me and everything to do with divine intervention.  Long story short, after taking a work hiatus in 2003 to a monastery in New
Mexico, I briefly met a woman who gave me an amulet and samples of Frankincense essential oils that turned out to be from Nature’s Gift aromatherapy with an address in Madison, Tennessee.  Nature’s Gift aromatherapy which I had never heard of and which was only three miles down the road from my home in Tennessee!  Seeking guidance at the time for the next season of life, I filed the experience away and kept it in the back of my mind.  Fast forward to 2005, when a friend in a Yahoo group queried about a job opening at none other than Nature’s Gift aromatherapy!  I freaked out and called immediately.  Marge was skeptical until she heard my story and the rest is history.  Yet even then I never imagined all that would transpire or that it would play such an important part in my life.  I traveled 2400 miles round trip to find a position three miles away from my house.  It still makes me smile to think of it!

In case you haven’t noticed, I work for the creme de la creme “vintage aromatherapist” and one-of-a-kind individual, Marge Clark, founder and creator of Nature’s Gift.  Marge is my boss, mentor, and friend.  She is one of the most generous people I’ve ever encountered.  At the same time, she is tenacious and when she believes in something she will fight for it no matter the price, personally or professionally. But I can tell you, there is one thing Marge loves most, and that is the oils, first and foremost.  She loves the oils and their safe and effective use more than selling the oils she is supposed to be selling.  This baffles and confuses some people.  I have seen her turn away business from large companies and individuals if she knows they are going to be using the oils in an unsafe way.  I admire her for her strong principles.  The bottom line is caring for others, not making money, which is so prevalent in our society today.  She cares about safety, education, quality, and sustainability and of course interaction within the community. 

For my part, she has mentored me on a daily basis and afforded me the opportunity to study with Laraine Pounds for two years.  Priceless learning experiences from two amazing women in this field!  I cherish my time with both of them.  Marge gave me the space to create blends and introduce products now available such as: Relax Synergy, Deep Breath Synergy, O Christmas Tree Synergy, After the Bite, and our Harmony Synergy and skincare line of products.  We’ve tweaked blends, evaluated countless samples, and discussed many conundrums.  We’ve laughed together and cried together and experienced a decade and a half of life together. Thus, it is difficult to come to this point where our paths diverge.  

Our Production Supervisor, Jim, has worked alongside me for fourteen years, less three months.  So up until now, we have journeyed together, and been the mainstays of the crew.  We have a particularly close working relationship and I will miss his humor and integrity.  As of today we have the best staff in the history of Nature’s Gift in my humble opinion and the addition of Rachel at my desk makes it complete.  I love them all: Marge, Jim, Rachel, Cindi, Michelle, Kabrina, and Roberta.  We share life, of course, and it will be strange without our daily check-ins.  The crew we have today is like a family more than co-workers.  That is what makes it so hard to go on this extended medical leave. 

Without going into too many details, I began having strange health issues about five or six years ago but it took four years and many specialists to finally get a diagnosis of an autoimmune-inflammatory-connective tissue disease.  As my health has declined, work became more and more difficult.  This specific chronic condition is not forgiving and not known for spontaneous remission or radical improvement.  As the year progressed it became more and more evident things could not continue as they were and finally Marge and I had a most difficult conversation which neither of us wanted to have.  Now we find ourselves as we are realizing it is extremely unlikely I will be able to return. 

Back to Carol Burnett, her closing song wasn’t just a way to say goodbye.  It was actually a thank you.  Thank you for being here with me.  Thank you for participating.  Thank you for coming along on this amazing journey!  That is SO Nature’s Gift.  Because Nature’s Gift isn’t just Marge, Christi, Jim, Rachel, Cindi, Michelle, Kabrina, and Roberta.  Nature’s Gift is every single one of us. Nature’s Gift is every single one of you.  You participating in our community.  You jumping for joy when we find a new artisan distiller with unusual oils like Alligator Juniper or Southwestern White Fir, or being the first to order the new 2018 Sandalwood Tamil, or donating to MOMS or the United Aromatherapy Effort when there is a need.  Nature’s Gift is and always will be a community of individuals participating together in this beautiful fragrant aromatic journey! 

So thank you for allowing ME to share your journey with Nature’s Gift over the past fourteen years.  I’ve loved every minute of it, but for now I must say, “so long.”  (Tugging ear)

(Curtain closes), (Lady comes out carrying mop and bucket)

Saturday, September 15, 2018

Anti-Fungal Essential Oils

As with any information presented on this page, please use all proper precautions in using these powerful aromatic essences, and consult a medical practitioner when in doubt. We are in no way responsible for misuse of the information presented herein.  And, as always, when using topically, dilute to a skinsafe dilution. And of course I do not remember where I learned what.  This is a compilation of 25 years of study and experience.  I thank, especially, all the clients who have shared their experiences with us.

Tea Tree (Melaleuca alternifolia)
Most frequently recommended for the treatment of athlete's foot, candida, in fact any sort of fungus. Tea Tree Oil is an effective all-round antibacterial, antiviral, and antifungal oil. Many authorities recommend using Tea Tree neat (undiluted) but much recent evidence shows that it is actually more effective in a 2 to 5% dilution. I personally consider it much too harsh to use undiluted on the skin.  
Tea Tree is the usually suggested aromatherapy remedy for ringworm. If I were trying to treat this fungal infection I'd go with a weak (ie 12 drops/ounce of carrier) dilution of Tea Tree in Aloe Vera Gel.
Myrrh (Commiphora myrrha)
Often recommended in a blend to treat "jock strap itch" specifically. I have found it effective blended with Tea Tree and worked into bentonite clay, used as a body powder. Please don't use corn starch in this "do it yourself" dusting powder as it tends to feed the fungus and makes things worse, not better.
Cedarwood, Atlas
Wonderful for clearing out musty closets or basements, perhaps blended with Lemongrass, or Lemon Eucalyptus (see below). For a basement or large area, I would suggest running in a Nebulizing Diffuser to really fill the atmosphere. For a closet, first wipe the closet down with a blend of the oils in water and allow to dry thoroughly (perhaps running a dehumidifier, if available).
Tagetes (Tagetes glandulifera)
Recommended for use with fungi that affect the feet. Tagetes is a strong photosensitizer so really shouldn't be used on other parts of the body. I've found a blend of Tea Tree oil and Tagetes added to a vinegar and water foot bath very effective for athlete's foot and for dealing with toenail fungus.
Carrot Seed Oil/Carrot Seed CO2 The Carotol content is a powerful anti-fungal agent, which makes Carrot Seed a valuable addition to anti-fungal skincare blends.
Lemon Eucalyptus (Eucalyptus citriodora)
Lemon Eucalyptus, in a Nebulizing Diffuser is what I used when part of the house was flooded, wet carpets etc, last year. It is a wonderful air cleaner and strong antifungal for use in a large area.
Monarda Hydrosol
Suzanne Catty recommends Monarda Hydrosol as a powerful anti-fungal for use in treating fungal infections (Candida) whether as a body wash, a spray, or added to a douche.
Cinnamon Bark EO or CO2
While I would not use this powerful antifungal for skincare, (it is too powerful for topical use in over a 0.5% dilution), it is a very powerful antifungal and could have its place in removing mold or fungi from surfaces, or in a diffuser blend to clear musty air.
Frankicense Rivae
This relatively unknown member of the Boswellia species has been shown effective against Candida albicans.  Its skincare benefits and gentleness make it an appropriate addition to a blend targeting skincare fungus conditions.