Monday, March 27, 2017

New Treasures - Frankincense Infusions

Sometimes folks send us gifts.  Mostly clients who have been clients for years, have become friends, and are sharing samples of goodies they have made with our oils. Sometimes people who would like us to carry their products. (And we say a very polite no thank you because we don't offer other people's blends and products.)  And sometimes we get goodies from people we really don't know well at all.

Sacra Resin
This happened awhile ago. A young man I had encountered on FB asked if I would be interested in some Frankincense infusions of various types of Frankincense resin.  Of course I would.  I have read about infusing, decided it was FAR too much work for me, and continue to use my wee bit of Sacra resin in water upon occasion.  I had not encountered the infusion.

He wrote the following, and how could I refuse? "The resin gets powdered and double boiled into a carrier oil, the oleo part and the essential oils end up into the carrier oil (with a lovely scent), with most of the boswellic acid and incensole. Everybody loves the essential oil of Frankincense, and I've seen the boswellic acid in powder form, but nobody really talks about the infused oil, which I think is extremely powerful. I'm not going to talk about boswellic acid , cancer, etc...what I find even more intriguing is the fact that this infused oil is extremely calming (probably incensole, incensole acetate) , extremely grounding ...I'm a person very in tune with my body , and I absolutely love this infused oil ...and so does my girlfriend.

Here's a short story: my girlfriend uses raw coconut oil as body moisturizer ... in the beginning when I start making the oil , because she also loves the fragrance of it (I was infusing Serrata resin into raw coconut oil) , she decided to use the infused oil instead of her coconut oil...after she applies it on large areas of the body (right after a shower when the skin is so absorbent) , she comes to me and she says "I'm stoned "...after she told me what she did, we were both laughing, we didn't know how powerful the oil is, I asked her to describe how she feels , and her description was that was very similar to how she would feel, back in the high school days, when she smoked marijuana, very very relaxed. Basically she overdosed on Frankincense...I also make the oil strong, 1:3 resin to oil.
In my opinion , used in the right concentration ,this oil could be very useful for any person with anxiety, high stress , agitated , high strung . ..could probably be used as an enhanced carrier oil for any relaxing /calming mix next to the appropriate essential oils .
For me personally, I have found that has a bunch of other positive effects, that I will not talk here, will leave it for some other time, if that would be any. I like it in a facial moisturizer , I also use it for the boswellic acid in a post workout muscle/ligaments massage oil.
When I'm talking about "calm" , it's not a sedative calm it's a very grounding , clean calm . I personally start using it before playing intense basketball , as I feel it improves proprioception , body awareness. I'm gonna stop right here, I apologize if I wasted much of your time with this email , but I have felt that I should share all this information with somebody with more clout. If you find any of this intriguing , I'm willing to spend my money and time to make some of this infused oils and send it to you."              

Now... if someone emailed you that, could you turn it down? of course not!          

A few days later comes a box with all sorts of goodies.  Now, some were infused in Coconut oil, solid at room temperature. Interesting, but, not something that excited us. Some were infused in Virgin Coconut Oil, and although I am sure they contained the resin, all we could smell was the yummy coconut.  Interesting, but not very.

OH.. a wee bottle of Sacra infused in Fractionated Coconut Oil.  OH..  I want, I want I want! Christi (our true Frankincense lover) just glowed.  Jim smiled when we had him test it. (We KNOW something is right on when Jim smiles!)  Oh YES.

Serrata Resin
Now. we wanted more.  But even more than that, we wanted YOU to have more.  (When asked what we do, my favorite answer is, "we find beautiful aromatics and share them online.:)

So, after a LOT of discussion,  our young friend's investing in a more of Resin, we have two beautiful aromatics to share with you.

What is involved in creating this beauty?    First you import the resin.  then, you GRIND the resin. Very, very fine. Think Sand.  Golden sand (Serrata) or white sand (Sacra). Perhaps corn meal texture?  When producing a little bit of infusion for his own use, my friend could use a dedicated coffee grinder.  For a LOT of Resin? He invested in some tools. (No, I don't know what, some of it is his secret.)   Grind the resin.  (I don't have pictures of the ground resin. We'll add them next time.)

Infuse in warmed oil.  Let stand, in a double boiler arrangement.  Until you have decided it's stood long enough.Then let stand some more.
Serrata being infused, The swirl is particles of bark floating to the surface.

Sacra turns the oil milky white initially.
Filter, first through a 20 micron filter, then, again, through a 10 micron filter. Slowly. Very slowly.  (My friend says there is "sludge" left. His girlfriend uses the sludge as a scrub.  He makes a foot soak out of it.  Next he will measure the sludge.  And send me some of it!) 

A lot is lost. Not everything dissolves.  This time he did not take precise measurements after straining. We know how much went in. We do not know how much was lost to the "sludge."  Next time.  (I am saying next time because I believe that you will love this infusion as much as we do!  We want you to love it so we can commission more. And next time we will be much more scientific.)

After filtering?
Sacra, filtered.

Serrata, filtered
Remember, these started with colorless, odorless Fractionated Coconut Oil as the base oil.

 95 ounces of Fractionated Coconut oil.  38 ounces of Serrata Resin.     Or 115 ounces of Frac and 46 ounces of Sacra Resin.

Packaged to ship to us: 
Shipping back. ARRIVAL

Sacra, Measured
Serrata, Measured
Upon arrival Jim measured them in.  3120 and 2500 mls, respectively, of sheer bliss

As you can see from the photos above, there is a LOT of loss. (He shipped it back in the containers we shipped his Fractionated Coconut in.  We are rebottling in glass. We do NOT know the content of essential oil in this infusion, but my nose says that it is very strong.  Like our Blue Lotus infusion it will be sold in glass bottles.  I would not risk it, even in Pet plastic. I wanted to use an eyedropper to cap the bottles, but I am afraid the aromatics may react with the rubber bulb, so an EO bottle with an orifice reducer it shall be.

Also, based on our experience with the small samples our friend sent us earlier, that started this whole thing?  We believe that the microscopic particles of resin NOT filtered out will continue to dissolve. We believe that this will grow stronger as it ages.   We can't prove that, but the older infusion is aromatically more powerful than the fresh one.   Contrary to his statement above, my friend used a 2.5:1 ratio this time. More resin, less carrier,  sheer bliss!

This is the Frankincense spoken of in holy scriptures, the Frankincense of the Bible. Not the distilled essential oil, that I love, but the infused oil.

We are hoping that we will go through this whole "production" very quickly. My friend has invested in more resin, based on my enthusiasm.

We have asked our favorite analyst if it is possible to analyze these oils to find the "nonvolatile" components, the Incensole Acetate, found in the CO2 extract, but not the Essential oil, and the Boswellic Acid, so often cited in research studies, but not found in either Essential Oil or CO2.  It is, however, extracted in an oil infusion. It's possible, but extremely costly.  Perhaps next time?

The infused Sacra is, to my understanding, high in ß-caryophyllene. It also contains Incensole acetate and Boswellic acid, although at, I understand, a lower level than the Indian Serrata.  It is lovely, and smells like the soul of Frankicense sacra. Unmistakeably sacra, and wonderful.

The infused Serrata, on the other hand, is much higher in Boswellic Acid,  and contains little or no Incensole acetate.

Aromatically... if you love our Frankincense Sacra essential oil when we have it in stock, you are going to fall in love with this infusion.   It smells like the best Frankincense Essential Oil you have ever imagined.     The Serrata is softer, and aromatically much more appealing than the essential oil from the same resin.  (The Serrata is our artisan's favorite, he describes it as"lacking any citrusy, floral notes ...more black pepper/cypress notes in it, and some "animalic"notes too.)

It is a perfume strength oil, my friends, a little goes a long long way.  I am using it full strength to dab on some "skin things" that I would like to have gone. Results to come.  If you want to use it as an all over body oil, PLEASE dilute it way down.   

Use it as a base for perfume, it lasts wonderfully well on the skin.  Touch a drop to your third eye when meditating.    Rub some into a sore muscle.  Add a bit to your favorite skincare serum.  Thicken some with beeswax for a healing balm.  (Not a lip balm, it does not taste good!)

Enjoy.  I hope you will be as intrigued by this story, and fall in love with these infusions just like we did!

You may read more about, and order, this lovely Serrata here. 

More information on the Sacra infusion that started this journey is here.

Friday, March 24, 2017

Emotional Trauma

Serenidipity. Sometimes there is a need, and we have JUST the perfect thing.  Although we wish we had not had to.

Roberta is one of our staffers in Production.  On Monday night, in her apartment parking lot she was robbed at gunpoint.  The story is here. She was thrown to the ground, badly bruised, and, of course,
traumatized.  We could help her with the physical bruising (She says "That's Better is another miracle blend.") but she didn't share the emotional toll until Wednesday afternoon.  Since the incident, she had been afraid to shut the light off at night.  She said she could not sleep, because whenever she closed her eyes, she saw the man's face.  When she did doze off, her sleep was ruined with nightmares.

And I remembered a blend we had decided not to present.

Some of you know we have been working on blends to present for a pilot Aromatherapy program at our local Alive Hospice.  Their second priority that they would like to address with Aromatherapy is Agitation/Anxiety.

Every blend must have published clinical research to support each ingredient, so I've been spending a lot of time combing various databases.  We had designed one blend that I knew would be effective. The research was there, the personal and anecdotal experience was there.  Jim and I blended it.  We didn't LIKE it.  We tweaked it. We added more of this.  We added more of that.  I was bound and determined to stay with the original four oils selected.  We tweaked some more. Finally we had decided to give it up, not to present it. We did NOT like it, and I can NOT be enthusiastic about an oil or blend that I dislike.

We put it aside and decided on an alternate for our Hospice pilot program, one that the Hospice staff is already familiar with and enjoyed.

What I didn't like in this blend is the aroma of Angelica Root. Even at only 1/30th of the entire blend (one ml out of 30) it overwhelmed the other anti-anxiety oils.  But I knew this was exactly what Roberta needed.  You see, Angelica is cited in some research studies as an effective anti-anxiety agent, but I have been taught that it works by "shutting down" the emotions; actually preventing you from "feeling your feelings."  Normally, this is not a healthy reaction, but sometimes it is exactly what is needed, at least for a short period.   At any rate,  I gave Roberta a bit of this blend to see if she liked it. She didn't LIKE it, but she said,yes, I could use this.   During the day, she frequently sniffed a drop on a tissue. (We have to make her an inhaler!)  She said "She felt like something was just draining out of her, being removed."

Wednesday night, when she got ready to go bed, she brought the blend with her, again, on a tissue. Several deep inhalations,  and tucked the tissue inside her pillow case.  For the first time since the robbery, she shut off her bedroom light, and closed her eyes. She says the next thing she remembers is her alarm going off, and she had no idea what that noise was.  (Now, after no sleep for two nights, we know that she was exhausted, but the blend calmed her terrors so her body could sleep.)

We don't plan on offering this blend in our product line. We really don't care much for it.  But if you, or someone dear to you, is suffering from severe emotional trauma, with the symptoms that Roberta described, the blend might help.

I am giving the measurements in "parts."  We blended by the ml, but thirty mls is one full ounce, a tremendous amount for one person.  I would recommend blending by the drop for personal use.

Emotional Trauma Blend.   © 2017 M. G. Clark

16 Petigrain 
8 Nerolina  
5 Sweet orange
1 Angelica Root.    

Do NOT omit the Angelica Root.  Yes.  It's expensive.  You may not like it. but it is the secret of this synergistic blend.

I hope you will never need this.   but if you do... here it is.

Post script, Friday morning:  When I was double checking with Roberta to make very sure she was comfortable with our sharing her story, she said, "I forgot to tell you. Monday night the policemen suggested I take some Ibuprofen for my knee, and I did. (Marge's note, it was swollen larger than a softball.) Since then I've not needed to take anything,  Trauma Oil and Kunzea, and That's Better have eased the pain and the swelling is gone."  More evidence of the physical, as well as emotional, effects of the oils.

And by today, Friday, she is no longer inhaling the blend during the day.  It's just a bit too relaxing when she needs to stay focused.  Time to switch her to our Reunité synergy.