Wednesday, May 26, 2010

Memorial Weekend

We've been busy playing catch up at Nature's Gift, recovering from the devastation of the flood, trying to create some order out of chaos. And I almost forgot that Memorial Day was coming.

But we want to pause in memory of those who have given all, and those who are at risk today.

A friend's son, Robby Fort, posted his tribute for Memorial Day weekend on YouTube, in honor of those who serve.   We thought you might enjoy it.

Tuesday, May 11, 2010

Dr. Oz Strikes Again

I guess we should be grateful to Dr. Oz for bringing essential oils to his audience. But the level of misinformation he gives out is appalling.

Three oils are featured in the above clip.

Manuka  (leptospermon scoparium)... he demonstrates its NEAT use...slathered all over a woman's calf, to treat cuts, bruises, irritated skin.  Well...I hope I've written enough about the dangers of using undiluted essential oils on broken skin that you all know better than that.  He also stated that Manuka is related to Tea Tree, and that Captain Cook brought Manuka back to Europe after his voyages.  Well, Tea tree is a melaleuca, not a leptospermon, and while Captain Cook may have brought the leaves back, he certainly did not learn about the essential oil from the New Zealand natives.

Lavender, for stress relief. We'll let that pass, although he did comment that it helped the libido.  Have never heard of lavender as an aphrodisiac, but we won't quibble.

Peppermint, for indigestion, and for IBS.  For indigestion, yes.  For IBS?  Sorry, but the research done on peppermint oil for irritable bowel system stresses the use of enteric coated capsules so that the peppermint oil will not affect the stomach but will pass directly through to the bowel before the capsule is dissolved. Hard to see how Peppermint oil in water could reach the bowel prior to the stomach acting on it.

I guess one out of three isn't bad.   Dr. Oz has such a huge audience who take his every word for gospel truth.  We appreciate his enthusiasm, but would really appreciate a bit of accuracy.

Monday, May 10, 2010

New oils.... ohboyohboyohboy

My friend Laraine Kyle knows of our search for Pinion Pine essential oil to make available to you all.  Two weeks ago she emailed me about a distiller she had talked to from the mountains of Northern Utah. She said she hadn't met him yet, nor sampled his oils, but she was impressed after talking to him. Of course I emailed immediately.

Today the samples arrived.  Pinion Pine essential oil... clear and free and... absolutely wonderful.  White Fir...Abies concolor... clean, the scent of the deep woods.  Sagebrush... Artemesia tridentata.  I wish you could have seen T and I... I think we both got high just off the scent strips. We are both in love with the two conifers. The Sagebrush was a surprise, much deeper and more earthy than the Owyhee we offer, and I'm not sure yet whether or not I like it. After all, I'm a Yankee lady, and don't know what the scent of sagebrush is.  But I suspect our western friends will love it; and know that for ritual work it will be wonderful. Powerfully cleansing.  (Laraine suggests that it might be helpful in treating parasites, as well.)

These amazing oils are from trees gathered high in the Utah mountains, near Grand Staircase National Monument and Bryce Canyon.  The trees have either fallen naturally, or are scheduled for cutting for firebreaks or other conservation.   The distiller does not use power tools in gathering the branches for his still; hand saws, not chain saws, no power chipper ... just man power. Nothing to disturb the pristine environment where they grow.

Supplies of these rare and precious oils are quite limited. We will bring in all that he is willing to ship us to make available for you.  (The White Fir bows are not even wildcrafted; they are distilled from recycled Christmas Trees.)  The Balsam Fir has always been "my" Christmas scent, since it is the Christmas tree of my Boston childhood. I think those born and raised in the Rockies may find this crystal clear White Fir oil the scent of Christmas past.

We are also bringing in supplies of the hydrosols, for emotional and ritual work.  We can't wait for their arrival to make them available to you.  Watch for the announcement in our newsletter and on our Facebook page.  

We hope you will love them as much as we do!  I'm diffusing a tiny bit in my workroom even as I type.  The final touch to clear the lingering aromas from the recent flood, restoring both the air in this room, and my spirit as I type.

Tuesday, May 4, 2010

Flooding Devastation in Nashville, How You Can Help

By Christi for Nature's Gift Staff

We are all still in shock at the images & events we’ve seen unfolding over the past several days as flood waters overtook our beloved city of Nashville, surrounding counties, & other parts of the state. This historic flooding is extremely saddening & unprecedented for our area—basically we received an entire summer’s worth of rain (13-18 inches) in about a 36 hour time frame catching everyone off guard & leaving motorists & home owners trapped & stranded.

Over fifty counties in Tennessee have been declared disaster areas & Nashville itself had to declare a state of emergency after torrential rains drove the Cumberland River to more than 50 feet & over its banks, while area rivers & creeks rose over and/or into homes, businesses, & iconic Nashville landmarks such as the Grand Ole Opry House, the Country Music Hall of Fame, Opryland Hotel, & the TN Titans Stadium. The death toll continues to rise as the flood waters begin to subside. So far 10 deaths have been confirmed in Nashville with the number nearing 20 statewide.

Nature’s Gift closed on Monday after our Mayor asked us not to travel so emergency workers could continue their heroic rescue efforts. So many roads were closed in & around Nashville (many remain closed) that it was total gridlock. Even parts of the interstate system were submerged in water making travel to & from Middle Tennessee via car virtually impossible. Honestly, we needed the day off to try & absorb what is happening all around us & try to figure out what we could do to help our neighbors.

The good news for our immediate Nature’s Gift family is that none of our staff suffered any major loss of home or family. Marge has a bit of water to clean up in her family room & carpet to be replaced & a new house guest evacuated from a flooded apartment. T had a scare Saturday night when flood waters covered her front yard. Sharon’s neighborhood of Bellevue is still engulfed in several feet of water but luckily she sustained no damage to her home. Yorleny, Jim, & I had no real damage to speak of at our houses. As Jim said to me this morning, a real feat considering how spread out we all live across the Nashville area. We are all counting our blessings & filled with gratitude.

The President has said he will authorize FEMA funds for Nashville, which will allow the state & local government to access funds needed for our massive clean up & rebuilding projects. However, there are many families in need the majority without flood insurance who still need help, hundreds possibly thousands, whose homes have been devastated & escaped with only the clothes they were wearing when rescued. There is a tremendous need particularly in the interim for things like medicines, clothing, & transportation.

We have chosen to give to & make our Charity of the Quarter this quarter, the Community Foundation of Middle Tennessee’s Tennessee Emergency Response Fund for Flood Relief. The emergency management agencies have endorsed this reputable nonprofit & I know they are responsible & will use the funds wisely & direct help to those individuals in most need.

We will have a link set up on our site for donations in the next day or so making it easy for you to donate anywhere from a dollar or more when you place an order. In the meantime you may donate directly. We never dreamed when our hearts were going out to Haiti in January, that our hometown of Nashville would be experiencing such devastation just a few months later.