Saturday, May 30, 2009

Molluscum contagiosum and Lemon Myrtle Oil

Molluscum contagiosum is a viral skin infection causing wart like lesions on the skin. Most forms primarily infect children, although there is one form that is sexually transmitted and affects adults. It is passed by direct contact. See WebMD for more information.

Allopathic treatment seems to be limited to either freezing the lesions off, removal by laser, or the use of certain chemicals. These options all leave the possibility of scarring, and none kill the virus.

Unfortunately, there has been one widely publicized study showing that a 10% dilution of Lemon Myrtle Essential Oil (Backhousia citriodora) has been effective in treating the lesions. I was unaware of this study until a client called sourcing the oil, for this use on his two year old.
I urged him NOT to use it, because Lemon Myrtle is such a strong skin irritant. However he quoted the study, and went blythely on his way using it on his toddler. (I've not heard back from him, and would like to.)

I contacted Dennis Archer, the grower/distiller of the first organic Lemon Myrtle plantation in Australia, and author of the reference book by the same name.

His response to my query:
"10% Bac Cit...when I read that, I nearly fell off my chair...seems like a recipe for disaster to me...and criminal to boot...research wasn't paid for by an EO producer, by any chance? If you would forward the link, I'd be
appreciative...I suspect it would be VERY irritating, and the odds on
becoming sensitised would be enormous."

In my opinion, NO ONE knows more about the practical applications and appropriate use of Lemon Myrtle Oil, and when Dennis says it's dangerous. It IS!

(An aside...many of the sources that quote the study using Lemon Myrtle oil in a 10% dilution also note that at even a 1% dilution, Backhousia citriodora can irritate the skin.)

There are other essential oils that also have powerful anti-viral effects that should prove helpful, without the pain and irritation that treatment with Lemon Myrtle oil is bound to cause. Studies indicate that Tea Tree oil is also effective, although not as rapidly as the Lemon Myrtle Oil.

My first choice would be (for a very young child) Ravintsara Essential oil Cinnamomum camphora ct Cineole, with its high content of 1.8 Cineole. For an adult I might go with Ravensara Aromatica. Perhaps the addition of Niaouli (Melaleuca quinquenervia) for both its anti-viral and its immunostimulant effects would also be appropriate.

For a carrier, I would choose a blend of Calophyllum inophyllum (Foraha, or Tamanu), perhaps with some Rose Hip Seed oil added.

Molluscum contagiosum is one of several "enveloped viruses"... a category that also included the various forms of herpes. The exact mechanism of how essential oils work to counteract these viruses is incertain, but the oils are believed to interact with the viral envelope. For this reason, it appears logical to assume that the oils and combinations proven effective against herpes and shingles should also be effective against Molluscum contagiosum.

Friday, May 29, 2009

One Hospital at a Time

We are all so excited at a friend's good news we can't stand it, and I have to blog about it!

Because some official decisions have not been made yet, and official announcements not been announced, we are having to keep our friend's name and location a secret for now.

But... in a hospital somewhere WAY north of middle Tennessee there is a Nurse-Aromatherapist who currently is director of an Urgent Care Unit. Now, this is a big job. And one where she is encouraged to use her aromatherapy skills and gifts and training. But...not the ideal location for their best use.

Our friend just called us. Her hospital is opening a... what to call it... a complimentary care center? a holistic health center? A place where people can be treated without the use of prescription drugs, if desired. And our friend is going to be in charge! (When she called, she called it "the Aroma Center." Somehow I don't think that name will stick.)

She's already talking about design, and what services they will be able to offer, and what products. (Of course we're excited about the "what products"...we're only human!)

This is the friend who first sparked the idea of our MERCY line of products, and did the lab testing to find the correct blends and dilutions to ensure effectiveness against MRSA infections.

We owe her so much...and are just so delighted with this new door that is opening for her.Seeing another hospital opening a holistic, or complimentary, or alternative center (no matter what you choose to call it!) delights us, as well.

Takes the bad taste out of my mouth from the book I was reading that "proves" complimentary medicine is just a waste of time and effort.

Tuesday, May 26, 2009

Myrtle Oil for Candida?

Was browsing an issue of The International Journal of Essential Oil Therapeutics, and came across a study on the in vitro use of the essential oil of Myrtus Communis (Myrtle) against Candida albicans.

The article states that Candida albicans is the most frequently isolated human fungal pathogen. This is becoming even more of a problem since drug resistant strains are emerging, resistant to the most commonly used anti-fungal drugs.

Twelve different strains of Candida were tested, the majority of the strains were resistant to Fluconazole (the test medication.) Myrtle Essential Oil showed clear activity against all strains, including the drug resistant strains.

Granted, these are tests on laboratory cultures, in petri dishes. But if I were battling Candida, I would certainly be tempted to try a weak dilution of Myrtle oil, rather than the more usually recommended Tea Tree Oil.

Odd...I've always used and recommended Myrtle Oil for respiratory problems, it's a wonderfully gentle oil for treating bronchial problems in children or the elderly. I've never used it as an anti-fungal however. Time to rewrite our online description!

Sunday, May 24, 2009

Ginger to treat Chemo induced Nausea

My friend Cindy Jones, at SageScript, just posted a piece of research proving what many of us already know, that Ginger helps to prevent nausea.

Sagescript Institute & Colorado Aromatics: Ginger helps prevent nausea due to chemotherapy

Now, the research cited indicates internal use of the spice, either in capsules, or other forms.

We've seen a study indicating that ginger essential oil, by inhalation, is more effective than the standard prescription meds in dealing with post surgical nausea, and innumerable case studies indicating that Ginger Oil, by inhalation, is effective for the morning sickness that often accompanies early pregnancy. (Another useful anti-nausea essential oil is Red Mandarine, by the way, the the two together smell a cup of Mandarine Spice tea!)

A Memorial Day Thank You

Just listened to a country song...I forget the singer... "All gave some; Some gave all.

And I got to thinking of the friends and loved ones who gave so much of themselves in defense of our freedom.

Back in the late '60's and early 70's I was as opposed to the war in VietNam as any other child of the '60s. Which put me in a rather difficult position, because at that time I was an Army Officer's wife. We were among the blessed; my then husband and my older brother both came home safely. But I have a dear friend whose name is on that wall in Washington.

And today my country is involved in another war that I think is...not a conflict we should be fighting.

But I am reminded of all the young (and not so young) men and women who are putting themselves at risk to defend our freedom. And whether we agree with the reasons they are there or not doesn't seem to matter. They are young'uns... most of them a decade or two younger than my own children. And they have parents and children and friends and lovers here worried about them.

On this Memorial Day weekend, I want to thank all of my friends who have served in the Armed Forces... and pray that those who serve today will be kept safe, to come home safely to those who love and miss them.

I don't think I've ever written a "political" post here... first because, of course, no matter what we say about our personal beliefs, someone might get angry, and Nature's Gift could lose their business.... and, more important, because my political beliefs are a private thing, and have nothing to do with what we do here.

But... it feels very appropriate to say thank you this Memorial Day eve.

Thursday, May 21, 2009

A Good Night's Sleep

Came across an article in the BBC News Magazine about "how to get a good night's sleep." It was a delightful read...but they really should have included some of the Aromatherapy remedies for Insomnia.

First of course, is the classic...Lavender... either Lavendula angustifolis, or Lavandin Super (said by some to be even more relaxing than true Lavender.)

Other relaxants include Mandarine Oil (Kristen Leigh Bell says that Green Mandarine is the oil of choice for insomnia,), Sweet Marjoram, Roman Chamomile. And, of course, there is our SleepEase Synergy, a delightfully light blend of several of the above.

They should have added aromatherapy to their list of suggestions!

Tuesday, May 19, 2009

How NEAT - interview

WE Magazine for Women has been doing a series of interviews with women who are entrepeneurs, in honor of Small Business Week.

And Heidi chose me as one of the "interviewees"

You may read the interview here.

Post Shingles Neuropathy

Just came across a research study that fascinates me. Geranium essential oil shown effective for relief of "postherpetic pain."

We have had numerous reports of success using Ravensara, diluted in Calophyllum inophyllum, to treat Shingles outbreaks. It seems to relieve both the pain and inflammation really quickly. But with Shingles, as with some other herpes conditions, the pain can come back later, with no sign of an outbreak. "Post Shingles Neuropathy." It would appear that the virus causing the original outbreak persists in the root of the nerve at the site of the initial outbreak.

Over the years various clients have emailed about blends they have used to treat Post Shingles Neuropathy, with varying degrees of success. Many blends featured the use of Helichrysum italicuum, our favorite oil for use in nerve pain. Prescription medications may ease the pain but seem to take an extended period of time to be effective.

One of my mentors recently sent me a copy of a research study, published in the American Journal of Medicine in 2003 indicating that Geranium Oil (Pelargonium graveolens) was extremely effective in easing the pain of post-herbetic (post shingles) neuropathy. The essential oil was diluted in mineral oil, and applied at different dilutions, from 10% to neat, or undiluted.

The study indicates that the pain relief from the use of Geranium Oil is effective in a matter of minutes. The speed of pain relief seemed to be a function of the strength of the dilution; with undiluted geranium oil appearing to give the most rapid pain relief. The authors of the study did mention some side effects of the use of the neat oil, and, as always, we would recommend diluting it. For this specific application we would recommend diluting the essential oil in a much stronger than "normal" dilution, perhaps 25% or even up to 50% in extreme cases, if well tolerated.

Monday, May 11, 2009

Following your Passion

Some folks here know my personal story, how years ago I was disabled, and told that I'd never work again. And how that frightening news gave me the greatest gifts...time to study and learn more about my passion - the healing oils that I had been "playing with." And from that abrupt derailing of my life grew Nature's Gift.

I am one of the truly blessed - those who have been gifted with the ability to do what we love.

My middle son seems to be in the midst of receiving that same gift. For years David has run a thriving Lawn Maintenance company. But his passion has always been fishing.

I remember when he and his brother were in elementary school, his father taking the family fishing - and David being the only one to catch anything. (Didn't please his father one bit!)

Years ago David bought a houseboat at a lake outside of Nashville... Dale Hollow Lake. And another boat... and started to learn the secrets of catching REALLY big fish up there.

This past week, Dale Hollow Trophy Trollers website went live. He's started guiding other would be fishermen who want to catch "trophy fish"

I don't truly understand my son's passion. For me, the reason to get up early and go out on the lake is to enjoy the peace and beauty of the surroundings. But the sight of my son following his dream, his passion, fills me with joy.

Sunday, May 10, 2009

Being a Mother

My friend Lyn in Canada sent me this, and I wanted to share it with all the women I love...including my daughters in law, and the other grandmothers in my grandkids lives.

Happy Mother's Day all of you!

Thursday, May 7, 2009

Ouch Ouch Ouch

Our friend Sharon, from Bellevue TN, emailed me this morning:

I wanted to let you know about my experience last night with the sunburn soother.

I bought it to have for my soon-to-be step-grandchild, Missy.

Last night I was baking some cinammon rolls. I went to heat up the icing in the micowave, so it would be easier to use. I went to pick it up after heating and it spilled over two of the fingers and a bit on my palm.

(my comment .... OOOUUUUUUUUUCH!!!)

I rushed it under cold water and then, went to my medicine cabinet to get the sunburn soother. I rubbed it all over and then went about my business. It was stinging a bit, but I was busy so I didn't notice much.

Before I went to bed, I did notice it wasn't really hurting, but it was a bit pink. I put a bit more on for good measure. When I woke up this morning, I looked and there wasn't anything there and no pain. This was surely a second degree burn as the icing was bubbling. It is truly for more than sunburn. I am sure glad I picked one up. BTW, Missy says it smells really good!

Sharon, thank you so much for letting us share that!!!

Saturday, May 2, 2009

Week NINE winners

I'm in process of emailing the winners, to see which type of inhaler they would choose...

The winners from last week's contest are:

From The Essential Herbal Blogspot witchturtle at
From the Garden Chick Misusedinnocence at
From Sunrose fillynn at junodotcom (I think "filly" was one of our winners earlier on in the contest.)
From the Labyrinth Lori B
From Patti's Potions danelle_27 at
From PrairieLand Herbs heavenlyacres at - Krista
From The Rosemary House:  LaTeaDah (who wants a Sinus Inhaler)
From Nature's Gift: catherine fogarty at (who wants Citrus Smile)
From Torchsong: lauren luttrell at
and, last but not least, the winner of my book, is the winner at Aquarium Bath - n f m girl at gmail.

Thanks everyone for your participation!