Monday, August 31, 2009

Another Freebie from The Essential Herbal

Tina, at The Essential Herbal Magazine has done it again. She's offering another free download of an older copy of the magazine - this time the Winter 2007 edition.

Download your free copy (in PDF format) here:

Yes, the link says 2008... I didn't name the file! The cover says Jan-Feb 2007, and am I going to argue with the cover? All sorts of neat information about a lot of herbal subjects, including uses for Lemon Balm (the herb from which our Melissa essential oil and hydrosol are distilled), dealing with Seasonal Affective Disorder, "Love Potions" in time for Valentine's Day. The magazine has grown a lot over the past 2 1/2 years, but the early versions have a lot to offer. And the price is most definitely right.

Thanks, Tina!

Saturday, August 29, 2009

More on maintaining wellness

We have decided to repost a case study that fascinated me. This has, to my knowledge, never been published, so it is strictly "anecdotal evidence".

One of our nurses conducted an experiment in her child's elementary school.

Aloe vera gel, with 5% Ravensara or Ravintsara (we are not certain which oil was used.) For younger children I would most definitely choose the milder Ravintsara.

Three times a day, as the children entered the classroom, when lining up for lunch, and when lining up for the school bus, each child received a squirt of the above mixture as "hand lotion" to be rubbed into their hands.

The result of the experiment?

Throughout the school year, absenteeism in that one classroom was dramatically lower than that of the school as a whole. Brothers and sisters were ill and absent, the children using the Aloe blend were not.

I am going to be seeing my Indiana grandchildren over Labor Day, and plan to blend a BIG bottle of aloe and ravintsara for both families.

Please remember that the essential oils will not dissolve in Aloe Vera Gel the way they do in carrier oils. I plan to mix them really well, and give instructions that it must be shaken well before use. For 4 fl oz of Aloe Vera Gel, I plan to use a generous 6 mls of Ravintsara.

Thursday, August 20, 2009

Health Care Provider seeking guidance

this blog post has been removed per dictates from the FDA and FDC.

Thursday, August 13, 2009

A bad year for Lavender

Just heard back from my "French Connection"...the source of many of my Organic French essential oils. And the outlook for Lavendula angustifolia from France this year is bleak.

He wrote that the distillation hasn't started yet. The Lavandin has been harvested, but not yet distilled. The true Lavender will be harvested in September.

Of the new harvests he writes:

"-wild lavender: catastrophic year: new strange diseases are decimating specially low altitude lavender, we will have no low altitude
(700-1200 m at all this year)." This was the Lavender Fine which we offered a few months ago. I only bought a little bit, and it sold out in no time. I had planned to order perhaps 10 kilos, it was a lovely, relatively inexpensive oil.

"-high altitude (more than 1400 m): we will have only a very limited amount this year, with higher prices"

"The lavandula latifolia is not yet harvested, but I already asked to keep me a lot, it is not affected at all from diseases."

It appears that the organic cloned crops, the Mailette and Matheronne, have not been affected by this new disease. One would expect more hardiness in the wild crops than the cloned, so this is truly a mystery.

Tuesday, August 11, 2009

A Sobering Reminder About the Safe & Effective Use of Oils

A Reminder Why Nature’s Gift Continually Promotes the Safe & Effective Use of Essential Oils, by Christi

A news story making the rounds in the UK this week recounts an essential oil tragedy barely averted. According to reports a midwife lost her job after allegedly giving a blend of sweet almond, lavender, & lime essential oils for a headache to a pregnant woman in the hospital, leaving her side with no instructions for usage. The woman then drank the oils, rather than massaging them into her temples, & was poisoned. Thankfully, her baby boy was delivered safely & she has now recovered. The midwife, who has a diploma in aromatherapy in the UK, was not as fortunate. The Nursing & Midwifery Council dismissed her for official misconduct, after concluding she was a risk to patients. The nurse apparently resigned before the hearing, which she did not attend.

While we do offer some products for pregnant mothers & aromatic birthing, we also provide warnings & helpful information regarding using essential oils during pregnancy.

At Nature’s Gift, Marge continually bangs the drum for the “safe & effective” use of essential oils in aromatherapy, not only on the website & in the newsletter, but through various forms of communication within the industry. At times she has been attacked for erring on the side of caution or challenged when recommending diluting oils for use on skin. Thankfully, as an author & aromatherapy expert, she takes her responsibilities very seriously & has never watered down her message concerning safe & effective use of the oils.

This story out of the UK serves to remind us of what we know or should know if we are regularly using essential oils on ourselves or on others as healers. It is very simple. Essential oils are powerful & potent & should be respected. Less is always more when it comes to using essential oils & as a proponent of aromatherapy healing, promoting the safe & effective use of the oils always starts with me.

Tuesday, August 4, 2009

Suggestions for Marge's Trip Westward

From Christi:

Marge is preparing for an August road trip out West & has asked me for suggestions since I've “done” the trip before & spent quite a bit of time in New Mexico. I've come up with just a few fun stops but we would love to hear from you if you have any further suggestions.

On the way, she is traveling through Missouri, Kansas, Colorado, and then back from New Mexico through Texas, Oklahoma, Arkansas, & our home state of Tennessee.

She wants to stop at the Arch in St. Louis. I also suggested Our Lady of the Snows in Belleville, IL, just outside of St. Louis & of course the incredible St. Louis Zoo. Ted Drewes frozen custard is an important ritual, as well. I've never done anything very exciting in Kansas, I'm afraid to report. Mostly hotels & chain restaurants, so ideas for Marge are very welcomed.

In Colorado, Denver is fabulous & I love the Denver Art Museum. Traveling south a stop in Durango might be nice & then a quick dip in the mineral springs of Pagosa Springs, a quaint little mountain town. She'll reach the Continental Divide heading toward New Mexico & hopefully stop to take a photo at the sign. Colorado is absolutely breathtaking.

Northern New Mexico boasts Abiqui's Ghost Ranch, a spiritual retreat & the former home of famed artist Georgia O'Keeffe. The stark landscape of this mountainous desert region is awe inspiring. From Ghost Ranch a trip over to Ojo Caliente Mineral Springs Resort & Spa is worth the drive to this remote spot, truly an oasis in the desert. Taos is filled with incredible art galleries, the Kit Carson home, & possible Julia Roberts or other celebrity sightings at any host of wonderful eateries. (I like the fresh trout at the Historic Taos Inn.) You truly feel like you are in the real “West” in Taos. From Taos to Santa Fe a must-stop is the Sanctuary at Chimayo, a holy site over 300,000 pilgrims visit every year. It is one of the most magical & sacred places I have ever encountered. Today Chimayo is also known for its famous weavings, art, & artisan wares, as well as fabulous New Mexican cuisine at Rancho de Chimayo (closed for renovations, darn it!) or Leona's Restaurante de Chimayo. Leona's cooking is so popular, you can now purchase her famous tamales in some stores in the region. Next, on to Santa Fe for spa relaxation, rejuvenation, & sight-seeing around the Plaza including free walking tours, opportunities to purchase artisan jewelry on the square, the O'Keeffe Museum. If you want to take a day trip from Santa Fe about 20 miles northeast to Pecos, the Pecos Ruins are part of the National Historic Park system boasting the Cicuye Village a quadrangular pueblo, believed to have been home to more than 2000 aborigines. Just down the road in Pecos is Our Lady of Guadalupe (Benedictine Monastery) home to both monks & nuns as part of a double monastic community. Visitors are welcome for daily mass & prayer services in their chapel or to walk their massive grounds along the Pecos River. Can you tell I love New Mexico?

Headed back through the northernmost tip of Texas, Palo Duro Canyon is a site to behold. Called the “Little Grand Canyon,” this magnificent landscape just suddenly appears out of nowhere as you travel about 20 miles off the interstate. You feel as if you have been transported back in time, envisioning dinosaurs, along with invading Spaniards. (not at the same time!)

Oklahoma City's National Memorial Site & Museum is said to be an incredibly moving experience. The William J. Clinton Presidential Center & Park is in the River Market area of downtown Little Rock, Arkansas. That might not be Marge's cup of tea but I thought I would at least mention it.

Feel free to share your thoughts or ideas, as I have rambled on way too long for a blog post. Cheers, Christi.

Saturday, August 1, 2009

FOCUS Synergy: an anecdote

My friend JoAnn is a tech at the St. Thomas Heart Institute here in Nashville. If you have to have a treadmill test done, odds are this blond woman with the huge smile will be the tech encouraging you through the test.

JoAnn has never been certified for her position. She knows her job, and is excellent at it, but is extremely "test phobic." She's taken the certification exam several times, and always failed it.

Recently the hospital decreed that all techs must be certified. She was in a state of panic, because failing the test again meant losing her job.

She was studying hard, as she always had. But frightened that, once again, she'd not be able to access her knowledge and experience when the testing day came.

I made some suggestions. That instead of studying late into the night, she try getting up early to study. And that she use my aromastone diffuser, and diffuse our Focus Synergy (a blend of essential oils each tested and shown to improve mental focus, alertness, and memory/recall) while studying the most challenging material.

She did this. Last Saturday, on the day of the exam, we tucked a tissue with Focus on it inside her bra. (I was going to have her wear one of our amulets with the blend in it, but no jewelry is allowed in the testing area.)

She came home floating on cloud nine! Passing score on the exam was 650. Her score? 764 out of 800!

Was it the Focus? Was it her hard work (although she had studied hard for the other exams)? Was it the praying we did the morning of the exam? I don't know. Perhaps all of the above.

But Focus helped!