Wednesday, September 30, 2009

Kaposi's Sarcoma

We recently received some email that seemed too important to keep to ourselves. The essential oils seem to have helped with the lesions caused by Kaposi's Sarcoma!

Brian, from Oregon recently wrote:

> hello marge and thank you for all you do! i have enjoyed the oils
> and aerosols that i have ordered from you-they work! i wanted to
> ask you a question before i place my next order. i have been
> layering ravensara and Tamanu on old karposi's sarcoma lesions and they have been
> slowly going away. lately, after going off my antivirals (hiv)
> med's for a few months, i developed an additional 3 lesions on my
> leg. once i realized just what they were, they were gone after
> about a week using the oils-thank you! however, i am concerned that
> there may be lesions forming internally on organs (lungs, kidneys,
> roof of mouth, etc.) that i am not aware of. is it possible to use
> these oils internally by placing in capsules? i realize that you
> cannot give advise on what i should do, but if this were happening
> in your body, what would your course of action be?

First, Brian... THANK you for sharing your success with the lesions... that is
a use I have NOT heard of, and wouldn't have dared suggest. Could I have your permission to share your results in our newsletter, or blog, or somewhere? This is IMPORTANT news! (and Brian later wrote giving permission, of course, or you would not be reading this.)

second... no, I would NOT take them internally. Internal use of the oils puts your liver at risk for severe damage, and I don't think it would be worth it. I want to remind you that the MOST effective "internal" method with the EO's remains inhalation. Esp. for problems in the lungs, but they also pass both the /blood/brain barrier and are excreted thru the digestive system. This wouldn't work with the calophyllum, but with the eo's. I would use the ravensara by inhalation for possible internal lesions, and perhaps add an antifungal essential oil.. tea tree, or eucalyptus citriodora???
I am TRULY not qualified to consult on this and wouldn't dream of requesting payment...I am just delighted that you are having some success... Hope some of this is helpful!!! PLEASE keep me posted, and please allow me to share this publicly...others may learn from your experiences.

> after looking at my blood for the past 2 years through live blood
> microscopy, my healer and i have realized some startling patterns.
> it seems that the virus is enhanced by the presence of a
> pleomorphic fungus (this could be the one being sprayed through the
> federal "aerosols project"-chemtrails). in the last installment of
>, (the last week of august of this year), the good
> doctor described this fungus as having the ability to produce red
> blood cells, thus indicating that the fungus has been visiting bone
> marrow i guess. indeed, at my sickest a few months ago, my blood
> was a continuous matrix of this mutating fungus. i have had good
> luck with chlorine dioxide (MMS) in eliminating it, but this is
> difficult to take for long periods of time. are there oils or
> otherwise that is good at eliminating fungus? if this were
> happening in your body, what course of action would you take?

(It may not be clear from the 'order' of the correspondence, but if it were MY body, I would use the Ravensara (or Ravintsara!) by inhalation, and add some anti-fungal essential oils.)

There are times that we are strongly reminded that what we do, at Nature's Gift, can make wonderful differences in someone's quality of life, or well-being. This email exchange was one of those times, and I thank Brian for letting us share his experience.

Wednesday, September 23, 2009

A Colorado Mystery - and Serendipity

Having accepted the fact that the mountaintops were closed to us, we headed south, toward the Great Sand Dunes national park. Along the way the road hugged the mountainside, and looked down at the Arkansas river, across it to the single line railroad track hugging the foot of another mountain. And we saw again a site that had puzzled us. Thousands of freight cars...parked and abandoned. This time we checked the length of the 'train'... 3.7 miles! Three and a half miles of abandoned freight cars. They appear to have been there for years. Why? A Colorado mystery!

On the way south, my new friend Laraine Kyle called. "Are you on 285?" "Heading that way." "Well, you might want to detour to Krestone; it's a lovely spiritual community you might enjoy seeing." Having no time pressure, we decided to. Then she called back. "I have a friend who does some artisan distilling, perhaps you'd like to meet with him?" And she was kind enough to place some phone calls and send some emails. (Mind you, we had cell phone service perhaps five minutes out of each hour...she caught us during the "active" times.) As we made the turn to Krestone, the cell rang again. "Marge, this is Peter May." And thus began an afternoon of sheer aromatic magic!

We were met by Frederick, Peter's associate. We discussed my quest for Pinon Pine Oil. Yes, indeed they distill it. No, they most definitely would not allow me to purchase any. But I could sample, the pinion, the ponderosa pine, the juniper wood that they distilled.

I have never encountered such reverence. both Frederick and Peter are volunteer fire fighters. Part of what they do involves clearing land, to form fire breaks, to protect the land. All the trees they distilled are sacrificed to save the land. They are not cut down or harvested to provide the oil, the oil is from trees that must be cut. Why would they not allow us to purchase and share their magical Pinon Oil? Because they use the oils they produce...and oils they purchase from others, to make set of amazingly powerful essences called "Stardrops"... blends for physical healing and chakra balancing, based on the essential oils, with the minerals from sea salt and specially charged water. Amazingly powerful essences.

A shot of my new friends outside their 85 gallon still.
We visited for the whole afternoon, sharing insights, experiences. They are just starting out in the business of marketing their products, and I got to share some of my experiences. I strongly advised them to attend, as vendors, the upcoming AIA conference in mi d October to share their essences. (And started rethinking my own decision not to attend!)
Several hours later we tore ourselves away, awed by the magic of this "chance encounter" and totally understanding why the northern mountains had been denied us. We were fated to be in Southern Colorado to meet these two amazing young men!

Monday, September 21, 2009

"Make God Laugh - tell Him your plans!"

Last night we left Boulder, headed to nearby Longmont, for a visit with a professional associate, to be followed by three days visiting Estes Park and Rocky Mountain National Park. Trail Ridge, the Continental Divide, our opportunity to see all the native creatures we've missed so far...Elk, Mountain sheep and goats, lions and tigers and bears, oh my!

After a short drive, and a night spent in a hotel that, in my opinion, deserves -1 star, we awoke to find that 4 or so inches of snow had fallen in the Rockies, the entrance to Rocky Mountain park was closed, all the higher mountain roads were closed by snow, it was gray and rainy in Longmont, and our plans were...not going to materialize. I am NOT fated to see the beauty of the mountain tops this year.

But we had scheduled a visit with Cindy Jones, of Sagescript. I got to know Cindy through various Cosmetics Chemistry lists. She is,among other things, a microbiologist who tests products for contamination. If you make homemade creams, lotions, and other products which are subject to contamination, Cindy can test samples for you, and tell you if they are, at least, starting off "clean"... She can also do challenge testing to see if your preservative system is effective. (Yes, I know many of my friends make and sell "natural" toiletries products. I have received some...that grew green nasties in no time at all. In my professional opinion, proper preservation is a requirement for any toiletries product you are selling.)
Cindy has shared her knowledge generously, and has tested some hydrosols for us. To the best of my knowledge she had a lab somewhere, and we were going to go see it. So much for my assumptions!

The directions took us on what should have been a 15 minute drive. (It took 45 minutes because we went in the wrong direction on the wrong road for a LONG long's been that sort of day.) We finally arrived...tired and grouchy and disheartened... in a corner of heaven!
Cindy's warm welcome was the first glimpse of sunlight on this gloomy day. This is the view from the back porch of Cindy's rambling farm house. Don't know if you can see the snow blanketing the mountains. We visited, drank tea, ate her son's chocolate chip cookies, talked about our respective businesses, and the challenges of raising teenagers, then went outside to visit her garden. She apologized, because this is only their second summer in this house... but there are rows and clumps of organic herbs everywhere I looked.

Clumps of deep orange Calendula, for infusing and distilling:

A clump of feathery Russian Sage

and rows of thriving Lavender plants...for hydrosols, dream pillows, all the uses of dried lavender.

Onward to the converted barn that forms her workshop. Past bottles and jars of dried herbs, infusions, drying herbs, boxes of handmade soap...(WHY didn't I take pictures of the soap!!!)...she gifted us both with bars of Rosemary/Eucalyptus/Shea which my traveling companion has claimed as his own. ;)

Bottles of lotions and creams, tiny purse sized hydrosols... I had forgotten Cindy's "other business"... Colorado Aromatics. She gifted me with a small bottle of her Rose Hydrosol, distilled from aromatic roses in her garden. I wasn't able to sample the bottles of lotion, waiting for labeling and slated for the Farmer's Market...they were Lavender, and I'm sensitized to Lavender.

At the back of the workshop, the Lab where Cindy tests both her own products, and those of her clients.

I am reminded that, online, we sometimes see only one dimension of a person. That we miss the fullness...all the other dimensions.
When we were finally able to tear ourselves away I told Cindy that she had totally turned around what started out as just a dreadful day. In the car heading south, my traveling companion and I discussed the two visits...the two wonderful women who had welcomed us into their homes and their lives...and agreed that even tho the trip to the mountains was a total bust, the trip north was so very much worth it!
This evening we are back in Canon City. There is much to be said for a hotel with *five* hot tubs!... and trying to decide where to head tomorrow. The local weather forecasts snow as far as the Colorado/New Mexico border. (We had hoped against hope that this front would move off, and we could head back north...but the weather is against us.)
"Each day a new adventure"....

Sunday's Visit

On Sunday we headed north, to Boulder, to visit someone I've not seen for probably 10 years. Laraine Kyle, cofounder and coprincipal, (with Valerie Cooksley) of the Institute of Integrative Aromatherapy, an AT course for health care professionals.

Every time in the past that I've met Laraine, she has been a presenter at a conference that I've attended as a "listener" I have always been in awe of her, and hesitated to ask if we could get together while we were in CO. She is just so knowledgeable in our field, and so very very busy, that I felt like I'd be bothering her. I thought, perhaps, we could get together for a cup of coffee, or lunch somewhere.

Instead, she opened her home to us, and we had the loveliest visit! There is no one in my local area who does what we do, so I never have time to "talk shop" with anyone except via email. We sat and caught up with news about friends and events for hours.

We sat on her lovely patio and talked and drank iced herb tea (Peppermint and Hibiscus...yummm!), then went into her office and played 'scratch and sniff' with her collection of oils.

I got to browse through her course material, and was TREMENDOUSLY impressed with the scope of education offered. (In fact, I wanted to buy a copy of the course material...but she couldn't let me ;(

We talked about suppliers, and courses, and oils and healing. It was wonderful! And if the visit and the tea and fruit weren't enough - she cooked us supper!

I had talked about the Pinion Pines that I'd fallen in love with...and she shared some resin...and treated us to a proper Japanese Incense ceremony, which I'd read about, but never experienced.

I'm reminded once again how, with just a few exceptions who shall remain anonymous, this industry of ours is filled with open, giving, loving spirits.

A bit more about Laraine.... in addition to co-authoring and teaching the course mentioned above, she was one of the original founders of NAHA (the National Association of Holistic Aromatherapy), one of the original authors of the Aromatherapy Registration Council standards and the earlier examinations; and one of the founders of the newer Alliance for International Aromatherapists, which latter association I have dragged my feet on joining... but finally did, Sunday evening. You can learn more about her, professionally, at her personal website. Nothing that I've read online, however, gives a sense of her humor, her humanity, and her warm and loving spirit.

We left Boulder Sunday evening feeling relaxed, rejuvenated and enthusiastically headed for Longmont and the Rockies, and a visit with a "friend I've not met yet."

More to come!

Train ride!

We spent a lazy weekend. On Saturday we were bound and determined to visit Royal Gorge...a thousand foot deep gorge in the mountains near Canon City, with the worlds highest suspension bridge...that people actually walk across. After our experience with Pike's Peak, neither one of us were up to walking across a 1000 foot high bridge, so we chose the easy way, a trainride through the bottom of the gorge. The old single line track parallels the Arkansas river...rafters and kyakers waved, and we waved back. The ride skirted wonderful vistas, this shot shows some "Miners Candle" - the upright plant - in the front. I'm told that the foliage is soft and 'furry'... natives and early settlers used it for baby diapers, toilet tissue, etc, and the tall spires were dipped in tallow or wax to light the way into the mines. Behind you see the ubiquitous Rabbit Brush, and, I think, a cottonwood tree.

YES, I'm glad we didn't try to cross that bridge!

Saturday, September 19, 2009

High Country Ramblings

30 years ago, my friend Michael lived in a small town called Buena Vista. He's talked about a magical place he called Buffalo Meadow for years, and promised to take me there some day. Friday, he did.

We set out down a road called "Four Mile" and turned on a dirt road, and another dirt road, and off onto a trail that made my little Blazer struggle. This high country space is located between the group of 14ers called "the Collegiates"...named for Ivy League colleges, and the 'back side' of Pikes Peak and its neighbors. Rolling hills, studded with boulders. The meadow is lowgrowing, golden and grey.
This is just some of what I saw:

The countryside is studded with rock formations that put The Garden of the Gods to shame.
The air is dry, and clear, and filled with the winey tang of Pinon Pine Resin. I wanted to bottle it, and am starting a quest for someone who distills this wonderful pine. I *need* this essential oil for my collection.The Pinons are lowgrowing, rounded, with short needles. Very different from the taller Scotch Pines that sometimes grow near them. Had I not wanted to capture the mountains in this picture below, and used the zoom, you could have seen more clearly the pinions, Scotch pine, and desert brush in this shot. But we needed the mountains.

What I thought was sagebrush, but later was told is "rabbitbrush" grows in clumps, adding varied shades of gold to the subtle coloring. The soft shades of this meadowland make the lush greenness of my Tennessee hills seem overblown and too ostentatious. This beauty is subtle, and patient.
An occasional cottonwood, near a streambed, shows its gnarled bark and delicate leaves.

If you follow the stream bed, if you are truly blessed, you may find a beaver's dam. We did, and sat on a rock in the sunlight for almost an hour, listening to the song of the water.
I have probably uploaded too many pictures (I shot over 120 that magical day) but I wanted to give you a feeling of the beauty and majesty and peace of that hidden sacred place. And if any of you know of a distiller who distills the needles or cones of the Pinon Pine, please put me in touch with him or her.

Pikes Peak or Bust

Thursday morning we set out for Pikes Peak. It had snowed the night before and we were told the last two or three miles were closed, but might be open by midday. First stop, though, was the famous Garden of the Gods. This is the view from the entrance, with snowcapped Pikes Peak centered in the background. The Garden of the Gods was awesome...nature has carved statues we could fit a cathedral in.

Sometimes we felt like we were standing on the edge of the world.
This one seems to be pointing the way! (and, yes, that's my intrepid traveling companion climbing the rocks.) Exiting the Garden, we headed up Pikes Peak. The first 16 miles were an easy drive, easier than Phantom Canyon. I was on the phone to T, and told her "this is a piece of cake!" We crossed over the Crystal Resevoir that feeds Colorado Springs. We stopped at the "shop" at the 16 mile post and found the road was open to the top. GREAT! (My mistake!... the next 2 1/2 miles held more terror than I have ever experienced.
Hairpin curves, 1 1/2 lane wide with two way traffic, visibility perhaps 15 feet. The scariest views didn't get taken because I was reassuring Michael that of course he could do this! Shots are thru the windshield because there is *no where* to pull over. We both felt that our lives were at risk. And all I could think was....we have to come back down! We crept upward at 5 miles an hour.
Finally, the summit. We were told on a clear day you can see for miles, and that location was the inspiration for the lyrics of "America The Beautiful." Our view of the summit? The sign says "You made it! The Summit" or words to that effect.

It was worth the terror...almost. We can say we did it; and they serve wonderful beef stew at the restaurant up top. And hot out of the fryer donuts. Thankfully, by the time we started down, the clouds had cleared. The downward road is steep, Low-low gear needed to prevent burning your brakes out. But breathtaking views.and friendly (but bored) wildlife looking for a handout.

We agreed we wouldn't have missed it, but once was enough! Our souvenirs? Two bumper stickers... mine reads "Got Oxygen" (because I needed some, and was grateful to the friends who urged us to pack some) and his "Real men don't need guardrails"

Next blog: the high country meadows.

Friday, September 18, 2009

On The Road Again

Sorry for the 'time lapse'... Some evenings I've not had internet access, and some evenings I've been too overwhelmed (and exhausted!) to type! Or look at photos. Anyway... after leaving Boonville we headed west on Highway 70, through the rest of Missouri (which I fell in love with) and Kansas. Which I'm afraid I didn't. Missouri was green and rich and lush. Fields of thriving soybeans and corn (Monsanto heaven?) while perhaps the season was over in Kansas. We were almost out of the state before I could find the "fields of amber grain" that I wanted to shoot, and, turned out, they were really fields of russet Milo... but at least they were growing. Perhaps all the others had been harvested? (My apologies to our friends in Kansas; I am sure parts of the state are beautiful, but not the parts we traveled.)
Eastern Colorado was almost indistinguisable from Kansas, until:

Yes...those dark clouds on the horizon are the Rockies. We drove south to Canon City, to visit my friend's family. The next day, headed for Colorado Springs and Pikes Peak, we chose a "scenic route" called Phantom Canon Road. Probably 50 miles as the bird flies, but a good three hours drive, punctuated, of course, by stops for "Photo Ops" and ohhhs and ahhhhs. Some of the photo ops:

Bright sunshine, windy steep roads (the car going up has the right of way, because there's mostly not room to pass.) And breathtaking views.

My camera doesn't show depth well, the stream was, perhaps, 1000 feet below us.What I loved most about this last shot was the tenacity... a tiny bloom growing from near solid rock. I had to salute its spirit.
My apologies for the lack of aromatics in this blog post... there will be some, in the future.

Tuesday, September 15, 2009

More from Boonville

Continuing (last night the hotel's wireless network crashed.) When we left Anne's shop, Wayne was nice enough to take us on a brief tour of his organic Christmas tree farm... Starr Pine Farms. I have to admit I rather ignored the trees...although the air was filled with the aroma of Scotch Pine. My fascination was with Anne's organic herbs, from which they distill some of our Hydrosols.

Now, it's mid September, far past peak season for most of the herbs Anne raises. But we saw an amazing Vitex tree. HUGE. Past huge. And feathery and delicate at the same time.

Wayne said that one of Anni's most popular hydrosols is the organic Melissa, and she has lots of it. It's late in the season so the plants are not at their best, but they were still bright, fresh and aromatic, although the weeds were really fighting for space.
I love the aroma (and taste) of Melissa, and nibbled on a few leaves while trying to frame these shots.

What was really exciting was the view of the working still ... Now many of us have seen "kitchen" or Stovetop stills, and we've seen the fancy copper stills offered online. Works of art. But wonderful hydrosols (and oils!) can be produced by homemade equipment. The round container with the curved top hold the hot water... the botanical material is held in the square metal 'box' on top, with steam being forced up through the plant material, and exiting through the pipe on top... the steam runs through the long pipe in the picture can just make out the copper coil at the very end, (during an actual distillation it would be chilled...I forgot to ask Wayne how!) from which the aromatic water and the droplets of essential oil exit into their container.

I can't describe how lovely the setting was... but this single shot, from Anne and Wayne's front yard, might give some idea of the peace that surrounds them. My thanks to the Harmon's for giving us such a wonderful start to our journey.