Thursday, February 25, 2010

The Colorado No Product Law

Well, its proper name is The Colorado SAFE Products law.  A proposed law, claiming to outlaw cosmetics, toiletries and other products that contain cancercausing ingredients. Sounds great, right? Well, it would, if it were not based on totally "bad science".  The law as written would prevent the use of many of our favorite oils, and prevent most natural products from being sold in the State of Colorado.  For more information, please see the call to action posted this evening on the Samara Botane Blog.

For more information, see the Sagescript blog. Cindy Jones, the founder of Sagescript is BOTH a chemist (she tests our Hydrosols for contamination) and a toiletries and soap maker.

Or Donna Maria's Indie Business blog.

Or just Google "colorado safe cosmetics act"

Why does this concern me, and why should it concern you?  Because this illogical law, while purporting to protect the citizens of Colorado against dangerous carcinogens and neurotoxins in the cosmetics they purchase is "throwing the baby out with the bath water."

They give no 'minimum safe usage levels' they just list substances.  Well, Rose Otto contains traces of some of the phytochemicals they would ban. As does Holy Basil, Fennel, and a wide range of essential oils and other natural products.

If this law passes, Nature's Gift will simply stop doing business in the state of Colorado. I will regret telling our clients there that we can no longer fulfill their more Bliss Bath; no more MoonDays, no more... no more. period.

Please, if you live in Colorado, or do business in Colorado, call your state representatives and oppose this bill.  NO ONE here wants to put you, or your loved ones, at risk. We want to be able to go on supplying the same healing products we've shipped you for years.

This law will make that impossible.

Tuesday, February 9, 2010

Prenatal exposure to phthalates linked to behavioural problems

At least once a week we receive inquiries about Reed Diffusers, which we do not offer.  We've never found a natural diluent for the essential oils that is effective in the Reed Diffusers.  Now, I've seen formulas calling for Jojoba or other carrier oils.. Dust magnets! I've seen formulas calling for alcohol. Almost overnight evaporation. 

Most commercial diffusers that I've seen use DEP as the diluent for the fragrance (sometimes essential oils, most often synthetic fragrances.  What is DEP? It is diethyl phthalate, approved for use in cosmetic products without any safety warnings.  Needless to say, no Nature's Gift product has ever contained phthalates, and never will. Just not something we chose to use.  But I was shocked to see the following article in a cosmetics journal I subscribe to.

"Higher levels of exposure to phthalates while pregnant could be linked to disruptive behaviour patterns in children, according to a recent US study."  Read more here.

With all the wonderful natural options to scent your surroundings, why would anyone chose to use a phthalate laden chemical?

Monday, February 8, 2010

Nature's Gift Friends Save over 15%

We've been given a gift.  A tuition discount to introduce you to an amazing thinker.

Dr. Bruce Berkowsky has one of the most unusual perspectives on this healing art of anyone I've known.  He blends aspects of aromatherapy, physiology, classical homeopathy, anthroposophical medicine, traditional Chinese medicine, herbal medicine and folklore, depth psychology, color therapy, gemstone healing and the Kabbalah into what he has named Spiritual PhytoEssencing.

Read more about his work at his website and blog.

I think this is a wonderful opportunity for anyone fascinated (as I am!) with the emotional and spiritual healing power of the oils.  I'm looking forward to the opportunity to learn more, and hope some of you will join me! He is offering a three part web seminar, starting February 17th, and inviting Nature's Gift's friends to join, with a $10.00 discount off the tuition of the 3 part course. You may read more about the teleseminar at

 The first teleseminar is taking place February 17th.  Our Blog readers and Facebook Fans get advance notice, because I won't be sending out a newsletter until the end of this week.

When you sign up for the teleseminar, at the link above, just mention "Nature's Gift" in the comments section, at checkout, and you will receive $10.00 off the tuition (normally $65.00) for the teleseminar.

I am so looking forward to this opportunity to learn and to grow!
Added after the above was drafted - I've been corresponding with Dr. Berkowsky and he just sent me the following additional information:

In addition to the materials that are generally included as part of the tuition (the 3 essential oil chapters from his Synthesis Materia Medica/Spiritualis Of Essential Oils; the recordings of each of the classes; access to the specially priced essential oil set for this class as well as special offerings of his personally blended essential oil blends and flower essence/gemstone essence blends), early next week he will be sending a free bonus to all those who have registered.

The bonus consists of the links to the recording of a 25-minute excerpt from a teleseminar he recently presented. He believe we will find the material both orienting regarding deep soul-level healing work with essential oils and compelling regarding understanding of your own soul life. This bonus is real.

He am sourcing the oils for the 3-oil set now and has already found two exquisite spearmints (one from Australia, the other from Africa), a prana-filled clove from small farms in India and a truly fine niaouli from Australia. As in the practice of Spiritual PhytoEssencing, in every blend we use lavender as a harmonizer of all the component oils, he will also be including a very special lavender in the set.

(My comment... most of you know the source of the exquisite African spearmint ... and possibly of the very special Lavender, as well.)

At any rate, if his work intrigues you, please take advantage of the special discount for our friends, and join me in the "webinar" on Feb.  17th!

Friday, February 5, 2010

Asthma and Aromatherapy

I received my fourth inquiry this week regarding the use of the oils I love to help ease Asthma.

Since I need something to direct folks to for the answer to a "frequently asked question" I found an article I wrote a year or two ago and thought it should be shared.


Please be aware that there is NO WAY to predict what oils can or will trigger an attack in an individual. Quite obviously, if you know you are allergic to, let's say pine and spruce trees, then avoid the use of the various conifer (needle) oils. If most flowers bring on an attack, avoid the floral oils, and so on.
Any oil you intend to try should first be "tested." Put a drop of the essential oil on a tissue or cotton ball and hold it at arms length from the sufferer. If it seems well tolerated, gradually bring it closer until the tissue or cotton ball is right under the nose. If it can be inhaled with no negative effects it is safe to try.
Do not try testing more than two essential oils per day, separated by several hours.  (There are some who think I'm overly cautious advising this approach, but I'd much rather you stay safe than advance too quickly.)

Please don't use any of the essential oils in a steam inhalation during an asthma attack. The use of steam, I'm told,  almost always worsens the attack.

There are two oils that are said to have 'antihistamine like' properties and are said to prevent asthma attacks.

BLUE TANSY OIL (tanecetum anuum) There are authorities who state that Blue Tansy oil can halt an asthma attack in its tracks (Jeanne Rose is one of them)...and I have clients who say that diffusing a bit of this oil in an aromalamp each morning has allowed them to cut way down on allergy medications. Blue Tansy may prove useful both as an antihistamine to help prevent attacks, and as a treatment during an attack.(Jeanne Rose writes that she personally will put a drop of Blue Tansy on a sugar cube and take it internally to ease an Asthma attack.  Our clients feedback indicates that inhalation is just as effective. The choice is up to you, but it is certainly the first essential oil I would reach for.

AMNI VISNAGA (khella) oil is supposed to have a similar effect, however it's only fair to say that most people enjoy the scent of blue tansy (sweet and apple scented) and find the scent of ammi reminiscent of last week's coffee grounds. The drug Intal (cromolyn sodium) has its origins from ammi visnaga. Khella Oil must be used (by inhalation) on a daily basis, not just when an attack threatens.


Since this blog was written we have started working with a relatively new essential oil from Australia, Fragonia (tm).

FRAGONIA(tm)  Our experience is that is is a very useful oil for inhalation with any sort of lower respiratory issue, especially for asthma. We know of people who have been able to forego use of their daily Rx inhalers by the use of a Fragonia Inhaler on a daily basis.  As with any other natural remedy, the cautions listed above still apply.  See below.

One of my French mentors wrote, years ago: "Asthma is a tricky thing, different circumstances can trigger attacks in different people, so caution is important here. A large number of Essential Oils have(or are reputed to have) effects on the respiratory system, which isn't very surprising considering that they are breathed in and that scents are often very pleasant things. A large number will also carry warnings that they may trigger an asthmatic attack. Also, not a surprise when you consider things."  It is because of the oils powerful effects on the respiratory tract that well tolerated essential oils can bring swift relief to Asthma sufferers.


The following oils are listed in order by both their ability to be tolerated without causing a reaction, and their effectiveness.

* Blue Tansy (tanecetuum anuum) Jeanne Rose states that Blue Tansy is a natural source of theophylline, a bronchiodilator,which would explain its being recommended for asthma crisises. Many sources write of the links between childhood asthma and adult eczema and other dermatitis conditions. Although we do not recommend internal usage, she says she personally uses one drop of this oil on a sugar cube for bring her asthma attack to a halt. Kurt Schaubelt extolls this magnificent deep indigo oil for its antihistamine/anti-allergen properties. He suggests using it (applied to the solar plexus) in blends for asthma, or diffusing it in blends for emphasema...blending Pine, Cypress and just a touch of this lovely Tansy. (Obviously it is first necessary to test all the oils, as described above,  before blending!)

* Hyssop montana/canescens (ex decumbens) My French mentor writes that in his experience this particular Hyssop (and no others!) is the safest essential oil to use with Asthma sufferers. It appears that the pino-camphone content in this hyssop chemotype is very low so I believe there is no toxicity, compared with the other hyssop types. He says he has had years of experience with it, mainly with diffusers and really love the oil! Best results with asthma patients, little children and allergic people. He says it is the first oil he will reach for in cases of Asthma. This hyssop ssp montana/canescens (ex decumbens) is only found in the Haute Provence, France. Blue Tansy and this Hyssop are the first two essential oils I would test.

* Green Myrtle Myrtus communis. A soft, gentle respiratory oil, very good for use with children, normally well tolerated. A very gentle expectorant that can ease coughing while loosening tight mucous.

* Litsea Cubeba. Litsea, sometimes called May Chang, has a clear lemony scent that also has bronchio-dilator and antispasmodic effects. It is normally well tolerated, but should be tested. It also blends aromatically well with amni visnaga (see above) and makes inhalation of the Khella Oil a lot more palatable. If I were to try daily inhalation of Amni Visnaga, I would most definitely blend it with the Litsea, both for the antispasmodic effect, but, more important, because the blend is amazingly pleasant from an aromatic standpoint.

* Cypress Oil Cupressus sempervirens All of the conifers may help with respiratory problems. Cypress, in addition, is an antispasmodic which can help relieve bronchial spasms. However, any of the "Evergreen" oils can cause an allergic reaction to many people, so please be very sure to test this with your asthma patient. (See test method above.)

Essential Oils: Try them in this order: Hyssop, Myrtle, Cypress, Lavender, Litsea cubeba, Petitgrain (or Mandarin) for stress and anxiety relief.


For inhalation:
* Hyssop Essential Oil
* Cypress Essential Oil
* Litsea cubeba Essential Oil:
One drop of each on a cotton ball to smell at will whenever breathing feels constricted.
Try the combination and if the effect is positive, mix as follows. In a small colored glass bottle (amber or cobalt) mix equal parts of the three oils. (1 15 ml (1/2 ounce) bottle will hold one measuring teaspoon of each oil.)

For Massage:
* Myrtle Essential Oil
* Lavender Essential Oil
* Petitgrain Essential Oil (or Mandarin Essential Oil):
This is a more complicated mixture. You will also need some carrier oil - Jojoba or Fractionated Coconut are our favorites, but use what you have available. For your trial of this mixture, take one tablespoonful Oil, add 7 drops Myrtle Essential Oil, 3 drops Lavender Essential Oil, and 3 drops Petitgrain Essential Oil (or Mandarin Essential Oil). Use this as a massage oil on the patients BACK, not chest. If the reaction is a good one, mix up some more as follows: 7 TBS Carrier Oil (this should be what is left in your 4 oz bottle if that is what you bought).
Add 1/2 tsp Myrtle Essential Oil, 1/4 tsp Lavender Essential Oil and 1/4 tsp Petitgrain Essential Oil (or Mandarin Essential Oil). This is a massage oil for his back. It can also be used on his wrists or ankles. It should be used every 15 minutes or oftener during an attack. It will not hurt him to use it once or twice a day as a regular thing if he thinks it makes his condition better.

I want to thank my mentor, Michel VanHove for his generosity in sharing blends that have helped his clients, and for all of the wisdom he has shared over the years.

UPDATE:   One oil that has proven VERY helpful by regular use in lessening the frequency and severity of Asthma outbreaks is Australian FRAGONIA essential oil. We have seen very successful results by the use of this amazing oil, which was not even on my horizon when this original article was written. Yes, you should test with your Asthma sufferer, all the warnings above still apply, but it is an amazing addition to the arsenal of respiratory essential oils.