Tuesday, June 21, 2011

Taking the sting out of Summer fun

by Christi R. Pugh, for Nature's Gift

Summer is here and so are the stinging and biting insects. I love the outdoors, especially taking walks by the lake with my two dogs, but wearing shorts or capris in the heat can be a nuisance when the bugs begin to bite.

Up to this point, mosquitoes have been very light this year in Middle Tennessee, some speculate due to the thirteen year cicada brood that just finished its cycle here. However, they are now out in full force, and I was caught outside without applying my handy Skeeter Beater in advance, and got several bites on my legs and knees.

Just a few weeks ago, I prepared an anti-sting/itch blend to keep in the refrigerator for summer use, after researching some of the best essential oil choices for this purpose mainly focusing on antiseptic, analgesic, and anti-inflammatory oils. The blend I came up with is 1 oz total in St. John’s Wort infused oil for the carrier oil, a 10% dilution, using 60 total drops of these essential oils: Cajeput, Blue Cypress, Lavandin Grosso, and Lemongrass. I used the St. John’s Wort because it is a good pain reliever, but if you prefer, aloe vera gel would also be a good choice since it is so cooling in the summer heat. I evenly distributed the 60 drops at 15 apiece for each essential oil to make the blend which I keep in a cobalt pet plastic 1 oz bottle with disc lid.

It came in handy last night because one of the bites was the itching and burning kind, right on my kneecap. Ouch! I applied the blend and felt relief within about 10 minutes. It is still a bit red this morning but no more itch or sting!

You can also use this blend on wasp or what we in the South call “sweat bee” stings. Cajeput is known for being one of the best essential oils to help with fire ant bites. Both Blue Cypress and Cajeput can also be of assistance if you experience an allergic or histamine reaction to a bite or sting. The Lavandin and Lemongrass are effective pain killers and anti-inflammatories, as well. Definitely easy to blend and great to have nearby when summer pests attack!

To read more about these and other essential oils visit www.naturesgift.com.

Thursday, June 16, 2011

More Government interference

Most of you know we make available several CO2 extracts. One of our most successful, in terms of making a difference, has been our organic Pomegranate CO2.  I am not providing a link to our online description of it nor am I going to talk about the successes that have been reported to us.  Why not?  Because I am a bit afraid to.

Last week we emailed the producer a fairly large order for several products, including more Pomegranate.  He wrote back that they could ship the rest of our order, but at that time, could not ship the organic Pomegranate.  NOT because they were out of stock; they had plenty.  But because one of our government agencies was forbidding import of the product "due to medicinal claims on the product specification."  The producer stated what the product COULD do, and cited research to prove it.   And because his GERMAN website made statements about what this product can do, we are denied the right to import it.

In the past this same government agency has forced us to remove or censor blog posts, and content on our website, including statements by happy clients, answers to client questions, and just sharing of experience.  Now they are also performing de facto censorship of company websites that are not even in this country.

It becomes more and more difficult to share what we know is true about the products we seek out and make available.    It would appear that the mantra of this all powerful agency is "Nothing natural can possibly heal."  Repeat after me: NOTHING natural can possibly heal. Nothing NATURAL can possibly heal.  Nothing natural can POSSIBLY heal.  Nothing natural can possibly HEAL. 

Has anyone here experienced recalls of essential oils and other extracts because of damage done to unwitting consumers?  No...that only applies to Rx drugs.  But nothing natural can possibly heal.

Wednesday, June 8, 2011

Jojoba Shortage

For a few months now we've been reading about a world wide Jojoba shortage.  I regret that I rather acted like the proverbial ostrich with my head in the sand. One authoritative source indicated that the shortage should be over by the first of the year, and I knew we had enough of our Organic Golden Jojoba to last past then, so I did not further stock up when it was available.

The source indicating that the shortage would be over around the first of the year was not taking into consideration the hard frost that hit the Argentian crop last winter (Argentina's summer) and killed the new growth just as the buds were setting fruit.

The Israeli crop has been devastated by a drought, as has the Sonoran Desert, source of the Mexican and US crop.

The result of all these weather related disasters is that our producer of North American Organic Jojoba is sold out. Period.  We could have bought some organic Israeli product, but the cost would have been three times what we are used to paying, and I am not confident with the importer.  SO, for the time being we will be offering a certified non-sprayed Jojoba.   The land where it was grown is either in transition to organic status, but not there yet, or non-organic fertilizers may have been used there in the past two or three years.  It is produced by the producer we have dealt with for several years, and I am quite comfortable with the quality.

However, for those of you who really really really want to buy only the organic product, we have a very few retail bottles left in stock. You may order them here.  The little bit not already poured into retail sizes is being saved for some of our products that have 100% organic ingredients.

Sunday, June 5, 2011

Input regarding Kindle, please.

I'm seeking some advice regarding the 2nd edition of my book, Essential Oils and Aromatics, from those of you who have read it, or those of you who use Kindle.

The distributor is sold out, Amazon and the other major outlets are sold out, the distributor says they have backorders for the book. The publisher refuses to even discuss a second printing. (Since the publisher also refuses to discuss total books sold, royalties due me contractually, etc., I wouldn't trust him to print another run anyway.) 

I am contemplating "self publishing" a second edition,  as well as putting the file together for Kindle.  I'm thinking that there might be some advantages to having it in an Ebook format, since it would be so easy to search for something.   (My Kindle is only a week old, so I am far from an expert on its use!)

At any rate - I can put the documentation file that I used when writing it together for Kindle.   And that same file would be the basis of the second edition.  But I have some decisions to make, and would love input.

If you have the first edition (and a lot of you do!) are there areas that you feel I should have covered that were omitted?  I know we have learned of a lot of new fixed oils and essential oils in the five years since it was originally written, so adding them is an obvious choice.  But are there areas that I skipped that should be included?

Also...if you are a KINDLE reader.  What I have so far is a text file.  Because all I've read so far on my Kindle were books that I wanted and couldn't find locally, and it was faster to download than to order from Amazon.  All novels; straight text.  The question now is, with a Kindle book, should I include graphics? Photographs similar to those in the book.  (The publisher retained copyright to the graphics, but I think most came from IStockPhoto and this time *I* would get to choose them!)

Two questions then:  What should be added to the book and whether a Kindle edition should be illustrated.

thank you!