Monday, March 26, 2012

Why We are Here

This weekend's email brought an amazing reminder of why we are here...and I was given permission to share:

From Alisa, who has been a client for just a few months now:

"Your site means a lot to me. I have loved aromatherapy before I knew it had a name.
During college and law school I forgot all about my passion to create, customize and blend to make myself and others feel better. But then after my father died of a long debilitating illness (12 years), my mother had an aneurysm ruptured and fell into a coma. I used to do fragrance therapy on her. I had read that fragrance memory is the most powerful stimulant. She did start coming around but she had stroke after stroke until she just could not go on. But I remember using fragrances of different oils and objects to “engage her in conversations.” I remember buying regular lotions and then adding things to it to make it uniquely hers and then massaging her feet and hands. My brother spend the last 10 years of his life in a nursing home. I have had a lot of losses.
For many years now I have been in health care as an attorney. I have seen too much. I have regulated nursing homes, in home care providers, and paramedics. I have litigated Medicaid and disability claims. For the last few years, I have worked with terminally ill clients. Sometimes it seems that much of my life is about death and dying. Aromatherapy literally adds a sweet fragrance to it. It is healing to me in so many ways. I have used products that I have brought from you to bring smiles and comfort to others. I am seeing new ways that I can take care of deeply troubled and terribly hurting people.
Thank you for your website. I wanted to tell you just how much it has helped. You are a true healer.

Just a reminder this Monday morning that all of us who work with these amazing healing oils are so very blessed to be able to do what we do!

Wednesday, March 14, 2012

Health Alert: Avoiding Synthetic Fragrances

This was the headline in a Consumer Reports newsletter in my mailbox today.  Now, I have been avoiding synthetic fragrances for decades.  But... for those who don't know:

Consumer Reports just issued a report criticizing the use of synthetic fragrances in the dryer. "Consumer Reports environmental experts say you should get nervous about smells that won't quit, especially when you don't know what you're smelling. The product's label just says "perfume dispersant, perfume and dyes." The manufacturer, Procter & Gamble, told Consumer Reports that perfume ingredients are "proprietary information," but it says that the chemicals they use are at safe levels."  I am sure we all find that reassuring.

The good news is that it is possible to add fragrance to your laundry, and know exactly what you are using!

This is what I do.  (Years ago a serious case of contact dermatitis landed me in the ER.  I was taught there to *never* use a "dryer sheet" to soften cloths,   to buy and use only the "FREE" detergents - unscented with no color -  and to put some white vinegar in the fabric softener cup of my Washing Machine.   Two washing machines later, I'm still following that advice.)

If I'm washing clothes that may have a bit of musty mold scent...  a generous splash of Palma Rosa or Eucalyptus citrodora (Lemon Eucalyptus) goes into the wash water with the detergent.  Anti fungal oils will freshen towels that perhaps sat, damp, too long.    If clothes are grease stained,  some Orange essential oil with the detergent will remove any greasy aroma. (Be aware though, that Orange Oil CAN discolor white clothes.)  LilBit slept too long on my quilt?  Fresh Aire synergy does a GREAT job at removing the scent of wet dog.

Other things that I do.  (For various reasons I can't dry my clothes on a clothes line. Cold water washing and low heat drying is as "green" as I can be.)   There is NOTHING like the smell of sheets and pillowcases, blown dry on a line in the sun and freshly made up on your bed.

Lacking that option... I have two or three old washcloths (rags!) that sit on the dryer.  When a load of clothes I want to subtly scent goes in the dryer,  a few drops of essential oil or blend go on a rag, and it gets tossed in with the wet clothes.  Normally I am aiming at a VERY faint aroma, and use only a few drops of EO.  More essential oil, obviously, makes the scent of the clean and dried clothes a bit stronger.

Fresh Aire, again, for towels, and a lot of my clothes.  Linens?  Lavender, or, if I am feeling decadent and self indulgent..a drop of Rose.   A man's laundry could be scented with Cedarwood or Sandalwood.

You may read the entire Consumer Reports article quoted above here.

Thursday, March 8, 2012

Lemon Tea Tree Oil: Aspergillosis and Emphysema

First, because it is a "frequently asked question" - no, you can not substitute a mix of lemon oil (citrus limon) and tea tree oil (melaleuca alternifolia).  Lemon Tea Tree is an essential oil from Australia, properly called leptospermon petersonii.

I was first taught about the delights of Lemon Tea Tree from my friend and mentor Dennis Archer.  When we first met online, Dennis was the founder and grower at Toona Plantation, Australia's first plantation of organically raised Lemon Myrtle and Lemon Tea Tree.  Dennis taught me about the powerful antibacterial effects of Lemon Myrtle (Backhousia citriodora) and taught me about the powerful insect repellent capabilities of Lemon Tea Tree.

Based on what I learned from Dennis, Lemon Tea Tree became the basis of our popular "SkeeterBeater" line of products.  A few years ago when research proved that Lemon Eucalyptus (Eucalyptus Citriodora) was an effective mosquito repellant, and the government accepted Lemon Euc. as an "active ingredient" we tried adapting our formula. Because we like to keep the government happy, we tried using half Lemon Euc and half Lemon Tea Tree in our SkeeterBeater Blend, without changing the other ingredients.  Effectiveness dropped, client satisfaction dropped, and we went back to using almost all Lemon Tea Tree, with a tiny bit of Lemon Eucalyptus for labeling purposes.

Somewhere along the line I read some research indicating that a blend of equal parts of tea tree oil and lemon tea tree oil is a more effective germkiller than either oil alone.  I don't remember where I read it, but there it is.  

I have ALWAYS relied on Lemon Tea Tree as an insect repellant.  I have *never* reached for it as either an anti-fungal or an anti-bacterial oil.  It is time to rethink that.

Earlier this week, Dennis sent me the following anedote about the use of Lemon Tea Tree oil to deal with a longstanding case of Aspergillosis,  an allergy or very nasty infection of the lungs triggered by a reaction to the Aspergillus fungus. For more information about Aspergillosis you might check PubMed

Dennis wrote:


Some anecdotal evidence for you on the efficacy of sniffing Leptospermum petersonii

Via a circuitous route, we had a call from a lady who had been suffering from Aspergillosis for over 9 years…I sent her some oil and the following instructions…

Re: Essential Oil of Leptospermum petersonii (Lemon scented Tea Tree)

We regard this EO as one of the more potent anti microbial oils with which we have worked…I understand that your wife has difficulty with breathing due to lung infection and your research led you to CSU…and thence to us. We do have anecdotal evidence that the oil is efficacious in cases of lung and chest infections.

To use is quite simple…fold a handkerchief into quarters, remove lid from EO bottle, place hankie over open top of bottle, invert bottle quickly, replace lid on bottle, fold hankie again so that oil is covered and inhale. Keep in a pocket, and inhale on a regular basis during the night, place the aforementioned hankie under the pillow…try to not get oil on your hands/fingers…if you do, wash off with cold water and soap…

Use a fresh hankie the next morning and continue for 2-3 days. Then take a break for 1-2 days. Repeat for a couple of weeks…relief should be evident during and after this time. In the first instance, I would not recommend using the oil in a burner…you need to get the full effect as soon as possible…after 3-4 weeks, using the oil in a burner every 2-3 days would probably be beneficial…ensure that the dropper, and the rubber bulb, you use to extract the oil from the bottle is washed thoroughly after use in soapy water, then warm water rinsed and air dried separately…and try to not get the oil into the rubber bulb…the rubber will be eaten, and the oil will be contaminated….the fumes will still get in, but the cleaning process mentioned above will prolong the life of the bulb.

As with most `natural’ products, time is required to achieve the full effects as opposed to pharmaceuticals…although I’m sure you are aware of the need to complete a full course of e.g. antibiotics for the best results.

A couple of warnings…DO NOT take internally, even diluted, and keep in a cool, dark place out of reach of children.

I received a call about 3 weeks after the lady commenced her treatment…she could converse without coughing, her doctor had taken her off her cortisone…and she was one very happy lady…so much so, I started receiving calls from other sufferers…so passed them onto a grower who sold in 15 ml bottles…and hope they are all well…

A little closer to home…a relative of mine suffers from emphysema…and is on oxygen 24/7…after a stay with them I left a bottle of Lp…and the instructions above…a couple of weeks later a call from them was along the lines `Where can I get a 44 gal drum of this stuff?'…his quality of life has improved substantially…although still on oxygen…but can now go out fishing again..

Anecdotal of course…and I'm not a medical doctor…but quite pleasing all the same…now if we could get the manufacturers to add 0.01% Lp to the hand cleaners in hospitals…we'd reduce the effects of superbugs exponentially…and the place would stink pretty…we keep hassling…

Now, I personally am diagnosed with COPD.  Sometimes I use oxygen, sometimes I use an allopathic inhaler, always I am surrounded by the oils I love.  I use a lot of the conifers, some Frankincense,  Hyssop, Eucalyptus, lots of different oils known to aid in respiration.

It never OCCURRED to me to try Lemon Tea Tree for my COPD!

Dennis asked that I add some version of our "Standard Disclaimer" to his story, above.  That I remind everyone that the statements made in this blog or on the Nature's Gift website (and by Dennis himself! )have not been evaluated by the FDA (U.S. Food & Drug Administration). Our products are not intended to diagnose, cure or prevent any disease. If a condition persists, please contact your physician or health care provider. The information provided by this website, this blog, or this company is not a substitute for a face-to-face consultation with a health care provider, and should not be construed as individual medical advice. The testimonials on this website are from individuals and do not guarantee or imply the same results.

I think I may put some Lemon Tea Tree in our of our Deluxe inhalers and have it available for when my COPD decides it wants to cause me problems.  

More information about Lemon Tea Tree is available on our website.  (And I just realized how extremely out of date that information is! It doesn't even talk about how effective SkeeterBeater is - and THAT is dependant upon Lemon Tea Tree.  

I had mentioned earlier that Dennis sold Toona, the plantation that produced our first few years supply of Lemon Myrtle and Lemon Tea Tree.  Today he is a consultant to those growing and distilling in Australia.  If you have need of his consulting services, you may reach him at 
"Dennis Archer"  ie (address altered to deter at least some of the spammers!) 
I am SO grateful to those who share their knowledge so willingly!