Monday, November 19, 2012

Aromatically Thankful

By Christi R. Pugh
For Nature’s Gift, Inc.

Which essential oils have befriended you this year?  Any surprises?  Although we each have our favorite oils, it seems particular oils befriend us over certain seasons, providing support and comfort in seemingly intangible ways. 

We often see unexplainable trends in essential oil purchases, almost as if the collective consciousness “needs” a specific oil in that moment, which is carried out individually.  I take note when I am aware of extraordinary purchases and often ponder what could be going on.  That may sound a little other-worldly, but esoteric uses of essential oils are legitimate, too. (think vibrational or energetic!) 

Fragonia ™ has been my favorite oil this year.  Much like Lavender, it seems to be an adaptogen (although this has not been scientifically seconded), blending and melding together with nearly any other essential oil.  It is a main component in two blends the universe gave me this year:  Relax Synergy and Harmony Synergy/Anointing Oil.  These two blends are so very different, yet Fragonia ™ seems to bind each together energetically.

Rose also befriended me this year, providing solace and comfort in January when I lost one of my dearest and closest friends and later in the fall, when my grandmother, aged 95, crossed over.  Our Solace blend heavily features Rose. 

I can’t imagine life without aromatherapy.  I reach for oils every day and am surrounded by their healing energy at work and at home.  I constantly make new discoveries or experience oils in new ways.  It is an aromatic adventure and our Nature’s Gift community is truly a blessing and a gift, as we make this journey together, sharing and learning from one another about these precious healing oils.

We would love to hear which oils have befriended you this year.  Please share your thoughts and experiences with us.

Thursday, November 15, 2012

Scents of the Season

O Christmas Tree: Evoking the Scents of the Season Via Evergreen and Conifer Oils
By Christi R. Pugh
For Nature’s Gift Aromatherapy

The question we most often hear this time of year is: which of your Conifer (evergreen) oils is MOST like the aroma of a Christmas tree? It is always hard to answer because depending on where you live different types of Conifers are traditionally used as Christmas trees, so the scent you are expecting can vary a bit. 

 For holiday time Marge prefers our Balsam Fir, the Christmas Tree of her New England childhood.  I am drawn more to Fir Grande and I suspect if you grew up in the West, you may feel more connected to the White Fir. (Our White Fir EO is produced from recycled Christmas trees!)  We also offer a wide range of Evergreens: Balsam Fir, Scotch Pine, Maritime (Sea) Pine, Cypress, Juniper, Atlas Cedar leaf, and Pinon Pine.  (Check out our new Pinon Pine Hydrosol!)

A neat trick Marge came up with if you are using an artificial holiday tree, is to fill one of the little terra cotta clay pots with the conifer of your choice and hide it in the branches of the tree.  Your home is then filled with the Christmas tree aroma via the essential oil in the clay pot—a suitable illusion to set the mood.  I like to put these little clay pots in the closet, laundry room, and other areas of my home, too.

Black Spruce ( Picea mariana)-Marge says this is the scent of the New England mountains, refreshing and uplifting.

Cedar leaf, Atlas (cedrus atlanticus)-Lush and green aroma invoking deep mountainous woods.  Distilled from the needles.

Cypress (Cupressus sempervirens)-Fresh, green, and exhilarating. From young green tips and needles. Although our Cypress Oil comes from France, Cypress trees grow through out the midSouth and are a familiar sight here in middle Tennessee.

Fir, Balsam (Abies balsamea Canadensis) –Another special evergreen from Canada, from the needles of trees often used as Christmas trees in the Northeast and New England. More grounding and centering than some of the other Conifer oils.

Fir, Grande (Abies grandis)-Huge and full, rich and woodsy with a bit of tang! Stimulating and might be helpful for raising one’s spirit.

Fir, White (Abies concolor)-Christi’s favorite, from a high mountainous area in the Southwestern USA, clear, clean and crisp woodsy-ness.  (Artisan produced from fallen needles and recycled Christmas trees.) Evokes a feeling of freedom, may help reduce stress and tension.
Juniper Hi Altitude (Juniperus communis)-Fresh, bright, and cleansing aroma.  Suggested for use in meditation or centering prayer to clear the room or any space.  Christi has recently fallen in love with this oil describing it as bringing clearness yet fullness to a space, as if sensing one’s guardian angel or a loving embrace. 
Larch Needle (Larix laricina)-Our newest addition to our line-up of Conifers, Larch is the lightest, gentlest, and sweetest of these oils and is NOT an evergreen.  The oil is distilled from light, feathery needles, which drop each autumn.  Relaxing, said to stimulate creativity and intuition.

Pine, Maritime (Sea) (Pinus pilaster)-Marge says, “Somehow this oil from trees growing on the Mediterranean coast brings the sea to mind.  When I close my eyes I can visualize the scrubby pine trees that struggled against the ocean winds on my beloved Cape Cod and Christi says she can visualize the same trees from her travels to the Isle of Patmos, Greece.”

Pine, Pinon (Pinus edulis)-Ethically Wildcrafted from an artisan distiller in the Southwest from fallen needles and twigs.  Energizing, cleansing, spiritually uplifting and inspiring.

Pine, Scotch (Pinus sylvestris)-There are many inferior Scotch Pine specimens on the market and if you’ve never experienced a Scotch Pine to your liking or only think of it as a “bathroom cleaner,” then this is the oil to give it another try!  Organic, French, from needles, it is said to be helpful for physical, mental, and emotional exhaustion, as well as a feeling of hopelessness or despair.  Marge describes the aroma as, “heady, the freedom of mountain tops!”
As you can see, there are many varieties of conifers.  If one doesn’t speak to you immediately from our descriptions, request a sample the next time you order.  Inspired by the glorious pine, I gathered pinecones and needles throughout my neighborhood and filled a festive basket for my porch this season.  My secret weapon for scenting is a little terra cotta pot with Pinon Pine and Balsam Fir, evoking Christmas memories and joy, each time I pass by. 

Another suggestion...  add a few drops of your favorite conifer oil to the individual cones.  I'm told this will add to the delight of a warm fire if you use the scented cones as firestarters, but I've not tried this yet.

Note:  Our terra cotta clay pots are sold out and we’ve been unable to source more at this time.  However, I am wondering if the little refill pads for the car scenter could be used hidden in an artificial tree or a basket like I mentioned above, at the least for a bit of ambience nearby. 

Sunday, November 4, 2012

Hand Sanitizer Allergy?

Josh is in first grade this year. And his teacher has mandated that every student will use the commercial hand sanitizer the school supplies.

All was well for the first week or so, but as soon as the cool fall weather struck, his hands became red, chapped and raw.  At first we thought it was the alcohol in the commercial product, but I'm wondering if he might not be allergic to something in the product.

At any rate, his little hands were chapped, raw and painful!  His parents tried hand lotion, to soothe them, and it burned the raw irritated skin.

Finally his mom remembered the "care package" that had gone home from Tennessee with them. KleenHandz!   The aloe vera gel and lavender soothed the irritated skin, and didn't burn the way other emollients had.  And the antibacterial/antiviral essential oils should be an acceptable substitute for the commercial product that was causing him so much pain. I'm told that within two days all the irritation and redness was healed.

Yes, his first grade teacher says that he may keep his KleenHandz at school and use it every day instead of the commercial sanitizer.

I love it when we have success stories!  (And I wait for the day that certain family members will reach for a natural solution FIRST, not after the commercial product fails, but that day may never come.)

At any rate, if you are in a situation where you are obligated to use a hand sanitizer, and the one available to you irritates your skin, KleenHands might be a good alternative.