Wednesday, December 17, 2014

Our Christmas Gift

Our Christmas Gift


Sometimes my email brings us true gifts, that make me cry with gratitude for the gift of being able to do what we do here.

Back in mid September a stranger named Cori emailed the following query:

My daughter had spine surgery and has some nerve damage. I would like to try helichrysum oil on her back. Can you recommend an appropriate size and carrier oil? As well as dilution?
Now of course, I am not legally able to even suggest that any of our products can help with healing.  But how can I ignore a mother's plea.

So, with all of the obligatory caveats, I suggested:
 Either the Corsican or the Balkan helichrysum italicuum would be my choice...  and I would try two different carriers... first, St. John's Wort oil..  if that doesn't help, I would think about using a blend of calophyllum inophyllum (tamanu) and jojoba...    both the SJU and the calophyllum can have pain relieving effects on their own...  

and I would use the helichrysum at somewhere btwn a 2.5% and a 5% dilution...        more shouldn't be necessary.   you also might want to add a touch of black pepper or ginger, the 'warmth' can stimulate circulation which aids healing...  and lavender or sweet marjoram ...anti spasmodic/relaxing for pain relief.

You could just try our Miracle blend  at first...  our blend specifically for nerve & joint pain...  I hope some of this helps her!!!!!!!!!!!

She wrote back 

Thank you Marge. She actually has a spinal cord injury from the surgery. I have read a bunch of articles about helichrysum helping stimulate nerves and nerve regeneration. She has no pain. Does the miracle blend give that "menthol" feeling? She's 8 and I don't know if she'd tolerate that.

 BTW Thank you so much for all of the info.

>> no... we don't use mint in it... you can read the ingredients...
>> poor darling....this hurts just reading about it Cori!

> Thank you! I'm going to order some in the morning. Can't wait to try it. Leaving no stone  unturned :)
And I went on about our business, never thought about the correspondence again, because I get tons of email every day.

This week I heard back from Cori.

Hi Marge-
I just wanted to let you know that I used your Miracle Oil on my daughters back and put her in the pool two days later for some water therapy. She started moving her legs
For the first time in 3 months! She is now walking unassisted.
I certainly believe that with the combination of the therapy, recovery time and oils that her spinal cord injury has "repaired" itself. Thank you for recommending it. 

What a gift, reading that to start my Monday morning.  I wrote to thank her for letting us know the results... her reply..
You can share my story! My mother was here with me when I started using the oil. The first 2 days we used it quite often around her surgical/injury site. My mom and I talk about it all the time, how we wonder how much of it was the oil or just a culmination of all of our/her efforts. I guess we will never know but I'm so glad I found you and you recommended it to me!   Needless to say we need more :) She says it helps when her back is hurting..and I think the scent helps her sleep!

Thank you! And HAPPY HOLIDAYS!
and the final postscript, that let me know that I needed to share this:

I forgot to tell you also..when we saw the Dr. in September we had an orthopedic surgeon and a neurosurgeon tell us she would never walk again. So...I do believe the oils had some part in her progress! 

Thank you again! I love what you do! It is absolutely fascinating.

Years ago, at a conference or retreat, the leader stopped in mid presentation, looked around the room and said, all inclusively, "Isn't it grand to be US."

I was reminded again this week what a true gift it is to be us, and to do what we do. All of us... in the aromatic healing community. What gifts we have been given to share.

Happy holidays everyone... I hope you have some gifts of healing shared with you to give you the gratitude we are feeling.

Tuesday, November 18, 2014

Neglected Oils - Palma Rosa

Neglected Oils - Palma Rosa

There are some essential oils that are just "there"... we make them available. They are relatively inexpensive and affordable.  They just are not - exciting.  At least, not to me.  I tend to forget that they are here, tend not to blend with them, tend not to use them at all. We stock them because clients buy them, but my attitude has always been "so what." (I shouldn't admit this.  I just lead you to believe that I love ALL of our oils...but I never could love Palma Rosa.)

What do we say about it on the website:
"A product of a sweet smelling tropical grass, Palma Rosa Oil smells like a blend of Rose and Geranium Oil. I have seen it offered as “Rose Geranium” so check the Latin name on any Rose Geranium you buy, it may well be Palma Rosa.
Palma Rosa Essential Oil is very effective in blends for treating various skin conditions as it helps balance production of sebum, thus being useful for both extremely dry and oily skin. A strongly anti-infectious oil, as well as being antifungal, Palma Rosa may be useful in treating a range of skin infections. I like to add it to any anti-fungal blend.
It blends beautifully with geranium, emphasizes the scent of rose in any blend, works well with lavender. Emotionally, it is said to aid in the release of anger and grief.
I have occasionally found it useful in a PMS blend."

Okay. that was written so long ago I don't remember my sources for the above information.  Whoopie-do.  I never used it.

Then came the Module 3 course of our Clinical Aromatherapy certification course. And one of the long list of oils studied in Mod three was Palma Rosa.  The same Palma Rosa oil that we offer.

What makes Palma Rosa worth studying by a Clinical Aromatherapist?  Lots of things that I did not know or had forgotten about it!
  1. Palma Rosa is strongly anti-infectious and based on classical use, anti-viral. This would make it a great addition to a diffuser blend to keep you home germ-free.
  2. For skincare, it is an effective ingredient in anti-acne blends.
  3. It is believed to help lower the appearance of thread veins and spider veins.
  4. Added to a bowl of cool water it makes an effective compress or sponge to reduce a fever.
  5. Highly recommended in a room spray to freshen the air in a sick room.
  6. Wonderful for woundcare, especially when diluted in Calophyllum inophyllum.
Palma Rosa's most common commercial use is to fragrance soap, because of it's 'rosy' aroma.  It's anti-bacterial and anti-viral qualities make it the perfect additive to a germkilling soap or wash. (But don't expect it to truly smell like true rose!) 

What has recaptured my enthusiasm is its antibacterial and possibly antiviral qualities.  We are so used to reading about the use of the hazardous spice oils for germ killing.  Palma Rosa is one of the "benign" oils. It is considered non-hazardous, non-irritating and non-sensitizing.  Tisserand recommends a maximum dermal dilution of 6.5%, a relatively strong dilution.  It seems to me that it would be a wonderful blend to clean and sanitize a child's room.

Aromatically, it is said to blend well with Bergamot, Cedarwood, Frankincense, Geranium, Jasmine, Lavender, Lime, Myrrh,  Rosemary, Sandalwood, and Ylangylang.

Geranium and Palma Rosa seem to echo each other in a blend. They dance together beautifully.  Atlas Cedarwood could anchor the blend, Ylangylang could sweeten it.  I would like to see it blended with Lavender and Geranium for a blend for acne or for combination skin. 

I'm glad to be reminded about this forgotten gem!

Monday, October 27, 2014

Aromatic Nostagia

Aromatic Nostalgia
By Christi R. Pugh

Maybe you reminisce about favorite concerts, football games, & extra-special events in your life.  Who doesn’t love a little nostalgia?

At Nature’s Gift we tend to reminisce about legendary & spectacular oils from years past---call it, “aromatic nostalgia.” Being natural products, each essential oil crop slightly varies from year to year, & we’ve learned to treasure the truly most special oils that have come our way.

In my (unscientific) mind, I tend to think of essential oil batches like snowflakes…no two are (exactly) alike. 

One of the oils we all wish we had stocked up on was our amazing Sweet Patchouli from a few years   We talk about it longingly with a tinge of melancholy.  What was it about that particular batch of Patchouli?  The soil, the amount of rain or sun that season…who knows?

Last weekend I found a bottle of the 10% diluted Sweet Patchouli hidden away in a drawer in my house & the happy dance ensued!  It seemed pretty close to empty, but I turned it upside down & waited & waited & waited, till Thursday evening.  The hardened resin made it tough to budge the top open but I finally succeeded & suddenly the room was flooded with a deep, dark, rich, gorgeous aroma---Sweet Patchouli from India.  I covered myself in it before going to sleep & felt like royalty! (I had been concerned the carrier oil might be getting too old, but it was still good.) 

Around here, other oils we recall fondly include the sparkling 2005 USA Pink Grapefruit crop (we bought every drop this producer distilled), a 2007 Rosewood I never thought would be beaten till the Rosewood we sourced this year (sustainably harvested) from Brazil, & of course the true Santal album, Sandalwood Mysore circa about 12 years ago.  (Raise your hand if you are still aging vintage Sandalwood from Nature’s Gift!)  Ah and how could I neglect to mention High Altitude Lavender from Provence, pretty much any crop.  

Most oils won’t last forever.  There will come a day when they no longer shine or the bottle is empty but you can’t bring yourself to recycle it or toss it away.  Perhaps a few times a year you’ll even unscrew the lid & deeply inhale, secretly smiling.  I know I will.

Do you remember any particularly special oil you’ve experienced from Nature’s Gift?

Tuesday, October 21, 2014


One day last week, out of the blue, a shopping cart showed an order from a Hospice in another state for 125 bottles of Lavender Silk Lotion.   OOOOOOOPS. 

And the ladies of Nature's Gift went to work.

Christi printed several pages of of labels.  Michelle carefully attached the full labels, with ingredient list, etc. to the small bags that would be the final packaging. 

Beverly mixed a gallon batch of the lotion and counted out enough one ounce Malibu jars and tops. (Momentary panic, we thought we were out of tops!)

And then started pouring the prepared lotion and capping the jars.  (We have a tray that holds sample vials upright for filling. We've never had to do malibus in large quantity before and need to find a way to stand them upright for filling.)

Part of the finished product  ready to ship.  A good day's work for all of us. Knowing that one of our creations is being used to calm the agitation that can come with Alzheimer's is a gift.

When I think of how many lives we get to touch, I"m in awe. What a gift, to do what we do!

Thursday, October 16, 2014

"Continue Shopping"

We're asking for input, please.

On our OLD website, once you added something to the shopping cart and clicked on the "Continue Shopping" button, it took you back to the main page of the website. Very unintuitive and inconvenient.  

On the NEW site, if I am shopping for Spikenard, for example, and bring it up either from the drop down aromatherapy products menu or from the search box, I am here:

 Clicking Add to Cart obviously enough puts that item in the selected size into the shopping cart:

NOW...  because I am not finished shopping, I click "continue shopping"...

As currently designed, the continue shopping button takes you back to the product you just ordered, in this case, to Spikenard.  And you can view the "cookie crumb" trail above to go to the alphabetical section you were on (S-T), to the whole Essential Oils Category, to the overall Products section if you want to buy some bottles, or a carrier oil, or back to the main HOME page to explore other options.


Some users have complained that going back and forth requires too many mouse clicks.  We are wondering if you would prefer to have the "Continue Shopping" button take you to the alphabetical section the last item was found in??? (in this case,  S-T, for the Spikenard.)

Would that be more efficient, more intuitive, or would it be confusing?

If you came here because of our query on our Facebook page you may reply there, or here, but please let us know whether you would prefer to have "continue shopping" take you back to the last PRODUCT  or to the last "SubCategory"

Thank you for your input~

Monday, October 13, 2014

Missing the Quick List?

Over and over again our old friends have emailed "I love the new site, but I miss the alphabetical list"

That quick table that didn't tell you much about the oils, except the latin name, the country, and the PRICES.  We miss it too.  Someone will have a quick question about pricing, or "does this oil come in that size" and I need my quick list.

So we went back to the team.  It's not exactly the old table that was on the old site, but it will let you list the oils alphabetically and show the RETAIL sizes and prices.  (We chose not to include bulk sizes and pricing in this list, for reasons of space.  Some day we may do a bulk list. Not right now!)

To access the alphabetical "quick list"  from the home page, click on Aromatherapy Products.  On the drop down menu click Essential Oils and you will see the menu above. Either go the the alphabetical section or group that you want to read about, or click on the Essential Oil Quick List for the full alphabetical listing with retail sizes and pricing.

We are moving right along!

Saturday, September 27, 2014

Changing your Password

The new website automatically assigns you a random password and emails it to you when you first register.

Some of us have difficulty remember truly random passwords and want to be able to choose one that makes some sense to us. (You do know that random passwords give you much more security, right?)

If you still want to change your password, or any other information you have entered, it is fast and easy on our new system:

1. Click on the Customer Service tab (third one over)

2. At the bottom of the dropdown menu you will see "Log In"  (if you are not still logged in from the previous visit.)   click on "Log in" and give the password you were assigned.

3. Once you are logged in, the link at the bottom of the Customer Service Menu changes to "Account Profile"   Click on that.

4. You are given the option to change every part of your billing and shipping addresses, AND your password. 

5. At the top of the page is a link to your Order History.  Remember, orders from the old site will not be reflected in this history, but once you place your first order with us, the history is easily accessed.

6.  Under the Billing Address First Name / Last Name  are two boxes for password IF you want to change it.

"If you do not want to change your password, leave these boxes blank."

Enter the Password you want to use,  enter it in the second box to confirm, and you now have a password you chose.

hope this helps!

Tuesday, September 23, 2014

Coming VERY soon - our totally new and redesigned website.  A series of 'sneak peeks" for our friends.

The All New home of Nature's Gift

Let's go shopping - click on the Products menu:

The product dropdown menu

Click on a category - let's start with Essential Oils:

Alphabetical product listing
Select a product - see full descriptions, all available sizes (including bulk!)

Product listing - all available sizes, including bulk.
See the breadcrumbs, to easily retrace your steps:

Breadcrumb trail - click on any point on that path to go back to where you were.

These are just a few of the improvements coming later this week.

Sunday, September 14, 2014

Pretty Products!

I did NOT realize that we had not posted a single blog article during the whole month of August, and we are well into September.

Earlier in August I was using some of our "scar blend" - Corsican Helichrysum diluted in Rose Hip Seed oil - on a tiny bruise.  I was having trouble getting the thick carrier oil out of the orifice reducer on the bottle and the lightbulb went off.   "This should be a roll on"

I posted about it on Facebook and was deluged with suggestions for other products that belong in roll on applicators.   While Beverly was packaging them, she took this picture, which just delighted me.  Almost always our products are packaged in cobalt, and the range of colors was hidden. The frosted glass roller ball bottles allow the rainbow to shine through.

Tuesday, July 29, 2014

Inhalation vs topical use vs Ingestion

An infographic that we posted on Facebook recently that has been shared a LOT. I am putting it here so that I can refer to it and link to in when folks ask me about recommendations to apply undiluted oils to the feet, or other portions of their anatomy. 

Inhalation is the FASTEST and most EFFICIENT method to get the components of the essential oils we use into your blood stream. 

and, regarding ingestion: 

The above graphic was created and copyrighted by a knowledgeable friend.  It makes perfect sense to me! WHY would you consider drinking something that is a major component of  drain cleaner, that can strip the finish off your dining room table, or melt a plastic bottle?

Tuesday, July 15, 2014

Liquid Salad?

Years ago, in the early 70's, the boys and I lived in "waiting wives" housing at Niagara Falls Air Force Base while their father served in Viet Nam.  My next door neighbors (we shared a duplex) were an AF officer whose name I've forgotten, and his wife Lois.  I am thinking she must be the source of this recipe in old notebook that has totally fallen apart.  At any rate,  I visited the Farmer's Market this Sunday, and filled my kitchen with fresh veggies.  And remembered how we all used to love this.

Lois's Gazpacho

  • 2 large tomatoes
  • 1/2 cucumber, peeled
  • 1/2 cup canned tomato juice
  • 1 medium onion.
Combine these in a blends, puree for 30 seconds or until fairly smooth. Pour into a large mixing bowl.
  • 2 1/2 cups tomato juice
  • 1/4 C Olive Oil
  • 1/3 C Wine Vinegar
  • 1/4 tsp Tabasco
  • 1 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1 tsp garlic powder
  • 1/8 tsp of pepper.
Mix all of these into the bowl of puree.
  • 1 large tomato
  • 1/2 large cucumber
  • 1/4 cup chives or green onions.
Dice the above vegetables fine, stir into the puree.

chill at least 4 hours, all day or overnight is better.

The Farmer's Market yielded a huge (and delicious) Cantelope, and fresh Georga Peaches.  I have recipes for iced cantelope soup with grated fresh ginger, or for chilled cantelope and peach soup.  Not sure which to experiment with next.


Saturday, July 12, 2014

Reactions to Raindrop Treatment

Shared by one of my mentors: Gabriel Mojay

Skin Reactions after 'Raindrop Treatment': Nonsensical Explanations

June 30, 2014 at 9:20am
Nonsensical excuses are being made to explain away skin irritation, itching and rashes caused by the dermal application of undiluted essential oils in 'raindrop technique'.

The owner of the website below, on a page entitled 'Skin Reaction after Raindrop Treatment: Three Reasons', pronounces: "Experiencing skin reactions or rashes after using the oils or after having had a Raindrop Therapy done on you is experiencing a “healing crisis” (which means some physical and energy toxins is releasing out from the body)".

...A "crisis" of sorts, yes... but "healing"? - no. It's skin irritation.

The founder of the technique, who according to an inquiry made by Eva Briggs MD pleaded guilty in 1983 to the unlawful practice of medicine, offers: “If a rash should appear, it is an indication of a chemical reaction between the oils and synthetic compounds in the skin cells and interstitial fluid of the body (usually from conventional personal care products). Some misconstrue this as an allergic reaction, when in fact the problem is not caused by allergy but rather by foreign chemicals already imbedded in the tissues.” (From a booklet entitled 'Raindrop Technique', as quoted on

...An altogether more pragmatic explanation — simply blame it on other products, with the help of some nonsensical 'science'.

Tisserand and Young discuss raindrop technique in 'Essential Oil Safety' (2nd ed) - a vital text for anyone working with essential oils - as follows (my highlights):

"There are reasons for avoiding this practice, especially in vulnerable groups such as infants, children or the elderly.

"First, the risk of skin reactions increases with essential oil concentration, and the widespread use of raindrop technique could lead to an escalation of skin allergy to essential oils. Undiluted thyme and oregano oils, for example, pose a risk of skin irritation.

"Second, when essential oils are applied undiluted to the skin, percutaneous absorption may lead to relatively high constituent concentrations in the bloodstream, which increases the risk of systemic toxicity. Wintergreen oil, for example, is moderately-to-severely to toxic, and many basil oils are potentially carcinogenic, with recommended dermal use levels of below 2%.

"Finally, the risk of drug interactions is increased. Topically applied methyl salicylate can increase the anticoagulant effect of warfarin, causing side effects such as internal hemorrhage (Le Bourhis & Soenen 1973), and wintergreen oil contains 98% methyl salicylate."

...Many choices in life are difficult ones, full of conflicting considerations; some, however, are easy — either believe the inconsistent and preposterous excuses of the hucksters, or accept the extensive evidence and considered judgment of those who are dedicated to accuracy and truth.

[Feel free to share... no need to ask, thanks.]

Monday, July 7, 2014

oh YUM

About to be added to the recipe collection in Essential Waters:

Strawberries and Rose CreamAdd 1 1/2 teaspoons of sugar and 1/2 teaspoon of rose hydrosol  to 1 cup of cold heavy cream before whipping it. Adjust the sugar and rosewater to taste toward the end. Serve with strawberries.


Recipe and pictures courtesy of Food52.

Sunday, July 6, 2014

Out of the cocoon

In a group on Facebook I mentioned how, a lot of years ago, Gabriel Mojay forced me out of my nice safe cocoon, and ever since I've been asked to tell the story.  Since it's too long for a Facebook message, here it is.

Most of you know that Nature's Gift started rather by accident.  I had been disabled, and used the time to study the two passions in my life...the new (to me) art of aromatherapy, and online communication. I had just discovered the world wide web and I had to learn to DO that.  And from that combination of factors, Nature's Gift was born. Accidently.  As a way to fill up my time and energy since I couldn't WORK.

I bought or borrowed every book available in the early '90s. (Not many!)  I made blends and gifted them to friends. And when the friends wanted more, I told them I needed to buy more ingredients. 

And I put my bright and shiny HTML skills together and designed a web site. At first it was hosted on   in 1995.  For several years I lost money.  But it kept me sane. and I learned.   I discovered this mailing list...hosted at a place called "IDMA" (and we never knew what that was.) But the IDMA list deserves a major place in the history of online aromatherapy.  So many experts...scholars and students, practioners, teachers... willing to share their expertise with a bunch of thirsty little sponges.  Robert Seidel, from the Essential Oil Company. Rob Pappas (back then he was with Lebermuth) James P. Kababick, Art Tucker and other chemists, Tony Burfield who went on to found CropWatch, Sylla Sheppard Hanger of the Atlantic Institute, who told me "you need my book" and let me buy it at cost, Marcia Elston from Samara Botane, Michel VanHove (he was still in Belgium then.) Mick Gahaghan "the english chamomile man", Jim Dierking, from Liberty Natural, Mary Martin from Violet Star, Jeffrey Schiller, the author, Pam Parsons of The Aromatic Thymes, JoAnn Bassett, the perfumer, Suzanne Catty, who went on to write the book about Hydrosols,  Laraine Kyle, who went on to be my assistant Christi's teacher and to be one of the founders of the Alliance, Kathy Duffy who is my teacher now... so many names. And they shared.  Mynou (who gave us online commentary from NYC on 911), Graham, who left the UK to move to the US and marry Lynda, Gary, Sharon from Poland...a long list of names. Some still active in the online aromatic community, and some long gone.

And Gabriel Mojay.  who wrote a book I couldn't wrap my brain around.   Chinese elements and essential oils?  it made my head hurt.  But he shared on the groups. Important, helpful suggestions that I saved. (I saved TONS of archives.)

Meanwhile, I was learning and studying.  And sharing.  Now, you have to realize, I was painfully shy. And totally lacking in self confidence.  Which made the online community ideal for me.  If I didn't know an answer I could look it up.  I had been active in online/computer communications since the early 80's and found a lot of safety on this side of the monitor. There was a whole wide world out there, and I could play..but stay safely behind the shield of the monitor.

In 1998 I went to my very first Aromatherapy conference and trade show... the NAHA conference in St. Louis.  I was overwhelmed.  Most of the presentations were over my head, and the presenters...the vendors booths just left me in awe.   They were so polished, and together, and organized.  I loved it.  I came back home, contacted some of the folks I met there, and Nature's Gift grew a tiny bit.  I had to hire a part time employee because I couldn't do it all any more.    Time went on. We survived the panic over the millenium. The computers kept computing.  NAHA planned a conference in Seattle.  And I sent in my registration.  I was going to my second conference.

and the following email (much abridged) arrived in my mailbox.  Dated July 1, 2000.

"...Actually, I have a serious proposal for you, regarding the Conference:

You may or may not know that I half-own an organic essential retail company called Materia Aromatica, based here in England.  It is mainly run by Isabelle, my business partner in this venture.  It is by no means my main business concern, which has since 1987 been my educational institute.

Anyway, Isabelle and I decided in January to book a $800 booth at the Conference.  Isabelle was to take charge of most of the manning of the booth, at which we intended to sell our oils as well as make available the small brochures for my seminars and a new A2-sized poster I have designed and printed.

Isabelle, however, can no longer attend the Conference, and Felicity and I are reluctant to take yet more stuff out to Seattle with us, as well as be responsible for manning the booth for 2 days.

So here is my proposal: that for $550 we allow you to effectively design and run it as a Nature's Gift booth, but 'share' it with us insofar that you will allow me sufficient space on the table to put the seminar brochures and perhaps a couple of other leaflets or prospectuses ~ plus enough space on one of the walls behind to display the poster for sale at $15.  It also means that one of us will probably spend a little time with you here and there *behind* the table!

I don't whether you feel the turmoil within NAHA has settled down at all, or whether it will effect the trade show area in any case, but please let me know what you think of my idea...  Thanks, Marge!

With warm regards from Gabriel"

 and the panic set in!

Mind you, I had been to ONE trade show.  I had no more idea how one went about putting together a booth and SELLING STUFF... Face to face, in front of live people...

But... Gabriel was... GABRIEL.   and his sharing a booth would be... validation that this nobody from middle Tennessee was a serious supplier.  I couldn't NOT do this, if I ever wanted Nature's Gift to be more than an expensive hobby... a hole the money went down.

Six hours later I replied: "so much for taking a week to decide, seems *I* may not think that I am ready for this, but the universe (in the form of two or three people in the industry whose experience and judgement I trust) think that I am.

so, yes, please and thank you.  what a VERY generous offer!

now, I can see some possible spanners in the works... Naha might not like the idea...and I was wondering if YOU could contact them and tell them that you have offered part of your booth space to Nature's Gift? See, they are quite possible of telling ME, as an individual, that no, I can't do that without paying a whole additional fee, etc. But there's no way they are going to tell YOU no.

Just spent the past 1/2 hour on the phone with Barbara Lucks getting hints, suggestions and ideas for setting up a trade show booth...where to get banners made, how to arrange samples, don't forget the coffee beans for clearing the olfactory palate, etc.  And my little assistant, Hope, is SO excited about this...(she's also my daughter in law, and a really darling)..she has never been west of the Mississippi, so this is a very big deal for both of us!


Now..there is much more to the story than that.  I'd love to say we waived a magic wand, all the pieces fell together and all went smoothly. Life is seldom that obliging.

I mentioned earlier that I was truly terrified of being in front of a crowd, didn't I?  well, I was.  And, my fear and my body decided I was not to go to Seattle in September.   Mid July I woke up one morning with what appeared to be a horrific burn on my face... red, raw skin... for no reason that I knew of. It was disfiguring enough that for almost a month I didn't leave this house.  And how could I go run an Aromatherapy vendors booth? Obviously I could not.

A friend (who is no longer in TN) was a powerful energy worker.  She knew the problem with my face, the apparent burn, and asked if she and one of her teachers could work on me.  I was skeptical, but had little to lose, so agreed.   At her house they wrapped me in a buffalo robe, and started smudging me, and packing my body with sage.  I remember shivering... feeling SO cold... and then I guess I went into the zone. I do not know what else they did.  I think I was gone for close to an hour.  When I awoke, returned, whatever... I felt light... as though I could have floated off that couch.

When I tried to describe how I was as though every molecule of my body had had an atom of lead in it, weighing me down, and the rituals they did removed the lead that was anchoring me, so I was free to float.   And they told me to go look in a mirror.   My face, which, an hour earlier, had looked like a piece of raw steak, was pale pink, and starting to peel.  It looked like a healing sunburn.

We talked for a long time.  I think they did, somehow, remove something that had been weighing me down... My being had been consumed with fear...always had been, and it was what was weighing me down.  And that is what had burned my face. What better way to avoid doing something that terrified me, than to have something happen to my face, so I could not face the public? (And, of course, I was terrified of facing the public.)

If someone else had told me this story, I'd have said "yeah, right" and not believed a word of it.   But, it's what happened.  This was, perhaps, mid August.  We scrambled, packed oils and accessories, and flew to Seattle.

Thank you, Gabriel, for forcing me to leave my comfort zone. 

Sunday, June 29, 2014

'British vs. French Aromatherapy' – a myth... or a smokescreen?

From aromatherapist,teacher and author Gabriel Mojay, Principal of the Institute of Traditional Herbal Medicine and Aromatherapy. . (Most you know I think his Aromatherapy for Healing the Spirit is the best guide to the emotional uses of the oils I have ever read.)  He was kind enough to let us share this on our blog:

"I'm not sure I would call this business over 'British vs. French Aromatherapy' a 'myth' as such —
more of a ploy by MLM distributors to distract people from the fact that they are overwhelmingly unqualified to recommend or administer the intensive/internal methodologies commonly associated with the 'French' approach they lay claim to.

My concern is that they aren't even equipped with adequate knowledge to safely direct people to use essential oils via dermal methods of application, which they simplistically brand as 'British' — let alone via the oral route. Their invention and promotion of potentially skin-sensitizing applications such as 'raindrop' and 'aromaflex' makes this glaringly obvious.

In a nutshell: the so-called 'French' and 'British' labels are being used to mislead and mystify.

Their use of these labels misleads by giving the impression that they represent contrasting therapeutic systems, as for example between orthodox and natural medicine — whereas they are no more than simplistic, somewhat nationalistic, ways of distinguishing between different sets of methodologies... methodologies that, properly understood, belong to a single, integrated therapeutic discipline: Aromatherapy.

Their use of the 'French' and 'British' labels mystifies by obscuring the crucial difference between the methodologies they represent — which is the training required to safely administer them ...rather than the countries some continue to associate them with.

Doctors can prescribe pharmaceutical drugs because they have completed the necessary training to correctly and safely do so — not on the basis of merely asserting the proposed benefits of those drugs. Simply hailing the superiority of the so-called 'French' style of Aromatherapy does not give a person the moral right to administer internal/intensive methodologies without even basic training.

Look at the training and examinations physicians are required to undergo to prescribe pharmaceutical drugs. Given their pharmacological potency, why should essential oils be treated so fundamentally differently? It doesn't make sense.

Exponents of such sales tactics make bizarre statements to justify their contempt for proper, accredited education, such as at "The British are more interested in 'aroma' than they are in 'therapy'" — an affront to all those Aromatherapists who work tirelessly, and often voluntarily, in palliative and cancer care, in particular.

The same author claims that "The French school emphasizes that aromatherapy is safe and can be practiced, with common sense, by anyone whether trained in the healing arts or not." Why then is it illegal in France for anyone other than a physician or registered pharmacist to therapeutically administer essential oils? His argument doesn't add up.

About one thing, however, he is correct: “The British school [though I prefer myself to call it the international Ethical school] emphasizes that essential oils have their hazards and is best practiced by trained, certified professionals." ...Yes, sir — and you will find that the same conviction is part of the bedrock of every other branch of orthodox and natural medicine.

The very last sentence of the web page where this article appears is the most telling of all: "
Please seek the advice of a licensed health care provider for any condition that may require medical or psychological attention."
With warm wishes from your devoted colleague,
Gabriel Mojay

Thank you Gabriel!  This has been posted on Facebook, but it's hard to permanently link to Facebook posts.  I'm hoping that by his sharing it here, we can use the link whenever the "French method" is brought up as justification for unwise and untrained uses of the oils we love.

Thursday, June 26, 2014

Juniper Berry Oil

In honor of our new shipment of organic Canadian Juniper Berry Oil, we thought we'd share a lot of information about this cleansing oil.

You may order it from our alphabetical list of essential oils, here.

Physical effects of Juniper Essential Oil

Physically, Juniper Berry Oil is a diuretic and is often included in anti-cellulite and detoxifying blends. It is an essential component of any detoxifying blend, said by many to help with recovery from too much rich food or drink.
Rosemary Caddy recommends Juniper Oil for treating gout, since, she says, it expels Uric Acid from the body. (Perhaps blended in St. John's Wort Oil for its anti-inflammatory effect?)
Juniper is antimicrobial for a wide range of bacteria (airborne, staph, strep.etc.) and can be used for respiratory complaints (inhalation).
Juniper Oil is said to help recover from hangovers . It may be helpful with arthritis and rheumatism.

Skincare Uses of Juniper Oil

In skincare it is said to aid in balancing oily skin and hair (thinking it would make a lovely blend with Geranium, perhaps a man's blend?).
A facial steam with juniper oil is a wonderful aid to balancing oily skin or to soften blackheads.

Energetic Uses of Juniper Essential Oil

Energetically, Juniper is said to clean the atmosphere of a room, clearing negativity from rooms or from people. (Similar to the cleansing effects of white sage.) There are those who recommend its use meditation for centering and drawing loving energy.

Safety Warnings

Avoid during pregnancy or with babies. Avoid with kidney disease and acute bladder/kidney infections.

Blending with Juniper Oil

Detox Scrub:  to 1/2 cup of sea salt, add enough carrier oil of your choice (Jojoba works well for all skin types) to blend to a "wet sand" consistency.   Blend 4 drops Lemon essential oil, 4 drops Juniper essential oil, and 2 drops Fennel essential oil.  Stir essential oil blend into scrub base.  After showering, while still standing in the shower, scrub the body with this gently detoxifying scrub, paying special attentions to areas of cellulite.  Rinse well and dry. 

Detox Bath: Blend one cup Dead Sea Salts with the same essential oil blend mentioned above. Stir into warm bath, soak as long as you have patience for.

Energizer:  Combine equal parts of  peppermint, juniper, and rosemary cineole essential oils.  Either use in aromalamp or diffuser, or, for an energizing shower, put four or five drops of the blend on the shower floor. The steam will diffuse the aromatics.

Forest Blend - for a man's toiletries or to scent a room.  If I were a candle maker I would LOVE a candle scented with this blend.

6 parts fir needle e.o.
4 parts cedarwood e.o.
2 part juniper berry
1 part cypress e.o.
1 part patchouli e.o.

"STRESS RELIEF" Blend Commercial dupe's not a 'destressor'...see our Destress Synergy for that...But a true and natural essential oil variant of a popular commercial scent.  Bright, fresh and springlike.  The original formula comes from a talented blender known as Cat... we've tweaked a bit..  this makes a wonderful lamp or diffuser blend.
measure by drops, The total will be approximately 1 1/2 ml. 
  • Spearmint - 6
  • Bulgarian Lavender - 4
  • Juniper Branch & Berry - 4
  • Clary Sage - 4
  • Peppermint - 3
  • Eucalyptus Globulous - 3
  • Bay Laurel - 2
  • Mandarine Red - 2
  • Coriander - 2
  • Jasmine Grand - 1
  • Clove Bud - 1
  • Scotch Pine - 1
Juniper oil blends well with  Cypress, Eucalyptus, Fennel, Lemon, Mastic, and Rosemary oils.

Wednesday, June 4, 2014



From the Mayo Clinic: Cellulitis (sel-u-LI-tis) is a common, potentially serious bacterial skin infection. Cellulitis appears as a swollen, red area of skin that feels hot and tender, and it may spread rapidly.  Skin on lower legs is most commonly affected, though cellulitis can occur anywhere on your body or face. Cellulitis may affect only your skin's surface, or cellulitis may also affect tissues underlying your skin and can spread to your lymph nodes and bloodstream. Left untreated, the spreading infection may rapidly turn life-threatening. That's why it's important to seek immediate medical attention if cellulitis symptoms occur.

In midMarch Brenda Richardson wrote that her mother was struggling with Cellulitis on her legs. The infection was not responding to the oral antibiotics her mother was taking, and Brenda, as a nurse, knew how difficult Cellulitis can be to treat. She wondered about using the MERCY body wash prior to applying the prescribed antibiotic ointment. Then she mused about adding Benchmark Thyme to the body wash.

 In MidApril she wrote:

Thought you would like to know that i made a 1% dilution with the benchmark thyme and liquid castile soap for my mom. She has had cellulitis in both legs. She washes with it twice a day before doing her ace wraps and feels like it has really helped to clear up the infection. She wondered if she could use it in place of mercy soap for the perineal area she loves it so much. Is 1% dilution good for that? She loves the smell which is funny because she doesn't love many smells.  I am very excited to hear her legs are getting better. So wish i had thought to have her take before and after pics. She has also taken an antibiotic but in my experiences with cellulitis patients, it does not resolve quickly."
to which I replied:
And the only answer I can give is "I don't know"... it's a lower dilution..  my instinct says 'try it and see...  The MERCY has been keeping her clear of UTI's, right?    two thoughts..  we will only know that it is NOT working if she gets another infection... I hate that..but there is truly no way to test it that I have access to.  (in Europe they could culture, to an 'aromatogram' and see specificially what bacteria and what oils... I can't do that.
so.. either try it and see..
or...  am thinking you could split the difference??? blend = amts of the benchmark 1% in castile  with the MERCY cleanser..  that would 1/2 the strength of EACH... but would give you some synergistic benefits..
or... try just the benchmark blend... if infections start again... try the second option???
 sorry...but this is just beyond me, so I'm just tossing out suggestions..

In MidMay Brenda wrote:

So this is my thought....
If cellulitis keeps coming back and you have to keep taking antibiotics etc what do we have to lose trying the mercy gel twice a day to tackle the problem? If it doesn't work it doesn't work. My only question for you is could this SAFELY be applied twice a day, allowed to dry and then her ace wraps on top? I am assuming its like a 3% dilution. Could I safely add in  another 1/2 cc per 100 ml of benchmark thyme?
I gotta try something to break the cycle. Antibacterial oils make more sense than steroid cream!
to which I replied that I didn't concern would be irritating the already damaged skin.  Her mother had been through major surgeries, has had a LOT of medical issues this year and this cellulitus, while not as immediately life threatening as some of her other issues was an ongoing challenge.

Today, June 4th Brenda Emailed:

I have to tell you the best news..... The mercy gel did the trick. My mom said it helped more with her cellulitis than anything she tried (steroid cream prescribed) and now she is not wrapping her legs or wearing support hose. It was worth the gamble. I will be spreading the word in my home health world!!!  She put in on twice a day( after washing with mercy soap) let it dry a few minutes and wrapped her legs with ace bandages. She said the healing was amazing. She is going to continue using soap and gel twice daily since cellulitis tends to keep coming back. And yes you can quote me and share this testimonial. I ordered the gel in desperation when she told me she finished oral antibiotics with no change.

Thank you for such awesome products!
YES!!!!!!!!!!!!  Because of Brenda's tenacity and ingenuity, it worked.
There is noting in the world as rewarding as knowing that our products have truly made a difference in someone's life and wellbeing!

Monday, May 5, 2014

What keeps us going -

We talk about loving to get feedback.  I hope you all know we love to hear what has helped you, what has worked for you.

But sometimes we see evidence of the sheer healing power of these oils and these products that takes our breath away.

Most of you have read about, and many of you have used our MERCY suite of products, shown in a lab to be effective against the MRSA bacteria.  We have positive feedback from a lot of you that it has made a difference.

We KNOW it is a powerful anti-bacterial. We have never thought of it as a powerful anti-fungal.  Perhaps we should.

Debi Rodriguez, from Wisconsin, is the nurse who sparked the idea for the MERCY products, and did the lab tests over and over as we struggled to perfect the formula.  Obviously she has been one of its biggest fans, and a lot of our success stories come from Debi.   She recommends it, and uses it, on the really hard cases.
Before MERCY - severe fungal infection

This weekend she sent me some pictures.  A young man had a fungus on his hands. The doctors had tried all the oral and topical antifungals, and nothing was helping.

The picture, above, shows what presented when Debi first saw him.   She gave the family some of our MERCY body wash and gel.The picture below was taken after five days use of the MERCY Body Wash and MERCY Treatment Gel.

Five days treatment with MERCY

I don't know any of the details on this case. The diagnosis, the age of the boy, anything.  All I know is that Debi says the lad's mother asked that we PLEASE share her results on our website so that others can be helped.

And how very grateful we all are, just to be a part of yet another person's healing journey.