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!