Saturday, August 29, 2015

Aussie Oils ONE - Kunzea ambigua

 Sandy Barrett is my friend and fellow student.  Because of her nursing background, she finds the chemistry aspect of essential oils easier to comprehend, and enjoys doing research in order to increase her understanding.  Needless to say, she is so excited for our upcoming course with Mark Webb that she began researching some of the oils Mark discusses in Bush Sense, and shared her findings with us.  This is the first of a series on some of the lesser known Australian essential oil. Sandy writes:
Far too often in life, it is easier to find reasons why we shouldn’t or can’t do something, than
it is to justify DOING it.  Even when it is a once in a life time opportunity, we hesitate, until something finally clicks and we ask ourselves, “How can I NOT?”

 Mark Webb is the author of Bush Sense, Australian Essential Oils and Aromatic Compounds.  An internationally respected educator of essential oils from Australia, Mark is enthusiastic in furthering the understanding of essential oils and their uses. Therefore, when it was announced that he would be offering his course in the U.S., many reached the conclusion of, “How can I NOT?”  For future students of aromatherapy, we *hope* this won’t be a once in a lifetime event (but we aren’t taking any chances!).

In lieu of this, Nature’s Gift will be sharing a series of articles about Australian Essential Oils.  Though familiar in their native habit, Australian essential oils are now becoming more recognized by the rest of the world for their unique properties.    To kick-start this, today's discussion will be about the amazing Kunzea.

Kunzea Ambigua (Smith) Druce – is a shrub found in North - eastern Tasmania and South-eastern mainland, Australia.  The flowers are small and usually white (rarely pink). The aerial parts of the shrub are used for the essential oil, through steam distillation. Other common names are  White kunzea, Tasmanian spring flower, Southern spring flower, and poverty bush. (1)(3)

IN AUSTRALIA, this oil is TGA (Therapeutic Goods Administration)  registered for the temporary relief of arthritis and rheumatism pain, flu symptoms, muscle aches and pains, nervous tension, stress, and mild anxiety.    Given the constituents of this wonderful oil, one can understand  the conclusion.  (1)
Per Mr. Webb’s research, the Major Chemical Constituents in a typical analysis of the oil are:
Constituent                                          Average                                     Must be Greater than
Alpha-pinene                                          39                                                      >30                               
1.8 –cineole                                            15.8                                                    9
Globulol                                                 11.9                                                    2
Viridiflorol                                             9.4                                                      6
bicyclogermacrene                                 5.1                                                       4
Alpha-terpineol                                      2.9                                                       1.5
*As well as small amounts of calamenene, spathulenol, citronellol, ledol, limonene    (1)
Monoterpenes – Alpha-pinene, 1.8 cineole, alpha-terpineol, citronellol, limonene
Sesquiterpenes – globulol, viridiflorol, bicyclogermacrene, spathulenol, calamenene, ledol. (2)

Australlian studies have shown Kunzea to be effective against staphylococcus aureus, pseudomonas aeruginosa, e-coli, and candida albicans.  Historically, it was noted by early pioneers that native animals often slept under the bush.  It is believed that the insect repelling qualities aided the animals in relieving themselves of pests such as ticks, mites and other insects.  (1)

  Kunzea has dermal penetrating traits due to its content of monoterpenes and sesquiterpenes.  For that reason, it is effective for several dermal issues.  When used for gout, Webb states that “patients experienced a healing rash in which uric acid is excreted through the rash.”  The oil relieves skin irritation caused by this.  Webb still suggests that those with sensitive skin to do a patch test prior to use.  He also offers the opinion that the oil is effective on the skin surface, in a bath, or in aromatic profusion blends.  As well, he finds the oil useful as an analgesic, for insect bites, eczema, room deodorizing, for bruising and inflammation, soft tissue injuries such as strains and sprains, control of tinea, as well as anti-inflammatory and respiratory applications. In Bush Sense, it is described as a pleasant, clean, fresh scent with invigorating undertones. (1)   I find his description spot on. 

Robert Tisserand states skin sensitization possible IF OXIDIZED, noting old or oxidized oils should be discarded.  He recommends that because of the a-pinene content, the oil be stored in dark, airtight container and refrigerated.  He states there is no data regarding toxicity, carcinogenic or anti-carcinogenic abilities.  (3)

  In closing, Webb stated, “In isolation, many oils are good.  But combined, you can get some very powerful, low toxicity and very well- tailored blends for the respiratory system.” (1)

(1)Mark Webb.  Bush Sense, Australian Essential Oils and Aromatic Compounds, Adelaide, Australia:  Griffin Press, 2000. 
(2)Rosemary Caddy.  Aromatherapy, Essential Oils in Colour, Caddy Classic Profiles. Kent: Amberwood Publishing, Ltd. 2013 
(3)  Robert Tisserand/Rodney Young.  Second Edition, Essential Oil Safety:  Churchill Livingstone, 2013.

My comments:

We had latched onto the common name "Tickbush" and had been recommending Kunzea in insect repellant blends.  Robbi Zeck, in The Blossoming Heart, recommends Kunzea for emotional healing, for diffusing/dispersing deeply hidden emotional pain.
And then one day a client called seeking Kunzea ambigua for use in a blend that aided the pain of his rheumatoid arthritis.  We had never taken seriously its pain relieving capabilities, although I had read of them in Bush Sense.  So we started blending.  Kunzea, in a base of Arnica infused oils eased my middle of the night leg cramps.  Kunzea in arnica, with helichrysum italicuum added, became our "That's Better" blend, for bumps, bruises and other hurts. We recommend blending it with Helichrysum or German Chamomile for pain resulting from inflamation,  
I expect to learn a lot more, and share more, about this amazing pain reliever after Sandy and I finish Mark's course in Atlanta in October.  

And I thank Sandy for sharing her studies, and being my guest blogger! And Mark Webb for the use of his wonderful photos!
Read more and order your own bottle of Kunzea essential oil here.

Sunday, August 2, 2015

"Real People with Real Struggles and Joys"

Sometimes I am reminded of why we are here... "boxes full of joy and healing."  This past week Christi and I had such a reminder:

Deanna and I have been emailing about some product questions, and, after her last order she sent the following message. And just reading it, thinking of all that this woman has on her plate bought all my busyness to a screeching halt.

"Wanted to give you a quick review ...I wanted to pass this on directly...I love love your peppermint !  Sometimes I have really bad foot/leg cramps and seriously within 30 seconds of peppermint with carrier...they stop.  Yours, for me, seems to work the best for this.  Also I made a spray out of the lavender mailette which some of my kids that have a hard time sleeping or worried about having bad dreams, will spray on their pillows.  My mother in law passed away suddenly last week and the kids (I have 8) and my mother (Alzheimer's) made a very fast trip to meet my husband (had to travel ahead of us for planning purpose ) ...about an 7 hr drive from N CA to OR ...let me say my kids are no problem and had a good time with was another story.  I mean no disrespect but my mom was so frazzled with her dementia that she tried to escape the hotel room five times during the day :(.  By night I was exhausted and she kept us up quite a bit waking almost every hour.  The second night I remembered I brought the spray with me and sprayed her pillow and her Jammie's.  She only woke up once ...whew !!! Once we arrived home she really couldn't remember that we even went on a trip.  I also had peppermint and lemon spray for the car for a pick me along with my coffee !! Your oils find their way into the lives of real people ..people that have struggles and joys.  I never take the approach that they are the end all but I do appreciate them in my daily life :) thanks again for your dedicated quality !!!"

an 8 hour drive... eight children,  mom with Alzheimer's...  yes.     and I thanked her for reminding me that our oils go out to "real people that have struggles and joys."     Christi and I had tears in our eyes when we read this message...  and tucked something that might help with her mother's agitation into her next order.

I wrote back: "Deanna... thank you!

your message touched me....   a reminder of 'why we are here'...   I sometimes do blog articles with the title 'why we are here"... reminders... as you say..that we ARE dealing with real people and their struggles and their joys.  Would love to be able to use your message...with or without your name....   but, of course, won't without your permission!
Am imagining that trip....  and do NOT see how you cope...   I sit here in my quiet office and quiet house and...  sometimes don't know where our oils may go...
I have an idea that might prove helpful sometimes with your mother... we are tucking some red mandarine into your order... it's a gift (because you just gave me a gift!)... might help with 'sundowning' and agitation.  again...thank you."

"Marge that is so sweet and I'm tearing up seriously at your thoughtfulness.  Yes you may use anything I just shared and my name too no problem !! I will make a spray for my mom as she loves the scents of many of the oils and doesn't mind me spraying them for her.  I couldn't make this life journey with her without my hubby and kids ...they are part of the whole team.  I'm no super woman or better than anyone else who has struggles ..just remembering a new day brings mercies and grace ...and scents ;)   

and later, when the latest order arrived: Thank you so much for such quick shipping and that thoughtful gift ..I made a quick spray and spritzed it on my mom  before we headed out the door to go to a movie.  She loved the scent and it just brings a smile on her which is really hard to do with the stage she is in. Blessings and love to you and your staff for the job you do and care you take !!! And she sent me a photo of her whole family... "the whole team"...   "Thought I would send a pic of that trip with my kids and hubby was already in OR. I couldn't do Alzheimer's without any of these amazing kids !!! My mom is on the end next to my oldest daughter. "    And she sent this photo of the mid-trip picnic.  

Real people, with real struggles and joys...and we get to be a part of it, and to make a difference.

Thank you, Deena, for reminding me why we do what we do.  to quote my daughter,  almost 20 years ago..."every day, all over the world, she sends out boxes full of joy and healing."