Monday, May 29, 2017

What I learned in Boulder (Part 4)

The "basic" essential oils in skincare:

(Madeleine teaches a basic tool kit of ten essentials, all readily available and quite effective. In this lesson she reviewed their best known uses, and mentioned some that I had forgotten.  Emphasis on paliative skincare:)

Blue Chamomile and CO2 (known to us as German Chamomile)

Recommended for sensitive and irritated skin, for itching, *allergic reactions* (we reach for Blue Tansy and recommend this more readily available "blue oil".  Adjuvant for oncological ulcers. She recommends combining the Total CO2 extract and the distilled oil for more effective healing.   There was a question about candida and other fungal diseases.  German chamomile will not kill the fungus, it is not anti-fungal, but will definitely help with the inflammation that results and should be added to anti-fungal blends for this reason.

Roman Chamomile 

Recommended for dry eczema, and for psoriasis and scaling skin. (I tend to reach for Roman Chamomile as a relaxent and don't think of it for skin care.)


Madeleine says this is the most versatile essential oil for skincare. Powerful anti-fungal, star at wound healing, effective against Staph, Strep, and MRSA.  Use for infected wound. Calming to the nervous system, use it in blends for scarring in nerve-rich areas.  Safe at up to an 8% dilution (although I would patch test first, geraniol is  a component of the "Fragrance Blend" used in allergy patch testing.)    Use for ear infections in an inhaler.  Did you know that if an oil is inhaled through the mouth, not the nose, that it goes directly to the inner ear and can help combat both infection and pain?  Neither did I!  (Need to remember to add this to our Personal Inhaler description.)

Ginger CO2

Use for skin with poor circulation, directly on Stage 1 decubitus (bed sores) or around stages 2 to 4. Best use: Stimulating surface circulation, use at 0.25% to 0.5%, best diluted in either St. John's Wort Macerate/infusion or in Sesame oil.


"For anything that needs soothing."    She recommends diluting in food grade Aloe Vera Gel for use around an ostomy bag, puncures sites, etc. for any site that skin is subject to irritation.   Acne and infected acne. (perhaps with Geranium?)

Sweet Marjoram

Anti-oxidant and antibacterial. Use for any sort of skin infection.  Add to bandaid/bandage, use to cover the wound.  ie, add to the dressing, not directly to the wound itself.    Use for infected wounds, necrotic tissue (to help with the smell) ulcers and abcesses.    Madeleine recommends a blend of Lavender, Helichrysum, Geranium and Sweet Marjoram to add to wound dressings, to clear infections and speed healing.


Cooling, pain from wound edges, post herpetic pain, itching.  Low dilution!

Pine, Scotch

(May substitute other conifers.)  Use at very low dilution, for candida, for peripheral vascular disease. for poorly perfused skin.

Other valuable oils for skincare, outside of the basic 10:


An alcohol extract, not a true essential oil. (My note, any "pourable" benzoin is diluted in a solvent, important to know what the solvent is. Most common are phthalates.)   Anti-inflammatory, useful addition to an anti-bedsore cream.  Treating scars.  Use at less than a 1% dilution.


Has a cortisone-like effect without the side effects.. Use for the swelling of lymphedeme.  Any sort of inflammation. Swelling of mucous membranes. Anti-histamine.


Strongly recommended instead of tea tree. Milder, less prone to oxidation.  Effective against MRSA and fungal infections.  Madeleine cautions us never to use teatree on mucous membranes, that it stings. Manuka is much gentler yet more effective.


Highly skin soothing, painrelieving.  Use for skin irritation, and redness, helps control perspiration.  For clinicians - infiltrates and extravasation may be treated by a 1% dilution of Neroli in food grade Aloe Gel.

Rose Otto and/or Rose Attar

Antibacterial and skin soothing. Support self image, love and acceptance.  Acne, post radiation treatment.


Anti-oxidant, dry and extremely sensitive skin. Use around stomas and moisture lesions.  The high level of Alpha Santalol may be protective against UV damage.

Friday, May 26, 2017

What I learned in Boulder (Part 3)

Base Oils and Macerates:

More information about some familiar carriers, and information about newer ones in our toolbox.

 Sweet Almond Oil: 

Rich in vitamins, and high in Oleic Acid, which promotes skin absorption.  Preferably cold pressed if available, and unrefined.   Very helpful for moisture lesions, like diaper rash and other chronic sores.  A cooling oil.

Avocado Oil:

Helpful for allergic skin, eczema and psoriasis. Good for "stressed skin", ie, under pressure. (My note, wondering if it can help prevent bed sores?)

Borage CO2 Extract 

 High in GLA (gamma linolenic acid), anti-inflammatory. Much longer shelf life than the cold pressed oil, and may be frozen! Excellent for infant's skin care, for extra sensitive skin.

Evening Primrose CO2 Extract

High in GLA and in Linoleic Acid. Protective and healing for the skin, very quickly absorbed. Recommended for tight dry skin, in cases of mastitis, lymphedema, etc.  Linoleic acid can irritate very sensitive skin. If irritation occurs, dilute with Borage Seed Oil, or discontinue use.


 Anti-inflammatory! (I didn't know that.) Well absorbed, allows for very slow, longlasting release of added essential oils, leading, perhaps, to longer-lasting symptom relief.  Good carrier for all skin types. Helpful for acne.

Olive Oil

Good for dry rough skin, cooling.  Helpful for itching.  Traditional base for macerated oils.

Rose Hip Seed CO2 Extract

Excellent carrier for burnt or damaged skin, scarring, ulcers, acne. Very quickly absorbed.  Do not use alone because it causes skin to regenerate too quickly and will leave the skin over sensitive.  Better to blend with Seabuckthorn Seed oil and Calophyllum inophyllum (Tamanu) for scars.  For deep scars blend Rose Hip Seed CO2, with Calophyllum and Helichrysum italicuum to treat deep seated scars in connective tissue.  (I have had clients report that Rose Hip oil and Helichrysum helped with deep scar tissue and I was surprised.  Here is more evidence.  Seems to me this would be an essential post surgical blend.)  

Sea Buckthorn Seed CO2

Excellent carrier for any pain blend, especially important when treating bed sores, ulcers of any type. Useful for all skincare. Very quickly absorbed.  Use at no more than 5% of a blend, as little as 2.5% will be effective.  Use with Rose Hip Seed and Calophyllum inophyllum for scarring.  Healing for damaged skin and extremely sensitive skin.

(Note, this description is for the Seed extract. Madeleine recommends the Sea Buckthorn Pulp for treating mucous membranes.  More on that another day.))

Sesame Oil

Need to be from white, unroasted seeds.  High in Oleic acid,  Warming.  Excellent for skin prone to atrophy, poor circulation.  Also helpful for psoriasis and eczema.

Calophyllum Inophyllum (Tamanu)

Quickly absorbed. Best wound healer, apply to the edges of a wound, not into an open wound. Soothing for nerve pain, effective against any type of skin infection.  Use in skin products if patient is taking prednisone (to help counteract the thinning and/or fragility of the skin that Predinsone can cause.) Very quickly absorbed.  Necessary for any type of damaged skin.

Macerates (infused oils)

Calendula (and Calendula CO2)

Up to 30% Farideol esters.  Use of the CO2 in a white cream, at only 1/2 of one percent, will turn the cream pink.    Preferably dilute the CO2 in a fixed oil high in Oleic Acid for better availablity.  Preferably use the CO2 at only 1 or 2%.  Blend with Seabuckthorn Seed and Calophyllum.  Add Borage for pain relief.

St. Johns Wort

Useful for post surgical itching, healing in nerve rich skin. Use for muscle and joint pain. Healing for burns.  Useful for skin atrophy.   Macerate should be deep red, indicative of infusing fresh, not dried, blossoms.  The CO2 extract will not give the skin healing benefits of the macerated oil.   Later in the weekend Madeleine referred back to St. John's Wort infused oil for treating ear aches.  Perhaps warmed gently and applied all around the ear, the neck and jawline below the ear.  It would not hurt to dip a wisp of cotton in the warmed oil and insert in the ear.  


Monday, May 22, 2017

DuCane Kunzea Oil (Kunzea ambigua) More aromatic history.

Du Cane Kunzea Oil ™ from Tasmanian farmer John Hood: Exponential Healing Potential
By Christi Pugh for Nature’s Gift, Inc. 
May 22, 2017
Over the past fifteen years or so, Australian essential oils have become more and more familiar across the East and in North America as dedicated and professional growers/farmers have begun making us aware of the abundance of unique plants, shrubs, natural woods, and flowers throughout the continent. 
Tick Bush, Spring Flower Bush, or White Kunzea as it is known in Tasmania, Kunzea ambigua is one   It originally gained its nickname from cattlemen who noticed the bush kept certain types of ticks away from their cattle.
Kunzea blossoms
of the up and coming gems being produced from the white flowering branches of the hearty-scruffy shrub which grows best on sandy soil in Eastern Australia.
It shines as a pain reliever and is one of the key ingredients in our, “That’s Better,” blend and the Australian Therapeutic Goods Administration has approved it for use as a pain reliever, particularly for joint pain caused by arthritis.  There are many ongoing studies around Du Cane Kunzea Oil ™ and the results are truly remarkable.  The potential for this essential oil is magnificent and some believe it could be the greatest essential oil to come out of Australia. 
For instance: While many folks have heard the story about John and Peta Day’s beloved Australian Fragonia ™ from Paperbark Oil Company, another pioneer, John Hood of Du Cane Kunzea Oil™, has a story that is not *yet* quite as familiar. 
(The Day’s named agonis fragrans, Fragonia ™, and trademarked the essential oil to ensure all the Fragonia ™ that made its way to market would contain the same specific constituents. While the Days initially started with the most famous essential oil export, Tea Tree oil (Melaleuca alternifolia), they soon began exploring benefits of other native Australian species, learning of the aromatic “Coarse Tea Tree,” bush which was actually a previously unnamed Agonis shrub. After an initial planting in 2001, the rest is history. Sadly, fires took out their trees and Fragonia ™ is expected to be scarce till early 2019, at least.)
Ah, but back to the matter at hand…while the Kunzea bush grows frequently in coastal areas on sandy soil and its parts have been used holistically by aborigines for generations; its benefits as an essential oil weren’t truly explored until Tasmanian farmer John Hood noticed a portion of his fence had been spared from rust unlike the rest of his fence.  Wondering why, he realized this portion had been covered and protected by the Kunzea, which seemed to be somewhat oily, where it had rubbed up against the fencing.  This gave him the idea it must be antioxidant and he began producing and testing the essential oil on his large farm.  He found the monoterpene a-pinene or alpha-pinene to be its most abundant constituent, followed by 1,8 Cineole which is also found in Eucalyptus oils.  The a-pinene is believed to be extremely anti-inflammatory and of course the 1,8 Cineole is helpful for respiratory problems including stuffy noses. 
Today Du Cane Kunzea Oil ™ is considered the best quality and of course is produced from the early work John did by experimentation to identify the plants which produced the very best oil.  Thus, he too trademarked his Du Cane Kunzea Oil ™ as it was developed to contain certain constituents.
Du Cane Kunzea Oil™ is not only an amazing analgesic, it is also reputedly antimicrobial, antibacterial, and is helpful battling staph, e coli, and candida.  French physician, Dr. Daniel Pe`noel, has been extolling the use of Du Cane Kunzea Oil ™ for more than a decade.  He suggests it is helpful for bad muscle aches such as aches from influenza or rheumatism.  He also recommends it for healing irritated skin and cuts and bruises. 
The aroma is quite pleasant, very fresh and herbaceous and is said to be helpful for lifting the spirits and easing anxiety, calming, and freeing. 
(Marge’s Comment) We have eagerly been awaiting our newest shipment of Du Cane Kunzea Oil™  (Kunzea ambigua) which was first stuck in customs and now sitting on a truck somewhere in Tennessee. Somewhere.  Not here.  Maybe tomorrow we can put it back online?  We’ve been out of stock for over a month and we need it. So do you!  

I've spoken on the phone several times with John Hood.  It is easier to catch him by phone than get a response to email.  My impression of him? Perhaps a bit of a curmudgeon, but someone I would like to get to know better. (And if I had registered a trademark for a product and found that others were violating it, I might be just a bit irascible myself!)

Saturday, May 20, 2017

What I learned in Boulder, Part 2. (Pain relief)

More information from Madeleine Kerkhof's "Aromacare in Palliative Care" four day seminar. And this was just part of Day 1!

Madeleine focuses on a brief list of essential oils, her "top ten" list.  The criteria for admission? They must be both effective and readily available.  (And this is why, in teaching, she doesn't address some of our "Must haves."  More on that later, or not.)

A few notes on Pain Relief, first from her basic top 10 oils:
German Chamomile (Blue Chamomile)

German Chamomile:  (I have tended to use this soothing oil for inflamed skin, rather than for pain relief.)  Madeleine recommends it for nerve pain, swelling and inflammation,  for over-strained tendons and ligaments.  And she comments that in blends for pain, it is best to use a blend of both the CO2 Total and the distilled oil since they bring slightly different components. I would not have thought of blending them!

Geranium: I had never considered Geranium for pain relief, but she recommends it for any sort of nerve pain, as well as for emotional pain

Ginger CO2 Total: As well as using alone, in dilution, she recommends blending with Sweet Marjoram. 

Lavender: Add to any pain blend.  (Madeleine uses a first aid gel, food grade Aloe Vera gel with 2% helichrysum, 2% lavender and 1% peppermint.)

Sweet Marjoram
Sweet Marjoram: Amazing for use with Neuralgia. Marvelous for smooth muscle spasms of all types, and for cramps of any type.  It also improves microcirculation which also contributes to pain relief.  She urges us to combine the CO2 and the distilled oil, especially in treating Fibromyalgia.    Madeleine strongly recommends the CO2 extraction for its emotional effects, as well as for pain relief.  She recommends the CO2 for what she calls "emotional cramping"... when a patient is for some reason embracing their sickness and clinging to it, or to ease perfectionism, another form of emotional cramping.

Peppermint:  Cooling.  Helpful for shingles pain, in a 10% dilution. (That surprised me. And I am wondering if Aloe might be a better diluent than a carrier in this case.  I also would want to use the proven Ravensara diluted in Calophylum for Shingles.)  She recommends low dilutions for muscle and joint pain, and to stimulate circulation.  She also recommends substituting Corn Mint (Mentha arventhis) since it is higher in Menthol and it is the Menthol content that gives the effect we want.

Scotch Pine: (she says these recommendations apply not only to Scotch Pine but to most other conifers.  I am thinking Black Spruce or Siberian Fir.)  Stimulates circulation, and in Germany is used in baths to remove lactic acid from overused muscles.

Other oils also recommended for pain relief:

Helichrysum: (At last, I was afraid she would omit this treasure.) Although it is not in her basic 10, she stressed its use for pain of any type and origin.

Lemongrass:  Like Helichrysum, another Cox2 enzyme inhibitor, and powerful anti-inflammatory. Madeleine recommends Lemongrass for detoxifying inflamed joints, and recommends a blend of Pine (or other conifer oils) and Lemongrass for muscle pain and discomfort.

Rosemary (ct Camphor):  Highly recommended for muscle spasms, for restless leg syndrome.  Madeleine warns us never to use Rosemary ct Camphor in cases of epilepsy, brain tumors, or mental disorders.  There are no contraindications for dementia, however.

Spikenard: We are used to Spikenard for insomnia, and for spiritual uses, but I had not considered it for pain relief.  Madeleine recommends Spikenard specifically for sedating, calming, and especially recommends its use in blends for nerve pain.

Addendum: Not an oil that Madeleine teaches, or is familiar with, is our new favorite pain reliever, Kunzea ambigua from Tasmania, off the coast of Australia.  We are seeing amazing results with this relatively new pain reliever and getting amazing feedback.  When Madeleine finally settles down in the Netherlands I have to send her some to add to her tool box. 

Friday, May 12, 2017

Before and After (the Bite!)

Michelle gave her cousin Stephanie some SkeeterBeater and After The Bite, because Stephanie reacts badly to mosquito bites.

She recently posted this message on our Facebook Page, but for reasons unknown, I can't see it, nor can most of our visitors.  We thought it was worth sharing.

Before (bottom( and After (top)  Within one hour.

Stephanie wrote, "Can't thank my cousin Michelle Minor White enough for the goodies! I am a mosquito MAGNET and they always swell up so bad and itch like crazy! She sent me these blends yesterday (SkeeterBeater Gel and After the Bite.) Ironically, I ate breakfast on the screened in porch this morning with the kiddos and lo and behold, I got bitten by a mosquito.  I ran to grab my After the Bite Rollon and it feels WONDERFUL!  It's barely swollen, which is a huge change for me, and it doesn't itch AT ALL!  So then, I made sure to rub some Skeeter Beater Gel on the kids as soon as I got bit.  they both sniffed and said, "mmmm what's that smell?" because it smells great, too.  Go check out her shop and get some goodies! Can't wait to take these jewels camping with us in a couple of weeks!"

Stephanie we are so glad the After the Bite worked for you.  I am amazed by the two pictures, and Michelle says they were taken less than an hour apart?

Wonderful!  and thank you so much for sharing.

Wednesday, May 10, 2017

What I Learned in Boulder

Some of you know I spent the last weekend in April in Boulder CO as a student in Madeleine Kerkhof's AromaCare in Palliative Care seminar.

What a diverse group we were... Hospice Nurses with little or no background in complimentary therapies, aromatherapists with absolutely no experience working with hospice patients, and all sorts of training and experience in between those extremes. We came together as a group, made new friends, and oh did we learn!
Class picture

I've been going through the 'course book' and flagging new information, mostly comments that Madeleine made in class.  I'm listing them here for my own use and reference, but perhaps you might find something helpful. (No, I'm not entering information from the presentation, or from her book.  These are all comments made in the course of the four days.)

But first... (priorities, folks...) FOOD! 

DINNER:  If you like Italian food...  especially if you like "gourmet" Italian food (this is far beyond Momma's Spaghetti and meatballs, folks) we highly recommend Carelli's of Boulder How highly?  Eight of us ate there our first night.  The same eight went back the following night. (We wanted the whole class to come, but it happened to be Prom Night and the restaurant couldn't accomodate us.)  A different group of us went Tuesday night after class ended.   Three out of four nights? We liked it!

Now, to my notes:

PHANTOM PAIN:  Madeleine discussed two different methods of massaging limbs with "phantom pain" (ie, the limb has been amputated but still hurts.)  In both cases she recommended the use of Sweet Marjoram CO2, for both physical and emotional spasms.

Some notes about different base products:

BORAGE CO2: extract for Neuropathy?   Madeleine suggests using the Borage CO2 as 10% to 25% of the base oil in a Neuropathy blend because of its high level of Gamma Linoleic Acid.

SEA BUCKTHORN SEED CO2  Madeleine explained that the pigments in this oil are anti-oxidants. She recommends using it normally at a 2% dilution, with a maximum of 5%.  In cases of extreme pain, where its anti-oxidant effect may prove helpful, she would go up to a 10% dilution. (Which makes me wonder about adding it at 5% to our Trauma Oil.)

CALOPHYLLUM INOPHYLLUM (Tamanu)  Use for anything having to do with pain. (We are already seeing excellent results in its use for neuropathy.)


Lavender Hydrosol:  Just 10 mls of  Lavender Hydrosol (1/3 fl oz) in a 3 or 4 gallon foot bath can ease pain and inflamation, as well as relax the patient.

Peppermint Hydrosol:  She taught that peppermint stimulates the nerve endings in the skin that are sensitive to cold, and thus gives an instant sense of cooling.  In cases of severe bruising, ice will slow circulation, hence slowing healing.  For this purpose, Peppermint hydrosol, either spritzed on, or in a compress, may be more effective than ice.

WHITE CLAY (Kaolin):  She says that 50 grams of white clay added to a warm bath is helpful for joint pain, as clay both stimulates circulation and helps detoxify waste products.  I think we are all used to making face masks of clay, but whoever thought of just adding to a bath?

More to come.  As time allows Christi and I will be adding these notes to our product descriptions on the website, but for now, I wanted them in one place so that we can both access them, and share them with you.