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 Post subject: Essential Oils
PostPosted: Mon Aug 23, 2004 7:25 pm 
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Joined: Thu Mar 27, 2003 10:51 pm
Posts: 747
Location: Garland, Texas
I have a tidy little stash of essential oils assembled. The products I have chosen come from four different companies: Aura Cacia, Nature's Alchemy, Tisserand, and The Aromatherapist. I am interested in learning more about aromatherapy in general as well as better utilizing these products. In what ways do you use your essential oils?

Bergamot -
Cinnamon (Casia) -
Clary Sage -
Eucalyptus
Geranium
Lavender
Lemon
Lemongrass
Lime
Patchouli
Peppermint
Rosemary
Tea Tree
Texas Cedarwood
Ylang Ylang

Some examples of my current uses:

Bergamot or Peppermint placed on a cotton ball placed in my vacuum cleaner bag.

Lavender and Ylang Ylang are used in the wash and/or rinse water for bed linens.

Rosemary a few drops placed on my hair brush

Lemongrass several drops on bandana placed around our Boxer's neck. I got this idea from the DD forum as a flea repellant. It didn't work as a flea repellant, but she sure smells sweet. :)

Texas Cedarwood several drops on a log before placing into the fireplace.

Then of course the usual spray mixtures as a room scent/deodorizer.

Let's hear some of your ideas.

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 Post subject: Essential Oil uses
PostPosted: Wed Sep 08, 2004 12:51 am 
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Joined: Wed May 21, 2003 5:33 pm
Posts: 829
Location: Dallas,TX
We have used lavender essential oil for many years as a calming agent for my daughter's sleep disorder.

Rosemary is always good for cleaning the air if you cut it up and simmer it in a pot and then use the cooled water with the lovely red color as a rinse for your skin. It has astringent properties. I have always had at least two plants so I usually use them but I do use the essential oil for soaps.

Geranium is good for the skin and used in many high dollar perfumes and ointments, I know. I use it when I make lotions and soaps. A little goes a LONG way.

Tea tree - well, it's pungent and not exactly pleasant smelling, so not great for aromatherapy but when it comes to first aid, what can you NOT use it for? Seriously, whenever anyone in my home gets a cut, scrape, burn, etc...anything that breaks the skin, tea tree is immediately applied. I learned that from a woman who owned an herb shop years ago and I'm forever grateful. We have two cats and get scratched on occasion, but never suffer infections. Same with any type of scrape, splinter, burn, bite or any type of skin break. You just cannot beat it. I also put a few drops in when I make lip balm as an agent for healing chapped lips. I don't know how in the world I got along for so many years without it!

Peppermint - soapmaking, sometimes in hand dish washing liquid for a little zing, and for candlemaking


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PostPosted: Wed Jun 29, 2005 9:34 am 
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Joined: Thu Jun 16, 2005 3:50 pm
Posts: 11
Location: Arlington,TEXAS
Ahhhh, essential oils... :D They are a major part of my life.
I start my day off with Lavendar for several reasons...it is extremely antimicrobial...ie, it will clean the air space around you...last year I had some immunity issues, and Lavendar in my air space several times a day was/is great for me.
And it's a soothing way to start the day!
I also use Lavendar's antimicrobial action as my deodorant. Think about it...deodorants have agents in them to kill the microbes that cause bad smells - and natural deodorants use essential oils as these killers. I decided to skip the additives and just put a few drops under each arm and enjoy the day. On particularly hot steamy days, I might repeat the action. By doing this, I'm not only taking care of the deodorant need, I am putting antimicrobial action into my system! Big bang for my buck with that action!
I also use lavendar in the same way many people use tea tree - for bug bites (fire ants got me earlier this week...lavendar soothed the bites and they are healing well)..any allergic reactions...burns of all types...lavendar goes with me everywhere as my personal medicine chest.
BUT - be sure you have PURE lavendar essential oil before putting it on your skin. 50% of all 'lavendar essential oil' is actually Lavendin essential oil - a great oil to use medicinally if you have congestion because it is stimulating and can help break it up...but the camphor content of this oil is way too high for direct application to the skin...And...think about it...camphor=stimulating does not equal the expected relaxing effect of lavendar...
Unfortunately, lavendar and lavendin smell very much alike, with lavendin having lots of sweet top notes - this is the first aroma you smell with an oil, and it makes people think it is a good lavendar...nope.
Lavendin is grown all over France and looks like really healthy Lavendar...and is often sold as lavendar because of this - it is cheaper to grow with greater harvests...
so...before you go out and buy a lavendar essential oil/bring lavendar out of your stash, please please please take the time to determine if it is truly pure lavendar oil. It should come from a company that does chemical testing - gas chromatography, optical rotation, specific gravity...chromographs show the fingerprint of the plant and verify that it is truly THAT plant.
If you put lavendin under your arms, it could burn. So it is worth it to make sure your oil is pure and what it claims to be.
The company I work for does all of this testing, and tests other companies, which is why we know that there is adulteration and substitutions with some oils. No standards in the personal care industry, unfortunately. Many growers/brokers of essential oils send us samples that are adulterated/wrong botanical, and we know this because we test chemically, not just by smelling.

ENOUGH!

Ask me about specific e. oils and we can talk about how to use them! :D


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 Post subject: Aromatherapy
PostPosted: Wed Jun 29, 2005 9:48 am 
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Joined: Wed May 21, 2003 5:33 pm
Posts: 829
Location: Dallas,TX
I'd like to hear your opinion on the best dispersal systems for essential oils as used for aromatherapy. I've seen several and I like a few, but opinions abound on what is and is not effective. I wondered from your post if you are an herbalist or otherwised trained in their use?

I like the diffusers and recently became acquainted with one that is a simple wide mouthed jar containing the oils, a natural cellulose sponge to keep it from sloshing when moved. I also simmer fresh herbs in a pot to refresh and frangrance my home.

I'd appreciate your opinion and those of anyone else who cares to contribute. Mr. Clean? Thanks to anyone who answers!
Kathe :D


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Wed Jun 29, 2005 10:17 am 
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Joined: Thu Mar 27, 2003 10:51 pm
Posts: 747
Location: Garland, Texas
AuraCacia, I'm so glad you chimed in on this thread. I'll bet you have a lot of good information to contribute :)

I'll join Kathe Kitchens's interest and search for one of the best diffuser systems. You mention specifically putting lavender into your air space. I simply mix an oil in a sprayer with distilled water and spritz the solution into the air.

AuraCacia, the bulk of my oils are from AuraCacia and specifically my bottle of Lavender is an AC product. Is it safe to assume that my Lavender is not Lavendin? Can we also safely assume that you are in some way employed by AC? May I ask in what capacity?

I also have a few bottles of EOs from Nature's Alchemy.

Kathe, I would love to contribute further, but as you see from my initial post my uses of essential oils are at best rudimentary. :oops: I would love to learn more and put my oils to better use. And lastly, my days here as a contributor are coming to an end at the end of the month.

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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Wed Jun 29, 2005 11:53 am 
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Joined: Thu Jun 16, 2005 3:50 pm
Posts: 11
Location: Arlington,TEXAS
:lol: I'm so glad you folks are using essential oils!
Yes, I'm employed by Frontier Coop, and Frontier owns Aura Cacia. I'm a regional business manager for the company - my territory is the central US. I've taken some aromatherapy certification courses, read lots of books, attended many many trainings/seminars...when I took official aromatherapy certification courses, I realized I was self taught, as I already knew so much from my own experience/inquiries! So, I guess I'm an aromatherapist, but I also dig herbs and spices and know a fair amount about them.
Diffusion...many good ways.
The simplest way was mentioned - just put some drops of oil into simmering water. This is great if you are sick and want to clean up the air around you, or want to prevent others from contracting an illness...my favorite for that is several drops of cinnamon (cassia) oil in a pan of water. DON'T put it on your skin, please, as it will burn the heck out of you! Put it in water on the stove and your house will smell wonderful and you'll have the most powerful antimicrobial in the air!
This is also a good way to disburse medicinal oils for upper respiratory infections...put some eucalyptus oil or lavendin oil in the pan and breathe breathe breathe!
My other favorite cheap way to dispurse is to put oil on a cotton ball and hide it. e.g., if you're having company and want your home to smell wonderful and clean, a couple of drops of lemon oil, orange oil, or grapefruit oil...yum. Hide the cotton ball in the bookcase or behind a potted plant. Easy.
If it weren't so darned hot out, a great recipe for a dinner event is to diffuse a bit of nutmeg and orange oil..this seems very warming ..either on the botton ball or in a diffuser...people love it.
Your way of mixing it with water in a spray bottle is excellent - I keep several in my fridge during this outrageous heat. Just remember that you must shake the bottle well to disburse the oil, and if you use citrus oil, they contain coumarins that cause photo sensitivity. And, it's oil and could stain clothing if enough is sprayed!

Some oils are fine for the skin...and most, if diluted in jojoba oil, are fine. I put oils in my hair and back of my neck...just like perfume. Always test your skin first (inner arm is a good place) to make sure you don't react to it...oils like cinnamon, clove, nutmeg - these are just plain too strong to put on the skin or in a bath. Don't try it. Some people find peppermint too strong - I personally love the cooling/warming of peppermint, but it will bring blood to the skin surface and might burn. So test first before putting it on the skin, or dilute.

Diffusers...well, there are so many out there. I like candle ones fine, but some are better than others. Heat is helpful in causing the oils to disburse.
But then again, I have a little bowl with sea salt next to my desk where I put oils to help me think...like rosemary and lemongrass...or basil oil. That's my desktop diffuser! So no heat needed there where my needs are in a limited area.
I've not seen the wide mouthed jar and sponge - but sounds smart...easy to create.
I use a car diffuser sometimes - very easy.
Some electric diffusers work well if you need a larger area covered.

With candle diffusers, make sure that the candle is not too far away from the bowl, and that you keep the bowl full of water when burning the candle.
I travel alot, and use e. oils all the time in hotel rooms and rental cars...I put peppermint or lavendar onto a tissue and near the vent of the airconditioner...I drop a drop on a light bulb and turn it on...I've been known to put it directly on carpet in especially smelly rooms - most oils don't stain, and those rooms needed the help anyway!
I sometimes put a drop on a candle and light it - that seems to be the best way to get e.oils from a candle.

The bath is a great way to diffuse oils ...but you must be very careful not to put too many drops in. Less is definitely best, and many oils shouldn't go in the tub. If you're having hot flashes, mood swings and need to de-stress, 2-3 drops of clary sage and a couple of drops of lavendar in the bath is wonderful...Very important to remember that oils are hydrophobic - they don't mix with water, so they head for any lipids they can find, and that would be your body...hence, you'll absorb most of what is put into the bath...
and remember essential oils are concentrated..a little is a lot. A bottle goes a long way (unless you're using orange oil to kill weeds...then you need alot)..

I'm leaving out things, I know, but these are cool and easy ways to diffuse oils...all you need to do is play with them and remember the basic cautions (don't put directly on your skin unless you test it on your skin first, less is best, etc)...and you can grow your knowledge very quickly!

And your question about Aura Cacia oils - they are all pure..every batch tested with a lot number to trace the source. Back in 1994 when I worked at Whole Foods as an herb and bodycare buyer, Aura Cacia had not been bought by Frontier yet, and testing wasn't done...it's quality was as good as everyone else back then (pretty good :lol: ) ...that changed a year later when testing began... and now, we are one of the few companies that is large enough to afford the equipment. Check out our website!

Clary sage is one I love ... I also like Sandalwood a lot...my hot flash/summer spray is water with 4 drops of sandalwood, 3 drops of clary sage...put in the refrigerator and use often! :wink:


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Wed Jun 29, 2005 9:19 pm 
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Joined: Thu Mar 27, 2003 10:51 pm
Posts: 747
Location: Garland, Texas
AuraCacia, Thank you for the post, I hope that you follow it up with even more. :D

My main reference book is The Complete Book of Essential Oils & Aromatherapy by Valerie Ann Worwood. Do you have any other suggestions? About those aromatherapy certification courses. Are any of those in the DF/W area? If so, do you have contact information?

I like the sea salt "diffuser" idea. I would like to put a similar setup here at my computer. Do you use a coarse grind? Will any glass container work? Is there a rule of thumb for the number of drops? What is your favorite oil?

Ahhhh so many questions, so little time.

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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Thu Jun 30, 2005 7:29 am 
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Joined: Thu Jun 16, 2005 3:50 pm
Posts: 11
Location: Arlington,TEXAS
That's a great book. Anything by Kathi Keville is good...some of Mindy Green's is good (she's an herbalist turned aromatherapist).. :)
For courses, I went online. There is a limited selection of offerings...my criteria was: I wanted some science, not just feel good info. Since the US doesn't recognize aromatherapy certification, I began looking at schools out of Canada, where not only is it recognized, but you can practice aromatherapy there.
West Coast Institute of Aromatherapy is the one I chose. It was reasonably priced and seemed balanced, with several levels offered. There was another one that was good, but there was way TOO much science and not enough fun!
Just surf and google away on this one...fyi - check out the Aura Cacia website, go to learning, and there is some basic information there. We are very careful about making claims...so take that into consideration that we deal with the FDA all the time and must please them :roll:

I put coarse sea salt into a little canister - a small bowl will do. I have some orange peel in it and a few sprigs of rosemary, just to make it look good! :wink: I typically put about 10 drops of rosemary and 15 drops of lemongrass, and refresh it whenever I think I don't smell it anymore (every week or two).
Rule of thumb with oils NOT being put on the skin - use as much as you'd like. Rosemary can be overpowering, so not a huge amount of that or other camphorous oils...with citrus oils, they dissipate quickly so replenish those more often (they also cause photo sensitivity, so watch out on the skin).
Our QA guy, a sweet little man from India, Dr. Charles, makes me blends whenever I'm up in Iowa at the facility - lucky me! 8) Recently he made me a combo of sandalwood, patchouli, vetiver with a touch of rose - all earthy as can be with a dash of floral. I balance that with a bit of coriander spiciness and a little cardamom - that spiciness is interesting to me. I keep these blends in little vials in my purse, and put a few drops in my hair throughout the day.
News flash -- a study was just done with e. oils and 'attraction' = ylang ylang, rose, sandalwood -- all these and more were tested on men and women with respect to attractiveness of the smell on a person. Guess which oil won? Grapefruit! perhaps because it is so fresh smelling..who knows?


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PostPosted: Thu Jun 30, 2005 10:57 am 
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Joined: Thu Mar 27, 2003 10:51 pm
Posts: 747
Location: Garland, Texas
Thanks for the references, I'll be on the lookout for books by those ladies.

I like patchouli :) I'm going to get my computer desk set up with my own "scent center" :lol: I also have a huge rosemary bush out by the patio, I'll cut a few sprigs. I could cut a few dozen, it has plenty :wink:

AuraCacia wrote:
.....News flash -- a study was just done with e. oils and 'attraction' = ylang ylang, rose, sandalwood -- all these and more were tested on men and women with respect to attractiveness of the smell on a person. Guess which oil won? Grapefruit! perhaps because it is so fresh smelling..who knows?


I ready about that study in the paper (IIRC) a couple of weeks ago. I don't have any grapefruit - Bergamot, Lemon, Lemongrass, and Lime from the citrus group. I guess I'll have to add one more. :)

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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Thu Jun 30, 2005 11:26 am 
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Joined: Thu Jun 16, 2005 3:50 pm
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Location: Arlington,TEXAS
And of course, lemon eucalyptus for the mosquitoes!

The little desk top diffuser is great. I change it with my mood, so I exchange the salt every few weeks...

Basil oil is one I really like for concentration, but it can make you hungry! :lol:


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PostPosted: Thu Jun 30, 2005 2:22 pm 
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Joined: Wed May 21, 2003 5:33 pm
Posts: 829
Location: Dallas,TX
AC -
Love the posts! I use my fresh herbs and a simmering pot to get a low level aromatherapy effect. You made me remember that there are so many other oils out there I neglect to use, I'll have to pick up a few extras just to, as you say, add some spice!

I definitely agree that lavender and tea tree are pretty much the only two I'd put directly on my skin. Peppermint is a great feeling in a very small dose, say a drop or two added to your shampoo to make your scalp tingle, but can be truly painful directly on the skin.

Thank you for the brief education on your company and oils in general. You've given me some wonderful ideas to use in my own house. I love getting ideas from like-minded folks, and appreciate your willingness to give us these wonderful ideas. I hope other forum readers will pay attention and try them. I know for my home the use of essentials has made a huge difference.

Mr. Clean, I wish you'd reconsider leaving the forum but I respect your decision. You've always been even handed and fairminded and that's a valuable asset to the rest of us. May the path rise up to meet you in your journey. An old Irish saying to wish you farewell and good fortune.

Kathe :D


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