Rose and Chamomile Clay Face Mask

Our skin is designed to do its job naturally. Eating a healthy diet, staying hydrated and using whole, simple products all support the idea that our skin can breathe and do its job naturally. The less we put on our skin and the less we switch up our routines with new products, the more our skin can do its own work. Our skin is the communication between our environment and the inner workings of our bodies! Through our skin, we see the diverse energetic system inside us and any imbalances we may be experiencing. Studies have found that our skin absorbs at least 60-70% of what we put on it. So what goes ON our body, ultimately goes IN the body. There are some nasty products out there full of unnatural ingredients, like parabens. These widely-used preservatives are estimated to be in 60-90 of all makeup and skincare products, so stick to products that are natural, free of toxic chemicals, and products that you could essentially eat.

Rosewater for skin hydration: A spritz after cleansing and again during the day does wonders for the skin’s freshness and moisture, plus you get the added aromatherapy effect from the roses leaving you relaxed, refreshed and feeling pampered. Other herbal hydrosols can be used in replace of rosewater, and you can pair according to your own constitution.

Cleanse and moisturize with oil. It’s simple, and it keeps you away from all the other toxic ingredients out there. Not only can you cleanse, remove makeup, oil pull and moisturize, but oils like coconut are also rich in healthy fats, making it another great thing to eat! Before a hot shower, try massaging oil into your skin. Then wipe off the oil with a warm wet washcloth in the shower. It leaves your skin feeling clean and smooth.

 

Rose and Chamomile Clay Face Mask: Herbal masks with clay help to pull out toxins and gently exfoliate your skin. Adding honey or coconut oil helps to not to dry out the skin too much. Apply to a damp face and work in circular motions. Allow it to dry (5-10 minutes) and wash off gently with a warm washcloth. Follow with a bit of coconut oil and a spritz of rosewater! Ingredients: powdered rose petals, rose kaolin clay, honey, coconut oil, and a drop of chamomile essential oil.

Dry skin brushing helps support your lymphatic system, which is responsible for ridding the body of stagnation, resulting in the healthy and resilient skin! Skin brushing also supports the immune and digestive systems, both of which are involved in detox.

Sweat: Although it is a major eliminative organ, most people’s skin is very inactive. Sweat is a primary elimination route for toxins. Making a habit of getting a good workout at least once a week, or if you can, a hot sauna or bath works magic for the skin and assists its ability to breath, stay hydrated and glow.

Happy Spring Equinox!

What a winter we have had!  The best ever for this girl, filled with lots of snow-filled activities (like skiing on a frozen Utah Lake!) and cozy nights by a fire to keep the balance.  The little glimpses of spring that are beginning to unfurl here are a treat for these snow-filled eyes.  Seeing bare ground and little crocus flowers pushing through the dirt fuels my excitement to be outside planting and dreaming up our new garden space.  More beds for calendula, planters on the back of the building for hops to vertically explore, food production, more elderberries and blueberries, more grass was torn up for more medicinal herbs, and of course, fencing to keep the herds of voracious deer out.  I am dreaming of wildflower-covered prairies, western meadowlarks and bluebirds, and ways of infusing that beauty into our new products coming this summer.  It has been a very busy and productive winter.  Spring doesn’t appear to be slowing down.  I am super excited to share with you what we have been up to.  I hope the shift in seasons and the return to light finds you happy and healthy and dreaming up new beginnings.

How To Use Essential Oils

Methods of Applications:

Massage/Body Oil

Massage and/or body oils are a combination of one or more vegetable and/or herbal oils with essential oils.

RECOMMENDED DILUTIONS for Massage Oils

For infants and young children:
.5-1% dilution = 3-6 drops of essential oil per ounce of carrier

For adults:
2.5% dilution = 15 drops of essential oil per ounce of carrier
3% dilution = 20 drops of essential oil per ounce of carrier
5% dilution = 30 drops of essential oil per ounce of carrier
10% dilution = 60 drops of essential oil per ounce of carrier

In general, aromatherapy oil based blends are useful for:

  • Stress/anxiety
  • Headaches/migraines
  • Insomnia
  • Chronic or acute pain relief
  • Arthritis & rheumatism (sub-acute phase)
  • Chronic muscular/joint aches and pain
  • Pregnancy and childbirth massage
  • Reducing inflammation
  • Enhancing immunity
  • Relieving muscle spasms
  • Relax and soothe the nervous system
  • Aid in the treatment of sprains, strains, and repetitive movement injuries
  • And much, much more…

Facial Creams, Lotions, And Oils

You can purchase unscented facial creams or body lotions to add essential oils to or create a facial oil by using a variety of vegetable/herbal oils and then adding essential oils into the mix. Or learn how to make your own creams and lotions!

Facial oil/cream dilution rates

For adults:
Sensitive skin: .5 to 1 percent dilution = 3 to 6 drops per ounce
Normal, healthy skin: 1 to 2.5 percent dilution = 6 to 15 drops per ounce

In general, aromatherapy facial oils and creams are utilized to:

  • Enhance wound healing
  • Influence and slow aging of skin
  • Scar reduction and improve appearance
  • Support and enhance immune cells of the skin
  • Balance sebum production
  • Aid the process of detoxification in the skin
  • Increase local circulation
  • Improve tone of skin
  • Encourage hydration of the skin, when used in conjunction with hydrosol/water or cream.
  • Soften and soothe the skin
  • Address emotional issues

Baths

Mix 2 – 12 drops (depending on the essential oil) into a teaspoon of a dispersing agent such as natural bath gel, polysorbate, solubol, coconut emulsifier, etc. Add to bath and stir just before entering the water. Vegetable oil may also be used to dilute essential oils, however, it will not disperse in the water and will make tub surfaces slippery.

In general, aromatherapy full-body baths are useful to:

  • Reduce stress/anxiety
  • Alleviate muscular aches, pains, and tension
  • Soothe mental or physical fatigue
  • Stimulate circulation
  • Enhance lymph circulation
  • Reduce pain and stiffness
  • Increase local circulation
  • Improve tone and health of skin
  • Aid detoxification

Steam inhalation

Place 3-7 drops of essential oil into boiling water. Some essential oils to consider include Eucalyptus sp. (either E. globulus or E. radiata), Thyme ct. linalol (Thymus vulgaris), Lemon (Citrus limon), and Tea tree (Melaleuca alternifolia). Cover head with a towel and breathe through the nose. Keep eyes closed!

Steam inhalations are indicated for:

  • Congestion in upper respiratory tract (cold or flu)
  • Sinus infection or sinusitis
  • Enhancing respiratory function

Aromatic Spritzers

An aromatic spritzer is a combination of essential oils and water. Often a dispersant such as soluble is used to diffuse the essential oils within the water. Aromatic spritzers can be used as room fresheners, to cleanse the air, to uplift and energize, to scent space, or used during a massage or esthetic practice: e.g. sprayed on face cradles to keep respiratory passages clear.

To make: Add 10-15 drops of essential oil (1-3 different essential oils) per ounce of water. Shake before using or add dispersing agent (e.g. soluble)

In general, aromatic spritzers are useful for:

  • Room and air freshener
  • Body sprays over which an aromatic blend will be applied
  • Reducing undesirable odors in the air
  • Enhancing breathing
  • Soothing a variety of emotional states

Diffusion

Depending on diffuser type, use as directed.

Aerial dispersion via electric diffuser can be used for:

  • Environmental ambiance
  • Stress/anxiety reduction
  • Insomnia or sleep disorders
  • Mood or motivation enhancement
  • Increase alertness
  • Purify and improve air quality
  • Reduce airborne pathogens

Different types of inhalation

Direct inhalation
Direct inhalation refers to the technique of sniffing or inhaling an essential oil directly from a bottle, a handkerchief or a cotton ball. Direct inhalations are most commonly employed for the relief of emotional distress and as supportive therapy for the relief of respiratory congestion or other respiratory ailments. Direct inhalations are also used for their effect on the nervous system.

Direct palm inhalation
Direct palm inhalation refers to the technique of sniffing or inhaling an essential oil/s or synergy directly from the palms of your hands. Direct palm inhalations are most commonly utilized for the relief of emotional distress, to uplift and transform one’s consciousness, or simply to relax and breathe. It can be used as supportive therapy for the relief of respiratory congestion or other respiratory ailments.

Direct from a bottle: Create a synergy (undiluted essential oils) utilizing 3-5 essential oils and place in a small bottle. Have client waft bottle under nose while taking deep inhalations. This can be done 3-4x a day or as needed.

Smelling salts: Create a synergy with a total of 20-30 drops utilizing 3-5 essential oils and place in a 10ml (1/3 ounce) bottle. Once the synergy is in the bottle, fill the remainder of the bottle with either fine or coarse sea salts. Have client waft bottle under nose while taking deep inhalations. This can be done 3-4x a day or as needed.

Handkerchief/Cotton-ball: Place 2-4 drops of essential oil or synergy on the tissue or cloth. Hold cloth in the palms of your hand and take 2-3 deep inhalations through the nose. If using a cotton ball, gently waft the cotton ball under the clients’ nose. This technique can be used 2-3x a day or as needed.

Inhaler tubes: Inhaler tubes are designed using 100% essential oil/s saturated on a cotton pad. **NOTE: Please be sure to use organic cotton pads. You can purchase these at a local health food store and cut the desired size to fit the tube. Cotton is considered a ‘dirty’ crop, meaning it is heavily sprayed with pesticides. It is recommended to replace the cotton pad that comes in the tube with a certified organic cotton pad.

To make: Choose 2-3 essential oils to work with based upon a specific purpose. Decide how many drops of each essential oil so it adds up to 15 to 25 drops.  Place drops of each essential oil in a small glass bowl/cup then place pad from inhaler into the bowl to absorb the essential oils. Use tweezers to move pad around a bit and then remove pad with tweezers and place in inhaler tube. Close inhaler tube and it is ready for use.

In general, Inhaler tubes or smelling salts are useful for:

  • Relieve stress
  • Uplift mood
  • Relieve nausea
  • Support hormonal balance
  • Support healthy breathing
  • Reduce nasal congestion
  • Emotional support

7 Mistakes You’re Making With Essential Oils

With the recent resurgence in artisanal, organic, and natural products, medicinal plants are getting their moment in the spotlight, too. People have known for thousands of years that plants have potent curative properties, and essential oils are one of the best ways to deliver that medicine where it’s needed most. Unlike botanical beauty products, essential oils contain highly concentrated plant extracts. It’s these distilled essences that have the power to remedy a myriad of common aches, pains, and problems—from cramps to insomnia to the occasional stubborn zit—provided they’re used properly. Just like any other healing art, it takes time and knowledge to learn how to work with essential oils. Follow a few basic guidelines to truly unleash the power of essential oils, and avoid these 7 common pitfalls.

Mistake 1: Underestimating the power of plants

Many people mistakenly believe if something is natural, it’s automatically good for you. Essential oils smell great, and many are derived from beautiful flowers, but that doesn’t mean their medicinal properties are necessarily the cure for what ails you. Do some research on what condition you’re specifically looking to remedy and consider what sensitivities or allergies you have before you spring for a bottle made of the prettiest flower, or the oil that smells best.

Mistake 2: Applying oils in the wrong location

Take care to apply essential oils properly. Generally speaking, oils should be applied at four main locations: wrists, ankles, fingers, and behind the ears. However, oils work best when rubbed on the appropriate acupuncture site—if you want to mitigate your migraines, for example, research where, specifically, to dab that drop of oil. Similarly, don’t apply oils all over your body or face, just in case you have a reaction. Start with a small patch test instead.

Mistake 3: Neglecting dispersers

If you have particularly sensitive skin and don’t want to apply essential oils directly to your body, use a disperser. Dispersers work particularly well for oils used in aromatherapy, like lavender, rosemary, or rose. Filling a room with fragrance maximizes your exposure to the oil’s curative effects.

Mistake 4: Not boosting essential oil remedies with other treatments

Pair essential oils with other relaxing, healing treatments like massage, or hot and cold compresses. Heat and massage increase circulation, helping to distribute oils more effectively. Cold can reduce pain and inflammation, giving essential oils a chance to work their magic. Rose oil, for example, goes well with a hot steaming bath to help distribute the flower’s rich, floral scent: the plant’s properties alleviate anxiety and stress, and the hot, bubbly tub doesn’t hurt either.

Mistake 5: Neglecting quality

Just as you would squeeze and smell a peck of peaches before making a purchase, the quality of essential oils is important too. Essential oils are made from perishable, seasonal products, and both the plant extract and the oil will affect product quality. If you’re serious about using essential oils as medicine, check with an expert on which brands are best. Artisanal, local, or even homemade products generally leave out harmful stabilizers and by-products like parabens.

Mistake 6: Overlooking carrier oils

Essential oils are often pre-blended with what’s known as a carrier oil (such as shea butter, coconut oil, etc.). Choose a carrier that suits your purpose: grapeseed oil is thin and great for massages, while jojoba oil is a super moisturizer for skin and hair.

Mistake 7: Limiting yourself to one single oil at a time

Essential oils love company, so don’t be afraid to pair up some of your favorites—provided they don’t have conflicting properties. Rosemary and peppermint are a perfect duo to harness greater mental clarity, while basil, ginger, and frankincense will help boost your energy levels on those humdrum days.

Handbook of Essential Oils Awarded 2016 ABC James A. Duke Excellence in Botanical Literature Award

AUSTIN, Texas (March 8, 2017) — The American Botanical Council (ABC) has named Handbook of Essential Oils: Science, Technology, and Applications, 2nd edition, edited by K. Hüsnü Can Başer, Ph.D., and Gerhard Buchbauer, Ph.D., as the recipient of the 2016 ABC James A. Duke Excellence in Botanical Literature Award. This is the second consecutive year that ABC has awarded its annual Duke Award to a text on essential oils.

The Duke Award was created in 2006 to honor economic botanist and author James A. Duke, Ph.D. Along with his many prestigious career achievements in economic botany and ethnobotany and decades of work at the United States Department of Agriculture, Duke has authored more than 30 reference and consumer books. He is also a co-founding member of ABC’s Board of Trustees and currently serves as director emeritus. ABC gives the award annually to books that contribute significantly to the medicinal plant-related literature, and the fields of botany, taxonomy, ethnobotany, phytomedicine, and other disciplines.

ABC previously recognized essential oils and their clinical applications with the 2015 award to Clinical Aromatherapy: Essential Oils in Healthcare, 3rd edition. Başer and Buchbauer’s Handbook of Essential Oils offers a different contribution to the literature by providing a greater scientific understanding of the production, chemistry, pharmacology, toxicology, and other relevant aspects of essential oils.

“Essential oils are one of the fastest growing segments of the herbal product market,” noted Mark Blumenthal, ABC’s founder and executive director. “Last year, we bestowed the Duke Award to Dr. Jane Buckle for her excellent book, which documents the evidence-based data for the safe and effective therapeutic uses of many essential oils. This year, we recognize another excellent reference book that provides much of the chemical, quality control, pharmacological, and toxicological basis supporting many of these therapeutic uses.”

Başer is a professor of pharmacognosy at the Near East University in Northern Cyprus, and Buchbauer is the head of the Department of Clinical Pharmacy and Diagnostics at the University of Vienna in Austria. “I am deeply grateful to Mark Blumenthal and the selection committee for bestowing upon my colleague and me this highly prestigious award,” wrote Başer. “The current and future research into essential oils and their volatile constituents is expected to lead to a better understanding and discovery of potential new uses of these valuable natural products.”

Buchbauer also expressed his gratitude for the award. “We are very pleased about the acknowledgment of our efforts to further develop the science of essential oils,” he wrote. “The goal to provide a strong scientific basis for essential oils was and is our everlasting concern.”

ABC Chief Science Officer Stefan Gafner, Ph.D., congratulated the authors, noting that “with its broad coverage of aromatic plant agriculture, essential oil manufacturing, quality control, and medicinal and culinary uses, this book has become the reference on essential oils in the cosmetic industry and beyond.”

Past Duke Award recipients include: Clinical Aromatherapy, 3rd edition (2015); Ancient Pathways, Ancestral Knowledge(2014); Principles and Practice of Phytotherapy, 2nd edition (2013); Medicinal Plants and the Legacy of Richard E. Schultes (2012; reference/technical category) and Smoke Signals (2012; consumer/popular category); Healing Spices(2011; consumer/popular category) and the American Herbal Pharmacopoeia’s Botanical Pharmacognosy (2011; reference/technical category); Botanical Medicine for Women’s Health (2010); An Oak Spring Herbaria (2009); andMabberley’s Plant-Book, 3rd edition (2008).

The ABC James A. Duke Award will be presented at the 12th Annual ABC Botanical Celebration and Awards Ceremony on March 9, 2017, in Anaheim, California. The event for ABC Sponsor Members occurs during Natural Products Expo West.

Aromatherapy with Damask Rose Essence Reduces Pain Caused by Treatment of Burn Injuries

  • Damask Rose (Rosa damascena, Rosaceae)

  • Aromatherapy

  • Burns

  • Pain

The severe pain of serious burns is exacerbated by the need to clean, debride, and redress wounds daily. Pain control is important in healing and recovery from burns, with narcotic and non-narcotic drugs most commonly used. Adverse effects and/or increased tolerance may limit their efficacy. Aromatherapy is increasingly accepted as an adjunct pain control method and is used to reduce stress, anxiety, fatigue, and depression, symptoms that often affect patients with burn wounds. Aromatherapy’s mechanisms of action remain unknown. Damask rose (Rosa damascena, Rosaceae) essential oil (DREO) has been little studied in relation to pain, although some studies report palliative, sleep-promoting, anticonvulsant, and relaxing effects.

The authors conducted a randomized, placebo-controlled, clinical trial of DREO with patients in the burn ward of Besat Therapeutic and Educational Center, Hamadan University of Medical Sciences, Hamadan, Iran, from May to October 2013. Patients were 18-65 years of age; could speak, see, and communicate; and had second- and/or third-degree burns. Patients with inhalation, self-inflicted, or electrical burns; burns on the face or eyes; a history of allergies or respiratory illness; or apparent allergy to DREO during the study were excluded. With minimum sample size calculated as 23 patients in active and control groups, patients were referred until 54 (27 per group) were enrolled. All received analgesic and sedative drugs 1 hour before and immediately after wound dressing.

Data were collected via a questionnaire covering demographic information and the cause and extent of burn wounds. A visual analog scale was used to measure pain intensity, with 0 representing no pain; 1-3, some pain; 4-6, moderate pain; and 7-10, severe pain. Pain scores were recorded for 2 days at 30 minutes before entering and at 15 and 30 minutes after leaving the wound-dressing room. Following the initial daily pain measurement, patients in the active group inhaled 5 drops of 40% DREO (manufacturer information not provided) in distilled water for 20 minutes via gauze pads attached to their collars; those in the control group inhaled 5 drops of distilled water by the same method. This intervention was administered by nurses, with patients in the DREO group treated in a different room to avoid carryover between patients, without researchers’ knowledge. Gauze pads were then removed before patients were treated by researchers whose noses were covered.

Most patients were male (60% in the active group, 52% in the control group) and the average age of patients in the active group was 33.2 ± 10.6 years and in the control group, 34 ± 12.4 years. The most common cause of burns was fire (84% active, 96% control); although figures for other causes are not given, caustic substances are mentioned as causing some. Mean length of hospitalization was 22.5 ± 10.6 days for those in the active group, who had burns over 23.68% ± 8.6 of their bodies, and 22.6 ± 9.7 days for the control group, with burns covering 23.2% ± 8.9 of their bodies. There were no significant differences between groups in demographic characteristics. Four enrolled patients were removed from the study due to discharge from the hospital (1 in each group), unwillingness to participate (1 in the placebo group), and intolerance of the treatment (1 in the active group).

Before the first intervention, the mean pain score was 5.4 in both groups (standard deviation [SD]=1.2 for the active group; SD=0.7 for the control group); 80% of patients in the active group and 96% in the control group reported moderate pain. At 15 minutes after patients’ burns were dressed, average pain scores were 6.8 (SD=1.1) in the active group and 7.6 (SD=0.7) in the control group; 68% of patients in the active group versus 96% of patients in the control group reported severe pain. At 30 minutes after treatment, average pain scores had diminished to 6.4 in the active group and 7.3 in the control group, with 40% vs. 92%, respectively, still reporting severe pain. Before the second intervention, mean pain scores were 5.4 in both groups, with 96% of the active group and 100% of the control group reporting moderate pain. At 15 minutes after the second burn dressing, mean pain scores were 6.8 in the active group vs. 7.6 in the control group, with 72% vs. 96%, respectively, reporting severe pain. Thirty minutes after the second treatment, mean pain scores were 6.5 in the active group vs. 7.4 in the control group, with 52% of the active group vs. 96% of the control group still reporting severe pain.

There was a statistically significant difference in mean pain intensity between the 2 groups for the first intervention at 15 minutes (P=0.010) and 30 minutes (P=0.001) after treatment. This was repeated for the second intervention at 15 minutes (P=0.001) and 30 minutes (P=0.001) after treatment. The increase in pain caused by the dressing of burns was significantly less in the active group (P=0.01). Analysis of variance using repeated measures showed a significant difference in pain severity between the 2 groups before and after treatment (F=5.2, P=0.027). Mean pain intensity during the 3 time periods reported (30 minutes before treatment, 15 minutes after treatment, and 30 minutes after treatment) was significantly different between the 2 groups (F=256, P=0.001). This study was small and of short duration, and the effect size was moderate (on average, slightly less than 1 point on a 10-point scale of pain). However, given the intense pain of burn wounds and their treatment, and the low cost and ease of administration of aromatherapy, DREO may be suggested as an adjunct pain treatment. More research is warranted.