Wednesday, June 24, 2009

ACHS raises lavender awareness by sponsoring educational events

The American College of Healthcare Sciences (ACHS) will host two educational events in July to raise awareness about the benefits of growing lavender and its applications.

Lavender Distillation on Sunday, July 12, 2009, will take place at Sherwood Lavender Farm, owned by ACHS Senior Vice President Erika Yigzaw. Participants will learn about the benefits of lavender for small agriculture and its many by-products. Master Distiller Robert Seidel from The Essential Oil Company and ACHS President Dorene Petersen will also lead a class about lavender distillation, including an introduction to essential oil and aromatherapy, the art and science of using volatile plant oils to promote health and relaxation. Lavender Distillation runs 11 a.m.-2 p.m. Call (503) 244-0726 for directions.

U-Pick Lavender on Friday, July 17, 2009, is an opportunity for the community to explore the ACHS Botanical Teaching Garden and to learn more about urban gardens. Visitors will also learn about the properties and holistic health applications of lavender while they harvest fresh lavender from the Garden ($6 per lavender bunch or 2 bunches for $10). U-Pick Lavender runs 8:30 a.m.-5:30 p.m. at the ACHS campus in John’s Landing, 5940 SW Hood Ave., Portland.

The Lavender Distillation at Sherwood Lavender Farm on July 12 has a materials fee of $35. U-Pick Lavender on July 17 is free to attend. Both events require RSVP. Call (503) 244-0726 or email to reserve your space.

For a complete list of community education events sponsored by ACHS, visit and click on Community Wellness Classes. The American College of Healthcare Sciences is the only DETC accredited, fully online college offering degrees, professional diplomas, and career-training certificates in Complementary Alternative Medicine.

Tuesday, June 23, 2009

Receive a free gift from the Apothecary Shoppe

You've been selected to receive a free gift! Discover the soothing properties of therapeutic grade rosemary essential oil with this special Free Gift with Purchase offer.

Receive a free vial of ACHS distilled rosemary essential oil with any purchase made June 23-29, 2009*. Click here to add this promotion to your cart!

Hand-harvested from the ACHS Botanical Teaching Garden, this rosemary essential oil was distilled to maintain the highest quality of anti-inflammatory ester borneol acetate.

When used topically, rosemary essential oil also is attributed with antibacterial, antiseptic, and stimulant properties. When used as an aromatic--inhaled or diffused into the air--it is known for its nervine (sedative) properties.

You will receive this spray-free, undiluted, therapeutic grade essential oil with any purchase placed through the Apothecary Shoppe from June 23-29. Add this promotion to your cart.

*Offer good through Monday, June 29, 2009, or while supplies last. Additional student or graduate discounts do not apply. Cannot be combined with other offers. Available in-store, online, and orders by phone. Not available retroactively. No cash refunds.

To watch the rosemary harvest and distillation featuring ACHS President Dorene Petersen, check out ACHStv YouTube link here.

Monday, June 22, 2009

Slim down with scent?

Like almost every dieter in America, Wendy Bassett has used all sorts of weight-loss products. Nothing worked, she said, until she tried Sensa: granules she scatters on almost everything she eats, and which are supposed to make dieters less hungry by enhancing the smell and taste of food.

“Every time I touch a piece of food, I pour it on,” said Ms. Bassett, 34, an accountant in Tyler, Tex. She has been using Sensa since February. So far, she said, she has lost 30 pounds.

The maker of Sensa claims that its effectiveness is largely related to smell: the heightened scent and flavor of food that has been sprinkled with Sensa stimulate the olfactory bulb — the organ that transmits smell from the nose to the brain — to signal the “satiety center” of the hypothalamus. Hormones that suppress appetite are then released.

But can the manipulation of smell really lead to weight loss? A handful of niche products would have you believe just that.

In addition to Sensa, which has been available since last summer, there is SlimScents, aromatherapy diet pens filled with fruity or minty odors; a peppermint spray called Happy Scent; and the vanilla-doused Aroma Patch, which you wear on your hand, wrist or chest.

Last month, Compellis Pharmaceuticals of Cambridge, Mass., began human trials on a nasal spray designed to do the opposite of what Sensa does: to curb the appetite by blocking rather than enhancing smell.

“Eighty percent of what you perceive as taste is actually smell,” said Christopher Adams, a molecular biologist and the company’s founder. “The hypothesis is that if we can alter your sense of smell we can make food less palatable, because the hedonic effect — that is, the pleasurable effect you get from eating chocolate — won’t be there.”

Using smell to manipulate appetite may be an appealing premise, but only a few studies have been conducted, and some experts have doubts.

Click here to read the full length article.

© Abby Ellin, The New York Times, June 17, 2009:

Thursday, June 04, 2009

Pine essential oil may be natural insect repellent

As the weather warms, we spend more and more time outside. Whether you have a family camping trip planned, or just plan to hang out in your backyard, mosquitoes can make outdoor living pretty uncomfortable. However, there is another reason to use insect repellent. "Human diseases caused by blood-feeding ticks and mosquitoes represent a serious threat to public health worldwide," according to the website

Agricultural Research Service scientists have discovered that a naturally-occurring compound made from pine oil seems to deter the biting of mosquitoes more effectively than the widely used synthetic chemical repellent DEET.

"Many natural-product chemicals isolated from plants and essential oils have proven to have repellent effects," reports the article "Tick and Mosquito Repellent Can Be Made Commercially From Pine Oil." "This newly-discovered repellent can be prepared inexpensively from pine oil feedstock in ton quantities for large-scale commercial applications, giving it a significant advantage over many of the other natural-product repellent chemicals."

In the meantime, however, pine Pinus sylvestris essential oil has been shown to have natural insecticide properties. The essential oil has a sweet, woody fragrance with a somewhat balsamic undertone, which sweetens as it evaporates. Used externally, the Recommended Daily Dose is 1-3 drops, or diffuse into the air.

*A skin patch test is recommended. Avoid use on sensitive or damaged skin.