Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Benefit Of DIY Natural Homemade Gifts

BY Keoi Magill, ACHS Graduate Certificate in Aromatherapy

We all have much to gain by making our own homemade natural gifts. Anyone can run into a store and buy something off the shelf. But, when you put the time, thought, and energy into making gifts for those you love, the receiver knows that they are special to you.

By using natural materials you are also promoting a green lifestyle. Giving gifts that are natural to friends who have not experienced the benefits of organic products can be quite the eye opener. You will be introducing an eco-friendly lifestyle to someone who may be inexperienced. Plus, typically it costs more to purchase something already made, so you will save money as well.

Making DIY natural gifts can reduce stress. With all the hustle and bustle that life throws at us, spending the time doing something creative can be a form of meditation, calming and exhilarating you all at the same time. It can remove the worry about duplicating something your loved ones already have: your gift is original and one of a kind.

Handmade gifts can be problem solvers and time savers, especially for those on our holiday list who we never know what to give. No more wandering around trying to find that just-right gift. As long as we follow good manufacturing practices, quality assurance is guaranteed when we make natural gifts. We know that our gifts are toxic free and will not harm the environment or our family and friends.

In the truest spirit of the holiday season, there is nothing that we can do that is more rewarding than to make do-it-yourself homemade natural gifts.

For a free holiday recipe book, download the Apothecary Shoppe Holiday Recipe Guide HERE.

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Re-Coloring Black Friday with Aromatherapy

BY Keoi Magill, ACHS Certificate in Aromatherapy Graduate

On Black Friday (November 26), we have less than a month until the presents will be unwrapped. With all the gifts to be purchased, parties to plan, cards to write and holiday cooking, we just don’t seem to have time to spend taking care of ourselves. You can dial down your holiday stress and achieve balance with aromatherapy. Here are a few simple and easy ways to sail through the holiday season.

Before you go out shopping put a few drops of lavender oil Lavendula angustifolia, on a cotton ball. Just breathe in the calming aroma whenever you need it. Another way is to add the lavender to 4 oz of distilled water and spray yourself with a fine mist. It will help reduce your stress and alleviate irritability.

Add a drop or two of peppermint oil Mentha piperita, to your favorite body lotion and rub it into your feet. It will help invigorate and refresh your tired feet and help with exhaustion.

Make a blend of bergamot Citrus bergamia, peppermint Mentha piperita, and cinnamon Cinnamomum zeylanicum, and diffuse on a lamp ring or ceramic diffuser throughout your home before a party. Not only will it help reduce your anxiety and nervousness, it smells festive and inviting.

When you are wrapping presents or writing out your holiday cards, diffuse or use a cotton ball with a few drops of rosemary Rosmarinus officinalis and neroli Citrus aurantium var. amara. These two oils are great together for mental clarity and to help ward off depression.

The holiday season doesn’t have to be black when you can open your crayon box of essential oils and in minutes color yourself balanced.

To learn more about aromatherapy and essential oils, download your free copy of "History of Aromatherapy" HERE.

*This article is for informational purposes only. It is not intended to treat, diagnose, prescribe, or cure. See you primary care physician before making any significant changes to your health and wellness routine.

Thursday, October 07, 2010

5 Essential Oils in 5 Minutes or Less: Our Top 5 Picks for Fall

If you could only pick five essential oils to use for the rest of your life, which would they be? Don’t worry … we can’t answer that question either! But we can recommend five of our favorite essential oils to keep on hand this fall. Here’s a snapshot introduction to our top five picks.

1. Cinnamon Cinnamomum zeylanicum has a spicy aroma and is considered a base to middle note. It blends well with frankincense, orange, and peppermint, forming a lovely seasonal scent. Medicinally, cinnamon has antiseptic, antispasmodic, and bactericidal qualities, making it an effective air purifier. Blend cinnamon with some of our other favorites (like clove, lavender, and peppermint) to create a room spray that’s both seasonal and germicidal.

2. Clove Syzygium aromaticum was an important commodity for the Greeks and Romans and was heavily traded. Clove bud oil has been shown to inhibit the production of free radicals and to have anti-inflammatory and antiviral properties. Recent studies have highlighted its use especially for oral hygiene. Another good oil for travel! You can add 2 drops of the essential oil to 1 cup of water to make an on-hand mouthwash. For aromatherapeutic blends, clove imparts a fresh top note and blends well with bergamot, lavender, vanilla, and ylang ylang.

Read about our other picks--eucalyptus, tea tree Australia, and vetiver--in the October issue of our enewsletter, The Reporter. Download The Reporter HERE.

Help us spread the word about aromatherapy. Use the share button to email this article to a friend. Post a link to your Facebook. Send a tweet. And ... thanks!

*This information is intended for educational purposes only. It is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent any disease.

Wednesday, September 29, 2010

Practical Aromatherapy: Using Aromatherapy to Help Attract Home Buyers

Experts say selling your home takes a little luck and a lot of preparation. With a gaggle of homes currently on the market, spending that extra time to make the best first impression may make all the difference. It certainly couldn’t hurt!

To prepare your home, realtors suggest taking several steps to present an organized, clutter-free and clean home, including cleaning out your drawers and cabinets, making minor repairs, and deep cleaning.

Part of deep cleaning is scent. For example, it’s important to clean out drains so they look nice, but also because hidden debris can encourage mold and an accompanying musty smell. A little tea tree (Melaleuca alternifolia) essential oil diluted in water can be an effective, chemical-free alternative to more traditional cleaning products. Plus, it smells better than synthetic cleaners and room sprays used to mask odors.

You may also want to diffuse some essential oil into the air before you show your home. This can help to freshen the air and to encourage a positive first impression. There are many essential oils to choose from, but you may want to select an oil that has general appeal, that is a familiar, and that is uplifting, such as bergamot (Citrus aurantium var. bergamia), geranium (Pelargonium graveolens), mandarin (Citrus reticulata), neroli (Citrus aurantium var. amara), and ylang ylang (Cananga odorata).

Watch Aromatherapy Blending from ACHStv next!

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

Using Aromatherapy in Fall: Bring the Spirit of the Season Indoors

Fall has arrived! And, right on its heels, cooler weather. The good news … there is a lot to love about the fall: pumpkin patches, rich colors, root vegetables, warm herbal teas, and essential oils.

Just as nutritionists recommend eating with the seasons, there are aromatherapeutic essential oils that complement the seasons too. Select spicy, earthy, rich aromas to bring the spirit of the season indoors and to create feelings of warmth. We suggest a blend of sweet orange, cinnamon, ylang ylang, and lemon (the Festive Spice blend from our Apothecary Shoppe).

Sweet orange Citrus sinensis essential oil helps to support emotional well-being and has a sweeter, fruity scent. It blends well with basil, cinnamon, clary sage, clove, lavender, neroli, lemon, and nutmeg. For more information about sweet orange visit here.

Cinnamon Cinnamomum zeylanicum essential oil supports healthy digestion and stress management and has a spicy, earthy aroma. It blends well with ginger, nutmeg, rosemary, frankincense, and the citrus oils. For more information about cinnamon, visit here.

Ylang ylang Cananga odorata essential oil is attributed with analgesic, antidepressant, and aphrodisiac properties. It has a sweet aroma with long-lasting woody undertones and blends well with lavender, bergamot, the citrus oils, and sandalwood. For more information about ylang ylang, visit here.

Lemon Citrus limonum essential oil supports a healthy respiratory system and has a refreshing aroma. It blends well with cedarwood, chamomile, clove, eucalyptus, fennel, juniper, lavender, neroli, oakmoss, petitgrain, pine, sandalwood, and ylang ylang. For more information about lemon, visit here.

Festive Spice Blend
6 drops Sweet Orange
1 drop Cinnamon
2 drops Ylang Ylang
1 drop Lemon

We hope your first day of fall is fantastic and look forward to hearing more about your fall aromatherapy blends. Post any blending tips, photos, recipes …. here!

*These statements have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. This product is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent any disease.

Monday, September 20, 2010

Essential Oils May Be Effective with Lice

Creepy crawly lice torture school-aged children. It can be hard to rationalize with kindergartners, to make them understand why they really don't want to touch their hair or scratch or share their personal hygiene products with friends.

Instead, it may be more effective to focus on prevention. Check your children regularly. Because lice can be spread person-to-person without physical contact, the USA Today article "Lice: Any kid can get 'em, so comb early, comb often" recommends 1. maintaining appropriate personal space; 2. having shorter hair, and; 3. checking your child's hair regularly.

If it's too late, however, you will want to check everyone in the house, select some kind of product to help rid the lice, and wash all clothes and furniture.

There are many products on the market, including chemical shampoos. But before you use chemicals, you may want to consider essential oils. Evidence suggests essential oils--specifically cinnamon, peppermint, and eucalyptus[1]--may effectively kill lice.

Natural Health Magazine suggests you "mix 1/8 teaspoon of cinnamon leaf oil and 1/8 teaspoon of peppermint oil with four ounces of a basic shampoo. Apply to your child’s head, leave on for 20 minutes, and rinse. Don’t leave on overnight: Essential oils are too concentrated to be used for that long."*

If you have used essential oils with lice, we want to hear your story. Please post any suggestions you can share and/or essential oil recipes!

[1] Toloza AC, LucĂ­a A, Zerba E, Masuh H, Picollo MI. 2009. Eucalyptus essential oil toxicity against permethrin-resistant Pediculus humanus capitis (Phthiraptera: Pediculidae). Parasitol Res. Jan;106(2):409-14. Epub 2009 Nov 10.

*These statements have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. This product is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent any disease.

Thursday, September 16, 2010

Antiviral Activity of Essential Oils: It's Never too Early for Good Health

It's started to rain here in Portland, a not-so-subtle reminder that fall is on the way. It seems this time of year usually comes with a spike in seasonal colds and flu, as well as the gray-scape of clouds. Not so fun!

Before the season sets in, you may want to take stock of your essential oil inventory at home. Do you have the basics--like eucalyptus, lemon balm, and peppermint--which are thought to help kill airborne viruses when diffused into the air? These essential oils can also be added into hand creams to help stop the spread of infection through person-to-person contact.*

For more health-promoting tips this pre-fall season, check out ACHS Academic Dean Dr. Arianna Staruch's article about the antiviral activity of essential oils: http://www.achs.edu/news/news-detail.aspx?nid=193

You also may want to visit the Apothecary Shoppe, where most essential oils have posted information about their traditional use and wellness support, and some even include blending formulas.

Here's the recipe to prepare an inhalation from the eucalyptus webpage:

Alcohol, 90%: 4.5-cups
Eucalyptus Eucalyptus globulus oil: 6-t
Thyme Thymus vulgaris oil: 3-t
Pine Pinus sylvestris oil: 3-t
Lavender Lavandula angustifolia oil: 2-t
Lemon Citrus limon oil: 2-t

Mix all ingredients. To prepare as an inhalation, add 3-t to 6-cups of boiling water. This mixture can also be added to the bath water or to footbaths. Use 3-drops in the bath or 1-2-drops in a footbath.

* This information is provided for educational purposes only. It is not intended to treat, diagnose, or prescribe.

Wednesday, September 15, 2010

Aromatherapy Essential Oils Help Reduce Stress

We spotted this article on NaturalNews.com and thought you'd find it interesting, "Use Aromatherapy to Reduce Stress." Though the information is fairly introductory, the author does makes some useful suggestions for simple ways you can start using aromatherapy as part of your everyday health routine.

The ACHS Wellness Guide includes some more specific information for how to use aromatherapy essential oils. You can download it here: http://www.achs.edu/news/news-detail.aspx?nid=225

You might also be interested in this free download, What is Aromatherapy?, by ACHS President Dorene Petersen. The lecture was originally presented at the Portland Chinese Gardens as part of their Festival of Fragrance, and there is a lot of useful information about how essential oils are produced and how they can be used to support optimal health. Here is the link from the ACHS website, under News and Events: http://www.achs.edu/news/news-detail.aspx?nid=224

To get you started, here's the recipe for our Calming and Relaxing Herbal Bath Blend. You can download more recipes from our Apothecary Shoppe. Select "Free Downloads" from the left-hand toolbar and click on ACHS Holiday Recipes:

Calming and Relaxing Herbal Bath Blend

Use 2-10 drops of essential oil per bath. Use equal parts of spearmint leaves, comfrey root, chamomile flowers, and valerian root. For a foot bath, use 10 drops of essential oil per 1⁄2 gallon of water.

Monday, September 13, 2010

Clove Essential Oil Support to Ease Pain, Kill Viruses

Clove essential oil is in the news ... again! A new article from Care2.com is a great addition to our post last week, New Study Finds Clove Essential Oil May Help with Rashes.

Here's a snippet of the article, "Essential Oil Eases Pain, Kills Viruses," featuring the analgesic and antifungal properties attributed to clove Syzygium aromaticum essential oil:

"Easing Pain: Clove essential oil’s is best known for its ability to alleviate toothaches, making it a common ingredient in natural toothpaste and mouthwash. Additionally, it is often added to liniment and massage oils since it component, eugenol, has anti-pain properties.

"Kills Viruses: This potent aromatherapy oil has also been shown in studies to halt reproduction of the herpes viruses including those linked to cold sores and shingles.

"Because it is a potent oil and can be irritating to mucous membranes and the skin, it should always be diluted in a carrier oil like sweet almond or extra virgin olive oil (about 3 drops in a teaspoon of carrier oil). Also, be sure to do a test patch on the inside of your arm and wait for 24 or 48 hours to be sure you aren’t sensitive to the oil."

To read the full-length article, visit the Care2.com website here: http://www.care2.com/greenliving/aromatherapy-oil-eases-pain-kills-viruses.html

Wednesday, September 08, 2010

New Study Finds Clove Essential Oil May Help With Rashes

A new study from the Queensland Institute of Medical Research (QIMR) has found that clove essential oil may help with itchy rashes, such as those associated with scabies. (Perhaps it may be useful with bedbugs, considering the recent U.S. outbreak? Hmmm?)

"Essential oils and their active chemical components have long been proven to be effective against animal parasites such as cattle ticks, sheep ticks, and rabbit mites. Our research is applying this theory to the human scabies mite," said Pasay, one of the researchers.

"We also tested eugenol, which makes up 80% of clove oil, and its related compounds for their effects on the mites and found they were comparable to an existing treatment for scabies," Pasay said.

Clove essential oil contains the constituents eugenol, beta-caryophyllene, alpha-humulene, and is attributed with antiseptic, antispasmodic, and insecticide properties, among others.

To read the full-text research announcement, go to: http://www.dnaindia.com/health/report_clove-oil-may-treat-itchy-rashes_1435265

Thursday, September 02, 2010

Tea Tree Essential Oil Helps Clean Mold from Your Home

It seems like near every day there is a new article about the health benefits of cleaning your home with natural, chemical-free products. We're happy to see this information is out there for people to read and use!

In fact, we recently spotted an interesting article about a specific use for tea tree essential oil in the home. Mold. As explained in the article "Does Tea Tree Oil Help Kill Mold?" from naturalhealthezine.com, mold not only looks unsightly, is can pose several potential health risks, including triggering allergic reactions and asthma attacks.

Tea tree essential oil is attributed with antibacterial and antiviral properties, and is a good alternative to more traditional cleaning products, like bleach. Plus, a little bit of the essential oil used in water goes a long way. You may, however, want to wear gloves while cleaning with tea tree essential oil. It can cause skin irritation is those who are sensitive. We recommend using a skin patch test before cleaning your home.*

Naturalhealthezine.com recommends making a tea tree essential oil mold spray from 2 cups of water and 1-2 drops of the oil. Shake the bottle thoroughly before spraying. Then saturate the moldy area with the spray and allow it to sit overnight; wipe down the area the next day.

For more information about the chemical constituents and benefits of EcoCert organic tea tree essential oil, visit the Apothecary Shoppe Store: Tea tree Australia (Melaleuca alternifolia) and tea tree New Zealand (Leptospermum scoparium).

*These statements have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. This product is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent any disease.

Image (c) http://www.flickr.com/photos/briangratwicke/4241137381/sizes/sq/in/photostream/

Tuesday, July 27, 2010

Help Support Your Kids' Healthy Sleep

It's almost August ... can you believe it? Before we know it, it will be September and our kids will be heading back to school.

During summer, it can be difficult to keep kids on a regular sleep schedule; we want them to play and have fun while they can! But research shows school-aged kids needs about 9-12 hours of sleep[1] at night, which is especially important during the school year to support intellectual and emotional health.

Now is a great time to start your kids back on a healthy sleep schedule so that by the time school rolls around, they'll be rested and ready to head back. So, how do you help support your kids' healthy sleep schedule? Here are some suggestions[2]:
  • Make a special bedtime.
  • Pick a bedtime that feels natural for your child. Pay attention to when they naturally "wind down" or get physically tired, which is when they should be going to bed.
  • Keep a regular routine and make it simple.
  • Avoid caffeinated beverages like hot chocolate and cola, which can keep your kids from falling asleep.
You also might want to try using lavender Lavandula angustifolia essential oil. Many kids (and adults!) find a few drops on the pillowcase soothing and relaxing. You can even lead your kids through some simple deep breathing exercises to help them relax and inhale the lavender aromatherapy essential oil.

A 2008 study in Early Human Development [3] also showed that the aroma of lavender bath oil may have effective relaxing and sleep-inducing properties. When used with mothers and infants, the data showed increased relaxation of mothers and infants.

Have you tried lavender with your kids? We'd love to hear more about your experience using lavender for sleep and relaxation. Please post your comments to share (and if you have other suggestions for helping your kids to get healthy sleep, please post those too!).

[1] http://www.med.umich.edu/yourchild/topics/sleep.htm
[2] http://www.med.umich.edu/yourchild/topics/sleep.htm
[3] Field T, Field T, Cullen C, Largie S, Diego M, Schanberg S, Kuhn.
Lavender bath oil reduces stress and crying and enhances sleep in very young infants. Early Hum Dev. 2008 Jun;84(6):399-401. Epub 2007 Nov 28. Accessed 7/27/10: http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/18053656

* Note the information within this article is for information purposes only. It is not intended to treat, diagnose, prescribe, or cure. When using essential oils, it is best to consult with a Registered Aromatherapist or your primary care physician for questions.

Wednesday, June 30, 2010

Stock Up On Summer Travel Supplies: Save 20% through Monday!!

Fourth of July is Sunday! That means two things: Summer is here and it’s travel time!

What’s more exciting than a new destination, a little adventure, and some R&R on the road? Not much! But, don’t let your summer travels get grounded by unexpected health challenges. Minor bumps and scrapes, bug bites, and unexpected allergies are common travel mishaps. But with a little preparation, you can have the adventure of a lifetime AND keep you and your family happy and healthy all summer long!

Essential Oil First Aid Travel Kit

This kit was personally designed by ACHS President Dorene Petersen and includes 5 ml of aloe vera and 5 ml each of the antibacterial, health-promoting essential oils cinnamon, ginger, lavender, lemon, peppermint, tea tree Australia, and ylang ylang.

The Travel Kit’s great price reflects our new, lowered prices on essential oils due to the U.S. dollar's surge against the Euro. But we can’t predict how long these exchange rates will stay in place, so take advantage of these great savings while you can!

Order by midnight July 5 to save 20% off any Apothecary Shoppe purchase of $30 or more. Just enter the code July2010 into the comments section of your order at checkout.

Also check out these travel items:
  • Flight Spray Germ Fighting Nasal Spray
  • Herbal Comfort Neck Pack
  • JetZone Jet Lag Homeopathic 30 Tab
  • Rescue Remedy Spray
Click here for a link to ACHS on Facebook. "Like" us to download natural body care recipes and comment on article links and add your own favorite recipes. Go to: http://www.facebook.com/pages/Portland-OR/American-College-of-Healthcare-Sciences/99091122240

Monday, June 28, 2010

Essential Oils Great Alternative to Synthetic Chemical Insect Repellents: Citronella, Peppermint, Eucalyptus, and Lemongrass

Summer is here! That means, it's time to get outdoors and enjoy some relaxation and sun time with friends and family. For many of us, though, summer fun can come at a price (so to speak!). Bug bites! Ouch. Ick. Yuck!

If you're swarmed by cookout invites and gardening have-tos, don't fear your time outdoors ... with a little pre-planning, you can protect your skin and fun-time from potential discomfort caused by bug bites.

This summer, make aromatherapy part of your outdoor fun. These essential oils are attributed with natural insect repellent properties and create great atmosphere when diffused into the air. You also can turn skin protection into a fun activity and get your friends and family involved by creating essential oil blends with base oils*. Plus, essential oils are a natural alternative to synthetic chemicals, which further helps protect environmental and personal health.[1]

Citronella Cymbopogon nardus
Citronella essential oil is well know for its mosquito repellent properties and is used in many products, as well as in soap making and natural cleaning products. Citronella is generally considered a top note and has a medium-strong fragrance.

Peppermint Mentha piperita var. vulgaris Peppermint essential oil releases a very fresh, invigorating aroma when diffused into the air and can be very refreshing at outdoor events. Like citronella, peppermint is effective for keeping insects at bay and it blends well with other essential oils, such as eucalyptus, lavender, and rosemary. [2]

Eucalyptus Eucalyptus globulus
Eucalyptus essential oil is considered a top note and has a high aroma intensity described as fresh, penetrating, and woody. Like peppermint, it blends wells with eucalyptus, lavender, and rosemary. Note, it is not recommended to use eucalyptus on the skin undiluted as it can cause stinging. To use on the skin, blend with a base oil like olive.

Lemongrass Cymbopogon citratus
Lemongrass essential oil has a very refreshing aroma known for its uplifting, energizing properties ... perfect for outdoor events! It also is thought to support "clear thinking" and good concentration.[3]

For more information about aromatherapy, diffusion, blending, and making your own aromatic sprays, download our free lecture What Is Aromatherapy? from the Apothecary Shoppe College Store website here: http://www.apothecary-shoppe.com/product_info.php?cPath=45&products_id=885

Share your aromatherapy insights, tips, and custom blends with our natural products discussion on Facebook. Download new recipes and comment here: http://www.apothecary-shoppe.com/product_info.php?cPath=45&products_id=885

[1] Nerio LS, Olivero-Verbel J, Stashenko E.Repellent activity of essential oils: a review. Bioresour Technol. 2010 Jan;101(1):372-8. Epub 2009 Sep 2: http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/19729299
[2]Samarasekera R, Weerasinghe IS, Hemalal KP.Insecticidal activity of menthol derivatives against mosquitoes. Pest Manag Sci. 2008 Mar;64(3):290-5: http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/18095385
[3] Qualls WA, Xue RD. Field evaluation of three botanical repellents against Psorophora ferox, Aedes atlanticus, and Aedes mitchellae. J Am Mosq Control Assoc. 2009 Sep;25(3):379-81: http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/19852232

*Note, it is always best to consult with a certified aromatherapist about which essential oils are best suited for your purposes. It is also recommended to perform a skin patch test before applying essential oils to test for possible sensitivities. This article is for informational purposes only; it is not intended to treat, diagnose, prescribe, or cure.

Friday, June 18, 2010

Join ACHS and Mindy Green for a Free Teleconference, Essential Oil Blending

Title: Essential Oil Blending for Perfumery or Therapeutics with Mindy Green, MA
When: July 20, 2010 at 5:30 pm (PST)

About the Teleconference
Essential oils have been employed for centuries as fragrant adornment, sexual attractant, cosmetic adjunct, and for their therapeutic significance. Whether your blend is recreational or recuperative, it should smell pleasant enough for enjoyable compliance. In this teleconference, Mindy Green will discuss where, when, and how essential oils applications are most effective. Participants will also learn about the basic principles of blending, safety and dilutions, carrier oils, and actualizing blends.

Recommended Reading
Keville, Kathi and Mindy Green. Aromatherapy: A Complete Guide to the Healing Art, 2nd Edition: Crossing Press, 2008 (Blending Chapter, pgs 128-140).

About Mindy Green
Mindy Green has more than 35 years’ experience in the natural products and healthcare industry. From 2003-2009 she worked for Aveda Corporation in the botanical research division of R&D as their clinical aromatherapist and prior to Aveda, she founded and owned several herb and essential oil businesses. Mindy now runs her own consulting company called Green Scentsations, LLC.

Mindy is a nationally certified Registered Aromatherapist and has served on the educational committees of the National Association of Holistic Aromatherapists and the Aromatherapy Registration Council. She currently is a member of the Advisory Board for the American College of Healthcare Sciences and is an ongoing guest speaker for Andrew Weil’s integrative medicine program in Arizona, where she lectures on the integration of essential oils into a medical practice.

In addition to more than 40 published magazine articles on the topics of botanicals and skin care, Mindy also is co-author of Aromatherapy: A Complete Guide to the Healing Art and author of Calendula and Natural Perfumes.

For more information about Mindy, visit her website here: http://www.greenscentsations.com/

Contact Information
Call in information will be emailed to participants the week of the teleconference. To register, email communications@achs.edu or call (800) 487-8839.

Tuesday, June 08, 2010

Father's Day Gift Ideas and Savings: Give Dad the Gift of Health

Bad news: You’re likely aware of the economic challenges Europe is facing right now. Good news: The U.S. dollar has surged against the Euro, allowing us to maximize our buying power and to pass on some great savings to you.

As a result, we are able to lower the price of most Apothecary Shoppe College Store essential oils, many at a significant savings! We can’t predict how long these great exchange rates will stay in place, so take advantage!*

All orders of $20 or more placed by midnight June 20 will also receive 1 oz Detoxifying Bath Salt Blend free*

June 20 is Father's Day. This year, give Dad the gift of health! Dad is exposed to toxins in the environment everyday, including in food and water. Help Dad detox with our Detoxifying Bath Salt Blend.

These salts have been custom blended by ACHS President Dorene Petersen. Included are essential oils of juniper, ginger, fennel, and rosemary, which create a refreshing experience and help support the body's natural detoxification process.

Make health today's priority! Shop for Dad and your favorite essential oils here!

*Our new pricing reflects current market value only. The high quality you rely on is the same. We will never sacrifice quality and thoroughly investigate the harvesting, manufacturing, and product practices of our suppliers to ensure adherence to our mission.

Wednesday, April 07, 2010

Tips for the Working Aromatherapist: National Association for Holistic Aromatherapy

"Starting a business that involves aromatherapy as part of your business model is exciting as well as overwhelming," says Rose Chard in her article "Tips for the Working Aromatherapist" on the National Association for Holistic Aromatherapy (NAHA) blog. "Exciting because a growing number of people are looking to take more control of their well-being. Overwhelming because it is often difficult to know how to start an aromatherapy business--there is no set model to follow. However, this is a growing industry so it is an excellent time to add aromatherapy to your current business or to begin one based on aromatherapy. Here a few tips to help you along the way."

Do not assume that your clients will know the basics of aromatherapy, Chard suggests. Rather, rely on your expert education and the industry's ethical standards to meet your customer's needs. "A great number of people still do not understand the difference between an essential oil and fragrance oil," chard says, or "how to distinguish a true aromatherapy product by reading a label or that essential oils have uses other than aromatic pleasure. These people need you. And as an aromatherapist, you should recognize your role in proper education of the principles of aromatherapy for those that want and need that education."

Chard also suggests that working aromatherapists:
  • Be specific about what they offer
  • Start small and build
  • Offer quality
  • Decide on the business's demographics
  • Be proud to promote the benefits of aromatherapy
  • Charge to reflect the value of services and products offered
To read the full-length NAHA blog, click here.

For expert advice about the business of aromatherapy, check out "The Business of Aromatherapy: American College of Healthcare Sciences," an interview with ACHS President Dorene Petersen on the Essential U blog.

Click here to read "The Business of Aromatherapy."

Monday, April 05, 2010

Thyme and Cinnamon Essential Oils May Be Effective Alternative to Antibiotics

"Essential oils could be a cheap and effective alternative to antibiotics and potentially used to combat drug-resistant hospital superbugs," according to the article "Essential Oils to Fight Superbugs" on the ScienceDaily website.

The research for this study was led by Professor Yiannis Samaras and Dr. Effimia Eriotou from the Technological Educational Institute of Ionian Islands, in Greece, and presented at the Society for General Microbiology's spring meeting in Edinburg. Samaras and Eriotou tested the antimicrobial activity of the essential oil from eight plants, from which they found thyme (Thymus vulgaris) essential oil to be the most effective; thyme essential oils "was able to almost completely eliminate bacteria within 60 minutes."

Cinnamon (Cinnamomum zeylanicum) essential oil was also found to be effective, and both cinnamon and thyme essential oil "were found to be particularly efficient antibacterial agents against a range of Staphylococcus species. Strains of these bacteria are common inhabitants of the skin and some may cause infection in immunocompromised individuals."

"The Greek team," according to ScienceDaily, "believes essential oils could have diverse medicinal and industrial applications. 'The oils--or their active ingredients--could be easily incorporated into antimicrobial creams or gels for external application. In the food industry the impregnation of food packaging with essential oils has already been successfully trialed. They could also be included in food stuffs to replace synthetic chemicals that act as preservatives,' they said."

To read the full-length article on the ScienceDaily website, go to: http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2010/03/100330210942.htm

*This information is for educational purposes only. It is not intended to treat, diagnose, heal, or prevent disease. You should always consult with your primary care physician or naturopathic doctor before making any changes to your health and wellness routine.

Wednesday, March 17, 2010

Essential Oil for St. Patrick's Day: Peppermint

Happy St. Patrick's Day to all. If you're looking for an essential oil to use reminiscent of the spirit of St. Patrick's, give peppermint Mentha piperita a try.

Peppermint essential oil, also called balm mint or brandy mint, has a fresh, somewhat minty and strong smell. It is considered an adaptogenic oil, and although peppermint is not traditionally used in perfumery, the aroma is known to "give a lift" when inhaled.

The main constituent of peppermint oil produced in the United States is the alcohol, l-menthol (42.8%). Menthol is responsible for the cooling taste of peppermint, which is why peppermint is used extensively in commercial products, such as cough drops.

Before applying peppermint oil directly to skin, a skin patch test is recommended. You can also diffuse peppermint essential oil directly into the air for inhalation by using a terracotta light ring or a variety of diffusers.

Here's a recipe for a peppermint-based migraine rub (just in case!):
  • Chamomile Anthemis nobilis oil: 5-drops
  • Eucalyptus Eucalyptus globules oil: 5-drops
  • Lemon Citrus limonum oil: 5-drops
  • Peppermint Mentha piperita oil: 5-drops
  • Base oil: 2-T
  • Blend the oils and apply to shoulders, neck, and temples
Other "green" essential oils you might enjoy for St. Patrick's Day include: Eucalyptus, lime, basil, and bay.

>> For more information about the History of Aromatherapy, download a free lecture from the Apothecary Shoppe.

*Note, this post is for informational purposes only and is not intended to treat, cure, diagnose, or prescribe. You should always check with your primary care physician.

Wednesday, March 03, 2010

Researchers Indentify 6 Essential Oils for Inflammation

A new study in the January edition of the Journal of Lipid Research reported that researches have found six essential oils, including thyme, clove, rose, eucalyptus, fennel, and bergamot, that may help suppress the inflammatory COX-2 enzyme like resveratrol, the "chemical linked with the health benefits of red wine."

According to the website The Medical News, these findings "provide more understanding of the health benefits of many botanical oils and provide a new avenue for anti-inflammatory drugs."

Of the commercial essential oils tested, the researchers were able to identify six (thyme, clove, rose, eucalyptus, fennel, and bergamot) that "reduced COX-2 expression in cells by at least 25%." Of these, thyme oil proved the most effective and reduced expression levels by about 75%.

>> For therapeutic grade essential oils, visit the Apothecary Shoppe here. To learn more about aromatherapy and the use of essential oils, visit the American College of Healthcare Sciences here.

>> Read the full-length Medical News article here, with a link to the American Society of Biochemistry and Molecular Biology.

Tuesday, March 02, 2010

NAHA Now Offers Mini Marketing Tips for Aromatherapy Professionals

The National Association for Holistic Aromatherapy e-news now features a mini-marketing tips section written by Kayla Fioravanti, RA (who also is responsible for the blog Essential U). If you don't yet follow NAHA, now's the time. This is a very practical article for aromatherapy students and professionals, as well as holistic health professionals who adjunct aromatherapy with the primary practice.

In this first edition of NAHA Mini-Marketing Tips Kayla suggests "Determine Your Best Sellers-Cut the Dead Ends." She recommends focusing "on the top 20% of your products and services that bring in 80% of your sales. Phase out the rest unless they are support products for your top sales items. On a spreadsheet list every single product and service and put the total dollars sold next to each item. Sort them from highest to lowest and then determine which products make up the top 80% of total sales. You will find that they will be your top 20% of products or services. That means in almost every business, that 80% of your inventory is only doing 20% of your sales. But you are spending most of our money keeping those 80% of products or services available for that customer that uses them once a year."

>> To read more from the NAHA blog, click here: http://worldofaromatherapy.blogspot.com/

Thursday, February 25, 2010

Essential Oil of Vitex May Help with Symptoms of PMS and Menopause

ACHS President Dorene Petersen harvests vitex berries for essential oil distillation in the American College of Healthcare Sciences Botanical Teaching Garden on February 17, 2010

Vitex Vitex agnus-castus, also called chaste tree and monk's pepper, is from the family Verbenaceae. A perennial, deciduous shrub, vitex grows to about 6-18 feet high and can spread to about 15 feet. The leaves are dark green, the flowers are small and lilac, and the berries are red-black with a spicy, aromatic flavor and aroma.

Historically, vitex is said to have been chewed by monks to help preserve their celibacy. There are also reports mentioning its use in Greek rituals, as well as the practice of carrying twigs for protection against dangers and to signify chastity.

Vitex essential oil is a pale to dark-yellow color and has a strong aroma, but is not traditionally used in perfumery. The fruit, or berries, are used to produce the oil, which includes the active constituents limonene, 1,8-cineol, pinene, carophyllene, and sabinene.

Therapeutically, vitex essential oil is thought to have hormonal effects, such as support for the relief of common menopausal symptoms[1] and PMS[2], and may have antibacterial and antifungal effects.

>> To learn more about the medicinal benefits of vitex, check out this free education video from the American College of Healthcare Sciences with College President Dorene Petersen: http://www.youtube.com/achstv#p/u/1/V0Mpmgm2sbU

Sign up to follow ACHS on YouTube, ACHStv, to receive automatic updates the moment new videos are posted: http://www.youtube.com/achstv

>> For your vitex essential oil, stop by the Apothecary Shoppe: www.apothecary-shoppe.com

[1] Lucks, B. 2003. Vitex agnus castus essential oil and menopausal balance: a research update. Complementary Therapies in Nursing and Midwifery Vol 9, Issue 3 148-154.
[2] 2009. The premenstrual syndrome: effectiveness of Vitex agnus castus.
Med Monatsschr Pharm. May; 32(5): 186-91.

Monday, February 15, 2010

Alliance of International Aromatherapists (AIA) is Looking for Presenters

The Alliance of International Aromatherapists (AIA) is looking for qualified aromatherapists who want to present at a future AIA event and/or teleconference.

If you would like to present, or know someone who may be interested in giving a presentation or leading a workshop for AIA, you can download an application here: http://www.alliance-aromatherapists.org/presenter_opportunities.htm

Length and topics of consideration are yet to be determined. To email your application, download the form, and then click the Submit by Email button located on the top right. Or, you can save the form and email it to info@alliance-aromatherapists.org. To mail the form, use the address printed on the form, and to fax, send to (303) 979-7135.

For more information, contact AIA at: http://www.alliance-aromatherapists.org/

Tuesday, February 09, 2010

Aromatherapy Insight Cards: A Practical Tool for Everyday Health

Have you tried these Aromatherapy Insight Cards before? If not, you may want to. Not only do these cards and accompanying text provide great background information about essential oils, they also provide an interactive, hands-on tool to start incorporating essential oils into your everyday health and wellness routine.

As the book jacket outlines, "we need to rebalance our lives and regain all that we are searching for. [...] The Aromatherapy Insight Cards are a practical tool to help you tap into your intuition, develop your emotional awareness, and increase your knowledge base as you learn the subtle uses for aromatherapy."

For more information on this text by Jennifer Jefferies, ND, check it out on the Apothecary Shoppe website: http://www.apothecary-shoppe.com/product_info.php?cPath=4_24&products_id=1164

Here's the oil we selected for today, Tuesday, February 9, 2010: Cinnamon, Cinnamomum seylanicum. According to the text, cinnamon is a tool to help you "regain that passion for life." It has the physical benefit of "a valuable antiseptic and it warms, giving relief to arthritic aches and pains. It also alleviates coughs and colds, nervous tension and exhaustion."

Jefferies, Jennifer ND. Aromatherapy Insight Cards. Living Energy: Australia. 2005.

Wednesday, January 20, 2010

Clearing Clutter for Holsitic Health Featured on NAHA Aromatherapy Blog

"Clearing Clutter for Holistic Health," originally featured in the National Association for Holistic Aromatherapy (NAHA) January newsletter, is now available on the NAHA blog as an E-News Going Green article as well.

Here are a few of the aromatherapy tips featured in the article by ACHS President Dorene Petersen:

1. Peppermint (Mentha piperita) essential oil has been shown to repel mice, so put cotton balls soaked in peppermint oil in areas where you suspect a mouse problem. (Avoid placing the cotton balls in areas that are accessible to children and pets).

2. Check your oils. While some oils like Vetiver (Vetiveria zizanoides) will last for years if stored correctly, others (like the citrus oils) will begin to oxidize after a few months. (It is best to store your citrus essential oils in the fridge.) If you've taken the time to train your olfactory memory, you may be able to discern when your oils are past their best. No need to throw them out: Use them to clean the house! (But avoid skin contact as oxidized citrus essential oils can cause irritation.) And don't use them to wash the dog: Fido's skin is sensitive too!

3. Aromatherapy baths are an effective relaxation activity, and also a great reward for accomplishing a goal. To create a soothing aromatherapeutic bath, try a blend of Geranium (Pelargonium graveolens), Lavender (Lavandula angustifolia), and Rose (Rosa damascena).

To read the full-length article, including tips for clearing clutter and promoting optimum health, check out the National Association for Holistic Aromatherapy blog here: http://worldofaromatherapy.blogspot.com/