Monday, July 25, 2011

Do You Use Cananga Oil As An Alternative to Ylang Ylang: ACHStv Gathering Canaga Flowers for Distillation

ACHS College President Dorene Petersen recently traveled to East Java. Here's an ACHStv video from her trip about how cananga flowers are gathered for distillation.

The terms cananga and ylang ylang are sometimes used interchangeably but there are botanical and subsequently essential oil differences. Ylang ylang is Cananga odorata var. genuine while cananga is Cananga odorata var. macrophylla. Both are from the Anonaceae family.

The trees of C. odorata var. macrophylla are quite common in East Java. The oil is extracted from cananga flowers using the hydro distillation process. The oil content in the flower varies from 0.75% to 1%. Total annual production of cananga oil in Indonesia is approximately 30-35 tons.

The main distillation season for cananga oil is from July to October. Areas of concern for this industry are the lack of tree replanting, while the existing trees are getting old and being attacked by caterpillars, which eat up all the leaves. The trees are not managed and grow to heights of 40-50 feet, which makes it difficult and dangerous to harvest. Previously a harvester had fallen from a tree and died from the injuries.

There is potential for developing and encouraging awareness of environmental issues and sustainability practices. The market for cananga oil is small so the price paid to the flower harvesters is low - approximately $0.45 U.S. per kg. Its continued production is tentative given the areas of concern and the low market demand.

This is an oil that deserves a closer look at by aromatherapists, natural product manufacturers, and natural perfumers.

Do you use cananga oil as an alternative to ylang ylang? We'd love to hear from you. Please feel free to post your comments here or to ACHS Facebook at

Wednesday, July 20, 2011

How to Use Your Essential Oil Travel Kit

Join Tracey Miller from the American College of Healthcare Sciences at the Beaverton Farmer's Market as she walks you through the seven must-have essential oils for travel: cinnamon (Cinnamomum zeylanicum), ginger (Zingiber officinale), lavender (Lavandula angustifolia), lemon (Citrus limonum), tea tree Australia (Melaleuca alternifolia), peppermint (Mentha piperita var. vulgaris), and ylang yang (Cananga odorata). Traveling with essential oils is a great way to support you health while traveling and to have your sustainable, natural first aid kit on the go!

Tuesday, July 19, 2011

Cananga Flowers (Ylang Ylang) Being Sorted and Gathered From the Ground

Cananga flowers (ylang ylang) being sorted and gathered from the ground. The flowers drop to the ground after they are cut from a very tall tree. The harvester, in this case a man, was perilously perched 40 feet above the ground in the branches executing the cut with a hooked blade tied to a 15 foot stick. His wife is on the ground sorting and gathering with amazing speed. Unfortunately they are paid only .45 cents per kilo of flowers.

Photo by Dorene Petersen, ACHS President. © 2011. Bali.

Wednesday, July 06, 2011

Meet Dean Vanderslice, Owner of edits!, and Learn to Harness the Clean Power of Essential Oils

ACHS Certificate in Aromatherapy Graduate Dean Vanderslice has found a unique way to combine her passions. Dean, owner of edits!, offers her clients more than one-day redesigns—she provides a fresh start.

“Our goal is to introduce a new beauty and function creating a new energy for living a more inspired life…naturally,” Dean says.

Edits! specializes in transforming homes and offices into stylish spaces by reusing, repurposing, and restyling things clients already own. While moving through a client’s space, edits! cleans, nourishes, and refreshes hard and soft surfaces with a line of non-toxic essential oil products Dean created.

“My confidence and passion for using essential oils in this way came from desperation, as most change does,” Dean says.

Six years ago, Dean’s husband underwent a stem cell transplant for a diagnosis of cancer. His doctor wanted him to live at home through the process because his body would already be used to bacteria, fungus, etc., living in the home verses a new environment, like the hospital. However, through the yearlong process, preventing exposure to new and seasonal “bugs” was critical.

“I was daunted by the task of keeping our home with two young children, two dogs, and lots of activity free of new germs,” Dean says. “I knew in my gut that Clorox and Lysol were not the answer for someone whose system was already being flooded with toxins. Thanks to my discovery of essential oils, we all survived and even thrived.”

Dean continued using essential oils to clean and disinfect her home, and soon began experimenting with using natural ingredients boosted by essential oils to counteract her husband’s chemo-dried skin. She also experimented with recipes for her daughters if they had sore muscles or started to get stuffy noses.

“I realized that since the use of essential oils, we had never been healthier. And I had to know more,” Dean says. “I found ACHS and was drawn to it because it was as serious as I was about utilizing the value of these amazing, therapeutic oils. I didn’t want fluff; I wanted real scientific information on why these oils worked and how to utilize them to their full potential. I got that and more. It was my first online study and although the coursework could be quite challenging, the process was simple. I enjoyed all my classes and was amazed and grateful that such acclaimed instructors took such time to develop us, not only as future aromatherapists, but business people as well.”

“As a mother of two teenage daughters, a wife to a husband who is a cancer survivor, and a business owner, I endorse a life that is simply free from artificial chemicals,” Dean says. “From what we eat, to what we put on our body, to what we clean our homes with—nature provides.”

For more information about edits! and Dean’s chemical-free products and philosophy, visit edits! online at or email Dean at

For more information about the ACHS Certificate in Aromatherapy, visit ACHS online at