2002 11: Aromatherapy Newsletter November 2002
I arrived back from England on Oct 6 after a glorious month. The weather was perfect (truly!). As well as visiting our son, family, and friends, we visited the farms where we buy or hope to buy some of our essential oils. At one of the farms I visited, Chamomile had just been harvested and was being distilled – it was a beautiful shade of blue. They had built a distilling machine, complete with a boiler for injecting steam, on the back of a huge farm trailer so it could go out in the fields with them. This saves a considerable amount of time for this is totally organic and pesticide free and the plants are harvested by hand as there are lots of weeds.
One of my favorite farms was the rose farm! They also grow Melissa and several other plants for essential oils. Words can not express the emotional and physical sensations I experienced while walking through eight acres of roses. Harvesting is from May to October and they pick from 6:00 AM until 11:00AM. This is before the flowers have had a chance to open, keeping the precious essential oils locked safe inside the petals, rather than losing them through evaporation once the petals have opened.
Each farm was unique in itself, with something different to see, smell and experience. At one particular place I was overwhelmed by the different species of Lavender, Chamomile, Peppermint and Yarrow. This farm had a lab and they were studying the ways to help improve plant yield, increase the therapeutic value of the oils and improve plant scent. It was truly amazing!
I could quite easily ramble on all day, but we have a deadline to meet. So on that note; its good to be back, take care, and keep in touch. We LOVE to hear from you!
President & CEO
Holidays & Gifts
Another year has passed and we find ourselves faced with another holiday season right around the corner. It seems our world has changed drastically in the scope of one year. Many of us are looking deeper into our hearts to discover what it is that is truly important and vital in our lives. It is so easy to get caught up in the wheels of commercial consumerism and buy gifts “just for the sake of buying”. While this may help to assuage our sense of guilt for whatever shortfall we feel we have committed, it is an action that inevitably leaves us feeling empty.
Creating gifts by hand can instill a great feeling of fullness and warmth in both the creator and the receiver of the gift. By giving a handmade gift you are saying to the recipient “I thought of you (with love) while creating this gift” and isnat that what we all need to hear from those in our lives who matter most? In a world of nameless faces and faceless names, it can be a comfort to know that someone out there was thinking warm and loving thoughts when “building” our gift. That said, we here at Green Valley have been on the look out for recipes and ideas to assist you with this “quest” to build “love in a bottle” to honor the special people in your life. Leave your inner critic at the door, open your heart to the possibilities within your own creative genius and go for it! Oh, and have fun too!
Emollient Bath Recipes
- 8oz. carrier oil (jojoba, sweet almond, etc)
- 4oz vegetable glycerin
- 8oz aloe vera gel
- 10-15 drops essential oils (see below for blend suggestions)
Blend ingredients together and pour into decorative bottle.
Another great bath addition is honey! Transfer some honey from the usual “supermarket” packaging to something more “spa-like”, a pretty bottle will do. Mix in some essential oils to customize the product and include some instructions on how to use it. It may seem strange to put honey in your bath and on your skin, but the “outer” benefits of honey are amazing! Honey is hygroscopic (this means it holds water to itself), making it a great re-hydrating treatment for dry skin. It also contains vitamins and minerals to help nourish all skin types. Even blemished skins can benefit from honey in that it is naturally antiseptic, thus helping to reduce blemishes. Skin feels toned and somewhat tightened, giving it a fresh, healthy glow. In the bath you only need about 2-3 tablespoons of honey dissolved in very hot water, add your essential oils (if they have not already been added to the honey) and immediately pour into your warm bath. Bask!
As an experiment a few days ago, I blended honey with brown (demerera) sugar and rubbed that (gently, as sugar is a “rough” exfoliant!) from head to toe while standing in the shower (with the water off). After letting that “set” for a few minutes, I rinsed it off and my skin felt so soft and amazing. Once the sugar properly exfoliated my skin, the honey was free to get in there and rehydrate. I would highly recommend this to anyone as a great treat, be it a gift or not!
- 2 cups sea salt
- ½ cup baking soda
- ½ cup powdered milk
- 2 tablespoons light oil
- 1 tsp vitamin E
- 2 whole eggs
- 10-12 drops essential oil (or blend of essential oils)
Preheat oven to 350°F. Mix all ingredients together. Take teaspoonfuls of the dough and roll them into small balls on an ungreased cookie sheet. Bake for 10 minutes till lightly browned (make sure you do not over bake these little goodies!). Allow to cool completely and then store in a decorative container ready for gift giving. This recipe makes approximately 24 “treats”. You can jazz them up by adding food coloring or dried flower petals (keep in mind, that the petals will leave a bit of a mess in the bath when the water is drained out).
Milk is good for your outsides, too!
How about a natural milk bath? Powdered milk combined with Epsom salts, baking soda and/or sea salts (as well as a few well chosen essential oils) can make a wonderfully nourishing bath. Simply mix all the above ingredients in a glass bowl and transfer to a decorative container appropriate for gift giving. Fabulous!
Make Your Own Face and Body Lotions!
Green Valley Aromatherapy also carries a variety of unscented face creams and body lotions. To customize your own personal blend for gift giving follow these simple recipes.
- 250mls body lotion
- 20 total drops of essential oil
Mix well and pour into appropriate container.
- 60mls base cream
- 8 drops of essential oil
Blend well and put in appropriate container.
Good general oils for skincare
Possibly one of the simplest and most wonderful ways to create a gift that almost everyone will love is to use sea salts. The salts are a wonderful medium for carrying essential oils into the bath. They are easy to blend (mix in a glass bowl) and you can add food coloring to make them pretty colors. We have known people to add dried calendula petals, dried chamomile flowers and rose petals to their creations to make them a little more beautiful. Use your imagination and create a unique blend all your own! (Note: Into 2 cups of sea salt, you can add up to 15 drops of essential oil.)
Sea salts are great as a body scrub! Just mix with a carrier oil- roughly equal parts (and a few drops of essential oil if you desire). Pour into a jar for future use.
Have you heard? The terrible hurricanes in China destroyed the geranium crops as well as wreaked havoc on the people and their homes. Coincidentally, the Egyptian Geranium growers had a poor harvest. This will probably translate into higher prices for this oil in the near future.
Bois de Rose (Rosewood) has been fighting for survival for a very long time. It takes 15 tons of wood (about 6 adult trees) to produce 180kg of oil. Government regulations ask for 8 new trees to be planted for every one cut down.
The Brazilian Government exported 1043 drums per year in the 1940”s. By 1970 that figure was down to 923 drums. In the “90”s they exported only 262 drums per year and so far, the new millennium has seen only 100 drums per year exported. Rosewood is fast becoming one of the “high end”” essential oils.
*This is educational information and any opinions expressed here-in do not replace professional medical advice. If you are ill, see a suitably qualified medical practitioner.*
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