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2004 09: Aromatherapy Newsletter September 2004

President’s Letter

Hello Aroma Friends,

I hope you have all enjoyed your summer. Here in British Columbia we have had an unusually long and hot summer, which has kept us all parked firmly in front of fans in an attempt to keep somewhat cool. For a climate that usually is much cooler and wetter, I took a bit of time to adjust to it.

We have been kept busy here sending out our new bug spray “Bugz Off”, essential oils for heat exhaustion and allergic reactions, hydrosols for sunburns and all the usual summer things.

We are half-way through August and the fall signs are all around; leaves changing colour, squirrels hording stashes of nuts, weather becoming cooler and wetter and the days getting noticeably shorter. Nature is preparing for the winter days to come.

September sees all the children back in school and families getting back into routines. Green Valley will be launching our new program: Aromas@Home. This is a home party plan concept and we are very excited to be able to bring it to you. It has been an adventure getting all the information together for the DVD, creating the “paks” and talking to aromatherapists who are interested in being presenters. Keep your eyes on our website for more information!

British Columbia has a great aromatherapy association, and this October brings the continuing education workshops which allow the members of the BCAPA a chance to learn, network and meet some of the “gurus” in the aromatherapy world.

It is also a time to start thinking about Christmas. I have a number of family members still living in England and packages can take a long time to get there during the busy holiday season.

November will see a subtle change in the products that sell, as people”s focus shifts from outdoor activities to antiviral, antibacterial and oils that can help bring the sunshine back inside to help lighten the otherwise darker days of winter. Our Terminator blend sees an increase each fall as people endeavor to keep their environments clear of germs and their immune systems strong.

I hope you have a great fall and I’ll look to December when we meet again!

Barb Greenwood
President & CEO

Aromatherapy and Sports

While aromatherapy may not be the first thing you think about when you are thinking sports, essential oils can be used in a myriad of ways before, during and after the sport of your choice.

Essential oils have been reported to help stimulate the mind, increase circulation and help detoxify the system, among many other things. Blending Peppermint essential oil and Basil essential oil into a pre-workout blend for inhalation or into a witch hazel base to make a work out body spray can help give you that little extra boost of energy. It’s amazing how even just inhaling peppermint while walking or running on the treadmill makes you feel like doing more!

Racquet sport players may find an improvement in their game just by giving their “hitting” arm a pre-game rubdown with Ginger essential oilBlack Pepper essential oil and Rosemary essential oil. These oils are known to help increase circulation and are warming and stimulating. This blend could also apply to golfers (do both arms!) Remember to start at the wrist and work in towards the chest to work together with your circulation (you don’t want the blood to end up pooling in your hand!). Of course, these oils need to be mixed into an unscented base of some sort (gel, oil or cream) and keep the dilution to no more than 14 total drops to 30ml (one ounce) of your base.

Hockey players in your family? Consider the “gym bag” (phew) syndrome where well-worn gear can sit for days (weeks?) before finally finding its way to the laundry hamper. The solution? Make up a gym bag spray! Use some oils that are known germ killers (why not try our Terminator blend). Now all you need to do is train your hockey star to use it!

Let your imagination run and you can come up with many more ways to work essential oils into your sporting regime. Check out our recipes for more ideas!

Oil Profile: Black Spruce Oil (Picea nigra)

The Black Spruce tree is a small hardy tree that grows in Canada, mainly in the Northern regions and Quebec, in boggy or moist conditions. Black Spruce essential oil is a middle note that blends well with Pine essential oilCedarwood essential oilLavender essential oilRosemary essential oil and Benzoin essential oil. It tends to have a high “ester” content which means it carries with it therapeutic properties such as anti-inflammatory, anti-spasmodic, anti-fungal, calming, balancing, relaxing, and uplifting. It is said to carry with it unique immune boosting properties and can help to support the adrenal cortex with its ability to help the body produce its own cortisone. Great for use in blends for those who are under a great deal of stress.

The anti-inflammatory properties of Black Spruce make it an excellent oil to help with arthritis, rheumatoid arthritis as well as muscle aches and pains. In a steam treatment, Black Spruce essential oil can help with bronchitis, bronchial congestion, colds, flu and infections. It is known to help boost the immune system, so at the first sign of a sniffle or scratchy throat, reach for the Black Spruce and the kettle and steam your head!

Emotionally, Black spruce can be uplifting, mentally stimulating, and can be useful to help balance those who feel as if their lives are falling apart. It may help us to find our “mental footing” again by offering this fragrant stabilizing element.

General properties of Black Spruce essential oil:

  • anti-spasmodic
  • anti-inflammatory
  • expectorant
  • anti-fungal
  • anti-infectious
  • antimicrobial

Aromatherapy Uses of Black Spruce essential oil: May be helpful with colds, flu, infections, hyperthyroidism, anxiety, stress, nervous tension, acne, bronchitis, bronchial congestion, muscle aches and pains, poor circulation, arthritis, rheumatism.

Ways to Use: Diffuser, massage, bath and inhalation.

Cautions: Has the potential to be an irritant and sensitizer if not used in small amounts or directly on the skin.

Product Highlights

Brian’s Arthritis Cream

For those who suffer the pain of arthritis, this blend may be the answer. Brian’s Arthritis Cream was created especially for Bobbi’s step-dad, Brian who has endured years of pain and pain medications to help keep it under control. He now finds that rubbing this lotion into his hands when they begin to ache can make the difference between a good day and a bad one. Like any natural product, it may take a little longer to show results in some people, but it sure is worth a try to help keep stomach-destroying pain killers to a minimum. We used essential oils and even a base oil containing anti-inflammatory properties to help reduce the pain caused by the inflamed joints and tissues. Brian’s Arthritis Cream is sold in 30ml bottles. Due to the nature of the base oil, it is highly concentrated therefore a little goes a LONG way. Remember not to over-do, as this can cause you to feel slick and greasy. It blends beautifully into the skin when used in small amounts, leaving you with a fresh, natural scent. This product can also be useful for sore muscles after sports, working out or hiking!


The by-product of the steam distillation of the plant material when creating essential oils. They carry with them the water soluble properties of the plants and are wonderful for use directly on the skin.

  • Peppermint hydrosol: most famous for its anti-inflammatory and mind stimulating properties. It is also great for use topically on red and irritated acne. It may help provide relief for itching and burning, insect bites and stings. In France, women are said to spritz the decollete to help tone their bustline!
  • Tea Tree hydrosol: Like the oil, Tea Tree hydrosol is antiseptic, antifungal, antibacterial and antiviral. topically this hydrosol can be used undiluted to help clean cits and scrapes of all kinds. Spritz the wounds with the hydrosol and then dab clean with gauze (cotton balls may leave “fluffies” behind). Or, soak a gauze pad and lay over the “owie” to help disinfect for a few minutes.

Lamp Ring Diffusers

This ceramic ring is a great way to diffuse essential oils with the heat of your lamp’s light bulb! Sit the ring on top of your light bulb, add your essential oils carefully and then turn on the light. The heat from the light will help to diffuse the oils. Be cautious when removing the ring, however, as it may be hot from sitting on the bulb! Do NOT get essential oils on the light bulb!

Clove bud (Eugenia caryophyllata)

Well known by dentists and those who have suffered from an aching tooth, Clove essential oil has a number of other uses. Did you know that clove is a natural antiseptic and may help with nauisea and flatulence as well as arthritis and rheumetism? Be warned though, alittle goes a long way. Too much of this oil can cause skin irritation. NEVER apply it directly to the skin, always blend it with a carrier oil of some kind.

Aromatic Thoughts

While creating our Bugz Off spray we researched a number of essential oils to find out which ones would be the most effective. One of the oils that had great bug repellant capabilities was Catnip! We considered it, but then wondered if the essential oil has the same effect on cats as the herb does. In the interest of science, we tested a drop on a toy on Barb’s cat, Silky. It didn’t take long for the results to come in…Silky was in kitty bliss, floating on her cloud of catnip silliness. Our research team decided that this may not be the best oil to use, being as our target market (hikers, loggers, etc) may end up free of bugs but being tracked by a cougar as a nice smelling play toy! So, worry not, when you use our Bugz Off spray, it is not cat (or cougar) friendly!


Aches and Pains blend

Combine all oils into a 30ml bottle and shake well to blend. Antispasmodic and anti-inflammatory properties of these oils may be helpful for sore and aching muscles after a strenuous hike or workout. Can also be added to the tub (add 1 tablespoon to running water but be aware the tub may be slippery).

Athletes Foot Spray

Add essential oils to the Witch Hazel base and shake well. Spray directly onto the foot.

Pre or Post Sports Rub Spray

Pour liquid Aloe into an empty spray bottle; add all the oils and seal. Shake well before each use. Spray on legs and arms prior to a workout and rub in to help encourage circulation to the muscles. Spray on most used muscles immediately after workout to help combat muscle cramping and pain.


“If a woman has to choose between catching a fly ball and saving an infant”s life, she will choose to save the infant’s life without even considering if there is a man on base.”
— Dave Barry

Did You Know?

Children can benefit from the use of essential oils as well as adults? Of course children require less essential oil in their blends because their bodies are smaller and can be more sensitive to the effects. The following oils would make a great start up care kit for your children:

Remember, keep the dilutions down to 1% (this means per 30ml or one ounce of carrier oil you should add no more than 7-8 drops of essential oils in total).

*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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