Archive for May, 2014

From Plant to Essential Oil: The Distillation Process Made Simple

May 29th, 2014

The science of distillation made simple! Although we don’t recommend trying this at home, understanding the process makes it so much more interesting… don’t you think?!

 

Essential Oil Distillation Big1. Steam from boiling water rises through a chamber of vast amounts of raw plant material. It is heated to the exact temperature necessary to rupture that particular plant’s specialized cells while preserving its active components.

2. The broken plant cells release the essential oils they naturally produce and store within them.

3. These essential oils rise with the hot steam into a separate chamber.

4. As this vapor of water and essential oil cools, the oil and water-soluble components naturally separate due to differences in density and polarity (just like oil and vinegar!)

5. As the essential oils rise to the top of this cooled liquid, they are poured off and collected.

 

The basic chemical properties of essential oils classify them as lipids. They are volatile and contain components with unique chemistries that act on different bodily systems. When these components are understood and used effectively, they can bring balance and wellness to the user.

 

Cary in FranceCary visits a Helichrysum distillery in the Valensole Plateau of France.

 

7 Great Resources for Essential Oil Enthusiasts

May 22nd, 2014

 

Essential Oils

 

Searching the web for information on essential oils and aromatherapy can be exhausting, so to save you the time and energy, we have compiled a list of some of our favorite resources:

 

1.  Alliance of International Aromatherapists (AIA)

 

A non-profit, professional organization representing aromatherapists. The organization has a large focus on education offering conferences, teleseminars, event listings, continuing ed credit and its School Recognition Program, the first organization in the US to establish the most comprehensive educational standards for clinical aromatherapists.

 

2.  National Association for Holistic Aromatherapy (NAHA)

 

A member-based, non-profit association devoted to the holistic integration and education of aromatherapy into a wide range of complementary healthcare practices including self-care and home pharmacy. The site offers scientific, empirical and current information about aromatherapy and essential oils.

 

3.  International Journal of Clinical Aromatherapy (IJCA)

 

A peer-reviewed professional journal with practitioner-orientated and evidence-based information for healthcare professionals who integrate clinical aromatherapy within orthodox practice. Two specifically-themed issues are published each year with the majority of the articles based on that topic.

 

4.  Aromatherapy Today

 

An international aromatherapy journal with detailed essential oil profiles, up to date research, special events in the aromatics industry and ongoing articles by leading aromatherapists from Australia and overseas.

 

5.  International Journal of Professional Holistic Aromatherapy (IJPHA)

 

A peer-reviewed professional journal dedicated to providing the professional holistic practitioner with useful information and resources to enhance their practice. It is a subscription-based print publication with 4 issues a year and great resource for case studies.

 

6.  Aromahead Institute – School of Essential Oil Studies

 

An online institute with Aromatherapy courses for personal use, massage therapists and aromatherapists including advanced certification, teacher training classes and much more. Aromahead also provides access to both an Essential Oil Component Database and International Directory of Essential Oil Distillers.

 

7.  Aromaweb

 

A website with aromatherapy articles & recipes, essential oil profiles and access to both the Aromatherapy Business Directory and Aromatherapy School & Educator Directory.

 

 

Are Your Essential Oils as Pure as You Think?

May 20th, 2014

There are 3 types of essential oils currently being sold on the market:

1. Food Grade: used for food flavorings (think Peppermint for toothpaste, Lemon for iced tea drinks, or Ginger for ginger ale)

2. Cosmetic Grade: used for scenting cosmetics (think Lavender soap or Rose-scented perfume)

3. Therapeutic Quality: used for treatment and wellness (think Eucalyptus for colds, Cardamom for detoxifying, or Ylang Ylang for stress relief)

Food Cosmetic Therapeutic

 

How are they created differently, you ask?

It’s all based on time and temperature. When large amounts of plant material are gathered to be steam distilled to extract the essential oil, the distiller for the food and cosmetic grade uses higher temperatures and a quicker turn around time. Mobdro Therefore, they are not extracting all of the precious minute components that a slower distillation at a lower temperature can produce.

 

What’s the best way to tell the quality of an essential oil?

GC/MS (Gas Chromatography/Mass Spectrometry… so we’ll just continue to refer to it as GC/MS) testing provides a comprehensive collection of the active components in a specific oil. These reports spell out the actual chemical makeup of that particular batch as well as noting the region, harvest date, and distiller. It is possible, and more common than you may think, to “adulterate” essential oils with synthetic components to enhance their smell. This addition of unnatural chemicals would show up in a said GC/MS report, as well any pesticide chemicals used in the production of the plants used for distillation.

Lavender GC MS Test

GC MS test results of Lavender

 

Why is it so important that the oils you use are therapeutic quality?

While everyone should strive for therapeutic quality for all purposes, it is of utmost importance when you are using them to make yourself feel better, Mobdro APK Download both physically and mentally. This will ensure that the oils are safe, unadulterated and effective. Fragrance oils and synthetics can cause side effects such as allergic reactions or headaches, thus strive for the highest quality available. Requiring companies to provide GC/MS reports of their essential oils will help to increase the standard on the market here in the USA.

 

Not everyone has to be an expert on essential oils to request high quality. Simply ask the company you’re buying your oils from if they perform GC/MS testing or checkout these third party testing results. You will find that using higher quality essential oils will bring about healthier results!

 

The Cary Diaries: Cary Talks “Stress” at Texas Children’s Healthplan

May 15th, 2014

In honor of Nurses’ Week, I made a trip to speak at the Texas Children’s Healthplan’s Nurses’ Appreciation Day event. As expected, nurses regularly get caught up in stressful situations while caring for their patients. They rarely have time to stop and realize how this stress can wreak havoc on many of their bodily systems.

 

Cary arrives at Texas Childrens Hospital

 

I was given the unique opportunity to educate these wonderful nurses about the physical symptoms of the “Fight or Flight” stress response and how to help them manage it.

 

Cary speaking Nurses listening

 

Stress can cause increased blood pressure and heart rate, digestive issues, muscular tension, rapid breathing, adrenal burn out, Mobdro and even compromise the immune system!

We discussed numerous methods for controlling stress:

• Take daily breaks

• Incorporate “quieting” rituals into daily routines

• Simple stretching exercises

• Breathing exercises

• Create statements of intention

• Essential oils

• Maintain a healthy and well balanced diet

• Schedule quiet time

• Bathing rituals

All of these approaches help to slow down the cascade of intense adrenaline rushes that occur under extreme stress and tension.

 

In addition to speaking at the nurse’s appreciation day event, I was fortunate enough to be part of the educators’ meeting for the labor and delivery department at the Texas Children’s Hospital’s Pavilion for Women. I spoke with a team of 6 women who direct the education for the childbirth preparation classes. Anne Wright, the Patient Education Manager, welcomed the continued discussion of incorporating essential oils into different aspects of the birthing process.

 

educators

 

While essential oils need to be used sparingly throughout pregnancy, labor and during the early months while breastfeeding, they can be wonderful healing Mobdro APK Download tools to speed recovery and help new mother’s work through the sometime anxious and often uncomfortable period of child rearing.

 

Cary visiting Gina at the Bella Luna shop inside Texas Childrens Hospitals Pavilion for Women, where 21 Drops is sold.

Cary visiting Gina at the Bella Luna shop inside Texas Children’s Hospital’s Pavilion for Women, where 21 Drops is sold.

 

I had a wonderful time in Houston, filled with women, education and empowerment. I would like to especially thank Tabatha Bullard, Evelyn Olatunbosun and Anne Wright for the invitation and their warm hospitality. Keep up the good work ladies!

xo,

Cary

 

 

Essential Oils that Balance the Chakras

May 13th, 2014

 
Do your Chakras need harmonizing? While we can’t see them, we all have energy fields around us that are anchored to our physical body through 7 spinning vortexes called Chakras. Essential oils can help harmonize the different energies, and we’ve put together a list of which oils are best to balance each Chakra.

Chackra Diagram

 

All 7 work synergistically so it’s important to have balance from the bottom up:

 

Root Chakra

Root Chakra

 

Our first chakra is the Root Chakra, which manages our survival instincts and our right to exist. The grounding, stabilizing essential oils of ylang ylang, frankincense and sandalwood instill a steadying force when feeling uprooted.

21 Drops blend for balancing this chakra: Will Power

 

 

 

Sacral Chakra

Sacral Chakra

 

The sexual or Sacral Chakra helps to govern feelings, relationships and your sense of morality. The floral notes of rose and jasmine always excite and tantalize the emotions and Mobdro help you to access your magnetism.

21 Drops blend for balancing this Chakra: Passion

 

 

 

Naval Chakra

Naval Chakra

 

Moving upward, there’s the solar plexus or Naval Chakra that keeps our personal power and confidence in balance. It is where our gut feelings originate. This chakra is all about our self-image. Cedarwood and rosemary unleash self-consciousness and reserve to instill certainty and determination Mobdro APK Download to bolster this chakra.

21 Drops blend for balancing this chakra: Strength

 

 

Heart Chakra

Heart Chakra

 

Fifth up the ladder is the Heart Chakra, enhancing our ability to love and show compassion. If you feel fear, anger or despair, you need to equalize your heart chakra with forgiveness and tolerance. Rose, lavender and bergamot help to restore faith and trust and, thus, allow for an uninhibited light-hearted state.

21 Drops blend for balancing this chakra: Uplift

 

 

Throat Chakra

Throat Chakra

 

Our Throat Chakra is about self–expression and communication. It controls our ability to vocalize our ideas and speak our truth. Being receptive and decisive come into play when this chakra is out of balance. Geranium and chamomile restore and enhance expression.

21 Drops blend for balancing this chakra: Carry On

 

 

 

Third Eye Chakra

Third Eye Chakra

 

The Third Eye Chakra encourages trusting one’s intuition and insights. Keeping an open mind and releasing repressed negative thoughts will equalize this chakra. Frankincense and patchouli can bring the Third Eye Chakra into balance.

21 Drops blend for balancing this chakra: Invigorate

 

 

 

Crown Chakra

Crown Chakra

 

On top of the head is our Crown Chakra, which supports our connection to our higher self and helps to develop our spirituality. The idea of living in the now with selflessness and inspiration is fed by using myrrh, sandalwood and neroli to connect to ones definition of Divine.

21 Drops blend for balancing this chakra: Inspire

 
 

To learn more about the healing properties of essential oils, check out our Essential Oils Guide.

 
 

10 Gifts for Mom That Give Back

May 6th, 2014

Why not give Mom a gift that keeps on giving? We’ve scoured the internet to find awesome gifts for all types of moms.  Want to know the best part? A portion of the proceeds from all of these fab finds goes to help make the world a better place.

1. For the Fashionista:

Alex and Ani American Heart

Bohemian Bangles

 

A portion of the proceeds from Alex and Ani’s Charity by Design collection goes to various organizations throughout the world.  They have created customized symbolic charms that capture the essence of each charity. Pick the cause that is near and dear to your mom, such as the American Heart Association (pictured).

($48, alexandani.com)

 

 

2. For the Wine Enthusiast:

 

one hope veterans1

Vino

 

Half of profits from this California Sweet Red support Team Rubicon to unite the skills and experiences of military veterans with first responders to rapidly deploy emergency response teams.

($18.99, onehopewine.com)

 

 

 

3. For the Athlete:

miir bottles

An Endless Supply of H20

 

Every bottle purchased provides clean drinking water for one year to a person in need.

($25, miir.com)

 

 

 

 4. For the Sentimentalist:

honor polaroid

Vintage Prints

 

Upload a picture of your and your mom and tell the world why she’s so amazing. Make a donation to support safe births and life-changing medical treatments for women throughout the world, and Honor Your Mom will dedicate a page to your mom and send her an awesome personalized gift.

(minimum $5 donation, honoryourmom.io)

 

 

5. For the Environmentalist:

centralpark

Flowers in the Park

 

With a minimum donation of $50, the Central Park Conservancy will plant daffodils, tulips or mums (pun intended) in Central Park in honor of your mom.

(minimum $50 donation, centralparknyc.org)

 

 

 

6. For the Animal Lover:

pets

Pet Gear

 

Every member of your family (even your pets) can help protect the future of nature. With a $50 donation, help fund global conservation efforts and get this cute collar and leash set.

(minimum $50 donation, worldwildlife.org)

 

 

7. For the Caffeine Junkie:

laughingman

Coffee, Tea & Accessories

 

Founded by Hugh Jackman, Laughing man sells coffee, tea, chocolate and accessories to help entrepreneurs across the globe. 100% of profits go toward education, community development and small businesses.

($11-$30 for coffees and teas, laughingman.com)

 

 

 

8. For the Spiritual Guru:

mala
Prayer Beads

 

Each In Gratitude Mala is hand wrapped and strung and the colors come from natural plant dye. No two are the same. Your purchase helps the women of Uganda create a sustainable and dignified source of income for their families and communities.

($60, jewelryforacause.net)

 

 

 

9. For the Beauty Fanatic:

shea

 

Lip Balm, Soap & Body Butter

 

A portion of the profits from these shea butter products go towards organizing and training women-owned cooperatives in rural West Africa.

($20, sheayeleen.com)

 

 

 

10. For the Woman-on-the-Go:

ipad

 

iPad Protection

 

The perfect gift the professional mom, this ipad case helps provides scholarships for students in need throughout the world.

($39, stoneandcloth.com)

 

 

 

Happy Shopping!

 

Mint-Infused Cucumber Margarita

May 5th, 2014

In honor of Cinco de Mayo and our love for herbal-infused cocktails, we introduce you to the

Mint-Infused Cucumber Margarita:

 

shutterstock_189451595

 

It’s super simple to make. Mobdro Just follow this easy recipe:

 

Ingredients:

1 cup of sugar
1 cup of water
1 cup of fresh mint leaves
1 cucumber
3 ounces of tequila, reposado (we recommend Partida or Don Julio)
½ lime, juiced
Ice

 

Directions:

 

In a saucepan over medium heat combine water and sugar. Allow the sugar to melt, making simple syrup. Add the mint leaves. Remove from heat and let cool. Leave the leaves inside the syrup. Reserve.

Peel and muddle the cucumber, then strain to remove the pulp.

In a cocktail shaker add cucumber juice, tequila, 3 ounces of mint-infused simple syrup, lime juice, and ice. Shake and pour into a salt-rimmed rocks glass. Mobdro APK Download Garnish with a slice of lime and a few fresh mint leaves.

 

Recommended Blend Pairing:

 

Just as cocktails can be paired with food, they can also be paired with essential oils. We recommend our Detox blend after one or two or three (we won’t judge) of these babies. Detox fuses the 100% natural essential oils of cardamom seed oil, geranium leaf oil, juniper fruit oil, and lavender flower oil to purify, soothe and revive AKA hangover relief.

More about Detox essential oil blend here.