There are some precautions that must be followed when using essential oils:
• Oils should be stored out of reach of children.
• Do not take essential oils internally unless under the strict supervision of an aromatic medicine professional.
• Keep essential oils away from the eyes. If you do accidently get oil in your eyes, splash immediately with tepid water and seek medical advice if discomfort persists.
• Discontinue the use of essential oils immediately if you suffer an allergic reaction.
The following can be used as a guide to the possible contra-indications that may occur when using essential oils:
Many aromatherapists consider it sensible to avoid the use of the following oils during pregnancy – basil, clary sage, cypress, hyssop, juniper, sweet marjoram, myrrh, nutmeg, pennyroyal, rosemary, sage, thyme.
Many aromatherapists consider it sensible to avoid the use of the following oils by anyone with hypertension – hyssop, rosemary, thyme, sage.
The following oils may cause the skin to burn if exposed to strong ultra-violet light from sunlight or a sun bed – bergamot, cold pressed lime, bitter orange, lemon.
The following oils may cause skin irritation to people with sensitive skin. (Sensitivity varies from person to person and from oil to oil) – basil, lemon, cinnamon bark, clove bud, lemongrass, thyme and tea tree.
To celebrate Australian Organic Awareness Month, Sal Battaglia discusses the importance of organic products in aromatherapy and the significance organic means for Perfect Potion products.
Living an Organic Lifestyle – by Sal Battaglia
Many people turn to organics for their health and wellbeing. Whether it is the food we eat, the products we inhale or the products we put on our skin – chemically processed products increase and enhance the risk of potentially harmful toxins entering body that increase the risk of creating potentially harmful free radicals that can be carcinogenic or pro-inflammatory.
Using organics is therefore such an important step in maintaining our health and wellbeing.
Just as important is the health and wellbeing of our planet. When we make the decision to use organics we are playing a vital role in supporting those farmers who utilize farming practices that will not pollute or harm the environment or wildlife. Organic farming is often done on a much smaller scale and essential oils produced from organically grown plants are often a little more expensive, however this does represent the true cost of growing high quality, chemical free products. Also what value do you put on your health and that of your family.
As an aromatherapist, I am also asked what is the difference between a conventional commercial essential oil and a organically produced essential oil. Well number one is the fact that most commercial conventional essential oils are chemically adulterated. This is unfortunately something that happens all too often in the essential oil industry and most essential oil traders turn a blind eye to it – providing all sorts of excuses such as improved pharmacology and better aroma by rectifying or adulterating the oil. What a load of goobly dooks!
I decided to have our organic lavender tested in Japan at a laboratory that uses Kirlian photography and GDV (Gas discharge voltage) technology to test the energetic qualities of the oil.
The proof is in the results. Our organic lavender oil not only had a stronger energetic qualities, it also had a much wider and active bandwidth. This clearly goes to show that when we produce an essential oil or be it food organically it has a stronger energetic quality or dare I say “lifeforce”.
Unfortunately contemporary science is not advanced enough to understand such concept of lifeforce, however in traditional healing systems such Ayurveda or Traditional Chinese Medicine, the lifeforce is integral to promoting health and wellbeing.
I firmly believe that not only is the lifeforce of the plant is enhanced when the plant is grown organically, the lifeforce is destroyed when the plant is cultivated by conventional non-organic means.
So by supporting organics, we are securing a better and healthier future for ourselves, our children and our planet!
One of the many things I love about traditional Folk Medicine is that you can easily create your own natural remedies for less than the cost of a loaf of bread. Last week as we entered into the season of Spring, I was seeking to do something purifying and cleansing for my body. As I flicked through my herbal medicine study notes, I came across a great Folk Remedy, known as Medicinal Vinegar. I knew that our Perfect Potion Detox Herbal Tea Blend would be the star ingredient for making this.
Medicinal Vinegar Elixir
Vinegar effectively extracts the potent properties in dried herbs, therefore it essentially pulls out the goodness from the herbs into the vinegar. Raw apple cider vinegar, offers many health benefits and can be helpful for maintaining normal blood sugar and cholesterol levels, is excellent for maintaining healthy skin and hair as well as aids in digestion and managing fatigue.
Fill the sterilised jar half way with the dried herbs. Pour the apple cider vinegar over the herbs until the jar is filled to the top. Cover tightly and allow to extract for 2 weeks in a cool, dark place. Be sure to shake the jar every couple of days.
After 2 weeks, strain the herbs through a cheesecloth. Decant the clear vinegar liquid into a sterilised glass bottle using a strainer or funnel. Cap tightly, label, and store for up to 6 months in a cool, dark place. As a general guide, take 1 tablespoon of the medicinal vinegar in a little warm water up to 5 times a day or when needed.
Create a sanctuary for your senses by combining the power of aromatherapy with thriving indoor plants! Garden centre manager Chelsea from the beautiful Trevallan Lifestyle Centre give us some tips and tricks on starting your very own indoor jungle…
“I grow plants for many reasons: to please my eye or to please my soul, to challenge the elements or to challenge my patience, for novelty or for nostalgia, but mostly for the joy in seeing them grow. “ — David Hobson
Why indoor plants?
Over the years there has been so much research into not only how being outdoors improves your life but how being surrounded by green living plants inside improves your life, health, brain functioning and even your bank balance.
Indoor plants aren’t a luxury anymore they are a necessity.
It is believed the air circulating inside our workplace buildings and homes is often more polluted than the air outside, and this can have a very real impact on our health. The air inside can contain a toxic cocktail of polluted air that comes from outside and indoor sources. This toxic cocktail of polluted air has been associated with headaches, dry eyes, nose and throat, a woozy-head, nausea, loss of concentration and drowsiness.
Research since the 1980’s has continually proved that even just one healthy living indoor plant (higher than 30cm) can significantly reduce these pollutants and improve people’s productivity and overall health.
Having offices and homes filled with heathy indoor plants has also been found to improve mood. Some case studies have even shown that people tend to trust a company more if they have healthy indoor plants.
Sometimes it’s a little hard to keep indoor plants thriving especially in our offices. We are usually faced with problems such as – no natural light, air conditioning and inability to keep regular water to plants as too much water leads to water overflowing onto workspaces or furniture.
At Trevallan we are trying to come up with ways to make indoor plants easy to keep alive but still really pretty!
Which plants should I try?
There are plants better suited to indoors. If you have tried growing indoor plants before and failed know you are not alone. I have many times seen the lists for the ten most popular house plants and thought to myself ‘hmmmm, killed most of them!’
Sometimes it’s about giving up on our ideal perfect plant to have an amazing plant that looks good all the time. So what if it’s common or not in the magazines … if it grows, looks fantastic and you love it, go with it!
My favourite indoor plants are Zamioculcas, Spathiphyllum, Aglaonema, Dieffenbachia, Syngonium, Calathea, Sansevieria, Oxalis triangularis, Orchids, Chamaedorea elegans and Chamaedorea Seifrizii.
Finding the right container…
Sometimes a really boring plant can be made to look amazing in the right container or done a little differently! Planters, terrariums, kokedamas or plants in a bowl or all ways you can make a simple indoor plant shout ‘look at me’.
Planters have no hole in the bottom. I just place my plant (still in its original plastic pot) in the planter (I do not pot). I then can give my plant a really good drink without the hassle of worrying about water going everywhere as it’s contained in the planter.
If by chance I decide I don’t like that plant or want to swap my plants around I just remove the plant from the planter and swap them around. This way I am always keeping my décor the same (by keeping the same planter) but I can switch my plants.
It can take a while to get used to watering with a planter but once you get used to it you will wonder how you ever survived without them.
I love the meaning of Terrarium – a sealed transparent globe or similar container in which plants are grown! You can’t get any more exact than that.
What a lovely idea to have a mini landscape sitting on our desks that only requires a small drink once every few months.
I love staring at a terrarium and seeing the moss growing and the plants changing. The maintenance is minimal but therapeutic as it’s a delicate process.
Plants-in-a-bowl is like an open lid style of Terrarium. The plants are planted in glass jar or a decorative bowl. Instead of the plant being inside the container as they would in a terrarium they actually come up and out of the container. There is no need to worry about water running everywhere as the containers are sealed. Water is usually needed at least once a week.
Kokedama is a style of Japanese bonsai. It is made by binding the plants root ball with a unique soil mixture, moss and string. They are commonly called moss balls. Kokedamas are usually seen hanging from ceilings or specially made stands. I find they dry out too quickly for me so I like to place them in a bowl. This way I can just fill the bowl with some water and the plant can slowly soak up the moisture as it needs it. I have tried numerous indoor plants with Kokedamas and they all work really well. These plants can become a real talking point in your office.
All plants need water and fertiliser. There are some that require less than others and there are others that require a whole lot of attention. I have developed a little care routine with my indoor plants (apart from my terrariums). The frequency of my watering schedule changes depending on the season from sometimes once a day in the middle of summer to once a fortnight in middle of winter. On the turn of every season I fertilise them with an organic complete slow release fertiliser and give them a shower (to dust their foliage).
Indoor plants can work for everyone. Start small. I started with just one and slowly I am building up my collection. I am not the crazy plant lady yet but slowly getting there. I now know what plants like me and what plants don’t. Every now and then I shout myself a new variety and trial it, sometimes they last forever and sometimes they last only weeks!
Always remember “A garden requires patient labor and attention. Plants do not grow merely to satisfy ambitions or to fulfill good intentions. They thrive because someone expended effort on them.” — Liberty Hyde Bailey