Category Archives: Our Stories

Chakras in the 21st Century: the neglected chakra

Finding Personal Power in an Era of Comparing

Our lives are filled with moments of vitality and energy that come in many different forms; we feel it at a festival as the music runs through our bodies, when we laugh loudly, feel overwhelming sadness or when we experience stress and our body rings with nervous energy.

The body is made up of many chakras, however, only 7 are largely acknowledged: base, sacral, solar plexus, heart, throat, third eye, and crown. Each of the 7 major chakras is important, but in today’s culture of comparing and in search of self-love, it could be argued that the solar plexus chakra has perhaps become one of the most important and potentially the most neglected.

The solar plexus chakra is connected to the sun and associated with heat, light, and the colour yellow. When balancing your solar plexus, it is common to use yellow crystals like tiger’s eye and citrine; to cook with foods like pineapple, banana, lemon, and turmeric; and to practice strong core exercises. Most importantly, the solar plexus is responsible for personal power, purpose, identity, and self-esteem.

In a psychological study conducted by a handful of universities in the U.S, researchers write, “self-esteem is literally defined by how much value people place on themselves. It is the evaluative component of self-knowledge.”

This study into self-esteem doesn’t recommend going on an Eat, Pray, Love trip to Bali to find self-esteem, but it does highlight the importance of feeling your own self-worth.  Their findings conclude that a link between self-esteem and happiness is strong, and that people with high self-esteem tend to function better in groups, speak up for themselves more and contribute in activities (36).

However, with the rise of media it is more common than ever to compare ourselves to what we are seeing on our screens and we can begin to question how we look, what we do, and what we say. This can often leave us with feelings of low self-esteem instead of feeling inspired by the photos and blog posts.

In the self-esteem study, Roy Baumeister and a team of researchers write that it is “difficult, if not impossible, for people to remain indifferent to information that bears on their own self-esteem.” The conclusion was that self-esteem was largely associated with self-perception, stating “self-esteem is thus about perception rather than reality. It refers to a person’s belief [of themselves] …”

With an unbalanced solar plexus chakra you may notice feelings of low self-esteem, you may feel like you have no sense of control over your identity, or you have no clear direction in life. But you can begin to balancing your solar plexus with simple acts of self-reflection.

Solar Plexus Balancing

  • Write affirmations like I am worthy, I accept and value myself exactly as I am, or even more simply I’m doing a good job!
  • Create a self-care ritual: make yourself an aromatherapy bath, light some candles, diffuse Chakra Balancing Blend or Allure blend, and enjoy a cup of Chakra Balancing Herbal Tea.

Solar Plexus Perception: A Balancing Activity

Time: 10 – 30 minutes

Use this activity to see through ‘solar plexus’ tinted glasses and paint yourself with your best qualities. Set up your work space with pens, watercolours, or paints, diffusing the Harmony blend as you do so. You don’t have to be an artist; simply draw a face that represents you and surround it with images and symbols of what makes you ‘you!’


Base Chakra Balancing Activities

The base chakra, or root chakra, is concerned with physical needs and basic human survival. Try these activities to balance your base chakra, or Muladhara…

  • Try an exercise you’ve never tried before; look up a local boxing or karate class, go rock climbing, or try bikram yoga and get your body moving in new ways.
  • Stimulating music will help you to balance your base chakra, so get online and find some live music happening in your area. Look for music that will get your body moving like Latin American music.

Sacral Chakra Balancing Activities

The sacral chakra is concerned with everything that makes life sweet. It represents our creative energy and is associated with the expression of sensual emotion and sexuality. Try this activity to balance your sacral chakra.

Get a large piece of paper and some watercolours. Put on your favourite album and get creative. Try not to think too much about what you are painting, simply let the creative energy flow through you.


Heart Chakra Balancing Activities

The heart chakra, located in the centre of the chest, is concerned with unconditional love, forgiveness, and compassion.

Borrow a camera from a friend or simply use your phone. Walk around your suburb finding things that you find beautiful and take photos of them; plants, trees, the way the sunlight shines on old buildings. Bring a friend along with you or simply spend some time on your own.

 


Throat Chakra Balancing Activities

The throat chakra is all about self-expression, communication, creative expression, and following one’s dreams. Often we can feel stuck, consuming everyone else’s self-expression and forgetting how to express ourselves. Balance your throat chakra by siting down with your laptop or a pen and paper and begin writing.Try stream of consciousness writing; don’t think about what you are writing or what you want the end result to be, simply write!

If you get stuck, try writing a poem using these prompts:

  • Put yourself in someone or something else’s shoes. Write from their perspective. What do they see? How do they feel?
  • Look for a pattern near you. What does this pattern express? How does it fit in with everything else around it?

Third Eye Balancing Activities

The third eye chakra is concerned with insight, wisdom, and intuition. This is why it is associated with the forehead. Gaining insight and balancing your third eye means learning to trust your intuition.

To balance this chakra activities like meditation, yoga, and other forms of mindfulness are vitally important.

Try downloading mindfulness and meditation apps that you can use regularly or find a yoga class near you.

 


Crown Chakra Balancing Activities

The crown chakra is located on the top of the head and is concerned with spiritual awareness, enlightenment, and open-mindedness.

Find an arthouse cinema near you and see some films you wouldn’t usually watch. New experiences and embracing things outside of our routine helps to open our minds and become more aware of what is happening around us.


References:

Baumeister, Roy F., et al. “Does high self-esteem cause better performance, interpersonal success, happiness, or healthier lifestyles?.” Psychological science in the public interest 4.1 (2003): 1-44.

Battaglia, Salvatore. “Chakras and Aromatherapy Workshop Notes.” (2017).

Bathe in the Forest: the story of our Shinrin Yoku Room Spray

Shinrin Yoku Room Spray

Bathe in the Forest

by Salvatore Battaglia

“It is not so much for its beauty that the forest makes a claim upon men’s hearts, as for that subtle something, that quality of air that emanation from old trees, that so wonderfully changes and renews a weary spirit.”

– Robert Louis Stevenson

When was the last time you took a walk in the forest? How did you feel? I can imagine that you must have felt vitalised and re-energised.

For the first time in history, more than half the world’s population live in cities. This move to the cities means that we are losing that connection we have always had with nature. Edward O. Wilson coined the term biophilia which suggests that we possess an innate tendency to seek connections with nature and other forms of life. Urbanisation and technology has been responsible for weakening our biophilia and relationship with nature.

I have often said in my aromatherapy classes that the renewed interest we have for aromatherapy and essential oils is based on our desire to reconnect with nature. Essential oils remind us of nature and they are a powerful tool to bring healing qualities of nature back into our lives. We need aromatherapy more than ever to reconnect with nature.

This disconnection with nature has led to a dramatic increase in mental health issues. The 2013 World Happiness Report stated that one in ten people suffer from mental disorders such as depression or anxiety. The report states that the economic costs associated with the management of mental health are huge but it also states that cost-effective treatments that work exist. I believe that aromatherapy and essential oils will play a very important role in the cost-effective treatments to improve our mental health and support wellbeing.

The Japanese have a word shinrin-yoku which literally translates to taking a bath in the forest. In Japanese shinrin means forest, and yoku, (although it has several meanings) here it refers to a ‘bathing, or shower or basking in’. It also means ‘taking in, all of our senses, the forest atmosphere.’

The Japanese have a long appreciation of the therapeutic benefits of nature, however, I was surprised to learn that the term shinrin-yoku was only coined in 1982 by the then Director of Japan’s Forest Agency who encouraged people to spend more time in nature, particularly in the lush Japanese forest trails. Studies have confirmed that spending time within a forest can reduce psychological stress, depressive symptoms and aggression, while also improving sleep and increasing both our energy levels and sense of wellbeing. Sounds familiar?  It sounds like aromatherapy to me.

Japanese researchers also found that 20 minutes of shinrin-yoku (compared with 20 minutes walking in an urban setting) altered cerebral blood flow in a way that indicated a state of relaxation.

We know that stress can compromise our immune systems and supresses our natural killer cells. The Nippon Medical School showed that forest bathing (either a day trip or a couple of hours daily over three days) can have a long-lasting influence in increasing the number of natural killer cells and increasing the number intracellular anticancer proteins.

Interestingly, it was also reported that the natural chemicals secreted by the evergreen trees, collectively known as phytoncides, the essential oils found in many conifers, have been associated with improvement in the activity of our immune system. The amount of phytoncides in the air during the studies were measured and correlated to improvements in immune functioning and mental wellbeing.

Earlier this year I smelt for the first time a Fir CO2 extract. I immediately feel in love with this oil. CO2 oil extracts always give us a true to nature scent. It honestly felt like I was in a pine forest. This gave me the idea to create a room spray that could replicate the feeling you get from Shinrin yoku.

Allow Perfect Potion’s Shinrinyoku room spray bring the scent of the forest to you. Envelope yourself with the unique and incredibly rich, intoxicating lush forest-green scent of Siberian fir COextract blended with pure essential oils of lemon, bergamot, lavender, sage, rosemary, Virginian cedarwood, geranium and sweet orange.

 

The scent of Shinrin yoku will transport you to an enchanting mystical forest that will become your healing and rejuvenating sanctuary.

 


Recommended reading

Clifford AC. A little handbook of shinrin-yoku. www.shinrin-yoku.org, 2013.

Helliwell J et al. World happiness report 2013. Sustainable Development solutions Network, New York, 2013.

Plotkin B. Nature and the human soul. New World Library, Novato, 2008.

Selhub EM, Logan AC. Your brain on nature. HarperCollins e-books, Toronto, 2013.

A Scents of Creativity: Ruth Magazine

Our amazing Creative Director, Carolyn Stubbin, recently featured in the Country Women’s Association magazine ‘Ruth.’ The article, written by TJ Wilkshire, discusses Carolyn’s journey into the world of aromatherapy and how her creative pursuits have impacted Perfect Potion’s unique creative aesthetic.

 


Scents of Creativity

Meet Carolyn Stubbin, creative director and co-owner of Australia’s leading aromatherapy and skincare company, Perfect Potion.

Words by TJ Wilkshire

 

For some, creativity is a rare event; it appears in the moment and will not reappear for months or years on end. It can be elusive and not easily tamed. But Boonah-born Carolyn has the constant creative energy that drives Perfect Potion’s artistic direction.

Creativity for Carolyn Stubbin appears when she is discovering something new, when learning ignites the fever of inspiration. This is how she funnels creativity into everything she does, from aromatherapy to photography to running a business.

The Australian owned and made aromatherapy and skincare brand is leading the way in aromatherapy, connecting customers to a holistic lifestyle and ensuring the future of the environment in the process by holding certifications such as Australian Certified Organic, COSMOS, and Cruelty Free.

Carolyn and her husband, Salvatore Battaglia, are the owners and creators of

 Perfect Potion and have been creating an experience for the senses for over twenty-five years.

 

Carolyn’s passions may be an odd combination, but it is the blend of ar

omatherapy, photography and business that makes Carolyn’s artistic direction so unique.

“I’m at my most creative when I am discovering or learning something new,” she said. “I get this adrenalin rush and sparks begin to fly.”

Beginning in Boonah, but now based in Brisbane (though Carolyn and her husband often divide their time between all their Australian stores as well as their Japan ones), talking to Carolyn makes it clear that her love for aromatherapy and photography began in her hometown.

Carolyn recalls her fondest memories of growing up in Boonah where the smell of freshly turned earth ignited her passion for scent, and watching the seasons change the colour of the landscape kindled her love for the visual.

“I love the clean air in Boonah,” she said, “I always breathe much deeper when I’m in the country.”

“And walking barefoot home from school up a dirt road,” she recalls. “It’s so different from walking on a bitumen or concrete path in the city.”

It seems in that small town, the love of sights and smell was ignited. Though, it wasn’t until later in her life that she formally discovered either.

“It wasn’t until I met my husband at natural therapies college in the nineties,” she said, “that I began to discover the array of essential oils available and their benefits.”

Boonah, a small country town in the Scenic Rim, traditionally Yugarapul country,

is where Carolyn’s family lived on a farm and owned a farm produce business in to

wn.

“Growing up on a farm meant we often had things to do before and after school and during school holidays,” she said. “Whether it was moving irrigation pipes, planting, or picking fruit and vegetables.”

Perhaps growing up on a farm is why Carolyn is able to juggle so many things; she admits she likes to stay busy. Having just completed her Masters in Visual Arts from the Queensland College of Art, Carolyn worked on a collaborative project with Uncle Burragun John Long, an Aboriginal elder.

“We have been examining the intersections and divergences of the stories of our great grandmothers whose histories are connected to the Scenic Rim of South-East Queensland, traditionally Yugarapul country.”

Carolyn’s beautiful photography allowed her to tell a story that lets viewers contemplate their own family stories and in relation to the colonial history of Australia.

Her photography also wonderfully captures the values and essence of such a unique brand like Perfect Potion.

Through Carolyn’s artistic direction in photography, merchandising and other vis

 

ual inspirations, Perfect Potion has become a company that looks as beautiful as it smells.

“Our shops are a sanctuary for the senses,” she said. “We want people to walk in and feel relaxed and comfortable surrounded by the look, feel and smell of natural materials and natural products.”

“Before we opened our first shop we were selling our products at the markets.” From their doors first opening in 1991 in Elizabeth Arcade in Brisbane, Perfect Potion is now a world-renowned company, leading the way in aromatherapy.

 

 

Years later, Carolyn and her husband are looking at expanding Perfect Potion even further and are always looking for new ways to integrate aromatherapy into the everyday person’s life. But it was in Boonah that Carolyn fell in love with scent.

“I remember my mother giving me eucalyptus oil,” she said, “whenever I had a cold, that’s one of my fondest memories.”

Perhaps it is because Carolyn is embedded in the world of aromatherapy that her creativity is so vibrant. She loves diffusing essential oils like mandarin, jasmine, and ylang ylang that promote creative energy. Much like creativity, scent follows her around everywhere, particularly in the form of her and her husband’s beagle, Charlie.

I asked Carolyn if she and Sal always chose beagles because of their strong sense of smell. She laughed and said, “I think unconsciously we may have.”

 

Aromatherapy Travel Tips and Tricks

Travelling with Perfect Potion 

How to use our products to make those painfully long flights more bearable.

Whether you’re flying to America, Europe, Japan (perhaps to visit one of our Japanese stores) or seeing more of our beautiful Australian landscape, you’re bound to suffer though a long plane ride followed by train, bus, or car trips to get to your amazing destination.

Most seasoned travellers have their set in-flight routines as well as packed essentials they couldn’t fly without. But what about those essentials that will make your flight more bearable, help anxious flyers, keep your skin hydrated and make you feel fresher on landing?

Aromatherapy is an amazing way to make sure your travel is as comfortable as it can be, so that arrive at your beautiful destination relaxed and refreshed.

 

Aromatherapy Musts

Breathe Easy Balm

This is at the top of our list because it really is a lifesaver, almost quiet literally. Upon arriving at your destination, the last thing you want is to have picked up a cold or flu that was floating around in your cabin. Before and during your flight, simply dab some Breathe Easy balm under your nostrils and rub into your chest. This will help with any decongestion you may experience on the flight as well as lessening the chance of you breathing in ‘bad’ air.

How does it work?

Breathe easy balm includes essential oils which help open up the airways, and helps keep a clear head as well as kill bacteria within the airways. The blend of essential oils is relaxing to muscles as well, so that your chest, throat and temples feel more relaxed after application, relieving the chest tightness and headache and sore throats often experienced with airways congestion.


Jet Setter

This seems like an obvious one; our Jet Setter mist is perfect for refreshing your senses after a long, dull flight or bus, train, or car ride. Simply spritz all over your body to refresh your senses and make you feel and smell refreshed and revitalised.

How does it work?

Jet setter incorporates essential oils of ginger and peppermint traditionally used for their ability to settle the tummy and reduce the effects of travel sickness, rosemary and lemon essential oils will help keep the mind clear and memory sharp, improving focus ability especially important when travelling. Lavender and geranium essential oils help balance the emotions, with the added help of balancing Australian Bush Flower essences.

 


Aromatherapy Hand Sanitiser – 50ml

Packing a travel-sized bottle of hand sanitiser everywhere you go is not uncommon these days. Use our natural Aromatherapy Hand Sanitiser to kill germs and keep hands clean. It won’t dry out your skin and it smells beautiful!

How does it work?

Aromatherapy Hand Sanitiser uses lavender and tea tree essential oils which individually are amazing antibacterial and antifungal essential oils, but together they are exponentially effective. Both are soothing and cooling to the skin in a situation of skin irritations. It is a fabulous product for hand sanitising where washing is not possible but also anywhere on the body that needs antiseptic of soothing properties like insect bites or scratches. It is alcohol based so it will have an initial sting but is short lived. It also includes lemon essential oil which is also highly antiseptic and refreshing. This product can also be used as a deodorant (be forewarned of the alcohol sting on freshly shaved areas) as it prevents odour causing bacteria. It is also very useful for smelly feet; rub on as a foot deodorant after your shower to keep feet smelling fresh.

 


 

Extra Travelling Basics
– A good book
– Eye covers
– A warm pair of socks
– Headphones (to drown out the engine’s noise)
– Comfortable clothes to change into

*For liquids on flights, it’s best to check with your airline how many milliliters you’re allowed to bring on board. Balms usually count as solids, but can differ from airline to airline.

 

From,

 

The Perfect Potion Family

 

Living an Organic Lifestyle

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!

Tea Alchemy with Rita Balshaw

A Hippies in the City blog post by Rita Balshaw

 

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.

 

Ingredients:

1 glass mason jar

Organic raw apple cider vinegar

1 cup Detox Herbal Tea 

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. 

Proud Supporters Of Queensland Music Festival (QMF)

Perfect Potion are proud sponsors of the 2017 Queensland Music Festival (QMF). Perfect Potion are excited to be a Silver Partner of the state-wide 2017 Festival as well as event partner of two projects, 16 Lovers Lane, and Mission Songs Project, and help contribute towards making a positive difference in the lives of individuals and communities throughout Queensland.

QMF is an eclectic and exciting range of musical experiences to be had across the entire state from 7 – 30 July 2017. It is a state-wide celebration of musical excellence with an international reputation and an unparalleled geographic reach. With a vision to transform lives through music, the best of local, national and international talent bring every conceivable style of music to Queensland from all walks of life, in Brisbane and in regional and remote centres from the Torres Strait, to Birdsville, to the Gold Coast.

Since 1999 the Festival has engaged audiences of more than a million people through projects in 78 regions across Queensland. QMF is proudly supported by the Queensland Government through Arts Queensland.

Active Naturally

Some of our beautiful Perfect Potion goddesses share their workout and aromatherapy tips…

🌟 The green goddesses from our lovely West End store make exercise a part of their life… Melinda explains her post swimming routine: ‘I love using Detox Body Buff after swimming to help my body detoxify the chlorine, and then the Honey and Chai Double Cream to keep my muscles warm and also to keep my skin from becoming dry after being in the water.Jess takes time out for a daily walk in nature with her beautiful dog… While April enjoys Yoga and Pilates, she also commutes on foot whenever possible, reducing car travel.

🌟Our Technical Manager Deanne stays motivated with Bootcamp and has been testing our NEW Active Muscles Spray in it’s product development, she says “I like to layer the products and directly apply Active Muscles Spray first to affected area/s, followed by massaging with a dab of Active Balm for intensive relief”.

🌟Amy from our Indooroopilly Store enjoys dancing… She explains how she incorporates aromatherapy into her fitness routine “I love using Active Balm on my lower back. I find the Active Balm to be so relieving on my muscular and nervous pain. It even helps me get a better nights rest! The Active Balm also gets me through long days at work on my feet. I love to rub it onto my neck as well as when my shoulder blades are pulling and causing me pain. I love the Clove and Peppermint in the Active Balm for this reason!”

🌟Abby our Export Development Manager explains her routine: “Before and after practicing yoga, I will spray some Chakra Balancing Mist all over the body to help me prepare and finish the practice. I place a couple of drops of our chakra essential oils onto my Lily and Laura bracelet depending on how I feel or I like to feel that day, so I can smell the oils during the whole yoga practice.”

🌟 Kim from our Carindale Store loves Yoga, she says: “I love using the Active Massage Oil after a long yoga session to keep the blood pumping to my muscles and get a bit extra out of my stretching. I also love to put the Chakra Balancing Balm on my third eye before I meditate in savasana at the end of practice.”

🌟 Stephanie from our Newtown store enjoys hiking… She explains: “I pop Cool Mint Aromatic Mist in the fridge next to my water bottle the night before going on a long bushwalk/hike, the refreshing blend of spearmint, peppermint and lemon essential oils is fantastic to spray over the arms and legs when overheated while acting as a great pick me up when my energy starts to dwindle! when i finish and my muscles are a little sore/tight I make sure to pop on the Active Balm which helps to release tension in my muscles using warming ingredients like cajeput, ginger and black pepper.”

Check out our Active special offers here.

Our new head office

Have you been to visit our beautiful new Banyo retail store and head office yet? We are now fully relocated and operating from our brand new purpose-built home! We look forward to seeing you in store or shipping some beautiful potions to you from our new dispatch department!

Perfect Potion Head Office
7 Guardhouse Road, Banyo, Qld

7GuardhouseRd