Wednesday, 29 September 2010

Whats cooking? Aromacuisine for rejuvenation - Diet

Enjoy the benefits of essential oils day to day with aroma cuisine.
Digestive transit
Pictured is the aroma star fresh basil leaves.  Wonderfully aromatic and appetising Basil is a good nerve tonic highly prized by professional athletes and politicians alike.  Be sure to tear the basil leaves to release their aroma.  Fresh Basil also encourages good digestion.  A nice fresh olive oil from Nyons, Balsamic vinegar from Modena with mozarella cheese and on the vine tomatoes.  It tastes as good as it looks and its very filling the other important aspect of diet.
here are some other beneficial dietary thoughts
Green tea
Green tea is believed to help regulate blood pressure, lower blood sugar, boost the immune system, lower cholesterol and studies have even shown that green tea can be effective at preventing cancer.  Again you can enjoy the benefit of essential oils using flowers like chamomile in hot water.
Leafy greens
Spinach and other leafy foods are high in folate which is vital in preventing DNA and blood vessel damage to maintain a healthy circulatory system.  Young boys in particular find green vegetables unpalatable and so become prone to acne and eczema.  Before you reach for the Shirley Price Acne and Eczema cream look at encouraging fresh vegetables.  Boys like Brocolli so what not try that?
Dark chocolate
Cocoa is rich in a group of antioxidants called Flavinoids which help preserve healthy function of the blood vessels. A square a day
Fish and Soy products
A diet that's low in saturated fat will reduce your risk of developing heart disease and lower blood pressure. As a staple part of the Japanese diet, soy products are great at helping keep down cholesterol and are a useful addition to a healthy diet.
Many yoghurts include a high volume of 'good' bacteria that help maintain gut health and diminish the incidence of age-related intestinal illness. Yogurt is also rich in calcium, which can help stave off osteoporosis.
Red wine
A glass of red wine tots up a good dose of anti-aging elements including polyphenol antioxidants, minerals, and resveratrol. Resveratrol which helps to increase 'good cholesterol' levels in the body and prevents blood clotting and a healthy circulatory system. Resveratrol found in red wine may also be beneficial for women during the menopause by reducing the risk for conditions for example breast cancer and osteoporosis that result from reduced oestrogen levels.  A standard glass every day is recommended.  It is little known but Marguerite Maury's researches also included research on the benefical effects of red wine.
No one drinks sufficient water, and side effects of even slight dehydration include headaches, fatigue and low concentration levels. Increasing fluid intake can increase energy levels, aid digestion, give skin a boost. Concentrate on drinking little and often throughout the day.  water can be made more palatable by keeping a jug in the fridge.


Distance Learning Module One

Order all four modules for $1500

Tuesday, 28 September 2010

Classic aromatherapy muscles mix

Professional athletes use arnica preparations with essential oils for warmup and after sporting effort for easing numb muscles and joints by boosting subcutaneous blood circulation. Cycling in particular makes great demands on the muscles. With constant training schedules professional athletes need to recover quickly.

What is an aromatherapy mix for this purpose before and after sport or simply for home use? Lets first consider the base oils. We are making a 100ml mix with Arnica infused in Sunflower oil mixed with sesame oil (cold pressed and untoasted sesame oil should be golden yellow). This is not a cheap base but very helpful in its own right. Sesame is a relatively cheap oil. 100ml will cost £5 while Arnica in sunflower will cost £18 so mix according to budget but be generous with the Arnica oil both for effect and to ensure the sesame oil does not dominate the aroma. A gel base is more convenient to apply but for maximum effect the organic oil massaged into the muscles is preferred.Arnica montana has a single bright yellow flower. Arnica does not grow in England and this infusion comes from Spain.

Alternatively grapeseed can be used with 10% wheatgerm oil as the base carrier or if you prefer almond oil.

Now we come to the essential oils. The Shirley Price Care For Muscle Ease contains Essential oils of Eucalyptus, Juniper, Lemon, Rosemary and Marjoram. Basil can be included also for its effect as a competitive nerve tonic although a tea made with Basil leaves is effective. This blend is ideal for tired and stiff muscles. It is an effective mix for use before and after sport, helping to prevent cramp and induce relaxation as well as for everyday aches and pains. Mix with the base oil and massage into tired and stiff muscles helping to revive and restore energy. You can also put a few drops in the bath.

An alternative essential oil mix is Lemon Eucalyptus , Wintergreen, Basil, Rosemary, Ylang-ylang and Laurel.  ref D. Baudoux

Cautions: avoid in pregnancy and do not apply to broken skin.

Local Sports Injury and perfomance practicioner:  Jamie Capes at ReSportsInjury  191 Outlands Drive, Hinckley
191 Outlands Drive

Saturday, 25 September 2010

The Handbook of Essential Oils

2010 has seen another important publication for those researching essential oils. With 949 pages and 22 distinguished contributors The Handbook of Essential oils is another invaluable reference. View contents, index and introduction here. Editors K. Husnu Can Baser, Gerhard Buchbauer

Shirley Prices Aromatherapy Workbook

Len Price's carrier oils

Len Price's Hydrolats

Shirley Price, Len Price Aromatherapy for Health Professionals

Dominique Baudoux Aromatherapie

Elaine Zimmermann Aromatherapie

Elaine Zimmermann's blog     Marguerite maury

Salvatore Battaglia, Complete Guide

Jane Buckle, Clinical Aromatherapy

Ian Brealey, Everyday Aromatherapy (japanese edition) 

Where Shirley Price Aromatherapy find conventional oil which is cheaper than organic oil this is also listed but for most oils we are able to buy organic for the same price because our suppliers have gone organic.  Organic certification is very valuable to us.  In particular it helps identify farmer/distillers who are committed to sustainable agriculture.

Aromatherapy treatments

Shirley Price aromatherapy combines aromatherapy, swiss reflex and body massage. Not all aromatherapy involves massage. Some clients simply dont like it. A full aromatherapy body massage is however indicated where stress or depression have led to a health imbalance.

An excellent description of an aromatherapy treatment can be found in Shirley Price's workbook as well a description of the concept of medicine involved in complementary health. ref Pages 174-6. The company's records contain over a hundred similar treatments.
Shirley Price's aromatherapy workbook can be opened at random and contains on every page both inspiration and information. That is why Shirley Price's aromatherapy workbook remains an international bestseller.
The oils used in the consultation described are Thyme,Sweet and Bergamot, Sandalwood and Juniper. Basil.

It is a question which fascinates Doctors. Why do doctors treat sick people day in and day out and not fall ill? There is clearly more to illness and medicine than an invasion by bacteria and prescription of antibiotics. The question doctors dont have time to dwell on and holistic therapists do is the question not 'how am I ill?' but 'why am I ill?'. Environmental factors and stress in relation to that environment clearly play a considerable part and holistic therapists are trained to offer diet and lifestyle advice as well as treatments for specific care issues.

Shirley price's books contain many reference to the work of Franchomme and Dr Penoel. Their work L'aromatherapie exactement contains a description of a interesting study comparing the electrical charge of differant essential oil components. Negatively charged esters are for example relatively cooling and relaxing while positively charged plant alcohols are stimulating and warming.

Armed with a knowledge of the chemical composition of essential oils and their effects it is possible for aromatherapists to choose an appropriate mix of oils for their clients needs and bear in mind the safety issues.

Chemical constituents: Acids, Alcohols (mono), Alcohols (sesqui), Aldehydes, Coumarins, Esters, Ethers, Ketones, Lactones, Oxides, Phenols, Terpenes (mono), Terpenes (sesqui).

Their effects: Abortificient, Analgesic, Air Antiseptic, Antiseptic, Anticoagulent, Antifungal, Anti-infectious, Anti-inflammatory, Antispasmodic, Antiviral, Bectericidal, Balancing, Cicatrisant, Decongestant, Digestive, Diuretic, Expectorant, Hepatic, Hypertensive, Immune system balancer, Lipolytic, Mucolytic, Neurotoxic, Phototoxic, Relaxant, Sedative, Skin irritant, Skin sensitising, Stimulant, Temerature reducing, Tonic (nerve) uplifting, Tonic (general), Vasoconstrictive ref Shirley Price's Aromatherapy Workbook p53-55.

As ever complex concepts are explained in an accessible way leaving the student wanting to find out more rather than feeling overwhelmed.

Pictured are Farfalla's training rooms in Zurich where modules 2,3 and 4 of the Shirley Price Aromatherapy international diploma are held as well as in the UK.  Module one is delivered in country.


Friday, 24 September 2010

Shirley Price Aromatherapy

Even our competitors acknowledge there is something unique and valuable about Shirley Price Aromatherapy. This is of course down to the loyal Shirley Price staff. They see all the comings and goings and everyday ensure customers and tutors receive the finest aromatherapy products and backup. When the customers dont order the staff cut back their hours and when a large order comes in they all set to and ensure the work is not held back.

Over the years older employees have welcomed and ensured younger employees can take things on and above all have their commitment to quality and the company. Standards are clear and work does not leave the factory that is not a credit to the company. Training is not given that is second rate. This culture of excellence gives me a great deal of freedom to travel and improve my knowledge and bring this back to the factory.

This month I am travelling with a staffer from one of the most respected names in sourcing essential oils and vegetable oils. Next week its off to the IFPA conference in Worcester on 2nd October. This conference is very well supported by essential oil companies old and new. In fact this time I think there are near as many essential oil company staff as delegates!


Wednesday, 22 September 2010

How does aromatherapy education work?


IFPA | IFA | FHT | VTCT | City & Guilds | ITEC

here are some useful links

Tuesday, 21 September 2010

How essential oils are obtained and used



jasmine  |    neroli   |  rose otto  |   sandalwood   |   helichrysum

44 oils for 46 conditions For students and practicioners alike we recommend this online training manual

Did you know you can download this Ready reference download for just just £8.99 Buy now

Index of Essential Oils – Information on the following 44 oils is included:

Basil Bergamot Black Pepper Cedarwood (Atlas) Chamomile (German) Chamomile (Roman) Cinnamon (Leaf) Citronella Clary-Sage Clove (Bud) Cypress Eucalyptus (Blue Gum) Fennel (Sweet) Frankincense Geranium Ginger Grapefruit Hyssop Jasmine Juniperberry Lavender Lemon Lemongrass Marjoram (Sweet) May Chang Melissa Myrrh Neroli Niaouli Nutmeg Orange (Sweet) Palmarosa Patchouli Peppermint Petitgrain Pine Rose (Cabbage) Rosemary Rosewood Sandalwood Tea-Tree Thyme (White) Vetivert Ylang Ylang

Conditions and Treatments – This section provides an excellent reference for the qualified practitioner. It contains information on the following 46 conditions and treatments:

Acne Alopecia Amenorrhoea Arthritis – osteo Arthritis – rheumatoid Asthma Athlete’s foot Bruise Catarrh Cellulite Chilblains Colds and flu Cold sore Cramp Cystitis Depression Diarrhoea Dysmenorrhoea Eczema Fever Gout Headache Hypertension Hypotension Indigestion (Dyspepsia) Insect bite/sting Insomnia Irritable Bowel Syndrome Laryngitis Menopause Menorrhagia Migraine Neuralgia Oedema Psoriasis Raynaud’s Disease Sciatica Shock Sinusitis Sprain Stress Sunburn Thrush Tonsillitis Varicose veins Wart/verruca

Saturday, 18 September 2010

Aroma science - anatomy and physiology

Heres a nice link to the London Science Museum's new gallery "Who am I?"

Friday, 17 September 2010

Cypress. Why harmful?

Continuing the safety theme, every day I receive some 40 emails and several letters from all over the world and at the moment several concern the changes to our labels. One of the reasons for this blog is to have certain articles to which I can refer customers for information easily.

"Hi Ian

What's the meaning of Harmful on the labels of the cypress?

best wishes"

Firstly I should say that essential oils are very much part of the solution in terms of minimising and replacing synthetic chemicals. Cypress is non toxic, non irritant and non sensitising but like all essential oils potentially harmful. The principal constituents are pinene and carene (40%).

In the EU all chemicals must be classified according to harmful to the environment, flammable, irritant, harmful.

Let me give you an idea of the harm that Cypress can do. Along with 65 other essential oils if you were to drink 350ml (so 70 of our 5ml bottles) then for a 70kg adult there is the risk of death. In theory therefore we are supplying a substance which could be harmful and we need to note that on the label. We could supply our oils without the harmful label but it seems sensible to me to note that for all essential oils they must be used in a knowledgeable way.

Cypress is useful particularly in the treatment of skin conditions in which cypress excels for acne and oily skin and excessive perspiration. Cypress is a calming oil. Cypress is used in the treatment of persistent varicose veins and haemorrhoids. Cypress is used in cough remedies.

As to aroma this month for a University of Leicester enviromental exhibition on odours we recommended Cypress and provided a sample as representative of woody essential oils like pine, cedarwood and sandalwoood. Like these woody oils men in particular fine cypress relaxing.  Sandalwood is burned by middle eastern brides to relax their husbands on honeymoon.  One Sudanese friend said to me he will always remember the aroma.

The family who make this oil for Shirley Price Aromatherapy in the winter months. They distill lavender in the summer along with other oils supplied to aromatherapists and distill pine and cypress in the winter.

As to the tree itself it ranks with eucalyptus as one of the longest lived trees living to 2000 years old. The appearance of the cypress tree is always inspiring and a reminder of our place in the world. It appears on the front of the Shirley Price retail website.


Saturday, 11 September 2010

How safe are essential oils? -oral and dermal toxicity

Returning to the safety theme, grouping essential oils. By any standards the commonly used essential oils are very safe however knowledge and caution should be used for certain oils. Some oils should only be used under the guidance of a properly trained aromatherapist.

140 ESSENTIAL OILS A to D E to J L to N O to S T to Z

origins and allergens notes for Shirley Price college oils

In 1993 a guide was published that grouped the 140 oils obtained by distillation and 9 by expression.

Group 1 the safest category contains 65 essential oils all having oral and dermal toxicity at or above 350mls per 70kg adult. Thats a lot of essential oil! Oils should not be taken internally as all oils irritate mucous membranes. These oils were tested at concentration of 12-30% on human volunteers without any irriatation or sensitisation reactions. Generally it is recommended to use 15 drops in 50ml of carrier oil for massage.

Group 2 has the same oral toxicity as Group 1 but higher dermal toxicity. 10 essential oils.

Group 3 contains the citrus oils. 9 essential oils. Their extraction by expression means they can contain some non volatile components which render some of them phototoxic (not to be used before going into sunlight). Because they are produced by expression (squeezing the rinds) we favour the use of organically certified citrus oils to avoid pesticide residues.

Group 4-7,these are 33 essential oils with increasing degrees of oral toxicity but the same low dermal toxicity.

Of these Group 7 oils have oral toxicity of 0.5g/kg to 1.5g/kg. Group 7 oils include Basil and Hyssop (which itself should be used only by professional aromatherapists).

So it can be concluded that all these 117 oils could be used safely in a 2% skincare cream though Basil and Hyssop should be avoided.

Higher risk oils possess certain hazards and caution in their use is recommended expressly by using in more dilute fashion.

Thuja, recommended dilution limit 2%
Citronella, Tagetes dilution limit 0.25-1% and avoid for hypersensitive individuals
Cinnamon Bark dilution limit 1% but this oil has the possibility of strong sensitisation so should always be used by first making a patch test 24 hours before use.
Caraway, Cumin Oil, Clove leaf oil have moderate to high dermal toxicity, Clove leaf contains 95% eugenol. Oregano, Savory. recommended dilution limit 2%

Clove leaf's toxicity is 1.37g/kg so for a 70kg adult thats about 100g while essential oil is commonly supplied in 3ml to 10ml bottles.(clove bud which is used by aromatherapists has lower toxicity)

this excellent guide can be obtained second hand.

Wednesday, 8 September 2010

Commercial break - ingredients in our skincare

100% Organic 100% natural is our aim

our organic collection is parabens free

Argan oil

We use this wherever we can. Argan oil is an oil produced from the kernels of the argan tree, that is valued for its nutritive, cosmetic and numerous medicinal properties. The tree is extremely well adapted to drought and other environmentally difficult conditions of southwestern Morocco

Bay Leaf (Laurus Nobilis)

Essential oil with a long and distinguished beauty history, it is obtained from the leaves of the bay laurel tree indigenous to the Mediterranean. Often used as a spice or fragrance, it also acts as a scalp clarifier and tonic.

Beeswax (Cera Alba)

Our beeswax is a 100% natural product from Laos. Beeswax is a natural substance obtained from melting honeycomb in boiling water. Highly skin compatible, it works well in cosmetic products because of compounds called wax esters that exist in both beeswax and human skin. Beeswax is therefore a brilliant hydrating ingredient that increases skin's essential moisture and forms a breathable shield to protect the skin from moisture loss. It also has powerful anti-microbial properties and helps soften and soothe dry irritated skin, without clogging pores.

Black Seed Oil (Nigella Sativa)

Revered by Muslims Black seed is seen as a cureall. In fact the prophet is said to have observed cures 'everything but death'. Remaining healthy was vital on the long journeys made by the trade caravans of the Middle East.  Modern research focuses on black seed's anti cancer properties. Skin research confirms that Nigella Sativa helps skin resist the ageing process through the presence of a remarkable water-retentive protein. It can help reverse the effect of sun damage on delicate skin, and rejuvenate tired looking, older skin. This much prized oil was found in Tutankhamen's tomb; and it is known to have been used by Cleopatra for its health and beauty giving qualities. It contains 58% of essential fatty acids including Omega 6 and Omega 3; plus healing oils including nigellone and thymochinone, responsible for its anti-histamine, anti-oxidant, and anti-infective effect.
Nigella Sativa is composed of over 100 valuable components, such as protein, carbohydrates, essential fatty acids (omega 3 and Omega 6), vitamins A, B, B1, B2, C and niacin as well as minerals such as calcium, potassium, iron, magnesium, selenium and zinc. It is also a source of sodium and potassium, with the main function of acting as essential cofactors in various enzyme pathways.  Black seed oils aroma can dominate a mix.

Chamomile (Anthemis Nobilis)

If you can bear the 'still odour' this oil is excellent in a night cream on its own. Its renowned soothing properties have ensured that chamomile has a long tradition of being used in inflammatory skin conditions. It is good for sensitive skin, and helpful in dermatitis.

The benefits of the essential oils in plants are also gained in cooking using the seeds, flowers, leaves and roots of plants.  Here are chamomile flower heads for sale in a Provencal market. 

Clove Flower Oil (Eugenia Caryophyllus)

It has a warming effect on the skin, and helps stimulate circulation.

Cocoa Butter (Theobroma Cacao)

Cocoa Butter has a well-earned reputation as a skin enhancer. Obtained from cocoa beans, it is used extensively by African women to keep their skin in healthy and smooth condition, and is particularly good for protecting against extreme, skin-damaging weather conditions. It has anti-oxidant properties (high in natural tocopherols, which mop up harmful substances in the body by neutralising them) as well as certain polyphenols (found to suppress active oxygen, a factor in cancer). Cocoa has been shown to contain more than twice the phenolic compounds as in red wine and three times the amount in green tea.
It has excellent skin softening properties and antioxidant characteristics makes it an excellent choice for rejuvenation of the skin. It is especially good for dry skin as it nourishes, softens, soothes and protects. Cocoa Butter is a natural choice for 'skin on the mend' such as stretch marks and new scar tissue.

Frankincense (Boswellia carterii)

This organic oil from Somalia is one of the most valued ingredients in skincare renowned for its rejuvenating properties.

Gamma Linoleic Acid (GLA)

Essential Fatty Acids (EFA are called essential since our bodies cannot make them) in particular Gamma-linolenic Acids (GLA) are vital to healthy cell functioning. They are also potent free radical scavengers, protecting skin from pollution, sun damage and other environmental stressors. EFA rich oils including Safflower Oil, Black Seed Oil, Jojoba Oil and Rosehip Oil, help skin cells to regenerate, therefore, making them ideal ingredients for use in products which help reduce wrinkles and for dry, damaged or ageing skin.

Geranium’s ability as a revitaliser gives skin a radiant glow – whatever the complexion or skin type. Its cleansing and balancing effect on the production of sebum is also beneficial to numerous skin disorders. It is also believed to slow the ageing process!

Grapefruit (Citrus Grandis)

This is a positively purifying and detoxifying oil, highly effective, particularly in aiding congested skin. Grapefruit increases the circulation, helps stimulate lymphatic drainage, and has toning and astringent effects.


not an organic ingredient but an indispensible aid to skincare. Jasmine profoundly engages the limbic system and promotes a feeling of connection and wellbeing. It is valued by therapists in dealing with people with learning disabilities.

Jojoba Oil (Simmondsia Chinensis)

Oil extracted from the bean-like seeds of a desert shrub, used as a skin lubricant. Jojoba comes closest to the skin's actual sebum. In harmony with your skin, it is easily absorbed and imparts a soft, velvety quality. It is also protective, helping the skin retain its moisture, and with a sun factor of 4.

Juniper Berry (Juniperus Communis Fruit)

Received wisdom shows us that, through the ages, Greek, Roman and Arabian medics have valued Juniper Berry highly for its antiseptic properties. Well known for its skin detoxifying and purifying effects, it is a marvellous aid in balancing oily complexions, helpful in acne, and acts as a fine skin toner/astringent.

Lavender (Lavandula Angustifolia)

Often referred to as the herb of beautiful balance, Lavender is calming, soothing, normalizing and renowned for restoring unbalanced skin states. This oil promotes growth of new cells, thus encouraging the development of new skin tissue, and balances sebum, so every skin can benefit from a rejuvenating treatment with lavender oil. Its very special properties make it particularly useful for a variety of skin irritations and disorders, including dryness, acne and eczema.

Lemongrass (Cymbopogon Schoenanthus)

Used in traditional Indian medicine for acne and for shrinking open pores, its antimicrobial, antiseptic and astringent properties make it an ideal oil for use in oily skin preparations and for skin prone to break outs.

Lemon Myrtle (Backhousia Citriodora)

One of Australia's most famous oils. Highly effective essential oil, obtained from a flowering plant native to the semi-temperate rainforests of eastern Australia. Scientific tests show it to be a potent anti-bacterial, anti-fungal and anti-viral, more powerful than tea tree oil however it has found particular application in skin care.

Mandarin (Citrus Reticulata)

Because of its harmonizing compatibility with even the youngest, most delicate skin, it is commonly known as the children's essential oil - non-toxic, non-irritant and with non-sensitising properties. In skincare, it is useful for scars, spots and stretch marks. The essential oil is extracted from the outer peel by cold expression.

Mustard Seed Oil (Brassica Nigra)

Romans and Greeks have been using this beneficial oil for centuries, and the oil is used in Northern India to promote healthy hair growth. It is excellent as a hair tonic, and helps stimulate the scalp, and promotes hair growth. Mustard seed oil contains high levels of selenium and zinc (lack of which has been linked to hair loss). It is also rich in beta-carotene, which stimulates the production of vitamin A, and is also a very good source of omega-3 fatty acids as well as iron, calcium, zinc, manganese and niacin. It is also a good source of magnesium, which amongst other beneficial properties, has been shown to restore normal sleep patterns in women having difficulty with the symptoms of menopause, and migraine attacks.


The bilble records how the women of ancient Babylon used Myrhh and plant oils in their beauty treatments in the book of Ester.

Neem Oil (Azadirachta Indica)

Neem is an esteemed oil, because its active constituents have been seen to play a vital part in so many areas of beauty. Popularly known in India as the "village dispensary", Neem is well known for its beneficial effects on the skin and in scalp disorders. Neem oil has excellent moisturising, regenerative and restructuring properties. Its antibacterial, anti-viral, anti-inflammatory and fungicide properties, make it perfect for itchy, dry hair and scalp conditions. It helps restore body and shine to dry, damaged and delicate hair and helps mend the appearance of split ends. The concentrated essential fatty acids help to restore moisture and elasticity to the skin. It is well documented in Ayurvedic texts as medicine against skin and scalp diseases. Neem research centres include: Cambridge University's Medical Entomology Centre, UK Inveresk Research Centre, Glasgow, Scotland Griffith University, Queensland, Australia Harvard University, USA

Olive Oil (Olea Europaea)

Olive oil has regenerating power on the skin tissue and has the ability to regulate the natural moisturising system of the skin. It smoothes and softens and is great for stimulating and healing, toning and firming the skin. Its high concentration of anti-oxidants - including chlorophyll, and carotenoids - have free radical scavenging abilities, so helping to promote and preserve younger-looking skin. Olive oil is rich in polyphenols, known to have anti-inflammatory (similar to Ibuprofen), anti-oxidant and anti-coagulant actions.

Patchouli (Pogostemon Cablin)

Particularly useful and nurturing in skincare due to its regenerative effects, patchouli helps heal and diminish many skin complaints including oiliness, acne, eczema, and wrinkles. It also helps dry, ageing skin to rejuvenate.

Pomegranate Seed Oil (Punica Granatum)

Cold pressed Pomegranate Seed Oil helps boost skin restoration, improve elasticity of the skin, has anti-oxidant properties, and helps with the production of collagen to aid reversing the damage caused by sun exposure. Pomegranate seed polyphenols possess potent antioxidant and most likely cardiovascular and anti-inflammatory effects as well. Pomegranate is also the highest known source of gamma-tocopherol and polyphenols. Research at the University of California indicates that the total antioxidant capacity of 100 ml of pomegranate juice is two to three times that of 100 ml of green tea. Scientific research also shows that pomegranate juice is also high in natural oestrogen, which is known to help protect postmenopausal women against heart disease and osteoporosis.

Rosemary (Rosmarinus Officinalis)

One of the earliest plants to be used for food and medicine. Used in hair preparations for dandruff, dermatitis, eczema and greasy hair. It promotes hair growth and stimulates the scalp. It also has anti fungal properties and helps with both circulation and varicose veins.

Rosehip Seed Oil (Rosa Canina)

Rosehip Oil is traditionally an absolute beauty essential. Harvested from the seed of a native wild rose grown in southern Chile, it has been used for centuries in South America for its remarkable healing, moisturising and rejuvenating qualities. It has been shown to aid cell regeneration, boosting levels of collagen and elastin, to create smoother, firmer skin. It also helps to reduce pigmentation and raised scar tissue by promoting healthy skin renewal - it is effective even on old scars. Rosehip oil helps to prevent and fade stretch marks. It is also a powerful antioxidant. When applied to the skin daily it protects from free radical damage, associated with the harmful influence of sun, weather and ageing. Rosehip Seed Oil consists of three-quarters essential fatty acids: oleic, linoleic, and linolenic, which help maintain healthy skin. It is an excellent source of trans-retinoic acid (a natural precursor of vitamin A). The synthesised version of retinoic acid called Retinol, is well known for treating a variety of skin disorders and used to delay the effects of skin ageing.

It was first studied in 1983 by a team of researchers from the Faculty of Chemistry and Pharmacology at the University of Concepcion in Chile, to evaluate the oil's effect in the skin regeneration process. During the two-year study, the oil was applied to 180 patients with surgical scars, injury scars and post-burn scars, as well as to a group suffering from premature aging. It was found that Rosehip Seed Oil produced an effective regenerative action on the skin, helping to attenuate scars and wrinkles, preventing advancement of premature ageing, and regaining lost colour and tone.

Sesame Seed Oil (Sesamum Indicum)

Known as the Queen of oils this oil is favoured in asia.  Cold pressed oil is a golden yellow.  It can dominate an aroma mix.  It has good keeping qualities due to its anti oxident content.

Sandalwood oil

Ideal for mens products. Its woody smell is relaxing.

Sesame Seed Oil (Sesamum Indicum)

Sesame Oil is highly recommended within Ayurvedic medicine as a massage oil as its chemical structure gives it a unique ability to penetrate the skin easily, nourishing and detoxifying even the deepest tissue layers. It has exceptional moisturising properties, probably due to its high Vitamin E content (25mg per 100gms). It also contains iron and phosphorus and is believed to be effective in delaying greying of the hair. Not only are sesame seeds a very good source of manganese and copper (copper plays an important role in the activity of lysyl oxidase, an enzyme needed for the cross-linking of collagen and elastin), they are also a good source of calcium, magnesium, iron, phosphorous, Vitamin B1, and zinc. Sesame oil is used for eczema, psoriasis and mature skin. In folk medicine it has also been used to help fade blemishes. Apparently the women of ancient Babylon would eat halva, a mixture of honey and sesame seeds, to prolong their youth and beauty. The Merck Manual lists it as oil with exceptional antiseptic properties, hence effective in treating sensitive skin conditions such as atopic eczema and psoriasis.

Shea Butter (Butyrospermum Parkii)

Shea butter has been used for centuries in Africa for its skin healing and moisturising capabilities. It's superior moisturising ability, anti ageing/anti wrinkle and cell regeneration properties help to fade scars and stretch marks. It is known to improve skin's elasticity.

Safflower Oil (Carthamus Tinctorius)

Safflower Oil is mentioned in ancient Egyptian texts and was used to heal old wounds. It is easily absorbed by the skin due to its high linoleic acid content (80%), has superior skin compatibility, and soothes skin irritations/itchiness. It increases the moisture content of the skin (skin hydration is proportional to the level of linoleic acid in the skin) and is particularly good for sensitive skin. Linoleic acid is an essential fatty acid which plays a vital role in the health of the body, and is used to produce prostaglandins. Prostaglandins strengthen cell membranes, and when not enough is produced, it can cause skin to become dry and wrinkled.

Vitamin E (Natural D-Mixed Tocopherol)

Vitamin E acts as a free radical scavenger, by hindering the oxidizing process in the skin. It promotes soft and supple skin, helps in reducing old scars and promotes healing. Used as a 'preservative' in our oil formulations, d-Mixed Tocopherol is a natural form of Vitamin E obtained from non GMO Soya beans.

Our Vitamin E is a 100 percent natural product, containing a mixture of alpha, beta, gamma and delta tocopherols (containing a minimum of 70% mixed tocopherols with alpha tocopherol at a maximum of 14% and beta, gamma and delta tocopherols at a minimum of 56%).

Natural Vitamin E has twice the bio-availibility than its synthetic versions.

Ylang-Ylang (Cananga Odorata)

The ylang-ylang tree is native to Indonesia and the Philippines, and the oil is known to regulate and stimulate circulation. It has a balancing effect on sebum, and is hydrating and beneficial for mature, dry and oily skin types. In the Victorian age, the oil was used in popular hair oils, due to its stimulating effect on the scalp, encouraging hair growth.

Sunday, 5 September 2010

Essential oil for aromatherapy

Aromatherapists use relatively few essential oils. Going through the past company records I am struck by this. The same oils again and again featuring in the blends to care for this or that condition. For care blending the message is clear. Better 40 or so oils of irreproachable freshness and provenance than 120 of every possible kind. Rarer oils like Immortelle have their uses but even immortelle has succombed to use (as much for its name as anything else) in beauty products and is typically supplied diluted in ethanol. Perhaps better to acquire the raw resonous immortelle you can hardly get out of the bottle without warming and dilute it yourself.

So what are the top 40? I am going to borrow from Christine Westwoods book 'stress management' (Amberwood 2004) which I admire for its extensive coverage of human personality as well as physical conditions. I can sympathise with students of Tisserand who find astrology of assistence in just describing the multitudinous facets of human personality. For all our science identifying three essential oils to blend for use by a particular individual can only be described as an art.

La lista. Basil (nerve tonic), Benzoin (soothing), Bergamot (uplifting), Black pepper (hot), Cajeput (focusing), Camphor (piercing), Cardoman (warming), Cedarwood (steadying), Chamomile - moroccan, Chamomile - Roman (soothing), Cinnamon Bark (warming), Clary Sage (euphoric), Clove (pain relief), Coriander (motivating), Cypress (toning), Eucalyptus (respiratory), Fennel (slimming), Frankincense (rejuvenating), Ginger (warming), Geranium (male-balancing), Grapefruit (releasing), Jasmine (fragrant), juniper (purifying), Lavender (protecting), Lemon (refreshing, anti viral), Lemongrass (nerve tonic), Marjoram (relaxation), Melissa (female nurturing), Myrhh (throat), Neroli (stress reliever),Orange (radiance), Patchouli (penetrating), peppermint (cooling), Pine, Scots (invigorating), Rose Otto (uplifting), Rosemary (stimulant), Sage (tonic), sandalwood (male confidence), Tea tree (antiseptic), Thyme (anti bacterial), Ylang (female confidence).


1010 Basil (Ocimum basilicum)
1020 Bergamot (Citrus bergamia)
1015 Benzoin (Styrax benzoin)
1041C Carrotseed (Daucus carota)
1045 Cedarwood Atlas (Cedrus atlantica)
1050C Chamomile German (Matricaria recutica)
1055C Chamomile Roman (Chamaemelum nobile) 3ml
1056 Chamomile Roman (Chamaemelum nobile) 10ml
1070 Clary Sage (Salvia sclarea)
1080 Coriander (Coriandrum sativum)
1085 Cypress (Cupressus sempervirens)
1095 Eucalyptus (Eucalyptus globulus)
1100 Eucalyptus smithii (Eucalyptus smithii)
1115 Fennel, sweet (Foeniculum vulgare)
1140 Frankincense ( Boswellia carteri)
1145 Geranium (Pelargonium graveolens)
1150 Ginger (Zingiber officinale)
1155 Grapefruit (Citrus paradisi)
11170C Jasmine Absolute (Jasminum officinalis)
1175 Juniper (Juniperus communis)
1180 Juniper Berry (Juniperus communis)
1183 Lavandin (Lavendula burnati) France
1184 Lavender (Lavendula angustifolia) Tuscany
1185 Lavender Organic (Lavandula angustifolia) France
1186C Lavender (Lavendula angustifolia) UK
1188 Lavender High Altitude AOC
1189 Lavender (Lavandula angustifolia) Bulgaria
1190 Lavander fine wild (Lavandula angustifolia) France
1195 Lemon (Citrus limon)
1200 Lemongrass (Cymbopogon citratus)
1202 Lime (Citrus aurantifolia)
1205 Mandarin (Citrus retiulata)
1210 Marjoram, Sweet (Origanum majorana)
1216 Melissa (Melissa officinalis)
1225C Myrhh (Commiphora myrrha)
1235C Neroli (Citrus aurantium var amara)
1240 Niaouli (Melaleuca viridiflora)
1255 Orange, Sweet (Citrus aurantium var. sinensis)
1260 Palmarosa (Cymbopogon martinii)
1265 Patchouli (Pogostemon patchouli)
1270 Pepper Black (Piper nigrum)
1275 Peppermint (Mentha x pipertia)
1280 Petitgrain (Citrus aurantium var. amara)
1290 Pine (Pinus sylvestris)
1315 Rosemary Morocco (Rosmarinus officinalis)
1311 Rose otto (Rosa damascena)
1330 Sandalwood New caledonia (Santalum album)
1340 Tea tree (Melaleuca alternifolia)
1350 Thyme, Sweet (Thymus vulgaris ct linalool)
1355 Vetiver (vetiveria zizanoides)
1365 Ylang ylang complete (Cananga odorate)

There is also a selection of aromatherapy diffusers


Saturday, 4 September 2010

Keeping that smile - the use of myrhh essential oil

Research has linked gum disease to heart disease. This is a classic example of a common ailment leading to something more serious if left unchecked. Because gum disease is painless it is hard to detect and can be lived with for years. Signs are bleeding gums after brushing. Ask your dentist to hold a mirror so you can see the disease. The gum tissue becomes discoloured and the sight of that is a call to action.
How can essential oils help? Control bacterial growth is ideally suited to certain essential oils. However all essential oils are irritant to the mucous membranes and must be diluted.

Here is a formula from Valerie Ann Wormwood's really useful book 'The Fragrant Pharmacy' p172

"myrhh has been used for treating mouth problems for a very long time indeed. it is marvellous for keeping gums healthy and treating those that are not. A mouthwash can be made by adding two drops of essential oil of myrhh to one tablespoon of vodka and mixing well. Add only two drops of this to each glass of water you use to rinse your mouth."

Vodka is used because oil and water do not mix and this aids dilution and so avoids irritating the mucous membranes. Note the small dose. Regular routine use is of more value than a large dose which is of no value at all as the bacteria will only come back.
Your dental hygienist can help.
Treatments for gum disease that don't involve surgery include:

Professional dental cleaning. During a typical check-up your dentist or dental hygienist will remove the plaque and tartar (plaque that builds up and hardens on the tooth surface and can only be removed with professional cleaning) from above and below the gum line of all your teeth. If you have some signs of gum disease, your dentist may recommend professional dental cleaning more than twice a year.

Scaling and root planing. This is a deep-cleaning, non-surgical procedure, done under a local anaesthetic, whereby plaque and tartar from above and below the gum line are removed.