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