Saturday, 16 July 2011

Aqueous products - Shirley Price Chamomile Eyecare

 What I admire about Shirley Price the founder of Shirley Price Aromatherapy was her determination.  She did not let scepticism about her ideas put her off expressing them.  She had great faith in the use of essential oils as home remedies and even, in medical or trained hands, in obtaining clinical results. 

Many of her remedies she formulated while dealing with personal health problems, those of her family, friends and neighbours in Hinckley.  Gradually sceptical local doctors, nurses, midwives and healthcare managers came around.  The result was a movement which saw her firm Shirley Price Aromatherapy train thousands of nurses and midwives in aromatherapy in the UK and Switzerland 1990s.  Her tutors Sara gelzer and Jan Benham still train the college students in aromatherapy today.  A particularly effective innovation in the 1970s was the Shirley Price formula for highly diluted chamomile eyedrops as a first line treatment for eye problems.  Shirley Price developed this formula when one of her own eyes developed an ulcer which she successfully treated.

The need for such a first line treatment arises from the toxicity of antibiotic eyedrops. I recently saw an article which stated that the use of such antibiotic eyedrops was justified as a first line treatment because they would only kill one of the GP practices 4500 patients about every 100 years. Of course if this thinking were applied to all 4500 treatments available from that practice then the Practice would kill all of its patients every 100 years!

The great virtue of essential oils and waters distilled from plant materials is their effectiveness in relation to their low or negligible toxicity to the tissues to which they are applied. Because of their antibacterial properties essential oils are their own preservatives. There was record of traditional use of witch hazel and eyebright in eye compresses. However the need for 15% ethanol or equivalent as a preservative for such extracts is a concern. Besides essential oils the tannins in used teabags applied to the eyes of horses have always been swift working and harmless as a compress for infected equine eyes.

Today Shirley Price Chamomile eyecare is used in 40 countries worldwide and are particularly effective in hot climates where the slightest infection can lead rapidly to eye problems. The eyecare is only made in England at the factory in Hinckley. The eyedrops are irradiated to ensure their sterility.  A pallet of 7200 Shirley Price eyedrops or Shirley Price essential oils in their 10ml bottles can be sent economically worldwide for some £400 by airfreight from Leicester.



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