Free aromatherapy education

There are two free events happening in the next two weeks and I wanted to share them with you. They are both online. They are both offering opportunities to learn knowledge of essential oils and how to use aromatherapy safely in your home, with your pets and family. Join us as we explore even more educational offerings that are available from across the country and pass this post along if you know anyone who might benefit. Don’t forget to check out your local herbal and aromatherapy edu options as well and join us for an exciting herb walk this June right here on the farm!

Hope you enjoy these two free events!

Ayurvedic use of essential oils – This free event will be taught by David Crow who founded Floracopia. He is a master herbalist, aromatherapist and acupuncturist with over 30 years experience and is considered an expert in the Ayurvedic and Chinese medical systems. This one-hour event is going to be happening this week on Wed the 27th at 8:30pm EST

Essential Oil Round Table– Brought to you by the Atlantic Insitute of Aromatherapy and the Franklyn Insitute of Wellness. This essential oils event will feature professionals and passionate enthusiasts, coming together in a spirit of unity and collaboration to share their collective experiences and expertise. This FREE online event showcases a Round Table of 3-4 speakers, ranging from enthusiasts to professional aromatherapists and scientists to discuss a theme each day after each day’s discussion you can purchase the recordings after the event so you can reply it many times to soak in all the information. It begins May 2nd and runs through the 7th.

Pets, Plants and Essential Oils

Did you know that pets, plants and essential oils can all go together is a wonderful way? It’s true herbal therapy and aroma therapy are not just for people.  Yesterday after noticing that our dogs were eating a good bit of grass (Likely got into something that hurt their tummy),I gave the dogs some fennel tea in their water bowl,  I rubbed a little lavender with peppermint oil mixed in some olive oil on their tummies and filled the essential oil diffuser with a bit of calming lavender for them.

As I was doing this I remembered that these are aspects which are not often thought about for our animal friends both pets and farm animals. So I looked around and I found this nice article about introducing essential oils to our pets. It has some good advice and precautionary information that I thought was well worth sharing. If you are interested in trying out some oils with your pets check out the blends we have here to get some great ideas of how they can be used. Looking for a special blend for your pet friend?  Contact us and we can make a special blend ready to use for you and your companion or farm animals. Or get started with the same Neet(straight) essential oils that we use at home and in the Apothecary here.

Enjoy the article!

scruffyWithPheinox

Dogs naturally magazine

http://www.dogsnaturallymagazine.com/essential-oils-for-pets/

It’s High time for High Quality Essential Oils

Can I just get high quality essential oils from your website?

We have been asked this question over and over so many times I have lost count. We have spent countless hours sharing products that we have found very helpful with others but have never offered to sell them through our website. While we love sharing and helping people connect with great products, the process had become a lot of work and we knew there was a better way to help you get access to these products. So we decided to start with the most commonly asked about product. Essential oils.

We have pondered solutions for connecting you with great oils on our website without doing the whole re-bottling someone else’s product thing that is so popular right now. As we strive to meet your needs we have come up with a great solution and an opportunity for you to gain access to the the exact same therapeutic quality essential oils that we use as ingredients in our Apothecary products and with our family. We also thought that this process warrants a blog so that you can have the transparency you deserve in knowing how we came to this decision and why we choose the oil companies that we use. Essential oils are a hot topic these days so the more informed we are together about them the better we can make informed decisions about them.

The Good News

No, we are not just repackaging a different company’s oils and selling them to you. Yes, if you still want us to blend your straight essential oils for you we will still be offering this as a special order and Yes, we still have our fantastic herbal infused/essential oil blends right HERE for you to get from our website too.

The Great News

Now you can easily tap stright into our essential oil source and save money. You will not be charged for our re-bottling of bulk essential oils we buy , process, package and sell back to you.  With one of the companies we use you get to decide if you want to buy the oils for retail or buy them for the same wholesale price that we get them for which saves you 24%; even better we have also created an ease of access website HERE for you to go directly to the oils, though you might still enjoy reading the rest of this blog, I think you will like it and feel more empowered about essential oils too.

What is the difference between straight essential oils and your essential oil blends?

If you were to look at our Essential Oil Blends you will see something that is of interest and quite different then most essential oil blends you find on the market. This is because our blends are made in an herb infused base oils. Our base oils are organic cold pressed vegetable, nut or seed oils. These base oils are also called carrier oils. Carrier oils are oils that carry the essential oil to the skin, essential oils are highly concentrated or volatile plant oils that have been extracted from the plant for use. When you apply an essential oil with a carrier oil to your body the essential oil is in a smaller concentration on a specific area of skin. The Carrier oil helps to keep the essential oil from evaporating as quickly and thus you can cover a larger part of the body with the therapeutic properties of the essential oil while using less of the essential oil.

Carrier oils can also help in preventing possible undesirable skin reaction which can occur for some individuals when applying certain straight essential oils to the skin. Carrier oils themselves hold a variety of therapeutic qualities which is why you see some of our blends made with olive oil while others you see with grape seed, coconut, castor oil or sunflower seed oils.

Our essential oil blendare also made first by infusing the whole plant into the oil then additional essential oils are added to that blend. Some of the plants we infuse in the carrier oils are not available as essential oils so the only way to get the herbal benefits is by infusing the herb in a carrier oil first. In truth we are creating a product that can not be replicated using just the straight essential oils or just the herb infused in a carrier oil. We like that no one has ever had a negative skin reaction to any of our blends, we like that we are still holding a tradition of infusing oils that has been passed down to us from generations of traditional herbalists while incorporating essential oils, which add a second therapeutic layer to the end product. We also love that our blends use less essential oils thus less plant life, reducing our overall consumption while still getting a fantastic therapeutic quality oil you can use on your skin.

All of that said straight essential oils play a very beneficial role in herbal medicine and even have their own category of therapy called Aromatherapy. While Historically Aromatherapy encompassed any herbal “aroma” that was therapeutic; now day’s it is rather synonymous in most people’s minds with essential oils. Our blended oils are heavy because of the carrier oils in them, so they are not easily diffused in the air unless you use a steam pot and although the ingredients are fantastic our blends are formulated to be used externally. There are many other ways to use straight essential oils that are just not accessible via our infused oils.

So Why Now?

We have not offered straight essential oils as a product on the shelves in our online shop or in our festival booths, until now we have always offered essential oils as special orders for people who specifically ask for them or when working with our health and wellness clients. The traditional Appalachian herbalism I was first trained in did not use essential oils, mainly because it was simply not a viable use of the available plants in the region. Most of these plants have traditionally been wild crafted and grown in our family gardens or neighbors gardens.

We do not make our essential oils at Mountain Song Herbals, they have always just been ingredients in our products. The quantity of plant life needed to make an essential oil is far greater then we would like to grow and process at our farm and while we are trained in and have a lot of experience in aromatherapy there is an art to making the highest quality essential oils just as there is an art in making the highest quality herbal products. We love making you the highest quality herbal products and love working with essential oils as ingredients in our products. We also have a healthy respect for the concept of not having to make everything yourself. (As homesteaders that was a long lesson to learn but I think we are starting to get it.)

We knew we could find a way to connect you with the best oils we have found and we did not feel that the process of buying and re-bottling straight essential oils was in alignment with our goals nor did we feel it an ethical practice for us. It is not our philosophy to take a product from another company, re-bottle it and call it our own. If we are going to put Mountain Song Herbals label on a product we will be the ones making your product and if we do a special order blend that is made with straight single essential oils we will be blending the formula for your product. We have investigated and researched and have found what we think is a great option for you to get these oils.

Because we have been thinking about how to easily get these oils to you for some time along with years of trying a variety of different companies essential oils under our belts and after a year long experiment with what we thought might be the highest overall quality essential oil company; we have found a less labor intensive way to directly connect you with reliable essential oils suppliers through our website. So now is the time to open the doors and see where you want to go. We hope that you will enjoy the ease of access and that this will move in the direction of us being able to offer you other products that we love to share.

Where do you get our Essential Oils from?

We have used essential oils in a small way since before we began Mountain Song Herbals in 2010 and we have used essential oils in our blends and sprays since we started the business. We began using essential oils much more extensively in 2012 after their profoundly positive impact on our family as we were journeying with Lyme Disease and more so after becoming a certified  clinical aromatherapist.

We now use two different suppliers that we have vetted out of the top 5 companies we have tried. The two we use both offer high quality essential oils that have proven to be very therapeutic when used properly. If you would like to learn more about the general use of essential oils and what tools you can utilize as you decide for yourself what oils you want to choose please check out our blog posts and our facebook page, we post safety information as well as links to articles and learning opportunities on a regular basis so that you can use these highly therapeutic oils from a balanced and informed place. Join us for local workshops or at any of our mobile workshops as we share a variety of essential oil learning opportunities. Become well informed and make your own choices about what companies you will use, there are many out there and finding the right match for you is important in the sometimes confusing world of essential oils.

The two companies we are sharing also sell other products the first one just a few and the second has a lot of other household and health products you can choose from. As far as the other products these companies sell, my primary experience is with their single plant essential oils so I can not speak in favor or not of their other products except for their diffusers which I also really like a lot. Read your labels and while I think that many of the other products that these companies offer look good, I highly recommend doing your own research as I have not done enough of my own to make a decision at this time about those products.

anandaoilsAnanda Apothecary- This s a company based out of Colorado. I have been purchasing their oils for the past 4 years. The organic oils I buy from them all have a slightly sweet note over all with a good therapeutic quality to them. This is the company whose oils I used when we were walking with Lyme disease, however it was the owner of the second company that pointed me in the right direction about using essential oils with Lyme. The therapeutic quality of Ananda’s oils were excellent for supporting our family. I do find that I need to use more of their oil in my blends to reach the same therapeutics as the second company I use, their price is very reasonable but since I end up using more of their oils the price gap is shortened by a good bit. Their customer service has been fantastic and they seem knowledgeable.  I have tried a few of their prepared blends but have not found them to be oils that I liked that much, I am a bit of a snob when it comes to oil blends I admit.They do not own any of their own farms and do not distill the oils themselves. They said that they do acquire third party lab testing and have been pretty good about getting me the evaluation results from the labs when I ask for them. I have had to really dig to find out more information about the chemistry of some of the oils they offer and there have been one or two oils that I felt were adulterated in some way or were not properly distilled when I compared them to other oils of the same kind and supposed quality from different companies. (I do not have access to independent labs to test the chemical compound of the oils I receive and rely on the way an oil looks, moves in glass, my sence of smell, training, understanding of essential oils and from comparing oils of different companies) It would be nice if the staff would be able to tell me more about the individual oils and their origins and farms they come from. Ananda has no minimum purchasing requirement and you can order when ever you want. They do offer a 10% off retail only if you are a practitioner and consider all of their oils to already be at wholesale pricing for the public. Everything has its place and while Ananda Apothecary’s Organic oils are in my opinion therapeutic quality and very good, hence we still use them.

Sacred-Frankincense-Oil-ResYoung Living Essential oils–   If we are going to offer you a product we do not make we want to offer you the best we can find.  In fact I have not found better single herb essential oils then the ones Young Living offers excluding their ceder wood oil which has more of a pine like scent then I prefer.Ananda Apothecaries cedar is like the cedar you would think of when you smell a cedar sauna and it has been a reliably great quality oil in practice. I am again a snob when it comes to blends but there are a few that I really like from this company especially the Thieves, Stress away, purification and Panaway. Young Livings single oils are the most well rounded aromatically that I have found, the oils hit your senses right where they are supposed to hit for the perfect length of time and smell like the plants the oils come from, even the sweet fruit and floral aromas of some of the oils feel full and rounded when you smell them.  As an herbalist who works with the fresh raw plants daily you get to know the smell and quality of plants and that flows over seamlessly for me with Young Living’s essential oils, an experience I do not have with many essential oil companies oils. I have also found that their oils are the only ones I have used which the lemon oil and citrus oils taste like the fruits and rinds it comes from. While I have had good results with some of the other companies citrus oils externally, they do not taste correct and have a flavor to them that is unbalanced or chemical like.(I do not recommend you try this at home and many oils are not for ingestion at all even for this purpose) While I am conservative about using essential oils internally, when I am testing oils this is a tool that I use for many of them to help find hidden imbalances that are not always easy to find in just the aroma you sense when you smell the oil.

The amount of essential oil that you need to use is nearly half of what I have needed to use from other companies offering therapeutic quality oils which really makes the price difference much smaller then what the retail price tag looks like. They also offer a member price that is 24% off retail price, you can be a distributor and after a year you can get an additional 20% off wholesale pricing with points to get more free products and there is even up to 40% off as a business member. They also have a lot of different options to participate in that help drop the price of the products and if you really want to run with it you can make your own business out of selling their oils(not a requirement and you do not have to buy every month unless you want to). They have been creative in finding ways to balance out the pricing for their member customers but if you buy retail, well you get hit with one of the highest priced therapeutic quality essential oils on the market, so be mindful about that. It really does pay off to be a member if you want to use this companies oils.

Keeping a Critical Eye on Essential Oils

Since essential oils are a product we do not make we are always on the look out for a better oil and we are doing our best to stay informed and updated about the companies that we are currently working with.  If I find better we will not hesitate to try them out, vet them and begin using them too or in replacement of who we are currently using if they are better oils. That is how we feel about all of our raw materials in our products. I was at first hesitant to use Young Living mainly due to the poor communication and disinformation that some of their distributors put out in the world that can make it harder for herbalists and aromatherapists to do their job. I did not like the negativity surrounding the split between this company and some of its workers who left and started a new essential oil company that threw the two into years of battling litigation’s.  I was also hesitant due to the fact that they are a multi level marketing company which sounded like it was going to be some sort of scam to me.  I have seen distributors use these oils very unwisely which was a big turn off at first.

Then I had to step back and evaluate the situation more clearly before I was willing to give them a try or create an uninformed opinion about the company. I am glad that I really took the time to do a thorough investigation including meeting and talking with the owner of the company as well as current and past employees, looking at what they had been doing in the 20 years they had been in operation and really vetting the oils they offer and meeting a lot of really great members and distributors who were using the oils wisely and shareing healthy information in their communities.

I do like that Young Living can tell you about the 9 farms they own and about the other farms the oils come from, the relationships they have with those farms and tell you about the distillation process both at their 10 distilleries and at the distilleries they work with. I like that they can explain their ethical standpoint on why they do not have an organic seal on their products(they do have a seed to seal internal certification) and you can attend farm and distillery trips if you would like to participate in the actual process of making essential oils with them. Their customer service has been great, friendly and prompt. They do run out of products more then Id like but as a business owner I really understand how that happens. I do not like that they are a very large company and that brings with it mostly dealing with a sometimes less personal relationship with the company. You can however get really involved and then you can build a really strong network of distributors and get to meet many of the employees and even the owner several times a year. So really your involvement level is your choice with this company which helps to balance out the big company distance situation. I do remember that when I was not a member of Young living it was much harder to gain access to information then it is now as a member, networking with other members made getting to information a much simpler process.

Over all this company has offered a lot of information about their growing, harvesting and processing techniques. After I found out that you do not have to participate in any way with the MLM business side of the company, I realized this was a company that I could still send my clients and patrons to. I like that you can simply buy one oil without worrying that you would have to buy them every month to get a discount and you do not have to have anything to do with selling oils unless you feel inspired to do so.

I know that the essential oils from this company are fantastic and while some people are making poor decisions with these oils and the information about oils I still have not found better single plant oils on the market.  I have been using these oils for the past 2 years and last summer decided that even though the cost was more, the quality was so good that we started using larger amounts of their oils in our formulas and are now using over 75% of their oils in our formulas, the other 25% is from Ananda Apothecary mostly because Young Living does not offer all the oils that we use in our products or like the cedar, I did not care for the YL counterpart.

The Ananda website is a little easier to get into and understand as it is like nearly all the other websites out there. The young living website is good if you want to buy retail but if you want to be a member there are a few more clicks that can sometimes be confusing for people. You can go here to get more ease of access to the oils.

The only disclaimer I want to share is that yes if you order through Young Living with my information attached I will receive a small compensation for your purchase. However if you just go into their main website and make a purchase I receive no compensation for your order. I do not receive any compensation for your essential oil orders through Ananda Apothecary as they do not have an affiliate link available at this time.

Making money off of your order is not my motivation. Helping you connect with high quality essential oils that we use in our products as well as in our home for health and wellness is the reason we are sharing the oils the way we are. If you are not interested in getting straight essential oils and want to stick with our blended oils you can see them right here, remember these are the ones we formulate and make using both essential oils and herbal infused carrier oils.

More Resources

These are the websites for you to look at if you would like to do some more research or place an order for the same essential oils we use in our apothecary. If you have any questions please do not hesitate to contact us and if you are a company that sells essential oils and want us to check yours out please feel free to send me a sample and your information here.

 

Young Living Essential Oils main website page

http://www.youngliving.com/en_US/

Ananda Apothecary Essential Oils website

http://www.anandaapothecary.com/

4 Tips for Safe Essential Oil Use

Essential Oils are a wonderful addition to your families medicine chest. They are highly therapeutic when using high quality organic oils grown and processed for their therapeutic value.

Essential oils are strong medicines and using them with awareness and respect for their power is essential to using them in a healthy way. Check out our previous blog 10 tips for essential oils for a  few more ideas and let us know what your top tips might be for safe and effective use for essential oils.

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Here are 4 tips to get you going on a safe and wonderful journey with essential oils.

  1. Choose quality. When using essential oils for therapeutic reasons be sure that you are using a high quality oil that ideally are made using organic practices and are ethically crafted. The company supplying you the oil should be able to offer you a certificate of analysis and be able to explain their processes of quality control to you. If you have any question in your mind about the quality of the oil do not use it, many essential oils labeled 100% pure have other ingredients in them that are not suitable for therapeutic uses or are not able to deliver therapeutic quality to you due to the way it was processed. Find a company that builds relationships with its farms and distilleries, a company you can see is practicing ethically in other areas of its business. Letting our lives speak holds true to the essential oil companies we purchase from. What are the actions of the company telling us?  How they conduct themselves in other areas of their business will often overflow into the quality of their oils.
  2. Do a skin test before using a new essential oil. For some people, some oils can cause sensitization or allergic reaction. Especially people who have a compromised immune system, are taking prescription medications or are struggling with chronic illnesses. (if you are one of these people seek advice from an qualified health care provider before using essential oils so you can have a safe and enjoyable experience with them). Doing a skin test by applying a small amount of the desired oil on the inside of the writs and waiting for 24 hours is an easy way to test for any sensitivity. If a reaction occurs during  your skin test apply olive oil to the area and wipe off. Some aromatherapists believe that using neat(undiluted oils is not recommended at all) Others feel that depending on the oil and the person neat oils may be used. In General avoid using any oils that are know to be hazardous or known to cause dermal irritation or sensitization as neat oils. If you have never used an oil before, doing your skin test with an essential oil blended with some olive oil is a good practice, then doing a second skin test with the neat oil, especially if you plan to use the oil neat. Remember that what you’re allergic to in food, you will almost always be allergic to in essential oils. If you cannot eat cinnamon without having an adverse effect then stay clear of the essential oil, likewise of plants you are allergic to, if you are allergic to ragweed then chamomile might not be the best oil for you start with do to the potential for cross reactions. If you are highly sensitive and have lots of allergies then a skin test is essential for safe and successful essential oil use.
  3. Know your oils before using them. Some essential oils should not be used during pregnancy or with individuals with certain health conditions, especially if they are on some medications. It is important to get to know the essential oils you are using for yourself and your family. Just because it is from nature does not mean it is not strong medicine. Empowering yourself and your loved ones with essential oils means learning about these amazing allies and thus allowing yourself to use them safely. Read as much as you can from many sources about the oils you want to use. Then you will have multiple perspectives and science to support you as you decide how to use them. This is a fun and empowering activity to do, it also helps you to pass on to friends and family the amazing plant knowledge these oils have to offer.
  4. Less is more most of the time. For many essential oils  just 15 drop of essential oil to 1 oz of carrier oil makes a great therapeutic formula for use. Achieving therapeutic results with essential oils that are blended with carrier oil has been a tradition nearly as long as essential oils have been known. Most people can achieve great results and rarely if ever need to use the neat oil.  If interested in using Neat (undiluted) essential oils for use, it is highly recommended that you do your research, become very well informed and depending on the situation even speak with a qualified health care provider; especially if you are using them during a health crisis. Start small and know your body and get to know if essential oils are the right path of healing for you. If using an essential oil, start with as little as possible to achieve therapeutic effects.

 

We hope you found these tips helpful and we encourage you to share other tips with our readers, your friends and family. Essential oils are wonderful allies in times of health, wellness and need, by empowering each other in their knowledge we all grow in strength and health.

Soothing Facial Serum

10 Tips for Essential Oils

Essential Oils are a wonderful addition to the home medicine chest or first aid kit. Here are 10 tips for using essential oils to help you get started on a safe and empowered journey with these great allies.

SamAndValHarvestingMotherwort

  1. Enormous amounts of a plant is needed to produce essential oils. It takes six pounds of lavender to get 1 oz of essential oil, 16 lbs of peppermint to receive 1 oz and 300 lbs of rose petals for 1 oz of essential oil.  It important to remember this as we use these amazing oils with mindfulness.
  2. There is no USA government agency that certifies or grades essential oils. Yes this is true! Therapeutic grade is a standard made by manufacturing companies, so it is vital to do your homework on the quality of oil you are getting! Several companies have their own quality certifications that they have certified their own products with but it is not the FDA.
  3. When choosing an essential oil look for: Botanical name, origin of plant, how it was grown(ethically, organic?) and extraction method(steam Distilled, CO2, solvent?). It is also important to note if the essential oil has been diluted with anything (EVEN if it is a natural dilution, coconut oil compound, almond oil etc. and why it has been diluted).
  4. Essential oils can be more powerful therapeutically when blended correctly. There are different notes and energies of essential oils, blending them correctly can enhance their quality and usefulness. So look for some aromatherapy books to help you learn about blending or start trying blends that are already made by a few companies or aromatherapists.
  5. Always do a skin test for a new essential oil before you use it. Some times for some people and with some oils there is the possibility of having an adverse reaction to an oil so it is a good idea to do a skin test with each new oil you try.
  6. Essential oils are widely known for the ability to support the body during times of: congestion, pain, inflammation, headaches, nausea, bacterial, viral and fungal infections and much more. You may be surprised just how helpful these oils can truly be once you begin using them.
  7. Not all essential oils are created equally. Some are made for cosmetics, some for food, some for perfume and some for their medicinal value. All play different roles and it is important for safe essential oil use to know their intended purpose and if their quality is holding up to that purpose.
  8. Generally the safest way to begin using essential oils is in small quantities through inhalation or in carrier oil topically. Chomping down on 5 Aspirin when you only needed half of one does not make much sense, Essential oils are powerful plant allies and a little can go a long way.
  9. It is generally  not recommended by most aromatherapists to ingest essential oils on a daily basis unless under the supervision of a qualified care provider.
  10. Young children and pregnant women should be very mindful and knowledgeable when using essential oils. There are essential oils that are not suitable for young children nor pregnant or breastfeeding mothers. Be well informed about the oils you are using and you will have a wonderful ally at your finger tips.

 

There is a whole host of information on the internet about essential oil use. It is important to be well informed and to use your intuition. These 10 tips are a great start to help you along your way towards being empowered with the amazing health benefits essential oils have to offer.