I was approached to make something for someone who is recovering from radiation burns. Although she's stopped the process, weeks later, she still has remnants of skin burns, itching and discomfort. I make a light body lotion that has as its base Evening Primrose and Tamanu oils and then incorporates essential oils of Lavender (angustifolia), Geranium, Carrot Seed, Frankincense, Helichrysum and Calophyllum Inophyllum (EO form). I chose the photo above because I buy my Tamanu oil from Mountain Rose Herbs but you're not limited to that company if you're trying to decide whether or not to experiment with this terrific oil.
What do you do for a relative who asks for help with hypertension and edema but who eats too much salt in his diet and is pretty sedentary? Although we had the discussion about treating symptoms versus the cause, he wanted to try my herbal tinctures and teas in addition to promising to curb his salt intake. I made him a tincture and an herbal tea to brew and he said the swelling was down "dramatically" in two days. So today, I'm making him some more tea as he's run out and hoping he's really and truly working on the cause. My tea contains chamomile flowers, dandelion root, yarrow, ginger root and valerian.
Body butters are so simple to make and that's what I'll be teaching at the end of February. So today, I made enough 2oz body butter giveaways to make sure everyone gets one. I used Mango, Cocoa and Coconut butters and added essential oils of Lavender, Sweet Orange and Vanilla CO2. If it makes any sense, it smells like a Dreamsicle tastes. Absolutely delicious.
I've always loved a good challenge. I have recently been named the Nevada Representative for the Alliance of International Aromatherapists. I accessed the site to see who the members were in the state and there are a total of 3 of us! What do you do with that? I contacted both members to see what they'd like from the organization and how we could grow the state membership. I got some great suggestions and hope to start holding some local classes to introduce aromatherapy lovers to the science and art of this wonderful profession and explore how they can get involved (and join the organization). My first worry was talking to people who may not know anything at all about essential oils and yet suggest they join an organization that's all about the oils. However, we just happen to have a membership category for those who support the organization and know they can begin their own exploration through our teleconferences, bi-annual conferences and library of books and reputable schools. I hope to make a difference. If you're reading this and you live in Nevada, feel free to get in touch if you'd like to know more.
I recently heard that the flu season has started off with a sledge hammer in Nevada and so I decided it was time to do some preventive work and make a super strong tincture to combat the colds and flu that are going around. I used my favorite glycerin and water base and then used the following herbs: Echinacea, Ginger, Elderberry, Goldenseal, Licorice, Marshmallow, Mullein, Astragalus, Lemon Balm, a little dried Shiitake mushroom and Eucalyptus leaf. Hopefully that covers all possibilities and keeps me safe this winter.
I had a client ask me to create something for a combination of arthritis, neuropathy and fibromyalgia. Whew! That's a helluva combination. I've tried to hit it with all kinds of fixed oils, herbs and essential oils in a soothing salve. So I started with fixed oils of Jojoba, Macadamia Nut, Evening Primrose and Tamanu. Then I added the following herbs in equal parts: St. John's Wort, Willow Bark, Lobelia, Ginger Root, Nettle and Prickly Ash Bark. Finally, I added essential oils of Peppermint, German Chamomile and Rosemary verbenon and used beeswax to make it a salve consistency. I'll be interested to hear if it's effective for any or all of those debilitating issues.
I have my first opportunistic infection of the season due, undoubtedly, to too much stress for about a week. I could feel it beginning - that unspecific not-quite-right feeling with a focus on the throat, chest and nasal passages. With all the tinctures I've made in the past, I focused on two - my immune system booster and the cough & cold remedy. I've been taking them intermittently for a couple of days and although it's not gone yet, it's been keeping it from taking over and getting worse. I can still feel the usual move from my throat, down into the chest and back up to the nose but it usually gets far worse as it moves. Not this time. My immune system tincture has Echinacea, Chaparral, Ginger and Marshmallow root. The cough and cold remedy is a strange-tasting concoction I borrowed from Rosemary Gladstar (my mentor) that has onion, garlic and elderberries in honey and water. I know! Onion and garlic in honey? It is, I must admit, an odd flavor but not awful and it helps almost immediately so I use it! I also made a hot tea blend with Chamomile, Peppermint leaf, Marshmallow root, Rosehips, Echinacea, Elecampane and Eucalyptus leaf. I should probably put these on the website somewhere, shouldn't I?
With some non-specific symptoms that I couldn't attribute to any root cause, I decided it was time to take myself over to a Naturopath who'd been recommended to me numerous times. It was an amazing experience. Based on the lengthy questionnaire I was required to bring in, he pinpointed issues and told me things about my past health that were pretty impressive and right on the money. He indicated that I put a lot of stress on my internal system - liver, kidneys, adrenals, endocrine system and gall bladder and really need to work on my diet. I'm starting to make some small changes a little at a time but I also prepared a tincture that will aid the health of all those systems. As you know, I make all my tinctures in glycerin and this one is no exception. It contains Dandelion root & leaf, Burdock root, Milk Thistle seed, Echinacea root, Chamomile flowers, Ashwagandha root, Black Cohosh and Cayenne powder. I think I'll take it once a day for 3-4 days and then once a week for a few weeks before giving those systems a rest and seeing how I feel overall.
I know a massage therapist who has recently been diagnosed with carpal tunnel syndrome and wants to avoid surgery so he decided to try a lotion with essential oils and herbal infused fixed oils that may give some relief. I first infused a blend of Jojoba, Apricot Kernel and Evening Primrose oils (all with anti-inflammatory and muscular/neurological relief properties) with Chamomile, Comfrey leaf, Cayenne and White Willow Bark. Then I used this as the oil in the lotion and used essential oils of Yarrow, Sandalwood (sustainable), Rosemary cineole and Peppermint. I'll let you know if it helps. If it does, I'll probably add it to my lotions page. No, actually, I'll probably make it as a salve next time.
Funny how some details are fine and you'll focus and be meticulous about them. But then there are others that drive you crazy and you'd rather go to the dentist and listen to that annoying high-pitched drill than sit down and finish the last little details. Inputting recipes into my software program is like that for me. It's a great program - originally meant for soap makers (thus the name SoapMaker) but you can input ingredients for herbal stuff and essential oils and it will break down the costs for you and keep a record of each recipe and/or batch so you can easily retrieve it. Well, "easily" as long as you sit your butt in the chair and do the input work. Why that's so difficult for me, I don't know. I line up all my ingredients before starting my project, figure out all the proportions, mix and blend, pour and label. But somehow, I feel like I should be done after that. Having to sit down and put everything into the program is sort of like starting over. Okay, I can hear you saying, "Why don't you input before you start?" I could I suppose, but I also put in notes about what I'd change next time around, what the retail cost is and if the recipe needs alterations next time so I'm not losing money on it (which I have a tendency to do), etc. Now I hear you saying, "Input the ingredients and get that out of the way and then go back and add any notes later." Waaaay too logical! Just let me bitch about it, okay?
One advantage of working in hospice is that I get to play with all the therapy dogs. This is Asher, a Corgi.