Coconut Oil: What’s the Fuss?

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Consuming Coconut Oil might be better than animal fat – but it’s still a high calorie fat, until more research is conducted, especially looking at the impact on heart disease risk, it may be better to limit your consumption.

From a skin nourishing perspective we like coconut oil because it has a long shelf life and it is considered an occlusive agent providing a physical barrier to reduce water evaporation from the skin.

In order to fully enjoy the odorous benefits of essential oils I prefer to use fractionated coconut oil because it remains liquid at cooler temperatures allowing us to create pourable massage oils and it doesn’t go rancid.

A few useful links:

Fractionated Coconut Oil
Why all the Fuss?
Is it good or bad for your skin?

Note:  Aromatherapy, like any other natural therapy, is intended to complement not replace traditional medicine.  When in doubt about any medical condition, always seek medical advice.  See legal

TinyFlowerSandra Topper, Professional Aromatherapist & Aromachologist
www.bespokearomatics.com

Do essential oils go rancid?

carrieroilWhen you purchase various vegetable oils (which are primarily cold pressed) for cooking and consuming, you will discover that over a period of time of 3-9 months, depending upon the type of oil it will begin to turn rancid and develop an off odour. Different vegetable oils vary in their shelf life.  Storing vegetable oils in dark glass containers at slightly cooler temperatures (rather than in a cupboard above your stove) will help to maintain their freshness. It is recommended that some vegetable oils be kept in the refrigerator – but it is dependent upon the type.

Essential oils are primarily distilled from aromatic plant materials and typically do not go rancid in the same respect as vegetable oils.  Over time essential oils will lose their freshness and crisp odour. When essential oils become oxidized they are more likely to cause dermal irritation – specifically citrus oils.

eoMany essential oils begin to breakdown or become oxidized when they come into contact with air (oxygen) – therefore never leave bottles opened.  Specifically cold pressed citrus oils contain high levels of limonene which begins to oxidize at the very moment that it is exposed to oxygen.  To extend the shelf life of a citrus oil beyond 6 months store them in the refrigerator.

Essential oils are often termed as volatile (meaning to evaporate) because they contain naturally occurring alcohols. Top note oils such as peppermint, rosemary, and eucalyptus contain high levels of alcohols so they tend to evaporate more quickly than those that contain less alcohol. Generally speaking top note oils should last 6 – 12 months (some say longer). Middle note oils such as lavender and geranium should last even longer 1 – 2 years.  Base note oils such as cedarwood, patchouli and sandalwood tend to be more viscous, are darker in colour and have lower alcohol levels resulting in a longer shelf life (possibly 2 – 4 years).

Storing essential oils in dark glass containers and not exposing them to drastic temperature fluctuations and away from direct sunlight will help to preserve your oils.  If you invest in a large bottle of an essential oil such as 1 – 2 oz (30-60 ml) then over time the oil should be decanted into a smaller bottle to reduce the ratio of air-to-oil in the bottle. Replacing the orifice reducer (dropper cap) periodically can also help to maintain an essential oil.

All essential oils should be blended into a carrier oil (natural vegetable oil) in order to use them on your skin. It is the carrier oil that goes rancid (often within 3 months) – a rancid carrier oil smells like old cooking oil. In order to render your aromatic body oil concoctions from going rancid and reduce the risk of allergens (such as almond oil) consider using fractionated coconut oil.

Using essential oils is akin to cooking – it is advised that you blend and use your concoctions immediately or at least use them within a week or two. You wouldn’t make a fresh batch of soup and store the leftovers in containers on a windowsill – would you?

Some useful links:

Eat by Date

Keep your essential oils cool

Note:  Aromatherapy, like any other natural therapy, is intended to complement not replace traditional medicine.  When in doubt about any medical condition, always seek medical advice.  See legal

TinyFlowerSandra Topper, Professional Aromatherapist & Aromachologist
www.bespokearomatics.com

Antimicrobial Activity of Essential Oils

IMG_3553Many essential oils possess anti-microbial properties, due to the naturally occurring constituents that result from the distillation process.

However this does not mean that humans should consume essential oils in order to treat or prevent bacterial infections.

Essential oils are extremely strong substances and they need to be used with caution, with respect to inhalation and topical skin use.

If an adult were to receive an entire body massage with a massage oil and that individual does not have a medical condition nor is taking a medication, the massage oil blend should not exceed six (6-10%) percent of added essential oils in a base oil such as coconut.

Pregnant or nursing mothers, the elderly, children under the age of 12 years, those with a medical condition, those persons taking medication or receiving treatment such as chemotherapy, persons with respiratory conditions or those who have allergies or skin sensitivities should use milder dilutions at one (1%) to two (2%). Some essential oils should be completely avoided by persons who fall into any of the above scenarios and it is imperative to consult with your physician.

Essential oils are commonly being used in cold water vapour machines known as ultrasonic misters.  Many folks are turning to this method in order to naturally scent their homes and personal spaces. Since many essential oils contain naturally occurring substances that have antimicrobial properties it is believed that this practice may help to improve air quality. According to Robert Tisserand & Rodney Young (2014):

A few drops of essential oil in a burner, vaporizer or in a steam inhalation is virtually risk-free.  However, prolonged inhalation (more than about 30 minutes) of concentrated essential oil vapors (eg., steam inhalation, or direct from a bottle) can lead to headaches, vertigo, nausea and lethargy.  In certain instances more serious symptoms might be experienced, such incoherence and double vision.

For children 5 years old or less, direct inhalation should be avoided.

At Bespoke Aromatics we carry over 100 different varieties of pure essential oils and we teach classes about how to use essential oils safely and effectively.

Many of our customers ask us if we make our essential oils, and often folks tell as that ‘such and such’ a company or that ‘this person I know’ makes their own essential oils.  In order to make an essential oil, expensive and complicated machinery is required.  Essential oils are most often extracted or distilled on-site at the location where the plant material is grown and harvested. Oh for sure there are many companies, manufacturers, aromatherapists, practitioners and even back-yard do-it-yourselfers who blend essentials into various concoctions and mediums but this does not equate to ‘making’ an essential oil.  Nearly all of the essential oils on the market are purchased in bulk (25 kg +) from just a handful of multi-national distributors of essential oils and raw material handlers.  Then the essential oils are re-bottled into smaller bottles and are re-labeled and branded.

It doesn’t take rocket-science to create a synergistic blend of essential oils that help to combat environmental germs, and you don’t have to pay an exorbitant amount of money (or be ‘thieves’) to create your own blend.  At Bespoke we carry all the individual essential oils to create your own ‘thieves blend’ : Lemon, Eucalyptus radiata, Rosemary, Cinnamon Bark and Clove Bud.

There is substantial research pointing to the fact that many essential oils have anti-microbial properties. Below we provide a list of valuable online resources:

Antibacterial activity of essential oils and their major constituents against respiratory tract pathogens by gaseous contact.

Antimicrobial activities of eucalyptus leaf extracts and flavonoids from Eucalyptus maculata.

Antimicrobial activity of clove and rosemary essential oils alone and in combination.

In vitro antibacterial activity of some plant essential oils.

Aromatherapy: Guidelines For Using Essential Oils And Herbs

Other Sources:

Lis-Balchin, M. (1995). Aroma science: The chemistry and bioactivity of essential oils. United Kingdom: Amberwood Publishing.

Tisserand, R., Young, R., Williamson, E. M., Balacs, T., & Tisser, R. (2013). Essential oil safety: A guide for health care professionals (2nd ed.). Edinburgh, United Kingdom: Churchill Livingstone.

Note:  Aromatherapy, like any other natural therapy, is intended to complement not replace traditional medicine.  When in doubt about any medical condition, always seek medical advice.  See legal

TinyFlowerSandra Topper, Professional Aromatherapist & Aromachologist
www.bespokearomatics.com

 

 

On Peace

No one is spared from worry, grief and sadness, we must just learn to carry it in a way that propels us forward rather than in circles.

Finding the Magic Within

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Some days it feels as if the world is falling apart. The news is heartbreaking and worrisome. It feels as if we’re being pulled into a deep pit of fear and despair. ‘What can I do’, we ask. ‘I am only one person on this planet, one voice, how can I possibly make a difference?’

Like you, I have felt swept along with the tide of hopelessness, yet it isn’t in my nature to give up or to admit defeat. I have a strong core that bears me up and has me thinking about solutions, not allowing myself to become buried in the negative energies.

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Enter with caution and at your own risk!

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Visiting Bespoke Aromatics may cause severe hyperactive glee and in some persons a lowered level of respiration can occur resulting in severe relaxation.

Upon entering some folks have experienced difficulty when trying to articulate into words, the way in which their senses are being stimulated.

Sounds related to extreme joy have been witnessed, such as ooh and awe.

Some folks have become energized and have indicated that they have a profound desire to perform pirouettes, while others have literally been seen jumping up and down.

Some people simply stand in the middle of the shop and become catatonic.

Flared nostrils due to a heightened sense of smelling may also occur – if you are concerned about any these effects it is best to seek professional advice before entering our fragrant gallery.

Note:  Aromatherapy, like any other natural therapy, is intended to complement not replace traditional medicine.  When in doubt about any medical condition, always seek medical advice.  See legal

TinyFlowerVisit us – we’ll turn your nose on
#LiveLoveSmell

Frankincense: Let’s put this in perspective!

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At least once a day somebody asks us – do you have any ‪#‎Frankincense‬ Oil? Then they tell us how they read an article on the emojiinternet, or that a friend told them to place a few drops under their tongue or rub some on the roof of their mouth every day in order to treat or prevent cancer!  

Frankincense Essential Oil (EO) is obtained by distilling the resin (a sap like substance) that exudes from a tree known as Boswellia carterii which is primarily indigenous to India, Ethiopia, Kenya and Somalia.

The chemistry of the essential oil is mainly monoterpenes and sesquiterpenes, with small amounts of diterpenoid components occurring in the upper limit, in terms of molecular weight.

From a scent perspective the EO of Frankincense has a fresh balsamic peppery aroma, with a slightly dry green note, and is used in many citrus, floral and masculine type perfume formulations.

Some folks indicate that the aroma has been known to help reduce the symptoms of anxiety, nervous tension and stress-related conditions.  From inhalation perspective some folks indicate that it helps to lessen the symptoms associated with asthma, bronchitis, catarrh, coughs and laryngitis.

Frankincense EO is often used as an ingredient in natural skin care preparations and in aromatherapy concoctions as it is reputedly known to benefit blemishes, scars, wounds, dry and mature complexions and may help to prevent wrinkles.

In a laboratory setting when bacteria is grown in a petri dish Frankincense EO has proven to be quite effective as an anti-bacterial agent, and food chemists have investigated its properties to control various types of Listeria monocytogenes. However, Frankincense EO has yet to be proven as a substance to treat human pathogens.

From a synergistic perspective a blend (see below) of Frankincense EO would serve as an excellent adjunct to Massage Therapy, as Frankincense EO contains constituents that may help to improve circulation and reduce inflammation (due to the monoterpene levels specifically a-pinene & thujone – which is dependent upon the species of the Frankincense EO). Since there is reputed research pointing to the benefits of Massage Therapy the two modalities may have a positive affect on arthritic and muscular conditions.

Blend Recipe: 1.5 ml (30 drops) of Frankincense EO in 30 ml (1 oz) of a natural vegetable carrier oil, such as coconut oil.

Despite all the chatter on the internet by those who sell false-hope, distilled Frankincense EO does not contain any boswellic acid and therefore possesses no anti-inflammatory or anti-tumour properties.  Under no circumstance should Frankincense EO or any other EO be taken internally.  Frankincense EO is not an approved substance by Health Canada or by The FDA for oral use or for human consumption.

On the other hand, some research has pointed to the possibility that taking an approved oral form of boswellia extract may have some health benefits. Several years ago Health Canada implemented a program to licence products that have been found to be safe, effective and of high quality under their recommended conditions of use. You can identify licensed natural health products by looking for the eight-digit Natural Product Number (NPN) or Homeopathic Medicine Number (DIN-HM) on the label.

Robert Tisserand is a highly regarded expert in the field of Essential Oils, and so we would suggest that you check out the following links.

Frankincense Essential Oil & Cancer

Frankincense Essential Oil – Cancer in Perspective

If you are in the Cobourg Ontario area we carry more than 90 different essential oils including Organic Pure Indian Boswellia serrata, (Frankincense Essential Oil).

Note:  Aromatherapy, like any other natural therapy, is intended to complement not replace traditional medicine.  When in doubt about any medical condition, always seek medical advice.  See legal

TinyFlowerSandra Topper, Professional Aromatherapist & Aromachologist
www.bespokearomatics.com

 

What exactly is ‘AromaTherapy’ ?

Note:  Aromatherapy, like any other natural therapy, is intended to complement not replace traditional medicine.  When in doubt about any medical condition, always seek medical advice.   See legal

TinyFlowerVisit us – we’ll turn your nose on
#LiveLoveSmell

Sneaking a Taste

Pippa often participates in the preparation of a meal (more often the desert) and sometimes she sneaks a taste.

Here’s a little something for everyone’s taste buds; strawberries with waffles & maple syrup, red wine, chocolate chip ice-cream, espresso with lemon & grappa.

Pippa-Straw

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TinyFlower

Namaste

Internal Use of Essential Oils: NO !

IMG_1846Folks are always asking

Do you make all your own essential oils?
Where are your oils from?
Are you essential oils pure therapeutic grade?
Can I take them internally?

 

No we do not make essential oils, we buy essential oils from ethical suppliers who buy directly from farms and producers within the country of origin where the plants are grown, harvested and often distilled or extracted on site.

There is no governing or licensing body that certifies that a particular brand of essential oils are of a ‘Pure Therapeutic Grade’.  Please refer to one of my earlier posts.

Professional Aromatherapists in North America who adhere to professional standards (as stipulated by their college or member association) do not promote the use of essential oils for ingestion or for internal use.

The internet is full of chatter making reference to using essential oils internally and that certain essential oils will cure a disease (specifically cancer).  Please take the time to peruse the following links which may help you to debunk some of the myths and develop a better understanding of how to use essential oils safely.

Essential Oils on Clients with Cancer

Interview with Robert Tisserand about using essential oils safely

Frankincense Essential Oil & Chemotherapy

Are essential oils safe? University of Minnesota

Want to learn more? Sign up for one of my classes.

Note:  Aromatherapy, like any other natural therapy, is intended to complement not replace traditional medicine.  When in doubt about any medical condition, always seek medical advice.   See legal

TinyFlowerVisit us – we’ll turn your nose on
#LiveLoveSmell

 

Mister Golden Sun

Share a photograph inspired by a favorite poem, verse, story, or song lyric. Capture the beauty of morning or evening half-light in your corner of the globe.

Signs-of-Summer-5 - Version 2

Oh Mister Sun, sun, sun, Mister golden sun, please shine down on me.
Oh mister sun, sun, mister golden sun, hiding behind the trees.

These little children are asking you, to please come out so we can play with you.
Oh mister sun, sun, mister golden sun, please shine down on me.

By Raffi

TinyFlower

Namaste