Welcome to my blog!!! I have been an herbalist & an aromatherapist for over 20 years!! My blog is over 8 years old & there are over 100 informative blogs here. Everything from herbs to some personal blogs. Not only do I have hopes of teaching the masses, I too, have learned a lot during my research on different topics! There's always new & updated information in the herbal & essential oil worlds. There are blogs on herbs, essential oils, nutrition, supplements, different modalities of healing and just a little bit of everything!! Maybe in reading my blogs, just one person will come away with a bit of knowledge that they might be able to help themselves or another human being, I would consider that to be a great blessing.....

Over the years I have had several businesses. It seems I can't get away from seeing if a certain herb or essential oil can help a fellow human and that's usually how it starts. So now, I am in Arizona, I was asked again if I would be interested in starting another herbal biz!! So we now have Herbs 4 Health!! Numerous herbal blends....single essential oils...essential oil blends....supplements....tinctures all to help the body to heal itself.

The information in these blogs is not meant in any way shape or form to plagiarize, for I have never said this is all MY work. It is a compilation of reputable informative websites, my 'go to' books I have always depended upon & my own knowledge. I gather & put together information to help people learn & this way they can come back here to help remind themselves of said information instead of 'where oh where did I find that on the world wide web'. Seems to me it's just better & easier.

DISCLAIMER: This information does not diagnose, treat or heal any type illness or disease.

Wednesday, December 5, 2018

More Info on Tinctures...

Tinctures are liquid extracts made from herbs that you take by mouth. They are usually extracted in alcohol, but they can also be extracted in vegetable glycerine or apple cider vinegar (non-alcohol). Tinctures are easy & convenient to use. Because they are taken directly under the tongue, thy enter the bloodstream very quickly and the action in the body is much quicker. Nutritive tinctures may take several weeks of continual use before best results are seen. For some herbs, such as roots, barks, berries and non-aromatic seeds, it takes a powerful liquid such as alcohol to extract the medicinal properties from the herb. Extracting with a less powerful liquid will only result in a less-effective product, really, a waste of your time and money. For those who prefer a non-alcohol product and there's not one available, you can put the drops of the tincture into a small amount of hot water (the amount is not important), and this will dissipate the alcohol content, leaving only the beneficial herb matter behind.

Tea vs. Tincture?

Teas and tinctures are made from the same combination of herbs. It's just a different way of taking them. Some people enjoy teas and the relaxing aspects of taking a time-out to drink a cup of tea. Tinctures are also very convenient, as nothing needs to be brewed. You simply take the drops of tincture and you're done. You can easily carry a bottle of tincture with you and it is available to you at all times. It comes down to personal preference. Two droppersful of tincture equals one 8 oz. cup of tea.

How much tincture is a dropperful?

Tinctures are usually taken by the dropperful (also known as a squeeze). A dropperful is the amount of liquid that fills the glass tube of the dropper when the bulb on the dropper top is squeezed and released. The liquid may fill the glass tube only a small portion of the way, but that is considered a "dropperful". A dropperful equals approximately 30 drops.

To take a tincture, it is best to take the drops directly under the tongue. The gets the herb directly into the bloodstream. If necessary, it is fine to dilute the tincture in a small amount of water or juice. It may be flavored with lemon or honey to disguise the taste. You may also put the tincture into a cup of water or hot water for an instant cup of herbal tea. Heat your water first, before adding the herbs. Heating the herbs in a microwave may kill or weaken their healthful benefits. Taking the tincture directly under the tongue and avoiding any liquids or foods for at least 15 minutes afterwards provides the best results.

Usually 20-60 drops 3x/day is the universal recommended dosage.

Wednesday, November 7, 2018

Amazing Benefits of Ginger!!

Ginger (Zingiber officinale) is surprisingly the most widely used dietary condiment in the world today. It's actually part of the plant family that includes turmeric & cardamom, which may explain why the health benefits of ginger are so extraordinary.

The Chinese and Indians have used ginger tonics to treat ailments for over 4,700 years and it was a priceless commodity during the roman Empire trade around the coming of Christ because of its medicinal properties.

So, what makes ginger so good for us? In one word: Gingerol.

Of the 115 different chemical components found in ginger root, the therapeutic benefits come from gingerols, the oily resin from the root that is a highly potent antioxidant and anti-inflammatory agent. These bioactive ingredients, especially gingerol, have been thoroughly evaluated clinically, and the research backs up why you should use ginger on a regular basis.

The health benefits from ginger are numerous and include nausea relief, digestive support, can help heal ulcers, boosts immunity, improves diabetes, anti-fungal, reduces pain, fights cancer, helps with weight loss, effective on both tension & sinus headaches as well. It is also a powerful anti-inflammatory and can help relieve pain & stiffness of arthritis and more.

Studies have also shown that ginger extract may be an even more effective anti-cancer agent than chemotherapy drugs, killing cancerous cells while leaving healthy ones untouched. It's anti-inflammatory properties might also help prevent the progression of precancerous cells to cancer. This incredible super food/herb is 13th on the anti-oxidant list boasting an impressive ORAC score of 28,811. Ginger is composed of several volatile oils that give it it's characteristic flavor and odor: zingerone, shogaols & gingerols. These oils are powerful anti-bacterial, anti-viral, anti-fungal & anti-parasitic agents. In addition, it inhibits cancer cell formation while firing up our body's own inborn ability to destroy the cancer cells which are already present.

Ginger is also very high in potassium which aids in electrical energy production & detoxification. It is a great source of manganese which protects the lining of the heart, blood vessels and urinary tract. Ginger contains silicon which enhances skin, hair, teeth & nails. It helps assimilate calcium and reduces inflammation in the bone tissue aiding the development of strong bones and teeth.

Ginger is classified as a carminative (reducing intestinal gas)_ and an intestinal spasmolytic (soothes intestinal tract). Ginger is known to reduce fever related nausea, motion sickness and feelings of "morning sickness". Additionally, it helps aid in the production of bile, making it particularly helpful in digesting fats.

You can use it in any of it's numerous forms...raw, essential oil or powder...they all work great!!

It's an important ingredient in our Nerve/Pain Oil & in the Allergy Relief Tea!!

Tuesday, October 2, 2018


This plant/tree/food/herb has been calling to me for quite a long time now. So while I wait on my berries to make a tincture, here's an informational blog on the amazing healing abilities of this berry!!!!

Elderberries are one of the most commonly used medicinal plants around today. They were used during the ancient Egyptians, ancient Greeks & even by the Native Americans! It's still gathered and used in folk medicine across many areas of Europe today. It has the reputation of being one of the top antiviral herb or food on the planet.

Most of us are familiar with it's Latin name -- Sambucus. The most common type is Sambucus nigra or black elder or European elderberry. This tree grows up to 30 ft. and has clusters of small white or cream colored flowers known as elder flowers.  The berries are found in small black or blue-black bunches. They are quite tart & need to be cooked to be eaten. The bark, flowers & leaves all have beneficial properties as well, but it's the berries that have become most popular!!

The berries are loaded with antioxidants, they are high in Vit. C, Vit. A & Vit. B6. Also high in dietary fiber, iron & potassium. They are a powerhouse for good health!!

These powerful berries have been used throughout time to treat infections, sciatica, headaches, dental pain, heart health, nerve pain, upper respiratory issues, sinus infections, colds, flu, inflammation, eases allergies, constipation, chronic fatigue & hay fever. They enhance liver function, are a natural diuretic, improves skin structure & have been known to fight cancer. Now that's a lot of healing!!!!

In several studies, the groups that took elderberry experienced less symptoms & sickness with colds & flu, etc. They also recovered quicker than the groups that didn't take the elderberry.

The berries contain a compound called anthocyanidins -- which gives the berries their dark color. These compounds are known to have immunostimulant effects on the body.

Research  has confirmed that the flower & berry extracts stimulate glucose metabolism & the secretion of insulin, lowering blood sugar levels.

There are so many ways to consume these powerful berries too: teas, wine, juice, jams/jellies, syrup, oxymel, tincture, spray, lozenges, pills, powder & capsules. With liquid being the quickest option of getting it into the body to do it's work!!

Caution: If you consume the raw berry, it could cause diarrhea  or vomiting. Not to be taken by people with organ transplants or autoimmune disease or if you are breast feeding. Use no longer than 5 days at a time. Follow recommended dosages on products.

Wednesday, August 29, 2018

In My Humble Opinion.....

This is something I been thinking about for a while now. Granted, I don't have degrees in many different things in the medical field, not that I would trust them anyway. I don't trust big pharma or the medical field. I have heard too many stories of people being used as guinea pigs. So why is it ok for the drs. to keep giving scripts, shots, tests in hopes of finding something that works??? In the meantime, the "patient's" body can have adverse reactions to said meds/scripts/drugs/tests. The scripts don't cure, they mask symptoms, not to mention the side effects!!! Then they have the audacity to come down on the natural healers where most of us know what we are doing and there is usually an herb or essential oil to fix the illness. Now granted there IS a place for drs....trauma, broken bones, heart attacks, strokes, etc.

We find people running to doctors for the simplest things. If you believe in the natural health, then why not use such products daily to help keep you healthy, instead of waiting until it really gets bad, then go to the ER or your Dr.?? I don't know, I am confused with all that!! I read & see it so much now. You wake up one morning & feel like crap...runny nose, sore throat, body aches, etc. Start taking your herbs, essential oil stuff immediately!!! People need to pay attention to their environment, foods, restaurants, etc. Stress is a big factor in causing illness in the body...an imbalance.  I have already heard & seen  many people that are already sick and it isn't even fall yet. If people don't start getting a hold on this stuff and paying attention and building up your immune systems, all hell is gonna break loose during this cold/flu season....it was bad last year, this year could be worse!!! I don't mean to spread fear, etc. but these are facts.

I live in an area where the fall/winter is THE busy tourist season and when these people come flooding in, they bring their germs from their area. Lots of hugging, I've missed you and that kind of stuff going on which spreads it even further. As we age our immune system can & does get compromised. If it's not strong enough to fight it, then you will get sick. When I am out & about, especially to a store like walmart for example and after I put everything away, I wash my hands with tea tree soap before I even consider putting food in my mouth!!! Either my tea tree soap for my hands or my hand sanitizer which I always have with me.

I base a lot of products in my business to help build the immune system and keep it healthy. Of course good eating habits are first and foremost, in my humble opinion. Lot of citrus, fruits, veggies and even proteins!!! But when you start feeling icky, run down, fatigued, etc. you should start right away doing something about it. I make a great product called Oil of Oregano and it's an edible essential oil blend that jump starts that immune system and helps the body fight the illness. Of course the krud kicker is infamous out here as it helps with this krud that goes around every season because of the influx of people. The Herbmama's Detox Blend gently detoxes the body and helps to build the immune system slow and deliberate. The Astragalus Tincture build the immune system over time and protects organs and can even help with the big "C"!! The thing with these is you can use/take them as often as you wish, every hour if need be!! It just continues to help the body fight. People have just used them once & expect it to magically work, well they DO work, just not that fast and with that small of an amount. You have to take enough so it gives your body something to fight with!!! Get it??!!!

I'm not just writing this to promote the biz, I'm trying to let people know, make you aware of what's coming. If it's all starting now, in August, what could be down the road for the normal, regular cold/flu season??? We, as a people, need to wake up and realize how much worse it can get. I've already seen reports, etc. where the infamous flu shot causes more harm than good...imagine!!!

This blog is strictly my opinion, but I have studied for over 20 yrs reading, researching, etc. even tho I have no degrees, I have smarts, I know what I know. Just trying to spread the word and get it out there!!! Be blessed with good health!!

Wednesday, August 22, 2018

Celtic vs Himalayan Sea Salts

Many believe Himalayan salt is the purest on Mother Earth. "It's history dates back to creation, it's believed to be composed of dried remanents  of the original primal sea." AKA pink gold, it's a beautiful pinkish color & contains all 84 of the minerals & elements found in the human body. Drs. of 'functional medicine' report that consuming it regularly can be beneficial to the following:

  • Regulate the water content throughout your body
  • Promote healthy pH balance in your cells (particularly your brain cells)
  • Promote blood sugar health and can help reduce the signs of aging
  • Assist in the generation of hydroelectric energy in cells in your body
  • Absorb food particles through your intestinal tract
  • Support respiratory health
  • Promote sinus health
  • Prevent muscle cramps
  • Promote bone strength
  • Regulate your sleep
  • Support your libido
  • Promote vascular health
  • Regulate your blood pressure with sufficient water and potassium intake

  • Celtic sea salt is comparable to the health benefits of the 'pink gold' salt & is another ancient commodity! It's a grayish hue & is naturally harvested in Brittany, France near the Celtic Sea. It uses a 2,000 year old celtic method which is crucial to preserving it's life-giving nutritional value. It's interesting to note this salt retains it's moisture content & is moist to the touch no matter how its stored! The actual name....Celtic Sea Salt is apparently a registered trademark, just FYI. It is also highly beneficial for:

    1. Alkalize the body
    2. Balance blood sugars
    3. Eliminate mucus buildup
    4. Build immunity
    5. Improve brain function
    6. Increase energy
    7. Provide electrolyte balance
    8. Promote restful sleep
    9. Prevent muscle cramps
    10. Regulate heartbeat and blood pressure
    So see, they both have amazing health properties in them!!! I have to admit, I haven't tried the celtic one, but I have been using the pink gold one for years!!!!

    Thank you Dr. Axe for all your hard work and this information!!!

    Salt....It's Benefits & More!!!

    There's been much talk about Himalayan or pink salt as it's also coined. It should be used daily and contains 84....84 trace minerals!! The high quality sea salt contains only 60 & that's IF it's a good sea salt. As of late the sea salt is getting processed the same as the table salt we all recognize -- adding worthless harmful ingredients, process out all the goodness, which leaves it one big toxic seasoning!!

    Sodium works in the body in the following way....water follows salt, meaning if you increase sodium intake too much, water retention occurs as well. But at the same time a loss in sodium can result in possible dehydration & extreme thirst. By consuming a good sea salt daily, it helps your body to balance your sodium-potassium ratio. These are 2 electrolytes that work together to ensure a proper fluid balance, including cell walls, blood plasma, extra cellular fluids & transmission of electrical signals throughout the body. It's also good to remember it helps to regulate blood volume and thus blood pressure.

    Since these salts are minimally processed, they are able to retain much of their natural mineral content. They contain so many electrolytes that help regulate your heart beat to allowing muscles to contract so you can move. It's essential for proper brain, muscle & nervous system functions. So too much isn't good as is too little. Talk about a delicate balance!!

    Too little salt can also have an impact on digestive health as well. Not enough can lead to insufficient amounts of hydrochloric acid (HCL), so if you have low stomach acid, it can seriously throw off your digestive system. It contains chloride & that is the building blocks of stomach acid. Having enough stomach acid also helps our bodies to absorb vitamins, minerals & B12.

    Sea salt is produced by the evaporation of sea water, either by open-air solar process or a quicker vacuum evaporation process. When you consume the sea salt(s) that are unrefined -- that's the salt that contains more of it's natural health properties. Also be sure it does not say "sodium chloride" as it's main ingredient, this means it just as refined as the processed table salt.

    As a result of 2 controlled group studies, results were found that the Himalayan salt is highly effective in helping to stabilize pH & oxidative stress in the body.

    Limit your sodium consumption, weather it be the 'pink' salt or not, to 2300 mg/day or 1500 mg/day if you suffer from high blood pressure. According to recommendations from these reputable websites.

    draxe.com, livestrong.com & himalayancrystalsalt.com

    Wednesday, June 13, 2018

    Nervines and More!!

    There are basically 2 types of nerviness...relaxing & stimulating. Most times, in today's society many of us want the relaxing kind and these are the types I will focus on in this blog.

    Relaxing nervines relax & benefit the nervous system! Plain & simple! They are calming. Then there are the ones that are stronger and have more of a sedative effect on the nervous system. There are also the ones that have an analgesic effect...reduces pain, also called anodynes. We will attempt to sort through all the ones that are available and what kind of effects they might have on the human body!!

    So first off, we have the analgesics: chamomile, hops, jamaician dogwood, pasque flower & wild lettuce.

    The tonics include: chamomile & skullcap.

    In past articles I have mentioned & explained what a tonic is, so keep that in mind!

    Then we have the ones that are strictly nervines: passion flower, wild lettuce, pasque flower, hops, skullcap & chamomile.

    Now the sedative list is bigger, remember, these are stronger: passion flower, hops, skullcap, chamomile, pasque flower, wild lettuce, valerian and California poppy.

    So do you see a pattern here??? One herb can fall into more than one category and when you are trying to decide on a blend, it's a good idea to know what herb will do what!!!!

    It can be confusing for the newbie or even for us that have been doing it for ages.....

    Tuesday, June 5, 2018

    The Amazing Cucumber!!!

    Superfoods are natural foods that have an array of nutrients that synergistically work to together to exponentially expand the individual nutritional components. Many raw, organic vegetables fall into this category. One of the world's favorite superfoods are cucumbers.

    Cucumbers are the 4th most cultivated vegetable in the world. They are in the same botanical family as melons & squashes. They are considered one of the abolute best foods for the health of the skin, joints, liver & kidneys. Cucumbers are also a natural energy tonic with their rich array of phytonutrients and electrolytes.
    Cucumbers are loaded with the mineral silica, which is an essential component for healthy connective tissue (muscles, ligaments, cartilage, bone, & skin). It is also full of ionic potassium, magnesium, and vitamin C which give it a powerful alkalizing effect within the body. Additionally, cucumbers are particularly rich in fluids that hydrate the skin, joints, and tissues.
    More recently scientists have begun studying the unique lignans found in cucumbers. These lignans include lariciresinol, pinoresinol, and secoisolariciresinol. New research is linking these lignans with reduced risk of cardiovascular disease as well as breast, uterine, ovarian, and prostate cancer.
    Cucumbers also contain the triterpene phytonutrients cucurbitacins A, B, C, D, and E. These phytonutrients have been the major focus of some extensive research looking deeply into their abilities to inhibit cancer cell signaling pathways.

    Fresh cucumbers have been shown to improve anti-oxidant levels within the body and inhibit pro-inflammatory substances such as COX-2 and nitric oxide. The combination of alkalizing elements, electrolytes, and fluids make it one of the world's best foods for enhancing energy levels. Cucumbers are also great for stabilizing blood pressure and stimulating the body's natural detoxification process.

    Cucumbers make for beautiful skin

    Cucumbers are often used topically to enhance skin function. The natural ascorbic acid and caffeic acid within the cucumber act to prevent water retention in the skin. This reduces swelling under the eyes and helps the skin heal from sunburn, inflammation, and eczema.
    Cucumbers are also very effective when eaten and applied topically for removing unwanted cellulite. They act to draw out excess fluids and tighten collagen which has the effect of a natural cellulite reduction. Simply eat some cucumber, juice it, and/or place the cucumber on the regions of water retention.

    Cucumbers are typically highly sprayed with pesticides so it is necessary to get organic varieties. If conventional is the only option it is best to scrape off the green skin rather than washing. Many of the chemicals are waxy and do not come off easy with washing.

    Try dicing up cucumbers, adding some apple cider vinegar, oregano & pink salt. This makes a quick, electrolyte and enzyme-rich snack to boost energy levels.


    Wednesday, May 23, 2018

    UVA URSI for UTI's!!!

    Uva ursi or bearberry is an antibacterial, astringent & a diuretic. It contains a considerable amount of tannins, roughly about 40%, making it one of natures most powerful astringents available.

    The definition of an astringent is: a substance able to contract or constrict cell walls & bodily tissues.

    This powerful herb is a specialist in infections and inflammation of the urinary tract. It contains an assortment of chemical compounds, especially arbutin...which is an active component against many of the pathogens commonly found in UTI's! Uva ursi is more effective when the urine is alkaline, so do not take it with cranberry juice which makes the urine acidic and the 2 could counteract each other.

    Uva ursi should be reserved when quick intervention is needed. It should not be taken for extended periods and not for those with kidney disease. It has been known to reverse urinary tract infections as it increases renal circulation and stimulates tubular function.

    The substance arbutin is converted in the urine to hydroquinone, a urinary antiseptic. It literally flushes out the kidneys. If you use it regularly, you will need to replenish your potassium, which can be lost when you lose fluid. So a dandelion tincture would be a great benefit to that. The hydroquinone which is derived from the arbutin and methykrbutm are powerful anti-bacterial agents and are thought to be responsible for it's ability to treat UTI's.

    A week's (7 days) use of Uva ursi should be more than enough time to knock out the menacing infection. After symptoms have subsided, switch to blueberries & cranberries (and not the sugary stuff)!!

    It traditionally was used for the treatment of bladder & kidney infections and kidney stones. It was also recommended for treatment of bronchitis. Arbutin is also known to have antimicrobial activity against E. coli.

    Tuesday, May 22, 2018


    Adaptogens -- What are they and how do they work???

    More and more people say that adaptogenic herbs help with stress....but there is so much more to them that that simple statement. Adaptogens actually help the entire body. These specialiazed herbs seem to know what to do to which parts of the body to help it heal.

    So here is the low down on how exactly they think they work. Researchers aren't completely clear on how they do their job and how they help us cope with stress. When we are stressed, the hypothalamus gland releases a chemical which triggers anxiety. This chemical travels to the pituitary gland which then releases it's own hormone into the bloodstream, promoting a surge of cortisol -- which is THE stress hormone.

    Constantly releasing those 2 chemicals/hormones takes a toll on the body and makes us feel chronically stressed and leads to 'burn out'. Therefore to lower the stress and fight fatigue, we must reduce the amounts of those 2 hormones and that is where adaptogens come in to play. They act like a thermostat, normalizing body imbalances and they inhibit the release of those 2 hormones and cortisol to help calm us down, but boosts our energy at the same time. Over time, stress can have adverse affects on our health, as we all know. But theses herbs help us to cope with the physicial and emotional stress while giving us a subtle boost in mental clarity and physical endurance.

    They are also used to improve the overall health system of the adrenals. The adrenals are in charge of managing our bodies' hormonal response to stress. But they can also fight fatigue, anxiety and help the body utilize oxygen more efficiently.

    It's really all about balance and those adaptogens help us to keep things in balance & help to restore said balance. That's quite a bit for one herb to do, wouldn't you say??

    There are many adaptogens around, but we will only go into a few....

    *Asian Ginseng or Panax Ginseng -- has been shown to support physical eundurance and mental clarity. It contains antioxidant properties to help strengthen our immune system.

    *Holy Basil -- known in India as the 'elixir or anti-aging herb'. It can help us to relax and enhance the body's natural response to stress.

    *Ashwagandha -- tis a timeless herb in Ayurvedic medicine. It can help increase energy, endurance & longevity.

    *Astragalus -- it strengthens the body's immune system and our internal organs over time. Cancer fighter. www.herbs-4-health.com carries this in tincture form!

    *Licorice Root -- supports & protects the adrenals. Regulates hormone production.

    *Rhodiola rosea -- acts like a thermostat for our hormones, particularly cortisol. It can raise or lower the cortisol in our bodies as needed which is critical for homeostasis.

    Thursday, May 10, 2018

    Herbs Can BE Antibiotics....

    Antibiotics were originally developed from naturally occurring sources. Plants have antibiotic substances serving a beneficial roll around their root systems. Bacteriophages are viruses that infect bacteria...(everything has something that wants to eat it). Many common foods & herbs...and some not so common...act as antibiotics such as honey, garlic, onions, licorice root, ginger, sage & many others.

    MedicineNet.com defines an antibiotic as: 'A drug used to treat infections caused by bacteria and other microorganisms. Originally an antibiotic was a substance produced by one microorganism that selectively inhibits the grown of another. Synthetic antibiotics usually chemically related to natural antibiotics, have since been produced that accomplish comparable tasks'.

    Antibiotic resistance is a genetic trait, like brown hair or green eyes, but unlike these traits, antibiotic resistance transfers very quickly between one bacteria and another. Scientists are still trying to figure out how bacteria communicate with each other at extremely rapid rates.

    Herbal antibiotics are different from pharmaceutical antibiotics. Many pharmaceutical antibiotics are isolated chemical constituents. They are one compound/one chemical -- penicillin is penicillin, tetracycline is tetracycline and so on. This makes it easier for bacteria to adapt & counteract. Herbs are much more complicated, for instance garlic has over 33 sulfur compounds, 17 amino acids and a dozen other compounds. Yarrow over 120 identified compounds. With plants, the whole appears to be more than the sum of its parts. Because of this, the different compounds work together, often to produce better than expected results.

    Drug based antibiotics really should only be used for life threatening situations, or as a last resort...in my humble opinion. Even a short course of antibiotics can lead to resistant bacterial populations taking up residence in the gut that persist for up to 4 yrs. -- maybe even longer. Gut flora does not quickly return to normal after a round of antibiotics. So again, something to consider since over 75% of one's immune system is in your gut!

    Some of the top antibiotic herbs I have found are: garlic, ginger, goldenseal, echinacea, clove, cinnamon, oregano, usnea, uva ursi & grapefruit seed extract. I am sure there are more, but in the different sources I checked out, these were the ones they all seem to agree upon.

    Non herbal antibiotics can include colloidal silver & manuka honey.

    Just remember too, you shouldn't take the antibiotic herbs indefinitely, the usual time is 7 days on, 2 days off. As with many herbs you don't have to wait 2-4 hours to do your next dose....

    Wednesday, May 9, 2018

    The Quality of Essential Oils

    The quality and authenticity of the essential oils we utilize are the very heart and foundation of aromatherapy. This article was written as not so much a definitive answer to discerning quality, but rather to raise some valuable points of reference. The questions "how do I know where to buy high quality essential oils?" or "where do I find high quality therapeutic grade essential oils?". This difficulty arises mostly from the clever marketing that happens in the essential oil market and the fact that not a company out there claims to sell low quality or adulterated essential oils, after all, how could they do so and still have sales??

    Therapeutic grade: for some you need to keep an open and willing mind. I understand completely how contentious the issue of quality is. The term therapeutic grade didn't even arise until the 90's and did not exist prior to that time. It was invented by some very clever marketers who wanted people to believe that there were somehow therapeutic grade essential oils and then all others. The main companies marketing this concept also wanted individuals to believe that they and they alone somehow had the only therapeutic grade e.o.'s on the market...(as if the market had somehow not existed until they existed).

    After the concept of 'therapeutic grade' entered the market other companies quickly joined in, saying that they too offered "therapeutic grade'. Today, just about every company selling essential oils states that their e.o.'s are of 'therapeutic grade'. With the concept of 'therapeutic grade', also known as grade A, came other grades such as grade B, C and so on. The point here is that some clever marketers were absolutely successful in their aspirations to get the word 'therapeutic grade' into the mainstream of the aromatherapy industry. In doing a search and NOPE, not one company out there claiming to sell grade B, C or D essential oils and not a one selling non-therapeutic grade. Very suspicious wouldn't you say?

    The truth is, there is no such thing as 'therapeutic grade' or grade B, C or D in a sense that some organization or higher power has bestowed on an essential oil line. A grading system simply does not exist for e.o.'s. It is a product of marketing and marketing alone. Unfortunately many aromatherapists have become unwitting victims of a marketing ploy by essential oil traders that advertise 'approved' essential oils of 'therapeutic grade'. Let us be quite clear on this -- there is no such thing as a 'therapeutic grade' essential oil and no quality standards for the authentication of e.o.'s specifically exist in aromatherapy.

    I think most of us, professionals & home users alike are just seeking genuine and authentic, plant derived, preferably organic or wild crafted, unadulterated essential oils. Finding them and knowing what to look for is a challenge, particularly given the power of marketing. So what do these terms mean: according to the Oxford English Dictionary....Genuine: 1. truly what it is said to be; authentic. 2. sincere; honest. Authentic: of undisputed origin; genuine. So a genuine e.o. means it is completely unaltered and an authentic e.o. means it is from a specified plant only. Which brings us to plant derived: essential oils used in aromatherapy should all be extracted from a specified plant species.

    So this naturally leads into unadulterated: no additives, no extenders, no price reducing ingredients, no nothing except what was there after distillation or expression. The main concerns with adulterated essential oils include the potential interference with components of the natural oil and this may affect synergy and the expected physiological and psychophysiological activities of the oils and 2. toxicity implications of the adulterants. Hence adulterated e.o.'s can reduce the therapeutic benefits of treatment, increase the likelihood of adverse reactions and potentially introduce toxic compounds into the body. So now that we basically know what we are looking for, let's list the qualities to look for in a supplier:

    I want a supplier:
    * who is dedicated to supplying essential oils to the aromatherapy practitioner market and educated public
    * that is on the small size and not a large corporation
    * owned by an aromatherapy practitioner or essential oil specialist
    * who has relations with his/her distillers, if possible
    * who can readily supply a batch-specific MS/GC spec report on each e.o. it sells
    * readily able to provide a MSDS as needed
    * who has a strong unquestioned noncontroversial reputation in the field
    * who has preferably been in the field for a number of years and is well known to other aromatherapy practitioners and/or educators

    If you have found a supplier that fulfills the above criteria or at least the vast majority, then one can at least begin with the idea that the e.o. you have purchased is of higher quality than those sold at grocery stores or in the mass market or by a large corporation.

    You also want included on each essential oil you purchase: common name, latin name (exact genus & species), country of origin, part of plant processed, type of extraction (distillation or expression), how it was grown (organic, wild-crafted, traditional).

    FYI this article has been edited for purposes of educating the public. It was originally written for NAHA.ORG. by Jade Shutes. She is the author of "Aromatherapy For Bodyworkers". She is the owner & director of education for the East-West School for Herbal & Aromatic Studies, among other titles & works she has accomplished

    Tuesday, May 8, 2018

    Do you know about MCTs???

     “MCTs” are medium-chain triglycerides, a form of saturated fatty acid that has numerous health benefits, ranging from improved cognitive function to better weight management. Coconut oil is one great source of MCTs — roughly 62 percent to 65 percent of the fatty acids in coconut oil are MCTs — but recently more concentrated “MCT oil” has also been growing in popularity.
    MCTs, also called “MCFAs” for medium-chain fatty acids, are believed to be largely missing from the diets of people eating “standard Western” diets, most likely because the public has been led to believe that all forms of saturated fats are potentially harmful. However, recent research has shown a lot of evidence about the real truth regarding saturated fats.

    We now know that ideally MCT oils like coconut oil should actually be consumed every day. Certain saturated fats, especially MCTs and other healthy fats found in things like coconut oil or grass-fed beef, are in fact easier to digest than long-chain triglycerides (LCTs) and might even have more benefits related to heart health, obesity prevention and brain health, too.
    In fact, traditional populations living in tropical areas have been consuming saturated fats, including sources of MCTs like coconuts, for thousands of years without any ill effects — so consider the idea that a low-fat diet is “healthy” to be one of the biggest nutrition lies there ever was!
    Aside from coconut oil, smaller amounts of MCTs can also be found in certain other foods with saturated fats, including butter (especially butter from grass-fed cows), cheeses, whole milk, palm oil & full-fat yogurt.

    FYI: Palm oil is a controversial source of MCTs, not because it’s bad for your body, but because there are major issues involved in the process of procuring this oil. These include deforestation, loss of wildlife diversity and unethical treatment of workers.

    What Makes MCT Oils So Special?

    MCTs get their name because of the length of their chemical structure. All types of fatty acids are made up of strings of connected carbon and hydrogen. Fats are categorized by how many carbons they have: short-chain fats (like butyric acid) have fewer than six carbons, medium-chain fats have between six to 12 carbons and long-chain fats (like omega-3s) have between 13–21.
    What makes MCTs a top source of essential healthy fats? Medium-chain fats are digested easily and sent directly to your liver, where they have a thermogenic effect and the ability to positively alter your metabolism. This is one reason why many people claim that MCTs, including coconut oil, are burned by the body for energy, or “fuel,” instead of being stored as fat.
    Compared to longer-chain fats, MCTs are absorbed more easily since there’s less work for the body to do breaking apart carbon bonds. MCTs are smaller, so they can permeate our cell membranes more easily and don’t require that we use special enzymes in order for our bodies to utilize them.
    MCTs and saturated fats are good for you in other ways, too: They reduce the risks of low-fat diets, and they’re supportive of your gut environment, especially since they have the capability to combat harmful bacteria, viruses, fungi and parasites. Additionally, MCTs contain antioxidant properties, which is why coconut oil has far-reaching inflammatory benefits that have led it to be used to treat dozens of health problems in folk medicine for centuries.

    Medium-chain fatty acids can be beneficial for:
    • Maintain a healthy weight — since they make you feel full
    • Specifically reduce stored body fat — since they also raise your metabolic function
    • Have more energy
    • Think more clearly
    • Experience better digestion
    • Balance hormone levels
    • Improve your mood
    • Fight bacterial infection and viruses
    • Absorb fat-soluble nutrients from various foods

    Monday, May 7, 2018


    I don't normally do personal posts, but as of late this topic has been buggin me and eating at me which tells me I should write this, so here goes.

    I have had many major issues with my back pretty much since my early 20's. Come to find out, according to x-rays from chiropractors there's an extra vertebrae in my hip area. If that bone would move to the left, right or even towards the back, I could be half way functional, but had to have an adjustment. But if it moved towards my tummy it was horrible...I could barely function. This, among several falls, took it's toll on my lower back & hips. Along with this situation I have no arches in my feet and a big bad bunion on my left foot to the point where it is now looking kinda deformed. All this made it very difficult to stand for any length of time, shoe buying, bending and normal day to day functioning.

    As time wore on & years passed that extra vertebrae moved towards my tummy less & less often. My chiropractor in Oklahoma wanted to do another set of x-rays after I fell on my tailbone just to see if there was any damage to that. What we saw was the 2 vertebrae (the extra one & the one it apparently had attached itself too) were almost totally fused now and so I was informed that extra vertebrae should hardly ever go out again. This was about 5 yrs ago. During these years I would have more and more issues bending, stooping things like that, so we thought it was maybe bursitis, etc. So I started doing things for that, adding certain things to my diet, doing some yoga, stretching, etc.

    In the meantime the numbing, pain, the soreness in the hip, etc. continued to worsen down my left leg. So I just decided I would have to learn to live with it. In visiting AZ, one evening I decided I would wash my hair in the kitchen sink instead of the shower, I bent over to do so and wham...there went my back!!! OMG it was worse than ever, liked to drop me to my knees!!!! I grabbed my cane and one wasn't enough OMG I had to have 2 canes. Luckily I went to work the following day and it so happened I worked for a chiropractor. This bout was THE worse ever. To be honest, I couldn't even do all my doins in the bathroom and the t.p. was only an arms reach away. Somehow the following morning I got dressed, got in my truck with my 2 canes, went to work and was hoping & praying the chiropractor could 'fix' me. Well his take on it was "it's going to be like ripping a small Band-Aid off a large wound", I told him he had to adjust me or I couldn't start to heal. Well he did and I was in tears, and literally wanted to just die, it was that bad!!! It took weeks this time, not days to where I was kinda back to normal. But this time it really took it's toll on my hips, especially my left hip. I was done thinking bursitis.

    In the healing process and beyond I started researching the area, the symptoms, the pain to see what I could find out. I couldn't climb, no stairs (which was difficult cuz I lived in a camper!), couldn't put my socks on cuz you put your foot up on your other leg, right? Definitely no stooping, bending, very little standing and the walking was getting less. And walking was the only type of exercise I had left if I wanted to get any, which I had to do, cuz sitting just wasn't an option anymore for me. In the meantime, I had a small biz, worked part time and was gaining a small rep here in this little desert town. But in the back of my mind I wondered if I was going to be able to even walk within the next year or so what with my hip and all. At night was bad, that deep dull constant ache, so I pretty much had to turn over when it woke me up, usually on a regular basis. Now I am thinking in the back of my mind...I am an herbalist & considered a healer in some circles, I guess...what the hell kind of herbalist am I that I can't seem to fix this issue.

    I can not count the amount of people that kept telling me hip replacement!!! Well in the 1st place I didn't trust doctors, I had no insurance and I damn sure wasn't going to put myself through all their crap. I figured I was going through enough trying to get thru every day and night. Pretty bad when I was even having trouble taking care of my own feet and couldn't hardly wash my feet in the shower, so on I trudged!! More research, more reading, more learning. I finally happened upon it that it was the tendons/ligaments in my right hip NOT the joint. On the outside of one's hip. Everybody has them!

    So the more products I made, the more I tried to see if they could help. I started on a low to no carb eating plan! Proteins, veggies, etc. Carbs cause inflammation and it was inflammation that was my hip's enemy. I used my Nerve/Pain Oil, tried my Astragalus Tincture, cell salts...then went on to CBD oil as it was gifted to me. It seemed I would progress 5 steps, then go back 15-20...it was very frustrating!!

    One day while browsing on facebook LOL, hubby mentioned an herbal group. As I scrolled down reading posts, one caught my eye about 'Herbs for Back & Joint Pain'. There I went, and as I was clicking on links, etc. to get more info...we all have done it!!....I thought I might have found what I had been looking for all this time & what I thought I needed, cuz at this point I was pretty much willing to try most anything viable. I wanted to be able to walk next year for cryin out loud!!! So I ordered this little known herb to me...Solomon's Seal. Yep just like in the bible, that Solomon!!!

    I have been on this nightly now for about 6 wks. When I first got it, I did 2 cups of tea daily. I didn't want to wait until a tincture was done...6 wks or so, so I figured let's do the tea!!! Never in my life did I actually think it would be as good for my issues as it is!!!! OMG the results are friggin amazing!!! My chiropractor explained to me that the tendons/ligaments have to be lubricated and if they are dry & brittle they can cause great pain. Well apparently this was the case!!! So I drink this little herb in a tea every night....my sleep is better, I can walk further, be on my feet more, sit better & longer. Just numerous differences that I can't even begin to tell you about!!! Will I stay on it?? I am pretty sure I will.....at least until I know I don't need it anymore!!!

    So yes THIS herb has saved my hip...IMHO...it's an herb that has helped this herbalist to be able to function a bit better on a daily basis and I am ever so thankful that I may be able to walk next year and THAT is truly amazing!!!

    Tuesday, April 24, 2018

    Ylang Ylang!

    Have you ever heard of Ylang Ylang essential oil?? It is so sweet & floral, I just love it!!! Now it is considered in some circles to be the "Queen of the Essential Oils". It's latin name is Cananga odorata. It is a very potent healer, sedative & some of the research that has come out on it is very impressive!!

    This evergreen produces highly fragrant blossoms. It's native in Asia, Philippines , Malaysia, Indonesia the on the islands in the Indian Ocean.

    It is steam distilled but yet very similar to pressing the olives for olive oil. This essential oil is usually sold via it's different grades: Extra, 1, 2, 3 & Complete. Yes 5 different grades!! Each successive collection of this oil produces varying grades containing a wide array of chemical constituents. This is considered an anomaly.

    --Extra Grade -- regarded by many as the finest grade containing over 30 different chemical constituents. It's the 1st collection after 1-2 hrs. of steam distillation. Usually the most expensive.

    --Grades I, II, III --  as it's distilled, collections are taken every few hours which make up less potent oils in descending order...I, II & finally III.

    --Complete -- is the whole process. This encompasses all the collections from the entire distillation process.

    Ylang ylang's biggest benefit is the fact it can soothe inflammation & can relax the body and mind. It contains substantial anti-inflammatory properties, probably because of it's ability to calm the senses and stop anxiety. Regular topical use & inhalation is the key here!!!

    Studies have been done to prove the efficacy of ylang ylang on blood pressure, on both the systolic & the diastolic numbers. In EKG tests, it was proven that this essential oil slows down the heart rates as well. It is a powerful sedative!!!

    It is also great to use in insect repellant, as a surface cleaner -- even helps in getting rid of bio-film. So it's good in protecting the home against bacteria & other potential viruses along with oregano, tea tree & cinnamon!!

    Wednesday, April 18, 2018

    Label Reading for Your Skin's Health!

    I came across this article in one of my herb magazines and thought it was highly interesting. So many of us try to buy healthy items for our skin and try to stay away from certain ingredients. Among some of these are vegans. Well hang on to your socks, because here's some ingredients the manufacturers are putting in these so called 'healthy' skin care products. Label reading is so very important these days and personally, I am a huge label reader, although I did not know about these ingredients! The term 'natural' on any given label is meaningless -- there is no authority that monitors this claim. therefore, you really need to read carefully the back of the product. Of course most of us know by now that ingredient listings go by the amounts within said product. First ingredient being the most, last one being the least amount added. So here is a list of animal-derived substances that are being found in skin care products!!!

    Aspic: an industry alternative to gelatin, made from clarified meat or fish.
    Casein: a protein derived from milk.
    Cod liver oil: found in lubricating creams & lotions.
    Collagen: taken from the bones & connective tissues of animals. Used in cosmetics to help skin retain water & to help keep it supple & youthful looking.
    Elastin: similar use as collagen but derived from the neck ligaments and aorta of cows.
    Gelatin/Gelatine: for smooth skin and to add gloss to hair. Obtained by boiling skin, tendons, ligaments and/or bones from cows or pigs.
    Keratin: used for hair and as an anti-aging skin care ingredient. Obtained from sheep wool or from the skin, hooves or horns of animals.
    Lactose: a sugar derived from milk.
    Propolis: used for its antiviral & antimicrobial properties to treat breakouts and protect skin. created by bees in the construction of their hives.
    Royal Jelly: an anti-aging ingredient which comes from secretions of the throat gland of the honeybee.
    Shellac: found in hair lacquer. Obtained from the bodies of the female scale insect, Tachardia lacca.
    Vitamin D3: found in creams, lotions and other cosmetics. Made from fish-liver oil.
    Whey: a byproduct of cheese making.
    Cochineal dye or carminic acid: adds red color. Comes from the cochineal insect.
    Ambergris: adds scent and/or color. Derived from whales.

    Neuropathy Helpers

    A lot of us suffer with neuropathy and many times the scripts just don't help. www.herbs-4-health.com makes an amazing essential oil blend to help relieve the pain & suffering from neuropathy. But along with external help, there are things that can be taken internally to help it along as well.

    Alpha Lipoic Acid (ALA) is a powerful antioxidant that's been used for years to relieve neuropathy in European countries. Both fat & water soluble, it moves into the nerve cells - improving blood flow and oxygen to the nerves, helping to scrub them free of any irritating free-radical damage. ALA has been shown in several double-blind placebo, controlled studies (the gold standard of scientific research) to ease the numbness, burning and pain associated with this condition!

    B-vitamins are quite possibly the most critical nutrient for proper nerve function. Deficiency has been linked to neuropathy in the hands and in the feet. These B-vitamins help form and maintain protective fatty layer that surrounds the nerve, known as the myelin sheath. Without a strong myelin sheath to protect the nerve cell, the nerve becomes unstable and cannot function properly. Scientists have even found that B-12 may reduce the damage caused by neuropathy and even create new nerve cells. Be sure you get the true B-12, as there are a lot of fake ones out there. It is also 'termed' the stress vitamin.

    The nerve's protective layer is made out of fat, and as such, the nerves depend on fat for repair. A 2015 study published in the Journal of Neurophysiology shows that fatty acids can restore the condition of damaged nerves. Researchers also observed that fatty acids improve nerve density, sensory signal transmission and stimulate the growth of new nerve cells.

    Here's some more supplements that can help with neuropathy: Acetyl-L-Carnitine, Folic Acid, Spirulina, Passion Flower, Skullcap, Turmeric & Resveratrol which is a liquid supplement.

    Frankincense...Ancient yet Modern

    Some consider Frankincense the King of the essential oils and believe it's the most powerful e.o. in the world!!!

    Sometimes it's referred to as olibanum. Different types of it are found in different places all over the planet. The resin, from which the oil is made, comes from many different trees in the genus of Boswellia, which are grown in Somalia. The Boswellia carterii 33 or the Boswellia frerena or Boswellia serrate or Boswellia papyrifera or the Boswellia sacara trees, that's a lot!!! It is the same oil given by the 3 wise men at Christ's birth and has been revered for centuries as useful in meditation because of it's calming effect. It's used widely by the churches and some believe this oil can increase intuition & spiritual connections.

    Frankincense can help relieve chronic stress, anxiety, reduce pain, many types of inflammation in the joints & skin, boost the immune system & even fight cancer!! It's an antiseptic. It can help eliminate viruses & bacteria from your environment. It's great in oral hygiene as you can make your town toothpaste mixing the oil with baking soda!! This oil can also be beneficial for mental health issues. Frankincense is great for skin issues like acne, age spots, sun spots and it's anti-aging because it lifts & tightens the skin!! When used topically be sure to mix with a carrier oil or a butter. Do NOT ingest!! It's beneficial to all cells of the human body. It can relieve digestive distress, IBS, PMS, it helps to speed up digestion of food similar to enzyme activity.

    A 2012 study found a chemical compound within this fabulous & ancient oil called AKBA and it succeeded in killing cancer cells that became resistant to chemotherapy. Now isn't that interesting??!!!

    So if you incorporate essential oils in your everyday life, why not add this to your regiment?!!

    Monday, March 26, 2018

    Tinctures Tried & True

    Menstruums: There are three basic menstruums, mediums or solvents used to extract the chemical compounds of herbs into tinctures: alcohol, glycerin, and vinegar. Alcohol is the most used because it can extract fats, resins, waxes,most alkaloids, and some of the volatile oils, as well as many other plant compounds. For centuries, tinctures have been used in many systems of integrative medicine. Water is also necessary to extract the water soluble plant chemicals. Using an 80 to 100 proof alcohol such as vodka, brandy and gin provides the alcohol-water ratio you need without having to add anything. If pure grain alcohol, AKA everclear (190 proof) is used, water will have to be added. Don't use city tap water that contains chlorine, use either distilled or pure spring water.

    Herbs: Either fresh or dried finely chopped herbs can be used. Use of one pint of menstruum to two ounces of dried herbs, or about two handfuls of fresh.
    The important thing is to completely cover the herbs, leaving a couple of extra inches of liquid about the herbs to allow for swelling as the herbs absorb the liquid. Leave some headroom in the jar. If using vinegar, warm first before pouring it over the herbs.

    Procedure for making an easy tincture:

         1. Place chopped herbs in a glass jar, labeled with the current date and name of the herb
         2. Add sufficient liquid menstruum/medium to completely cover the herb
         3. Cap with a tight fitting lid, put the jar in a dark place at room temperature, and shake at least once daily.
        4. After 4 to 6 weeks, strain the contents through several layers of cheesecloth, if needed. Roots don't usually need any type of filter.
        5. Store in a labeled, amber glass bottle away from light and heat.

    For stronger tinctures a suggested time can be 4 to 6 weeks. The duration depends on the mixture and on your patience, in time you will develop your own style. I keep mine out on a counter, but not in direct sunlight so I don't forget the shake the jars twice daily. Tinctures will keep for years! Only 3 drops is equal to a cup of herbal tea, it's that potent. The recommended dosage is anywhere from 20-60 drops 3x/day.

    Alcohol has mostly displaced vinegar as a menstruum for making liquid herbal extracts/tinctures, as it is far more efficient in extracting and preserving the medicinal properties of herbs. Vinegar is however passable medium and useful in cases where you wish to avoid alcohol. When used in conjunction with alcohol, vinegar can sometimes assist in the extraction of alkaloid (base) substances from herbs. Such an extract containing both vinegar and alcohol is known as an acetous tincture. IMHO, alcohol is just a better medium.

    Commercial Herbal Extracts: It is important to understand the labels on commercial extracts. The information should always include the ratio of herb to the medium, the percent of alcohol content along with a complete list of ingredients, and instructions for storage and use. This is not a place you want to shop for bargins. Only buy proven brands you trust.
    Strength is expressed in a ratio. Preserving the full range of medicinal properties often depends on using fresh plant material. Extracts made from fresh herbs generally use equal parts of plant matter to solvent, resulting in a ratio of 1:1. Dried herbs are more concentrated and the ratios range from 1:2 to 1:4.

    Wednesday, March 21, 2018

    My Interview with "Being Aunt Debbie:"!!!

    This was one of my happiest moments when my BFF asked me for an interview about essential oils. I never thought anything like that could happen to ME!! She was actually the 2nd person to want to interview me as Cinnamon Moon of Two Moons Talking had me on her show a while back!! I thought I would re-publish the interview from an up & coming famous  blogger "Being Aunt Debbie"!!!

    An Interview With An Aromatherapist

    Back in the early 2000’s, I became friends with a great lady who was the owner of a little online business called Mystick Scents. I started by purchasing products from her for my own use and for my little online business called Scents Essential. We became fast friends and in 2006 she sold her business to me! I merged the two businesses together and kept the Mystick Scents name.
    I had learned a great deal about aromatherapy and how to make lotions and creams, body sprays, bath salts, etc., from this woman, my mentor, and friend. Eventually, I started to venture out into creating my own recipes. It was a great experience! But, my physical health was slowly on the decline and I had to close Mystick Scents in 2010.
    Becky and I are still friends; besties if you will. She now owns a business called Herbs 4 Health. She writes a blog and has a Facebook page. She has been forever trying to educate the public about essential oils and aromatherapy. I thought an interview would be a fabulous idea! (Links are located at the end of the interview for your convenience.) Enjoy!
    Becky, can you start by telling my readers about yourself, your specializations, and where you can be found for more information?
    I am certified in both herbal medicine and in aromatherapy. I am also known as Herbmama. The business I own is Herbs 4 Health and I also have a blog called Herbmama’s Words. I can be found on Facebook along with the business and blog.

    What is an aromatherapist?
    An aromatherapist is one that is educated in and uses essential oils to help improve one’s health whether it be physical, emotional or psychological.

    What exactly is aromatherapy? 
    Aromatherapy uses plant materials & aromatic plant oils, AKA essential oils and other aroma compounds for improving health, psychological or emotional well-being.

    What or who inspired you to go into this field and when did you get started? 
    The quest for knowledge in this field happened when I had a bath/body biz called Mystick Scents. Then I became a sponge and just had to know more & more which led to my certification.

    How are essential oils used? 
    Essential oils can be used via inhalation, topically and internally — the later only by a trained aromatherapist as it can be dangerous.

    How are essential oils extracted from plants? 
    There are basically 2 methods for extraction: the distillation process where the plant material is heated and then the water/oils are separated. Any by-product from such is sold off. Then there is cold pressed which is exactly what you think it is….peelings from the citrus are pressed to get the oils.

    How do people know the best method for using essential oils? 
    A lot of people don’t know, which is why they can get into trouble. The best way to find out is to ask, not just assume you already know. You might have an essential oil that can cause more issues than what you started with.

    How do they work? 
    Essential oils can actually change brain chemistry. They can work on what the body needs at a particular time. They are a type of fat or oil so they can easily get into the body’s cells to do the work. Although we aren’t allowed to say…they can heal. They are anti-viral, anti-microbial, and anti-fungal so they can work on those types of maladies.

    Can they be used straight on your skin? 
    It’s not advisable to use essential oils straight out of the bottle. Only lavender is gentle enough for some. Always dilute and do a patch test if you are new to essential oils or a particular oil.

    What is a carrier oil? 
    A carrier oil is an oil one mixes with essential oils to apply topically to the skin. Some examples are sweet almond, jojoba, fractionated coconut oil, grapeseed oil, olive oil.

    How do you know you’re buying quality essential oils? 
    One has to find a reputable essential oil supplier with learned knowledge so you know what you are looking for and who you can trust. So many are adulterated now which means other chemical components have been added to dilute the healthful benefits of the essential oils and the body can’t synthesize chemicals. Once you find a good company, there is a way to test to see if your essential oil has been adulterated. Place 1 drop on a piece of paper and let it evaporate. If there is no residue and no oily stain then they are pure.

    What’s the difference between therapeutic grade and manufacturer’s grade essential oils? 
    There really isn’t a thing as manufacturer’s grade as you say. There is food grade which is different than therapeutic grade. Therapeutic grade can be a relative term as ALL non-adulterated essential oils are therapeutic in their own right. A lot of companies say therapeutic as a marketing ploy. Food grade essential oils are diluted with additives to sell to the food or perfume industry.

    How should we store our essential oils? 
    Essential oils should be stored in air-tight dark colored glass bottles away from heat and direct light. The more you open them, the faster they can go bad and evaporate.

    Some people/companies suggest taking essential oils internally. Is that really safe? 
    NO! It’s not safe in my opinion. There are essential oils that can be ingested but only with advice and guidance from a qualified aromatherapist. No way should they be taken full strength as the molecules are too strong for the sensitive tissues internally. There have been (reports of) damage done to esophageal tissues, organs and stomach tissues from essential oils.

     Are essential oils safe for kids and pets? 
    There are some essential oils safe for pets but that should be done through research and usually on a case by case basis. One e.o. for a dog or cat may not be ok for another breed for example. Kids…generally, yes but further dilution should be done before and of course the child’s weight/age have to be factored in. There are aromatherapists out there that only treat animals though.

    Are essential oils really better/more effective than conventional treatments? 
    Essential oils are better than conventional, in my opinion. They are powerful and natural. But that question is really hard to answer so I don’t get myself into hot water with certain government agencies if you know what I mean. 

    Can you boost your immunity with essential oils? 
    Oh yes, the body’s immune system can be greatly enhanced and boosted with essential oils!

    What’s the biggest mistake you see people making concerning essential oils? 
    Ingesting them and applying them without proper dilution. Thinking they know it all with like 5 minutes of experience.

    Which 5 essential oils are the best to get started with, to always have on hand?
    One’s basic ‘medicine cabinet’ should include lavender, peppermint, tea tree, rosemary, and lemon.

    What is an essential oil ‘blend’?
    A blend is more than one essential oil together with a carrier oil that helps a specific problem whether it be physical or emotional.

    Is there a blend or blends that we should always have on hand? 
    Oh I think so, yes. Blends for colds, flu, pain issues, things like that.

    What’s the most common way people are using essential oils? 
    Topically, diffusers and in the bath.

    What do you enjoy the most about working with essential oils? 
    Mostly I enjoy developing the blends I guess!! Sniffing them as I put them together, figuring out which oil would be best to use, knowing it can possibly help the next person who uses that blend.

    How do you use essential oils in your own life? 
    I use them for health prevention, to help boost my immune system, as a perfume, in bathing, at times in cleaning too.

    What are your favorite essential oils/blends? 
    My favorites are the Krud Kicker, my Taurus ‘perfume’ blend, the memory oil. I like them all pretty much. If the blends don’t smell ‘attractive’ people won’t use them.

    What do you think scares people the most about essential oils? 
    That they know little to nothing about them and that is THE greatest obstacle…educating the public!

    What advice would you give someone considering a career in aromatherapy? 
    Don’t try to learn or memorize ALL the essential oils, there are far too many. pick a few you want to start with and learn all you can about those. When you are ready, add slowly to your repertoire.

    And my last question…. Is there ONE tip you would like to give my readers?
    Don’t judge essential oils without learning just a little about them. Try them. They come from plants, trees, barks, roots, flowers, so how bad can they be for our health??!!
    I hope you’ve enjoyed my interview with Becky (Herbmama) and that you feel you’ve learned a little about essential oils. For more information go to Herbs 4 Health on facebook or Herbmama's Words on Facebook.


    Cannabis vs CBD

    The key to understanding the truth about cannabis oil uses is to learn what hemp is compared to marijuana, which are both made up of the Cannabis sativa plant.
    • Marijuana is a breed of the Cannabis plant that contains tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) concentrated in the buds, which is the chemical that produces the psychotropic effects that gets people “high.”
    • Hemp is also a breed of the Cannabis plant, but is bred without THC-containing plants. It is farmed for its height due to the usefulness of its stalks and is rich in cannabidiol (CBD), which is the “major nonpsychoactive component of Cannabis sativa.
    • Both have a rich history and are praised for their practical utility, particularly their medicinal benefits.
    The breeding practices and utilization of the plant actually determine which term we should use. Meaning this: Marijuana is the correct term to use when describing a Cannabis plant that is bred for its medicinal or recreational use. It is known for it psychotropic effects due to the high amounts of THC that are extracted from the resinous glands (known as trichomes). Cannabis plants engineered as marijuana (not hemp) contain levels of THC ranging from 3% – 15% while plants grown for industrial hemp contain less than 1%. There 3 primary ways marijuana is cultivated and manufactured:
    1. Herbal – consisting of the dried flowering tops and leaves.
    2. Resin – compressed solid made from the resinous parts of the plant
    3. “Oil” – which is actually a solvent extract of cannabis
    Hemp, on the other hand, is the proper term to use for Cannabis strains that have been cultivated for its fiber and/or seeds, which are used to make a wide variety of products. Cannabis grown this way contains trace amounts of THC and CBD, which has been shown to block the effects of THC on the nervous system. It has been suggested that “low THC levels and high CBD levels in hemp plants negate any psychoactive effects.”
    Products made from industrial hemp are supposed to contain less than 0.3% THC, which is the legal amount to buy, consume, sell and ship the product. This 0.3% is the standard to distinguish between what is classified as “hemp” and what is classified as “marijuana,” but there has been some concerns that the amount of THC in hemp seeds and other consumables are not consistent. This is why organizations like the Weston A Price Foundation strongly recommend caution when eating hemp seeds.

    Cannabis Oil Uses: What It Is & What It Isn't!

    First off, so-called “Cannabis oil” is not an essential oil and the name is misleading. Here's the low-down:
    • Hemp oil is readily available online as a food product and praised for its 1:1 omega-3/omega-6 ratio. It is made from hemp.
    • CBD oil (also known as (“CBD hemp oil”) contains high levels of cannabidiol (CBD) and low THC (tetrahydrocannabinol) levels, which is regarded as medicinal, but not psychotropic. It is also made from hemp.
    • Cannabis oil is essentially an extract or absolute and is typically taken orally – ingesting a few drops several times per day. It is made from marijuana.
    From what we can tell – although this conclusion is mostly based off of personal reports and not clinical trials – conventional Cannabis oil (being rich in THC) gets people “high,” whereas CBD oil cannot.

    Cannabis Oil Uses – Absolutes & Extracts not Essential Oils

    So, what is cannabis oil? This is where things get really fuzzy. I'm sure you've seen the term “Cannabis oil” being thrown around the Internet the last few years. Heralded to cure everything from cancer to glaucoma, activists are using research and countless miracle testimonials to convince legislatures nationwide to legalize marijuana for medicinal use. One of the reasons why we're hearing so much about Cannabis oil is because of Rick Simpson. In 2003 Rick utilized a homemade Cannabis concoction as a cure for skin cancer. He shared his success with his doctors and some cancer organizations, but no one paid attention to his story. His reaction is somewhat intriguing as he responded by growing his own plants and produced his own Cannabis extract, calling it “Cannabis oil.” Giving it away for free to people in need, he reports healing over 5,000 people with this medicine. The confusion enters the scene here because Rick didn't make Cannabis oil, he made a Cannabis extract or an absolute. Big difference!

    Technically-speaking, regardless if we're talking about conventional “Cannabis oil” or CBD oil, both are extracts or absolutes, NOT essential oils. So, referring to them as “oils” is misleading. To clarify...essential oils today are manufactured primarily through steam distillation or expression (“cold-pressing”). Another technique is referred to as solvent extraction.

    Let me assure you that the difference between essential oils, extracts or absolutes is not merely semantical. Each contain different chemical compositions, which means they all have different effects on the body, and each have different safety concerns

    Cannabis Oil Uses – Chemical Composition

    In the 2013, the journal Cannabinoids published a full report on the chemical constituency of 5 different preparations of cannabis extract based off of the following solvents: ethanol, naphtha, petroleum ether, and olive oil. Here are the main takeaways directly from the article: (4)
    • Most extracts contained only a small proportion of THC (5-10% of total THCA + THC content).
    • A notable exception was the naphtha extract, which was found to contain 33% of total THCA + THC content present in the form of THC.
    • The major components present in the cannabis material used were the monoterpenes beta-pinene, myrcene, beta- phellandrene, cis-ocimene, terpinolene and terpineol, and the sesquiterpenes beta-caryophyllene, humulene, delta-guaiene, gamma-cadinene, eudesma-3,7(11)-diene and elemene.
    • The extraction solvents showed comparable efficiency for extracting terpenes, with the notable exception of naphtha. While this solvent generally extracted terpenes less efficiently than the other solvents, several terpenes could not be detected at all in the naphtha extract.
    • The use of olive oil as extraction solvent was found to be most beneficial based on the fact that it extracted higher amounts of terpenes than the other solvents/methods, especially when using an extended heating time.
    • Treatment of the ethanolic extract with activated charcoal, intended to remove chlorophyll, resulted in a considerable reduction of cannabinoid content.
    • Pure ethanol efficiently extracts chlorophyll from cannabis, which will give the final extract a distinct green colour, and often unpleasant taste. Removing chlorophyll by filtering the ethanol extract over activated charcoal was found to be very effective, but it also removed a large proportion of cannabinoids and terpenes, and is therefore not advised.
    As an added note, the study was clear to state that, “All the solvent components should be considered harmful and flammable, and some of them, such as hexane and benzene, may be neurotoxic. Both naphtha and petroleum ether are considered potential cancer hazards according to their respective Material Safety Data Sheets (MSDS) provided by manufacturers. Moreover, products sold as naphtha may contain added impurities (e.g. to increase stability) which may have harmful properties of their own.”

    Cannabis Oil Uses – Using Cannabis Oil As Medicine

    In the words of a 2007 article in the journal Dialogues in Clinical Neurosciences, “Despite the mild addiction to cannabis and the possible enhancement of addiction to other substances of abuse, when combined with cannabis, the therapeutic value of cannabinoids is too high to be put aside.” Modern research shows that the compounds in Cannabis can:
    • Reduce pain (analgesia).
    • Help reduce side-effects related to chemotherapy in cancer patients (especially pain and vomiting).
    • Reduce muscle spasms and neurological overactivity in MS and cerebral palsy patients.
    • Help reduce ocular pressure in glaucoma patients.
    • Lower blood pressure.
    • Relieve symptoms of asthma, constipation, depression, epilepsy and insomnia.
    The reason why Cannabis is such an effective healing agent is because it contains “an enormous variety of chemicals. Some of the 483 compounds identified are unique to Cannabis, for example, the more than 60 cannabinoids, whereas the terpenes, with about 140 members forming the most abundant class, are widespread in the plant kingdom.”
    Regarding cannabinoids, they are “a class of diverse chemical compounds that act on cannabinoid receptors in cells that repress neurotransmitter release in the brain.” Essentially, THCpotently activates the G-protein-coupled cannabinoid receptor CB1 and also modulates the cannabinoid receptor CB2.” Few substances on the planet can do this.

    Cannabis Oil Uses – A Note About Cancer

    There are several blog posts out there that have gone viral sharing 42 Medical Studies that Prove Cannabis Can Cure Cancer and other similar topics. One thing is clear: THC and other cannabinoids have been shown to inhibit tumour growth and angiogenesis in animal and human in vitro (cells in a petri dish) studies. However, the antitumoral effect of cannabinoids hasn't been tested on humans to a great extent, and we need to be careful not to jump to any premature conclusions. Otherwise, we'll start see reports that Cannabis can cure everything but death!
    The list is promising and should give researchers and legislatures reason to investigate the effect(s) that Cannabis can have as a natural cancer solution. Take note though that several studies report non-psychotropic effects when THC was administered to cancer patients. This should be of particular interest to people who are against Cannabis because of its ability to get people “high.”

    This article has been edited and originally from a larger, more indepth article written by Dr. Eric Z