Wednesday, October 24, 2007

What's in that bottle???

Essential Oils: What’s Really in that Bottle?
Marketing hype or Myth??

One of the very first lessons I learned in my aromatic journey was 'know what to ask for'. Being curious, I asked, ‘what exactly does that mean?’ The reply (from my professor at Purdue, Jim Simon, currently at Rutgers)… “Know how to identify what it is you want to purchase”.

Even today, when some customers call, they are still not educated on what are the differences between essential oils, absolutes, resins, carrier oils, infused oils or fragrance oils. Allow me to shed some light on this.

* Essential Oils:
An essential oil is a product obtained from natural raw material, either by: distillation with water or steam or from the epicarp of citrus fruits by mechanical processing, or by dry distillation. They are concentrated extracts and should never be used ‘neat’ (directly) on the skin.

Essential Oils are found in:-
The flowers, leaves, bark, wood, roots, entire plant or fruit peel.

* Vegetable Oils (Carrier Oils):
Vegetable oils work to benefit skin and health. They are produced from nuts and seeds, producing oils, butters and fats.
For example: Sweet Almond, Sesame Seed, Shea butter, etc.

Essential oils are typically blended with some type of Carrier oil before applying to the skin or a skin care product.

* Fragrance Oils:
Fragrance oils are made out of synthetic material. This came to pass because an essential oil scent would vary from year to year depending on the weather conditions. (Too much rain, too little rain would stress the plant which would effect the scent). Especially for the perfume industry, they needed to ensure that the scent was identical every time they produced a fragrance.

More and more the trend today is to ‘go back to basics’. This is one of the reasons why Natural Perfumery is making such a big come back.

So, you’re looking for a certain essential oil?
No worries... Just be sure that the following basic information is on the bottle:

- Essential oil: Lavender
- Botanical Name: Lavendula angustifolia
- Country of Origin: France

The ‘botanical name’ and ‘country of origin’ are what identify the essential oil you are looking for, it’s 'fingerprint' if you will.

For example:

Essential Oils:
Lavender - Country of Origin could be France or Bulgaria
Rose Otto - Country of Origin could be Bulgaria or Turkey
Vetivert - Country of Origin could be Haiti or India

The scent will vary due to country of origin.

Rose Absolute Morocco - Rosa centifolia
Rose Absolute Bulgaria - Rosa damascena

The above not only have different countries of origin, but also have different botanical names, be sure to identify the product you are looking for as it will affect the scent of these materials.

Some essential oils have many subspecies - i.e.:

Eucalyptus citridora (this has a lemon scent)
Eucalyptus dives
Eucalyptus globulus (the most common)
Eucalyptus polybractea
Eucalyptus radiata
Eucalyptus smithi

The examples above show - ‘what you want’, ‘what is in the bottle’ and knowing the botanical name is crucial.

Which 'chemo type' do you require?
Depending on the properties you desire, you will need to understand the composition of the essential oil. The ‘chemical constituent’ or the three (3) major classes of essential oil constituents:

* monoterpenes and their derivatives (monoterpenoids)
* phenyl propane derivatives
* sesquiterpenes and their derivatives.

We can get into some chemistry here, however, for the purposes of this article this is an overview. It would be advisable to get to know the different properties and why you would choose them.

For a little overview:
Essential oils with Linalool are found in coriander seed, lavender, clary sage, and linalool chemo type of thyme.

Properties associated with monoterpene alcohols:
• strong antibacterial, antifungal and antiviral properties
• vasoconstrictive properties i.e. menthol, linalool, geraniol can make the site of application feel cold.
• Tonic and general stimulant properties
• Sedative properties

Properties associated with sesquiterpene alcohols:
• Antiviral properties
• Farnesol found in i.e. rose and chamomile is an excellent bacteriostatic. It is well suited to skin care and deodorant products, as it is know to inhibit, rant than kill, growth of bacteria.
• Tonify muscles and nerves

Properties associated with phenols:
• very powerful antimicrobial properties
• skin and mucous membrane irritants
• general tonics and stimulants
• stimulants to the immune system.

Marketing hype or Myth?
We are all in the business to sell our essential oils. However, there is much marketing hype that exists. When you see: aromatherapy grade, therapeutic grade, etc., to the best of my knowledge, there is no such grading system in
this country.

What else would be helpful in purchasing your essential oils?
- Distillation date – when the material was actually distilled. Some essential oils have a longer shelf life then other. Be sure to store properly (cool, dry, dark areas) and tightly close the cap to extend shelf life.

- ‘Batch’ or ‘Lot’ number is important if there is an issue with the order. However, not always available. This way the seller can pinpoint the batch and identify it more readily. (If this is not available, the distillation date will help).

- Organic – You should be given the certifying program (i.e. Ecocert, NOP, etc). This may vary from country to country.

Some customers prefer only organic, other have no preference at all. Cost is a factor, due to organic oils being more costly. (do to all the strict farming laws and paper work).

As a side note: I would prefer all citrus to be organic if possible. The oil for this is cold pressed from the rind where the pesticides are sprayed.

The key is to be an informed buyer.
- Read the labels
- Essential oil & Botanical Name
- Country of Origin
- Organic / wild crafted / conventional
- Lot or Batch Number

Start a sample box. Samples are important to compare different country of origin, and different suppliers. As well as different years. I have aged Patchouli from 2000 that is wonderful, as you know; some oils just get better with age.

Breathe in the wonderful aroma and know that you 'get what you ask for'.

Books in my Library are many, but my ‘most used’ and favorites:

Perfume and Flavor Materials of Natural Origin by Stephen Arctander
The Essential Oils by Ernest Guenther (Vol I thru VI)
The Complete Guide to Aromatherapy by Salvatore Battaglia
Liquid SunShine / Vegetable Oils for Aromatherapy by Jan Kusmirek

Rosanne Tartaro,
SunRose Aromatics, LLC
Phone:718 794 0391

Thursday, October 18, 2007

In Case of Emergency (ICE) Campaign

This year is moving along very quickly for me. I have saved alot of information that I wanted to pass along. One of them is the "ICE" Campaign.

Especially, I know that before 'speed dial' I had to memorize all of my important family contact numbers. However, today that is not the case. Most people have to refer to their phones to get a phone number.

That is why I think this is an important concept. Especially for our children.

'In Case of Emergency'

We all carry our mobile phones with names & numbers stored in its memory but nobody, other than ourselves, knows which of these numbers belong to our closest family or friends.

If we were to be involved in an accident or were taken ill, the people attending us would have our mobile phone but wouldn't know who to call. Yes, there are hundreds of numbers stored but which one is the contact person in case of an emergency?

Hence this " ICE" (In Case of Emergency) Campaign
The concept of "ICE" is catching on quickly. It is a method of contact during emergency situations. As cell phones are carried by the majority of the population, all you need to do is store the number of a contact person or persons who should be contacted during emergency under the name "ICE" ( In Case Of Emergency).

The idea was thought up by a paramedic who found that when he went to the scenes of accidents, there were always mobile phones with patients, but they didn't know which number to call. He therefore thought that it would be a good idea if there was a nationally recognized name for this purpose. In an emergency situation, Emergency Service personnel and hospital Staff would be able to quickly contact the right person by simply dialing the number you have stored as "ICE".

It really could save your life, or put a loved one's mind at rest .

For more than one contact name simply enter ICE1, ICE2 and ICE3 etc.

Be sure it's in your kid's cell phones also.
A great idea that will make a difference!

Let's spread the concept of ICE by storing an ICE number in our Mobile phones today.

~ til next time,

Tuesday, October 9, 2007

Workshop Photo's w/ Jennifer Jeffries

Jennifer Jeffries, ND
& Participants of
the 'Aromatherapy
Insight Cards'
Workshop at
SunRose Aromatics.

Jane Werthmann, Wendy Werthmann &
Kalle Petroski, some of the participants
at the workshop.

Jennifer in action.!
She is such a dynamic speaker.

That is Jean Smith, Life Coach.

Workshop weekend with Jennifer Jeffries

What an empowering weekend this was! Jennifer Jeffries, N.D. here from Australia, with her partner Toni Esser, on her North American tour of workshops and conferences.

Even the weather cooperated, as it was a balmy 85 degrees here in the big apple.
The workshop presentation was on Jennifer’s ‘Aromatherapy Insight Cards’.
She is such a charismatic personality, her knowledge and passion evident as each card was presented.

The cards themselves were a collaboration between Jennifer and illustrated by Karen Osborn who intuitively painted each card. The cards themselves were a work of art, each one a beautiful masterpiece.

Jennifer dedicates this project to the ‘healer inside of all of us.’

Sharing many antidotes on her Naturopathic and Aromatherapy clinic where she primarily works with the emotional talents of the essential oils. Jennifer believes that ‘we know’ how we need to rebalance our lives and regain all that we are searching for.

We need to ‘trust our intuition’, and look within ourselves to be open to answers that are being directed to us. Utilizing the “Insight Cards” as a guide in finding answers we are looking for.

It was a joy for me to be part of this workshop and I want to thank the women that attended for sharing the experience with us.

Hopefully, on Jennifer’s next visit to the US, she will ‘swing by’ and do another workshop here at SunRose in NYC.

Wishing Jennifer & Toni a safe journey on their US Tour, again, many thanks, and looking forward to doing more workshops in the future.

~ til next time,

Wednesday, October 3, 2007

EcoFest Continued with Friends

Just wanted to share some more pictures of the day:

Nicki from Khushi Day Spa & her boys.
They made the most yummy chocolate chips for us.

EcoFest Happenings

The day was a typical Autumn day in New York City, with blue skies and soft breezes. We could not have asked for a more perfect day. The other vendors had some amazing products: jewelry made from old traffic lights, environmental 'green' cleaning products, printing material made from banana, coffee beans, mango, etc. (very awesome and I will be looking into this) ..

A co-op in lower Manhattan that is an 'all green'' building, organic clothing which was just beautifully hand made. There was so much to see and learn about.

It was great to meet and greet clients that I have not seen in a while or who I met for the first time. Nicki from Khushi Day Spa and her beautiful boys, Kathleen Golden, L.Ac. a long time client and friend, Kenneth Wright from On Site Wellness, (212.488.0354) who does corporate 'wellness days' and so many more.

I want to thank the SunRose Staff for all the hard work that went into the preparation for the show: Sheila, Johanna & Gina! Could not have done this without you.

Bottom line though, we need to remember to take care of our 'natural treasures' before they disappear.

~ til next time.