Pomegranate Seed Oil for Skincare Products

Posted on: October 27th, 2014 by
Comments Requested

Pomegranate for Aromatherapy: Photo Credit and Copyright, Sharon Falsetto

Pomegranate for Aromatherapy: Photo Credit and Copyright, Sharon Falsetto

There are many carrier oils that can be used in aromatherapy, particularly for skincare products. One carrier oil that I’ve discovered recently is pomegranate seed oil. Pomegranates also grow in my garden here in Arizona, so I was interested to learn more about what this fruit could offer in terms of therapeutic benefits! Here’s a brief look at pomegranate seed oil.

Botanical Profile of Pomegranate

Pomegranate (Punica granatum) belongs to the Lythraceae plant family (formerly in the Punicaceae family). It is a small deciduous shrub or tree that bears red-colored fruit which varies in size from a lemon to a grapefruit. It produces the fruit between September and February (Northern Hemisphere). Pomegranate grows in a dry climate with a Mediterranean-type rainfall in summer or winter. The plant is drought tolerant and can withstand frost to about 10F, which explains why it does so well in my northern Arizona garden!

The tree or bush reputedly grows up to a height of 32 feet but the pomegranate tree in my yard is probably no more than 10 feet in height. It has glossy, narrow, green leaves and produces bright red flowers in season. The fruit contains hundreds of individual seeds. There are various cultivars available which may produce different colored fruit and subtle botanical differences.

Extraction of Pomegranate Seed Oil

Pomegranate seed oil is usually cold pressed from from the seeds of the fruit. However, in the course of research for this article, I came across a company which uses carbon dioxide extraction (CO2) to extract pomegranate seed oil from the crushed seeds (Selco).

Therapeutic Properties and Uses of Pomegranate Seed Oil

Numerous studies have been conducted on pomegranate seed oil to establish the therapeutic properties it may contain. Common chemical components that seem to have been established between analyses include phytosterols, tocopherols, and punicic acid (SciMedCentral). These chemical components are noted for therapeutic properties such as anti-oxidant properties, anti-tumor, immunomodalatory, and serum lipid-lowering properties (SciMedCentral).

Some of the reported health benefits of pomegranate seed oil include anti-inflammatory (acne, dry skin, eczema, psoriasis) and anti-oxidant (skin aging, wrinkles, sunburn) actions, stimulation of epidermal tissue regeneration (promote healthier looking skin and increase skin elasticity), and relief from muscle aches and pains.

Many women also use pomegranate seed oil for menopausal symptoms such as hot flashes and insomnia. Clinical studies vary in results.

Pomegranate Seed Oil in Skincare Applications

One of the main uses for pomegranate seed oil for aromatherapy applications is in skincare products. A little goes a long way, and you only need to combine a small amount of pomegranate seed oil with other carrier oils/ingredients in order to see benefits. Add pomegranate seed oil to creams, lotions, serums, massage oils, facial care products, and scrubs. Pomegranate seed oil is golden yellow in color with little to no aroma.

Learn More About Carrier Oils with Sedona Aromatherapie

Carrier oils are studied in more detail in both the Sedona Aromatherapie Foundation Course in Aromatherapy and the Sedona Aromatherapie Certification in Professional Aromatherapy Course. To learn more, visit the courses home page.

References:

Pin It

Related Posts:


Aromatherapy Recipes for Gardeners

Posted on: October 20th, 2014 by
Comments Requested

Aromatherapy Recipes for Gardeners: Photo credit, Fotolia

Aromatherapy Recipes for Gardeners: Photo credit, Fotolia

I was doing some Fall planting this past weekend and, as any gardener knows, gardening comes with a few scars, aching limbs and dry, chapped hands! However, as you are planting up your garden, you should also remember that some plants can help soothe and ease the associated discomforts of your toil. Here’s a few aromatherapy recipes that may help soothe away some of those problems!

Note: All aromatherapy recipes stated here assume that you are a healthy adult with no other problems. You should consult a qualified health care professional before using if you have any other illnesses, are pregnant, elderly, or fall into any other “special” group; certain essential oils should be avoided for these groups and/or reduced in quantity. In addition, consult a suitably certified and experienced aromatherapist for essential oil advice.

Aromatherapy Recipe for Gardening Hands

Unless you wear gardening gloves – and, I confess, I do not always, as I like to make contact with the earth directly when planting – your hands will probably incur a few scratches, and your skin may become dry and chapped when gardening (depending upon the climate in which you work; here in Arizona, “very dry” is usually the normal state of affairs).

The following aromatherapy recipe may help the associated problems of “gardening hands:”

  • 4 oz whipped shea butter base*

  • 10 drops helichrysum (Helichrysum angustifolium) essential oil

  • 15 drops geranium (Pelargonium graveolens) essential oil

  • 11 drops petitgrain (Citrus aurantium var. amara fol) essential oil

*You can learn how to make this butter base in the Sedona Aromatherapie Basic Butters, Balms, Creams and Lotions Course or the Sedona Aromatherapie Certification in Professional Aromatherapy Course.

Blend the ingredients together and apply to hands after gardening.

Aromatherapy Recipe for Gardener’s Back Pain

Back pain – along with knee pain, elbow pain, hand pain and any other type of limb pain – is part of the territory with gardening! Even with the right tools, you will be bending and stretching parts of the body you didn’t know you had – until the next day, when the aches and pains set in!

The following aromatherapy recipe may help:

  • 4 oz apricot kernel (Prunus armeniaca) oil

  • 16 drops Roman chamomile (Chameaemelum nobile) essential oil

  • 8 drops lavender(Lavandula angustifolia) essential oil

  • 12 drops black pepper (Piper nigrum) essential oil

Note: Black pepper essential oil should not be used in conjunction with homeopathic remedies and may cause skin irritation.

Blend the ingredients together and apply to the relevant area after a soak in the tub or shower.

Learn How to Blend Essential Oils Safely and Successfully

This post is a short introduction to aromatherapy recipes for gardeners. If you want to understand more about essential oils, and how to use them both safely and successfully for other home uses, consider taking one of the Sedona Aromatherapie Home Study Aromatherapy Courses. To learn more, visit the courses home page.

References:

  • Author is a UK-certified aromatherapist with seven years experience and practice of running her own aromatherapy business in the United States.

  • Author is also a published author and accredited aromatherapy course provider for NAHA.

Pin It

Related Posts:


How to Use Aromatherapy Safely in Pregnancy

Posted on: October 13th, 2014 by
Comments Disabled
Aromatherapy for Pregnancy: Photo Credit, ISP

Aromatherapy for Pregnancy: Photo Credit, ISP

A few weeks ago, I wrote about using aromatherapy safely with babies and children. In partnership with that topic is the use of aromatherapy in pregnancy. I see lots of unsafe recommendations on the internet, and circulating on social media, about using aromatherapy in pregnancy; this has led to some aromatherapists simply advising against the use of aromatherapy in pregnancy.

However, I believe that one of the most important questions is, “How do you use aromatherapy safely in pregnancy?” It is certainly true that some essential oils should never be used in pregnancy but, if you understand how and when to use essential oils, it is possible to use certain essential oils in pregnancy. Ultimately, you should always take the advice of a qualified health care professional before using essential oils in pregnancy – and take into account the individual circumstances and health problems of the mom-to-be. This blog post is not a substitute for professional advice; it is intended for educational purposes only.

General Guidelines for Using Essential Oils in Pregnancy

The following guidelines are based on my own training and recommendations for use during pregnancy. You may wish to do further reading before making a decision on whether to use a particular essential oil in pregnancy:

  • For safety reasons, I do not recommend the use of essential oils during the first trimester of pregnancy – or with unstable pregnancies – due to the risk of miscarriage.

  • It is important to work in conjunction with a doctor or qualified health care professional when using essential oils in pregnancy – and take into consideration the mom-to-be’s health history.

  • Some essential oils should never be used in pregnancy. Check for contra-indications in essential oil monographs and consult a certified aromatherapist for further advice. Contra-indications for essential oils in pregnancy may vary from one source to another.

  • Always dilute essential oils in a lotion, oil, or other suitable base before applying to the skin.

  • Some essential oils are described as abortive or as an emmenagogue; bear this in mind when deciding on an essential oil you are unfamiliar with.

  • Pregnancy often heightens skin sensitization.

  • Use photo-toxic essential oils with the same cautions as when not used in pregnancy.

  • Do not use essential oils internally during pregnancy.

Essential Oils to Use in Pregnancy

It is confusing to know which essential oils can safely be used in pregnancy because opinions vary. However, the following are examples of some essential oils which may be used in pregnancy – after referring to the general guidelines and consulting with a certified aromatherapist and/or health care professional. Please note, individual circumstances may vary and that this list is not definitive:

  • bergamot (Citrus bergamia) – photo-toxic

  • geranium (Pelargonium graveolens)

  • grapefruit (Citrus x paradisi)

  • lavender (Lavandula angustifolia)

  • lemon (Citrus limon)- photo-toxic

  • mandarin (Citrus reticulata) – possibly photo-toxic

  • Roman chamomile (Chamaemelum nobile)

  • rose (Rosa damascena/centifolia)

  • sweet orange (Citrus aurantium var. sinensis)

  • ylang ylang (Cananga odorata).

Always dilute the essential oil in a lotion, carrier oil, butter, or any other suitable aromatherapy base before use. Amounts to use vary but, as a general rule, I would not recommend using more than half of the “normal recommended adult amount” – and this amount can vary widely too, which is why you should consult a certified aromatherapist first. My personal recommendation is as little as 3 – 5 drops per one ounce of base – but the base (and circumstances) can dictate otherwise.

Hydrosols are often a great alternative to use in pregnancy because they are gentler than essential oils.

Learn How to Use Essential Oils in Pregnancy

If you are interested in learning more about using essential oils safely in pregnancy there are various aromatherapy text books that contain further information; I advise you to read more than one to gain an understanding on the subject. In addition, for the more serious-minded, a certification in aromatherapy may cover the subject in more detail – such as the Sedona Aromatherapie Certification in Professional Aromatherapy.

References:

  • Author is a certified aromatherapist with specific training in aromatherapy for pregnancy

  • Buckle, Jane, Clinical Aromatherapy: Essential Oils in Practice, UK: Churchill Livingstone

  • Price, Shirley, Price, Len, Aromatherapy for Health Professionals, UK: Churchill Livingstone

Pin It

Related Posts:


Five Uses for Bicarbonate of Soda

Posted on: October 6th, 2014 by
Comments Disabled
Bicarbonate of Soda: Photo Credit, ISP

Bicarbonate of Soda: Photo Credit, ISP

Bicarbonate of soda has many different uses. Here is a quick look at this popular ingredient – and how you can use it both in aromatherapy products and around the home. Enjoy!

What is Bicarbonate of Soda?

Bicarbonate of soda is also known by the names sodium bicarbonate and baking soda. Bicarbonate of soda is an alkali; add it to an acid (and water) and it produces carbon dioxide. The natural mineral form of sodium bicarbonate is nahcolite; it is often found dissolved in mineral springs.

Bicarbonate of soda is a white, crystalline solid but appears as a white, fine powder for cosmetic and culinary purposes. You can use it in natural cosmetic products to smooth the skin, clean, and as a deodorant. It is also used in baking recipes and as an antacid for indigestion and heartburn (when mixed with water). Bicarbonate of soda can be used to naturally clean your oven and dishes, too.

Bicarbonate of Soda for Bath Bombs

Bicarbonate of soda is a common ingredient in bath bombs. When you add a bath bomb to water, it starts to fizz; the reason that it does this is chemistry! Bath bombs are made up of several ingredients but, in simplistic terms, there are three ingredients that cause this specific chemical reaction.

Combine citric acid together with bicarbonate of soda and the dry ingredients will not cause a chemical reaction. However, add in water, and the mixture starts to produce carbon dioxide bubbles (which produce the fizz in bath bombs).

Bicarbonate of Soda for Deodorants

Bicarbonate of soda has the ability to clean and deodorize. With this in mind, it is a good ingredient to add to a recipe for a natural deodorant. Combine bicarbonate of soda with appropriate essential oils, butters, and carrier oils and you have the foundation for a natural deodorant balm. You can learn how to make this particular recipe in the Sedona Aromatherapie Certification in Professional Aromatherapy course.

Bicarbonate of Soda for Vacuuming

If you want to freshen up your carpets, sprinkle a small amount of bicarbonate of soda on the carpet before vacuuming. You can also combine it with one of your favorite essential oils for added aroma. Simply combine the bicarbonate of soda with the essential oil/s and mix together, before sprinkling on the carpet. Vacuum as usual. Keep essential oils to a minimum and understand any contra-indications for use, particularly if you have pets or young children at home.

Bicarbonate of Soda as an Oven Cleaner

If you are like me, I cannot use the chemical oven cleaners sold in stores without feeling nauseous. Bicarbonate of soda is a great alternative. Simply sprinkle a small amount of bicarbonate of soda onto the oven surfaces, spritz with a small amount of water, and leave for about twenty to thirty minutes. Wipe off with sponge. I was amazed at how clean my oven was after doing this – and no nasty chemical smells either!

Bicarbonate of Soda for Flowers

Bicarbonate of soda can be used in place of commercial flower food that is often sold with store flowers. Simply add a teaspoon of bicarbonate of soda to a regular size vase of water to help prolong the life of your cut flowers.

Learn More About Natural Ingredients with Sedona Aromatherapie

Sedona Aromatherapie home study courses cover many natural ingredients for body care products, in addition to essential oils and carrier oils. If you would like to learn more, visit the courses home page!

References

  • Author is a UK-certified aromatherapist with seven years of experience in practice

  • Author’s personal experience

Pin It

Related Posts:


The Difference Between Level One and Level Two Aromatherapy Certification (in the United States)

Posted on: September 29th, 2014 by
Comments Disabled
Aromatherapy Certification: Photo Credit, ISP

Aromatherapy Certification: Photo Credit, ISP

In the United States (and many other countries) there is no legal requirement to become “certified” in aromatherapy before practicing the therapy. However, in order to recognize a certain level of aromatherapy education, professional aromatherapy organizations, such as the National Association for Holistic Aromatherapy (NAHA), require aromatherapy educators to meet certain standards. The main two standards of aromatherapy certification in the United States are level one and level two. Here’s a look at what each level of certification means.

Level One Aromatherapy Certification

The current NAHA guidelines for aromatherapy certification at level one require the student to be familiar with twenty essential oils. In addition, the student must understand aromatherapy history, the production and quality of essential oils, basic physiology of four anatomy and physiology systems of the body (as specified) – including how essential oils are absorbed by the body, how essential oils interact physically and emotionally, chemistry of essential oils, and how to create, and apply, an aromatherapy blend safely.

NAHA guidelines require the student to carry out thirty hours of study.

Note that although level one is a comprehensive introduction to aromatherapy, students who complete this level of certification do not qualify for professional membership of NAHA, are not fully equipped to practice as a fully-certified aromatherapist, cannot take the ARC examination to become a registered aromatherapist, and cannot usually obtain quality practitioner’s liability insurance at this level.

Level Two Aromatherapy Certification

The current NAHA guidelines for aromatherapy certification at level two require that the student is familiar with all of the information as stated for level one, in addition to the following information:

  • twenty five to thirty additional essential oils to level one

  • basic botany

  • properties of essential oils in a holistic framework

  • extraction methods

  • carrier oils

  • blending techniques

  • safety of aromatherapy

  • business development

  • aromatherapy consultation

  • legal and ethical issues

  • full anatomy and physiology of the body.

Level two requires the completion of a research paper, case histories, and a final examination. Level two must also provide a minimum of 200 hours study.

Successful completion of a level two approved course usually means that the student can become a professional member of an aromatherapy organization, can set up their own aromatherapy practice/business confidently, take the optional ARC examination (if so desired), and obtain professional practitioner’s liability insurance.

Sedona Aromatherapie Foundation Course in Aromatherapy

The Sedona Aromatherapie Foundation Course in Aromatherapy is a fifty hour home study course that has been approved by NAHA for level one. It meets and exceeds the requirements as specified by NAHA guidelines. For further information on this course, visit the relevant course page.

Sedona Aromatherapie Certification in Professional Aromatherapy

The Sedona Aromatherapie Certification in Professional Aromatherapy program is a 250 hour home study course that has been approved by NAHA for level two. It meets and exceeds the requirements as specified by NAHA guidelines. For further information on this course, visit the relevant course page.

In addition, Sedona Aromatherapie offers several other short aromatherapy, and bath and body courses, for the hobbyist, or those that don’t wish to pursue a certification level course.

References:

Pin It

Related Posts:


How to Use Aromatherapy Safely with Babies and Children

Posted on: September 22nd, 2014 by
Comments Disabled

Using aromatherapy with babies and children is a topic that is debated frequently. However, I think that one of the most important questions is, “How do you use aromatherapy safely with babies and children?” Some essential oils should never be used with babies and children – and, in all cases, you should always dilute those essential oils that are considered “safe” to use with babies and children. Consult a health care professional for specific advice. Here’s a closer look.

Aromatherapy for Babies and Children: Photo Credit: ISP

Aromatherapy for Babies and Children: Photo Credit: ISP

Aromatherapy: Hydrosols vs. Essential Oils for Babies and Children

Hydrosols are enjoying an increased popularity in aromatherapy practice, and are a great alternative to using essential oils with babies and children. Hydrosols, by their natural make-up, are less “potent” than essential oils and are usually more gentle in their actions.

However, it is of paramount importance that you understand the chemical make-up and potential use for each essential oil and hydrosol before using it.

Dilution Rates for Using Aromatherapy with Babies and Children

A trained aromatherapist understands that dilution rates are lower for use with special groups, such as babies and children, than the normal recommended amounts for adults. In addition, essential oils should be diluted in a base such as a carrier oil, lotion, cream, balm, or butter before applying it to the skin. Hydrosols can usually be used undiluted (due to their predominant water base) but you should still check to see if a particular hydrosol is suitable for use with babies and children.

Dilution rates vary but can be as small as one drop of essential oil to one ounce of product base. Basic guidelines for using essential oils with babies and children are given in my book Authentic Aromatherapy.

Types of Essential Oils to Use with Babies and Children

Some essential oils should always be avoided with babies and children, due to their chemical make-up; examples of such essential oils include:

  • essential oils high in menthone – such as the mint essential oils

  • hyssop (Hyssop officinalis)

  • juniper (Juniperus communis).

In addition, note that some species of essential oils have different chemotypes; one chemotype might be contra-indicated for use with babies and children but another might be suitable for use.

Some examples of essential oils that are gentle in nature and might be suitable for use with babies and children include:

  • grapefruit (Citrus x paradisi)

  • lemon (Citrus limon)

  • lavender (Lavandula angustifolia).

You should also note any other contra-indications for use; for example, photo-sensitivity.

Types of Product Bases for Use with Babies and Children

Some aromatherapy product bases lend themselves more easily to use with babies and children than others; for example:

  • white lotion base

  • balm base

  • butter base.

Depending on the reason for application, these types of bases are more suited to a baby’s immature, delicate skin than an oil-based product.

Learn More About Using Aromatherapy with Babies and Children

It is important that an aromatherapist understands the safe use of essential oils with babies and children before advising on the subject matter. The Sedona Aromatherapie Certification in Professional Aromatherapy covers the topic of aromatherapy use with babies and children in detail. To learn more about home study aromatherapy certification courses, visit the courses home page.

References:

  • Author is a certified aromatherapist with specific training in using aromatherapy with babies and children

  • Price, Shirley, Price, Penny, 1996, Aromatherapy for Babies and Children, UK: Riverhead

Pin It

Related Posts: