Aromatic Retreats and Workshops 2018

Posted on: December 4th, 2017 by
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Aromatic Retreats and Workshops in Sedona Arizona 2018

Aromatic Retreats and Workshops in Sedona Arizona 2018

If you follow us on Instagram, you will have seen the development of our aromatic garden over the past couple of years, with the culmination in the establishment of our very own still room and on-site class room for 2018. This has led to the inaugural aromatic retreat and workshop for 2018, both of which will be held twice during the coming year. Here’s all the details!

Location of Aromatic Retreat and Workshop

Each retreat/workshop is located on a one acre original homestead property, five minutes outside of Sedona itself, but a world away from the bustling tourism that has become “main town” Sedona. The property is located at the end of a private dirt road and directions will provided once you’ve paid the balance for the class. Instructions on what you will need to bring will also be provided at this point.

As the property is located outside of Sedona, all refreshments and lunch both days will be provided. However, you are welcome to bring your own as well. Just let me know in advance.

Aromatic Retreat: Secrets from the Aromatic Garden and Stillroom

WHEN: August 21st, 22nd, and 23rd 2018

OR September 11th, 12th, and 13th 2018

This is a three day retreat which is the same for both dates.

COST: $595 (inc. materials and lunch) for 3 days. A $150 non-refundable deposit reserves your seat in class. The balance must be paid in full by July 20th 2018 for retreat #1 and by August 10th 2018 for retreat #2, or your place maybe forfeited and awarded to another attendee on the wait list.

SCHEDULE (subject to change):

Day One: Plant collection and plant identification.

Day Two: Plant distillation (demonstration although you might be asked to participate if required).

Scent intention making project.

Day Three: Herbal project.

Blending techniques and one aromatic blend made from using these techniques.

Each retreat will include a custom manual, access to my personal oil collection, custom tote bag of goodies, lunch, refreshments, up close and personal with the plants and still, and lots of memories!

Workshop: The Art of Aromatics: A Journey of Emotional Healing

Please note: This is a WOMEN ONLY workshop.

WHEN: April 20th and 21st April 2018

OR September 28th and September 29th 2018

This is a two day workshop which is the same for both dates.

COST: $495 (inc. materials) for 2 days. A $150 non-refundable deposit reserves your seat in class. The balance must be paid in full by March 17th 2018 for workshop #1 and by August 22nd 2018 for workshop #2,or your place maybe forfeited and awarded to another attendee on the wait list.

SCHEDULE (subject to change):

Day One: Introduction to emotional trauma.

Aromatic oils for emotional healing (including blending).

Happy Place box project.

Day Two: Aromatic journalling.

Botanical aromatic art project.

Leaving a legacy in Georgie’s Garden.

Each workshop will include a custom manual, access to my personal oil collection, your happy place custom box, lunch, refreshments, access to Georgie’s Garden, and hopefully some aromatic emotional healing.

We would love to see you in 2018 for this exclusive opportunity to share our work and vision. To learn more, visit the website and reserve your space today!

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Aromatic Blends with Vanilla

Posted on: November 27th, 2017 by
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Vanilla and Peppermint for Aromatherapy Blends

Vanilla and Peppermint for Aromatherapy Blends

Over the past two weeks we have looked at alternative oils to vanilla, and which oils blend well with vanilla. In the final article of this trilogy, we are creating a couple of aromatic blends with vanilla and/or those vanilla alternatives we have been talking about! These are great blends to make for the Holiday season – or if you simply love the aroma of vanilla. Enjoy!

Minty Vanilla Whipped Body Butter

Whipped body butter itself is a decadent aromatherapy product, but add in mint and vanilla, and you have a seasonal body butter that can be used all year round as well! Instructions on how to create the whipped body butter base can be found in my ebook, 25 Basic Aromatherapy Recipes for Beginners.

You will need:

  • 8 oz whipped body butter base

  • 20 drops spearmint (Mentha spicata) essential oil

  • 30 drops vanilla (Vanilla planifolia) absolute

  • 15 drops peppermint (Mentha x piperita) essential oil

  • 10 drops fir balsam (Abies balsamea) essential oil

Instructions for Use:

  • Blend the essential oils and absolute with the whipped body butter base. Store in a glass jar and store appropriately. Apply to skin as needed.

Cautions for Use:

This blend is approximately 1.5%. These are “strong” essential oils, so you don’t want to over do it. In addition, avoid use in pregnancy, and with babies and young children. Do not store the finished product in the vicinity of babies and young children as it may cause breathing difficulties.

Vanilla-infused Orange Roll-on Blend

As discussed in previous articles, vanilla can be infused into an oil such as jojoba. This blend uses vanilla-infused jojoba as its base. This is a vanilla-orange accord which can be used on its own, or incorporated into a blend with a complimentary accord.

You will need:

  • 0.33 oz vanilla-infused jojoba

  • 20 drops petitgrain (Citrus aurnatium var. amara (fol)) essential oil

  • 5 drops neroli (Citrus aurantium var. amara (flos)) essential oil

  • 15 drops mandarin (Citrus reticulata) essential oil

Instructions for Use:

  • Combine the vanilla-infused jojoba with the essential oils. Add to a roll-on bottle. Apply as required.

Cautions for Use:

This is approximately a 10% blend. Use caution until you know how you will react to the blend. Lower dilution rate if required. For adult use only.

The Study of Essential Oils in Aromatherapy

To learn more about how essential oils are used in aromatic blends, consider the Sedona Aromatherapie Linguistics of AromaticsTM program!

References:

  • The author of this article has a 20 year history in the health care and aromatherapy industry. The blends given here are based on her own work and experience in the area. She is UK-certified aromatherapist and a NAHA Certified Professional Aromatherapist (R). She is both a published author and editor in aromatherapy, a consultant, custom blend formulator and herbal studies student. She is the author of Authentic Aromatherapy and the current chief editor of the NAHA Aromatherapy Journal. She has taken the online Master Gardener short course series with the University of Oregon. Sharon works from her garden studio in Sedona, Arizona, where she is in the process of creating her own aromatic stillroom and school room for on-site workshops on her one acre homestead and aromatic gardens.

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Essential Oils that Blend Well with Vanilla Oil

Posted on: November 20th, 2017 by
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Spice and citrus essential oils blend well with vanilla

Spice and citrus essential oils blend well with vanilla

Vanilla absolute or vanilla CO2 extract blends well with a wide variety of essential oils, adding a sweet, balsamic, “creamy” note to an essential oil blend. It is a popular oil to use in Holiday blends, as it is reminscent, for many, of the season. Think about the purpose of your blend, the product base you are blending it with, and then compose a blend to fit that purpose.

As I discussed in last week’s post, there are alternatives to vanilla oil but, if you want to use true vanilla, here are a few suggestions with which to blend it.

Spice Essential Oils

Spice essential oils are popular during the Holiday season and the winter months because of their “warming” qualities. Spices such as nutmeg (Myristica fragrans), ginger (Zingiber officinale), cinnamon (Cinnamomum zeylanicum), and clove (Eugenia caryophyllus) are also used in many Holiday dishes, so their individual and combined aromas are familiar to many.

When using spices as essential oils, remember to check individual cautions for use, as these particular essential oils are often more “volatile” than others and in some cases should not be used with seniors, pregnant moms, and with babies and children.

Balsam Essential Oils

As I suggested in last week’s article, Peru balsam (Myroxylon balsamum var. pereirae) can be used as an alternative to vanilla oil. However, essential oils of the “balsam family” also blend well with vanilla oil. Balsam essential oils, such as Canadian or fir balsam (Abies balsamea) and copaiba balsam (Copaifera officinalis), are also beneficial for respiratory problems.

Citrus Essential Oils

Citrus essential oils from the Rutaceae plant family, such as sweet orange (Citrus sinensis), lime (Citrus aurantifolia), lemon (Citrus x limon) and even neroli (Citrus aurantium var. amara (flos)), blend well with vanilla oil, in addition to other essential oils with a lemon aroma.

Citrus essential oils add an uplifting, “happy” note to a blend. Many are also beneficial for digestive problems.

Mint essential oils

I think that mint is a quintessential aroma of the Holiday season and, when combined with vanilla, adds a yummy note to any Holiday blend! Peppermint (Mentha x piperita) and spearmint (Mentha spicata) are the two most common types of mint essential oils used. Avoid using peppermint essential oil around babies, young children and pregnant moms; opt for the less “reactive” spearmint essential oil.

Vanilla Blends for the Winter Season

In the final post of my trilogy on vanilla oil, I will give you three vanilla blends to use during the Holidays and into winter. Don’t forget to check back next week!

The Study of Essential Oils in Aromatherapy

To learn more about how essential oils are used in aromatic blends, consider the Sedona Aromatherapie Linguistics of AromaticsTM program!

References:

  • The suggestions in this article are drawn from the author’s combined 20 year experience in the health care and aromatherapy industry. She is UK-certified aromatherapist and a NAHA Certified Professional Aromatherapist (R). She is both a published author and editor in aromatherapy, a consultant, custom blend formulator and herbal studies student. She is the author of Authentic Aromatherapy and the current chief editor of the NAHA Aromatherapy Journal. She has taken the online Master Gardener short course series with the University of Oregon. Sharon works from her garden studio in Sedona, Arizona, where she is in the process of creating her own aromatic stillroom and school room for on-site workshops on her one acre homestead and aromatic gardens.

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Alternatives to Vanilla Oil for Aromatic Blends

Posted on: November 13th, 2017 by
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Vanilla Pods for Vanilla Oil

Vanilla Pods for Vanilla Oil

If you are a frequent user of vanilla oil (as in the absolute or CO2 extract), you will no doubt be aware of the current shortage of this valued aromatic, which is either making it hard to source quality vanilla oil, or making it even more expensive to purchase it than it has been in the past.

In this first article of a new trilogy on vanilla, I will be suggesting some alternatives to vanilla itself, purely from an aromatic perspective (although, in fact, true vanilla does not posess any real therapeutic benefits with regard to aromatherapy practice). I will follow up this article with oils that blend well with vanilla, and suggest a few vanilla blends for the upcoming Holiday period.

The Aroma Of Vanilla

Vanilla typically has a sweet, rich, balsamic aroma. The chemical component responsible for the aroma in vanilla is vanillin. Vanilla (Vanilla planifolia) is a tropical plant which is today mainly cultivated in Madagascar. However it is the vanilla bean itself which is extracted to produce either an absolute or CO2 extract. Vanilla absolute is produced with the aid of a solvent; it is not possible to distill the bean to produce an essential oil. Vanilla oleoresin may also be produced.

The vanillin content of the final extraction may vary; the higher the vanillin content, the more intense the vanilla aroma.

I have been asked to create a vanilla note in several custom blends but the price of vanilla itself (when available) often makes a blend not viable or cost-effective. Trying to reproduce that elusive vanilla-like aroma using natural ingredients can sometimes prove a challenge! However, it is possible to infuse vanilla beans themselves, or the oleoresin, in another oil such as jojoba (Simmondsia chinensis) for oil-based blends – or add an alternative essential oil or absolute.

Balsam of Peru Essential Oil

Balsam of Peru (Myroxylyon balsam var. pereirae) is a tropical tree of the Fabiceae plant family which produces a distilled essential oil from the resin of the tree. The essential oil has a surprisingly rich, sweet vanilla-like aroma, although its chemical conponents principally consist of benzyl benzoate, benzyl cinnamate, and cinnamic acid.1

It is a viscous oil and it will give your aromatic blend a distinct vanilla-like aroma – at a fraction of the price of vanilla itself. Additional therapeutic benefits include uses for stress, respiratory conditions, and skin issues.2

Benzoin Absolute

Benzoin (Styrax benzoin) is, not surprisingly, another tropical tree but this time of the Styracaceae plant family. Again, the resin is collected from the tree and prepared into an absolute using solvents. Benzoin absolute produces a rich, warm, sweet, balsamic aroma with a hint of vanilla and, some would say, chocolate. The principal chemical components of benzoin include benzoic acid and benzyl benzoate.3 According to Lawless, benzoin does contain vanillin.2

Benzoin absolute is another thick, sticky, but vicous liquid which fixes a blend with the sought-after vanilla note, as long as it is used in moderation. Additional therapeutic benefits of benzoin include uses for stress, respiratory conditions, joint pain, and skin care.

The Study of Essential Oils in Aromatherapy

To learn more about how essential oils are used in aromatic blends, consider the Sedona Aromatherapie Linguistics of AromaticsTM program!

References:

  1. Eden Botanicals, Balsam of Peru COA, accessed from: https://www.edenbotanicals.com/product_documents/COA/80_Balsam_of_peru_Oil_COA_14.pdf

  2. Lawless, Julia, 1995, The Illustrated Encyclopedia of Essential Oils, UK: Thorson

  3. Eden Botanicals, Benzoin COA, accessed from: https://www.edenbotanicals.com/product_documents/COA/117_Benzoin_COA_1.pdf

  • The author of this article has a 20 year history in the health care and aromatherapy industry. She is UK-certified aromatherapist and a NAHA Certified Professional Aromatherapist (R). She is both a published author and editor in aromatherapy, a consultant, custom blend formulator and herbal studies student. She is the author of Authentic Aromatherapy and the current chief editor of the NAHA Aromatherapy Journal. She has taken the online Master Gardener short course series with the University of Oregon. Sharon works from her garden studio in Sedona, Arizona, where she is in the process of creating her own aromatic stillroom and school room for on-site workshops on her one acre homestead and aromatic gardens.

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An Introduction to Grape Seed Oil

Posted on: November 6th, 2017 by
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Grapes for Grape Seed Oil

Grapes for Grape Seed Oil

Grape seed (Vitis vinifera) is not a carrier oil that I have used much but it is often preferred by massage therapists because of its non-greasy application. It doesn’t have a long shelf life, so it is best to use it within a short time frame. Here’s a quick introduction to grapeseed oil.

Botanical Profile of Grape Seed

The grape plant belongs to the Vitaceae botanical family. Its Latin name is made up from the Latin word, vitis, meaning vine and vinifera which means wine bearing. The grape is a deciduous, climbing plant and reaches a length of 70 to 100 feet. According to Maud Grieves, in a Modern Herbal, some grape plants have been reported to live for hundreds of years. The grape plant has green-colored flowers but it is from the seeds of the the fruit that grape seed oil is extracted.

Production and Extraction of Grape Seed Oil

Today, the main producing countries of grape seed oil are Spain, Italy and the U.S. (California), although France was the first country to produce grape seed oil. Grape seed oil is extracted from the left over grape seeds, after the distillation of the grapes for wine. Grape seed oil is not a cold pressed carrier oil, unlike the majority of carrier oils used in aromatherapy practice; it is pressed with heat after the grape seeds have been washed, dried, and crushed.

Chemical Components of Grape Seed Oil

Grape seed oil is high in linoleic acid, in addition to vitamin E, flavonoids and antioxidants. Linoleic acid is excellent for use in skin care use, and therefore aromatherapy massage, because it is said to regenerate and restructure the skin and cell membranes. Grape seed oil has virtually no aroma, making it conducive for combining with other carrier oils, for additional therapeutic benefits, in aromatherapy use.

Cosmetic and Aromatherapy Use of Grape Seed Oil

Grape seed oil is light and non-greasy to use for aromatherapy and massage; it smooths the skin. It is often added to cosmetic creams and lotions for skin care use due to its regenerative and moisturizing properties. In addition, grape seed oil is non-toxic and is not known to cause allergies or sensitization in skin care use.

Cautions for Using Grape Seed Oil in Aromatherapy

Len Price, in his book Carrier Oils for Aromatherapy and Massage, records that grape seed oil is non-toxic with no known side effects or contra-indications for use in aromatherapy and massage. As always, consult a certified aromatherapist before using unfamiliar carrier oils if you have any concerns for use.

The Study of Carrier Oils in Aromatherapy

To learn more about how carrier oils are used in aromatherapy practice, consider the Sedona Aromatherapie Linguistics of AromaticsTM program!

References:

  • The author of this article has a 20 year history in the health care and aromatherapy industry. She is UK-certified aromatherapist and a NAHA Certified Professional Aromatherapist (R). She is both a published author and editor in aromatherapy, a consultant, custom blend formulator and herbal studies student. She is the author of Authentic Aromatherapy and the current chief editor of the NAHA Aromatherapy Journal. She has taken the online Master Gardener short course series with the University of Oregon. Sharon works from her garden studio in Sedona, Arizona, where she is in the process of creating her own aromatic stillroom on her one acre homestead and aromatic gardens.

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Native American Use of Plants in Spiritual Healing

Posted on: October 30th, 2017 by
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Healing through plants and herbs

Healing through plants and herbs

Following the latest trilogy of aromatically witchy themed articles, and with the advent of the Mexican Day of the Dead almost upon us, I thought that it would be interesting to take a quick look at some of the traditional plants and herbs used by the Native American people.

Various plants and herbs are used for spiritual rituals including sage (Salvia spp., Artemisia spp.), bear berry (Arctostaphylos uva-ursi), red cedar (Juniperus virginiana), sweet grass (Hierochloe odorata) and tobacco (Nicotiania spp.). Other sacred plant mixtures used are cornmeal and pollen, and a Kinnikinnick.

The Use of a Kinnikinnick in American Indian Ceremonies

The ancient Algonquian Indian word of Kinnikinnick means a ceremonial or ritual botanical mix of various herbs and plants; the bear berry (Arctostaphylos uva-ursi) plant, in particular, may be used individually in this ceremonial offering or in a mix of other plants and herbs, sometimes a mix of as many as thirty different plant species. Each plant or herb used in the botanical mix is prepared and dried separately, before being blended together and placed in a leather pouch.

A Kinnikinnick is used in a number of different ways:

  • it is used for smudging (the sacred practice of burning herbs)

  • it is worn to keep substances away which may be harmful

  • it is carried as an offering

  • it is packed in bags and baskets with items used in ceremonies in order to keep them healthy.

Plants and Herbs Used in a Kinnikinnick

The following plants and herbs are an example of those used to make a Kinnikinnick:

  • Bergamot* (Monarda spp.) - all plant parts may be used

  • Angelica* (Angelica atropurpurea) – use of the leaves

  • Canadian Hemlock (Tsuga canadensis) – use of the needles

  • Goldenrod (Solidago spp.)- use of the leaves and blossoms

  • Indian Tobacco (Lobelia inflata) – use of the leaves

  • Sage* (Artemisia spp., Salvia spp.) - use of the leaves and bark

  • Sunflower* (Helianthus annuus) – use of the leaves

  • Tansy* (Tanacetum vulgare, Tanacetum huronese) – use of all plant parts

  • Willow (Salix spp.) - use of bark and leaves

  • Yarrow* (Achillea spp.) - use of all plant parts

  • Mountain Mints (Pycnanthemum spp.) - use of all plant parts

  • Juniper* (Juniperus spp.) - use of leaves, bark and berries.

*plants used as essential oils in aromatherapy practice.

The Native American Practice of Smudging

Smudging is a sacred American Indian practice which involves the burning of herbs for both purification and prayer; this is a practice which is carried out by most American Indians. The burning of the herbs releases many fragrant aromas from the oils released by the plants which enhances the experience.

Prayers are then offered within the smoke of the herbs. Smudging is a time of spiritual healing and may involve a gathering of people for the passing of the burning herbs from one to another in collective prayer to the Creator. Two common plants used in smudging are sweet grass and sage. Other herbs used for smudging, either individually or in blends, include bergamot (Monarda spp.), yarrow (Achillea spp.), mesquite (Prosopis spp.), bear berry (Arctostaphylos uva-ursi) and tobacco (Nicotiania spp.). In spiritual rituals, the smoke from the burning of sage and sweet grass is said to take prayers and sadness up towards the spirits.

As an alternative to smudging with burning herbs, particularly in a restricted area and you want to “clear a space” as oppose to smudging for a spiritual purpose, I recommend using hydrosols as discussed in this article.

The Study of Plants in Aromatherapy

It is interesting to examine how different people use plants and herbs and compare the practices to how we use plants in our own practice, as either in use with the herb itself, or as an oil in aromatherapy practice. We can also value the use of that plant in our own aromatic gardens. Plants truly are versatile and healing in many ways, when we examine the number of ways in which they are used. To learn more about how plants are used in aromatherapy practice, consider the Sedona Aromatherapie Linguistics of AromaticsTM program!

About the Author of This Article:

  • The author of this article has a 20 year history in the health care and aromatherapy industry. She is UK-certified aromatherapist and a NAHA Certified Professional Aromatherapist (R). She is both a published author and editor in aromatherapy, a consultant, custom blend formulator and herbal studies student. She is the author of Authentic Aromatherapy and the current chief editor of the NAHA Aromatherapy Journal. She has taken the online Master Gardener short course series with the University of Oregon. Sharon works from her garden studio in Sedona, Arizona, where she is in the process of creating her own aromatic stillroom on her one acre homestead and aromatic gardens.

For further reading:

  • Kavasch, E. Barrie, Baar, Karen 1999 American Indian Healing Arts USA: Bantam

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