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Mood and Productivity

Smell is the strongest of our senses and the one best able to influence brain activity. This is why aromatherapy can be so effective! Your sense of smell is part of the limbic system and directly connects to parts of the brain that process emotion and learning. Have you ever noticed that a smell will trigger a memory or remind us of something or someone? This is why.

Here are five scents that are recommended to boost productivity and mood:

Lemon. This scent promotes concentration and has calming and clarifying properties. This may help if you are feeling anxious, angry, or run down. Additionally, its antiviral and antibacterial properties may help fight colds and sore throats!

Lavender. Lavender has calming properties that help relieve emotional stress. It is soothing to the nerves and can relieve your nervous tension as well as help with headaches.

Jasmine. This light floral scent is also used to calm the nerves and has uplifting qualities that may produce a sense of confidence, optimism, and revitalization.

Rosemary. Rosemary improves memory retention and helps relieve physical exhaustion, headaches, and mental fatigue. Some use this oil in the mornings to help get going or topically for muscle aches and pains.

Cinnamon. Stimulating cinnamon oil can help fight mental fatigue and improve your concentration and focus.

Use these oils in an inhaler or put a few drops on a cotton ball and inhale as needed. To use topically, dilute with a carrier oil such as sweet almond (so good for the skin).


Stress and the Relaxation Response

Responding to stress in today’s world challenges many people. Whether you are trying to keep up with a new job, or balancing responsibilities from both family and work, or a stay at home parent caring for a family, stress can build up! Staying in a constant state of stress will eventually have negative health effects.

Cortisol, also called the stress hormone, is part of the body’s natural response to stress. But if you are constantly at the same stress level, and this hormone doesn’t disperse, it can decrease immunity, bone density, and quality of life.

Practicing consistent and intentional self-care will support our natural relaxation response and help balance cortisol levels. This is essential for long-term wellness.

Aromatherapy is one effective self-care method we can use to enhance the relaxation response and help replace stress with satisfaction.

Aromatherapy, when used properly, triggers the relaxation response. Combined with other known methods, such as deep breathing, self-massage, or meditation, aromatherapy will help you reap many health benefits from the relaxation response to the stress of modern life. It’s important to take time for yourself every day, even if that means stolen moments here or there.

Aromatherapy is flexible and portable, so be creative! Create a synergy of undiluted essential oils in a smaller bottle, using 3-5 essential oils. Try palmarosa, neroli, and bergamot (or your own favorites), and have this therapeutic synergy ready to inhale directly from the bottle between clients or before and after a meeting. Simply waft this bottle under your nose while taking, deep, even inhalations. Repeat up to 3 or times a day as needed. Blend your favorite selection of anise, basil, clary sage, geranium, grapefruit, lavender, sweet orange, tangerine, and ylang-ylang and diffuse in your favorite diffuser at the end of the day or during an afternoon rest period. Make your own dryer sheets by sprinkling a few drops of lavender or sweet orange on a clean washcloth made of organic cotton and toss in the dryer with your clothes.

Herbs Can Cleanse is your source for all of Plant Life’s wonderful products. We feature personal and service, and answers to all your questions. Take a look at the catalog, and try our Single Note Essential Oils, or helpful blends!


Top 15 Essential Oils Health Benefits

Each and every essential oil contains compounds believed to provide unique healing and therapeutic benefits. Here are some of the most popular essential oils and how to use them. Remember to work closely with a health care professional when using essential oils.

Clove: May provide anti-bacterial, anti-parasitic and antioxidant protection.
Clove Bud blends well with: Lavender, Lemon Cold Pressed Essential Oil, Peppermint, Rosemary

Cypress: Thought to improve circulation, reduce varicose veins, and lift confidence.
Cypress blends well with: Bergamot, Clary Sage, Fennel, Grapefruit, Lavender, Lemon, Rosemary

Eucalyptus: May improve respiratory issues like bronchitis, sinusitis, and allergies. Invigorating and purifies the body.
Eucalyptus blends well with: Lavender, Lemon, Peppermint, Rosemary

Frankincense: Thought to build immunity, reduce inflammation, heal age spots.
Frankincense blends well with: Lavender, Lemon, Myrrh, Sandalwood

Ginger: Believed to reduce inflammation, support joints, improve digestion and relieve nausea.
Ginger blends well with: Eucalyptus, Frankincense, Lemon

Grapefruit: May support metabolism and cellulite reduction. Mix with coconut oil and rub on areas of cellulite or take a few drops internally with water.
Grapefruit blends well with: Lavender

Lavender: Promotes relaxation, improves mood and may help to heal burns and cuts.
Lavender blends well with: Clove Bud, Cypress, Rosemary

Lemon: Great to use in homemade cleaning products.
Lemon blends well with: Eucalyptus, Frankincense, Ginger, Lavender

Myrrh: May provide natural anti-septic protection and thought to prevent or reduce infections. Also, supports beautiful skin, helps reduce stretch marks.
Myrrh blends well with: Clove Bud, Frankincense, Lavender, Sandalwood

Oregano: May kill fungus and help you kick a cold fast.

Peppermint: Supports digestion, improves focus, boosts energy, fever reducer, headache and muscle pain relief.
Peppermint blends well with: Rosemary, Eucalyptus, Lemon

Rose: Thought to reduce skin inflammation and great for creating glowing skin. Add a few drops to your facial moisturizer. One of the most valued essential oils in the world.
Rose blends well with: Lavender, Rosewood, Sandalwood

Rosemary: Can naturally thicken hair. May improve brain function and memory. Try it when working, reading or studying.
Rosemary blends well with: Lemon, Lavender

Tea tree oil (melaleuca): natural anti-bacterial, anti-fungal, reduces bad odors and can help stimulate the immune system.
Tea Tree blends well with: Clove, Cypress, Eucalyptus, Ginger, Lavender, Lemon, Rosemary

Sandalwood: Natural aphrodisiac that improves libido and may also improve energy.
Sandalwood blends well with: Cypress, Frankincense, Lavender, Lemon, Myrrh

Different oils can be blended together to enhance each other’s energy or can be blended with a base oil to be used for massage, shower gels, or body lotions.


The statements on this page have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. It is not our intention to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent any disease. It is our recommendation, if trying to get pregnant, pregnant or nursing, that you first seek advice from your health care provider before using any essential oil.


Easy Ways to Use Aromatherapy

Topically – essential oils are able to pass through the skin and into the bloodstream and into different areas of the body for internal therapeutic benefits.

Some oils are thought to be gentle enough to use undiluted, but only on certain occasions and very sparingly. Lavender and Tea-Tree are usually safe. Carefully apply a drop of Tea tree essential oil to an acne spot or a wart, or apply a drop of Lavender oil on a mosquito bite to relieve itching. Don’t splash them all over the skin!

For safety, use a carrier oil when applying these powerful oils directly to your skin, and follow the directions of a health care professional.

Carrier oils come from the fatty part of the plant and can help increase the length of time the essential oils stay on your skin. This may prolong the aromatherapy effects. Some people mistakenly think using carrier oils reduces the effectiveness of the oil but really it can be the opposite. Dilution increases the surface area of absorption and with certain oils can prevent sensitivities.

Common carrier oils include:
 Almond oil
 Avocado
 Coconut oil
 Jojoba oil
 Olive oil
 Pomegranate seed oil

To begin, start with a 10% (approximately) solution. This is 10 drops of essential oil mixed with 1 teaspoon of the carrier oil. Once you dilute the essential oil in a carrier oil, the shelf life is about 6 months. Store in the refrigerator in an opaque glass bottle. Be sure to label with the type of oil, the dilution, and the date.

Aromatically – Using a diffuser can help you experience the benefits of essential oils. You can diffuse lavender to reduce stress, wild orange to improve mood, frankincense for spiritual enlightenment, or peppermint to improve focus and energy.

There are a number of different types of diffusers to choose from.
They include:

Candle diffusers are composed of a heat resistant vessel that holds water and essential oils, and a heat resistant platform that holds the vessel over a small candle. These diffusers are simple to use and provide a light background of fragrance. Since they don’t produce a strong concentration, they are best used to enhance the environment.

Electric heat diffusers use small, absorbent pads placed inside a heating chamber. Ventilation allows the aromatic compounds to evaporate into the air. These diffusers are simple to use and require minimal maintenance. Some essential oils are damaged through direct heat.

Cool air nebulizing diffusers use air pressure to vaporize the essential oils. This method maximizes any therapeutic benefits. This type of diffuser needs regular cleaning, and more viscous oils (such as sandalwood or ylang-ylang) cannot be diffused.


Essential oils for weight loss

It is common knowledge that in order to lose weight, you must improve your diet and increase your activity level.

But did you know that aromatherapy can help?

Often people who want an extra boost to help them reach their weight loss goals. Unfortunately, many turn to stimulants such as caffeine to help. This results in extra stress on the body, when your body is already stressed by the changes you’re making.

Why not use natural, supportive, and soothing plant-based medicines that reassure the body instead of stress?

When using essential oils for weight loss, you can use them in diffusers. However, with the direction of a health care professional, you may choose to use them internally. All of these oils are generally regarded as safe by the FDA. Still, for best results and safety, choose organic oils and only buy from a trusted source.

These four essential oils have been proven to support fat loss:
Grapefruit oil contains d-limonene, which is found in citrus peels. A study found that supplementing d-limonene improved metabolic enzyme levels. (Published in Basic & Clinical Pharmacology & Toxicology Vol. 112, Issue 3, pp 175-181, Mar 2013.)

Add a drop or two to 12 ounces of drinking water and consume before breakfast.
Peppermint oil has been shown to improve weight loss because it suppresses cravings and improves digestion. (Blumenthal M, Goldberg A, Brinckmann J. Herbal Medicine: Expanded Commission E Monographs. Newton, MA: Integrative Medicine Communications; 2000:297-303.)

Add a drop or two to a quart of drinking water or choose enteric-coated capsules to make sure the peppermint oil reaches the bowel.

Cinnamon oil helps balance blood sugar levels, which will assist in weight loss and improve diabetes. (J Diabetes Sci Technol. 2010 May; 4(3): 685–693. Published online 2010 May 1.) Add a drop of cinnamon oil to your steel cut oats (after cooking) for breakfast, use a drop or two in fruit smoothies, even stir into vanilla ice cream!

Ginger oil contains gingerol which has powerful anti-inflammatory properties and increases thermogenesis, which boosts metabolism. (J Basic Clin Physiol Pharmacol; 2015 Jan; 26(1):95-103.)
Ginger juice or grated ginger contain these aromatic and flavorful compounds and can be used to make tea or flavor drinking water. Drink before or after each meal, or anytime you like! Also, use ginger oil diluted in water with a squeeze of lemon.


Aromatherapy – How to use it

Herbs Can Cleanse recommends the product line from PlantLife Natural Body Care, and these
products are available on our website. They make it convenient for you to integrate
aromatherapy into your life in the following ways:

Aromatic Baths. Baths are an aromatic and convenient way to begin to experience the benefits
of aromatherapy. PlantLife products are developed using old-world formulas and are
completely free of gluten, GMOs, parabens, SLS sulfates, and artificial colors or dyes. They
contain absolutely no animal products and are cruelty-free. PlantLife only uses 100% pure
essential oils and fresh herbs.

So, experiencing an aromatic bath is as simple as following these steps
Set the mood. Light a candle; play some soft, soothing music; turn your phone off to avoid
interruptions. You may also dim the lights, but be sure to remain safe!
Draw the bath. Check the temperature of the water. Add PlantLife Bath Salts or a few drops of
an essential oil such as lavender, calendula, eucalyptus, or another favorite. (Be careful not to
go overboard.) Have an Aromatherapy Herbal Bar from PlantLife (or your own favorite bar of
high-quality soap) ready.

Soak! Submerge your body in the aromatic bath, and relax. Close your eyes and let yourself
float. Allow the water and fragrance to gently soothe your tired muscles. Imagine the stress of
the day, and all your problems, fading away. When you empty the tub, they can go down the
drain with the water!

Finish with a brief shower. About 15-20 minutes is a good amount of time to experience
relaxation and stress relief. After a bath, many like to finish with a shower to more completely
wash away the stress. Use your favorite bar of soap.

Regular practice of aromatic baths can improve the quality of your life!
Diffusers. This method is ideal for releasing essential oils in the home (including bedroom,
living room, etc.) or office.

There are several types of diffusers. Some, such as candle and electric heat diffusers, use heat
to release the aroma. These are easy to use, but heat may damage some essential oils. The
other main type of diffuser is a cool air nebulizing diffuser. This type uses air pressure to
vaporize the essential oils. The essential oils are released into the air. This type of diffusion
maximizes benefits, but the unit will need to be cleaned regularly and cannot be used with all
oils. Thicker oils, such as sandalwood or ylang-ylang cannot be diffused with this method.
These two methods are the most accessible to those new to the use of aromatherapy. We’ll
discuss other methods in future articles. Send us an email (or comment) with your questions!


Cleansing Herbs

Nature’s Best Cleansing Herbs
The following herbs are traditionally used during cleansing. They give support to the heart, lungs, kidneys and liver. Many will agree that a combination of herbs are powerful aids for healing the body without the use of chemicals.

These are the best herbs to use while doing a cleanse as they facilitate the cleansing process. When you prep your liver and kidney (for seven days) prior to starting your intensive total body cleanse, you greatly reduce any auto-toxicity / healing crisis responses associated with deep tissue detoxification. It is vital that your colon remain open and functioning in aiding this process. An unblocked colon allows you to absorb nutrients from the foods you eat. If you are thinking of doing a cleanse of any kind and have questions, ask your doctor. If you are on doctor prescribed medication let your doctor know that you want to do an herbal cleanse. Unfortunately the use of herbs is not taught in medical school. As a result many doctors are not familiar with herbals and may not share your enthusiasm regarding their use. Ultimately, it is up to you to “treat” yourself and make your own health decisions. Always decide what is good for you based on your own reading and research. If your doctor has your best interests in mind he or she will champion your interest in taking control of your own health. Cleanse and Purify and be healthy!

Barberry Root
helps remove morbid matter from the stomach and bowels. It dilates blood vessels and has a very powerful effect on liver problems.

Black Cohosh Root
has the ability to neutralize certain poisons in the bloodstream. It contains calcium, potassium, magnesium, and iron. It contains vitamin A factors, and phosphorus.

Buckthorn Bark
has a stimulating effect on the bile and a calming effect on the gastrointestinal tract. Also good for the skin.

Burdock Root
is one of the best blood purifiers, and promotes kidney function to help clear the blood of harmful acids. It has anti-poisoning effects. It also aids the pituitary gland by releasing protein to help adjust hormone balance, which may aid in the adjustment of excess weight. It contains vitamins C, A, P, and B complex, iron and trace mineral factors. It is also a tonic for the skin.

Capsicum or Cayenne Fruitis
said to be unequaled for helping ward off certain ill-health conditions and promoting blood circulation and body warmth. It is an excellent internal disinfectant. Cayenne augments the power of all other herbs. It often helps relieve cramps. It contains vitamins A and C, iron, calcium, as well as some B complex. It is also rich in potassium.

Cascara Sagrada Bark
is rich in hormone-like oils that promote peristaltic action (the squeezing motion which causes bowel movement) in the intentional canal. According to research, Cascara Sagrada also helps restore natural tone to the colon. It helps increase the secretions of the stomach, liver, and pancreas. It helps in painless evacuations and is very cleansing to the colon. The American Indians called it “The Secret Bark” because of the excellent results they obtained. It contains B-complex factors, calcium, potassium, and manganese.

Chickweed Herb
is valuable for combating blood toxicity and inflammation. Chickweed resists plaque in the blood vessels and fatty substances in the system. Soothes internal inflammation. It is rich in iron, copper and vitamin C. Also is a mild diuretic and may be helpful in weight loss.

Dandelion Root
benefits the liver function. It helps stimulate the liver to detoxify poisons. It may help reduce the sugar in the blood and has anti-inflammatory properties. It contains protein, vitamins A, B, C and E and is rich in potassium, calcium, and sodium.

is beneficial as an infection fighter as an immune supporter. It contains a substance that counteracts tissue-dissolving enzymes, helping keep them out of the body tissue. It increases the body’s ability to resist infections by aiding the production of white blood cells. It is considered one of the best blood cleansers and has been called “King of the Blood Purifiers”. It contains vitamins A, E, C, as well as iodine and copper.

Fennel Seed
helps nutritionally to suppress the appetite. It aids the nervous system in helping to move waste materials out of the body. It also counteracts herbs that may cause intestinal cramps. It contains potassium, sulfur and sodium.

Fenugreek Seed
has the ability to soften and dissolve hardened masses of accumulated mucus. It reduces infections in the lungs. Fenugreek contains lecithin which helps dissolve cholesterol and contains lipotropic (fat dissolving) substances, which dissolve deposits of fat. It contains vitamins A and D, is rich in minerals and is high in protein.

Gentian Root
helps nutritionally to suppress the appetite. It aids the nervous system in helping to move waste materials out of the body. It also counteracts herbs that may cause intestinal cramps. It contains potassium, sulfur and sodium.

Ginger Root
helps relieve indigestion and abdominal cramping by soothing the gastrointestinal tract. Effective as a cleansing agent through the bowels, kidneys, and skin, it also stimulates circulation and warmth. It also hastens the effect of other herbs and helps promote a feeling of well being. It contains proteins, vitamins A, C and B-complex as well as calcium, phosphorus, iron, sodium, potassium, and magnesium, and contains substances similar to the digestive enzymes that break down proteins.

Golden Seal Root
has been recommended as a way of helping to boost a sluggish glandular system and promoting youthful hormone harmony. This membrane-strengthening herb goes directly into the system and bloodstream and helps regulate the liver function. It has been used for alcoholism and indigestion. It contains vitamins A and C, B-complex, E, plus calcium, copper, potassium, lots of phosphorus, manganese, iron, zinc and sodium.

Irish Moss
purifies and strengthens the cellular structure and vital fluids of the system, and is found in cosmetics as a skin softener. It contains vitamins A, D, E and K. High in calcium and iodine.

Licorice Root
works as a stimulant on the adrenal glands and endocrine system. Licorice also stimulates cell production of interferon, the body’s own anti-viral compound. Archaeologists found a bundle of licorice sticks among King Tut’s Tomb of Treasures. It contains vitamin E, phosphorus, B-complex, biotin, niacin, pantothenic acid, lecithin, manganese, iodine, chromium and zinc.

Milk Thistle
has been widely used in Europe as a digestive tonic for years. Excellent for liver disorders, it encourages liver cell renewal in a wide range of degenerative conditions.

Mullein Leaf
is a very beneficial respiratory herb. It has the ability to loosen mucus and move it out of the body. It nourishes as well as strengthens. It contains iron, magnesium, potassium, hesperidin, sulfur, and Vitamin A, D & B-complex.

Oregon Grape Root
is well known for the treatment of skin problems. It is an excellent blood purifier. It also aids in the assimilation of nutrients, with its stimulating and purifying properties. It contains manganese, sodium, copper and zinc.

Peach Leaves
are naturally laxative and have an excellent soothing effect on the nervous system.

Peppermint Leaf
helps bring oxygen into the bloodstream. It is soothing to the system as well as strengthening for the heart muscles. It contains vitamins A and C, magnesium, potassium, niacin, inositol, iron and menthol.

Prickly Ash Bark
has a stimulating effect upon the lymphatic system and circulation. It helps increase the activity of the liver, pancreas, spleen and can increase urine flow.

Psyllium Husk
is considered an excellent colon and intestinal cleanser. It lubricates and helps increase the bulk of the stool, and it may help absorb chemicals.

Rhubarb Root
is more than a pie filling. The root has been used when fecal matter has accumulated in the intestines or to help prevent such accumulation. It contains vitamins A, C and B-complex. It is high in calcium and contains some trace minerals.

Safflower Herb
is a popular remedy for sluggish liver and gall bladder problems. It has the ability to remove hard phlegm from the system. It neutralizes uric acid and aids in bowel function. It contains vitamin K. B

Sarsaparilla Herb
is used in glandular balance formulas and has stimulating properties. It contains vitamins B-complex, A, C and D, as well as iron, manganese, sodium, sulfur, copper, zinc and iodine.

Slippery Elm Bark
has the ability to help neutralize stomach acidity and to absorb foul gas. It helps boost output of the cortin hormone, which in turn helps send blood-building substances through the system. It helps draw out impurities and soothes irritated or inflamed membranes. It contains vitamin E. It also contains iron, sodium, calcium, selenium, and other trace elements.

Yarrow Flower
is used as a tonic in helping to regulate the function of the liver and heal the glandular system. It acts as a blood cleanser. It contains vitamin A, C, E, manganese, copper, potassium, iodine, iron and anti-inflammatory factors.

Yellow Dock Root
is a natural astringent and powerful blood purifier and is useful in certain skin ailments. It helps improve the flow of bile and nutritionally aids the spleen and liver. It contains vitamins A and C, iron and trace minerals.


For more Healthy Herbs go to the category “Healthy Herbs” on the right.


KEEP OUT OF REACH OF CHILDREN. If you are pregnant or nursing or have a medical condition or are taking any prescription drug, consult your physician or health care professional before using any of the herbs listed on this page.

*These statements have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. The information on this site is for your reference only and is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent any disease.


The Importance Of Herbal Cleansing

The Importance Of Herbal Cleansing:

These herbs have been used to cleanse the blood, aid in the digestion and easy absorption of nutrients, to stimulate circulation, and to maintain rapid detoxification of harmful chemicals. When the blood, cells, and tissues are clean, the whole body becomes balanced and functions harmoniously.


Other than living in a hermetically sealed environment, it is impossible not to be contaminated, to some degree, by toxins.
Toxins in the blood due to dirty bowel circulate to every organ and cell. Maintaining a clean colon inhibits pollutants from entering the body, thus protecting the glandular and hormonal systems and sensitive tissues from interacting with these materials. In addition, by removing these stagnant colon wastes, more nutrients pass into the bloodstream.

A body free of wastes, toxic poisons, drug residues, environmental pollutants is a healthier, more energetic body.


With the exception of pure air, there is no other element in nature that is as important as clean drinking water. Water helps to deliver essential nutrients as well as remove the blood’s foulest materials. If you don’t drink enough water, the blood can get thick and sticky, and the entire system has to work harder, letting waste materials accumulate more quickly and creating problems. Drink eight glasses of pure water daily.

Proper exercise in the open air and sunshine is among the greatest gifts you can give yourself. It gives good form, strength, buoyancy, and maintains a healthy, cheerful attitude. It doesn’t even have to be vigorous exercises like jogging, aerobics, or swimming. Just taking a brisk twenty-minute walk is helpful and will increase the rate at which excess calories are burned off. Regular exercise supports your body’s detoxification systems.

Historically, our ancestors used fasts to clear the mind before important decisions were to be made. It helped their clarity and awareness. They knew as you will discover through Herbal Cleansing, that a clean body unclouds the mind, producing cleaner, higher thought, besides helping you to control your eating habits. Short fasts, even a day or two, are very beneficial. It is also very good for the body to abstain from rich food and to eat only plain food (vegetables, juices, fruits) for a few consecutive days.


For more Healthy Herbs go to the category “Healthy Herbs” on the right.


Healthy Herbs

A History of the Power of Herbs:
Prehistoric men and women used plants to treat physical complaints long before written history began. They undoubtedly learned by trial and error which plants were useful and which weren’t. In the written record, the study of herbs dates back over five thousand years to the Sumerians, who described well -established uses for such plants as laurel, caraway, and thyme. The first known Chinese herb book, dating from about 2700 B.C., lists 365 herbal plants and their uses. The ancient Greeks and Romans valued plants for various uses and provided the patterns for later western medicine. The first European treatise on the properties and uses of medicinal plants, De Materia Medica, was compiled by the Greek Physician Dioscondes, in the first century A.D., This compendium remained the authoritative reference into the seventeenth century. The continuing importance of herbs for the centuries following the Middle Ages is indicated by the hundreds of herbal publications issued after the invention of printing in the fifteenth century, as well as a resurgence of interest in our own generation.

What the FDA has to do with herbals:
In 1906 the FDA came into existence with the passage of the Federal Food and Drug Act. This act/law made it a crime for a processed consumable to be sold without an FDA approval. The FDA later partnered with the AMA to control the flow of drugs. Today, drugs approved by the FDA are those that can be isolated through a chemical reactions (laboratory process). This, of course, excludes all natural substances such as herbs and herbal formulas as they do not go through lab processing. The chemical process renders drugs patentable as they are created in a laboratory and not in nature. The FDA does not recognize Homeopathy due to its limited laboratory processing.

The only processing that herbal formulas receive is via cold pressing into capsules or tablets, hardly a dense chemical laden laboratory process. Because of that, the dried leaves, roots, twigs, flowers, and barks used in these mixtures are still viable and healing to the body. Therefore, the FDA does not recognize herbals as their lack of processing precludes them. The FDA is only interested in chemicals, drugs and big money. Herbal formulas are small potatoes compared to the remarkably lucrative drug industry.

For more Healthy Herbs go to the category “Healthy Herbs” on the right.


Aromatherapy – What is it? part two

In our last blog post, we learned a little about the history of aromatherapy and its modern
expression. We also discussed distillation, the main process of extracting the valuable essential
oils of a therapeutic plant or fruit. Today we’ll talk about other methods of extraction, how
they work, and their roll in aromatherapy.

Cold Pressing (also sometimes called expression) is another important method of extraction
used today, especially for delicate citrus essential oils. Historically, this process was done by
hand. The zest or find of the citrus was first soaked in warm water to make the rind more
receptive to the pressing process. Next, sponges were pressed against the rind to break the oil
cavities and absorb the essential oils. Sponges were pressed over storage containers, and
allowed to rest until oils and juice separated. Today, the majority of modern cold press
techniques use centrifugal force. The spinning in the centrifuge separates much of the essential
oil from the juice.

These cold pressed oils contain a vibrancy sometimes lacking in distilled essential oils. They
have also not been heated (beyond the heat that is generated through friction). In cases where
tangerine, lemon, bergamot, sweet orange, or lime are desired look for cold pressed or
expressed essential oils.

Hydrosols were originally a byproduct of extraction. However, today, they are seen to have
their own therapeutic value and some distilleries focus primarily on these delicate waters.
When plant material is steam distilled the chemical compounds of the plant first accumulate in
the water. Only after they reach maximum solubility in the water do they separate in a layer of
oil on the surface. Many of the water-soluble plant compounds and some of the oil-soluble
compounds wind up in this water. Hydrosols are usually clear and have the viscosity of water.
Their aroma is usually similar to that of the essential oil, but is usually quite subtle. Hydrosols
can used in toners, creams, lotions, body sprays and room sprays. Many people use these
hydrosols because they are generally safer for use with babies and those with immune
disorders. Please consult a medical profession before using any hydrosols with these

Solvent extraction is used in cases where the plant material is too fragile to be distilled.
Petroleum ether, methanol, ethanol, or hexane are used to extract lipophilic material from the
plant. The solvent will also remove the chlorophyll and other plant tissue, resulting in a highly
colored or thick extract. The first product of this process is called a concrete, which is a
concentrated extract containing waxes and fats as well as the valuable aromatic compounds.
This concrete is then mixed with alcohol, which removes the aromatic principle from the
material. This end product is known as the absolute.

Solvent extraction is used for jasmine, tuberose, carnation, gardenia, jonquil, violet leaf,
narcissus, mimosa and other delicate flowers. Neroli and rose can be distilled or solvent
extracted, and this will generally be indicated on the label and in the product catalog.