"Throw away the crutch of knowledge and use the Knowing..." Thomas Elpel.

The Power of Plant Oils is a forum for learning about the therapeutic use of essential oils.
This 13 module course is a means of acquiring the knowledge and experience so you can KNOW the properties
and uses of the plants and their oils.

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Thursday, December 9, 2010


Why use a body scrub? Daily oiling of the body helps to support beautiful skin, and gives it great nourishment. It feeds our body from the outside in, increases circulation, reduces the signs of aging and helps our body to be more "lubricated." Like oiling the tin man -- the more you add oil, the better your joints, muscles, and tendons respond to staying flexible. Nourishing scrubs also assist in tonifying the nervous system (helping to calm you down and focus the mind/body) and the gentle exfoliating feels so good!

Nourishing & Invigorating Body Scrub
What you'll need:
-  Any size clean jar, preferably glass. 
-  Fine sea salt
-  Organic almond oil or sunflower seed oil
-  Essential oils of grapefruit, rose geranium, and rosemary (Tri-Doshic blend)-  this blend of oils will generally be good for all constitutions.

-  Fill jar halfway with sea salt
-  Slowly fill jar with your oil; it takes a little time for the salt to absorb the oil. Poke and stir the oil into the salt with a wooden spoon or chopstick. Once the oil is nicely absorbed into the salt, add a little more salt, and a little more oil (small amounts at a time) until your jar is full. You want a small layer of oil floating above the salt.
-  Add total of 12 drops essential oil per ounce of scrub.  
-  Wipe down the jar, label it with a happy name such as, "I Am Radiant Scrub" and VOILA! 

Use daily or as desired to nourish your skin. Use gentle flowing strokes towards the heart as you scrub. Be careful getting in and out of your bathing environment as it will get a little slippery with the oil.

Optional nourishing oils: Sesame, Gotu Kola infused oil,
St. John's Wort infused oil, Calendula infused oil. (If using infused oils;  you can use 10% infused oil added to your primary oil).

Optional Essential Oil Favorites: You should like how this smells!  Find the aromas that make your heart and mind sing. Some favorites are: Vetiver, Red Mandarin, Ginger or Roman Chamomile, Ylang Ylang, and Grapefruit. Use caution with skin irritating oils such as Peppermint, Clove, Cinnamon and Thyme.

From Yoga Journal contribution writer, Stephanie Bernstein, the Founder and CEO of To-Go Ware

Tuesday, December 7, 2010


BY Arianna Staruch, ND, ACHS Academic Dean

Long before the development of antiviral medications, natural support options have been used to address influenza and the common cold. Essential oils are know to have antiviral activity, specifically the monoterpene constituents, such as alpha-terpinene, gamma-terpinene, alpha-pinene, p-cymene, terpinen-4-ol, alpha-terpineol, thymol, citral, and 1,8-cineole.  A number of essential oils, including eucalyptus (Eucalyptus globulus), lemon balm (Melissa officinalis), manuka (Leptospermum scoparium), peppermint (Mentha piperita), tea tree (Melaleuca alternifolia), and thyme (Thymus vulgaris) have been found to have antiviral activity against the herpes simplex virus type 1 (HSV-1) in vitro.123 

In addition, some essential oils have been tested for specific antiviral activity against the influenza virus. The essential oil of Houttuynia cordata (an Asian plant related to lizard’s tail) was found to have direct inhibitory activity against the influenza virus in vitro by interfering with the function of the viral envelope, which help viruses to enter host cells.4 However, there have not been any clinical trials yet with human subjects to see if these in vitro or animal studies will translate into effective treatment options as compared with antiviral medications.

One of the common occurrences with influenza is fever. Fever is a protective mechanism of the body to increase the activity of the immune cells. However, sometimes fever can be debilitating or even life threatening. Fevers of more than 103° should be addressed quickly with your healthcare provider. Radix bupleuri (bupleurum root) is widely used in traditional Chinese medicine to address fever, pain, and inflammation associated with influenza or the common cold. A recent study looked at preparing a nasal spray from the essential oil of this herb and tested it in animals for effectiveness. It did show promise as a fever reducer.5 However, many essential oils can be irritating to mucus membranes and should not be used undiluted or without first doing a skin patch test.

So how can you use essential oil in your everyday life to help reduce to risk of viral infection? Essential oils can be used in the home as antiviral cleaning products. A diffuser with any of the oils listed above, such as eucalyptus, lemon balm, or peppermint, may reduce the airborne viruses in a room. In addition, essential oils may be added to hand creams to help reduce the spread of viruses by contact. Of course, these should be used in addition to the common sense CDC recommendations to wash your hands frequently, cover your mouth and nose with your arm when you sneeze, and to stay home if you are sick. (You should see your primary care provider for a proper diagnosis if you think you may have the seasonal flu or the H1N1 flu, and follow their recommendations.) This fall may be a challenging time because there is the potential for many people to be sick with the flu at the same time, but we can use natural support options, such as essential oils, to keep us healthy.

1. Astani, A., Reichling, J., and Schnitzler, P. Comparative study on the antiviral activity of selected monoterpenes derived from essential oils. Phytother Res. 2009 Aug 3.
2. Reichling, J., Koch, C., Stahl-Biskup, E., Sojka, C., and Schnitzler, P.
Virucidal activity of a beta-triketone-rich essential oil of Leptospermum scoparium (manuka oil) against HSV-1 and HSV-2 in cell culture. Planta Med. 2005 Dec;71(12):1123-7.
3. Schnitzler, P., Schuhmacher, A., Astani, A., and Reichling, J. Melissa officinalis oil affects infectivity of enveloped herpesviruses. Phytomedicine. 2008 Sep;15(9):734-40.
4. Hayashi, K., Kamiya, M., Hayashi, T. Virucidal effects of the steam distillate from Houttuynia cordata and its components on HSV-1, influenza virus, and HIV. Planta Med. 1995 Jun;61(3):237-41.
5. Xie, Y., Lu, W., Cao, S., Jiang, X., Yin, M., and Tang, W. Preparation of bupleurum nasal spray and evaluation on its safety and efficacy. Chem Pharm Bull (Tokyo). 2006 Jan;54(1):48-53.