Pruritis is defined in the dictionary as “itching” but as a medical term it is a lot more serious…ongoing and maddening.

Debbie Lobaugh, one of our nurse/clients recently wrote (and gave me permission to share) this success story. Quoting an ongoing conversation here. Debbie had asked for suggestions regarding pruritis caused by liver cancer…this was the result she sent me.

“Hi Marge, I would be happy to have you share the information regarding the fabulous results on my client with pruritis from liver cancer. Some background information is that this woman is a retired R.N. who has worked in public health for 30 years. She was having difficulty sleeping at night due to pain and the concern that she wouldn’t wake up. We started her on a lavender “M”® technique and used 5 drops of lavender on her pillow(lavendula augustifolia high alpine). This worked wonders with her sleeping and she is now off all Valium and takes half her pain medication.

This was fantastic and then we started trying different oils for her pruritis from liver cancer. What a blessing to find Camellia oil and a 2% lavender solution in the A.m. after her shower, It relieved her itching for 15 hours. She is ecstatic. I am too. If this can help anyone else I would be so thankful Have a great day. Debbie”

We love getting feedback like this…knowing that we have made a difference in people’s lives. And I love the generous spirits of the healers who are so willing to share what has worked for them!

Rachel was out of the office today so I ended up fielding the phone calls.  An interesting day.  I don’t know why people insist on blocking their phone number and name when they call.

“You have Balsam Fir Essential Oil?”

Yes, Canadian, from an Organic producer.

“What does organic mean for an essential oil?”

The question rather took me aback.  “In this case it was produced by a USDA Certified Organic producer.” 

“Oh.  Well,  yours can’t be real.”

Excuse me?  Why would you say that?

“Because [fill in the blank of your favorite multilevel marketing company] charges $78.00 for theirs, how can you sell it for $10.00????”

Because I don’t have massive numbers of downlinks to pay off? 

“How do you know yours is real?”

“Because I buy it direct from the distiller, in Canada, and have upon occasion had their oils laboratory tested to make sure they were what they should be.”

“Well, they can’t be the real thing at that price.”  Click, and she was gone

I can’t help wondering if we were to quintuple the price whether we might sell more?

For the noncook –

I stopped by a friend’s house today, and she urged me to take home a bag of homemade cookies. Now, this woman does not cook. Most definitely she doesn’t bake. And I am a bit of a snob when it comes to cookies. They had best be extraordinary, or they aren’t worth the calories. And, in all honesty, they didn’t look extraordinary. And she said they had peanut butter. I’m not a big fan of peanut butter cookies. But, I am polite. I said “thank you” and took a small bag.

They sat on my countertop most of the day looking at me, trying to make me feel guilty.

Finally I tried one.

In the interests of science, I had to eat them all, while figuring out how they were made.

Crackers, not Ritz, because they are oval. Perhaps Keebler’s Town House? A buttery, salty cracker, not a saltine type. Two crackers, sandwiched together with creamy peanut butter, and dipped in melted white chocolate.

OH my! The mix of salty cracker, peanutbutter, and white chocolate is amazing!

Even if you DO bake, and CAN make all sorts of wonderfully involved traditional Christmas cookies… make some of these too.

And to think I almost didn’t try some. “Contempt prior to investigation” and all that.

Just got off the phone with one of our Nurse/Client’s in Wisconsin. She has been treating a patient with intractable psoriasis for some time. She’s tried almost every carrier oil on the market, many recommended essential oils (in proper dilution, of course!) with no results. She recently tried our Pomegranate CO2 extraction, undiluted, and is having wonderful results. Dramatic reduction in scaling and in redness. The patient is ecstatic, and we are just delighted.

It’s feedback like this that reminds me of “why we are here”…when we can make a difference in someone’s quality of life.

Later update, she has also seen good results using our hydrodistilled Cade oil in proper dilution, in a base of Pomegranate CO2.  Not sure which is the real answer….but they have helped several of her patients.

Yes…. why we are here, indeed!

I was first introduced to Buddha Wood CO2 in another CO2 course perhaps two years ago, and was taught that its primary benefit was as an insecticide/repellant, primarily against the travelers’ bane – bed-bugs. And so I described it.

Earlier this month I learned so much more about it, in Madeleine Kerkhof’s CO2s for Clinical CO2 Extracts in Aromatherapy,  and frankly was a bit concerned that the three-day course would be a repeat of what I had already learned. I was SO wrong, and as time allows I will be updating our product descriptions with new information and sharing what I’ve learned here.
Aromatherapy course, in Washington D.C. Now, I have (and make available) Madeleine’s book,

But let’s start with Buddha Wood. Aromatically, it’s a lovely wood oil, deeper and a bit darker than most Sandalwoods.  A must for any wood lover. And of course there is that bedbug thing.

Emotional uses:

Did I ever dream that Buddha Wood would be useful emotionally?  No!
Madeleine taught us that Buddha Wood (Ermephila mitchelli) is useful for:

She especially stressed its use for transitions, and for sleep issues.  (I made a note to try with Petitgrain Bigarade which is one of the oils I use when my mind is racing and not letting me sleep.)

She also mentioned Copaiba Balsam essential oil as a substitute or complement for Buddha Wood for these issues, and for family trauma.

Later in class she mentioned that Buddha Wood CO2 is one of her favorite oils for stress and for sleep problems.  (I would assume those caused by stress!)

 Skincare uses:

Madeleine taught us that Buddha Wood is very useful for topical wound care, perhaps as a substitute for Myrrh, with similar actions. She uses it for:

Later in class she mentioned Buddha Wood CO2 as one of her favorite additives to blends for red, irritated skin, and for wounds and scars.

At one time during the class, Madeleine divided us into teams, and paired us with people from across the room, not the friends we were sitting with. We were to give our partner an issue that we were struggling with, and, with the CO2s available, they were to create an inhaler or a topical application.

Mine was my tendency to wake up after sleeping perhaps 3 hours, and have my mind racing with tomorrow and next week’s “to do lists.”  I find Petitgrain Bigarade, from Italy, wonderfully helpful for that, but don’t want to rely on the same oil all the time.

My “Lab Partner” was Ken Miller, someone I have met and sat in class with several times, but have never worked directly with.  Ken created a “Back to Sleep” inhaler for me, which is absolutely lovely, and *very* effective:

Back to Sleep

3 drops Sweet Marjoram CO2  (I know that is wonderful for sleep issues)
3 drops Myrrh CO2  (that was a surprise, and not one I would have reached for)
3 drops Buddha Wood CO2  (see above… stress, tension)
1 drop LemonBalm CO2 Total, which, unfortunately, no producer I trust is producing any more. If they do, of course we will order some.  In the meantime, I think a single drop of Melissa distilled, 10% dilution would be a good substitute.  The CO2 seems much milder and softer than the distilled oil, and I think a whole drop of distilled Melissa would overwhelm the other oils in the blend.

Pleasant Dreams!

(Ken is a well trained clinician who does remote consultations.   You may reach him at Whole Aromatherapies.)

Because we are always surprised – the best selling essential oils during our Solstice sale:

Now, why was everyone buying Ravintsara on Friday?  Has someone been talking about what a powerful antiviral it is where I missed the conversation?

It’s a good oil, a potent oil. It has always been a steady seller that we want to keep in stock, but never in 20 years has it lead the list.

Always we have had our organic citrus oils near the top of the list.  Not this time.

While displaying a selection of Nature’s Gift oils at the recent Alliance of International Aromatherapists (AIA) conference, I felt a touch on my shoulder. The customer’s face was concerned, and her tone was gentle.

“Marge, do you mind if I ask you a personal question?”

I smiled inside because I thought I knew what was coming.  “Do you have Parkinson’s disease?”  (I was right!)   I replied “No, it’s not that”.

Now, this customer was not the first to approach me with the same question. (Some of you have heard of my personal rule of thumb: ask a question three times…then we need to blog about it!)

 So here it is…I have benign familial tremor, also called essential tremor.

As we chatted, I passed the customer’s credit card to the ladies who accompany me to conferences. My hand tremors make it hard for me to swipe a card through the Square reader, so I appreciate their help completing transactions.  As I passed the customer’s card back to her, she had another question: “Can nothing be done to help you?”

I thought for a moment. Essential tremor tends to run in families (as it does in mine) but the exact cause is unknown. My older brother’s tremor is totally under control with a medication that does nothing for me….some meds have helped slightly, but not much. The worst part for me is what’s called a “core tremor”. It affects my voice severely and makes my head shake as well as my hands.  It’s frustrating, since I REALLY love doing Facebook live videos…but the tremor makes my voice almost indecipherable.

Anyway, back to the customer’s question.  “Can nothing be done to help?”  All of a sudden my reply just popped out: “Sometimes, there’s just NOT an oil for that!” (and we laughed.)

“Sometimes, there’s just NOT an oil for that!”

At the wonderful AIA conference, we learned (among many things) about the supportive role essential oils play in wound care, lymphedema, and cancer treatment.  But something many speakers said deeply resonated with me: “Even if you can’t help with physical symptoms, with aromatherapy, you can ALWAYS support the emotional ones.”  My teacher from Jane Buckle’s CCAP course has always said something similar: “When in doubt, treat for stress.”

Where aromatherapy SHINES for my essential tremor is the support it gives fighting fatigue, stress, sleeplessness and worry, for these things always make my tremors worse. The AIA conference ran from 8 AM-6 PM daily…then afterwards, there were dinners, meetings, and gala events. Every night I fell into bed exhausted!

Many conference attendees who stopped by our exhibit mentioned they were having trouble sleeping because of not being in their own beds, plus their brains had trouble ‘shutting down’ after a long stimulating day. For those nights when your mind simply won’t hush and let you relax into sleep, I suggest our “Happy Dreams” Blend.  The Mediterranean Petitgrain in it seems to calm what my CCAP teacher called “MonkeyMind.” (So many of us identify with that term!)

 Mary Monteiro, a Canadian aromatherapist and owner of Breathe Naturals, shared with me a blend she’s used for essential tremor. (I am reminded once more of the generous spirits we meet in this profession I love.  Mary did *not* have to reach out and share her blend with me. Bless her generous heart!)

Mary uses a 5% dilution, in 10 mls of Hempseed oil and 20 mls of Jojoba.

Clary Sage        8 drops
Lavender        7 drops
Sweet Marjoram    10 drops
Copaiba Balsam    3 drops
Vetiver            2 drops

She applies this blend topically to the back of her neck and lower head; sometimes she does use an inhaler, but finds the topical application more effective.

Topical use would not work for me; I’m sensitized to components in the top three oils. Not deterred, we set out to make an aromastick/personal inhaler.  Cutting the Lavender way back, we also used equal parts of steam distilled Sweet Marjoram and Sweet Marjoram CO2. 

The aroma is lovely; I think it helps some.  While the blend doesn’t make the tremor go away, it helps moderate it a bit.  Pleased with the results, I asked Jim to make up several inhalers for me (for home, car, and office) so I would always have one handy. 

So….now you know “what’s wrong with Marge”!  Living with this condition is often frustrating. Sometimes I handle it with grace, and other times…well, not so much!  Traveling to and from conferences can make my condition flare…not sleeping in my own comfy bed, hours explaining 30 years of passion for essential oils, and my brain being a “thirsty little sponge” soaking up lots of new and exciting research…it can all add up.  While there might not be an oil for everything, my beloved essential oils soothe and protect, support and encourage me. Can anyone ask for more than that?  I think not.

Follow up:  In September of 2020 I followed my neurologist’s recommendation and underwent “Deep Brain Stimulation” surgery.  He thought I might find up to an 80 to 90% improvement. The procedure involves having electrodes implanted in my brain to stimulate or control the pathways causing the tremor.   10 months later I would say the results are mixed.  My hand tremour has lessened immensely.  I can now carry a coffee up from the kitchen to my computer in the family room without spilling, not possible prior to the surgery.  The head tremor persists. (I feel like a bobble head, and I hate it.) On the PLUS side,my voice is much stronger. Earlier this year we recorded a LONG video about the history of Nature’s Gift for an international wholesaler who distributes our oils. My beloved daughter in law keeps hinting about a live FB q &A,  now that people may be able to actually understand what we are saying.  So there has been progress. Not as much as I would have liked, but some.  And at this point I am grateful for any!

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