For a lot of people, roses are the epitome of love. As Valentine’s Day swoops closer, lovers rush to buy bundles of these beautiful flowers. But did you know that most roses are bred for beauty, and don’t give off the aroma that they should?
It’s true! There are over 250 species of rose, and over 10,000 different hybrid varieties. Of these, only three are commonly used for oil extraction. But lucky for us, we get several varieties in the form of essential oils and rose absolute! Here are some ways you can use rose this Valentine’s day, besides buying the bouquet.
1. Check out rose essential oil, or otto. It’s heavenly and quite complex. Many of its components are also undefined, which means it’s impossible to replicate. Rose essential oil is light yellow to green in color and can solidify at cooler temperatures due to the natural waxes. It’s a costly essential oil because it takes 4 tons of petals to make a kilo of oil or 60 roses to make one drop! But it’s also one of the most beloved essential oils in the aromatherapy world.
2. You can also look into rose absolute. It’s an extract that holds even more of the true rose scent than the otto. Absolute also offers unique chemical constituents and is more reddish in color and thicker than the otto. It’s less expensive than rose essential oil, as well. And you can blend otto and rose absolute together for the full effect!
3 Make a rose facial cream or serum. Use your favorite carrier oil, like organic coconut oil. Then choose additives that work for your skin type, like evening primrose oil, rosehip seed and others (our Aromatherapy Practitioner Reference Manual or the Aromatic Spa Book are great guides for which oils to use and why). Once your base is ready, add the rose oil, absolute or both. A good safe dilution for skin is usually 2%, and a bit more for perfume use. But due to its potency 1 or 2 drops of rose otto to one ounce of carrier or cream/lotion makes a nice face blend. Use less if you have sensitive skin or want less of a scent.
4. Fall in love with a spritz of rose hydrosol. Hydrosols are made of the hydrolate water from the distillation process. They are excellent for the skin, and soothing to inflamed tissue. Hydrosols are useful for most skin types and make for a refreshing body spray. You can buy them fresh or make your own through home distillation.
5. For a tasty Valentine treat, add an ounce of pure rose hydrolate or a drop of rose absolute to your champagne bottle. We tried this with otto, and to our surprise, the rose oil made tiny wax balls in the cold champagne. We’ll go more into detail about why this happened in our next blog, but for now, our suggestion is to add absolute or the hydrolate instead! It’s delicious and romantic–just like Valentine’s Day champagne should be.
6. Add a few drops of rose oil to local raw honey for a tasty treat. It’s delicious! And combined with Damiana oil and its reputed properties (see link below), this honey could be multipurpose, in tea or on the skin!
7. Our friend Marge Clark at Natures Gift suggests a drop of rose in chilled heavy cream before whipping it! Her site has more rose talk, and rose oils. Thanks Marge, what a wonderful romantic and tasty idea!
Enjoy these suggestions, and have a happy Valentine’s Day!
Here’s a fun read: Mooning Over Love: Fragrances, foods, and flavors to excite and celebrate your beloved
We are continuing our “Top 10 Worst Injuries from Essential Oils” from the past year of collecting injury reports. These we have listed are the top 5 worst cases from our upcoming report, due out in February 2015. This is Part 2 of a two-part series.
Here are 5 examples of direct quotes (excuse grammar) from our new Injury Report, scheduled to come out in February 2015.
Read more about this ongoing project to spread information on safety and the costs of misuse.
Stop the unsafe use of essential oils! Save yourself, your friends and family, babies, and animals. Stop the insanity.
See Part 1 for cases 6-10.
Here are summaries with quoted text directly from the testimonials we received. We are not identifying any companies in this blog. You will be able to see the details of each entry we received when the report comes out. Most all of these were due to bad advice from misinformation.
5. Diluted blend to a baby’s feet slows breathing. “blends X & XX were used on separate occasions on my son at 13mo. The blend was very diluted (topical on his feet), he was 13mo, and I was informed it was ‘safe’. His throat started closing on him and his breathing slowed to a very dangerous level. After further research, I found out they both contained eucalyptus & Rosemary, both unsafe for kids under six. We had applied it & diffused it around him before his reaction, so it wasn’t his first exposure to it. Very scary holding your child while they are helpless.”
4. Multiple topical undiluted and oral use causes rashes. “It took months to accumulate in my system, but once the rashes started, I could no longer use any oils without the rash coming back. I was told by XX Reps that I was detoxing and that I should use more oils. I was told to try different oils for the rash. I was told to take sulfur. I was told that it’s impossible to be allergic to the oils. I was told that I must have a defective gene which is causing the rash.”
Please don’t buy this and other myths. The essential oil chemistry expert Dr. Robert Pappas recently addressed this myth last January on his Facebook page for Essential Oil University. He’s got a lot of great things on this page, so check it out.
3. Vaginal yeast infection leads to permanent scarring. “Was advised by a consultant to soak a tampon in tea tree oil, insert it before bed, wear it overnight and by the morning my yeast infection would be cleared up. Before bed that evening I put 5 drops of Tea Tree Oil on the tip of a tampon (I was worried about soaking the tampon as she instructed & using too much), I inserted the tampon and soon noticed a warm sensation. I called the representative as she told me it was normal and how I knew it was working. I went to bed and woke up about 6-7 hours later feeling like napalm had been poured into my vagina. I could not remove the tampon myself the pain was so bad. A neighbor drove me to the nearest hospital; They removed the tampon immediately and treated me for chemical burns with a prescription of burn jelly to continue using for the next 10 days, and more antibiotics to prevent the burn from becoming infected. At the 30 days check the tissue had scabbed over & partially healed. The 60 day exam the scabs were all gone but he noted I may have scars remaining and at the 90 day exam he told me scarring was present and would likely not completely heal.”
OUCH is all we can say!
2. Undiluted blend to 6-month-old’s chest resulted in 2 febrile seizures. “…Fever was only 99 and stopped breathing, foamed at the mouth; after 10 min violent seizing, turned purple and stopped breathing. Companies need to start warning about the seizure effects with wintergreen, eucalyptus, fennel, etc! My son doesn’t have epilepsy or any medical conditions. Once I removed his shirt and washed his skin at the hospital 45 min later he stopped seizing and returned to normal.”
1. Ingested “Morphine Bomb.” “protocol was to use 4 drops each of frankincense, copaiba, and balsam fir. They advertised it could be used via inhalation, on skin or ingested. I trusted this combination would [alleviate] my pain due to their claims. Within a few hours of ingesting the oils, I began having racing heart, shortness of breath, pressure in my chest that radiated to my back, up my left jaw, and down my left arm. The symptoms continued and I eventually experienced cold sweats and nausea. The symptoms did not go away. I went to Hospital, they gave me an EKG, blood work and a CAT Scan. They determined I was having a heart attack. I remained hospitalized for 3 days and underwent a heart catheterization.”
We were downright shocked by some of these cases. They’re getting worse, and, the saddest part is, they’re totally avoidable.
We have to stop this from happening. You can help.
Share essential oil safety information with your friends! You never know who has been fed incorrect or incomplete information. There are a lot of voices of reason in this situation–make sure you’re listening to them!
We also partner with Upward Spiral Center to provide FREE safety classes to the local community in Tampa Bay, and we regularly post blogs on safe essential oil use. We urge others to host SAFE Use Classes too!
We released our Annual Safety Report in February 2015, which features cases like these.
See this REPORT 2015 here.
This is Part 1 of a two-part series. Here are 5 examples of direct quotes (excuse grammar) from some of the adverse effects from our new Injury Report, scheduled to come out in February 2015. These are short quotes from the reports, not the report or our words. You will be able to see the details of each entry we received when the report comes out. Most all of these were due to bad advice from misinformation. This is why we believe that education is the key to safety.
We love our essential oils and our fellow humans, and we want to help put an end to dangerous and unsafe practices. Most all of these cases were better once the oil use was discontinued.
Here is a list of the 10 Worst Adverse Effects we received this past year. We’ve included a summary and quoted text directly from the testimonials.
10. Undiluted oils applied to small sore: “blend/frankincense” was used and next day skin turned red, bubbled up and peeled. When concerns were voiced she was told it was “detox, that there’s no way to be allergic or have a bad reaction to the oil since they are natural.”
Most qualified aromatherapists will not acknowledge the claim on “detox” to be true. Dr. Robert Pappas has busted this myth on this page. Read it here.
9. Undiluted on wrist: Two drops of clary sage and ylang ylang were used on wrists several times a day for about 10 days. Wrist started itching, broke out in red blotches which turned into blisters which spread into an area of approximately 3 cm x 4 cm. After a month with no oils and jojoba it cleared up. “Lesson learned: Always dilute your oils and never use neat oil application to the skin.”
8. Undiluted on mouth sores: “Between 25-35 drops of essential oil on canker sores in mouth on tongue after being told it was safe. This resulted in a trip to ER because of racing heart, panicking, gagging, dry heaving, extremely hot, fever, dizzy and sick and high blood pressure. “I thought I was going to die.”
It is so heartbreaking to read these sometimes. But it is our mission to spread this information so that we don’t have any deaths due to misuse.
7. Undiluted long term leads to sensitization: Used essential oils since 1997, and by 2005 got small reactions. Finally by 2014, found help to understand sensitization and the safe use of essential oils. Now she can only use in low dilutions (if at all) and have turned to hydrosols & flower essences, but “now have A LOT of sensitivities and allergies to a wide range of fragrances and EOs.”
Though we can become sensitized to a single oil, we can also become sensitized to many single oils and blends. By overusing now, we deprive ourselves of being able to use in the future. Remember the saying, “Less IS more.”
Read more about sensitization.
6. Oral use: Due to ingesting a “lot of” oils – multiple drops multiple times a day – of lemon and grapefruit in water, this person now has been diagnosed with stomach problems, chronic digestive upset, and is looking at possible gallbladder removal.
How sad it is to read these stories of people who are looking for alternative health care, possibly to save money or avoid surgery, who then cause even worse problems for themselves or their families.
Knowledge is power, never forget that it is in your hands.