Sesquiterpenol-rich Essential Oils

Essential Oil Science & Chemistry Corner

Some of us are really curious about the chemistry of Essential Oils. I have so many questions in my head at times as my Aromatherapy Certification doesn’t leave any details out. The reason I personally think it is important to understand the chemistry of our oils, is beyond the aroma only. I can’t tell you how empowering it is, being able to help somebody by understanding my oils and to mix the right oils together for a therapeutic effect.

With the growth of Essential Oils in our regular lives, many of us start out with Essential Oils and might feel lost after a while. The options of mixing truly working blends is an art and it is chemistry.

Essential Oils are fascinating to me and for my own good I created the “Essential Oil Science & Chemistry Corner”. For the real nerdy ones. It will be my reference guide and maybe you will find some use in it too. Let me know if you have anything to add or discuss. I’m happy to chat.

Sesquiterpenols

  • Cedarwood – Juniperus virginiana
  • Patchouli – Pogostemon cablin
  • Sandalwood – Santalum album
  • Vetiver – Vetiveria zizanoides

Properties of sesquiterpenol-rich oils:

  • Antibacterial
  • Antispasmodic
  • Anti-inflammatory (all 4 oils)
  • Cooling
  • Grounding (all 4 oils)
  • Immune stimulant
  • Sedative (all 4 oils)
  • Skin-healing (all 4 oils)

Caution:

  • None. They are safe oils.

And here is my recipe for sesquiterpenol-rich oils:

Facial Mist

No matter where you get your oils from. If you would like to mix for therapeutic effects you will need to know and familiarize yourself with the suppliers GC/MS reports. They must provide you with the reports and preferable BEFORE you buy your oils. There is so many fake oils on the market and suppliers can label them as they’d like due to missing label guidelines.

For me it is very simple, if my supplier doesn’t supply me with the GC/MS report, I will not buy from them. You do want to know what you spend your money on. Especially when they are supposed to be “therapeutic, pure, organic oils”.

As always, Thank you for reading!

 

~ Katrin

 

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When my daughter became a Vegetarian

It has been almost 1 year when my then 6-year-old girl decided to skip eating meat altogether.

While my son loves his meat every now and then and my husband his sausages, I started cooking several different meals per meal time. Like every mum I was a bit concerned but since we are living a fairly healthy lifestyle since years I was not too thrown off by her decision to go meat-less. We own a ton of cook books (from ‘uncooking’ to full on cooking) and it was a good new challenge.

Below I put a small Infographic together which we use as our shopping list. We eat 100% what is in season which makes it a whole lot easier to decide what goes on the table. While we eat a ton of greens (raw, steamed and sautéed), we still eat what each of us likes (my son likes his rare piece of meat). We just made it a habit to always have a balanced meal with all named vitamins and nutritions in my cheat sheet below. Milk is definitely out though. Homemade Nutmilk and Seedmilk is our basis for smoothies, baking and milk for my coffee.

If I have time on my hands, which is rare these days, I do love to dehydrate our summer fruit and herbs. We also use our juicer as much as we can.

I do believe it takes time to get adjusted to healthier eating habbits and I’m also not the person who wants to stand in the kitchen all day. So it is still a constant adjustment and sometimes even fight to make my children eat what is on the table. But overall we have come a long way. For some we are way too healthy and for others not enough. But don’t we have this no matter what we do?

Anyway, I hope you will find some use in my compilation below.

~Love, Katrin

NO Meat Shopping ListNO Meat Shopping List

 

Monoterpenol-rich Essential Oils

Essential Oil Science & Chemistry Corner

Some of us are really curious about the chemistry of Essential Oils. I have so many questions in my head at times as my Aromatherapy Certification doesn’t leave any details out. The reason I personally think it is important to understand the chemistry of our oils, is beyond the aroma only. I can’t tell you how empowering it is, being able to help somebody by understanding my oils and to mix the right oils together for a therapeutic effect.

With the growth of Essential Oils in our regular lives, many of us start out with Essential Oils and might feel lost after a while. The options of mixing truly working blends is an art and it is chemistry.

Essential Oils are fascinating to me and for my own good I created the “Essential Oil Science & Chemistry Corner”. For the real nerdy ones. It will be my reference guide and maybe you will find some use in it too. Let me know if you have anything to add or discuss. I’m happy to chat.

Monoterpenols

  • Basil – Ocimum basilicum ct. linalool
  • Clary Sage – Salvia sclarea
  • Geranium – Pelargonium x asperum
  • Lavender – Lavandula angustifolia
  • Neroli – Citrus aurantium var. amara
  • Palmarosa – Cymbopogon martini
  • Peppermint – Mentha x piperita
  • Rosewood – Aniba rosaeodora
  • Spike Lavender – Lavandula latifolia
  • Sweet Marjoram – Origanum majorana
  • Tea Tree – Melaleuca alternifolia
  • Thyme – Thymus vulgaris ct. linalol
  • Thyme ct. thymol (some batches)
  • Ylang Ylang – Cananga odorata (some batches)

Properties of monoterpenol-rich oils:

  • Antifungal
  • Antibacterial
  • Antiviral (some of them)
  • Anti-infectious (as they are alcohols)
  • Antiseptic
  • Mostly non-toxic 
  • Mild when using them in skin-care products
  • Warm and cooling properties (like Peppermint ~ cooling)
  • Nourishing to the immune system
  • Some of them have a sedating effect (Clary Sage and Lavender for example are great for sleep-less nights)

Caution:

  • Mostly these are all safe oils when applied and used correctly. The only caution I would spell out is Peppermint as mossible skin-irritant. Peppermint should not be used for children under 5!

And here is my recipe for monoterpenol-rich oils:

Bath Salt Recipe Make me sleep like a Baby(1)

No matter where you get your oils from. If you would like to mix for therapeutic effects you will need to know and familiarize yourself with the suppliers GC/MS reports. They must provide you with the reports and preferable BEFORE you buy your oils. There is so many fake oils on the market and suppliers can label them as they’d like due to missing label guidelines.

For me it is very simple, if my supplier doesn’t supply me with the GC/MS report, I will not buy from them. You do want to know what you spend your money on. Especially when they are supposed to be “therapeutic, pure, organic oils”.

As always, Thank you for reading!

 

~ Katrin

 

From ZUMBA to Yoga – Selfcare

My ups and downs with excercise

ashtanga yoga ericeira yoga studio
Ashtanga Yoga (visual)

It has been a while since I last wrote a personal entry. It looks like that I have been neglecting my body, mind and soul for a while. Not writing anything about my life here in Portugal makes me think that I must be moving to fast and hard to get my business off the ground.

We are already in November and almost a whole year passed with a minimal amount of exercise. A few weak attempts of running along the coast in Ericeira or going to my fancy Virgin Active gym in Lisbon has not only left me without energy BUT what is most disturbing to my eyes is my drooping belly and my upper arms becoming more wobbly at the age of 41! Yikes.

It is not really my fault though! Moving countries, building business, learning portuguese and having children makes it not very easy to find the spirit to go out for a run. Well, okay. Maybe it is my fault.

When I left California I was in ZUMBA fever and visited regularly my favorite place in Santa Cruz the Santa Cruz Dance Company. The teachers there are excellent which let me to do a ZUMBA teacher training with Joy Smith (she owns the Santa Cruz Dance Company). I’m not teaching ZUMBA nor was that my goal but I did want to know the choreography and teacher mind behind the thing I really enjoyed the most when it came to exercise. So I took a teacher training. Such fun times.

When we moved to Lisbon, I tried desperately to find a new ZUMBA class in and around Lisbon. No class I took fulfilled my love for dancing. Classes do exist and people seem to enjoy ZUMBA here very much but it doomed on me that I was missing the teachers back in Santa Cruz. I could not carry on doing ZUMBA in Lisbon, if really what mattered, were the teachers who gave the ZUMBA classes. Little did I know what a stranger could do to me. What an effect a single teacher could have on me. There is a person I don’t know, they move their hips in a perfect way, I start admiring them because their combination of dance and teaching makes me feel great, I want more of them, then I move and everything falls apart.  Wow.

Anyway, I’m back into exercise business. Through a friend and name friend of mine, Stefanie Birkholz who runs her own Ashtanga Yoga business “Room for myself” in Estoril and Cascais area, I got to know the Ericeira Yoga Studio. Maybe Stefanie will teach one day in Ericeira 🙂

Fortunately she has a good friend, Joana Cadete, who owns the Ericeira Yoga Studio (here is her Facebook site).

This one single referral from Stefanie, was my doorway to fall in love with yoga. It only took me a few years as I was trying to get into Yoga many times before.

I have been visiting classes with Joana with my husband, but last night Joana knocked it out of the ball park for me with her Ashtanga Yoga class. I have never felt so connected and peaceful with my mind and body. Two hours of pure happiness, joy and love. Love and appreciation for my body and gratitude towards friends and people who have the ability to influence my life in such a beautiful way.

Maybe it was the referral of a friend, maybe it was the class itself, maybe it was me being in the right space to receive and recognize this gift. I don’t know for sure but it shows me that one needs to be open to try new things, to engage with the world, to appreciate one another and to really take care of yourself first in order to return a smile and some beauty back to others.

After this class I was so centered & calm that I was able to really love my life, husband and children even more. So Thank you Stefanie and Joana! I will come back next week!

~ Cheers Katrin

Monoterpene-rich Essential Oils

Essential Oil Science & Chemistry Corner

Some of us are really curious about the chemistry of Essential Oils. I have so many questions in my head at times as my Aromatherapy Certification doesn’t leave any details out. The reason I personally think it is important to understand the chemistry of our oils, is beyond the aroma only. I can’t tell you how empowering it is, being able to help somebody by understanding my oils and to mix the right oils together for a therapeutic effect.

With the growth of Essential Oils in our regular lives, many of us start out with Essential Oils and might feel lost after a while. The options of mixing truly working blends is an art and it is chemistry.

Essential Oils are fascinating to me and for my own good I created the “Essential Oil Science & Chemistry Corner”. For the real nerdy ones. It will be my reference guide and maybe you will find some use in it too. Let me know if you have anything to add or discuss. I’m happy to chat.

Let’s get started with the first write-up of a total of 10 Chemical Families total.

It is also the right season to have those little oils handy. May I present the Chemical Family of:

Monoterpenes

  • Black Pepper – Piper nigrum
  • Bergamot – Citrus bergamia
  • Cypress – Cupressus sempervirens
  • Frankincense – Boswellia carterii
  • Grapefruit – Citrus paradisi
  • Juniper Berry – Juniperus communis
  • Laurel Leaf – Laurus nobilis
  • Lemon – Citrus limon
  • Neroli – Citrus aurantium var. amara 
  • Nutmeg – Myristica fragrans
  • Opopanax – Commiphora guidotti
  • Orange – Citrus sinensis
  • Ravintsara – Cinnamomum camphora ct. 1,8 cineole
  • Rosemary – Rosmarinus officinalis ct. camphor/1,8 cineole
  • Siberian Fir – Abies sibirica
  • Sweet Marjoram – Origanum majorana
  • Tea Tree – Melaleuca alternifolia
  • Thyme ct. linalool – Thymus vulgaris ct. linalol

Although there are many more oils available with monoterpenes, those mentioned above present a higher amount of monoterpenes than others.

Properties of monoterpene-rich oils:

  • Anti-inflammatory
  • Antiseptic
  • Antiviral
  • Antibacterial
  • Decongesting (some of them)
  • Penetrate fast due to smaller molecules (absorb quickly into the skin)
  • Great airborne deodorizer
  • Uplifting and energizing (Orange Lemon, Grapefruit – all mood enhancers)

Caution:

  • Monoterpene-rich oils oxidize quickly as they are highly volatile and can become a skin irritant. Please consider patch tests before using it liberally. Especially after the oil was open for a long time or exposed to sunlight and such.
  • Some of them are “Hot oils” (Black Pepper & Nutmeg etc). Extra caution is required.
  • Phototoxicity plays a big role in Citrus Oils (Especially Bergamot, Grapefruit, Orange and Lemon). Distilled Lime is fine.

No matter where you get your oils from. If you would like to mix for therapeutic effects you will need to know and familiarize yourself with the suppliers GC/MS reports. They must provide you with the reports and preferable BEFORE you buy your oils. There is so many fake oils on the market and suppliers can label them as they’d like due to missing label guidelines.

For me it is very simple, if my supplier doesn’t supply me with the GC/MS report, I will not buy from them. You do want to know what you spend your money on. Especially when they are supposed to be “therapeutic, pure, organic oils”.

My inhaler recipe for you for this winter season:

1 Inhaler (here they offer them in many colors)

5 Drops Ravintsara – Cinnamomum camphora ct. 1,8 cineole

5 Drops Siberian Fir – Abies sibirica

5 Drops Opopanax – Commiphora guidotti

Mix all oils. Soak the white cotton piece in the oils. Put the soaked cotton piece into the inhaler (maybe with a glove or tweezers). Screw the top on tight.  Inhale into each nostril as needed! It does wonders!

Screen Shot 2017-11-07 at 6.06.23 PM

As always, Thank you for reading!

~ Katrin

 

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Toxic Ingredients in your Body Care Products to avoid

How to avoid chemicals on a daily basis. It’s a start!

This is a quick share from David Suzuki’s site (Solutions are in our nature). This Foundation works mainly to protect the diversity of nature and that we can make enough people aware of protecting the future for our children. This is such an in depth piece of work especially when clicking on the links he provided.

You can avoid harmful chemicals and here is the list. You can also choose to download this little pdf file through the link below and stuff it into your purse.

Sustainable shopper’s guide: 12 ingredients to avoid in your cosmetics

dirty dozen in cosmetics
Dirty Dozen in your Cosmetics

There is so much work still to be done around the world but I know that there is a glimpse of hope because YOU are reading this page. So, Thank you! ~ Katrin

1. BHA and BHT

Used mainly in moisturizers and makeup as preservatives. Suspected endocrine disruptors and may cause cancer (BHA). Harmful to fish and other wildlife. Read more »

2. Coal tar dyes: p-phenylenediamine and colours listed as “CI” followed by a five digit number

In addition to coal tar dyes, natural and inorganic pigments used in cosmetics are also assigned Colour Index numbers (in the 75000 and 77000 series, respectively).

Look for p-phenylenediamine hair dyes and in other products colours listed as “CI” followed by five digits.1 The U.S. colour name may also be listed (e.g. “FD&C Blue No. 1” or “Blue 1”). Potential to cause cancer and may be contaminated with heavy metals toxic to the brain. Read more »

3. DEA-related ingredients

Used in creamy and foaming products, such as moisturizers and shampoos. Can react to form nitrosamines, which may cause cancer. Harmful to fish and other wildlife. Look also for related chemicals MEA and TEA. Read more »

4. Dibutyl phthalate

Used as a plasticizer in some nail care products. Suspected endocrine disrupter and reproductive toxicant. Harmful to fish and other wildlife. Read more »

5. Formaldehyde-releasing preservatives

Look for DMDM hydantoin, diazolidinyl urea, imidazolidinyl urea, methenamine and quarternium-15. Used in a variety of cosmetics. Slowly release small amounts of formaldehyde, which causes cancer. Read more »

6. Parabens

Used in a variety of cosmetics as preservatives. Suspected endocrine disrupters and may interfere with male reproductive functions. Read more »

7. Parfum (a.k.a. fragrance)

Any mixture of fragrance ingredients used in a variety of cosmetics — even in some products marketed as “unscented.” Some fragrance ingredients can trigger allergies and asthma. Some linked to cancer and neurotoxicity. Some harmful to fish and other wildlife. Read more »

8. PEG compounds

Used in many cosmetic cream bases. Can be contaminated with 1,4-dioxane, which may cause cancer. Also for related chemical propylene glycol and other ingredients with the letters “eth” (e.g., polyethylene glycol). Read more »

9. Petrolatum

Used in some hair products for shine and as a moisture barrier in some lip balms, lip sticks and moisturizers. A petroleum product that can be contaminated with polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons, which may cause cancer. Read more »

10. Siloxanes

Look for ingredients ending in “-siloxane” or “-methicone.” Used in a variety of cosmetics to soften, smooth and moisten. Suspected endocrine disrupter and reproductive toxicant (cyclotetrasiloxane). Harmful to fish and other wildlife. Read more »

11. Sodium laureth sulfate

Used in foaming cosmetics, such as shampoos, cleansers and bubble bath. Can be contaminated with 1,4-dioxane, which may cause cancer. Look also for related chemical sodium lauryl sulfate and other ingredients with the letters “eth” (e.g., sodium laureth sulfate). Read more »

12. Triclosan

Used in antibacterial cosmetics, such as toothpastes, cleansers and antiperspirants. Suspected endocrine disrupter and may contribute to antibiotic resistance in bacteria. Harmful to fish and other wildlife. Read more »

Source: http://www.davidsuzuki.org/issues/health/science/toxics/dirty-dozen-cosmetic-chemicals/

Essential Oils: Top, Middle, Base notes

What are top, middle & base notes?

Since I have started my Aromatherapy Certification Program with the Aromahead Institute I’m in a daily daze and I’m stunned at the details we already know about our beloved Essential Oils in a scientific way. It is an absolute amazing path I have chosen and I’m SOOOO happy I took this step.

Anyway, the other day I made a blend based on my mood. I had a slight stiff neck and I just felt a bit down due to a bad night of sleep.

I figured I’m going to mix 3 oils together by just smelling them individually. Without giving it too much thought I grabbed Vetiver, Lavender (Lavandula angustifolia) and Grapefruit (I’m in love with Grapefruit. Oil or not. It can’t run away from me).

I’m always using now 30ml (1 oz bottles) to make my mixing process consistent. I chose a 2% dilution (10-12 drops combined) for massaging it on my neck and shoulders as well as below my feet.

It’s a blend made in heaven. If you would like to try it out find the exact recipe below.

I did read later that Vetiver might help with mental fatigue, insomnia, depression, maintain nerve health and much more. It has calming properties. No wonder I love this oil. I use this blend now at night as well. 

So why I’m talking about this specific blend has two reasons. First, trust your instincts and your nose. This blend made my day just better. The smell of all three oils were just what I need that day.

Second, this blend has a beautiful synergy. It has all three notes in it. Top (Grapefruit), middle (Lavender) and base (Vetiver) note.

Top notes are uplifting. They give you happiness. They are first to arrive to your nose and first to leave your nose. They evaporate fast BUT they put a smile on your face. Try it. Open up Grapefruit and smell it! It will make you happy. I promise!

Some top notes:

  • Orange
  • Lemon
  • Grapefruit
  • Mandarin

Middle notes will bring harmony & softness to your blend. They are right in the middle where your heart sits.

Some middle notes:

  • Roman Chamomile
  • Spikenard
  • Lavender
  • Juniper
  • Marjoram

Base notes are grounding and soothing. They are mostly “heavy” oils as Vetiver is. They will be present for a long time and slow down the evaporation process of your top and middle notes.

Some base notes:

  • Cedarwood
  • Frankincense
  • Sandalwood
  • Ylang Ylang
  • Vetiver

I hope you enjoyed the above. I surely did 🙂 And now to the recipe:

  • 1 oz (30 ml) amber glass bottle
  • 30ml Jojoba Wax (or any other carrier oil you have on hand)
  • 5 Drops Vetiver
  • 5 Drops Lavender
  • 5 Drops Grapefruit

20170302_133528

I buy my oils currently at different sources and if you have your own trusted source use them. This blend I have created with doTERRA oils.  If you don’t have any oils I can recommend doTERRA & Aromatics International.

Definitely and as always, go for the best oils (purest!!!) for the greatest benefits! Let me know if you have questions. I’m right now at the source 🙂

Hugs & Love

~Katrin

Cold Relief at nighttime

Cold and Flu Season recipe:

cold-relief-at-nighttime

There is always something else we NEED to do instead of…

…being here and present for our children and ourselves.

It’s Saturday morning and my son Max needs to study for a physic and history test. I’m leaving on Wednesday to visit my husband, dad and friends in San Francisco and there is soooo much to do. At least in my own mind!

I grab Sasha and give Max time and room to study without distraction. He is easily side tracked and the to-do list is overwhelmingly long anyway and Sasha loves shopping. Well kind of.

For our last items on the list we had to drive by her favorite parc (Parque Desportivo Municipal de Mafra) in Mafra which she frequents with her Dad (he has his own Blog here). She loves these moments with him and I love it when they have them 😉

It took a lot of fast repeating in my head; Katrin take a left turn. Make her happy, take a break and just enjoy…Katrin take a left turn…the car drove, I followed and we had such a beautiful time.

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Love your life. Enjoy the small moments. Invite them in more often.

~Love Katrin