Do your research

Do your research

I do not suggest you learn about the safety of and uses for essential oils from novice. This seems to be the case with many home party givers. If you attend a home party please ask the background of the hostess to determine their knowledge and experience level. Find out how long they have study and used oils, and what sources they have used in their studies.

Just this week another customer was planning to purchase Oregano Essential Oil to digest. In the process of the sale she told me of her plan which she learned through a doterra representative to put 3 drops of oregano in a glass of water and drink it. She never said what she planned to cure with this practice, something she was reluctant to share. My response, “Oh my, I do not recommend that,” left her startled. And, once again I heard the, ‘my doterra lady said’ to put three drops in a glass a water and drink it. In regards to Oregano Essential Oil, doterra’s website actually says: “Internal use: Dilute one drop in 4 fl. oz. of liquid.”  However, I don’t agree with that either. Oil and water separate, and Oregano Essential Oil carries enough heat to burn your skin, mouth, and throat. I can not say what else it may burn on its way down. In the end, I lost the sale and the lady remained safe.

Two weeks ago a mother came to me that planned to put essential oils on the feet of her young infant baby for chest congestion; the infant appeared to weight about 10 pounds. She was asking me which oils to use and was considering eucalyptus and a few others known to have anti-bacterial properties. She also learned this at a home party. I quickly told her, “The only oil I am aware of that is said safe for infants is Lavender Oil and even that I recommend diluting heavily.” Again, another lost sale and a bewildered mother.

Whether you are using essential oils oresoucre books.jpgr dried herbs do your own research, use reputable resources such as,, look at as many sources as possible to compare what is recommended and dilute, dilute, dilute!

Using Carrier Oils to Dilute Essential Oils

Using Carrier Oils to Dilute Essential Oils

Essential Oils and Carrier Oils are not the same. Essential oils are very potent, need to be used in very small amounts and in most cases need to be diluted before applying to the skin. Carrier oils, sometimes call base oils, are generally skin safe and can be applied to the skin in large quantity, such as in massage or as a moisturizer. Carrier Oils are used to dilute Essential Oils.

Essential Oils are pure in nature, steamed or pressed from various parts of the plant. Carrier oils may also be taken from plant life but are fatty oils rather than pure oil. Similarly, your carrier oils taken from plant life should be cold pressed or cold expeller pressed. Avoid oils that have been heated in the process or those that have been solvent extracted. Heated oils loose valued properties and nutritional values; they are often marked as “refined”. With solvent extraction you are exposed to whatever the solvent was that the plant was extracted into.

No need to search high and low, carrier oils can be found in your kitchen. Common kitchen oils such as olive oil and coconut oil are great carrier oils. However, remember to check the extraction method. Refined coconut oil will not give you the same benefit when applied to the skin as unrefined oil/cold pressed. Additionally, sunflower, almond, shea butter, jojoba, apricot, and avocado oil are excellent choices for use as carrier oils.

Oils both essential and carrier have their own characteristics and can be picked and matched to your personal needs. Some carrier oils are better for oily skin types, some are better for dry. Some oils are high in one nutrient while others are high in a different nutrient. For massage, some oils have a nice glide for while others will absorb quickly into the skin or may be hard to spread. You can become knowledgeable about the characteristics of individual oils with a little research. Start your research by knowing what your needs are and in what type of application or recipe you will use the oil. If all this is more than you care to know or invest time in, than just go to your kitchen cupboard and choose from what you have on hand.

Diluting and blending oils can be as simple or advanced as you would like to make it. Simply add a drop or two of essential oil to a teaspoon of carrier oil in the palm of your hand and apply. Or delve deep into blending and making your own personally targeted massage oils, lotions, creams, and soaps.

To better understand the nature of essential oils and carrier oils do this experiment:

Fold a paper towel into a long strip, drop one drop of several different essential oils and one drop each of several carrier oils onto this paper towel. Watch it over the next several days to see the results. Good quality essential oils should evaporate away while the carrier oils will remain and over time may become sticky.carrier oils.JPG

Using Sea Salts in Pickling Brines

Using Sea Salts in Pickling Brines

Replace Pickling Salt with Sea Salt in your pickling brine.
Sea Salt has more health benefits than processed salts. The concept behind pickling salt is that they are finely ground to allow them to completely dissolve into the brine. Accomplish this by purchasing a finely ground sea salt, or grinding your coarse salt with a mortar & pestle or electric spice grinder before use. An electric kitchen coffee grinder is great for grinding spices. Regardless of the salt and your method, simmer your brine until your salt is well dissolved.

For the brine, a solution of 5% salt is necessary if you are canning for shelf storage, you can decrease the salt if you are making refrigerator pickles. For shelf storage make sure you follow the necessary steps for proper home canning. I use the “USDA National Center for Home Food Preservation” site for all my home canning and freezing questions.

Here is a basic brine recipe:
12 cups water
4 cups white vinegar
2/3 cups pickling salt
Bring the brine to a rapid boil.

Essential Oils as Hand Sanitizers

Turn your liquid soaps (both dish and hand soaps) into a hand-sanitizer by adding a couple drops of Oregano Essential Oil. Start with an eco-friendly, non-scented dish detergent. I add 3 or 4 drops of oil per cup of liquid soap.

In the kitchen, this anti-bacterial soap not only sanitizes your hands, it also helps sanitize your dishes, sinks, and work space. I also use it for washing fruits and vegetables, be sure to rinse thoroughly.

If you are not fond of the smell of Oregano Oil, there are many other oils that would suffice, such as eucalyptus, lemongrass, orange, patchouli, and peppermint. I love the smell of Rosemary Essential Oil, so I use 3 drops rosemary oil and 1 drop peppermint oil per one cup of liquid soap, for my hand soaps at my restroom sinks. Visitors seem to enjoy it too.

by Pamela J Kramerhand sanitzer with oregano oil

The Abstract, “Antibacterial and antifungal activity of ten essential oils in vitro.” as posted at states the following:

“The essential oils of aegle, ageratum, citronella, eucalyptus, geranium, lemongrass, orange, palmarosa, patchouli and peppermint, were tested for antibacterial activity against 22 bacteria, including Gram-positive cocci and rods and Gram-negative rods, and twelve fungi (3 yeast-like and 9 filamentous) by the disc diffusion method. Lemongrass, eucalyptus, peppermint and orange oils were effective against all the 22 bacterial strains. Aegle and palmarosa oils inhibited 21 bacteria; patchouli and ageratum oils inhibited 20 bacteria and citronella and geranium oils were inhibitory to 15 and 12 bacterial strains, respectively. All twelve fungi were inhibited by seven oils (aegle, citronella, geranium, lemongrass, orange, palmarosa and patchouli). Eucalyptus and peppermint oils were effective against eleven fungi. Ageratum oil was inhibitory to only four fungi tested. The MIC of eucalyptus, lemongrass, palmarosa and peppermint oils ranged from 0.16 to > 20 microliters ml-1 for eighteen bacteria and from 0.25 to 10 microliters ml-1 for twelve fungi.”

Microbios. 1996;86(349):237-46. Pattnaik S1Subramanyam VRKole C.

Author information    1Regional Medical Research Centre, (Indian Council of Medical Research), Bhubaneswar, India



Tumeric as a Tooth Whitener

I’m serious about trying this turmeric toothpaste suggestion for whitening teeth. I followed the recipe suggestions and used: 1 tablespoon coconut oil, 1 teaspoon turmeric root powder, and 2 drops of peppermint oil.
Day Two – Okay, I’ve used the turmeric toothpaste three times. I can report a very clean feeling, and maybe even some whitening. Beware, while it doesn’t stain your teeth it does stain fingernails. I’ll report on the whitening again next week.
Day Five – I said I would report back on the Turmeric Toothpaste blend (coconut oil, turmeric root powder, & salt) so here is what I learned: I feel there was some degree of whitening but ones teeth can only get so white and I am not a young puppy. However, a word of caution, I have two crowns, I am not sure what they are made of, probably porcelain or ceramic, they got really white so now they are whiter than my other teeth. This of course made me curious so I tried it on my tea cups and it was amazing at removing tea stains. Even more curious, I thought maybe it was just the coconut oil, but that did not work. Then, I tried it on my counter top but it left a yellow stain that I had to scrub out with a spray cleaner, don’t do that! And, remember, it stains fingernails. In the end, I do think it has value as a tooth whitener, and there should be some other good benefits beyond whitening. 2016-02-24 10.54.00

Looking Back and Ahead

Looking Back
As with any year, 2015 was bitter-sweet. We saw an increase in sales in our established markets of 11% over 2014, and the addition of a third market, including a new look that both we and customers love. With this increase in sales and new addition came an array of new customers! We added many new products, as well as discontinuing a variety of products that were slow movers. Some of the new additions included new teas from a new supplier, honey sticks in two markets, additional essential oils, our house blended nasal inhalers, and several new additions to our house blended medicine cabinet tea blends.
We had an employee change in our Central Market location, while sadly losing Jeff to new interest of his own, we gained Patti. Patti has an interest in learning the values and uses of our over 200 product offerings. She has many years of market and retail experience and truly enjoys her role servicing your needs and interest.
Looking Ahead
We have already started the ball rolling with new growth, new structures, and new adventures for 2016. We are establishing a LLC to better protect family assets as the business grows and expands in new directions. We will be trade marking a new name for private labeling of some of our products. Once the above are in place we will begin a marketing campaign focused on internet sales. Also, we are currently working on adding a state approved packaging facility outside of markets to better supply all markets and internet sale.
I give thanks and credit to my husband who works hard behind the scenes to keep our computer systems and internet presents possible, and for his role in the establishment of the new market and the new packaging facility. I also thank my granddaughter and niece for their help at market and keeping products supplied for market sales. While it is my face you see at market, my presents there would not be possible without the help and support of these people and you.
Both Patti and I (Pam), enjoy the many conversations we have with each of you at market. We thank you for your support and kindness, and wish each of you peace, love, prosperity, and happiness in the New Year. See you at market.

The benefits and ease of making Tinctures

Customers often get that starry-eyed look of confusion and panic when I talk to them about tinctures. Making tinctures is so easy and almost any spice or herb can be made into a tincture. If you ever made vanilla extract with alcohol you made a tincture.
The three most notable benefits of alcohol based tinctures are:
Alcohol is able to pull properties from the herb that water and vinegar can not pull.
Alcohol based tinctures store in your cub board for up to 2 years. Unlike syrups that need refrigeration and generally store for approximately 2 months.
You only need to take a small amount, generally 1 teaspoon to 1 tablespoon daily or as needed.
Dried herbs and root are a good choice, because they are fully or partially dehydrated they easily absorb the alcohol. I generally use a mason jar or the original alcohol bottle.
I said it is simple and truly it is:
Add herbs, roots, etc., cover completely with vodka (rum or gin), label, date and set in your cup board, wait two months, strain off liquid, discard pulp, re-bottle liquid , label, date and store.
Currently, I am making a tincture from our elderberry syrup mix, a blend of, elderberries, cinnamon, cloves, and ginger.

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