Tuesday, July 15, 2014

Herb Quality

So as many of you know, I am working hard to create a patchwork of small family farms, homesteaders, and gardens in Ohio to get herbs from (for my remedies as well as the bulk bins).

Sourcing locally (for what can grow here) is superior to buying from Frontier, Mountain Rose, or Starwest (the big 3 national distributors of bulk herbs) in many ways:

Marshmallow Root I
bought from a national
distributor before I found
a local source.
1. Potency: Herbs that are picked and processed within 24 hours mean a more potent product for the end user. I make higher quality teas, tinctures, and remedies because my herbs are sourced locally. When I process them, I also leave much bigger (and therefore more potent) pieces than nationally distributed "retail ready" herbs.

2. Cost: Ohio is rich (in botanicals, that is)! So many things grow here easily and and can be cultivated without struggle. Likewise, so many potent medicinals are native to the area: Goldenseal, Black Cohosh, Wild Ginger, White Ginseng. If I can work with local folks to cultivate and wild harvest sustainably*, we will have a steady supply that will cost less than the herbs available elsewhere. I intend on cultivating my own eventually, as well.

3. Economy: The local economy benefits when we spend our money locally- I carry locally made products over national conglomerate ones when I can find a source. I source from Ohio farms and homesteaders to support them in their endeavor, and they supply me to support mine. I carry local lotions instead of nationally distributed ones. Not only are the local ones better for you, they aren't made in China! Think you are buying a natural, safe product when you buy Burt's Bees**? Think again.

A close up of that
Marshmallow root.
Did you know that spending $100 locally puts $68 back into the local economy, but shopping at a big box or chain only puts $43 back (and shopping online puts $0 back)?

4. Fossil Fuel Dependency: When you get your inventory from national distributors, you are feeding into a fossil fuel dependent economy and having to get your stock shipped to you from another state (not to mention that they had their inventory shipped to them from another state or country to begin with!) I would venture to guess that the Goldenseal I got from Mountain Rose came from Ohio in the first place- so it was shipped from Ohio to Oregon and back again. Doesn't make much sense, does it?

5. Bioregional Herbalism: I am a firm believer that what we need for tonics and remedies are right underfoot. There are many herbs growing wild and abundantly here in Ohio that many people are not using, because they know about a more popular one. So I am carefully bringing in locally sourced herbs that may not be popular (yet) and educating people about choices.

Locally sourced
Marshmallow root.
See the large pieces?
6. Teaching: I have 13 herbal students who are learning all about Western herbalism and materia medica- and what better way than hands-on? Handling the plants in all the stages of its life and during medicine making makes a better trained herbalist. My students have made infusions, decoctions, strained tinctures, and help to dry the plants as they come in fresh in just the two months they have been studying so far.

In short, I am really excited about the possibilities for a bioregional apothecary and what we can accomplish here in Columbus. If you would like to be a part of it, come by for a class or pick up some locally sourced remedies, body care, or botanicals!

Nationally sourced
Red Clover. Small
pieces, shredded.
Locally sourced Red Clover.
Large intact
Locally sourced Raspberry
leaf. Big potent chunks!

*I only carry herbs cultivated using organic methods or wildcrafted using sustainable practices.

**Burt's Bees is a national company, owned by Clorox and its products are made in China. Some of their products have been randomly tested and found to contain unsafe and dangerous things in them.

Monday, July 7, 2014

July Workshops

This month, we have two workshops available to those that love hands-on learning! Pre-registration is required, so get online here and send your payment!

Wildcrafting and Wilderness Medicine
is going to be led by Jonathan Tepperman of Dirtlab Bush Craft. He is going to take us on a walk to seek medicinal plants. If we are lucky, we will be able to collect 15 or so! Once we have completed our walk, we'll build a fire and process some into instant medicine! Learn survival skills, how to identify medicinal plants around you, and how to ethically harvest them, all in the span of two hours!
Thursday, July 24th 7-9 PM @ Camp Mary Orton; $25

Digestive and Cocktail Bitters
is co-led by Lily of Boline Apothecary and Mykie of The Bitter Wife (a local Columbus cocktail bitters maker). Peter, the Spirits Manager at Weiland's Market will be on hand to let us sample some wares from their astounding bitters collection.
We'll be learning about the importance of bitters in the diet, the history of this medicine-turned-cocktail-additive, and sampling lots of wonderful blends courtesy of Weiland's and Strongwater (the bar we are using for the workshop- they are providing soda for sippin'!). Then, you get to make two pints of your own to take home- a digestive blend and a cocktail blend.
Saturday, July 26th, 3-5 PM @ Strongwater Bar (401 W. Town Street); $35

Wednesday, June 4, 2014

Product Profile: Wellness Tea

Wellness Tea is a great brew to stay healthy and vital. It is a combination of highly nutritious herbs (Nettles, Red Clover, Oatstraw), antivirals (Lemon Balm), mild liver detox (Dandelion), and an adaptogen to help you cope with stress, climate changes, and the like (Tulsi, also known as Holy Basil).

Think of this tea as a delightful, tasty, stress tab vitamin! Drink it iced or hot in lieu of water!

Boline Apothecary teas are potent, because they come loose in larger pieces than bagged teas (those plants have been chopped so fine, they have lost many of their essential oils before they ever get steeped!). Many of our ingredients are locally sourced, offering you a more potent and fresh brew than anything commercially available on a national scale. We are working to source as many of our ingredients locally as possible in the long term.

We provide a non-chlorine beached cotton bag to use over and over to make your infusion. Each package of Boline Apothecary tea makes 6 gallons of tea if you make large batches (less if you brew by the cup)!

Monday, June 2, 2014


We all learned in school that we had taste receptors on our tongue: sweet, salty, sour, and bitter. As Americans, we have studiously avoided the bitter and have an over-fondness for the sweet. We also eat less unprocessed foods than other cultures and more refined flours and sugars. All of this has taken its toll on our collective digestion, skin health, and immune systems. (1)

What if I told you there was a general tonic we all should be taking that would make us healthier? That it helped regulate blood sugar, energy levels, the immune system, and more? That our bodies were built to have it, but as a culture we have denied ourselves this tonic in our food and now we need to take extra measures to replace it in our diet? This tonic we all need is bitters.

What is bitters? Bitter is something that simply tastes bitter in flavor: dandelion, gentian, coffee, dark chocolate and greens are all bitters.

Many traditional cultures around the world believe that it is important to have all 5 flavors within the diet and that each flavor has a specific effect on the body. The flavor of bitter is very much associated with the digestive system. As human beings we evolved eating tons and tons of bitters- bitters greens, bitter roots, bitter barks. The majority of food growing in the wild has an element of bitterness to it. Even the ripest wild blackberry is not purely sweet; it also has a little sour, a little bitter to its flavor profile. Early humans rarely consumed sweets-honey was like food of the gods!
Fast forward to modern times, as a culture we consume an immense amount of sweet, salty and processed food and we have a severe lack of bitterness. But our bod­ies are built for bitter flavors! Bitter engages and excites the digestive system. Bitter challenges the body, alerting it through taste that a complex food is being ingested, more complex than heavily processed food. It is very important for the body to have enough challenge—challenge keeps us strong, on our toes, ready for action! Bitters are like the gym for the digestive system, they help to keep it toned. Our brilliant tongue is like the doorbell to the digestive system and when we taste something bitter it rings that doorbell, “Ding-dong! Time to eat, time to wake up, time to digest!” All the digestive organs get “turned on”—excited. They start to secrete digestive juices in preparation for the incoming food! -Urban Moonshine Website

"Herbal digestive bitters begin working as soon as they reach the taste buds in our mouth. The bitter taste has a reflex action on our stomach and pancreas, stimulating the production of digestive juices. Bitters also stimulate the liver and prepare the gall bladder for the release of bile. Using bitters before eating has always been a good idea, but the need for additional bitters has become a necessity as most people have eliminated most of the bitter foods from their diet."- Herb Pharm Website

Bitters are a true tonic that should be taken regularly over time in the same way that bitter foods would be consumed (if we Americans consumed them, that is). Continued use of digestive bitters is not only safe, it is the most best way to use them! The positive effect of bitters on digestion actually increases with time and the full effect is seen only after continued and prolonged use. We have started making our own line of bitters for the store using local hops, local dandelion root, local burdock root and gentian. We add three carminatives to the mix: cardamom, orange peel, and cinnamon for a great tasting all-around digestif.

Did you know that the benefits of bitters extend beyond digestion? As I indicated above, skin and immunity can benefit from regular use, and bitters also increase the tone of the autonomic nervous system (the system that energizes the digestive organs). This effect on the nervous system extends beyond the digestive organs and helps reduce anxiety and overall stress (and who doesn't need that?).

In July, we will be offering a bitters class with some special partners! Stay tuned for news about that!

(1) Digestion, skin health, and the immune system are closely linked. 90% of the immune system is in the gut, and the skin is an organ of elimination- toxins that we ingest come out through the skin as well as the digestive tract.

Wednesday, May 28, 2014

The Building of a Store

Shawn shows me the vacant storefront.
 Let me tell you a story. It is how the brick and mortar location of Boline Apothecary came to be- it's a long and winding road. It's the story of how small businesses happen. It's full of tiny triumphs and setbacks and I own every one of them.

In the beginning, there was me, Lily. I had spent my teen years and adulthood dabbling in holistic remedies and herbalism and finally attended an herb school in California in my thirties. I moved to Ohio in 2011 (and Columbus in 2012). Once settled in the Capitol City, I started helping friends one--on-one with small maladies and remedies. Never one to make a little of this or that, I made large batches of my remedies and found myself with a surplus of "leftovers". So I started selling online and started to attend a farmer's market (400 West Rich).

That pink!
One farmer's market led to another and another, and soon I was selling out of my remedies and adding products based on what folks asked of me in clinical visits and at the farmer's market booths.

In the meantime, I decided to enter the healing profession full time. So I began to take a master's program traditional Chinese medicine (thinking that it complemented the western herbalism quite well). I also started delivering Boline orders to small independent retail establishments. One of those establishments, City Folks Farm Shop, asked me to teach classes and so I did. I got to know the proprietor better and became friends with her. It was shopkeeper Shawn of City Folks, who cajoled me into looking into renting the retail space next door to her shop. But I was skeptical. I did not think my little business was ready for such a step. I mean, I sold well at the farmer's markets- but to fill a whole shop? That seemed more than a little daunting.

Painting progress!
I didn't think that I could afford such a venture and I did not think that anyone would lend me the money to start such a project, anyway. But Shawn had kindled a spark. I realized I could make the shop bigger than me and my line- it could be a sustainable community project! I realized that Columbus could have an actual apothecary- one that it was ready for! I fantasized about dried bulk herbs and high grade products that are hard to find all in one place. I realized that we could connect the farms in Ohio with the city folks who need medicinal herbs. In short, I started fantasizing on Facebook about the idea of not just a place for my products, but a much larger vision.

My first furniture.
Every major city (and plenty of smaller ones, too) she had visited had an herb store/apothecary, but Columbus had none. Yes, the City of Gahanna has the Herb Education Center (yay!), and the local coops have bulk dried herbs from hither and yon. But there was no place like Scarlet Sage in San Francisco, Moonrise Herbs in Arcata, CA, Rebecca's Herbs in Boulder, CO, or Flower Power in NYC. A place that was an epicenter for herbal healing and education with a variety of products and services available to the populace. A place to get eco friendly and holistic health care, toiletries, and supplies. And Columbus needed one, I thought. While my line was popular at the markets, if I combined forces with other local artisans, herbalists, and farmers the store could serve so many!

So the vision expanded from a shop of Boline-made products to a shop that included other amazing local and national lines of remedies and body care- as long as they met my criteria of "organic, ethical, pronounceable, and effective".  And I decided that I would carry things like dried bulk herbs, therapeutic grade essential oils (so hard to find here!), flower essences, and the like. But I thought, "we can do better than than that, after all, Ohio is rich in family farms!"

So I dreamed big- not just dried bulk herbs, but the majority of them grown right here in Ohio, supporting non-profit gardens and small family farms! Not just the same national lines everyone else carries, but a specialty place focusing on local artisans and healers! So I started reaching out to growers, producers and artists. And in my conversations, I heard about a way to make it happen:

Starting to take shape
with temporary furnishings.
One of the friends I have made on this journey was from the first farmer's market I did (400 West Rich Street): Jen. And Jen was now working for ECDI, a non-profit that helps grow businesses. They had a loan program. She was encouraging and pushed a little. So I went in and met Kevin, the loan officer and he explained the process- that was January 2014. I went to work. I filled out the huge paperwork packet and wrote a business plan and submitted it within two weeks. And then I waited. And waited. And waited.

And at the end of February, I got word that she was most likely approved, but no guarantees. But there was trouble on the horizon! The retail space that would be so perfect for my vision, the one that was affordable and next door to City Folks, was in demand suddenly! After being vacant for four months, there were a couple others that wanted it and unless I could come up with a deposit and sign a lease, I was going to lose it, even though my loan was so close to coming to pass.What's an herbalist with a vision to do? I started a crowdsourcing campaign. If I could raise the security deposit, I thought- I'll take the risk of signing a lease, even without the loan. (Gulp.) I crowdsourced enough for the deposit and a friend came forward with a short-term loan until the loan came through. This allowed me to put down the deposit and start work on the space, buying paint and hardware.

Scrap lumber = steeping shelf!
So sign on the dotted line I did. It was terrifying. A couple weeks into work on the space, I got the news! I was approved and in a week or so, I could close on the loan and get the money! Huzzah! In the end, they even split up the closings into two- so I could get half the money right away (from a women's foundation and the Small Business Administration) and the second half (from the City of Columbus) could take its bureaucratic time.

The first adventure in owning a store was painting and construction (not exactly an herbalist's forté). The store has been left an unfortunate pink and black combination that required lots of primer and paint. But eventually, the store became that signature green with brown trim.

As soon as I got the loan money, I hit the ground running, buying starting inventory, furnishings, and packaging. As it arrived, I was able to make more products. As I worked in the store, I invited more and more artisans to put their wares in the store. It started getting fuller and fuller. So many people came forward to help in some way- donating furnishings, their labor and hours of toil, and their expertise to making the retail space possible. There is no possible way that I could have applied in January and launched in April without the blessings and help of so many. In more ways than one, this store is a community effort and is richer for the hands and minds of myriad folks from different parts of the community.

The walls were my bane.
Plaster over cinder block
means special tools and a lot
of sweat and tears to install
Now that the store was open, I had a lot of work to do to get it to where I envisioned it. I needed to find suitable jars for the bulk section, make labels for each and every herb coming into the store for sale, research which essential oils to carry, make opening orders without maxxing out my micro-loan capital, get a new insurance policy, and so much more.

I am now in my second month of business. I still do the farmer's markets as promotion for the store and still supply small independent retail. But now I have a much bigger project to juggle. I hope to hire a part time staffer, get another day off a week, and eventually pay myself (hopefully by the end of the year). We shall see.

I am offering classes and workshops, tastings and events to bring folks in. So you should come in!

The story of the store continues every day. I am open for business and each week brings new exciting challenges and items in the door. Come by and see what is new and say hi!

Temporary furnishings.
Eric, who helped install shelves.
Eric again! So helpful!

My first signage.
My first farm delivery!
Seasonal Display!

New labels!
Happy herbalists male things.
A seasonal offering of seedlings.

Monday, May 26, 2014

Why We Carry Oshadhi and Tisserand Essential Oils

This is part two in a series on essential oils at Boline Apothecary. Part one can be read here.

 At the store, we have selected two lines of essential oils to carry on a regular basis. Since they are less familiar to many folks in the area, I wanted to introduce them and explain why I selected them. The two companies that I selected are Oshadhi and Tisserand.

Both are European companies, not US companies. Oshadhi is German, and Tisserand is British. Both companies were started by world renown aromatherapists who started this science in the 1970's. As someone who believes in both "organic, ethical, pronouncable and effective" remedies -and- locavorism in what you ingest, why on earth did I go with foreign companies, you may ask?

Because the United States has little to no effective regulations on essential oils and the ones that they do have favor companies, not consumers. The EU is much more stringent on what ingredients are allowed, what processes can be used, and how things are labeled. I wanted that level of scrutiny on a product that I put on my skin or inhale. (1)

When selecting essential oils, there are a few things you need to consider:

1. How are the plants sourced? Does the company know the cultivator, or do they own the land themselves? Oils are only as good as the plants. So the cultivation and harvest methods should be overseen by the company. Companies like doTerra do not have land or relationships with cultivators nor do they distill their own lines. In order to ensure the oil is pure, a good aromatherapy company has no choice other than to source essential oils direct from the grower/supplier, and to build a close relationship with those farmers who cultivate healing plants to the highest standards. Through this personal contact we know that they practice methods of cultivation which are in accordance with the natural rhythms of the land, and that they utilize methods of distillation which do not damage the pure essences from the plants.

2. How are they distilled and processed into oils? Most people "into" EOs know enough to choose companies that use steam distillation over chemical solvents when possible (some plants cannot be extracted by steam distillation). But there is more to it than that. Are the oils high quality, single source plants, or is it a blend that includes low quality cheaper oils and spiked enough with higher quality ones to "test well"?

Only about 5% of the total global production of essential oils is ultimately destined for therapeutic use. Most essential oil production is bound for the fragrance or flavor industries, and (let's be clear about this) they have less exacting standards of purity(2). It's from these various sources that doTerra gets its oils, because they do not have relationships with growers. Yes, they claim to test them to be ensured of potency (but these oils are likely blends of many species from all over the world, some lesser quality mixed in with some higher quality). Industrial production generally attempts to obtain a specific standardized reproducible note of fragrance, or an identical active ingredient. These oils will generally not appear in price lists under a specific botanical name. The reason for this is that those oils are produced either from different species of lesser value, from mixed crops or from mixing with synthetic components. This is why you will see "Frankincense" on many commercially available oils, but not where or how it was sourced. It is a conglomerate of sources, all mixed together. It is not pure and some of the lesser quality oils are mixed in with enough of the higher grade ones to "test well".

3. How are they tested? It is important to perform careful laboratory testing for purity using gas chromatography and - if necessary - mass spectrography. This guarantees that essential oils are 100% pure. Comprehensive analyses and quality controls, supported by on-going state-of-the-art laboratory tests should be done including:

Optical rotation
Gas chromatography analysis
And, if necessary, mass spectrography

doTerra makes the claim to have the highest grade testing in the United States. Anyone familiar with US law regarding cosmetics, drugs, and body care knows- all the power is in the hands of for-profit companies and the government does little to no regulation on consumer health and body products. So that "best in the US" claim is not worth much. No one is enforcing their claim. But in the EU, the standards are much higher than in the US for these products. This is how doTerra gets away with creating their own certification (that is meaningless) and makes the claim that they are the only ones who have it. The US does not enforce standards.

3. How are they labeled? Is it clear and accurate as to source, extraction method, date bottled, and the latin name for each botanical (so you know that you are getting one specific plant instead of a blend of related plants from different parts of the world)?

4. Is the oil adulterated? For therapeutic use, we want to have a pure, clean, unadulterated oil with a good energy value and a clear fragrance. The more exact the description of the essential oil, the less risky it is for the buyer to purchase something impure. A company who can inform its customers about its oils and where they come from (species as well as geography) shows that it is better connected to the plant source and therefore the chances of adulteration are minimized.

All oils for therapeutic use should be unadulterated: 100% pure natural products. This means no chemical additives; no diluting with alcohol; no thinning with other oils unless necessary for certain purposes (i.e. access to the product because too solid, or specifically for the creation of new products, blends, etc.) Essential oils should not be peroxidized, decolorized, nor deturpenated.

The most common methods of adulterating essential oils (and most cheap oils and commonly found ones like Aura Cacia, Now, and the like) are:
  • Dilution with vegetable carrier oils, alcohol, and synthetic oils (which are cheaper).
  • Blending with cheaper oils of the same plant but from another country. For example: Bourbon Geranium with Geranium from China; Moroccan Myrtle with Myrtle from the Balkans; Siberian Fir with Chinese Fir.
  • Mixing with cheaper essentials oils of the same plant but extracted from a different part of the plant. For example: Clove bud with Clove leaves; Cinnamon bark with Cinnamon leaf; Angelica root with Angelica leaf.
  • Dilution with cheaper essential oils of plants of similiar species. For example: Thyme (thymus vulgaris) with wild Thyme (thymus mastichina); Lavender with Lavandin; Ceylon cinnamon with Chinese Cassia.
  • Adulteration with cheaper essential oils of different plants or of species with a similiar name. For example: East Indian with so called 'West Indian Sandalwood' (Amyris); Lemongrass with Litsea; Patchouli with Eucalyptus; Verbena with Lemongrass; Frankincense with turpentine; Rosewood with Ho oil; Melissa with "Indian Melissa" (Lemongrass etc.); Clary sage with Lavender; Mandarin with Orange; The so called 'white' Thyme  with turpentine...
  • Mixing with isolated natural or (semi-) synthetic compounds. For example: Lemon with citral and Orange-terpenes; Peppermint with menthol; Eucalyptus with cineol; Geranium with geraniol or citronellol; Patchouli with clove bud terpenes; Rosemary with camphor; Thyme with thymol or carvacrol; Cardamon with terpenyl acetate; Elemi with Orange terpenes; Clary sage with lynalyl acetate or synthetic linalool; Clove bud with eugenol

Yes, these adulterations happen all the time. It's likely happened to the oil you have right now.

4. Are they respected internationally? What do certified aromatherapists worldwide think of the company and their practices?

5. Do they "train" their own sales reps to tout a company line, or do they rely on independently certified professionals to tout their products for them? MLM companies like doTerra and Young Living train their reps themselves - and often spread misinformation as a result. doTerra and Young Living, against the common sense and expertise of every certified aromatherapist out there, has products they recommend for internal use and even train their reps to talk about their oils as "food grade". No essential oil should ever be ingested without supervision of a trained professional, period.

You can guess where I am going with these leading questions. Most oil companies out there cannot answer these questions very well at all. Let me tell you about Oshadhi and Tisserand:

Oshadhi: Experts on rare and organic oils 

Oshadhi sets the standard for meticulously produced, pure, therapeutic-grade essential oils, worldwide. They not only have furthered the study and research in aromatherapy by investing in new and rare oil production (there are now 650 botanicals in their line), but have set the standard in how to work with growers and producers when making a healing product. The company was founded by Dr Malte Hozzel, an internationally respected expert on medicinal oils and educator.

If you are going to make a botanical product that you claim is pure, you should know the source of your botanicals. Oshadhi works with farmers directly:
"Our 'treasure hunt' for the best essential oils goes on and on, never ending, always more surprising, always more demanding. This is a challenge we relish. During our quest, we have established strong ties with over 100 farmers of medicinal plants throughout the world. These farmers are committed to the wise and prudent treatment of the soil and have demonstrated a deep respect for nature. Many do the same work as their father and grandfather did, often using traditional stainless steel or copper stills which provide the optimum conditions for the full aroma of the essential oils and maintenance of the active ingredients." -Oshadhi UK website.
They work with farmers employing responsible ecological farming methods:
"There has been ever-increasing degradation of soil due to the misuse of natural resources. This is specifically due to the clear-cutting of plants, over-harvesting, the use of chemical fertilizers, pesticides, herbicides, and fungicides, and monocultural farming. Unfortunately, few farmers are aware of the dramatic consequences of these widespread practices. Oshadi promotes organic farming (both with certified growers and those using organic methods that are uncertified- ed.)."
They respect the plants. Here the founder talks about that topic:

Oshadhi has a range of 650 finest quality, organic, natural essential oils. They are sourced directly from farmers and handled without any electronic or mechanical filling equipment -that's right, oils are bottled by hand to ensure purity. Oshadhi sources oils only with farmers who work in harmony with nature, and who share their ideals of organic agriculture. The wildcrafted plants are ethically sourced. The non-organic (Select) lines are raised with no pesticides and is raised with organic practices, but the soil has yet to receive organic certification.

For the sake of transparency and clarity, Oshadhi labels their essential oils with:
  • the exact botanical name- so you are not getting a blend.
  • the country of origin- so you know where your oil came from
  • the part of plant used for distillation- Did you know that many companies label their cinnamon bark only to have it tested and actually be cinnamon leaf. This may be deliberate or it may be an honest mistake. When you rely on big distillation conglomerates to keep things straight for you, it may get mixed up.
  • the mode of cultivation- certified organic, wildcrafted, or standard (means organic methods with no certification)
  • the major biochemical compounds inside, so you know that it was tested.
Every tiny blue Oshadhi bottle has this. Does your essential oil company do that?

Tisserand: consistent quality and testing

Tisserand is the line of Robert Tisserand (the man credited with starting aromatherapy as a science and is the foremost consulted expert on essential oils worldwide). When you study aromatherapy at an independent institute for certification, you will read his texts and learn all about how he is called upon to test and further the research of this new science called aromatherapy. The fact that his name is on every bottle is a huge testament to the quality of oil in every bottle.

If you are just getting into essential oils, you might want to give Tisserand's line a look. They make high quality oils (also certified organic, farmed with organic methods but uncertified, or ethically wildcrafted - just like Oshadhi).

They have a smaller single oil product line (they have 30 botanicals in their line) than Oshadhi (but who doesn't?) and give you a larger 9 ml bottle to start, so they are often more economical. While I trust them to be pure (and testing bears that out), they do not label some of the things that Oshadhi does (country of origin and part of plant used specifically).

They are the UK's #1 therapeutic brand and work hard on environmental causes, too. (In addition to sourcing their oils ethically and sustainably, they plant trees to offset their carbon footprint as a company.) They make personal care products in addition to essential oils, and their line is ethically and naturally sound as well.

We carry many of their singles as well as blends in roller ball form, for ease of portability. They also have some wonderful starter packs (like the Tea Tree, Lavender, and Eucalyptus trio for $30!)

No matter whether you choose Oshadhi or Tisserand at Boline Apothecary, you are getting some of the finest essential oils on the planet.

If you are interested in a mini course on aromatherapy, we plan to offer one this summer. Sign up on our email list to make sure you hear about registration for that.

(1) Please note that I did not say ingest when referring to how to use essential oils. No matter what a company tells you, EOs are *not* to be ingested unless you are working directly with a certified aromatherapist on a specific therapy. To sell a product like On Guard (or to train our reps to add Eos to smoothies and other food) like doTerra does is deliberate malfeasance and shenanigans. They say that to get you to buy more and go through more product.

(2) Did you know that "vanilla" and "raspberry" flavors are often not from those plants but from beaver anal glands? Eew.

Wednesday, May 21, 2014