As the weather gets warm, people are spending more time outdoors, they start looking for ways to make their time outside more pleasurable and healthy. Gardening, going for walks, camping, hiking is all great but when the sun hits you hard or the mosquitos strike, it's not as nice as we imagined. With a new awareness of the harmful toxins in many commercial products, it is time to get creative with nature's gifts. Here are five highly effective oils to incorporate into your summer products and help get your customers asking for more:
Nepeta cataria, also known as catnip, catswort, or catmint is our newest and proudly 100% Canadian oil in stock. Plant Power is proudly collaborating with a Saskatchewan farm to get you our freshest, sustainably grown, and local catnip essential oil. Here is a little bit of background about this powerful plant and oil: Catnip is an herbaceous perennial plant in the Lamiaceae (mint) family. It blooms from late spring through to autumn and its essential oil is extracted by steam distillation. The plant is famous for its insect repellent properties, and has in the past been used as a home remedy. The compound found to repel insects is nepetalactone compound (found between 70-99% in the essential oil). When used in vitro, studies say that it it ten to twenty times more effective than the chemical DEET (Diethyltoluamide). According to Jeff Grognet (Catnip: its uses and effects, past and present), the term catnip originates from the fondness cats have on the plant as it has strong effects of behaviour alteration in some mammals and insects. Catnip has a history of use by people. It can be made into tea, juice, tincture, poultice, or infusion, and has been smoked and chewed for medicinal and pleasure purposes. The is used to treat nervous headaches and hysteria, and to soothe asthma, fevers, and jaundice. Poultices could be applied to aid tooth aches, and reduce swelling in general. It has also been used as a tonic for pains and rheumatism, an infusion for whooping cough, and measles. The essential oil has a rich, herbaceous, slightly minty scent and constitutes many of the same properties as the plant itself. Its anti-spasmodic properties make it great for relaxing cramped muscles and other tissues. As a carminative, it removes gas trapped in the intestines. As a tonic, sedative, and nervine, it strengthens nerves and activates them to induce calmness and reduce convulsions, sluggishness, and lack of reflexes. Among others, catnip oil has had positive effects on Alzheimer and Parkinsons patients. Catnip oil blends well with grapefruit, lavender, lemon, marjoram, peppermint, eucalyptus, orange, rosemary, spearmint, and myrrh. It is a possible skin sensitizer and should not be used in pregnancy, or children under 12 years of age.
Plant Power's latest and greatest floral water is distilled from a deep blue flower, Centaurea cyanus that has been used for centuries for its beautifying properties and decorative features in food and fashion. The cornflower plant is often thought of as a beneficial edible weed, and is used in tea blends and as a colourful addition to summer salads. Cornflower water can be used and marketed as a natural (alcohol-free) toner for devitalized skin, a component in hydrating facial masks and creams, and as a healing agent in products designed to treat swollen, itchy eyes. Mixed with peppermint, it may help cool menopausal hot flashes. This refreshing cleanser has mild astringent and antiseptic properties, making it gentle enough for use on children and people with delicate skin. It is not recommended for women in their first trimester of pregnancy. Cornflower blue colour stems from the protocyanin, which in roses is red. Steam distillation of currently blooming flowers happens between June and August so order yours while it is at its most brilliant freshness! Fun fact: Cornflowers were thought to be a symbol of a man's love. The longer they remained fresh while worn in a young man's chest pocket, the stronger his love for his girl.
Calendula Officinalis (also known as Marigold) is a daisy-like flower that blooms from late spring until the first winter frost. It is a therapeutic flower used for centuries in treating skin problems and scars. It remains quite popular with today's holistic healers. A calming tonic, calendula has anti-inflammatory, antioxidant, and regenerative properties. A bath with a few drops of calendula taken on a regular basis calms psioriasis and slows the spread of the disease. Likewise, it can be used in mouthwashes and gargles, cosmetics, lotions, creams, ointments, and even baby wipes. This viscous, musky oil is completely non-toxic. It can be used to treat bruises, cold sores, cuts and wounds, dermatitis, frostbite, acne and chicken pox scars, as well as abdominal pain and dysmenorrhoea. Calendula blends well with Lavender, Rose otto, Frankincense, and Lemon essential oils. Simply add a few drops to carrier oil such as jojoba, a drop or two of one of the above oils, and youâ€™ve got yourself a powerful healing blend. Fun fact: Calendula is referred to as poor man's saffron as its orange petals can be used as dye for cheeses, butters, savoury dishes, and even fabric. Petals are sometimes used as decoration and can be eaten in soups and salads.
Summer is the time for feisty Peppermint! Eyes wide open, back up straight, a sense of focus and refreshment in the air. The cooling grace of Peppermint oil is upon us. Commonly used in the fragrance and flavour industries, peppermint is one of the most recognizable and sought- after essential oils. Its cooling effect decreases irritation and inflammation, helping relieve various digestive disorders, muscle pain, and infections. Peppermint's hearty freshness is an excellent concentration aid, deflecting mental fatigue and inspiring creativity. I will never forget how good I felt when my music teacher had the class sniff a small bottle of peppermint oil before our final exam! Named after the beautiful water-nymph, Minthe, the use of this fragrant oil is bound to get people's attention. Greek mythology narrates that the nymph was turned into a plant by a jealous Persephone and that it was because Hades still loved her that Minthe received the aromatic fragrance that we all know so well. So add a little minty stimulation to your formulas and mixes, the summer needs some tingling playfulness and cooling tonic. Contact us to order your batch today!