Friday, December 30, 2011

Ring in the New Year with Bitters (They're Good for You)

BY ACHS Instructor Scott Stuart, L.Ac., B.S., M.A.O.M.

Did you know that the flavor of an herb has a specific action(s) on the energetic state of the body? Herbs have one or more flavors, each of which has a different action on the body. For example, there is a lot that can be said about the flavor “bitter”.

In his book, The Male Herbal, James Green notes, “It is my opinion that the nearly complete lack of bitter flavored foods in the overall U.S. and Canadian diet is a major contributor to common cultural health imbalances such as PMS, other female and male sexual organ dysfunctions, hormonal imbalances, migraine headaches, indigestion, liver and gallbladder dysfunction, abnormal metabolism, hypoglycemia, diabetes, etc.” Green points out that the only bitter flavors we commonly eat might be coffee and chocolate (which are then sweetened), or a well hopped ale or stout.

However, bitter has many beneficial physiological actions. When bitter flavor touches the tongue receptors, it signals the central nervous system to stimulate the exocrine and endocrine glands. This creates a general stimulation of digestive juices to the stomach, liver, pancreas and duodenum, thus improving appetite, digestion, and assimilation.

Along with this, bitter appears to also stimulate the repair of damage to intestinal walls. (Bitter would be contraindicated where the stimulation of stomach acid is not desired, such as in hyperacidity. However, after the healing of an ulcer, bitter speeds the healing.) Bitter also aids the poor overworked liver in detoxification, increases bile flow, and helps the pancreas regulate blood sugar. As bitter stimulates actions and sensations generally within the entire body, there is some evidence it also has an anti-depressant affect as well. As the Chinese have said for a very long time, bitter calms the mind, and guides to the Heart.

Green also speculates about the philosophical, even spiritual, implications of the lack of bitter in our lives, stating: “Hand in hand with the avid avoidance of bitter flavors in the diet, the North American psyche refuses, in general, to deal with the (bitter) “shadows” of its life, routinely projecting the darker side of its own nature onto others (individually in relationships and nationally in foreign policy). We Westerners seem quite unwilling to deal with the difficulties and more bitter struggles in life. We look predominantly towards sweetness and the “American Dream” of living happily ever after.” Food for thought, anyway.

To have its positive affects, bitter must be tasted. Only a small amount is necessary. Too much bitter will have the opposite effect. After all, it always comes back to balance and moderation, does it not?

Some common bitter herbs are gentian (the main herb in Angostura Bitters), dandelion, mugwort, blessed thistle, globe artichoke leaf, chicory, horehound, chamomile, centaury, hops, goldenseal, yarrow, wormwood, and agrimony.

To add a little bitter to your salad, try some cress, endive, dandelion greens, beet greens.

Pregnant women should be cautious in the use of bitter flavored tinctures or concentrates, as they may stimulate uterine contractions. Bitters are also contraindicated for excess menstrual flow and during painful menstrual cramps.

For the rest of us, to learn to appreciate bitter is to return to a more balanced physiology and psychology. Try a little bitter in the diet. It’s good for you!

Image © American College President Dorene Petersen (2001).

*Note the ideas and opinions expressed within this post have been provided for educational purposes only and do not necessarily express the ideas and/or opinions of the American College of Healthcare Sciences. This information is not intended to treat, diagnose, cure, or prevent disease. Always consult with your primary care physician, naturopathic doctor, or Registered Herbalist before making any significant changes to your health routine.

Thursday, December 29, 2011

Natural Medicine Cabinet: How Healthy Eating Supports Brain Health

Did you know that the human brain shrinks and becomes less "nimble" in old age? Though not entirely avoidable, we may be able to slow the process, according to a new Oregon study. How? Healthy food!

A study from Oregon Health Science University and Oregon State University has, "identified mixtures of nutrients that seem to protect the brain, and other food ingredients that may worsen brain shrinkage and cognitive decline," as reported in the December 28 Oregonian article"Some diets protect aging brains, others accelerate harm, Oregon study suggests."[1]

Diets high in trans fats (in general, foods high in trans fats can include baked goods, chips, crackers, dips, and spreads), "stood out as posing the most significant risk for brain shrinkage and loss of mental agility."

Older adults whose diets included ample amounts of vitamins B, C, D, and E "consistently scored better on tests of mental performance and showed less brain shrinkage than peers with lesser intake of those nutrients." (In general, foods high in vitamins B, C, D, and E include green, leafy vegetables, citrus fruits, oily fish, fish oils, nuts, and seeds.)

Another great reason healthy nutrition is our natural medicine cabinet!

Which foods are "must-have" in your kitchen? Spinach? Kale? Fresh, seasonal fruits?

Reference
Rojas-Burke, J. (2011, Dec 28). Some diets protect aging brains, others accelerate harm, Oregon study suggests. The Oregonian. Retrieved from http://www.oregonlive.com/health/index.ssf/2011/12/some_diets_protect_the_brain_o.html

Wednesday, December 28, 2011

Herb Spotlight: Plai ( Zingiber cassumunar) may be a useful support for pain relief

BY Allen Akiu, ACHS Diploma in Aromatherapy Student

Pharmaceutical companies have long sought a solution for the millions of Americans suffering from pain and inflammation, arthritis in particular. Cyclooxygenase-2 (Cox-2) inhibitors bought the needed relief for the masses with acute and chronic pain. Celebrex is the only remaining Cox-2 inhibiting drug available in the U.S. Vioxx and Bextra were pulled off the market by the Federal Drug Administration (FDA) for their high risks of stroke, heart attack, and to a lesser extent, gastrointestinal bleeding (from ulcers) [1]. Celebrex still carries the same but lower risks and is significantly weaker in strength. Because of supply and demand, the cost is high.

The essential oil of plai (Zingiber cassumunar, Roxburgh) is known for its superior analgesic and anti-inflammatory actions[2]. It is a member of the ginger family (Zingiberaceae) but differs from its kin because of the presence of two constituents, (E)-1-(3,4 dimethoxyphenyl) but-1-ene and (E)-1-(3,4 dimethoxyphenyl) butadiene (DMPBD). In addition, plai has a cooling effect, rather than warming.

This powerful natural pain reliever and anti-inflammatory agent has limited studies confirming the inhibition of inflammatory pathways without any side effects.

Its warm, green, peppery aroma has a hint of eucalyptus (Eucalyptus globulus) and can be mixed with other essential oils for increased synergies and enhanced aromas.

Plai also contains cassumunarin, which is a powerful antioxidant[3]. It has antiviral, antiseptic, and antibacterial properties as well[4]. It balances the digestive, respiratory, and immune systems nicely and should definitely be the subject of extensive research.

References
1. Solomon, D.H., MD, MPH. (2011, Nov 2). Patient information: Nonsteroidal antiinflammatory drugs (NSAIDs). UpToDate.com. Retrieved from http://www.uptodate.com/contents/patient-information-nonsteroidal-antiinflammatory-drugs-nsaids
2.
Ozaki Y, Kawahara N, Harada M. (1991). Anti-inflammatory effect of Zingiber cassumunar Roxb. and its active principles. Chem Pharm Bull (Tokyo), 39(9):2353-6. Retrieved from http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/1804548
3.
Nakatani N.(2000). Phenolic antioxidants from herbs and spices. Biofactors, 13(1-4):141-6. Retrieved from http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/11237173
4. Pithayanukul P, Tubprasert J, Wuthi-Udomlert M. (2007). In vitro antimicrobial activity of Zingiber cassumunar (Plai) oil and a 5% Plai oil gel. Phytother Res., 21(2):164-9. Retrieved from http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/17128430

*Note the ideas and opinions expressed have been provided for educational purposes only and do not necessarily express the ideas and/or opinions of the American College of Healthcare Sciences. This information is not intended to treat, diagnose, cure, or prevent disease. For further information, consult with a Registered Aromatherapist (RA).

Thursday, December 15, 2011

Seasonal Aromatherapy: How to Use Essential Oil of Juniper

Looking for that quintessential herbaceous winter smell without the aid of synthetic room sprays? Look no further! Essential oil of juniper (Juniper communis), distilled from the plant's berries, has a fresh, balsamic aroma reminiscent of holiday greens. Blend with oils like cedar, citrus, cypress, lavender, and pine for a natural, aromatic room spray.

To prepare an aromatic room spray, first create your essential oil blend (also called an aroma concentrate). Then, add 10 drops of your blend to 10 ml of alcohol, Everclear, or vodka. Blend together in a bottle and shake. It's great for freshening potpourri, diffusing throughout your home, or using as a body spray.

To make a 2 oz room or body spray, mix 60 drops of your essential oil blend with 2 oz of distilled water or witch hazel hydrosol. Shake well. Spray upward into the air and walk underneath. If the aroma is not strong enough, add more concentrate in 5 drop increments and test it again.

How do you use juniper essential oil? Have a blend to share? Feel free to post your aromatherapy recipes here!

Wednesday, December 14, 2011

The Scoop on Plastic: 5 Surprise Things You Can Recycle

Most of us have a Recycling 101 education. We know to separate the paper from the glass and to check the bottom of containers for the recyclable triangle and its number. In general, the lower the number, the easier an item is to recycle (you should always check to see what can and can't be recycled in your area).

But what about all those plastic items that don't come from kitchen consumption? Here are 5 plastic things you should recycle, but perhaps didn't know you could[1]:
  1. Glasses: Local organizations, like the Lions Club, collect glasses for people in need.
  2. Packaging: Some pack-and-ship stores accept donations of packing peanuts and bubble wrap.
  3. Telephones: In some areas, local public libraries run cell phone collections. The organization Protect also collects and refurbishes cell phones for domestic violence victims.
  4. Pantyhose and Tights: The company No Nonsense collects all worn pantyhose, tights, and similar products to be recycled into other things.
  5. Computers and Electronics: There are many small organizations that accept used electronics for recycling. Just make sure they are responsible with the material. In Portland, Free Geek recycles electronics via a job skills and community service program. Local Best Buy stores will also accept many electronics.
Are you a master recycler? What's the #1 thing we all need to know about recycling? Post your best tips here!

[1] This information is summarized from: Green American. (2011). 20 Plastic Things You Didn't Know You Could Recycle. Green American Magazine, 86: 17.

Thursday, December 8, 2011

ACHS President Dorene Petersen Interviews Aromatherapy Certificate Graduate Julie Hockley

Love aromatherapy? Wondering how best to use your aromatherapy training? Working one-on-one with clients can be very rewarding, but it's just one direction your career path can take. Have you considered opening a store, preparing products for farmer's markets, or integrating your aromatherapy training with a business or career you're already working at?

Check out this video with American College President Dorene Petersen and Aromatherapy Certificate Graduate Julie Hockley -- Julie shares a lot of great information about how she plans to use her aromatherapy training to meet her goals (and the benefits of studying online!):



Have questions for Dorene or Julie? Feel free to post them here! We look forward to reading your comments.

You can learn more about the ACHS Certificate in Aromatherapy online here.

Wednesday, December 7, 2011

Natural Seasonal and Cold Supports for Kids

Seasonal bugs can be a real bummer, especially for kids on winter break. You want to do something to help them, but what?

Here are some great ideas from American College adjunct instructor Deborah Halvorson, BA, Dip Aroma, RA, which appeared in one of our earlier blog posts, "How to Support Your Kid's Health Naturally."

1. For cold or flu with a fever, Deborah recommends a combination of lemon (Citrus limonum) and marjoram (Origanum marjorana) essential oils. Lemon may help reduce the fever, and marjoram traditionally has been used for respiratory infections and to help with sleep. To use these essential oils, blend 10 drops of lemon with 5 drops of marjoram; then add 1 drop of the blend into a warm bath before bedtime or nap time, or use the blend in a nebulizing diffuser.

2. If your child is experiencing nasal congestion or sinus infection, you can use essential oils with steam inhalation. For children older than 5, use the ratio of 3-5 drops of essential oil to 6 cups of water. To make the inhalation, boil the water and pour into a bowl, and then add the essential oils. Have the child inhale the steam, and be sure to remind them to keep their eyes closed and their face 8-12 inches from the bowl.

To use steam inhalation with children younger than 5, do not have them directly inhale the steam. Rather, place the bowl in the room with the child, and the essential oils will disperse into the air through the steam.

3. If your child is willing to drink tea, a warm tea with honey (no honey for children younger than 12 months) can be soothing and comforting. Deborah recommends lemon balm (Melissa officinalis) for use with fever and to help calm fussy children. For use with coughs and achiness, lemon balm can also be combined with peppermint and chamomile (Matricaria recutita).

For more great ideas, read the original post "How to Support Your Kid's Health Naturally" here.

>>What works best for you and your family? Have a tea recipe the kids will "like"? We'd love to hear from you! Feel free to leave your comments.

*This information is for educational purposes only. It is not intended to treat, cure, diagnose, or prevent disease. You should always consult with your primary care physician or naturopathic doctor before making changes to your health and wellness routine. In an emergency situation, call 911.

Friday, December 2, 2011

An Herbal Approach to Winter Wellness

This time of year, there are a lot of germs on the loose. To support your immune system naturally, there are several herbs that are beneficial as part of your herbal medicine cabinet.

In addition to their flavorful and nutritious contributions to daily meals, herbs like garlic, ginger, parsley, rosemary, sage, and thyme contain essential oils, which have some antibacterial and antiviral activity.

For example, garlic (Allium sativum) can be a useful support for infections and colds, while parsely (Petroselinum crispum) can be a useful support for healthy digestion; it also can be used as an expectorant. Expectorant herbs help loosen chest congestion.

Here are some simple, do-it-yourself herbal recipes you can use to help keep you and your family healthy all winter long.

Garlic Syrup Sore Throat Support
  • 4 cloves garlic (Allium sativum)
  • 4-T honey
Directions: Crush the garlic. Soak the crushed cloves in honey for 2-4 hours. Sip on this honey mixture every 1/2-hour. This is a useful remedy for children who may find the taste of garlic unpleasant.

Ginger Infusion
  • ½-oz ginger (Zingiber officinale) root, cut
  • 1-pt boiling water
Directions: Steep the ginger in the boiling water for 15 to 30 minutes. Lemon and honey can be added. Strain. Use 4-6-T three times a day. Store the infusion in the refrigerator for up to 24 hours.

>> To learn more about herbal medicine classes from the American College of Healthcare Sciences, visit http://www.achs.edu/course.aspx?id=2

>>Which herbs are an essential part of your herbal medicine cabinet? Why? We'd love to hear more about your favorite herbs and feel free to post recipes, too!

Image by Steven Foster. Reproduced under license.

*These statements have not been evaluated by the FDA. This information has been provided for educational purposes only. It is not intended to treat, diagnose, cure, or prevent disease. You should always consult with your primary care physician or naturopathic doctor before making any significant changes to your health routine. For more information about how to use herbs safely, consult with your primary care physician, naturopathic doctor, or Registered Herbalist. In an emergency, call 911.

Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Simple Tips for Seasonal Flu Prevention

BY Melissa Toye, ACHS Student, Associate of Applied Science in Complementary Alternative Medicine

Every year, thousands of Americans become ill from the virus caused by influenza. Influenza is a respiratory virus that can affect individuals in any age group; the very young and very old are most susceptible.

Each year the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) recommends the influenza vaccine for every American over six-months of age; however, this vaccine will only protect an individual from three strains of the flu, and many individuals do not feel comfortable with vaccinations. With more than 30 types of influenza in the environment, how can the public better protect themselves? Luckily, there are some things that can easily be done to help keep families healthy.



1. Contain the Spread

According to the CDC, the flu virus is spread when an infected person sneezes or coughs and the droplets become air-born. The virus can be spread from a sneeze or cough up to six feet away. Less frequently someone can become infected by touching a contaminated surface. An infected person is contagious one day prior to becoming sick and up to seven days after symptoms start, including: fever (not everyone infected will develop a fever), body aches, runny/stuffy nose, and coughing.

2. Proper Hand Washing

It is important to wash hands after using the restroom, before preparing meals, after sneezing/coughing, or touching an animal. The friction that occurs when hands are rubbed together with soap and warm water is effective in killing and removing germs. However, many do not wash their hands long enough; the CDC recommends washing hands for at least 20 seconds. If adults or children need encouragement to lather up longer, try humming the tune to “Happy Birthday to You” twice.

3. Disinfect Surfaces

Disinfecting the home helps decrease the chance of transmitting the virus to others in the family. All surfaces, from silverware to light switches, should be sanitized during flu season. This can be achieved by simply washing the item in hot, soapy water or using a disinfecting spray. There are many products on the market that are effective in killing viruses on different surfaces, but many are concerned about Volatile Organic Compounds (VOCs) and their effect on our health and air quality. A quick search on the Internet will result in many different essential oil recipes for disinfectants. Marlene Mitchell, CA provided the recipe below[1]:

General Antiseptic Mist
1 oz. Carrier distilled water
2- 3 drops Aloe Vera
3 drops Lavender (Lavandula angustifolia)
4 drops Eucalyptus (Eucalyptus globulus)
3 drops Pine (Pinus sylvestris)
4 drops Tea Tree (Melaleuca alternifolia)
Directions: Blend all ingredients into a spray bottle. Spray may be used to sanitize all surfaces.

References
1. Mitchell CA, M. (2009, April 30). Antiseptic spray mist, cold & flu support. Retrieved from AIA website: http://www.alliance-aromatherapists.org/aromatherapy_formula_library.htm
2. (2011, November 18). Seasonal influenza. Retrieved from Centers for Disease Control and Prevention website: http://www.cdc.gov/flu/index.htm
3. ACHStv video Top 5 Tips for Wellness features ACHS instructors Deborah Halvorson and Scott Stuart, and Dr. Arianna Staruch.

*This information is intended for educational purposes only. It is not intended to treat, diagnose, cure, or prevent disease. You should always consult with your primary care physician or naturopathic doctor before making any significant changes to your health routine. For immediate assistance for a medical emergency, call 911.

Tuesday, November 29, 2011

ACHS Graduate Kristi Rimkus Launches iApp and eBook Series Cooking Light Done Right

“I get a tremendous amount of satisfaction when people tell me they've tried a recipe and they were pleasantly surprised that ‘healthy’ food could taste good,” says Kristi Rimkus, American College of Healthcare Sciences (ACHS) graduate. “It's even more fun when they tell me how they improved my recipe to meet the tastes of their family. To me, this means they are finding the fun in cooking, and that's what will keep them cooking at home, instead of heading through the local drive through.”

Rimkus, who graduated from the ACHS Certificate in Holistic Nutrition Consulting and Certificate in Wellness Consulting programs, recently launched an iApp based on popular recipes found on her food blog Mother Rimmy's Cooking Light Done Right, as well as an eBook cookbook series, Cooking Light Done Right, available through DigiGlyph Transmedia Publishing (http://digiglyph.org/publications/cooking-light/).

“My goal is to show people how to cook wholesome food that will help them maintain a healthy weight. In the future, I hope to start working with mature women to help them meet their wellness goals,” says Rimkus.

Her inspiration is personal. Fifteen years ago, Rimkus lost 40 pounds. She learned that cooking low calorie, fresh foods for her family was the key to keeping the weight off, and that if the food appealed to them, everyone’s health would be improved.

“Cooking healthy meals became such a passion for me that I decided to learn as much as I could about nutrition. After thoroughly researching schools, I decided that ACHS was the place for me. I made the right choice, and finished a nutrition and wellness certification this past year,” Rimkus says.

After observing the eating habits of her friends and family, Rimkus says, she realized nutrition and lifestyle can be improved to alleviate common issues, like aches, pains, and obesity. By sharing her experience with her friends, family, and clients, Rimkus also hopes to lead by example.

Her ultimate goal is to start a consulting business to help women lose weight and feel fit.

“The second half of life should be full of life and fun,” Rimkus says. “I want to help women enjoy it.”

“Having a Certificate in Holistic Nutrition Consulting and a Certificate in Wellness Consulting from ACHS gives me the confidence to talk about nutrition and wellness because I've studied the subject thoroughly with terrific instructors and fellow students.”

To explore her cooking blog Mother Rimmy’s Cooking Light Done Right, visit http://motherrimmy.com, and download some new recipes! You can also connect with Kristi on Facebook at http://www.facebook.com/pages/Mother-Rimmys-Cooking-Light-Done-Right/198796111691 or email her at motherrimmy@gmail.com.

For more information about the ACHS Certificate in Holistic Nutrition Consulting and a Certificate in Wellness Consulting programs, visit www.achs.edu, call (800) 487-8839, or email admissions@achs.edu.

Image © Kristi Rimkus. (2011). Pictured: Kristi Rimkus with her daughter Lauren.

Monday, November 28, 2011

Download How to Bridge Potential and Profit Teleconference with Michelle Pippin

How can the four simple words, "I can help you," revolutionize your holistic health practice? In our November 22 teleconference, How to Bridge Potential and Profit, marketing expert Michelle Pippin answers this lingering question for you! She also outlines what she thinks are the top five commonly made mistakes when building a holistic health business.

In case you missed the live event, the American College has posted the recording for free download. >> Click here to download the recording How to Bridge Potential and Profit

Be sure to leave a comment and your follow up questions for Michelle! How will you use these holistic marketing suggestions to support your business and reach your goals?


Note this audio file is large and may take a while to download. Please right-click, select Save Link As, and download the MP3 to your hard drive for optimal performance.

Audio files are © ACHS 2011. You may use this recording for personal use only. However, unauthorized distribution, duplication, or broadcast or performance for financial gain is prohibited.
This recording is offered as a service and for educational purposes only. No endorsement is implied. Any websites or services mentioned in conjunction with this teleconference recording are the express experience and opinions of the teleconference speaker.

Wednesday, November 23, 2011

A Happy Thanksgiving Message and Savory Tomato Soup Recipe to Spice Up Your Holidays

Happy Thanksgiving from all of us at the American College of Healthcare Sciences. We hope that you have a healthy and happy holiday filled with love, light, and joy.

We're thankful to be part of such a wonderful community, and invite you to share your own Thanksgiving message with our ACHS family online here.

Please note, the ACHS offices will be closed Thursday, November 24, in observance of the holiday. We look forward to speaking with you when we return on Friday.

Thank you for being part of our family. Again, Happy Thanksgiving!

Warm regards,
Dorene Petersen, ACHS President

P.S.
Here's a savory recipe for Spicy Tomato Soup, which makes a colorful, flavorful addition to holiday meals!

Ingredients
1 12-oz can of tomato paste
1 16-oz can of tomato puree
2-cups vegetable stock or water
2-t cumin Cuminum cyminum, cinnamon Cinnamomum zeylanicum, ground coriander Coriandrum sativum
1-t cayenne Capsicum annuum or to taste
¼-cup orange juice
2-T coconut milk
2-t finely chopped coriander (cilantro) leaves
Pepper
Directions: Mix the tomato paste, puree, stock or water, cumin, cinnamon, coriander and cayenne. Bring to the boil over medium to high heat, then reduce heat and simmer gently for 25-30 minutes. Stir in orange juice, coconut milk, cilantro, and pepper. Simmer for an additional five minutes.

Monday, November 21, 2011

Reduce Stress During the Holidays and All Year Long

Many of us live from day to day, not thinking about our health or body until it begins to ache, a joint twinges, a headache starts. Then we try to remedy the problem. But-- wellness is a cumulative concept.

In our view, stress is one of the most harmful issues our bodies have to deal with in the modern world. Stress has been shown to affect our cardiovascular, immune, and endocrine systems, and increases our risk for heart disease, cancer, high blood pressure, and the common cold.

So this time of year -- when there are lots of seasonal germs on the loose and ample seasonal stressors with upcoming holidays -- taking control of your stress is essential.

Feeling like we are in control reduces stress in our lives. There are several strategies you can use to help regain control, including focusing on daily exercise and nutrition, and making consistent use of support tools like meditation, scheduling, and journaling.

To get started, start small. Make a point to do one simple, satisfying thing for yourself every day. It can be a short walk, making a fresh mug of herbal tea, or even taking an aromatic bath.

As this is the holiday season, we'd like to share our Slow Down Herbal Bath Blend recipe from our Aromatic Gifts Guide, which you can download here. Enjoy!

Slow Down Herbal Bath Blend
  • Lavender flowers
  • Rosemary leaves
  • Peppermint leaves
  • Chamomile flowers
  • Calendula flowers
Rub the herbs together through a sieve. Weigh out 1 oz and package into herbal sachets for the bath.Hang from the faucet when drawing a bath so that the water will filter through the sachet when filling the tub. Then place the sachet in the water and let it soak in the water while bathing.

How do you manage your stress every day? During the holidays? Leave a comment with your best stress-busting tips (and herbal recipe blends!).

Thursday, November 17, 2011

Easy DIY Green Cleaning Tips and Recipes from ACHS and Metro's Caran Goodall

Do you know the difference between chlorine bleach and other whitening agents? How about natural ways to get streak-free windows and a sparkling kitchen?

To learn these tips and more, check out our YouTube video Safe, Simple Recipes for a Clean Healthy Home presented at American College of Healthcare Sciences in Portland, Oregon, by Caran Goodall from Metro.



Have you tried these recipes for soft scrub and general cleanser? Or, perhaps you have perfected your own recipes? Let's do a green cleaning recipe exchange! Feel free to post your comments and feedback about the recipes in Safe, Simple Recipes for a Clean Healthy Home and your tried-and-true green cleaning recipes.

Wednesday, November 9, 2011

Winter Celebration Featuring ACHS Graduates November 30 in Portland

Kick off your holiday season with the ACHS Winter Celebration!

Enjoy learning how to make natural gifts for your loved ones. We'll feature how to make:
  • Delicious holiday room sprays you can use all year long!
  • Winter Blahs Bath Salts
  • Peppermint Foot Scrub
With the cold and flu season upon us, come learn about winter wellness tips including how to make:
  • All-natural, herbal cough syrup
  • Gentle, Peaceful herbal tea
We'll also feature a range of herbs for winter wellness!

Space is limited, so RSVP today. To RSVP, call (503) 244-0726, email registrar@achs.edu, or RSVP here on Facebook.

Can't join us? Check out our full range of Do-It-Yourself gift kits online at http://goo.gl/D9bEM. And, be sure to check out our great educational videos highlighting how to make your own natural gifts below! Subscribe to our YouTube channel for regular updates online at www.youtube.com/ACHStv

We look forward to seeing you!

ACHS Winter Celebration: November 30, 2011 from 11 a.m.-2 p.m. at American College of Healthcare Sciences, 5940 SW Hood Ave., Portland, OR 97239.

Tuesday, November 8, 2011

ACHS Graduate Emily Stein Named 2012 DETC Outstanding Graduate of the Year

American College graduate Emily Stein says her goal for enrolling in the ACHS Diploma in Holistic Health Practice was to learn about wellness, to improve personal health, and to help others. Over the course of her studies, Stein says, she has learned that the body is an intricate machine requiring a balance between physical and mental health, best maintained by proper nutrition, exercise, and stress reduction.

We're proud to announce Emily has been named ACHS 2012 DETC Outstanding Graduate of the Year! The Distance Education and Training Council is recognized by both the U.S. Department of Education and the Council for Higher Education Accreditation (CHEA) as an accrediting body, and conducts the Outstanding Graduate program annually. Students are selected for their academic record and the level and quality of their contribution to society and their chosen profession(s).

“We selected Emily for the Outstanding Graduate honor, and to represent ACHS at the spring DETC conference, because she has continually demonstrated a focused commitment to her studies,” says ACHS President Dorene Petersen. “Emily’s instructors commend her dedication to ‘walk the walk,’ which evidences the depth of Emily’s commitment to education, holistic health, and professionalism in the field.”

>>Read more about Emily's experience at ACHS and long-term holistic health career goals in the full-length press release here

We look forward to reading your comments! What are your long-term health goals and/or holistic health career plans?

Monday, November 7, 2011

Health Benefits of Dandelion and How to Make Dandelion Coffee

Dandelion Taraxacum officinale is a common herb we often overlook. For many gardeners, dandelion is a "problem weed" ruining their lawn, but for herbalists, dandelions are a rich source of vitamins (including A and C), minerals (iron and calcium), and detox supports.

Dandelion is a great herb for everyday nutrition. You can add to milder salad blends, like red leaf lettuce, or blend with other bitter herbs, like endive and chicory. To add dandelion into your diet, follow these tips:
  • Gather the leaves when young, before they have flowered in spring
  • Collect from a spray-free area, away from the road, or in your own organic garden
  • After flowering, cut the plant back to the top of the roots, and then harvest the new growth
  • Harvest or grow dandelions in shade for the least bitter flavor
  • The dandelions seen in stores are often Italian dandelions, which are more bitter than the domestic variety
Dandelion’s distinctive taste is refreshing served in sandwiches, with vinaigrette dressing, with meats, cheeses, and pasta, and in tomato sauces. It also makes a flavorful, healthy alternative to coffee.

To make your own dandelion coffee:
  • Wash the roots, slice lengthwise in half, and then air dry for several days
  • Cut the roots into 1-inch sections and roast on a baking sheet at 375˚F for 2-4 hours
  • Turn the roots regularly so they brown evenly
There should be a coffee-like odor coming from the oven by the time they are done. Grind as needed, and use in place of coffee beans.

Fresh-made dandelion coffee makes a great gift, too! So the next time you're invited to a dinner party or need a last-minute-present, package some dandelion coffee in an attractive, air-tight jar and share with friends and family.

What are your favorite ways to eat dandelion? Post your favorite dandelion recipes here! We look forward to tasting your recipes.

Friday, November 4, 2011

ACHS Master of Science Graduate Student Reports on AIA Conference "The Future of Aromatics in Integrative Healthcare”

By Sandy Durand, ACHS Master of Science in Complementary Alternative Medicine

Attending the recent conference for the Alliance of International Aromatherapists (AIA) truly was a highlight of my year. What a fantastic and thoroughly enjoyable learning opportunity!

As an American College of Healthcare Sciences graduate student, a Registered Aromatherapist (RA) focusing on natural skin care and wellness, and a mom of special needs youths who use aromatherapy daily, this conference helped me on all fronts.

The 2011 conference featured informational sessions ranging from using aromatherapy to treat depression in postpartum mothers to applications in cancer care to understanding aromatherapy chemistry. Held in Minnesota’s Twin Cities area, the three-day main conference, “The Future of Aromatics in Integrative Healthcare,” was sandwiched between optional pre- and post-conference seminars.

Rhiannon Harris, a clinical aromatherapist, nurse, and educator from France, hosted the full-day pre-conference workshop on skin integrity. I couldn’t miss attending this option and enjoyed every minute of it. Ms. Harris packed an incredible amount of information into a day that just flew by. She shared a wealth of professional experience in how to address specific skin care challenges and kindly took time to answer audience questions. I think the consensus in the room was that we all would have loved another day or two to listen to Ms. Harris and absorb even more of her expertise; I heard many comments to that effect.

Other topics offered during the main conference included how to establish an aromatherapy business, current trends in spas, kinesiology, research strategies, oils of Australia, and daily morning aromatic Kundalini yoga sessions. AIA management and volunteers did an excellent job of selecting presenters and keeping everything running smoothly. They and the speakers also incorporated a lot of sparkle and humor into their presentations to keep us laughing while we learned.

The only downside is that I skipped school to attend the conference and still have not caught up in my anatomy class. Sorry, Dr. Berger. I’m trying.

>>To read the full-text article on the ACHS website, click here


Have questions for Sandy? Feel free to post them here! We'd also love to hear your thoughts on the conference topic ... What is the future of aromatics in integrative healthcare?

Wednesday, November 2, 2011

What Are the Health Benefits of Eating Seasonal Foods?

You may have heard the terms "seasonal foods" or eating "in-season" used by holistic nutrition experts, but what do they mean? Why are seasonal foods so important?

The seasons provide diversity, and changes in conditions from spring to summer or fall to winter, for example, are essential for balancing the ecosystem. We've been taught to expect the same foods to be available in our supermarkets year-round; however, we pay the price for this availability, both in nutrition and ecological terms.

According to the National Resources Defense Council, most produce grown in the United States travels an average of 1,500 miles before it gets sold. A grape traveling from Chile to California travels approximately 5,900 miles!

Seasonal produce is fresher, may have higher levels of beneficial nutrients, often tastes better, is more likely to be grown locally, and can often be purchased from local farmers, reducing the transportation time and associated costs, while supporting your local economy.

To find out what's in-season in your area, head to your local farmers market or check out the National Resources Defense Council Eat Local Guide.

For November, commonly found in-season produce includes: apples, beets, broccoli, Brussels sprouts, cabbage, corn, eggplant, kale, mushrooms, okra, pecans, pistachios, pumpkin, rhubarb, snap peas, spinach, and squash.

What are your favorite in-season foods for this time of year? Have some great tips for how to locate seasonal foods in your local area? Feel free to post your suggestions and comments here! Plus -- we're always looking for new recipes. We look forward to hearing from you.

>> To learn more about holistic nutrition and eating for health, find more information about the American College Certificate in Holistic Nutrition Consulting online here.

Tuesday, November 1, 2011

Make Flavored Vinegars with Herbs by ACHS Aromatherapy Graduate Desiree Bell Featured in Herb Companion

Vinegar is commonly used as a condiment or preservative. A bit sour tasting on its own, vinegars blended with garden-fresh herbs, spices, fruits, and vegetables create flavorful variations you can use in salad dressings, marinades, and dips.

In her article "Making Flavored Vinegars with Herbs," American College of Healthcare Sciences graduate Desiree Bell says of one several vinegars from the market will work well, including: balsamic, cider, malt, rice, sherry, and red or white wine. She also recommends using nonreactive materials, including the jars and lids you steep and store your vinegar in.

Herbs for making flavored vinegars can include: basil, chive, dill, fennel, garlic, lavender, lemon balm, rosemary, sage, shallot, spearmint, and thyme.

Recommended spices for making flavored vinegars include: cardamom, ginger, juniper, and chili peppers.

> For a complete list of herbs and spices you can use, read the full-length article "Make Flavored Vinegars with Herbs" here

> Learn to make DIY natural body care and culinary oils with ACHS President Dorene Petersen's article "Make Aromatherapy Herbal Body Care and Culinary Oils" here

Have you made your own body care and/or culinary oils? Post your favorite blends and tips for making flavored vinegars, culinary oils, and natural bath oil here. Thanks!

Thursday, October 6, 2011

CAM Use In Hospitals Tripled Since 2000 - Ask for the services you want!

Great news ... the October 4 article "Demand drives more hospitals to offer alternative therapies" from American Medical News reports that CAM (complementary alternative medicine) use in hospitals has tripled since 2000. As a result of patient demand, 42% of the 714 hospitals surveyed now offer some form of CAM therapy- including massage, meditation, and Reiki.

What about aromatherapy, (say, some lavender essential oil), shown to be effective with anxiety?[1] Hospital execs say they are making the change because the CAM therapies are "clinically effective" and to ensure patient satisfaction - so, be sure to ask your hospital for some aromatherapy while you wait for your procedure!

> Click here to read the full-text article on the American Medical News website

Have you asked your local hospital or primary care physician to offer more CAM alternatives? This is a fantastic opportunity to effect change in your community! Which CAM therapy would you most like to see your local hospital offer?

[1] Natural Standard. (2011 May). Aromatherapy for Anxiety. [Online exclusive]. Retrieved from http://naturalstandard.com/news/news201105016.asp

Tuesday, September 27, 2011

Cooking with Fall Greens: The Health Benefits of Kale

Fall is here and with it rich greens like kale, spinach, arugula, and spicy mustard greens -- all of which can be grown in your fall garden! Greens add flavor and color to meals, as well as necessary nutrients to support optimal health.

Kale, for example, is a rich source of antioxidants, including carotenoids and flavonoids, which may help protect the body from the effects of oxidative stress*. Dr. Weil includes a useful definition of oxidative stress on his website here.

Kale also may support the body's natural detox process.* Its sulfur compounds are thought to support Phase II detoxification - the step in which toxins in the liver are turned into neutral substances, making them easier to eliminate from the body.

Plus, it's tasty eaten raw or added to cooked meals. We like to saute our kale with onions, garlic, olive oil, and a sprinkle of fresh nutmeg. >> Download this kale recipe and a recipe for baked kale on ACHS Facebook (facebook.com/ACHSedu) here

Have tips for growing leafy greens like kale in your fall garden? Post them here! We'd also invite you to share your favorite kale recipes - variety is the spice of life!



*This information has not been reviewed by the FDA. It is intended for educational purposes and is not intended to treat, diagnose, cure, or prevent disease. Before making any significant changes to your health and wellness routine, it is always best to consult with your primary care physician or naturopathic doctor.

Monday, September 19, 2011

Welcome to the First Day of ACHS Fall Term 2011

Hey there-

Just a quick note welcoming you to the first day of fall term 2011. We hope you enjoyed your summer and are ready to start a brand new school year. We're looking forward to working with you and are honored you have chosen to study with us.

At ACHS, we value a warm, friendly, small-college atmosphere and care very deeply about each and every one of our students. Heading back to school can raise some unanticipated questions. To help you start the fall school term confident and focused, we've posted answers to some questions we’re frequently asked about online studies, work-life balance, and careers in holistic health.

To review the frequently asked questions, stop by ACHS Facebook (www.facebook.com/ACHSedu) or click here: http://www.facebook.com/note.php?note_id=10150297431273733

ACHS Facebook is a friendly, easy forum to learn more about the ACHS student experience. We encourage you to post comments, ask questions, and start a conversation with other ACHS students and graduates here and on Facebook.

Have a great start to fall term 2011!

Wednesday, September 14, 2011

Thanks Suzanne Monroe for Yesterday's Fantastic Teleconference, Client Attraction Secrets

A special thank you to Suzanne Monroe, founder of the of the International Association of Wellness Professionals, for leading a fantastic American College teleconference yesterday: Client Attraction Secrets - The Holistic Professional’s 5 Step Formula to Find the Right Clients.

Suzanne not only covered her five steps for how to attract clients (including building a community and the importance of speaking on your subject), she also shared a few extra pieces of wisdom for holistic health practitioners establishing their business (download the Mp3 below to listen). One of Suzanne's suggestions we really like is free speaking. Free speaking provides practice talking to clients, which also builds confidence and helps to refine your expertise and consulting goals.

In fact, Suzanne thinks public speaking is so important (whether by teleconference, live lecture, webinar, etc.), she challenged all call participants to schedule five talks in the next two months. We encourage you to take Suzanne up on the challenge and to take action towards achieving your goals.

IF YOU ATTENDED YESTERDAY'S TELECONFERENCE, we'd love to hear your feedback. PLEASE POST any comments or further questions for ACHS and/or Suzanne here.

For those who were not able to attend, we have included a link for you to download the teleconference.
Click here to download the Mp3. We invite you to POST any comments or questions you have about this holistic marketing teleconference here.

Enjoy!

**Note this audio file is large and may take a while to download. Please right-click, select Save Link As, and download the MP3 to your hard drive for optimal performance.

Audio files are © ACHS 2011. You may use this recording for personal use only. However, unauthorized distribution, duplication, or broadcast or performance for financial gain is prohibited.

Tuesday, September 13, 2011

You're Invited to the First Annual ACHS On Campus Graduation Ceremony October 8, 2011

Hey there -

Just want to make sure you know about the historic ACHS event coming up ... our first annual on campus ACHS Graduation Ceremony taking place October 8, 2011, at the ACHS campus in Portland, Oregon. We hope you can make it!

Friends, family, and the local community are welcome to attend in celebration of ACHS graduates’ accomplishments. This is a relaxed, open-house style celebration and free to attend. So, if you're a recent ACHS graduate, current ACHS student, or a holistic health supporter in the Portland area, we'd love to see you on campus for this event honoring ACHS graduates.

The Details
Name: ACHS Graduation Ceremony
Date: October 8, 2011
Time: 5-8 pm, PST
Place: American College of Healthcare Sciences, 5940 SW Hood Ave., Portland OR 97239
RSVP: Contact Tracey Miller at (800) 487-8839 or via email at traceymiller@achs.edu

> Read the full-length press release online at http://www.achs.edu/news/news-detail.aspx?nid=274

If you have questions, need lodging or green travel suggestions, feel free to post your questions here. We look forward to seeing you at graduation.

Thursday, September 8, 2011

Introduction to Aromatherapy Distillation and ACHS Distillation Manual for Download


Distillation is the most widely used method for producing essential oils, and while the basic principle of distillation remains the same, the process of distillation is carried out in different ways depending on the plant material being distilled.

In general, the process of distillation requires steam to be passed through the plant material. The basic process is:

First plant material (this can be leaves, flowers, etc. depending on the specific plant) is loaded into the “retort” of the still. Then, steam is passed through the retort. The steam carries the essential oil out of the plant in droplets in the steam. The oil moves into the still’s condenser and the steam changes back to water. The water and oil then separate passively. In most cases the oil floats on the top. (There are exceptions depending on how heavy the oil is compared to the water.) The oil is separated from the water by dripping or pouring off the water from the top, leaving the essential oil.

To learn more about the art and science of aromatherapy distillation, download the American College Distillation Manual free here. Note, this PDF manual is password protected -- if you attend our recent distillation workshop on the ACHS campus, the password has been emailed to you.

If you were unable to attend our distillation workshop in person, not to worry! Subscribe to our holistic health and aromatherapy YouTube channel ACHStv, "Like" us on Facebook, then post a comment to this blog letting us know you're now an ACHS fan, and we'll send you the password to download our distillation manual (just be to sure to include a valid email).

Introduction to Aromatherapy Distillation and ACHS Distillation Manual for Download


Distillation is the most widely used method for producing essential oils, and while the basic principle of distillation remains the same, the process of distillation is carried out in different ways depending on the plant material being distilled.

In general, the process of distillation requires steam to be passed through the plant material. The basic process is:

First plant material (this can be leaves, flowers, etc. depending on the specific plant) is loaded into the “retort” of the still. Then, steam is passed through the retort. The steam carries the essential oil out of the plant in droplets in the steam. The oil moves into the still’s condenser and the steam changes back to water. The water and oil then separate passively. In most cases the oil floats on the top. (There are exceptions depending on how heavy the oil is compared to the water.) The oil is separated from the water by dripping or pouring off the water from the top, leaving the essential oil.

To learn more about the art and science of aromatherapy distillation, download the American College Distillation Manual free here. Note, this PDF manual is password protected -- if you attend our recent distillation workshop on the ACHS campus, the password has been emailed to you.

If you were unable to attend our distillation workshop in person, not to worry! Subscribe to our holistic health and aromatherapy YouTube channel ACHStv, "Like" us on Facebook, then post a comment to this blog letting us know you're now an ACHS fan, and we'll send you the password to download our distillation manual (just be to sure to include a valid email).

Tuesday, August 30, 2011

You're Invited: Free Dynamic Phytotherapy Lecture Wednesday at 11 am

Dynamic Phytotherapy has the power to enhance the healing abilities of even the most experienced holistic health practitioner.

Join ACHS President Dorene Petersen for a Brown Bag Lunch talk about Dynamic Phytotherapy remedies and uses this Wednesday, August 31, from 11am-12pm.

This community wellness event is free and open to the public. To RSVP, just email admissions@achs.edu or call us at (503) 244-0726.

Share this info on your Facebook page or tweet about it
for a chance to grab a free ACHS Vintage Apparel hat with your next Apothecary Shoppe purchase. Be one of the first 5 to share this information and let us know about it on ACHS Facebook!!

The ACHS Campus and Botanical Teaching Garden is located in John's Landing at 5940 SW Hood Avenue, Portland OR 97239. Directions are available online here.

Do you use homeobotanicals as part of your health and wellness routine? What do you like most about homeobotanical remedies?

Monday, August 29, 2011

ACHS President Dorene Petersen Chats with Aromatherapy Student Cheryl Narron About Benefits of Studying Online



Dorene Petersen, president of the American College of Healthcare Sciences (ACHS), chats with Aroma 203 student Cheryl Narron about the benefits of the online learning at the College's August 26 lavender distillation. Cheryl shares how much she loves the flexibility.

What is your favorite thing about getting your degree or diploma online?

Wednesday, August 24, 2011

You're Invited: ACHS Lavender Distillation and Sidewalk Sale August 26

In celebration of the end of the summer season, we're distilling the lavender from the ACHS Botanical Teaching Garden this Friday, August 26, and you're invited!

Join ACHS President Dorene Petersen for this unique hands-on workshop and learn:
  • Best practices for harvesting fresh lavender
  • How to distill fresh lavender
  • Therapeutic uses for lavender essential oil and distillation by products
  • Distillation begins at 11 am and is free and open to the public.
This is a popular event, so be sure to RSVP and secure your spot - just email admissions@achs.edu or call us at (503) 244-0726.

Come early for our Apothecary Shoppe Back-to-School Sidewalk Sale with aromatherapy, herbal medicine, and holistic nutrition books discounted up to 30% off. The Sale opens at 9 am and is first come, first served. Don't miss this opportunity to build your library at great savings!

The ACHS Campus and Botanical Teaching Garden is located in John's Landing at 5940 SW Hood Avenue, Portland OR 97239. Directions are available online here.

We look forward to seeing you Friday!

Hang Out with ACHS at Spaw Day, A Fundraiser for the Oregon Humane Society

Don't have plans for tomorrow evening? Come hang out with us! American College of Healthcare Sciences (ACHS) is participating in Spaw Day, a fundraiser for the Oregon Humane Society, hosted at Sniff Dog Hotel (1828 NW Raleigh St. Portland, OR 97209), Thursday, August 25th, from 6-8pm.

Spaw Day, an Oregon Humane Society event hosted by Sniff, is a fun opportunity for you and your dog to relax and enjoy spa activities together, including massages, aromatherapy, manicures, and other spa-like features.

Stop by and visit with us! It's going to be really fun! For directions, click here http://maps.google.com/maps?hl=en&q=Sniff%20Dog%20Hotel

Tuesday, August 23, 2011

AHPA Congress on NDIs - September 8, 2011

We received this event notification from the American Herbal Products Association, which we thought you may be interested in attending. Please refer to the links within the post for further questions and information about how to register.

AHPA Congress on NDIs: Crafting an Industry Response & Filing Successful Notifications
When:
Thursday, September 8, 2011
8:30am - 5:30pm

Where:
Mesirow Financial Services Auditorium
353 North Clark St.
Chicago, IL 60654

Register by August 25 and save $100 on registration!
Register

The AHPA Congress on NDIs will sift through the clutter, the hype and unanswered questions on NDIs to provide clarity and help industry companies answer the following questions:
  • How would the FDA draft guidance on NDIs--if it is not amended--affect your business and the kind of products that you sell?
  • What specific sections of FDA's draft need to change to protect consumer access to a broad range of supplements?
  • Should your company file comments to try to change the FDA draft guidance?
  • What should your comments--and those from AHPA--tell FDA?
  • Do you need to file NDIs for your particular class of ingredients and/or products?
  • Exactly how do you do that?
  • The AHPA Congress on NDIs is geared to all companies that rely on new products and product innovation and whose products fall under the regulatory framework created by the Dietary Supplement Health and Education Act (DSHEA).

Session 1: Crafting an Industry Response to the NDI Guidance
McGuffin--widely considered to be one of the industry's leading experts on NDIs--will moderate this town-hall-style discussion on the development of industry's comments regarding the draft NDI guidance. Participants will have the opportunity to voice their concerns and positions and have them discussed among a panel of attorneys recognized as NDI experts, including:

Anthony Young, Esq., AHPA General Counsel and Partner, Kleinfeld, Kaplan & Becker
Alan Feldstein, Esq., Counsel, Collins, McDonald & Gann
Jim Prochnow, Esq., Partner, GreenbergTraurig (invited)
Ashish Talati, Esq., Partner, Amin Talati
Session 2: Filing Successful NDI Notifications
The afternoon session features preeminent companies with real-world experience in creating high-caliber, successful NDI submissions. The presenters will deliver practical, hands-on information and advice on the necessary steps needed to develop and submit NDI notifications for numerous product categories.

Hear from:

CANTOX, an InterTek Company
NSF-DBA
Spherix Inc.
The Program - Thursday, September 8, 2011
8 - 9 a.m. - Registration, Continental Breakfast, Networking
9 a.m. - 12:30 p.m. - Session 1
12:30 - 1:30 p.m. - Lunch, provided by Grifcon Enterprises
1:30 - 5:30 p.m. - Session 2
5:30 p.m. - Adjournment

Event Registration
Attendance is limited to 100 participants. Early registration is suggested. Click HERE to register.

Conference Location & Lodging Information
The AHPA NDI Congress will be held at the Mesirow Financial corporate headquarters, 353 North Clark St., Chicago, IL 60654.

A limited number of rooms have been reserved at the Residence Inn Chicago Downtown/River North for the night of September 7 at a special rate of $159 on a first-come, first-served basis. For reservations at the discounted price, contact Liz Rejniak, Gray's Travel Management, via phone: 800.966.8728, or email. Mention the "AHPA-Mesirow Congress" to receive this discount. Please do not contact the hotel directly.

Thursday, August 11, 2011

First Annual ACHS Graduation Ceremony October 8

The 1st Annual ACHS Graduation Ceremony is October 8, 2011 and you're invited!

In response to your positive feedback, we're moving the graduation event from the Avalon Hotel to the American College campus in John's Landing, Portland, which will allow us to host more participants, family, and friends for a fun and relaxing celebration. ACHS Graduation will take place October 8, 2011, from 5-8 pm, PST, at the American College: 5940 SW Hood Ave., Portland, OR 97239.

ACHS Graduation 2011 will be an open house-style event, free to attendees and open to all ACHS students, graduates, and the local community.

For more information about how to participate, visit http://faq.achs.edu/questions/114/ACHS+Graduation+Ceremony+Information

Wednesday, August 10, 2011

Wind Down at Night with Bergamot Essential Oil

After busy summer days at work or at play, it's important to wind down. Stress comes in many forms, even fun. Support your body's optimal health and wellness and make daily relaxation a top priority.



Wondering how? Try an aromatherapy Relaxing Bedtime Blend with bergamot (Citrus aurantium var. bergamia) essential oil. The oil's fresh, citrus fragrance is a great mood support and can be soothing in a bath or massage blend.*



Relaxing Bedtime Blend

Clary sage Salvia sclarea: 3-drops

Bergamot Citrus aurantium var. bergamia: 10-drops

Benzoin resinoid Styrax benzoin: 2-drops

Chamomile Matricaria recutita (German) or Chamaemelum nobile (Roman): 2-drops



Use 2-3-drops in bath, or dilute with 1-oz massage oil and rub on the chest.



Give it a try and let us know how it works for you! Feel free to post your suggestions for relaxing aromatherapy blends, too!



*These statements have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. This product is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent any disease. Always consult with your primary care physician, naturopathic doctor, or Registered Aromatherapist (RA) before making any significant changes to your health and wellness routine.

Antioxidant Spices May Reduce Negative Effects of High-Fat Meal

We thought you would find this herbal information interesting ... In a new study, researchers at Penn State have found that eating a diet rich in spices may reduce the body's negative response to high-fat meals.

Researchers added two tablespoons of the herbs rosemary, oregano, cinnamon, turmeric, black pepper, cloves, garlic powder, and paprika to meals given to men aged 30-65 who were overweight, but healthy. These spices reportedly increased antioxidant activity in the blood by 13% and decreased insulin response by 20%.

The two tablespoon of spices provides an equivalent amount of antioxidants to those contained in 5 ounces of red wine or 1.4 ounces of dark chocolate.

>>To read the full-text research review, click here.

>>For more information about using herbs to support optimal health and wellness, visit ACHSedu online here for a schedule of upcoming holistic nutrition and herbal medicine classes. Or, call (800) 487-8839 for more information!


Reference
:
e! Science News. (2011, August 10). Antioxidant spices reduce negative effects of high-fat meal. Retrieved from http://esciencenews.com/articles/2011/08/10/antioxidant.spices.reduce.negative.effects.high.fat.meal

Tuesday, August 2, 2011

New Page Urban Herb Botanical Teaching Garden Launches



Hey there! ACHS has a launched a new page, Urban Herb Botanical Teaching Garden, dedicated to ... you guessed it ... our campus herb garden! Visit us here.

And be sure to check back frequently for new photos, botanical events, and garden tips.

While you're on Urban Herb Botanical Teaching Garden, feel free to leave a comment or post your best garden tips. We'd love to hear from you!

Learn How to Make Healthy Herbal Sun Teas with ACHS

This summer, ACHS has partnered with the Beaverton Farmers Market to offer community education regarding holistic health and wellness.

At our booth this past weekend, we shared how easy it is to make a great-tasting and good-for-you herbal sun tea as a delicious alternative to sodas and other sugary drinks. The ACHS Herbal Sun Tea is also the perfect way to get your kids involved with organic gardening and cooking.


Here's a video of ACHS President Dorene Petersen demonstrating how to make herbal sun tea!



What's your favorite herbal tea blend? Please feel free to post your recipes and suggestions for fresh-from-the-garden summer tea. We look forward to hearing from you.

Thursday, July 28, 2011

American College of Healthcare Sciences Raises Lavender Awareness Through Community Wellness Events and U-Pick

On July 20 we hosted our annual Lavender Open House community wellness event at the College campus. More than forty people attended the event to raise awareness about the benefits of growing and harvesting lavender for personal health and as a garden aid!!

Our ACHS Chief Institutional Officer and Master Gardener, Erika Yigzaw, led participants through a series of hands-on workshops highlighting the holistic health applications of lavender, including a lecture about the aromatherapeutic properties, a demonstration of how to use lavender in personal care items, and a demonstration of how to grow, harvest, and pot lavender and other herbs for culinary and herbal medicine use.

Free downloadable videos from the day’s events will be available through the ACHS YouTube channel, ACHStv (www.youtube.com/ACHStv), and photos and suggested uses for lavender are available on ACHS Facebook (www.facebook.com/ACHSedu).

Download and read the full-text press release online here: http://www.achs.edu/news/news-detail.aspx?nid=269

We'd love to hear from you! What lavender-specific topics would you like ACHS to cover at our next Lavender Open House event?

Monday, July 25, 2011

Do You Use Cananga Oil As An Alternative to Ylang Ylang: ACHStv Gathering Canaga Flowers for Distillation



ACHS College President Dorene Petersen recently traveled to East Java. Here's an ACHStv video from her trip about how cananga flowers are gathered for distillation.

The terms cananga and ylang ylang are sometimes used interchangeably but there are botanical and subsequently essential oil differences. Ylang ylang is Cananga odorata var. genuine while cananga is Cananga odorata var. macrophylla. Both are from the Anonaceae family.

The trees of C. odorata var. macrophylla are quite common in East Java. The oil is extracted from cananga flowers using the hydro distillation process. The oil content in the flower varies from 0.75% to 1%. Total annual production of cananga oil in Indonesia is approximately 30-35 tons.

The main distillation season for cananga oil is from July to October. Areas of concern for this industry are the lack of tree replanting, while the existing trees are getting old and being attacked by caterpillars, which eat up all the leaves. The trees are not managed and grow to heights of 40-50 feet, which makes it difficult and dangerous to harvest. Previously a harvester had fallen from a tree and died from the injuries.

There is potential for developing and encouraging awareness of environmental issues and sustainability practices. The market for cananga oil is small so the price paid to the flower harvesters is low - approximately $0.45 U.S. per kg. Its continued production is tentative given the areas of concern and the low market demand.

This is an oil that deserves a closer look at by aromatherapists, natural product manufacturers, and natural perfumers.

Do you use cananga oil as an alternative to ylang ylang? We'd love to hear from you. Please feel free to post your comments here or to ACHS Facebook at facebook.com/ACHSedu

Lavender U-Pick at ACHS and Lavender Open House Pictures

Our Lavender Open House July 20 was so much fun! Thanks to everyone who participated.

If you're in the Portland area but were unable to attend in-person, stop by the ACHS campus @ 5940 SW Hood Ave, Portland for U-PICK LAVENDER from our Botanical Teaching Garden. It's just $6/bunch! Call (503) 244-0726 for more info. We look forward to seeing you!


We posted pictures from the Lavender Open House to ACHS Facebook here facebook.com/ACHSedu Feel free to leave a comment with your favorite lavender tips!

Visit our YouTube channel ACHStv for videos of the day's demonstrations, too.

Photo of Erika Yigzaw, ACHS Chief Institutional Officer and Master Gardener, demonstrating how to pot lavender and herbs. Image by Joel Strimling, Dean of Freshmen Students. Image © ACHS 2011.

Wednesday, July 20, 2011

How to Use Your Essential Oil Travel Kit



Join Tracey Miller from the American College of Healthcare Sciences at the Beaverton Farmer's Market as she walks you through the seven must-have essential oils for travel: cinnamon (Cinnamomum zeylanicum), ginger (Zingiber officinale), lavender (Lavandula angustifolia), lemon (Citrus limonum), tea tree Australia (Melaleuca alternifolia), peppermint (Mentha piperita var. vulgaris), and ylang yang (Cananga odorata). Traveling with essential oils is a great way to support you health while traveling and to have your sustainable, natural first aid kit on the go!

Tuesday, July 19, 2011

ACHS Annual Lavender Open House, Distillation, and U Pick July 20

We are soooooo excited about our Lavender Open House tomorrow. If you're in the Portland area, make sure to stop by the ACHS campus from 11 am-2 pm for a workshop about the health benefits of lavender, growing lavender, and how to distill and harvest lavender. It's going to be lots of fun!

If you're able to attend, make sure to RSVP to (503) 244-0726 or email achs@achs.edu. The event will be at the ACHS campus at 5940 SW Hood Ave., Portland Oregon 97239. You can find directions to our campus online here: http://www.achs.edu/about/campus-tour.aspx?id=15

If you're not able to attend in person, not to worry--we'll post lots of pictures and video from the day's events to ACHS on Facebook at http://www.facebook.com/ACHSedu AND our YouTube channel, ACHStv here

Here's a clip from our 2009 Lavender Open House and Distillation. Enjoy! Watch Parts 2-5 on ACHStv here

Cananga Flowers (Ylang Ylang) Being Sorted and Gathered From the Ground


Cananga flowers (ylang ylang) being sorted and gathered from the ground. The flowers drop to the ground after they are cut from a very tall tree. The harvester, in this case a man, was perilously perched 40 feet above the ground in the branches executing the cut with a hooked blade tied to a 15 foot stick. His wife is on the ground sorting and gathering with amazing speed. Unfortunately they are paid only .45 cents per kilo of flowers.

Photo by Dorene Petersen, ACHS President. © 2011. Bali.

Thursday, July 14, 2011

Lipstick for Dogs: An ACHS Fundraiser Benefiting the Oregon Humane Society

ACHS is hosting a fabulous fundraiser on July 27. We hope you can attend! 



Lipstick for Dogs is a fundraiser benefiting the Oregon Humane Society.

35% of retail sales and 15% of preferred client sales donated with a minimum $250 donation

!

Lipstick for Dogs features Arbonne vegan cosmetics, skin care, and nutrition products. Events include a raffle, free makeovers, and more!

July 27 from 5-8 pm, PST at the Apothecary Shoppe Store, American College of Healthcare Sciences, 5940 SW Hood Ave., Portland Oregon.

For more information, call (800) 487-8839 and "Like" the American College of Healthcare Sciences on Facebook for more information: facebook.com/ACHSedu

For directions, visit our website at http://www.achs.edu/about/campus-tour.aspx?id=15

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