Saturday, November 10, 2012

New blog address at

Hi folks!
We've moved our blog posts over to and we're trying to figure out how to feed that back over to this blogger blog... in the meantime, please go visit us there! Yesterdays blog post is all about Organic wine from one of our amazing faculty, Eleni Delfakis MD, RD..
Best wishes
Erika Yigzaw

Friday, August 17, 2012

Congratulations Recent ACHS Graduates! We can't wait to hear about all your future successes!

Congratulations, American College graduates! Hats off to you! We are very proud of your accomplishments and look forward to hearing all about your future successes. Join us in celebrating our latest ACHS grads, including:

• Allison Sarkar, Certificate in Holistic Nutrition Consulting (Honors)
• Amy Palena, Holistic Health Practice
• Aparna Chidambaram, Certificate in Natural Products Manufacturing (Honors)
• Aurora Boyers, Certificate in Wellness Consulting
• Beth Hooper, Certificate in Holistic Nutrition Consulting
• Brittany Davis, Certificate in Natural Products Manufacturing
• Candace Wilken, Holistic Health Practice (Honors)
• Caroline Smith, Certificate in Aromatherapy
• Catherine Kubinec, Diploma in Holistic Health Practice (Honors), Certificate in Wellness Consulting (Honors), Certificate in Iridology Consulting (Honors)
• Charlene Young, Herbal Retail Management (Honors), Natural Products Manufacturing (Honors)
• Christina Rise, Certificate in Aromatherapy
• Christina Ybarra, Certificate in Holistic Nutrition Consulting
• Cindy Chandler, Certificate in Wellness Consulting (Honors)
• Dorine King, Aromatherapy Master Aromatherapist
• Fabienne Bernard, Certificate in Holistic Nutrition Consulting (Honors), Certificate in Wellness Consulting (Honors)
• Fay Smith, Certificate in Herbal Retail Management
• Felicia Yifan Zhang, Certificate in Aromatherapy
• Haney Small, Holistic Nutrition Consulting
• Inga Wieser, Certificate in Wellness Consulting (Honors), Certificate in Natural Products Manufacturing (Honors), Certificate in Herbal Retail Management (Honors), Certificate in Homeopathy Consulting (Honors)
• Janet Bodyfelt, Holistic Health Practice
• Jayson Rivest, Aromatherapy Master Aromatherapist
• Jillian Brummer, Certificate in Wellness Consulting
• Julia Becharas, Diploma in Herbal Studies Master Herbalist, Associate of Applied Science in Complementary Alternative Medicine
• Kalli Heinze, Aromatherapy Master Aromatherapist
• Karen Eisenbraun, Certificate in Holistic Nutrition Consulting
• Kendra Broyles, Certificate in Wellness Consulting
• Lanie Gladwin, Certificate in Holistic Nutrition Consulting, Certificate in Wellness Consulting
• Latasha Proctor, Certificate in Holistic Nutrition Consulting
• Linda Hohmeister, Aromatherapy Master Aromatherapist
• Lori Herrmann, Natural Products Manufacturing (Honors)
• Lorraine Janssen, Herbal Studies Master Herbalist
• Luvena Rangel, Diploma in Holistic Health Practice (Honors)
• Malik Adisa-Ajene, Diploma in Holistic Health Practice
• Matthew McFarland, Certificate in Holistic Nutrition Consulting
• Nancy Jean Jones, Certificate in Aromatherapy (Honors)
• Norma Bewell, Certificate in Wellness Consulting
• Renata Hinton, Certificate in Holistic Nutrition Consulting
• Robin Hardt, Iridology Consulting, Herbal Studies Master Herbalist
• Ronna Haxby, Certificate in Holistic Nutrition Consulting (Honors)
• Sarah Guarin, Certificate in Holistic Nutrition Consulting
• Sharon Marks, Diploma in Holistic Health Practice
• Soleil Hawthorne, Diploma in Holistic Health Practice
• Suzanne Gossett, Certificate in Holistic Nutrition Consulting (Honors)
• Tammy Olsen, Certificate in Wellness Consulting (Honors), Diploma in Aromatherapy Master Aromatherapist (Honors), Certificate in Herbal Retail Management (Honors)
• Teresa Graner, Certificate in Holistic Nutrition Consulting
• Victoria Shibata-Hatch, Herbal Studies Master Herbalist
• Virginia McDevitt, Certificate in Holistic Nutrition Consulting (Honors)

ACHS graduates, you know first-hand the excitement and potential challenges of going back to school. You can help new and prospective ACHS students get started on the right foot by sharing your experiences.  Become an ACHS Ambassador today and help others change their life the way you've made positive change in yours!

Being an ACHS ambassador gives you the opportunity to share your story, develop confident communication skills, strengthen your holistic health community and help others in their education and holistic health journey.

CLICK HERE to learn more about the ACHS Ambassadors program today!

Wednesday, August 15, 2012

Netiquette, Twitiquette, and Blogger-Etiquette for Sharing Content

BY Erika Yigzaw, American College of Healthcare Sciences Chief Institutional Officer

Do you love our natural health and wellness blog? Want to share some content with your website readers or store customers? Who doesn’t want to share tips on how to get well and healthy with simple therapeutic lifestyle changes and organic botanicals!

But when does sharing become stealing? We love when you share, but we’ve seen entire blog posts show up elsewhere without a word as to where it came from. Boo! Hiss! It takes time and effort to come up with good content and stealing is not just illegal, it’s really bad karma!

Google announced this week that they will be taking even more steps to lower rankings for sites that steal content, so how do you ensure you’re following the rules? Not just the rules of copyright law (can you explain “fair use” at a cocktail party?) but also the netiquette, twitiquette, and blogger-etiquette of it all!

How to quote, cite, borrow, and rework existing content is a common issue for students, but it doesn’t go away once you graduate. Most business owners need to steadily create content for blogs and websites, and that can be tiring, particularly if you’re not that handy with the keyboard. While some copying is blatant and just plain rude, we know that lots of folks out there are innocently copying and pasting away without realizing they are skating on thin ice. There is no “10% rule.”

We love this blog post from Hubspot on how to share and give credit in a way that builds your credibility and links, rather than inadvertently stealing content and hurting your Google rankings:

And here are some other ideas on how to get original content for your website or blog:
  • Invite guest bloggers to contribute. (Are YOU interested in writing a blog post for the ACHS blog? Email us today! No, really. We’re talking to you!) This is a great way to increase your content while helping someone else get more readers to their own site and business.
  • Hire a ghost blogger. It’s hard to make a living as a writer in your pajamas. There are lots of would-be Huffington Post writers out there who can write for you and your business. As a ghost writer, they don’t get credit or links out to their own business, but you have to pay them. What to pay ghost writers depends on the industry, experience, word count, etc.
  • Get a copy of Dragon Dictate. It helps avoid carpal tunnel and makes getting that stream of consciousness down on “paper” that much easier.
Do you have a blog or newsletter for your holistic health business? What are your favorite tips for generating new content?

Tuesday, August 7, 2012

5 Essential Tips To Know When Using Hydrosols

BY ACHS President Dorene Petersen, BA, Dip.NT, Dip.Acu, RH (AHG)

Throughout your aromatherapy studies, you will have come across reference to aromatic waters, hydrosols, hydrolats, and floral waters.  Essentially, these are all the same thing: the alluring aromatic waters that result from the cooling of the steam process during the distillation of essential oils. I prefer the term hydrosol.

Long thought of as a by-product of distillation, hydrosols are enjoying a revival. Hydrosols are an important tool in your aromatherapy toolbox for health and wellness.

Here are five essential tips to get you started:

1. Gentler? More Balanced? Ever wonder why hydrosols are said to have a more gentle and balanced action?  Hydrosols are jam-packed full of therapeutic constituents, but at a fraction of the concentration of an essential oil. Captured in their aromatic waters are tiny amounts of the volatile aromatherapy essential oil, most of which has been separated off.  Plus, the water-soluble volatiles that don’t make it into the essential oil are captured in the hydrosol. So hydrosols contain a more broad spectrum of constituents and can offer a gentler tool for health and wellness than an aromatherapy essential oil. Hydrosols are yet another way to harness the health and wellness potential from aromatic herbs and botanicals!
Loading the still to distill aromatherapy essential oils at the ACHS campus distillation lavender open house. Pictured here ACHS President Dorene Petersen, ACHS CIO Erika Yigzaw and local massage therapist Donald Toomim. Copyright ACHS 2012.

ACHS CIO Erika Yigzaw using a pipette to separate lavender essential oil from the hydrosol from distillation of L. Angustifolia. Copyright ACHS 2012.

2.  Aromatherapy Essential Oils versus Hydrosols: You know that old saying oil and water don’t mix? Well, in an aromatherapy grade hydrosol, a small amount of essential oil is already diluted and mixed in water. You will learn throughout your online aromatherapy classes at ACHS and your holistic health careers that wellness is something we should ideally do everyday: Hydrosols make it easier to accomplish daily health and wellness. No need to dilute or create blends - the hydrosol can be used as a room and body spray right away. Plus, the fact that the essential oil is physically dissolved in the aromatic water assists the body to absorb it.
ACHS separator separating the essential oil from the hydrosol at the ACHS 2012 Lavender Open House.

3. But is it safe? Safety is always key so this is always a good question to ask. Hydrosols are safe and have been used for many centuries throughout many civilizations and still are.  For example, the aromatic water of Sage Salvia triloba is liberally drunk in many Middle Eastern countries. In Turkey, when you are invited to someone’s home, you'll often be offered a glass of iced sage hydrosol is usual  - an instant and effective antibacterial and antioxidant refreshment.  Rose water and orange blossom water are two other hydrosols that have a long history of culinary use.

4. What about external application? Splash on and leave to dry – yes, hydrosols are an ideal, quick, and easy external application. Remember they don’t contain alcohol which can be drying and sting if the skin is cut, grazed, sensitive or inflamed. When concocting an unguent or cream, think about adding a hydrosol rather than a tincture; it is milder on the skin. Preparing a hair tonic? Think hydrosol!

5. Inhalation: This is one case when you want to inhale! Spray and breathe deep – yes it is that easy. Unlike infusions, lotions, essential oils and tinctures, which all need a level of preparation before the client can use them, aromatic waters are mostly instantly available for a range of internal and external uses. For example, a spray bottle of chamomile Matricaria chamomilla water in your purse or kept at home can be sprayed too soothe skin after a little too much sun or a brush with some irritating plants after a day in the garden. Or use the chamomile Matricaria chamomilla hydrosol as a facial toner, inhaled in hot water or added to a baby’s bath . . . the list is endless. You can even add a teaspoon of chamomile Matricaria chamomilla hydrosol to your chamomile tea for a relaxing end to the day or after a big meal. Need a calming and soothing skin tonic? Spray with Lavender, Lavandula angustifolia. Musty smell in the garbage or anywhere around the house? Spray Lavandin Lavandula intermedia. (What? Aren't they the same? No! Lavandula angustifolia is very different from Lavandula intermedia - more on that in another blog post!) Freshen up the laundry while drying by soaking a cloth in  Lavandin Lavandula intermedia, and toss it in while the clothes are on the dry cycle. Feeling out of sorts because it’s that “time of the month”? Spray your face and wrists three times a day with Vitex Vitex angus-castus hydrosol! As you can see, there are many choices of hydrosols for health and wellness!

The American College of Healthcare Sciences’ Apothecary Shoppe College Store provides a small select range of boutique, hand-distilled therapeutic hydrosols available in 2-16 ounce sizes.

Watch Dorene Petersen distilling Lavender Lavandula intermedia at the ACHS campus during the 2012 ACHS Lavender Open House: 
Learn more about aromatherapy preparations with ACHS's comprehensive, accredited, online diplomas, certificates, and courses. Click here to request more information today.

This information has not been reviewed by the FDA. This information has been provided for educational purposes only and is not intended to diagnose, treat, prevent, or cure disease.  ACHS has provided this material for your information. It is not intended to substitute for the medical expertise and advice of your primary health care provider. We encourage you to discuss any decisions about treatment or care with your health care provider. The mention of any product, service, or therapy is not an endorsement by ACHS.

U-pick lavender at the ACHS Campus 2012.

Friday, July 27, 2012

How to Make Homemade Lavender Lemonade and Lavender-Infused Water

We love making our own fresh-from-the-garden libations! They're easy to make, refreshing (especially in the summer), delicious, and a great alternative to sugary drinks! Herbal-infused spa water is one of our favorites, like a combination of cucumber, lemon, and organic mint (orange and organic strawberries taste great, too).

But if you like more flavor, herbal teas and lemonade blends are easy and fun to make. Just a few days ago we hosted the American College's annual Lavender Open House on our campus in Portland, Oregon, and served lavender-infused water and lavender lemonade as part of the festivities. Everyone loved it! Plus, lavender-infused drinks are a great complement to lavender shortbread cookies (or any other lavender treat). Yum!

We thought you might enjoy the recipes from the ACHS Lavender Open House to try at your next picnic, party, or just because you're in the mood for a healthy, delicious drink. Thanks to ACHS Shipping Manager, Kelly Johnson, for putting these recipes together!

>>What are your favorite fresh-from-the-garden summer drinks? We'd love to share recipes. Just click "comment" to post.


Lavender Lemonade for 6 quart beverage dispenser (fills dispenser approximately 3/4 full)

  • 1 12 oz container frozen lemonade (We used organic Cascadian Lemonade Concentrate)
  • 1/2 cup/4 oz Lavandula angustifolia (commonly called English Lavender*)

We used organic, dried lavender flowers (double quantity if using fresh herbs). Add lavender to 6 cups hot water. Cover and let steep for 5-8 minutes. Strain brewed lavender water and add to lemonade. Combine with plenty of ice and filtered water. For garnish, combine with fresh-picked lavender sprigs, lemon wheels, and a dash of sugar if you like it a little sweeter and a little less tart!


Herbal Infused Water - Lavender 2012 Open House Recipe

Combine into 6 cup teapot and steep together for 5-8 minutes
  • 1 tsp organic basil
  • 1 tsp organic lemon balm
  • 1/2 cup/4 oz  Lavandula angustifolia* (we used organic, dried lavender flowers )

Add filtered water, ice, and infused herbs into your beverage container. Be creative with your garnishes. We added cucumber wedges, lavender sprigs. and frozen blueberries. Yummm!

*Be sure to use culinary lavender Lavandula angustifolia. Provence or English Lavender are popular choices. Some varieties such as Lavadin contain camphor oil better used for non-culinary purposes.

Note: This information has not been reviewed by the FDA. This information has been provided for educational purposes only and 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.

Tuesday, July 17, 2012

Top Ten High Fiber Low Calorie Foods

BY Erika Yigzaw, ACHS CIO 
Are there magic foods that we can eat all day and still lose weight? Not really. But there are some foods that are relatively low in calories yet have high nutritive value, either because they are high in fiber, phytonutrients such as antioxidants, or high in protein. These are foods to keep handy in the pantry, refrigerator, or garden and eat daily. Train your family – particularly children – to snack on these top ten foods rather than chips and sodas and you’ll be ahead of the nutrition curve before you know it!

To pick these top ten foods, I looked at nutritional value, energy density[1], and volume. I want to focus on foods that provide a lot of bang for the buck (i.e., keep us full and have high nutritional value with fewer calories than other choices). Fruits and vegetables with lots of water are often lower energy density[2] , but my primary criteria for the list is fiber. Why? Fiber is critical. Remember your grandmother telling you to eat more “roughage”? Well she was right! We need at least 25 grams a day, and ideally 35 grams a day, for a healthy bowel. I think the correlation between high fiber diets and lower cancer rates is not just from fiber but is synergistic, since most high fiber diets are high in fruits and vegetables, which are also high in antioxidants and other phytonutrients. But, fiber is clearly also very important and few Americans get enough. 

Here is my current top ten list of high fiber low calorie foods:
  1. Raspberries rank as one of the highest high fiber low calorie foods, at 8.0 grams of fiber and just 64 calories per serving (1-cup) (1 calorie per raspberry!)[3, 4]. They are delicious and we can grow our own here in Oregon! Yay!
  2. Pears have about 5.1 grams of fiber and only 51 calories for a medium sized pear[5]. They are easy to pack in a lunch and store well. They are also easy to grow here in Oregon.
  3. Apples provide about 4.4 grams of fiber, at roughly 55 calories for a small apple. Choose organic as apples are on the EWG dirty dozen list 2012[6]. Apples are easy to grow here in Oregon and many parts of the US, with the newer columnar varieties letting you grow pounds of fruit in a small garden or even a container!
  4. Blueberries provide about 3.5 grams of fiber, and roughly 40 calories for 50 berries. Choose organic as blueberries are on the EWG dirty dozen list 2012[7]. Again, blueberries grow well here in the Pacific North West, although take a few years to fruit well. Mulch with wood chips as they love acidic soil.
  5. Strawberries provide about 3.3 grams of fiber and average about 2 calories per strawberry. Choose organic as strawberries are on the EWG dirty dozen list 2012[8]. Grow even a few strawberry plants in a barrel or tuck them into ornamental garden beds where the foliage stays a lovely dark green throughout the summer while providing you with berries!
  6. Black beans – 1 cup has 15 grams of fiber – along with 15 grams of protein – and just 227 calories[9]
  7. Whole-wheat spaghetti weighs in at 6.3 g of fiber per serving and approximately 174 calories per 1-cup serving (always check the label as brands vary)
  8. One cup of oatmeal provides 4.0 grams of fiber and about 60 calories per serving
  9. Whole wheat or multigrain breads offer 1.9 grams per slice and about 65 calories per slice (always check the label as brands vary)
  10. Cooked peas, at a whopping 8.8 g of fiber and a low 67 calories per cup serving size. Turn a cup of peas into instant soup with a stick blender and some vegetable stock. 

So that’s our top ten, but there are some other notable additions:
  •  Boiled turnip greens, which offer about 5.0 grams of fiber per cup sized serving and about 48 calories
  •  Raw carrots offer 1.7 grams of fiber and 21 calories for a small carrot. Raw, fresh carrots are about 88 percent water.
  •  Broccoli has 5.1 g of fiber and about 52 calories per cup. Steamed broccoli is best for cholesterol lowering benefits. 100 calories of broccoli gives you 10 grams of fiber!
  • Grapefruit is about 90 percent water, and one contains approximately 3.4 grams of fiber – more than 13 percent of your daily fiber needs – and about the same amount as a cup of strawberries, cabbage, cauliflower or beets. The amount of fiber in one grapefruit exceeds that found in a banana or in 1 cup of celery or bell peppers. An entire grapefruit has just 78 calories. Grapefruit also contains vitamin C and pectin[10]. Good news too – grapefruit is on the EWG clean fifteen list – meaning they are one of the 15 produce items lowest in pesticides[11]!
  • Raisins, which provide 1.6 grams of fiber per 1.5 ounce serving and roughly 42 calories for a 5-ounce box. Note that grapes have more volume for the same fiber and calories so are an excellent choice! Grapes are another dirty dozen item so choose organic!
  • Just one cup of barley has 13.6 grams of fiber in 270 calories – add a cup of barley to your vegetable soup for a hearty winter way to increase fiber! Plus barley is a great source of selenium[12]!  

What are foods to leave out?
  • Canned baked beans – a favorite in New Zealand and the United Kingdom – pack a lot of fiber per serving, but also lots of sugar and sodium.
  • Processed foods – yes a processed food with added fiber is better than one without, but stick to the foods that mother nature made high in fiber for optimum health.
  • Act: Using your favorite app (mine is MyFitnessPal available on the app store and at track your food intake and see how much fiber you’re really getting! Try a fiber day and see how much you can pack in! 

Share: What are your favorite foods? Check their fiber and calorie content and add a comment!

Read more: Aedín Cassidy, Immaculata De Vivo, Yan Liu, Jiali Han, Jennifer Prescott, David J Hunter, and Eric B Rimm. Effects of fiber on telomere length? Associations between diet, lifestyle factors, and telomere length in women. Am J Clin Nutr May 2010 vol. 91 no. 5 1273-1280

There are many papers on nutrition and fiber at – find your favorite and post a comment to share it with others!

  2. The World's Healthiest Foods by George Mateljan
  4. Environmental Working Group
  5. Changing Shape

[1]  According to the Mayo Clinic: “Simply put, energy density is the number of calories (energy) in a specific amount of food. High energy density means that there are a lot of calories in a little food. Low energy density means there are few calories in a lot of food.” From accessed on 7/16/12
[2] Keep in mind that this concept is useful for more than just weight management: If you are hiking, you want to choose foods that are high energy density, such as trail mix and high fat foods.
[3] Read more:
[5] Read more:
[10] The World's Healthiest Foods: Grapefruit In-Depth Nutrient Analysis:
NOTE: This article has not been reviewed by the FDA. This information has been provided for educational purposes only and is not intended to treat, cure, diagnose, or prevent disease. Always consult your primary care physician or natuopathic doctor before making any significant changes to your health routine.

Tuesday, June 26, 2012

ACHS and Apothecary Shoppe Re-Certified as Green America Gold Certified Businesses

A member of Green America since 2000, American College of Healthcare Sciences (ACHS) and the Apothecary Shoppe College Store have been re-certified as Green America Gold Certified Businesses.

Green America’s vision is to “work for a world where all people have enough, where all communities are healthy and safe, and where the bounty of the earth is preserved for all the generations to come.” ACHS supports this vision through the College mission and partnerships with dedicated organizations like Green America.

“We’re thrilled ACHS has been re-certified with Green America’s highest honor, the Gold Seal, for our dedication to providing leadership in holistic health education through comprehensive professional online and on-campus education and high-quality natural products with a commitment to sustainable practices and principles,” says ACHS President Dorene Petersen. “A big thank you to our students, alumni, and Apothecary Shoppe customers for supporting ACHS and for supporting other Green America members.”

To display the Green America Green Business Certification Gold Seal of Approval, ACHS successfully met Green America’s stringent green business requirements. The Green Business Certification is awarded to businesses that are actively using their business as a tool for positive social change, operating a “values-driven” enterprise according to principles of social justice and environmental sustainability, and environmentally responsible in the way they source, manufacture, and market their products and run their operations and facilities. (You can find a complete list of business standards at

Learn more about ACHS’s commitment to sustainability online at and view ACHS’s sustainability profile, green achievements, and commitments in the National Green Pages online here:

About ACHS
American College of Healthcare Sciences was one of the first accredited colleges offering degrees, diplomas, and career-training certificates in complementary alternative medicine fully online. Founded in 1978, ACHS is committed to exceptional online education and is recognized as an industry leader in holistic health education worldwide. For more information about ACHS programs and community wellness events, visit, call (503) 244-0726, or stop by the College campus located at 5940 SW Hood Ave., Portland OR 97239.

>> GO TO to read the full article on the American College website under News and Events. Or click here.