Friday, December 17, 2010

Recording of Select Drug-Herb & Drug-Nutrient Interactions Now Available

Our December 14, 2010, teleconference with Dr. Mario Roxas--Select Drug-Herb & Drug-Nutrient Interactions--was action packed! Dr. Roxas shared an insightful, personal snapshot of the current state of our society's health followed by a stellar introduction to the complex world of drug-herb and drug-nutrient interactions. We welcome you to download the recording for your personal reference library. You may also want to download a copy of the presentation's accompanying PDF to follow along!

Download Select Drug-Herb & Drug-Nutrient Interactions HERE.

For those who were able to attend, we sincerely hope you enjoyed the teleconference. Our teleconferences have limited space and are, therefore, only open to ACHS students and graduates. However, we know there are many of you who would like to attend and to learn more about integrating holistic health and wellness into your everyday life. So, we are very happy to be able to post a recording of Select Drug-Herb & Drug-Nutrient Interactions for your enjoyment.

If there is a specific teleconference topic you would like to hear in the future, please let us know. You can email it to or post it as a comment to ACHS Facebook here:

For a schedule of upcoming ACHS teleconferences, click on Community Wellness classes or use this link:

Tuesday, December 7, 2010

ACHS Apothecary Shoppe College Store Is Now Oregon Tilth Certified Organic

We're proud to announce our Apothecary Shoppe College Store is now Oregon Tilth Certified Organic (OTCO). OTCO is the certifying agent for the National Organic Program (NOP) of the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA). An internationally recognized symbol of organic integrity, OTCO reflects the Apothecary Shoppe’s ongoing commitment to green business and sustainable practices.

As an arm of the ACHS community, our Apothecary Shoppe prioritizes environmental stewardship and offers a distinguished selection of natural health products, including certified organic herbs and essential oils, for ACHS students and the community at large. To promote sustainable harvesting, wildcrafting, and preservation of natural resources, ACHS President Dorene Petersen personally visits all Apothecary Shoppe distillers, wildcrafters, and suppliers to ensure ACHS’s dedication to sustainable practices.

“We’re very excited about our Oregon Tilth certification,” says ACHS President Dorene Petersen. “OTCO protects our customers by ensuring their herbal supplies meet strict production standards for organic products. Being OTCO means we cannot use the term ‘organic’ with our products unless the material is on the list of our approved products. To be approved, the material has to be NOP certified by the vendor. If the material is not NOP certified, it will not be sold as organic.”

The Apothecary Shoppe has been certified for a diverse selection of herbs and essential oils. For specific product information, visit the Apothecary Shoppe website ( and click on the herb and/or essential oil of interest.

To learn more about the rigorous process of Oregon Tilth certification, visit the Oregon Tilth website ( and click on Certification to access their FAQs.

READ the full-length press release here:

Wednesday, December 1, 2010

World AIDS Day 2010 Universal Access and Human Rights

BY Keoi Magill, ACHS Graduate Certificate in Aromatherapy

World AIDS Day is December 1 and this year’s theme is Universal Access and Human Rights. More than 25 million people have died from AIDS since its first discovery in 1981 and by the end of 2006, women accounted for 48% of all living adults with HIV. There are currently 2.1 million children that are living their lives with HIV.

HIV is not just a disease of the past and should not be forgotten. Each and every day there are approximately 6,000 young people worldwide between the ages of 15-24 being diagnosed with HIV. Sadly, for these people, every day is AIDS Day.

First and foremost, a holistic approach to AIDS education is needed to remove the stigma of shame that surrounds those who have contracted HIV. The body’s immune system becomes compromised from the disease. Then other diseases step in and ravage the body. Stress and worry can escalate the entire process.

Taking a holistic approach may improve quality of life. Providing access to holistic medical care, that includes diet education, relaxation and training in meditation techniques may also help to slow the advances of AIDS and support reduced stress and anxiety.

Universal access to education and support by respecting all human rights is holistic in its inception and principal. For those of us, who are working and interested in the holistic approach to our lives now is the time to educate ourselves, our clients, friends and family to the truths regarding AIDS. There is no known cure for AIDS and the number of new cases continues to rise.

Take the opportunity to educate yourself about AIDS Day and help support the year-round fight to stop the spread of HIV. There are many resources available on the web. To get started, you may want to check out the World AIDS Day website ( and the National Center for Complementary and Alternative Medicine website ( for more information about current research into using CAM protocols with AIDS.

Ironson G, Hayward H. (2008). Do positive psychosocial factors predict disease progression in HIV-1? A review of the evidence. Psychosom Med, 70(5):546-54.

Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Benefit Of DIY Natural Homemade Gifts

BY Keoi Magill, ACHS Graduate Certificate in Aromatherapy

We all have much to gain by making our own homemade natural gifts. Anyone can run into a store and buy something off the shelf. But, when you put the time, thought, and energy into making gifts for those you love, the receiver knows that they are special to you.

By using natural materials you are also promoting a green lifestyle. Giving gifts that are natural to friends who have not experienced the benefits of organic products can be quite the eye opener. You will be introducing an eco-friendly lifestyle to someone who may be inexperienced. Plus, typically it costs more to purchase something already made, so you will save money as well.

Making DIY natural gifts can reduce stress. With all the hustle and bustle that life throws at us, spending the time doing something creative can be a form of meditation, calming and exhilarating you all at the same time. It can remove the worry about duplicating something your loved ones already have: your gift is original and one of a kind.

Handmade gifts can be problem solvers and time savers, especially for those on our holiday list who we never know what to give. No more wandering around trying to find that just-right gift. As long as we follow good manufacturing practices, quality assurance is guaranteed when we make natural gifts. We know that our gifts are toxic free and will not harm the environment or our family and friends.

In the truest spirit of the holiday season, there is nothing that we can do that is more rewarding than to make do-it-yourself homemade natural gifts.

For a free holiday recipe book, download the Apothecary Shoppe Holiday Recipe Guide HERE.

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

It's a Great Day to Quit … American Cancer Society's Great American Smokeout

Thursday is the American Cancer Society's Great American Smokeout, an "event" encouraging smokers to quit that day (or to at least make a plan for quitting that day).

It has been said that the easiest way to quit smoking is not to start. But if you, or someone you care about, have become addicted to smoking, read on (please feel free to forward this email, too).

Quitting is not easy. But making the decision to quit is the first step towards living a healthier life. The next step is to stay smoke-free and there are many support tools available. For a holistic option consider black pepper (Piper nigrum) essential oil.

Studies suggest inhaling black pepper essential oil may help reduce cravings and withdrawal symptoms. The vapor released when black pepper essential oil is diffused is thought to help dispel anxious feelings associated with quitting smoking.*

If you or a loved one want to quit smoking, make this your day! The Cancer Society's website lists several health benefits accrued over time, including decreased heart rate, blood pressure, and risk of coronary heart disease. Read the full list of benefits here.

For more information about natural stop-smoking supports, you may be interested in Conquer Tobacco Naturally. In his book, Dr. Edward Blomgren, an ACHS graduate, details alternative strategies to help smokers quit in 12 weeks or less.

To access the American Cancer Society Guide to Quitting Smoking (and their Cigarette Cost Calculator, which is an eyeopener!), click here.

From natural health supporters to another, congratulations on all the small, everyday choices you make to live healthy! Take care!

* These statements have not been evaluated by the FDA. This information is for educational purposes only. It is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent disease.

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Re-Coloring Black Friday with Aromatherapy

BY Keoi Magill, ACHS Certificate in Aromatherapy Graduate

On Black Friday, we have less than a month until the presents will be unwrapped. With all the gifts to be purchased, parties to plan, cards to write and holiday cooking, we just don’t seem to have time to spend taking care of ourselves. You can dial down your holiday stress and achieve balance with aromatherapy. Here are a few simple and easy ways to sail through the holiday season.

Before you go out shopping put a few drops of lavender oil Lavendula angustifolia, on a cotton ball. Just breathe in the calming aroma whenever you need it. Another way is to add the lavender to 4 oz of distilled water and spray yourself with a fine mist. It will help reduce your stress and alleviate irritability.

Add a drop or two of peppermint oil Mentha piperita, to your favorite body lotion and rub it into your feet. It will help invigorate and refresh your tired feet and help with exhaustion.

Make a blend of bergamot Citrus bergamia, peppermint Mentha piperita, and cinnamon Cinnamomum zeylanicum, and diffuse on a lamp ring or ceramic diffuser throughout your home before a party. Not only will it help reduce your anxiety and nervousness, it smells festive and inviting.

When you are wrapping presents or writing out your holiday cards, diffuse or use a cotton ball with a few drops of rosemary Rosmarinus officinalis and neroli Citrus aurantium var. amara. These two oils are great together for mental clarity and to help ward off depression.

The holiday season doesn’t have to be black when you can open your crayon box of essential oils and in minutes color yourself balanced.

To learn more about aromatherapy and essential oils, download your free copy of "History of Aromatherapy" HERE.

*This article is for informational purposes only. It is not intended to treat, diagnose, prescribe, or cure. See you primary care physician before making any significant changes to your health and wellness routine.

Thursday, November 11, 2010

A Tribute to Servicemembers, Veterans and Military Families

This Veterans Day, our servicemembers, veterans, and military families are in our thoughts. If you or a loved one are affiliated with the military, we want to say thank you for your service to our country. Your commitment to protecting the health and safety of our nation is sincerely appreciated.

Part of our mission at ACHS is to help active duty servicemembers, veterans, and military spouses get the training they need for a successful civilian career in holistic health. In fact, ACHS was recently named a Military Friendly School by GI Jobs magazine for the second year in a row. We’re very proud of this award and the services we’re able to offer servicemembers, and are dedicated to continuing to expand our services.

If you know someone who is passionate about holistic health and is a servicemember, veteran or spouse, tell them to email our Military Education Coordinator Tracey Miller for more information about benefits available through ACHS. Call (800) 487-8839 or email just send an email to

On behalf of the ACHS family, thank you for all you do!

November is American Diabetes Month: Cinnamon May Help Regulate Blood Glucose

For those who follow us on Twitter (ACHSedu), you already know that November is American Diabetes Month. Sponsored by the American Diabetes Association, Diabetes Month raises awareness for diabetes prevention and the new Stop Diabetes movement. How will you help stop diabetes?

As part of your diabetes education, check out the recent study in the Diabetic Medicine journal exploring the potential use of cinnamon in regulating blood glucose and blood pressure in people with type 2 diabetes. Who knew of of the oldest traditional plants used for digestive troubles (and for culinary and flavoring purposes), may also help with type 2 diabetes!

The October study "Glycated haemoglobin and blood pressure-lowering effect of cinnamon in multi-ethnic Type 2 diabetic patients in the UK: a randomized, placebo-controlled, double-blind clinical trial" tested 58 patients with type 2 diabetes and concluded that: "The intake of 2 g of cinnamon for 12 weeks showed reduction in HbA1c levels, mean systolic and diastolic blood pressure within patients with poorly controlled type 2 diabetes. These results indicate that cinnamon should be considered in addition to standard therapy to regulate blood glucose and blood pressure levels to treat patients with type 2 diabetes."

READ more about the
Diabetic Medicine study HERE.

* 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 before making any changes to your health and wellness routine.

Tuesday, November 9, 2010

Meet Robin Barnette, ACHS 2011 DETC Outstanding Graduate

Robin Barnette, ACHS Certificate in Aromatherapy program graduate, has been named a 2011 Outstanding Graduate by the Distance Education and Training Council (DETC). The DETC 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).

Robin says, “Find your passion, follow your dreams.” She had experienced the healing benefits of essential oils first-hand, so pursuing a Certificate in Aromatherapy from ACHS was a natural extension of her passion to share the healing benefits of essential oils with others.

As an aromatherapist, Robin is now successfully educating clients one-on-one and in workshops about how to achieve optimal health naturally by incorporating good lifestyle choices and essential oils. She also regularly publishes articles dedicated to educating and sharing the wonderful healing benefits of therapeutic essential oils.

Robin is the owner of Aromachick, Healing Botanicals for the Body, Mind, and Sprit. She also offers Aroma-Yoga for Healing workshops in Calabasas, California, where she combines the therapeutic benefits of aromatherapy with the healing benefits of yoga.

“Earning my Certificate in Aromatherapy from ACHS was a life changing experience,” Robin says. “ACHS helped me find my passion and follow my dreams!”

To connect with Robin, post a message for her on ACHS Facebook HERE:

You can also catch Robin on YouTube! Watch her video about ACHS HERE:

Noha Hashem of AREEj Aromatherapy on ACHS and Building a Successful Business

“Our lifestyle is stressful, full of ups and downs, challenges and problems to be solved. Using essential oils can help humans to relax and may help to make our lives better, so why not?,” asks Noha Hashem, graduate of the ACHS Certificate in Aromatherapy and owner of AREEj Aromatherapy.

“To be honest,” Noha continues, “six years ago I had no idea about the word aromatherapy, until I started to search the net, then I found out the amazing benefits of essential oils on the mind, like for example, lavender can help you relax and sleep or basil oil can help in concentra- tion. [...] This new knowledge inspired [me] to start learning more about aromatherapy. Through research I found out that the ACHS college in Oregon, USA, is the right place to learn about aromatherapy, so I joined it and it open to me a whole new world that I didn’t know about. At this point the vision was quite clear that we want eventually to have an aromatherapy finished product line for the direct consumer to benefit from these amazing natural oils.”

AREEj Aromatherapy, based in the Egyptian delta, is part of the Hashem Brothers family partnership, which specializes in the production of essential oils and aromatic products. AREEj Aromatherapy uses naturally-derived and certified organic plant ingredients in their aromatherapy products. “Traceability and quality,” the company’s website says, “are the pillars of our business, which allow us to introduce the cosmetic market to Egyptian aromatherapy products from the source.”

READ the full-length article about AREEj Aromatherapy and ACHS aromatherapy graduate Noha Hashem, HERE:

Tuesday, November 2, 2010

Study-Abroad Programs and Travel Dates for Summer School in Greece 2011

We're excited to announce our study-abroad programs and travel dates for summer school in Greece 2011 and would like to invite you to join us!

May 27 to June 2, 2011: Watercolor Journaling in Greece with Jacqueline Newbold. Read more about Jacqueline and her watercolor journaling online at:

Jacqueline is a successful artist and teacher who leads successful study abroad programs to Provence. I am thrilled that Jacqueline will be offering her wonderful class for the first time in Greece. We will learn how to journal our Mediterranean Herb and Essential oils, and our Aromatic Journey to Chios programs.

June 4 to 9, 2011: Mediterranean Herbs and Essential oils in Greece with ACHS President and Wellness Expert Dorene Petersen, Guerilla Distiller Robert Seidel and guest lecturer Aromatherapist Mindy Green (Also an ACHS Advisory Board Member). We are privileged to have Robert Seidel and Mindy Green join us for this program.

June 11 to 16, 2011: Aromatic Journey to Chios--Explore Mastic Production with
Dorene Petersen and Robert Seidel
. If you enjoy adventure, history and are fascinated in the potential of mastic essential oil don't miss this one!

Invest in yourself and stay for all three! Program details will be announced shortly. For priority enrollment, please contact ACHS admissions to be placed on the waiting list. We had many students contact us about doing summer school in 2011, so these programs will fill quickly! Call (800) 487-8839 or email

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

ACHS Diploma in Holistic Health Practice Student Luvena Rangel on ACHS

Thank you, Luvena, for sharing your American College experience with the holistic health community! We're so proud to learn about your life changing experience and look forward to hearing more about your success in holistic health practice!

To learn more about the ACHS Diploma in Holistic Health Practice, visit the ACHS website at or CLICK HERE:

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

Soup Swaps Provide Healthy, Nutritious Meals and Community Interaction

Now that fall is here and the weather has turned a bit crisp (it seemed all of a sudden here in Portland, Oregon), average salad intake seems to decline. In cooler weather, many of us crave warm comfort food. Well, there’s no reason to abandon your commitment to your daily serving of fresh veggies. Homemade, veggie-packed soups are a nutritious and flavorful solution.

The good thing about soup …. A few hours in the kitchen can yield several meals. But we know, not everyone is excited about leftovers. Not to worry. We have a solution. Plan a soup swap!

Soup swaps are a great way to ensure you and your family are eating healthy, nutritious meals without having to reinvent the wheel every day. Invite a few of your friends, family members, neighbors, or coworkers to make a batch of their favorite soup (about six individually packaged quarts). Then meet at a central location to swap. The benefits: Soup swapers get to share their favorite recipe and every one leaves with about a week’s worth of healthy, prepared meals. What could be better!

To help plan your first soup swap, check out the article “Soup swaps help stock your freezer and foster friendships” from The Oregonian.

Then, DOWNLOAD your ACHS Wellness Guide for holistic nutrition tips to help you plan your soups.

Have great recipes? POST them here! We’d love to start a soup swap cookbook everyone can share.

If you like this post, help us spread the word. Post a link to your Facebook. Digg it. Stumble it. Tweet it. And ... thanks!

Thursday, October 14, 2010

World Food Day 2010: Sign the Petition to End Hunger

World Food Day 2010 is this Saturday, October 16.

A worldwide event to raise awareness about hunger, World Food Day provides a great opportunity start alleviating hunger in your own community--share info about holistic nutrition, plan a food garden, be active. Education makes a difference!

Sign the petition to end world hunger here:

To find a World Food Day event in your area, visit the World Food Day USA website here:

How will you help raise awareness? Here are 5 simple things you can do year-round to help alleviate hunger:
  1. Make a YouTube video and send the link to everyone you know.
  2. Organize an outreach project on your college campus.
  3. Use the World Food Day curriculum (or develop your own!) and lead a discussion with kids in your local community.
  4. Plant a community food garden.
  5. Share information about World Food Day and healthy nutrition with everyone you can. Talk to people!
Have an event to suggest for World Food Day? Share it with our ACHS and greater holistic health community and post a response. We’d love to hear from you.

The American College has several downloads you can use to start planning your own World Food Day event. Download them here:
  1. ACHS Wellness Guide:
  2. YouTube Videos (ACHStv), Diet and Lifestyle Choices for Health, Part 1-5:
  3. Organic Gardening Guide:
If you like this post, help us spread the word. Post a link to your Facebook. Digg it. Stumble it. Tweet it. And ... thanks!

Tuesday, October 12, 2010

Walnuts and Walnut Oil May Be Useful with Stress

Do you love walnuts? We do! They have such a velvety texture and rich flavor. Plus, walnuts are a heart-healthy food. Walnuts (almonds, hazelnuts, and many other nuts too) have the "good" fats— both monounsaturated and polyunsaturated fats—thought to lower bad cholesterol levels and also are a good source of omega-3s, fiber, and vitamin E.

So, we thought you would want to know that new research from Penn State University suggests a diet rich in walnuts and walnut oil may also help a person's body to better manage stress.

Penn State recently release the statement "Walnuts, walnut oil, improve reaction to stress" explaining researchers' findings that "walnuts and walnut oil in the diet lowered both resting blood pressure and blood pressure responses to stress in the laboratory," and that, "average diastolic blood pressure—the "bottom number" or the pressure in the arteries when the heart is resting—was significantly reduced during the diets containing walnuts and walnut oil." Their findings have been reported in the Journal of the American College of Nutrition.

Here's a link to a healthy recipe for Beet Walnut Salad you can make in minutes. In addition to walnut and beets, this recipe also includes apples, celery, and salad greens. Some fresh herbs may make a nice addition, too! What do you think, rosemary? Dill?

If you like this post, help us spread the word. Post a link to your Facebook. Digg it. Stumble it. Tweet it. And ... thanks!

You can read more about this research on EurekAlert! HERE.

Monday, October 11, 2010

ACHS Photo of the Week: Check Out the Honey Bees, Nature's Farmers

Photo of the Week submission "winner" Letisha Smiths says about her photo "Not sure what this plant is. Found on the side of a dried river bed and the honey bees were all over it. Nature's little farmers!"

Our fans are posting guesses on ACHS Facebook. What's your guess? Visit to comment and see previous Photo of the Week submission winners.

To see your botanical photo on ACHS Facebook and blogs, email your photo to with a short descriptive caption. (Of course, you must own distribution rights for the image and be OK with having it posted to ACHS social media.)

Friday, October 8, 2010

Ideas for Your 10/10 Climate Action Party

This Sunday, 10/10/10, people worldwide will start implementing solutions to the climate crisis.

The "Global Work Party" includes solar panels to community gardens, bike workshops to changing the bottom line. Participants take photos of their work to share with the global community in a photo petition demanding solutions to the climate crisis. Here are some inspiring photos from the 350 Action Gallery.

What's your Work Party plan? Here are the top 10 ideas from

#1 Organize a Tree Planting
#2 Go Solar
#3 Work on a Community Garden or an Organic Farm
#4 Go for a Ride
#5 Harness the Wind
#6 Get Efficient
#7 Start a Transition Town
#8 Faith Work
#9 Trash Clean Up
#10 Join the 10:10 Campaign

To have your event plotted on the map, visit their website here:

And ... be sure to take a photo! Share it with so they can add it to the photo petition and post it to ACHS Facebook. We're ready for climate solutions ... How about you?

Thursday, October 7, 2010

FDA Recall, Aromatase Inhibitors: What Does It Mean?

BY Dr. Arianna Staruch, ACHS Academic Dean

In case you've seen the FDA post Aromatase Inhibitors in Products Marketed as Dietary Supplements: Recall are are wondering what it all means ...

Aromatase is a cytochrome P450 (CYP) 19 enzyme that is critical in the metabolism of estrogen. In the ovary it is responsible for de novo production of estrogen from cholesterol. In tissues outside the ovary, aromatase converts androgens secreted by the adrenal gland into estrogen.

Aromatase is present in breast tissue and breast fat. Since 60% of premenopausal and 75% of postmenopausal breast cancer patients have estrogen-dependent tumors, this enzyme has been the target of drugs known as aromatase inhibitors. Breast tumors contain an abnormally high level of aromatase that generates a large amount of estrogen. Drug companies began developing inhibitors by modifying androgens, and 4-hydroxyandrostenedione (generic name of formestane) was the first aromatase inhibitor approved for use in breast cancer.

So how does this relate to dietary supplements? Since aromatase is responsible for converting testosterone to estrogen, and increasing testosterone has long been the goal of body builders, adding aromatase inhibitors was thought to be a new way of increasing testosterone and increasing muscle mass. Basically, it is a continuation of the anabolic steroid story made famous by professional athletes.

There are a number of natural aromatse inhibitors found in plants, such as mangosteen and resveratrol (found in grapes). These tend to have very low activity and studies are being done to look at their long-term effects on breast cancer incidence.

So here is the confusion, one of the products recalled by the FDA is called “iForce – Reversitol”, made by I Force Nutrition, a company that caters to the body building community. Resveratrol itself is NOT being recalled, but this product is. The reason is that this product, and others on the recall list, contain the added substance ATD (1,4,6-Androstatriene-3,17-Dione), which is a synthetic aromatase inhibitor. It is basically an unregulated drug, with drug-like side effects. The I-Force product information claims: “An extremely effective AI (Aromatase-inhibitor), ATD eliminates the production of estrogen in the body” and “Similar to Nolvadex, Trans Resveratrol works at the receptor level to block estrogen receptors."

You may know Nolvadex by its generic name, Tamoxifen.

So from a regulatory standpoint, this company added a drug-like substance to their products, compared their product to a drug in their product materials, and failed to show that this substance is Generally Recognized as Safe (GRAS).

The bottom line is, through this recall the FDA is not attempting to restrict access to the dietary supplement resveratrol, but is warning consumers about potential adverse health effects from a product that is not following FDA guidelines.

For more information about estrogen metabolism, aromatase and aromatase inhibitors, see the following papers:

Biochemistry of Aromatase: Significance to Female Reproductive. Physiology1. Kenneth J. Ryan:

Aromatase Inhibitors in the Treatment of Breast Cancer:

History of Aromatase: Saga of an Important Biological Mediator and Therapeutic Target; R. J. Santen, H. Brodie, E. R. Simpson, P. K. Siiteri and A. Brodie:

5 Essential Oils in 5 Minutes or Less: Our Top 5 Picks for Fall

If you could only pick five essential oils to use for the rest of your life, which would they be? Don’t worry … we can’t answer that question either! But we can recommend five of our favorite essential oils to keep on hand this fall. Here’s a snapshot introduction to our top five picks.

1. Cinnamon Cinnamomum zeylanicum has a spicy aroma and is considered a base to middle note. It blends well with frankincense, orange, and peppermint, forming a lovely seasonal scent. Medicinally, cinnamon has antiseptic, antispasmodic, and bactericidal qualities, making it an effective air purifier. Blend cinnamon with some of our other favorites (like clove, lavender, and peppermint) to create a room spray that’s both seasonal and germicidal.

2. Clove Syzygium aromaticum was an important commodity for the Greeks and Romans and was heavily traded. Clove bud oil has been shown to inhibit the production of free radicals and to have anti-inflammatory and antiviral properties. Recent studies have highlighted its use especially for oral hygiene. Another good oil for travel! You can add 2 drops of the essential oil to 1 cup of water to make an on-hand mouthwash. For aromatherapeutic blends, clove imparts a fresh top note and blends well with bergamot, lavender, vanilla, and ylang ylang.

Read about our other picks--eucalyptus, tea tree Australia, and vetiver--in the October issue of our enewsletter, The Reporter. Download The Reporter HERE.

Help us spread the word about aromatherapy. Use the share button to email this article to a friend. Post a link to your Facebook. Send a tweet. And ... thanks!

*This information is intended for educational purposes only. It is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent any disease.

Tuesday, October 5, 2010

Beautiful Garden Guest on Our Last Passionflower

We just snapped this photo from the ACHS Herb Garden. The last passionflower (Passiflora) to bloom attracted a cool little guest to the garden! A grasshopper? A cicada? What do you think?

If you enjoy this image, please share it with your friends and family. Email it. Post the link to your Facebook page. Send it out through Twitter. And ... thanks!

Monday, October 4, 2010

ACHS Graduates Its First Masters in CAM Student: Congratulations Roma!

Congratulations Roma-Dakini Alexander, our first Masters of Science in Complementary Alternative Medicine (CAM) graduate!

“I always had a passion for herbal medicine,” Roma says. “I come from Europe and my grandmother was a Shamanic medicine woman. I was very happy to find a college that offers an MS in CAM and is also accredited by [a body approved by] the U.S. Department of Education and Council for Higher Education Accreditation.”

Roma is a licensed radiation therapist and is Radiation Therapy Program Director for the Kaiser Permanente School of Allied Health Sciences in Richmond, California. She plans to use her ACHS CAM education to organize seminars and meetings, such as the interaction of drugs with herbs and supplements, and to share her knowledge with other medical professionals.

Post a comment for Roma! Share this news with your friends and family via Twitter. Post the link to your Facebook. Help us get the word out about Roma's accomplishment. And ... thanks!

Read more about Roma and the ACHS Masters of Science in CAM HERE!

ACHS Photo of the Week: Butterfly Meets Vitex

Photo of the Week submission "winner" Jan Davidson describes this image as "butterfly enjoying the nectar of the vitex (Vitex agnus-castus) in the backyard."

What a vibrant boost for Monday morning. Thanks, Jan!

Visit ACHS Facebook to see previous Photo of the Week submission winners.

To see your botanical photo on ACHS Facebook and blogs, email your photo to with a short descriptive caption. (Of course, you must own distribution rights for the image and be OK with having it posted to ACHS social media.)

Friday, October 1, 2010

ACHS Master Herbalist Graduate Pamela Morey Recognized By Cambridge Who's Who

Congratulations Pamela Morey, ACHS Master Herbalist graduate! Pamela has been recognized by Cambridge's Who's Who for demonstrating dedication, leadership, and excellence in holistic healing.

"My clients are the most complicated cases," Pamela said in her Who's Who interview. "They come to me asking for help to heal the incurable. I help those no one else can help."

Pamela attributes her success "to her ability to teach clients how to safely remove toxins and parasites from their bodies, a technique she learned from internationally recognized Iridologist, Dr. Bernard Jensen, Ph.D., N.D., D.C. In addition to extensive field training, Ms. Morey (who was certified as an Iridologist by the late Dr. Bernard Jensen) also holds a Bachelor of Arts in Sociology and a Standard life Teaching Credential from California State University at Long Beach, and a Master Herbalist Diploma where she graduated with Honors from Australasian College of Health Sciences [now the American College of Healthcare Sciences]."

Help us spread the word! Submit this story to Digg. Post a link to your Facebook. Send it out through Twitter. Click the "Submit" button at the bottom of this post for links to your social media. And...thanks for the help!

Read the full article Pamela Morey Offers Leading Holistic Therapies in Conjunction with Iridology here.

Thursday, September 30, 2010

Grow-It-Yourself Alfalfa Sprouts More Fun Than They Sound

An ACHS student post on our Facebook has prompted us to update an earlier post about sprouts.

Alfalfa sprouts are a valuable source of vitamins A, C, E, and K, and the minerals calcium, potassium, phosphorus, and iron[1]. Sprouts have also been shown to include concentrated amounts of phytochemicals, which support optimal health and wellness.

Alfalfa sprouts are easy to grow and make flavorful additions to raw-food meals like salads, sandwiches, and main dishes like quinoa tabouleh. Other kinds of sprouts, like broccoli sprouts and Brussels sprouts, make crunchy, flavorful additions to cooked dishes (or roasted in a little garlic, olive oil, and sea salt as a side dish).

Read directions for how to grown your own alfalfa, in our earlier post here.

For more tips about how to eat sprouts and fun, family-friendly growing projects (like broccoli sprouts) download your free copy of the ACHS Wellness Guide here.

[1] For a clinical summary of the health benefits and potential contraindications of sprouts, read the Sloan Kettering website here.

Wednesday, September 29, 2010

Practical Aromatherapy: Using Aromatherapy to Help Attract Home Buyers

Experts say selling your home takes a little luck and a lot of preparation. With a gaggle of homes currently on the market, spending that extra time to make the best first impression may make all the difference. It certainly couldn’t hurt!

To prepare your home, realtors suggest taking several steps to present an organized, clutter-free and clean home, including cleaning out your drawers and cabinets, making minor repairs, and deep cleaning.

Part of deep cleaning is scent. For example, it’s important to clean out drains so they look nice, but also because hidden debris can encourage mold and an accompanying musty smell. A little tea tree (Melaleuca alternifolia) essential oil diluted in water can be an effective, chemical-free alternative to more traditional cleaning products. Plus, it smells better than synthetic cleaners and room sprays used to mask odors.

You may also want to diffuse some essential oil into the air before you show your home. This can help to freshen the air and to encourage a positive first impression. There are many essential oils to choose from, but you may want to select an oil that has general appeal, that is a familiar, and that is uplifting, such as bergamot (Citrus aurantium var. bergamia), geranium (Pelargonium graveolens), mandarin (Citrus reticulata), neroli (Citrus aurantium var. amara), and ylang ylang (Cananga odorata).

Watch Aromatherapy Blending from ACHStv next!

Tuesday, September 28, 2010

Quinoa: A recipe for health

Is quinoa (KEEN-wah) the new couscous? Seems to be. It’s all over the Web—quinoa, the new must-have ingredient. And why not? It has great flavor. It has great texture. It has a simple no-fuss, no-muss presentation and is easy to make.

Why not?, indeed. No reason we can think of! Quinoa is a rich source of fiber, higher in protein than many other grains, and a good source of iron and magnesium. Plus, it cooks quickly, is relatively inexpensive, and is versatile—you can make quinoa as a side dish or add savory ingredients for a main dish. You can even use quinoa in place of rice, as the American Dietetic Association recommends.

Far from “new,” quinoa is native to South America and the “Andean Indians who first cultivated it call it ‘the mother grain,’” the Atlantic explains in a recent article, “Quinoa: The Story of a Cursed Crop.” Quinoa, the article explains, “provides 50 percent more energy than potatoes” and “is the only staple crop that provides a full suite of amino acids.” But the journey from ‘mother grain’ to American staple was not an easy one. Click here to read the Atlantic’s two-part article about quinoa’s journey from South America to our dinner plates.

Also, check out Well, The New York Times health and wellness blog, for the September 24 post “There’s Something About Quinoa.” Blogger Tara Parker-Pope includes several links to quinoa-based recipes like stir-fried quinoa with vegetables and tofu.

One small note: The American Diabetes Association (ADA) website warns that for people with Celiac disease, “quinoa may not be entirely safe.” Instead, the ADA suggests a rice-based pasta or a potato-rice pasta.

What are your favorite quinoa recipes? Post them here and together we'll build a Healthy Cooking with Quinoa collection!

*These statements have not been evaluated by the FDA. This article has been provided for educational purposes only. It is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent any disease.

Ben & Jerry's Has Opted to Remove "All Natural" Label

A short news article announced that Ben & Jerry's has opted to remove the "All Natural" label from their products.

Though the company, which has more than a 30 year history, does use hormone-free milk and cage free eggs, and has reportedly committed to using only fair trade products by 2013, a spokesman for the company "told Shots, the company pulled the labels to avoid engaging in a debate over what's natural and what's not."

The FDA does not expressly define what 'natural' does and does not mean. Rather, they say on their website Q & A that "it is difficult to define a food product that is 'natural' because the food has probably been processed and is no longer the product of the earth. That said, FDA has not developed a definition for use of the term natural or its derivatives. However, the agency has not objected to the use of the term if the food does not contain added color, artificial flavors, or synthetic substances."

The Center for the Science in the Public Interest, however, who contacted Ben & Jerry's and requested the label "All Natural" be removed, noted in their press release that there are "plenty of ingredients that really are 'natural' are still bad for your health, such as the artery-clogging cream that is the main ingredient in Ben & Jerry's ice cream."

So the question seems to be, how are we defining 'natural'? When it comes to our food, does the label 'natural' reflect origin or a relative lack of potential "bad for your health" properties?

> Read the full-length NPR article "Ben & Jerry's Takes 'All Natural' Claims Off Ice Cream Labels" here.

> Here is a link to the FDA Q & A website "What is the meaning of 'natural' on the label of food?".

Monday, September 27, 2010

Moroccan Argan Oil Antioxidant-Rich, Potential Skin and Dietary Support

Do you use argan (Argania spinosa) oil?

Also called Morocco ironwood, argan oil is from the soapwood family and has a history that can be traced back more than two million years.

Argan is a culinary oil and a cosmetic oil, and has traditionally been used in both skin and hair care. Medicinally, argan oil has been used to help heal wounds and with rheumatism and arteriosclerosis.

The oil, pressed from the trees’ kernels, contains more than 80% unsaturated fatty acids, vitamin A, and large quantities of vitamin E antioxidants and sterols; it may be very nourishing when used on the skin and may be effective as a dietary supplement.

Currently, there are about 50-60 women’s cooperatives in Morocco producing argan oil the traditional way. These cooperatives are growing in number as a resource for Berber women to revive the traditional hand-pressing method of extracting argan oil and to ensure an income. Read more about the women’s cooperatives on the Targanine website.

Traditionally, argan oil is hand-pressed by the Berber women. First the trees’ fruit pulp is allowed to dry; then it is removed. The remaining nuts are cracked between two stones so the kernels can be used undamaged. The kernels are lightly roasted and then ground by hand. An oily paste forms and the oil is removed through the use of lukewarm water and constant kneading. It is then decanted.

The picture in this blog post is from ACHS President Dorene Petersen, who recently hiked through the Atlas Mountains in Morocco and watched the women hand pressing the oil. Check back with ACHS Facebook for more info from Dorene about the medicinal properties and products of argan oil, and pictures from the women's cooperatives.

Here are some links to recent research articles about potential medicinal properties and uses of argan oil that you may find interesting:

1. Effect of dietary argan oil on fatty acid composition, proliferation, and phospholipase D activity of rat thymocytes

2. Consumption of argan oil (Morocco) with its unique profile of fatty acids, tocopherols, squalene, sterols and phenolic compounds should confer valuable cancer chemopreventive effects

3. Effect of Argan Oil on Platelet Aggregation and Bleeding Time: A Beneficial Nutritional Property

Share your experience using argan oil. Do you prefer it to olive oil? Is it more moisturizing than your traditional skin care base oil?

Friday, September 24, 2010

Sunday is World Heart Day. Take Responsibility for Your Heart Health.

This Sunday, September 26, the World Heart Federation (WHF) celebrates their 10th annual World Heart Day, encouraging everyone to take responsibility for their heart health.

Heart disease and stroke remain the leading cause of death: 17.1 millions lives each year. The WHF launched World Heart Day to inform people of this statistic and to create awareness that "at least 80% of premature deaths from heart disease and stroke could be avoided if the main risk factors, tobacco, unhealthy diet and physical inactivity, are controlled."

"Building on last year and to ensure sustained change," the World Heart Foundation explains, "the World Heart Federation is targeting the workplace to promote heart healthy messages. The Workplace Wellness initiative aims to use the workplace to promote long-term behavioural changes that will benefit employers, employees and communities."

Read through the WHF list of 10 Simple Steps to help live a healthy life and make your workplace healthier.

Then take responsibility for your heart health and initiate a workplace conversation about how to make healthier choices together. An educational approach may be effective. Go into the conversation with a discussion topic, like hawthorn.

Did you know that hawthorn has been shown to help regulate the cardiovascular system? Or that hawthorn berries are harvested in the fall? Our Apothecary Shoppe offers a free, downloadable hawthorn monograph you can share with your friends, family, and coworkers. Download it here.

Live with heart!

Got Drugs? Don't Flush. Drop Them Off at a DEA Take-Back Site.

Got drugs? Perhaps you have some old prescriptions lurking in your medicine cabinet or stuffed into the kitchen junk drawer? Resist the temptation to flush your old medicines. Drop them off instead.

The Drug Enforcement Administration has organized a National Take Back Initiative for this Saturday, September 25. Find a local drop site in your area on the DEA website here.

The FDA says some medicines can be disposed of in the trash by mixing with a substance like coffee grinds and sealing in a container. But many medicines can be harmful, if not fatal, if consumed by someone to whom they have not been prescribed. And flushing medicines down the toilet can also be harmful for the environment and leech into our water supply.

The FDA does have a list of medicines they feel are safe to flush. You can download the list here. But recent studies also suggest that pharmaceuticals can find their way into our lakes, streams, and drinking water. The effect on people and wildlife has yet to be determined. Why take the risk?

Play it safe. Gather your old medicines tonight and drop them off at a DEA take-back location tomorrow morning. We thank you!

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

Using Aromatherapy in Fall: Bring the Spirit of the Season Indoors

Fall has arrived! And, right on its heels, cooler weather. The good news … there is a lot to love about the fall: pumpkin patches, rich colors, root vegetables, warm herbal teas, and essential oils.

Just as nutritionists recommend eating with the seasons, there are aromatherapeutic essential oils that complement the seasons too. Select spicy, earthy, rich aromas to bring the spirit of the season indoors and to create feelings of warmth. We suggest a blend of sweet orange, cinnamon, ylang ylang, and lemon (the Festive Spice blend from our Apothecary Shoppe).

Sweet orange Citrus sinensis essential oil helps to support emotional well-being and has a sweeter, fruity scent. It blends well with basil, cinnamon, clary sage, clove, lavender, neroli, lemon, and nutmeg. For more information about sweet orange visit here.

Cinnamon Cinnamomum zeylanicum essential oil supports healthy digestion and stress management and has a spicy, earthy aroma. It blends well with ginger, nutmeg, rosemary, frankincense, and the citrus oils. For more information about cinnamon, visit here.

Ylang ylang Cananga odorata essential oil is attributed with analgesic, antidepressant, and aphrodisiac properties. It has a sweet aroma with long-lasting woody undertones and blends well with lavender, bergamot, the citrus oils, and sandalwood. For more information about ylang ylang, visit here.

Lemon Citrus limonum essential oil supports a healthy respiratory system and has a refreshing aroma. It blends well with cedarwood, chamomile, clove, eucalyptus, fennel, juniper, lavender, neroli, oakmoss, petitgrain, pine, sandalwood, and ylang ylang. For more information about lemon, visit here.

Festive Spice Blend
6 drops Sweet Orange
1 drop Cinnamon
2 drops Ylang Ylang
1 drop Lemon

We hope your first day of fall is fantastic and look forward to hearing more about your fall aromatherapy blends. Post any blending tips, photos, recipes …. here!

*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.

Planting Herbs in the Fall: Which Herbs Are Best for Your Zone?

It’s the first day of fall (already!). Can you believe how quickly the seasons are passing? Of course, it may feel a bit more of a dramatic shift here in Portland, Oregon, because we had a short summer. Cooler temperatures than normal and more rain.

But it looks like fall is here. The leaves are turning from crisp greens to fiery jewel tones and the air has more moisture. The rain in coming! But before the weather turns for good, it’s time to plant our fall herbs. Planting in the fall gives herbs the chance to root so they are ready for harvest in the spring.

The best herbs to grow depend on the grow zone you live in. Before you make your selection, we suggest you find your climate zone on the USDA Plant Hardiness Zone Map to ensure what you want to grow is compatible with your zone. Here’s the link:

Portland, for example, is hardiness zones 8-9. There can be lower levels of light here in the fall (and certainly in the winter), so Portlanders may want to select shade-loving herbs, such as parsley and peppermint.

Or, if you live somewhere that gets too cold for herbs to thrive and/or does not get enough direct light, consider growing your herbs in containers, so that you have the option to move them around (or even take them indoors, if needs be).

You also may want to concentrate on bulb herbs—like garlic, fennel, and saffron—which should be planted in the ground in the fall at least six weeks before the first freeze.

If you live in the Pacific Northwest, you may find this Monthly Garden Calendar from the Oregon State University Master Gardeners Program: - september

You may also enjoy the article “The best herbs to grow in fall” for ideas about which herbs to plant: - september

We hope your first day of fall is fantastic and look forward to hearing more about your fall herb garden. Post any planting tips, photos, suggestions …. here!

We’ve also started the discussion “What’s your favorite thing about fall?” on Facebook. Join the discussion here:

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

Health Benefits of Parsley Returns to Headlines

Last March we posted about the health benefits of parsley. Happily, parsley has made headlines again. This time in The Oregonian article "Make parsley the main attraction on your dinner plate."

For fun, here's an excerpt of our original post:

Perhaps our most well-known garnish, in other parts of the world parsley serves a heartier function. Leafy and a bit whispy, parsley can be used to make several sauces, including pesto, and is added to many grain and salad dishes, such as tabbouleh.

Plus, the rumors are true ... parsley does help freshen breath after eating more pungent foods like garlic!

Here's a link to a study[2] about how the antioxidant capacity of culinary herbs, including parsley, is affected by various cooking and storage processes:

You can read the full post here:

Sara Bir, Portland food writer and cooking instructor, has a delightful discussion about flat or curly, the eternal question, in "Make parsley the main attraction on your dinner plate." For example, flat is "grassier" and curly "brighter," and when chopped, flat has a universal look but curly gets "fluffy."

Which do you prefer? Help us promote good health ... Post your favorite parsley recipes here!

Monday, September 20, 2010

Essential Oils May Be Effective with Lice

Creepy crawly lice torture school-aged children. It can be hard to rationalize with kindergartners, to make them understand why they really don't want to touch their hair or scratch or share their personal hygiene products with friends.

Instead, it may be more effective to focus on prevention. Check your children regularly. Because lice can be spread person-to-person without physical contact, the USA Today article "Lice: Any kid can get 'em, so comb early, comb often" recommends 1. maintaining appropriate personal space; 2. having shorter hair, and; 3. checking your child's hair regularly.

If it's too late, however, you will want to check everyone in the house, select some kind of product to help rid the lice, and wash all clothes and furniture.

There are many products on the market, including chemical shampoos. But before you use chemicals, you may want to consider essential oils. Evidence suggests essential oils--specifically cinnamon, peppermint, and eucalyptus[1]--may effectively kill lice.

Natural Health Magazine suggests you "mix 1/8 teaspoon of cinnamon leaf oil and 1/8 teaspoon of peppermint oil with four ounces of a basic shampoo. Apply to your child’s head, leave on for 20 minutes, and rinse. Don’t leave on overnight: Essential oils are too concentrated to be used for that long."*

If you have used essential oils with lice, we want to hear your story. Please post any suggestions you can share and/or essential oil recipes!

[1] Toloza AC, LucĂ­a A, Zerba E, Masuh H, Picollo MI. 2009. Eucalyptus essential oil toxicity against permethrin-resistant Pediculus humanus capitis (Phthiraptera: Pediculidae). Parasitol Res. Jan;106(2):409-14. Epub 2009 Nov 10.

*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.

Have You Seen Numen? It's the first feature-length film to explore traditional herbal medicine use in the US!

Have you heard of the new documentary Numen: The Nature of Plants? If not, you may want to check out the film's website. Numen--or, the animating force in nature, as defined in the film--is the first feature-length film dedicated to the exploration of traditional herbal medicine in the United States.

In addition to footage of medicinal plants, the film features interview spots with herbal medicine leaders, including Drs. Tiearona Lowdog and Larry Dossey, and Bioneers Co-Founder Kenny Ausubel (and many others!) on whole-plant medicine, ecological medicine, environmental toxins, the limits of allopathic medicine, and spirit and healing.

Watch the 10-minute preview here: The film's website also includes links to info about the film, the filmmakers, and a resource guide.

We added Numen's Facebook page to our favorites. Here's the link:

Friday, September 17, 2010

Scratch 'n Sniff Internet a Reality?

One of our Facebook fans posted the comment "scratch and sniff internet would be great right now" in response to the "Uplifting" aromatherapy blend we shared. That got us thinking ... what does the world have to say about the possibility (and how great would that be for sharing aromatherapy blends!)?

Believe it or not, if you type "scratch and sniff internet" into Google, several pages of results come up. Now, we're not saying these results are necessarily "realistic," but you have to take pause and marvel at the idea of it all.

Here's a blog we found that explores the trends in digital scent technology (a step up from scratch and sniff) ... decide for yourself ... Digital Scent Technology Blog

To download our "Uplifting" aromatherapy recipe, visit ACHS on Facebook here!

Thursday, September 16, 2010

Antiviral Activity of Essential Oils: It's Never too Early for Good Health

It's started to rain here in Portland, a not-so-subtle reminder that fall is on the way. It seems this time of year usually comes with a spike in seasonal colds and flu, as well as the gray-scape of clouds. Not so fun!

Before the season sets in, you may want to take stock of your essential oil inventory at home. Do you have the basics--like eucalyptus, lemon balm, and peppermint--which are thought to help kill airborne viruses when diffused into the air? These essential oils can also be added into hand creams to help stop the spread of infection through person-to-person contact.*

For more health-promoting tips this pre-fall season, check out ACHS Academic Dean Dr. Arianna Staruch's article about the antiviral activity of essential oils:

You also may want to visit the Apothecary Shoppe, where most essential oils have posted information about their traditional use and wellness support, and some even include blending formulas.

Here's the recipe to prepare an inhalation from the eucalyptus webpage:

Alcohol, 90%: 4.5-cups
Eucalyptus Eucalyptus globulus oil: 6-t
Thyme Thymus vulgaris oil: 3-t
Pine Pinus sylvestris oil: 3-t
Lavender Lavandula angustifolia oil: 2-t
Lemon Citrus limon oil: 2-t

Mix all ingredients. To prepare as an inhalation, add 3-t to 6-cups of boiling water. This mixture can also be added to the bath water or to footbaths. Use 3-drops in the bath or 1-2-drops in a footbath.

* This information is provided for educational purposes only. It is not intended to treat, diagnose, or prescribe.

New FDA Rules for Antibiotic Use: Is the FDA Going to Ban Antibiotics for Cows?

There have been an influx of headlines this week about the FDA and some potential new rules for the use of antibiotics with cows.

As Maryn McKenna, author of Superbug, explains in "Is the FDA about to ban antibiotics for cows?", the FDA is not talking about a universal ban on the use of antibiotics with cows meant for the table, but voluntary guidelines in the hopes of stemming the growth of drug-resistant organisms that affect humans. "It's been clear for decades," McKenna says, "that antibiotic overuse in farming fosters the growth of drug-resistant organisms that affect humans. No, the agricultural industry does not agree."

Though the FDA's voluntary guidelines would not constitute legislation or regulations, they could be a step in the right direction!

Learn more about the effects of antibiotic use in farming: read McKenna's full-length blog post here:

You also might want to check out this Washington Post article "FDA seeks less use of antibiotics in animals to keep them effective for humans," which explains the FDA's plans as a "guidance" and says the "FDA has tried to limit the use of antibiotics in agriculture since 1977, but its efforts have repeatedly collapsed in the face of opposition from the drug industry and farm lobby."

>> Food and Drug Administration: Antibiotics and Antibiotic Resistance

Wednesday, September 15, 2010

Aromatherapy Essential Oils Help Reduce Stress

We spotted this article on and thought you'd find it interesting, "Use Aromatherapy to Reduce Stress." Though the information is fairly introductory, the author does makes some useful suggestions for simple ways you can start using aromatherapy as part of your everyday health routine.

The ACHS Wellness Guide includes some more specific information for how to use aromatherapy essential oils. You can download it here:

You might also be interested in this free download, What is Aromatherapy?, by ACHS President Dorene Petersen. The lecture was originally presented at the Portland Chinese Gardens as part of their Festival of Fragrance, and there is a lot of useful information about how essential oils are produced and how they can be used to support optimal health. Here is the link from the ACHS website, under News and Events:

To get you started, here's the recipe for our Calming and Relaxing Herbal Bath Blend. You can download more recipes from our Apothecary Shoppe. Select "Free Downloads" from the left-hand toolbar and click on ACHS Holiday Recipes:

Calming and Relaxing Herbal Bath Blend

Use 2-10 drops of essential oil per bath. Use equal parts of spearmint leaves, comfrey root, chamomile flowers, and valerian root. For a foot bath, use 10 drops of essential oil per 1⁄2 gallon of water.

ACHS Photo of the Week: Have you submitted your entry?

Help us spread the word ... ACHS has launched a Photo of the Week "contest" on Facebook. Every Monday morning we pick one of the photo submissions we received and post it to ACHS Facebook with the photographer's name and a little info about the image.

Photo submissions must be botanical images: from your own garden, from a public garden, from your community, a rooftop garden, from .... ? We don't care where it's from, just that it makes an interesting and unique addition to our collection of herbal medicine photos accessible to the public through ACHS Facebook.

You must, therefore, have the rights to distribute the photo, and you must be OK with us sharing the image on our page.

>> Visit ACHS Facebook to see this week's selection, submitted by Stacey Rayos!

We've Updated Our List of Favorite Blogs and Links

Happy Wednesday!

We've updated our list of favorite blogs and links to share with you. Some of these updates are from suggestions made by ACHS students, the blogs they like to follow.

Elana's Pantry, for example, is a blog our holistic nutrition students like to follow. The blog features healthy recipes the whole family will love. Right now there's a recipe for honey mustard dressing over fresh greens featured. Looks delicious!

We also added a link to the Healthy Recipes Index from the Mayo Clinic and to Simply Sugar and Gluten Free, a fun blog by Amy Green that provides many flavorful options for people with Celiac disease (or those just seeking a healthier way of eating!).

For the eco- and organic-conscious we added links to The Oregon Tilth magazine, In Good Tilth, and the Mother Earth News blogs Grow It! and Healthy People, Healthy Planet, among others!

Be sure to check out our toolbar of favorites and if you have any suggestions for holistic health and wellness blogs our readers and ACHS students would find useful, please share!

Tuesday, September 14, 2010

September is Pain Awareness Month. Are You An Advocate?

September is Pain Awareness Month. This is an important awareness event for those suffering with chronic pain. Whether you are advocating for your own health, for family or friends, or for those suffering with chronic pain in general, Pain Awareness Month provides a good opportunity to get educated and get involved!

Pain Awareness Month is sponsored by the American Pain Foundation Action Network, self-described as "a grassroots network of people living with pain, caregivers and health care providers, working in collaboration with other advocates, professionals and organizations who share our belief that people in pain have a right to timely, appropriate and effective pain care."

Pain Awareness Month provides an opportunity to learn about the issues facing those who suffer with chronic pain, as well as to connect with other members of the community, and to share stories. You can find local ways to get involved in your community through the Foundation's list of events for Pain Awareness Month taking place in your community.

We'd also encourage those suffering with pain or pain-relief advocates to dedicate some time to researching natural, holistic approaches to pain relief*. There are many herbs that can be used to help support pain relief, such as ginger root (Zingiber officinale) and oregano (Origanum vulgare).

>> To jumpstart your research, check out this online article from The Herb Companion, "The Best Herbs for Pain Relief."

*Herbs can have more than one action in the body, as well as possible contraindications when used in combination or with prescription medications. It is always best to consult with your primary care physician before making any changes to your health routine. This information is intended for educational purposes only; it is not intended to treat, cure, diagnose, or prescribe.