Thursday, May 26, 2011

ACHS President Dorene Petersen Featured in How to Open & Operate a Financially Successful Herb and Herbal Plant Business

We're proud to announce, our College President, Dorene Petersen, has a featured interview in the new book How to Open & Operate a Financially Successful Herb and Herbal Plant Business!!

America is going local. Entrepreneur Media, Inc., listed locally grown produce and products as one of the top five trends that will thrive in 2010.

This “buy local” effect has swept the nation due to the farmers’ market movement; there are about 5,000 farmers’ markets in the country that have contributed to five percent of the industry’s annual growth, according to the Department of Agriculture. The USDA recently launched the “Know Your Famer, Know Your Food” campaign in an effort to bridge the gap between where food is grown and how it ends up on your plate.

So, how do you learn more about the health benefits of herbs and locally grown produce? Start with How to Open & Operate a Financially Successful Herb and Herbal Plant Business released by Atlantic Publishing Group in Spring 2011 and featuring an interview with ACHS President Dorene Petersen. Plow the intricacies of starting your own business and the basics of herbs and herbal plant growth, learn about the importance of high-quality herbal education, and gain practical suggestions for how to prioritize education, sustainable practices, and customer needs.

How to Open & Operate a Financially Successful Herb and Herbal Plant Business (ISBN# 9781601383297) is available through the ACHS Apothecary Shoppe College Store (5940 SW Hood Ave., Portland OR 97239) at or (503) 244-0726.

Read the full-length press release on ACHS Facebook at Be sure to leave a comment!

Wednesday, May 25, 2011

Eating Seasonally May Cut Down On Food Miles And Increase Nutrition

Did you know that produce grown in the U.S. can travel 1500-2500 miles on average before it reaches your plate? That's a lot of food miles!

We mention this because diets rich in fruits and vegetables help maintain healthy weight and one way to eat more fruits and veggies is to focus on local seasonal foods. Seasonal foods are fresher, can be purchased locally (reducing transportation time, costs, and environmental factors), may have greater nutritional benefits, and often taste better.

Here's a link to download the National Resources Defense Council PDF Food miles: How far your food travels has serious consequences for your health and the climate

Are you headed to the farmer's market this weekend? Post a pic of your local market!!!!

Essential Oils May Be Effective With Superbugs

Research suggests essential oils may be an effective alternative to antibiotics, according to research from the Technological Educational Institute of Ionian Islands, Greece. Research also suggests essential oils may help fight drug-resistant hospital superbugs.

For this research, Professor Yiannis Samaras and Dr Effimia Eriotou tested eight essential oils for their antimicrobial activity, including thyme and cinnamon. Thyme essential oil was the most effective and eliminated bacteria within 60 minutes. Thyme and cinnamon essential oils also showed positive results against several Staphylococcus species.

Professor Yiannis Samaras says, "Not only are essential oils a cheap and effective treatment option for antibiotic-resistant strains, but decreased use of antibiotics will help minimise the risk of new strains of antibiotic resistant micro-organisms emerging."

In addition, "The oils – or their active ingredients – could be easily incorporated into antimicrobial creams or gels for external application. In the food industry the impregnation of food packaging with essential oils has already been successfully trialled. They could also be included in food stuffs to replace synthetic chemicals that act as preservatives," Professor Yiannis Samaras and Dr Effimia Eriotou say.

To read the full-text article, visit e! Science News. (2010, March 30). Essential oils to fight superbugs. Retrieved from

Monday, May 16, 2011

Posted Pics from the ACHS Wellness Booth at the Beaverton Farmer's Market May 14

We had a great time at the Beaverton Farmer's Market Saturday, May 14. Check out this pic of the ACHS wellness booth, where we demonstrated how to prepare first aid remedies such as calendula (Calendula officinalis) and hypericum (Hypericum perforatum) tinctures. Thanks to everyone who dropped by and to our ACHS student and graduate volunteers.

Our booth will be at the Beaverton Farmer's Market several dates over the summer, so check the ACHS college calendar for updates. Our next appearance is June 25. Stop by and experience our Aromatherapy Bar first-hand. Mark your calendars!

*In the above picture, ACHS President Dorene Petersen (center) poses with ACHS graduate Katie Kliewer (left) and volunteer Darlene Sochin-Maras. To see more pics from the Beaverton Farmer's Market, visit ACHS Facebook at

Thursday, May 12, 2011

Spring Is A Great Time to Cook Light And Healthy With Spring Herbs

BY ACHS Holistic Nutrition Instructor Helen (Eleni) Delfakis, MS, RD

Spring is a great time to begin cooking light and healthy using fresh herbs. One of my favorite herbs is basil, Ocimum basilicum, which is an annual plant cultivated in temperate climates around the world. In Greece, basil is named Basileus, Greek for 'king', is associated with romance, and has been used for aromatherapy since the third century B.C. in Greek and Roman bathhouses. In more recent times, basil has been cultivated by the cosmetic industry for fragrances, shampoos, and soaps.

For medicinal purposes, basil tea has been recommended by herbalists to cure cramps, vomiting and constipation, and its mild sedative properties make it ideal for relieving headaches and anxiety.

For culinary uses, basil is one of the most popular cooking herbs. Its mildly peppery taste and desirable fragrance makes this herb ideal for flavoring veal, poultry, fish, cheeses, and most vegetable and pasta dishes, especially when blending with olive oil, garlic, and tomatoes.

> Download a recipe for linguini with tomatoes and basil here

> Learn more about the health benefits of basil here

Leave a comment with your best basil and herb recipes! We're always looking for new ways to incorporate herbs into our everyday diet.

*This information has not been evaluated by the FDA. It is not intended to treat, diagnose, cure, or prevent disease. Always consult with your primary care physician before making significant changes to your health and wellness routine.

Monday, May 9, 2011

Gluten-Free Versus No Gluten Added: What’s the Difference?

The American Gastroenterological Association released a recent study suggesting more people may benefit from going gluten-free. But what does that mean, "gluten-free"? Is is the same as "no gluten added"?

There are strict guidelines for labeling products as “gluten-free”, but “no gluten added” is becoming more prevalent as a “protective measure that essentially can mean the same thing as ‘manufactured in a facility that produces products made with wheat,’” according to the Living Gluten-free Answer Book by Suzanne Bowland. The term “no gluten added” is somewhat literal: no gluten has intentionally been added. That is, all of the intended ingredients are gluten-free and nothing with gluten has been added to the product; however, that is not the same as being gluten-free because there “is the potential of cross-contamination.” What is the purpose of the tag, then? Including the tag in labeling means the manufacturer is not liable “for a gluten-free claim.”

For restaurants and bakeries,“no gluten added” carries additional meaning. The product (or meal) may not include any intended ingredients with gluten, but they cannot guarantee that gluten particles in the air have not found their way into your food. In other words, there is no guarantee of a 100% gluten-free environment.

Wednesday, May 4, 2011

Spring Into The Season With These Tips For Gardening With Kids

There is nothing more rewarding than a once-bare patch of dirt brimming with zucchini and tomatoes, basil and dill, or flowers. That patch of dirt can be as small as a window box or pot, or a patch by your back door.

Kids love to garden—give them their own plot to tend and award prizes to the biggest tomatoes or pumpkins. There is nothing more fascinating to a child than an edible plant coming out of packet of seeds. Not only is gardening good fun, it teaches:
  • Observation: watching the changes and growth.
  • Responsibility: watering and weeding.
  • Patience: waiting for the fruit or vegetable or flower to mature.
Some easy projects for kids include:
  • Pluck dead blooms from flower beds or containers.
  • Make leaf rubbings using thin paper and a peeled crayon or soft pencil to do various leaf and bark.
  • Grow broccoli sprouts for your family dinner, using 1-T of broccoli seeds and a jar covered with some nylon, secured by a rubber band. Each day allow the seeds to soak in warm water for three minutes, then drain. Directions for how to grow your own sprouts.
  • Put vegetable tops in glasses of water and gravel and watch them sprout! Try onion, radish, sweet potato, beet, parsnip, or turnip. Have older children note the progress in a book or draw what they see.

For more great gardening tips and information about composting, download the ACHS Wellness Guide here.

Tuesday, May 3, 2011

Aromatherapy For Self-Care

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

Responding to stress is something people naturally do to help regulate the body—but staying in a constant state of stress will eventually have negative health effects. Cortisol, also called the stress hormone, is part of the body's natural response to stress, but when released at high levels, or when is it not allowed to disperse due to chronic stress, it can decrease immunity, bone density and overall quality of life.

Practicing consistent and intentional self-care to support the body's natural relaxation response and to keep our body's cortisol levels balanced and healthy is essential for long-term wellness. Self-care helps us to manage stress before it becomes constant. Aromatherapy is one effective self-care method we can use to stop stress from taking root in the body.

Aromatherapy triggers the relaxation response, necessary for self-care. The relaxation response can be triggered by doing something you like, such as deep breathing, walking, and self-massage. Triggering the relaxation response has many health benefits, including healthy cortisol levels and decreased heart rate, decreased blood pressure, improved digestion and normalized blood sugar levels.

That's why it is important to make time for yourself every day, even if that means stolen moments here and there, such as while you're between clients, in the car, washing dishes or even doing laundry. Aromatherapy is flexible and portable, and it provides a lot of diversity, so your self-care time can be most meaningful.

Consider using essential oils as part of your everyday health routine. Using essential oils when you are already relaxed, such as during a massage, creates a positive conditioning response, a positive association.

To support everyday use, try inhalation of single essential oils, or, if you have more time, creating a personal blend of essential oils. Both methods have therapeutic properties. Deciding which method is most appropriate for your immediate needs may be a simple factor of available time.

If you choose inhalation, select essential oils with a pleasant association. Waft (or diffuse) calming, yet uplifting aromas like palmarosa Cymbopogon martini, neroli Citrus aurantium var. amara, or bergamot Citrus aurantium var. bergamia. Inhale deeply.

If you choose to make a blend, select essential oil with relaxing and/or uplifting properties. Anise Pimpinella anisum, basil Ocimum basilicum, clary sage Salvia sclarea, geranium Pelargonium graveolens, grapefruit Citrus paradisi, lavender Lavandula angustifolia, nutmeg Myristica fragrans, petitgrain Citrus aurantium, rose attar Rosa damascena, rosemary Rosmarinus officinalis, sweet orange Citrus sinensis, tangerine Citrus reticulata, and ylang ylang Cananga odorata are especially useful for simple, stress-reducing blends.

To read the full-text article, which originally appeared in the May 2011 edition of Massage Magazine on, visit

We want to hear from you. Post your best aromatherapy for self-care tips!