Learn More About the Oils, Essential Oil and Herbs We Use In Our Products
Learn More About the Oils, Essential Oil and Herbs We Use In Our Products
Frankinsense - known also as Olibanum, is one of the most
useful and beneficial oils we have come across. It comes from a small brush/tree known as
Boswellia sacra Tree. There are three distinct species of the Boswellia tree that produce differing fragrances depending on the soil and climate. It has the unusual habit of being able to grow in the most inhospitable of places, such as small openings in boulders and cliff faces
of the tree is collected by slashing the bark and collecting the dried
sap after it has flowed from the cuts. The more opaque the resin the better its
considered and the more fragrant.
oughout the world for over 5000 years and introduced to Europe in by the
Frankish Crusaders. Used in religious services from the ancient Egyptians, in
the Jewish Temple on the mount, to Christian services. The fragrance is
considered to be cleansing and holy. Herodotus ev
en mentions it and describes
it being cultivated on the Arabian peninsula. Pliny the Elder in his book Natura
Historia lis writes
of frankincense and mentions its uses and benefits.
ht. It grows in the hot climates of Asia and heavily cultivated in China, Taiwan, Vietnam, India, Malaysia, Thailand and many other countries. The plant thrives in hot climates but not in direct sunlight preferring a shady location to grow in. Patchouli Essential oil is extracted from the leaves by steam distilla
Frankincense is used in perfume and aromatherapy bu
t has been used in
traditional medicine. In Asia and Africa it is ingested to help with digestion
Ayurvedic medicine uses frankincense to treat arthritis for
hundreds of years along with healing of wounds and as an air purifier.
Black Pepper (Piper Nigrum) - Made from the unripened red fruit of the pepper tree. It's actually a vine that grows up the outside of other trees or up the sides of man made structures (I always thought it was a tree!). The Black Pepper is grown in the areas of Malaysia, China, Indonesia, Vietnam and Madagascar, while the essential oil is mostly produce in India, Malaysia and Singapore. Steam distillation is used to produce the essential oil from the unripe fruit. As an essential oil it has water like consistency and smells a lot like clove with a pepper like overtone and a slight herbaceous fragrance, with deep overtones and varies in color from an amber color to a greenish-yellow.
Steam distillation of frankincense produces the essential
oil that has a fresh clean fragrance. The main active ingredients found in the
essential oil are Alpha
Pinene, Actanol, Bornyl Acetate, Linalool, Octyl Acetate, Incensole and
research on Indian Frankinsense has come to the conclusion that it has
beneficial effects on osteo arthritis. (This is the form we use in our
Leicester University found in 2013 that
Frankincense contained compounds in the resin that has properties that kill
ovarian cancer cells.
I have to say this is one of my favorite essential oils with so much history behind it to mention it all would fill up page after page of books!
This amazing plant has had wars fought over it during the medieval ages and been traded around the world for thousands of years. Today it is the most traded spice of all the spices with Vietnam being the largest exporter. As a spice it made the bland foods of the middle ages more palatable, and continues to do so! Black peppercorns where even found embedded in the nostrils of Ramesses II as part of the mummification process in ancient Egypt indicating that it was used and traded way back in time. As an essential oil it has been used as a thereaputic for pain relief, for muscle aches, to increase circulation, reduce fevers, as digestive tonic and many more! (We use black pepper essential oil in our Sore Muscle Rub)
Patchouli (Pogostemon Cablin) - Believe it or not this plant is a member of the Mint family of herbs and can grow up to three feet in heig
before distilling. Patchouli essential oil is used most often by perfumers to create special fragrance blends, in scented industrial products such as paper towels, laundry detergents and may others. It is used also as a strong insect repellent for moths. Even Queen Victoria was rumored to hang Patchouli in her closets to keep moths away.tion of the leaves. It's debatable which is best to distill the essential oil immediately after the leaves are picked or to allow the leaves to ferment
In the 1960's through the 1070's Patchouli was included in incense and used heavily during this time. It seems to mask the fragrance of another herb that was used heavily during this period of time! Please use this in small...very small amounts since it will be overpowering when undiluted.
The benefits of Patchouli have been known for a long time. It has been used to help alleviate skin issues associated with Acne, Eczema, Inflammation, and chapped or irritated skin. Patchouli's anti fungal properties make it ideal for treating athletes foot.
We love to use this essential oil in a select few of our products for its beneficial skin care properties. You can find Patchouli in our Island Hippie Goat Milk Soap, Island Hippie Goat Milk Lotion, Gardener's Soap, and Gardener's Balm.
We know it's a love hate relationship with this essential oil but it does amazing things!
Arnica (Arnica Montana) - A perennial plant which can grow
between one and two feet tall. Looking much like a daisy it is really in the
sunflower family. A native to Siberia and Europe its now cultivated as a
medicinal plant in North America.
Used since the
1500's in topical ointments such as muscle rubs, salves, and creams its been
known to help soothe muscle aches, heal wounds, superficial phlebitis, joint
pain, reduce bruising and inflammation from insect bites and swelling from
broken bones. The active ingredient in
arnica is known as helenalin and is found in both the species of Arnica known
as Arnica Montana and Arnica Chamissonis. Do not eat this plant!!!! Helenalin
is safe for use topically but not orally.
We use arnica as a dried flower and then soak it
in oil to draw out its essence. It sits on the oils for up to week before being
incorporated into our
Sore muscle Rub.
Bees Wax (Cara Alba) - Produced in eight abdominal glands of honey bees, they place it at the opening to the hives where worker bees collect it and then use it in the construction of the hive cells for the storage of honey, and to protect larval and pupil forms of bees in the hives. Beeswax is made up of long chain alcohols, esters and fatty acids and is a non-toxic product which can be used in foods but is not digestible by human beings. Only some animals such as the Honeyguides can digest beeswax.
When first produced by the honey bee the beeswax is clear in color. The worker bees in the hive then masticate it and add pollen and propolis to the wax giving it a yellow to brown color. The melting point is between 144 Deg F. and 147 Deg. F. The wax has many uses from medical to skin care products and food preparation. The crudest form of beeswax is the yellow form which comes directly from the hive while the white form is bleached while beeswax absolute is created when treated with alcohol.
In food production beeswax is used often to coat cheese or fruits to keep them from spoiling. Believe it or not beeswax is added to chewing gums too! In skincare beeswax is used both at a thickener and to create a barrier over the skin for protection from the the elements. Because of its ability to melt and burn beeswax has been a favorite in the production of candles, especially those used by churches. It also has a nice fragrance when burned! There are a million and one uses for beeswax from medical uses in surgeries to surfboard wax and in natural wood polishes and varnishes.
In our own products we use the natural organic form of beeswax as a thickener and to provide a protective barrier on the skin in all our salves, lip balms and body butters. This is probably one of the most dynamic ingredients we use at Whidbey Island Natural.
Bees have intrigued us and delighted us so much that we are in the process of putting hives on our own properties for crop pollination and also honey and beeswax production. We encourage everyone that can to put a hive on their property. This is due to the fact that bees are becoming more and more threatened due to colony hive collapse. Personally we believe this has more and more to due with the use of pesticides and the movement of hives across the country in the pollination of industrially produced agricultural crops. These bees are subjected to so many chemicals, pesticides, parasites and diseases by this process, which they would
not naturally be if they stayed in one location, endangering them and killing off the bee colonies. The majority of the crops we depend upon need the honey bees for them to reproduce and fruit. Without the honey bees fruit, nuts, berries on most plants we depend upon for food will become extinct and most likely the human race along with them!
Rosemary Extract - A culinary herb used for century and found originally in the Alps of Europe it is now grown throughout the world. But rosemary has
many more uses than just a spice for food. Rosemary contains more than two-dozen antioxidant ingredients a
s recorded by Dr. James Duke of the US Department of Agriculture. He even stated that it contains ingredients
that are anti-inflammatory, immune regulating and antioxidant. There is circumstantial evidence that seems to suggest that it may have uses in fighting cancer cells. At Whidbey Island Natural we use Rosemary Extract for it's amazing preservative qualities. By putting the extract of the rosemary leaves into all our Salves, Goat Milk Soaps, Shampoos, Liquid Castile Soap, Bath Salts, Specialty Soaps, Lip Balm and Body Butters we are able to preserve them naturally!
Aloe Leaf Juice - The Aloe Vera plant has been used since around 1 AD. Used topically in the treatment of burns, psoriasis, dandruff, and even for relief from radiation burns. It was used in the past in the formulation of natural laxatives but has since been removed from the shelves by the FDA. There is some ancillary evidence that Alo Vera taken orally may help in the treatment of diabetes and to help in lowering cholesterol.The leafs of the Aloe plant are known to contain both phytochemicals and anthraquinones that are being studied for their possible bioactive components.
The exact origins of Aloe is a bit hard to pin down. It's been so highly used and planted through out the world that its original origins are not exactly known. Its believed the origins ma be anywhere from Northern Africa, Arabia, or even the Canary Islands. It's been a mover and shaker throughout history!
We don't recommend the ingestion of Aloe Vera gel though we have used it on sunburns ourselves and love it! It also is great in our Organic Goat milk Lotions for its natural moisturizing abilities.
Kukui Nut Oil - Also known as the candle nut. It was used by native Hawaiian and Pacific Islanders as a natural candle by stringing them and then igniting the top nut and letting it burn down to the bottom one. The nut comes from the Aleurites Moluccanus tree, which is also known as the candle berry, indian walnut and Kukui nut tree. The nut itself has been used in cooking to make dishes such as Inamona which is a main ingredient in Poke, a native Hawaiian dish. The Kukui tree is the state tree of Hawaii.
The oil, procured from the nut, is and has been used for over a thousand years as a natural moisturizer, It includes Saponin a natural cleansing agent. It has also been used as a natural wood preservative, and a dye for cloth.
We use it in our Goat Milk Soaps and in our Liquid Organic Shampoos for its amazing moisturizing and cleansing properties.
Jojoba Oil - A slightly golden colored oil comes from the Simmondsia chinensis (Jojoba) plant which is a native shrub of the Southwest region of the United States incorporating California, Arizona and Northwestern Mexico. Jojoba oil is a stable oil, unlike other oils, and has a long shelf life, since it does not contain triglycerides.
Because of the ban on sperm whale oil in the 1970's the cosmetic industry was forced to look for another oil with similar qualities. It was discovered that Jojoba oil is a superior and more stable oil than sperm whale oil for use in cosmetics, lotions, shampoos, moisturizers and conditioners.
Jojoba oil is non-toxic and can be eaten but contains no nutritional benefits and may cause gas and other problems intestinal distress. We don't recommend eating or cooking with Jojoba oil. Great for outside but not inside the body!
At Whidbey Island Natural we love to use this oil in many of our products for it's intensive moisturizing properties. We include it in all of our soap bars, Bath Salts, Head-To-Toe Salve , Gardeners Balm, Hand and Body Lotions, and Body Butters.
Camphor - Derived from the Camphor Laurel a large evergreen tree found in Asia, produces a white or off white waxy substance with a strong fragrance . It has been used in a wide range of substances from medicinal treatments, culinary additive, insect repellents or even as a polymerizer in explosives.
When applied topically Camphor can produce a warming or cooling effect and a slight numbing sensation. In ancient times the Sumerians used camphor to treat minor sprains , inflammation and swelling . This is the reason we love to use it in our Sore Muscle Rub.