A World of Beauty Rituals

For a few years I have had an idea to offer natural products from around the world. This idea began when I liked the concept but didn’t really have any idea of which products & from where to source them. I have taken the time from the first seeds of the idea until now to learn & find some wonderful products & now this concept is beginning to take shape.

world scroll banner

The world is an amazing place & although we all breathe the same air, warm our bodies under the same sun & enjoy the same blue skies natural beauty regimes can vary immensely. The UK traditionally used Lavender oil in a variety of products including soaps & toilet waters.Acres of purple flat lands of England yielded fragrant Lavender, used traditionally in soaps and other beauty products. Not only was it seen as a traditionally  English fragrance but was also widely used throughout the Mediterranean. The Greeks and Cypriots brought us a  fusion olive groves for the olive oil used often in soaps and other cosmetics around the world Moving onto Africa which has an abundance of natural beauty ingredients. Rhassoul Lava Clay mined from deep beneath the Atlas mountains & is used for cleansing, exfoliation & detoxification. Ghana produces probably the finest Shea Butter you can find & further around the globe Sri Lanka grows & harvests the most aromatic Coconut oil.
Our aim is to bring you the best of these natural beauty secrets & gorgeous hand made products made around this wonderful Earth of ours.
A few of our discoveries
organic deli pot shea
Organic Shea butter from Ghana – Whipped or raw chunks, it is one of my all time favourite products.
shea soap & oil
African Black soap bar (we also have the liquid version – a firm favourite in Scents-ible HQ) & the equally wonderful Shea Butter oil.
100g organic coconut
Organic Coconut oil from Sri Lanka – fabulous for hair & skin, its smells yummy & it is food grade too
savon-d-alep-huile-argan-rhassoul-100g
Our newest range is from Syria & we are very pleased to stock Savon D’alep or otherwise known as Aleppo soap, made using organic Olive oil & Bay Laurel oil. We only have a few products available at the moment but we will be adding more regularly.
morocco 3
From Morocco we have Savon Beldi or Moroccan Black soap, made from Olive oil. Rhassoul lava clay mined from deep beneath the  Atlas mountains & a simply addictive Rhassoul clay & Shea butter conditioning paste with the most amazing aroma, it only took one sniff & I was hooked.
We have some more exciting ideas & have found some simply wonderful products that we have to bring you over the coming months.

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Top 10 Crystals for Winter

This blog post has been copied from an email I received, thanks go to Andrew Pacholyk, MS. L.Ac
http://www.peacefulmind.com/winter.htm
Therapies for healing
mind, body, spirit

Winter is the time for being introspective and meditative. Winter is our time to
rest and replenish. Because winter is a time of less light and colder
conditions, it can also be a difficult time for many people. Crystals can play a
part in brightening our nights, improving our outlook and encouraging us to look
within, peacefully. Here are my top 10 choices for Winter.

Angelite:
Properties: This stone is excellent at balancing, polarizing and aligning the
physical body with the Aura or ethereal network. It is very calming and its
shade of blue refreshes the eyes and spirit. This crystal helps us to be in
touch with angels and animal guides, as well as assisting in distant
communication with other humans. Most effective on the Throat Chakra, Angelite
helps in self expression, communication and allows us to speak our mind, helping
us to become more assertive. Its soothing effects on the Throat Chakra works
beautifully in calming and soothing anxiety or overactive children. Use this
stone to call your Angels for guidance and support. Angelite is often used for
psychic connection to oneness with the Universe, the angelic realm and for
spiritual guidance. Angelite is utilized for heightened sensory awareness, which
also makes it great for Astral travel. Angelite helps us to see paths to
surmount challenges. It dispels anger, renews connections with Universal
knowledge, and reduces the “upstream struggle” during new endeavors.

Azurite:
Properties: Referred to as the jewel of wisdom or Stone of Heaven. Azurite
symbolizes insight and discovery. It is said to increase psychic abilities.
Azurite activates the Brow and Throat Chakra for more assertive communication
and alertness. It allows for quite, deep access to the subconscious and as a
seeing stone offers access to other times, places and lives. Therefore, it is a
great stone to assist in astral travel. This great balancer helps those who talk
too much and allows for those who to be expressive when they have a tendency to
hold back. This opens our psychic intuition and gets us aquainted with our
innerselves. It is a stone that stimulates creativity, giving access to a
fountain of ideas, images and awareness of things around us. This is a wonderful
stone for decisiveness and decision making.

Black Onyx:
Properties: Balances and grounds. Reduces sex drive. Promotes fidelity. Absorbs
and flattens emotional intensity. Androgynous. Excellent for centering/aligning
total person with higher powers. Banish grief, enhance self control, wise
decision-making, encourages happiness and good fortune. Can be used to provide a
“peek” into the future, helps one to follow the path alone, promotes personal
strength, understand the reality of the moment, become the master of one’s own
future. Helps with disorders of soft tissue, bone marrow and the feet. Black:
Root Chakra. Grounding. Green: Heart Chakra. Yellow: 3rd Seriousness, logic.
Blue: 5th Chakra. Found in Italy, US, and in Mexico. The shapes or patterns that
Onyx holds inside it have led some to suggest that Onyx has a picture in it that
tells a story or carries a lesson. An Onyx will retain memory of the physical
occurrences surrounding a person. A strong stone to use in psychometry because
it tells the story of the wearer. A strength-giving stone. A good stone for
athletes or people under extreme mental and emotional stress. It brings balance
to mind or body as well as strength of mind. Good stone for those who are
flighty by nature. A strengthening stone that can help you approach a lesson or
task with greater self-confidence. Said to be good for the teeth and bones. It
is highly recommended that Onyx be used in conjunction with Pearl and Diamond.

Blue Chalcedony:
Properties: A type of Quartz that heads a family which includes Agate,
Carnelian, Jasper, Tiger’s Eye, and Onyx. Found in the US, Sri Lanka, USSR,
Mexico and Brazil. Chelcedony helps ease self-doubts, makes one more reflective.
It is used to eases bad dreams and problems related to the eye, gall bladder,
bones, spleen, blood, and circulatory organs. Cleansing in nature, this stone
will promote healing. It needn’t be cleaned afterward since it has such strong
cleansing qualities of its own. Chelcedony fosters the maternal instinct and is
said to assist lactation. Blue is used to open the throat Chakra and helps with
communication and self expression.

Citrine:
Properties: This stone is very versatile and is used for mental and emotional
clarity, problem solving, memory issues, will power, optimism, confidence and
self-discipline. It reduces anxiety, fear and depression. Citrine is one of two
crystals which never have to be cleansed of negative energy. An energizing and
highly beneficial crystal, citrine absorbs, transmutes, grounds and dissolves
negative energy, which makes it a very protective stone. Citrine crystals are
invigorating and positive. They can surround and fill anyone with its brilliant
color, energizing every aspect of life. Increases motivation and Persons
involved with education or business will especially benefit. Can guide you to
harness and utilize your creative energy. Helps us analyze events and steer them
in a positive direction. Develops inner calm and security, and makes us less
sensitive and more open to constructive criticism. Can dispel negative feelings
and help us to accept the flow of events.

Petalite:
Properties: Petalite, also known as Castorite, is highly spiritual. It has been
called the “stone of the Angels” (not to be confused with Angelite) and will
help one connect with one’s guides and enhances your angelic connection. It is
also said to dissolve negativity and black magic spells. Petalite has been used
on vision quests for strength, protection, and peace. It will balance one’s
yin/yang qualities as well as one’s mind, body, and spirit. It also enhances
one’s ability to feel energy in stones. Known as an aura calmer, this stone
works on the Throat, Third Eye and Crown Chakra in particular. This
environmental stone enhances it surroundings. It is a strong generator of
positive, higher energy.

Quartz: “Rock Crystal”
Properties:Quartz is the Master Healer and the “stone of power”! This crystal
has the appearance of frozen water and clear quartz appears to look like ice!
Probably the most versatile multipurpose healing stone. Easy to cleanse, store
information/energy in, program or amplify energy and is used as a healing
instrument. The natural tendency for quartz is for harmony. Quartz can both draw
and send energy therefore it is effective for sending/receiving guidance. Quartz
is used for transformation in healing and in all levels of change
(mentally/emotionally, physically and spiritually). Quartz stimulates the
natural crystal in body tissues and fluids to resonate at the highest healing
frequency. Quartz works with All Chakra and master gland for balancing,
cleansing and healing. It is the perfect stone for complete Aura balancing.

Selenite:
Properties: This crystal is Gypsum. This white/clear striated crystal can look
like snowy mountains or tumbled snowballs! Selenite is wonderful for mental
focus, growth, luck, immunity, kundalini. These are centuries-old recordkeepers
of events and information. Smoothes emotions. Holding this crystal can help with
visualizing and bringing white light/energy (higher ideas/consciousness) from a
transpersonal point above your head down through body, out through feet into the
earth/physical plane. May help physical and emotional letting go. This crystal
is great for emotional and athletic flexibility. It helps to send healing to the
earth expands your sensitivity and field of awareness.

Snowflake Obsidian:
Properties: This obsidian stone, which has inclusions of phynocryst, gives it
the snowflake pattern on it’s surface, and allows us to recognize unnecessary
patterns in our lives. Promotes self-esteem and confidence. Clairaudience and
owning our lower aspects for growth; Healthy balance. Allows us to be more
sensitive and aware of the beauty and love that is around us. This is a strong
grounding stone and is known as “the protector”. It is said to “mirror one’s
soul. This stone brings about objectivity, dis-attachment and is grounding. It
reduces fantasy and escapism. Absorbs and dissolves anger, criticism, fear, and
therefore is protective. This unusual black stone absorbs darkness and converts
it to white light energy, which is used at the Root Chakra, encouraging ones
survival instincts and is grounding. This stone is used for transformation.

Snow River Quartz:
Properties: This amazing quartz crystal is used for seeing into the future and
discovering our congenital past. These clear quartz balls are amazing in their
clarity on the inside and covered with a beautiful white frost on the outside.
The ends are sliced off so that you can see into it’s deep translucent center.
These “picture window” crystals are originally from the riverbeds of Brazil. The
crystals are washed down out of the mountains and tumbled over and over by
violent surging waters. This natural process gives the crystals their frosted
look. They are the “gazing” stone, also called “seer quartz”. These stone evoke
clarity, clear thinking and renowned insight.

Andrew Pacholyk, MS. L.Ac
http://www.peacefulmind.com/winter.htm
Therapies for healing
mind, body, spirit

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Can Indian Head Massage help to reduce Stress?

Indian head massage was traditionally practised by female members in Indian society. It was part of the grooming routine, oils were used to strengthen, condition & provide a luxurious texture.

To ensure that male members were not excluded, barbers began to include this service when customers came for a hair cut. This is known as ‘Champi’

The Hindi term for a head massage is ‘Champi-ed’ as this came to the western world the pronunciation changed to ‘Shampoo’.

Head massage should be used from birth. The sensation of touch creates a bond & provides comfort, security & a safe environment. Touch enables children to build good social skills & to gain confidence. Touch can also have an effect upon health. A person who has experienced a ‘loving touch’ may well be healthier than someone who has been deprived.

Enjoying an Indian Head massage from a therapist is a wonderful experience & is also relaxing for the therapist but you can benefit from a head massage from a friend or loved one. If you have ever had your hair shampooed by a hair dresser then you will know how good that feels. Simply do similar movements to create an head massage, okay it may not be the same as from a professional but it sure feels good.

If you have children, head massage can help to calm them, either if they are upset, emotional or you just want them to slow down in an evening. It can also help to relieve headaches in children without the need to administer pain relieving medication – not always but it is certainly worth a try. Refer to the neck stretches below & gently incorporate these into the massage, it is surprisingly relaxing when someone else is administering them.

The same techniques can be used on adults too but beware your services will be very popular!

In today’s society head massage can be invaluable to

  • Relieve stress & tension
  • Clear the mind
  • Relax tight shoulders & neck muscles
  • Relieve headaches & eye strain
  • Relax & promote restful sleep

Stress can affect us on two levels – Physical & Emotional.

Some of the signs of stress.

How many of them can you recognize in yourself?

Physical Stress

  • Tight feeling in the pit of your stomach
  • Rapid &/or shallow breathing
  • Loss of appetite
  • Ulcers
  • Hair loss
  • Diarrhoea
  • Disinterest in sex
  • Lank, dull hair
  • Perpetual tiredness even after sleep
  • Palpitations
  • Tension in muscles
  • Dilated pupils
  • Constipation
  • PMT/PMS
  • Impotence
  • Spots or poor skin
  • Irregular menstruation
  • Excess sweating

Emotional Stress

  • Low self esteem
  • Poor sleep pattern (often with nightmares)
  • Phobias
  • Depression
  • Mood swings
  • Hypochondria
  • Feeling a need to escape
  • Panic attacks
  • Lack of concentration
  • Confusion
  • Feeling helpless
  • Insecurity
  • Forgetfulness
  • Frustration
  • Irritability
  • Lonliness

The more conditions we can identify with, the more stressed we are.

How can we help ourselves?

We can use essential oils ( See blog post How to combat Stress with Aromatherapy) or

A few simple non-strenuous exercises can make a difference

Neck Stretches

  • Slowly tilt the head from side to side
  • Slowly tilt the head forwards & backwards
  • Slowly take the right ear down to the right shoulder & hold for 5 seconds
  • Repeat wit the other ear to the left side
  • Do NOT raise shoulder to the ear
  • Repeart 3 times

Shoulder Lifts

  • Inhale deeply as you lift both shoulders as high as possible
  • Hold for a count of 3
  • Exhale whilst lowering shoulders quickly
  • Repeat 3 times

Arm Stretches

  • Inhale whilst stretching both arms out to the side
  • Shake the wrists & fingers for a count of 3
  • Exhale allowing both arms to drop to your side
  • Inhale whilst lifting both arms as high as comfortable
  • Hold for a count of 3
  • Exhale allowing both arms to drip to your side
  • Repeat 3 times

These exercises can reduce tension in the head, neck & upper body. When used regularly, mobility will improve & the effects last longer.

By reducing tension in our body, we are reducing stress & in turn reduce tension.

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Black Pepper Essential Oil

Black Pepper essential oil is commonly used in massage oils to relieve muscular & joint aches & pains.

The Black Pepper is native to South West India but is grown & cultivated in many tropical countries. China, India, Indonesia & Malaysia all grow & harvest Black Pepper . The oil is extracted by steam distillation from the dried & crushed peppercorns & the oil has a warm & spicy aroma.

When using this essential oil is needs to be added to a carrier oil or lotion before applying to the skin to soothe arthritic aches, tired & weary limbs & overworked muscles & joints. It is also thought that Black Pepper aids the dispersal of bruising.

Caution must be used when adding Black Pepper to any skin preparations as prolonged use may stimulate the kidneys & possible cause skin sensitivities to occur.

Add a few drops to a vaporiser or oil burner to add warmth when suffering from colds & chills. Use as part of a massage blend, to stimulate the appetite, soothe limbs, muscles & joint & to overcome bowel issues. by promoting better digestion.

All photographs were taken at Kew Gardens

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Animal Massage

Massage can be used to relieve many things,

  • Pain
  • Stress & Tension
  • An Aid to Recovery (mental & physical)
  • Purely for Relaxation

Most of us would welcome a massage from a loved one – so would your pet!

Are you surprised by this statement?

Most people are, Pet Massage – a new concept? – No, it is becoming more popular as people are looking for natural & holistic therapies & treatments for their animals.

Would an animal enjoy being massaged?

Yes, think how much they enjoy a scratch behind the ears, under the chin, along their backs & even a tummy scratch. Not such a surprising idea, when you consider all of these facts. Massaging your animals, large or small can relieve the same symptoms as in humans.

To perform massage on animals, you will require patience & understanding. Also to be able to notice & interpret signals from your animal.

Remember your animal cannot say ‘ouch, that hurts‘ they may tell you with a ‘nip or bite‘. It is their way of communicating that you have hit a sore spot, so take note & be careful.

Your animal needs to be comfortable & learn to relax to enjoy the massage as much as you need to learn the massage techniques.

Stuart J Farnell LMT (Liscensed Massage Therapist) has written two books ‘Pet Massage‘ & ‘Equine Massage. Both books are written in easy to understand language, complete with diagrams & case studies. These books explain the basics of massaging your animals & what this can achieve. He also explains the ‘do’s & dont’s’ & ‘when to & when not’ to perform animal massage.

You can find these books & DVDs on our website on the following link

http://www.scentsiblesolutions.co.uk/massage-for-animals

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Aromatherapy for Alzheimers and Dementia

Aromatherapy has its serious side as well as being a fabulous way to pamper yourself. I have visited & spoken at many Alzheimer’s Cafe’s & support groups & always had a wonderful time, meeting people who are living with this disease daily. They are always happy & welcoming & determined to enjoy life.

Alzheimer’s is one of those diseases that we all hope will avoid affecting us, unfortunately it is a disease that can be devastating for friends and relatives of those affected. The lack of government funding for drugs which can help to stave off the some of the symptoms to those in the early stages is a very emotional topic for all those connected with anyone diagnosed with Alzheimer’s.

My stepmom Jackie, a certified Aromatherapist inAiken,South Carolinawas asked to create an Aromatherapy programme to tackle certain problems associated with the disease for a local nursing home. She has created 5 blends of pure essential oils to tackle:-

Appetite (Wake Me Up & Feed Me) – no, do not get excited this is to stimulate the appetite, not to suppress it!! Do you really think I’d be a member of the Tuesday Weigh in group if it suppressed???

Memory (Promote Alertness) – now this is a popular one. It helps concentration, also extremely useful for students who are revising or sitting exams.

Calming (Restore Peace) – a heavenly aroma of grapefruit & frankincense, to calm episodes of crying, shouting, aggression, agitation & sun-downing (a term used for when people become upset, usually at sunset). A wonderfully gentle blend to calm & soothe overly active children when you need them to quieten down – no it won’t zonk them out or turn them into little angels but can relax gently.

Pain & Insomnia (Relaxed & Dreamy) When pain medication doesn’t quite take the edge off pain & a little something extra is needed to become comfortable or to relax the body & mind to aid restful sleep. This blend has been so affective in helping restful sleep that some nursing homes have reported an 80% decrease in daytime falls from residents, sleeping soundly can make you steadier on your feet.

For all the Carer’s (Care Giver Relief) – A blend of 4 essential oils, Orange to energise, Cinnamon focus the mind, caring for others no matter how much you care or love the person/people you are looking after, can be a draining experience, physically & mentally. A positive attitude can make any task, pleasant or otherwise easier to tackle. Lemon to offer a measure of protection from airborne viruses & Ylang Ylang (now this one always gets a reaction) used to relax, not stupify, but it always gets an oooohhhh!!!! when I explain that Ylang Ylang is well known for its aphrodisiac properties, bet that little bit of info has raised some interest!! Calm down there is not enough in the blend to have this reaction, now I usually get ‘oh, that’s a shame!’ or ‘that’s a let down’ all good natured comments & always raises a smile or two.

It was the potential of this aromatherapy programme which got me hooked onto learning more & to helping Jackie on our side of the ‘pond’. Due to Jackie being asked to create something to help those affected by Alzheimer’s I began a whole new career & to those who instigated this I will always be truly grateful. I have a wonderful career, one which I truly love, live & breathe, it has changed the way I see medication (I still believe in conventional medication & still pop a headache pill or two, when needed -we should have room in our lives for both conventional & natural remedies – each has its own time & place – its for you to know when this is). My family & I have never been so healthy, even a common cold daren’t stay around more than a day or 2 at the most it’s zapped with a combination of essential oils.

The programme is very successful in theUSA& is welcomed by carers in theUK, obviously the healthcare system in each country is different & therefore the residents of theUSAare more willing to try & be receptive to alternative options to expensive medications. I do not lose hope that more people in theUKwill benefit from these soft & gentle blends.

I thoroughly enjoy meeting the carers & those with Alzheimer’s as they are warm, welcoming & ready to enjoy a light hearted discussion, believe it or not, I do ask for audience participation, its not just me talking, I do let them get more than 1 word in.

I have learnt the art of public speaking, (my husband never doubted me!! can’t think why?). I remember my first presentation, I was shaking like a leaf & didn’t think I’d done too badly & everyone said how much they enjoyed it. I returned home to tell Russell how it had gone & said ‘You know I can cope with talking for a living.’ to which he replied ‘You don’t say, I never doubted it for a minute, you should earn us a fortune then!!’. Charming, no fortune, yet but I do enjoy it.

Aromatherapy can be fun when used in soaps, bath fizzes, foam bath, etc but I never forget the serious side, the side that can alleviate pain, relieve itching & in the words of Pat Bishop RN at the first nursing home in Aiken, South Carolina, ‘Aromatherapy has helped my residents regain quality of life.

These blends & others can be found at http://www.scentsiblesolutions.co.uk/apothecary/synergy-blends

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Combat Stress with Aromatherapy

 Feeling uptight, irritable, and short-tempered for no apparent reason? You maybe experiencing stress. Small amounts of stress can be useful, helps adrenalin to flow, to help you to achieve a goal or reach a target. When your task is completed, stress lifts & you are left with a sense of achievement. This is ‘good stress’. Stress can become harmful when it begins to impact upon your daily life in a negative way. Your neck & shoulder muscles become tight & ache constantly, you have a continuous headache, insomnia, unusual emotional reactions to situations or conversations, over or under eating & even lethargy.

Aromatherapy can help to relieve these symptoms with the use of anti-depressant & sedative oils. The most important step to combating stress is to recognise & admit to yourself that you are stressed. As stress affects us all in different ways, we therefore require different methods to overcome & relax. Essential oils can be used in a variety of products & ways to aid this process.

Spa Treatments – Bubble bath, bath oils, melts, fizzes, shower gel, shampoo are products that we can utilise from our daily lives to use as ‘stress relief’ products. Choose products that contain relaxing essential oils & take time out for a pampering session. Finish with body lotion or oil that contains the same essential oils.

Room Fragrances – Oil burners, electric diffusers – add a few drops of your favourite relaxing oils. Room sprays – make your own, add 10 drops of essential oils to 100ml of water in a spray bottle shake & spray.

Perfumes – Roll-on or solid perfumes can be a wonderful way to surround yourself with a unique fragrance which can help you to relax.

Tissues – add 3-4 drops of your chosen oils onto a tissue & inhale as required.

Driving – pop the tissue into the air vent of the vehicle & turn on the air.

If you know you are facing a stressful situation, inhale the oils prior to putting yourself in situation.

Which Essential Oils are helpful for Combating Stress?

 Here are the 8 most popular relaxing oils.

Camomile – gentle, soothing & relaxing.

Clary Sage – extremely relaxing, can create feelings of euphoria. Do not use prior to driving.

Frankincense – slows & deepens breathing, in turn calming & relaxing.

Grapefruit – light & refreshing, helps to overcome anxiety & stress.

Lavender – calming & relaxing. Use in small amounts, as over use can be stimulating.

Marjoram – a sedative oil, can help to bring about feelings of calm.

Ylang Ylang – a rich exotic aroma can slow overly quick breathing & lower blood pressure. A good aphrodisiac as stress can inhibit loving feelings.

 Choose oils/products which include aromas that you enjoy. Oils can be used singularly or blended together. Creating your own ‘stress relief’ blend can be fun & rewarding.

We offer a range of products as mentioned above in our on-line store www.scentsiblesolutions.co.uk 

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