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Marcia

President/CEO of Samara Botane/Nature Intelligence, importers of fine aromatic ingredients and manufacturers of natural spa and personal care products.

Mar 242010
 

easter-egg-dyeing_242x158 Long before there was Easter, the egg was regarded as a symbol of new life and the advent of spring.  The decoration of eggs became an art form centuries ago and continues today as a delightful craft and enjoyable children’s activity as a precursor to the “hunt” for eggs and candy, enjoyed by children around the world.  Some of the historical techniques for coloring or decorating eggs include:

Etching:  This technique can be traced back to Macedonia and involves first dying the egg, applying a layer of wax in design, then bleaching off the color leaving only the wax-covered areas with color.
Krashanky:  This is one of the traditions coming out of the Ukraine and the word means ‘color’.  Krashanky eggs are dyed a solid, brilliant color, often red to symbolize the blood shed by Christ on the cross.
Eggs_Pysanky2_248x225 Pysanky:  If you have never seen a Pysanky egg, you are missing a beautiful artistic craft.  I was gifted one at the World’s Fair in 1972 by one of our participants and it graced the windowsill in my kitchen for many years before it eventually cracked and had to be thrown away.  The term Pysanky means to write.  Intricate designs are drawn in wax on the eggs, a process similar to batik.  The eggs are then dyed many colors.  There are many regional designs and color selections around the various regions of the Ukraine.
Egg_Original_Faberge Eggs Gold_207x238 Fabergé:  Undoubtedly the most famous and expensive decorated eggs known are those created by the Russian jeweler Peter Carl Fabergé in the 1800’s.  Made of gold, silver and jewels and opening up to reveal tiny figures of people, animals, plants or buildings, a total of 57 eggs were made.  They are now artifacts in museums across the world. The picture at left is the very first one made.  A glimpse into a stunning Fabergé exhibit in 2001 can be viewed here.

Binsegraas:  This Pennsylvania Dutch tradition is not widely practiced today, but involved wrapping the pith of binsegraas (a type of rush) in coils glued to eggs.  Then interesting shapes of calico cloth were pasted on the egg.  The Polish people have a similar tradition, using yarn formed into elaborate coils.

There are other forms of egg decorating that include gluing sequins, beads, flowers and bits of decoration onto blown eggs.  Blown eggs are also used for a cut-out diorama of a little scene viewed through the cut-out section.  In pioneer days, eggs were wrapped in calico or madras cloth, then boiled so the water released the dyes into the shells.  Since most fabric is colorfast, you will rarely see this today.

My favorite activity around the approach of Easter is to gather natural materials and ingredients to make colored Easter eggs with leaf and flower imprints.  This is a favorite tradition started when my girls were little and now carried on with the grandchildren.

Here are materials to gather to make the natural dye, arranged by color they will produce in final dyed egg:
Brown and tan:  Outer layers of onions, black/green tea, coffee, black walnut hulls
Yellow:  Tumeric, cumin, saffron, lemon rinds
Orange:  Paprika, chili powder, carrots
Red:  Fresh cranberries, cherries, raspberries, Spanish onion skins
Purple and blue: Blueberries, boiled red cabbage leaves, beets
Green: Spinach
Grey or slightly lavender:  Hibiscus flowers

Combine the dye source with 1 Tablespoon vinegar and cold water in a saucepan.  There are two different methods.  You can boil the eggs and dyes separately, strain the dye and add hard-boiled eggs in the shell to the hot liquid and let it soak until it reaches the desired hue.  Or, you can wrap uncooked eggs and cook them in the dye as they are being colored.  With the former method, if the eggs need to soak for more than 2 hours to reach the desired deepness of color, you may want to move them to the refrigerator if you will be eating them. Generally, however, natural dyes are going to create more earth-like subdued colors.

Here are the things you want to have on hand:
Botanicals2_298x230 Fresh herb, plant and flower cuttings.  The smaller the better, however, wrapping a large fern that covers an entire egg is a stunning design when finished.  Thinner, flat items are easiest to secure tightly.  Use your imagination. Dandelion flowers will impart a bright yellow splotch in the finished egg, adding a whimsical touch.  Other fresh botanicals will add a bit of their own color, along with imprinted texture and form.  It’s fun to let the process itself randomly influence the outcome.  Children love to do this; it’s biochemistry and art all in one . . . plus you get beautiful eggs to add Eggs_Natural1_238x235jpgto the Easter hunt or to share.
Pantyhose or cheesecloth, cut in squares that can be tied with wire or rubber bands to snugly keep plant material in place.  If re-using nylon squares or cheesecloth, be sure to rinse between eggs.  You’ll want a slotted spoon to turn and remove the eggs while they are in the dye bath, and you’ll want a couple of brown paper bags cut and laid flat to place eggs on to dry.

Here are some tips:  Older eggs work best, buy them at least a week before boiling as newer eggs are hard to peel.  I think white eggs take the natural dyes better, plus you can create additional designs with wax to add bright white to the creation before putting on leaves and flowers. Shine up Eggs_botanical_Easter1_209x253 finished eggs when they are dry with a little olive oil rubbed in.  Eat those eggs!  Don’t waste them – make deviled eggs, egg salad or use in a salad.  Be sure to keep them refrigerated if you will be eating them.  Most of all, have fun, and encourage your children to experiment; you’ll learn new ideas from them.  If you do this project this year, send useaster_eggs_onion_skin_201x208 pictures of your creations attached as a .jpg in an email: samara@wingedseed.com, including your current mailing  address and we’ll send an aromatic surprise back.

Happy Easter and Spring!

 Posted by at 7:02 pm
Mar 042010
 

skin_micro_180 In Leonardo’s time, scientists of his caliber rarely considered the skin to be anything more than a decorative covering, necessitating removal to study the more fascinating parts underneath.  Today, most of us know that our skin is our largest organ and serves as armor to protect all those precious inner parts.  To the naked eye, the skin doesn’t appear to be complex or interesting, and before the invention of the microscope in the 17th century we really didn’t understand how it works.

Now, we can see how intricate the skin actually is, along with the vital role it plays.  The epidermis (outer layer of skin) continually produces new cells to renew itself, while shedding outer cells as they die off and shed.  You might not know that much of the dust in a room is actually tiny fragments of human skin.  As much as thirty to forty thousand skin cells fall unseen from your body every minute. continually replaced by vibrant new cells rising to the surface. We might call this renewal system your “skinecosystem”.  Hah. Say that 10 times real fast.

The skin is also the body’s heaviest organ, weighing from 9 to 15 pounds in a healthy adult, usually around one-twelfth of your total body weight.  It’s primary function is to protect all those well-functioning inner parts from damage or harm (click this source for more information).  Looking more closely through our microscope, you will see a subcutaneous fat layer just under the outer skin (dermis) that works like padding in a quilt to keep your body warm and absorb knocks and bumps.  The skin is so tough because skin cells contain the protein keratin, more prevalent in fingernails and toenails and less prevalent in softer skin such as that under arms.  Microscopically, you can also see those dead, flattened cells that interlock and overlap tightly packing together, making skin an excellent germ barrier. Your skin produces natural oils and waxes from the tiny sebaceous glands that keep the skin flexible and supple.  These waxes also contain the body’s own germ-killing chemicals, acting as disinfectants against harmful microscopic organisms.  Another important function of the skin is the production of Vitamin D when exposed to sunshine, a very important nutrient for a healthy immune system. It is also your body’s radiator, producing perspiration over the skin surface when necessary to cool you when your body overheats.  Overall, the skin is a pretty important organ and well worth taking care of, especially if you are planning some serious skincare treatments. Botox injections are very popular nowadays, so it is really important to know what are the ingredients in botox.

Skin Permeability:

The epidermis’ outermost layer is called the stratum corneum, and is important for allergy and sensitivity.  The SC is comprised of a network of cells on the surface that provides immediate protection from the outside world and helps restrict loss of water.  This outermost layer requires lipids (fats) to form a healthy cutaneous barrier.  Combined with the dying cells that compact and form a sort of “cement”, healthy skin does a good job of providing a sturdy barrier.  However, when there is disruption in the number and compactness of the intercellular lipids, the skin barrier can become more permeable. This disruption can explain how some toxins might seep through SC cells, enter the tiny blood vessels in the dermis and subcutaneous fatty tissue and possibly spark an antibody-mediated reaction.  This explains why some people do not suffer with allergic contact dermatitis when exposed to poisonous plants. Their skin barrier is intact and able to effectively protect the body from the toxin.  Atopic dermatitis can also be sparked by numerous allergens, inhaled, ingested and contacted substances.  Some foods (especially eggs) or inhalants (dust mites and cat dander) have been established as being the most common allergens.

Causes of Skin Barrier Damage:

Essential fatty Acid Deficiency:

Usually most Americans have adequate supplies of cholesterol or ceramides for the skin, both from dietary sources and internal metabolism, but they may not get enough polyunsaturated fatty acids (essential fatty acids, EFAs) that are only available through diet. The skin barrier requires an abundance of omega-6 essential fatty acids and daily natural products to protect the skin, we recommend the microdermabrasion kits which contain these ingredients.

There are two primary types of omega-6 EFAs, linoleic acid and arachidonic acid, both of which are only found in foods. Linoleic acid is found in the oils of safflower, sunflower, corn, soy, and sesame. An enzyme is responsible for converting linoleic acid into gamma-linolenic acid (GLA), a fatty acid that is needed to complete the skin surface lipid structure. GLA is found naturally in evening primrose oil, black currant oil, and borage oil.

Changes in Humidity:

rain_200 Exposure to humidity changes seems to cause an increase turnover rate of skin cells, which exhausts the oils in the skin barrier and exacerbates inflammatory skin conditions such as atopic dermatitis and psoriasis.

Dehydration:

Many of us know that we need to drink lots of water.  You may not know, however, how important it is for healthy skin. The surface skin is thicker than the interior tissues of the body. Circulation comes to the base of the skin, and the water has to seep upwards through all the strata of the skin to reach the outer layer. The exposed surface of the skin is also constantly losing water due to environmental factors such as sun, wind, and chemicals, to name a few. When the body itself is dehydrated, circulation to the base of the outer skin may be shut down as an emergency measure so that water is not lost through evaporation from the skin’s surface. Chronic dehydration shows in the face with wrinkles, lines and furrows. It’s best to drink filtered water. There are many quality filtration systems on the market. Touch Up Laser is an effective procedure to get rid of many other unwanted  conditions.

Ultraviolet Radiation:

sunshine_220 We know that both types of UV rays, UVA and UVB, can lead to skin cancer and eye problems if left unprotected from the harsh radiation. What most people don’t realize is that UV radiation also increases skin permeability and can be a significant factor in sensitization. Studies have shown that skin lipid synthesis significantly declines 72 hours after UVB exposure but recovered after 96 hours, suggesting that UVB-induced barrier damage may not be permanent.  Wait a minute, you may say, you just told me that the skin needed sunshine to produce vitamin D, important for the immune system.  How many of you have a tendency to overdo when you do get out in the sun?  This is where the most damage occurs.  It is a fact that rates of skin cancer are typically higher in areas of the body that are generally kept covered and only exposed during sun bathing.  Regular, consistent, small amounts of exposure to the sun (without burning) has a protective effect on the skin, increases vitamin D, can improve mood, help with depression and myriad other benefits.  Rule of thumb is that a very fair-skinned person with northern heritage should only get 10-15 minutes of sun exposure over the majority of the body during peak hours.  Someone with darker skin and a heritage that originated closer to the equator should be able to get longer exposure without doing more harm than good.  So, moderate sun exposure can actually help reduce the potential for cancer risk.  It is difficult to get all the necessary vitamin D from dietary sources. So make sure you get moderate sun and avoid over-exposure, especially during peak sunshine hours.

We’ll cover more about  skin and its care in future blogs, as we are going to attend a skin clinic to be able to provide you with more information.

IN THE SAMARA SPA

You’ll find about forty-five natural Samara Botane formulated skincare products, including our Healthy Skin Hydrosol, Facial Massage Oil, several Herbal Steams, unscented and wonderfully scented lotions in single notes and blends, our fabulous Rosewater Crème and Rose Luxurious Lip Balm (made with real rose otto and absolute).  Just click here.  Superior cleansing with our carefully crafted handmade soaps (bars and liquid) can be found here.

 Posted by at 7:45 pm
Mar 032010
 

I’ve blogged before about this great organization, spearheaded by Sylla Sheppard-Hanger and now joined by the dedicated Geraldine Zelinsky.  I’ve known both of these remarkable ladies for over 15 years now.  How time flies when you’re working hard and having fun.

Flag_SBProds_2010_280 For those of you who aren’t familiar with UAE, here is their mission, “The United Aromatherapy Effort, (UAE) is a 501(c)(3) non-profit Charitable organization born out of the September 11th tragedy. The mission of UAE is to provide stress relief and aromatherapy to relief workers, and troops during emergency work and afterwards. We collect and disseminate donated aromatherapy products to those affected by disaster or war  in conjunction with chair massage and other natural therapies. Historically we have responded to the World Trade Center Disaster, NY (2001), Florida Hurricanes (2004), the Gulf Coast affected by hurricanes Katrina and Rita (2005-6), and in 2007-8 the California wildfires and the Gulf Coast Hurricanes Gustav and Ike. Recently in 2009 we shifted our focus to the Military, both abroad and at home and are now supplying 4 Soldiers on the Ground (Afghanistan and Korea) with donated aromatherapy supplies they then disseminate to other soldiers.”

Since the beginning, Samara Botane has been happy to be donating diffusers, essential oils and aromatherapy products to bring stress relief,  help with minor skin problems and aromatic uplifting to those brave persons who serve so valiantly in times of emergency and disaster through this heartfelt organization.  Starting last year, UAE began working with troops in the field in Afghanistan and N. Korea.  A lovely thank you from troops outside Kabul at Camp Phoenix was the flying of the American flag on the base in honor of UAE last December 21. The flag was carefully removed, folded and sent to Sylla along with a letter from Brigadier General, Lawrence E. Dudney, Jr. expressing the gratitude of the troops.  The flag has now been travelling across the country from company to company while we all take pictures of it in our shops and warehouses.  Ultimately, Sylla and Geraldine will make a collage of the photos to send back to Brigadier General Dudney, Jr. to share with the troops. 

Mar_Rob_Flag_2010_325 As we did this, from opening the package with the flag to carefully replacing it securely to ship on to the next UAE company supporter, it has been an emotional time. We feel pride well up in our throats, as well as apprehension for the safety of our troops in our hearts.  We hope that we are doing some small thing for those who do so much, and it’s nice to know their appreciation.  We certainly appreciate them.

Rob and I took these casual pictures on the fly over the weekend, while squeezing a short break from taking inventory working with a temporary professional crew. I wanted to have our great staff in the pictures, but the timing didn’t work out and they weren’t here.  We are in our ‘blending room’ where staff fills thousands of those little bottles of essential oils and I work to formulate new blends for products when I’m not in the office on the computer or planting and tending the gardens.  The sign in the window is from our first store in Seattle, with the original Samara Botane logo and hand wrought copper samaras; a nice reminder, a glimpse of the evolution of our journey every time we look out that particular window.

I know these are tough economic times for many of our clients and customers.  UAE can always use money for postage and shipping, even in small amounts if you can spare it.  I’m sure they would appreciate hearing from you. 

 Posted by at 4:20 pm
Mar 012010
 

I’m tipping my hat to colleagues who joined me in blogging, tweeting, emailing and shouting “Stop” to the potential affects of this bad bill.  The bill failed in Committee today 7 to 4.  Some Colorado legislators reported they had received up to 700 emails regarding the bill.  I listened to streaming radio from the hearing and those on our side were far more aware of the facts than either the representative from Compact for Safe Cosmetics or some of their small business supporters and individuals who testified.  Although learned in his field and knowledgeable regarding environmental toxins and endocrinology, Dr. David Norris, PhD, Deptartment of Physiology, University of Colorado, was not well versed in cosmetics themselves nor skin absorption and allowable dilutions and was a weak proponent of the bill as a result.

I wasn’t able to listen to the hearing today early on, and missed the testimony of many of those on our side.  Many thanks to Cindy Jones, Jerrell and Elissa Klaver, and others for their testimony and taking valuable time away from other important aspects of their lives and businesses. 

Together, we made a difference and this bill was defeated in Committee today.

 Posted by at 7:30 pm
Feb 272010
 

Here’s a quick update and addition to our conversations surrounding FDA Globalization Act and CO HB 10-1248 Colorado Safe Personal Care Products Act.

Friend and Colleague, Tony Burfield, has been fighting the good fight re: aromatic ingredient regulations in the EU. He runs the fab site Cropwatch and is a contributor on aromaconnection. He’s headed to speak at the British Society of Perfumers Safety & Regulatory Issues Symposium at Cambridge on 11th March 2010, …talk entitled "Is excessive regulation destroying the perfumery art?"

I’ve passed on to him what’s happening here re: FDA Glob Act and CO HB1248. He’s hopeful that there might be "some victory for common sense looming" and will be using information about our movement to help staunch EU march to over regulate. He is grateful for what we are doing here and passes on,  "In SE Asia anti-IFRA and anti-REACH groups are forming, since producers of natural products feel that their livelihoods are being put in hexapody by the effects of creeping legislation." This is hopeful news.

P.S. new word for my vocabulary "hexapody". 🙂 Love those Brits.

 Posted by at 3:06 pm
Feb 252010
 

In the aromatherapy products community, safety is by far the most discussed topic. We spend hours in online discussion groups, social media outlets, on our websites and in our blogs in an effort to convey accurate and safe advice to those using essential oils and ancillary products.  Let us be very clear.  We at Samara Botane want safe aromatherapy products that carry no or minimal risk to consumers. 

Several years ago, many of our colleagues in the small personal care products industry joined with us as enthusiastic signers to the Campaign For Safe Cosmetics. Sounded good and what looked to be a way to carry a larger message about personal products safety. We trusted that CFSC would represent an honest, peer-reviewed scientifically verifiable position. A closer review now indicates that many of their references reflect insufficient data, some reflect low hazard and yet they include these substances in a larger list of potentially toxic ingredients. Additionally, we assumed and trusted that, as signers, our interests would be taken into consideration for any actions bearing our signatures as supporters.  When the FDA introduced the FDA Globalization Act of 2008, it appeared as if CFSC was pressing for stringent, and perhaps unnecessary, regulations to be included in the act requiring product registration fees that would be prohibitive for many of the CFSC small business signers. At that time, it also began to become apparent that perhaps an overzealous rush headlong was overstating the immediate necessity for some of the requirements suggested to be included in the act and that perhaps established authorities were not being consulted to provide scientific documentation that would anchor CFSC’s position with actual facts and tempered scientific reasoning. There was an attempt to discuss our concerns with the leaders at CFSC, however, after several months we at Samara Botane requested we be removed as a signer when they were nonresponsive to our inquiries. It took over 2 months for them to comply with our wishes to have our name removed.  We were not alone.  Other small business colleagues did likewise and express similar stories.

Donna Maria Coles Johnson, President/CEO Indie Beauty Network, spearheaded a movement to insure member voices were heard at the FDA and she attempted to also dialog with CFSC.  She and several IBN members travelled to Washington, D.C. on two occasions to meet with the Congressional Committee working on the FDA Globalization Act.  The act has now been shelved, however, it could become active again. Donna Maria was diligent to communicate with and solicit input from IBN members throughout this process, gaining broad support from the membership.  Here are some of  her reports during this part of our story: 
Why I Oppose New Cosmetics Laws That Do Not Contain Exemptions For Small Businesses
Why I’m Headed Back To Capitol Hill On Behalf Of America’s Small Businesses
Campaign For Safe Cosmetics: A New Report

It appears as if CFSC is now determined to press for these cosmetic ingredient requirements without consideration for small business exemption or insuring that other concerns are first addressed. They are now taking their efforts to the states themselves. As an endorsing organization of the CFSC, the Women’s Lobby of Colorado, is supporting state senator Boyd’s and representative Primavera’s HB 1248 The Colorado Safe Personal Care Products Act. CFSC is prominently featured on relative Women’s Lobby documents.  Based on Samara Botane’s experience with the nonresponsiveness of CFSC, and their failure to adequately advise signers  we wonder if the 36 small Colorado companies listed here have expressly authorized CFSC or the Women’s Lobby to use their names on this document, which intimates support of the act. We wonder if they are even aware of the act or the broader implications of the CFSC agenda that could impact their small business. Additionally, we do not know where the Women’s Lobby is gathering their facts, but their fact sheet is not entirely accurate.  Washington state has NOT passed a similar law as stated.  House Bill 2166 was introduced in the Washington legislature and referred to committee in 2007 and no further action has been taken.  There is not an existing similar law in Washington state.

We at Samara Botane encourage all small personal care businesses who either reside in or do business in Colorado to contact the legislators to oppose this bill.  Please read these blogposts from colleagues with additional details, concerns and cautions:
Oppose the Colorado Safe Personal Care Products Act Donna Maria Coles Johnson, IBN
Colorado Safe Personal Care Products Act :: Take Action Immediately, Kayla Fioravanti, Essential Wholesale
Colorado Safe Personal Care Products Act Kelly Bloom, Southern Soapers 
Tunnel Vision, Robert Tisserand, Aromatherapy Expert and Author
Colorado Safe Cosmetics Bill, Cindy Jones PhD, Sagescript Institute
The Colorado Safe Personal Care Act: How Will it Affect You, Lisa Rodgers, Cactus & Ivy
You Can Die From Salt, Too, Anne Marie Faiola, Bramble Berry
Oppose Colorado Safe Personal Care Products Act, Katherine Corkill, Sterling Minerals
From the President – Colorado Safe Personal Care Products Act, Leigh O’Donnell, HSMG
Colorado versus the cosmetics industry, Sarva Natural Artisan Soaps
When Safety in Personal Care, Isn’t Safety At All, Jerell Klaver, Salus Natural Body Care
The Colorado No Product Law, Marge Clark, Nature’s Gift
Tilting at Windmills: The Colorado Safe Personal Care Products Act, Emily Topsham, GCD Spa
Costly Confusion in Colorado: The Bubble Bill, Donna Maria Coles Johnson, IBN

Oppose the Colorado Safe Personal Care Products Act, Aromatalk
House Bill 1248 Colorado Safe Personal Care Products Act., MK Independent Beauty Consultants, We Will Not Fall Blog

Related Articles:
Colorado Proposes Ban on Cosmetics It Claims Cause Cancer, Cosmetic Design
Bill Proposes the Colorado Safe Personal Care Products Act, Global Cosmetic Industry

Tell Colorado Legislators to Back off the Mary Kay Lady: Oppose HB 1248, Ben, Peoples Press Collective

We hope we have included all to date, please add additional blogs or articles in your comments so that we can continue to assemble a comprehensive list.  Thank you.

Marcia Elston and Rob Stitt
Samara Botane/Nature Intelligence

 Posted by at 5:52 pm
Feb 232010
 
by Kayla Fioravanti
Reprinted with permission

If you live in Colorado or sell cosmetics into Colorado it is time for you to speak up.  Colorado has a proposed a bill before them during this session known as The Colorado Safe Personal Products Act.  This Act is so broad and vague that if it passes in this form the personal care shelves in stores would go bare.  You can read the entire bill here.  To follow the bill as it is updated click here and change the range to House Bills 1201-1250 and then scan down to 1248.   

Capitol_front

As of February 3, 2010 the bill was assigned to House Judiciary Committee. There is a hearing scheduled March 1, 2010 for sponsors and those opposing the act to be heard.  The committee meets in room 0107 (in the basement of the Capitol) beginning at 1:30 pm.

You can find the phone number and email addresses of your Colorado State Representative here.  The bill is sponsored in the house by Dianne Primavera phone # 303-866-4667 click here to email, Dennis Apuan phone # 303-866-3069 click here to email, Karen Middleton phone # 303-866-3911 click here to email, Joe Miklosi Cap phone # 303-866-2910 click here to email. 

The Women’s Lobby of Colorado is holding open meetings.  They support this bill and even have the Campaign for Safe Cosmetics logo on their website.  Sadly, they have fallen for the bad science that the Campaign for Safe Cosmetics is using to cause hysteria.  The voices of small businesses in the personal care industry need to be heard.  The Women’s Lobby of Colorado meetings are held at Colorado Education Association on the corner of Colfax and Grant—1500 Grant St—from 12:00-1:15 pm in the Bluebell Room. You can park free in their lot if you sign in in the lobby. Lunch will be provided. Upcoming meetings will be held March 3, March 17, March 31, February 3, April 14 and April 28. 

I will go into the faults of this bill in greater depth within the next few days, but in the mean time let me point out some of the serious flaws of this bill. 

"The bill creates the "Colorado Safe Personal Care Products Act" (act), which prohibits a manufacturer from knowingly selling, offering for sale, or distributing for sale or use in Colorado on and after September 1, 2011, any personal care product that contains a chemical identified as causing cancer or reproductive toxicity."  HOUSE BILL 10-1248

Quick Response:  Will these chemicals be ones that cause cancer when topically applied at normal usage percentges or will this information come from studies in which rats were injected with 100% concentration of said ingredients?  There is a big difference between putting an diluated ingredient on the skin than injecting an ingredient into the body at full concentration. 

"THE GENERAL ASSEMBLY (23) DECLARES IT TO BE IN THE BEST INTEREST OF THE PEOPLE OF THIS STATE (24) TO TAKE STEPS TO ENSURE THAT PERSONAL CARE PRODUCTS SOLD AND (25) USED IN THIS STATE ARE SAFE AND DO NOT CONTAIN SUBSTANCES THAT (26) CAUSE CANCER OR REPRODUCTIVE TOXICITY."  HOUSE BILL 10-1248

Quick Response:  There should be acceptable limits set and not a complete ban on ingredients.  Many things in nature in high doses are known to cause cancer; for instance the sun! 

"2 (1) "AUTHORITATIVE BODY" MEANS THE FOLLOWING AGENCIES OR (3) FORMALLY ORGANIZED PROGRAMS OR GROUPS RECOGNIZED AS (4) AUTHORITATIVE FOR PURPOSES OF IDENTIFYING CHEMICALS THAT CAUSE (5) CANCER OR REPRODUCTIVE TOXICITY:

6 (a) THE UNITED STATES ENVIRONMENTAL PROTECTION AGENCY, (7) OR ITS SUCCESSOR AGENCY;

(8) (b) THE UNITED STATES FOOD AND DRUG ADMINISTRATION, OR ITS (9) SUCCESSOR ENTITY;

10 (c) THE NATIONAL INSTITUTE FOR OCCUPATIONAL SAFETY AND (11) HEALTH, OR ITS SUCCESSOR ENTITY;

12 (d) THE NATIONAL TOXICOLOGY PROGRAM, OR ITS SUCCESSOR 13 PROGRAM; AND

14 (e) THE INTERNATIONAL AGENCY FOR RESEARCH ON CANCER, OR (15) ITS SUCCESSOR AGENCY." HOUSE BILL 10-1248

Quick Response:  I think this portion of the bill gets to the heart of the Environmental Working Group (EWG), aka Skin Deep, aka Campaign for Safe Cosmetics entire agenda.  The EWG wants to be that "or successor agency" mentioned in in the above list, my guess is the United Staes Food and Drug Administration (FDA).  The Cosmetic Ingredient Review Expert Panel is not listed as a resource for information on cosmetic ingredient safety.  Having any open ended "or successor agency" declare what causes cancer and what doesn’t is dangerous. 

The EPA is an interesting choice as an expert on cosmetics.  I read over there list of cancer causing chemicals and only a very small handful are used in cosmetics at all.  I will give further detail on this list and provide a link to it this week. 

"5 25-5-1204. Prohibition – sale of personal care products (6) containing unsafe chemicals. ON OR AFTER SEPTEMBER 1, 2011, A (7) MANUFACTURER SHALL NOT SELL, OFFER FOR SALE, DISTRIBUTE FOR SALE, (8) OR DISTRIBUTE FOR USE IN THIS STATE ANY PERSONAL CARE PRODUCT (9) THAT CONTAINS A CHEMICAL IDENTIFIED AS CAUSING CANCER OR (10) REPRODUCTIVE TOXICITY. (11) 25-5-1205. Enforcement by private citizens – civil penalty. (12) (1) ANY PERSON ALLEGING A VIOLATION OF SECTION 25-5-1204 MAY (13) BRING AN ACTION AGAINST THE MANUFACTURER IN A COURT OF (14) COMPETENT JURISDICTION IN THE COUNTY WHERE THE VIOLATION (15) OCCURRED. UPON FINDING A VIOLATION, IN ADDITION TO ANY OTHER (16) RELIEF AUTHORIZED BY LAW, THE COURT SHALL ORDER THE (17) MANUFACTURER TO CEASE AND DESIST CONDUCT VIOLATING SECTION (18) 25-5-1204 AND SHALL ORDER THE MANUFACTURER TO PAY THE (19) PREVAILING PARTY REASONABLE ATTORNEY FEES AND COSTS.

20 (2) A MANUFACTURER THAT VIOLATES SECTION 25-5-1204 IS (21) SUBJECT TO A CIVIL PENALTY OF UP TO FIVE THOUSAND DOLLARS PER (22) VIOLATION PER PRODUCT FOR A FIRST OFFENSE, AND UP TO TEN THOUSAND (23) DOLLARS PER VIOLATION PER PRODUCT FOR A SECOND OR SUBSEQUENT (24) OFFENSE. PENALTIES COLLECTED PURSUANT TO THIS SECTION SHALL BE (25) DEPOSITED IN THE GENERAL FUND." HOUSE BILL 10-1248

Quick Response: Translation, the State of Colorado cannot afford to enforce this insane bill so they are leaving it in the hands of citizens to sue cosmetic companies.  After California passed California Proposition 65 there was wide spread abuse.  The lawyers got rich in California and companies wasted countless man hours and dollars defending themselves from all these lawsuits. 

This bill does not address "naturally occuring" substances found in natural ingredients.  For instance, lead would be banned, but lead is in water and cosmetics contain water.  The issue is severly complicated with naturally occuring substances since there is a complete ban and not tolerable levels.

A great example of by-product of some cosmetics is formaldehyde. In 1987, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) classified formaldehyde as a probable human carcinogen under conditions of unusually high or prolonged exposure.  In cosmetics there is not an unusually high or prolonged exposure to formaldehyde.  tissues. Formaldehyde is water soluble and is not stored in fat so it can be metabolized very quickly with a half life in the human body of about 1.5 minutes.

For a list of formaldehyde preservatives read here.  Formaldehyde is naturally produced our bodies, the air that we breathe, and even the food we eat.  Formaldehyde is emitted as a natural by-product in the cooking of certain vegetables like, Brussels sprouts and cabbage.

How many small companies could afford to do business in Colorado if this bill passes as it is written today?  Would you risk being fined $5000 or $10,000 when citizen take up bounty hunting cosmetic products for the promised cash reward?  If you were completely innocent could you afford to defend yourself from these potential lawsuits?

 Posted by at 10:49 am
Jan 152010
 

I put my arms around him yes
and drew him down to me so he could
feel my breasts all perfume yes
and his heart was going like mad
and yes I said yes I will Yes.
James Joyce

According to the New Advent Encyclopedia Section, there were at least three different Saint Valentines, all of them martyrs. One is described as a priest, another as a bishop and the third suffered in Africa with a number of companions, although nothing further is known. The popular, and now modern, customs associated with Saint Valentine’s Day have their origins in conventional belief in the geographical regions of England and France during the Middle Ages. This belief stems from the observation that half way through the second month of the year, the birds began to pair.
Thus, in Chaucer’s Parliment of Foules,
For this was sent on Seynt Valentyne’s Day
Whan every foul cometh ther to choose his mate.”

For this reason, the day was looked upon as specially consecrated to lovers and the proper occasion for writing love letters and sending tokens to one’s object of affection. The French and English literatures are rife with allusions to the practice in the fourteenth and fifteenth centuries. Those who chose each other under these circumstances called each other their Valentines.

One romantic legend, according to History.com contends that Valentine was a priest who served during the third century in Rome. Emperor Claudius II believed that single men made better soldiers and outlawed marriage for young men. Valentine defied Claudius after realizing the injustice of the decree and continued to perform marriages for young lovers in secret. When discovered, Claudius ordered that he be put to death.

The oldest valentine in existence is thought to be a poem written by Charles, Duke of Orleans to his wife while he was imprisoned in the tower of London in 1415. Valentine greetings and tokens of affection were popular as far back as the Middle Ages, although written valentines didn’t appear until after 1400. The first commercial valentine in the United States is attributed to Esther A. Howland who made elaborate creations with lace, ribbons and colorful pictures, known as ‘scrap’.  The scanned image at right is one of several elaborate, lacy valentines belonging to my long deceased great grandmother.
A typical verse:
I send you this, with hope and fear
With hope that you will tender be;
Yet all the while, I tremble dear,
Lest you should not be fancy-free
I could not bear the hopeless fate
To hear the cruel words – too late.

Would that we could have such tender Romeos today to bare these fragile inner feelings and show such deep emotional love. Certainly not in this age of Grand Theft Auto: San Andreas and Resident Evil 4.

In Roman mythology, Cupid (meaning ‘desire’) is the god of erotic love and beauty, aka Amor, and son of goddess Venus and god Mercury. We have exploited this young deity in art, literature, confection, adornment and perfume at this time of year, some would say to excess. And, while we moderns are probably not going to participate in the elaborate ancient celebration of Lupercalia, which occurred in ancient Rome on February 15, and when some of the weirdest customs were indulged, it is perhaps another precursor to our modern celebratory immersion in romance and fertility.

Those of us who garden in the northern climes can’t ignore the fact that February 14 is also the approximate time for the beginning of the Spring thaw, another significant allusion to fertility.

While we may never know all of the facts of the history that lies behind Valentines Day; most of us are smitten with the idea of heartfelt expression and indulgence to bestow favor and admiration on those we care deeply about or wish to have a romantic relationship with.

Any expression of universal love in light of the overwhelming humanitarian disaster in Haiti must include our commitment to the brave and beautiful people of that impoverished country.  During the first quarter of 2010, Samara Botane will donate 10% of all all sales (not just web sales) to Partners in Health.  PIH works to bring modern medical care to poor communities in nine countries around the world. Their work has three goals: to care for patients, to alleviate the root causes of disease in their communities, and to share lessons learned around the world. Partners in Health has been in Haiti for over 20 years and its hospitals are untouched by the recent earthquake. They have been the first medical response to the disaster and their doctors and medical personnel are primarily Haitian citizens. Based in Boston, PIH employs more than 11,000 people worldwide, including doctors, nurses and community health workers. The vast majority of PIH staff are local nationals based in the communities we serve.

Valentine Gift Suggestions

Amoretto™ Parfum Mist, 7.5 ml in brushed silver atomizer

Soft florals of Rose Otto and Ylang Ylang with hints of zesty Citrus, grounded with Vetiver & Sandalwood and a mere whisper of Black Pepper, Clary Sage and Juniper make this a lovely fragrant poem of innocent love. This fine perfume is a 30% perfume composition in certified organic perfumers alcohol, with moderate silage and a uniquely soft, sweet scent for young and old alike. Festively packaged in chic acetate pillow with sizzle fill.

Relax in the tub and treat your skin to nourishment and renewal

Renew Milk & Honey Bath Ensemble

The additive dissolves in your bath to create a beautiful skin softening therapy – a few drops of the essential oil blend make it aromatically restful while adding additional skin healing, and the aromatherapy body lotion completes the experience of skin rejuvenation and renewal. Packaged in a charming little reuseable suitcase. Delightful luxury for the love of your life.

Please explore our website for lovely naturally fragrant gifts and indulgences for your loved ones. If you have difficulty finding what you are looking for, or need some ideas or explanations, or want to put together a custom gift, you can always email or call me.

Free shipping to you or your recipient on orders placed before February 8th, with an additional bonus gift for the purchaser of one of our recipe booklets for refreshing skin, hair and body treatments and aromatherapy ideas for health and beauty.

Sending fragrant thoughts your way for this beautiful Valentine’s Day! Share your love abundantly with all you touch.

Marcia and the Samara Botane crew

 Posted by at 6:56 pm
Dec 022009
 

We operate on a calendar year, so the month of December is filled with inventory, reorganization and analysis to assess what changes should be made in the upcoming year that allow us to serve you better.   This in-depth scrutiny includes taking what I refer to as our ‘heart and soul’ imagetemperature.  It is a time to review whether or not we are effective in our tithing to pay it forward. It is a time to make sure that our gratitude for so many wonderful clients and customers is being adequately and honestly shared with those who need it.  A favorite project is our involvement with Trees for the Future, a worthy endeavor started by Dave and Grace Deppner and incorporated as a 501(c) 3 public charity in 1989.  Here’s how it works.  We pledge 50 cents to TREES for every order we ship which insures that one new tree will be planted somewhere it is needed.  This effort has now assisted thousands of communities across the globe in planting millions of trees, which, in turn, has restored life to land previously degraded by fires and floods or abandoned.  The trees provide food, fodder, fuel, fertilizer and medicine for farmers as well as biodiversity for the landscape.  It is an awesome endeavor, magnificent in its simplicity.  It insures that our (and your) 50 cents take root and grow to exponentially serve as only Nature can.  Read the Trees for the Future 2010 Plan to learn more.

We are also long-time supporters and contributors to United Aromatherapy Effort, spearheaded by Sylla Sheppard-Hanger and assisted by Geraldine Zelinsky.  We provide aromatherapy supplies and products that UAE then distributes to our troops in Afghanistan and first responders to emergencies around the globe. For the latter, they partner with volunteer body workers who provide on-the-spot aromatherapy massage for the brave first responders during sometimes endless hours assisting in disasters.  UAE has recently been approved as a 501 (c) 3 nonprofit, retro to 2006. As the war in Afghanistan continues to escalate, our troops need all the support we can provide them to help combat colds and flu naturally, lighten their moods with environmental fragrance and generally ease stress and tension with aromatherapy.  The holidays are especially tough.  Any monetary contributions you can make are more than welcome.  UAE could use help updating their website and is looking for someone to help out.

Another of our longtime favorite nonprofit efforts is Midwives on MOMSchris-dressed-in-elder-clothers_215 Missions of Service.  This wonderful humanitarian organization teaches maternity care and safe birthing skills to women in Africa (primarily Sierra Leone where their services are very much needed).  Valid statistics and clinical evidence show that there is an impressive improvement in maternal and infant health as a result.  Samara Botane provides essential oils and aromatherapy products to support their efforts.  You will see when exploring their website that there is a great need for more volunteers (and of course money) to keep this awesome effort thriving. 

We would enjoy learning about what you do during this season of giving.   What are some of your favorite organizations or charitable activities?

ONE MORE THING
The Samara Botane Treasure Hunt has now concluded.  It has been a huge success and we have some very happy winners.  Those who agreed to be publicly acknowledged are listed on the store landing page (through the store door).   We’ve extended 15% off on discountable items through Friday, December 18 which is still in time for delivery before Christmas.  We’ve decided it’s a good idea to have an annual treasure hunt . . . what are your thoughts?

 Posted by at 8:03 pm
Nov 192009
 

I thought we had cleared up this misconception years ago, however, it seems there are a number of essential oil purveyors claiming to carry essential oils  that are specifically certified as therapeutic grade by the FDA and show this seal below as proof.  Don’t be fooled.  They are not telling the truth.  In reverse order, this is one path to their deception.

imageThis last trademark has been registered (as a word mark) by DoTERRA Holdings, LLC, 370 W. Center Street,  Orem, UT 84057.  Filed on March 4, 2009, published for opposition on July 1, 2009 and official registration granted on October 6, 2009.  This registration has the disclaimer, “No claim is made to the exclusive right to use ‘certified pure therapeutic grade’ apart from the mark as shown.

According to an article by crb direct, a third trademark has been registered (as a word mark) CPTG Certified Pure Therapeutic Grade also by DoTERRA Holdings, LLC, 370 W. Center Street,  Orem, UT 84057.  Filed on March 4, 2009, published for opposition on July 14, 2009 and official registration granted on September 29, 2009. This registration also has the disclaimer, “No claim is made to the exclusive right to use ‘certified pure therapeutic grade’ apart from the mark as shown”. There is a long list of products shown to be associated with this word mark.

A second trademark has been registered (as a word mark) CPTG also by DoTERRA Holdings, LLC, 370 W. Center Street,  Orem, UT 84057.  Filed on March 31, 2008, published for opposition on June 10, 2008 and official registration granted on May 9, 2009.

image A first trademark has been registered (as a word mark) CPTG also by DoTERRA Holdings, LLC, 1145 South 800 East, Ste. 134,  Orem, UT 84057.  Filed on March 31, 2008, published for opposition on June 10, 2008 and official registration granted on May 9, 2009. Under the trademark registration, they show application to the following products: Essential oils; Essential oils for household use; Essential oils for personal use; Lavender oil; Massage oil; Massage oils; Natural essential oils; Aromatherapy oils; Bath oils; Body oils; Cosmetic oils; Cosmetic oils for the epidermis; Essential oils for flavoring beverages; Essential oils for food flavorings; Essential oils for use in manufacturing of gelcaps and other dietary supplements; Essential oils for use in the manufacture of scented products; Oils for cleaning purposes; Oils for toiletry purposes; Skin and body topical lotions, creams and oils for cosmetic use; Food flavorings prepared from essential oils; Oils for perfumes and scents; Peppermint oil; Perfume oils; Tanning oils.

DoTERRA, LLC is yet another multi-level marketing natural products company based in Utah who has applied through the U.S. Patent Office to “own” (exclusive use) a registered word mark.  This registered word mark has not been provided to them by the FDA as they claim and is meaningless in proving that an outside certifying body has declared or designated that DoTERRA’s essential oils are certified pure therapeutic grade.  DoTERRA, LLC owns the right to exclusive use of the mark (however not the exclusive right to the actual words “Certified Pure Therapeutic Grade” which is revealing)  This seal or word mark is nothing more than a commercial trademark that they have registered and paid a fee for.  However, DoTERRA is purposefully misinforming potential customers and down liners by email by claiming FDA approval and that the FDA has provided them with the label that they, themselves registered and own.  The FDA does NOT certify the quality of essential oils by therapeutic grade and they do not provide a certifying label as claimed.  Following is an email from DoTERRA sent to a potential customer:

———- Forwarded message ———-
From: d?TERRA Member Service <service@doterra.com>
Date: Mon, Nov 16, 2009 at 5:01 PM
Subject:
To: Recipient Name and Email Removed for Privacy

Dear Recipient Name Removed for Privacy,

We apologize if one of our consultants has mislead you in anyway (sic).  All of our oils are FDA approved as being Certified Pure Therapeutic Grade (CPTG). DoTERRA’s, CPTG essential oils are 100% pure natural aromatic compounds carefully extracted from plants.  They do not contain fillers or artificial ingredients that would dilute their active qualities and are free of contaminants such as pesticides or other chemical residues.  All of our products are taken through a series of tests including  AFNOR and ISO standards for purity, and all of our manufactures must maintain a GMP certification.  Therefore, we are passing government regulations.  The FDA has provided us with the label of CPTG. We hope we have resolved your concern.

Member Services
doTERRA International, LLC
370 West Center Street
Orem, Ut 84057
800-411-8151
service@doterra.com

Clearly this company is misleading people by claiming that they have a designation and approval provided to them by the FDA that in my expert opinion simply does not exist.  Stay tuned for part II of this series which will focus on FDA regulations that actually apply to essential oils and the part III will provide you with questions to ask a supplier that will ascertain their knowledge of essential oils and expertise in the industry.

We at Samara Botane and many others in the essential oil trade have are dismayed about the misrepresentation of facts surrounding essential oils that occurs here in the United States, especially within the multi-level marketing industry.  We encourage people to diligently research any essential oil company before choosing them as a supplier.

Marcia Elston
Samara Botane/Nature Intelligence
http://www.wingedseed.com

Please feel free to repost this entire message in its entirety, unedited, on your blog as well as social media outlets and newsgroups.

 Posted by at 2:15 pm