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REST:  Your body heals and repairs itself when you are in deep R.E.M. sleep. Simply falling into bed at night, exhausted, worried and restless, does not replenish and rebuild the human organism.  Choose the tools that help you get maximum deep sleep so that your body can do its nightly work.  Balance work and play with equal amounts of rest, meditation or quiet contemplation to temper stress levels and maintain balance.  Restful music and a quiet cup of calming tea (chamomile,  hops, valerian) before bed helps you empty your mind and leave worries for another time.

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DIET:  You’ve heard it a million times – "you are what you eat."  I’d add – "You are also how you eat."   Make healthy dietary decisions based on good nutritional advice and your individual dietary needs.  No matter what type of healthy diet you choose, throw out all processed foods, white sugar and white flour.  Free yourself from the empty carbohydrate rat race.  Feed your body and mind spiritually when you eat, with good company and uplifting conversation, pleasant music,  giving your digestive system a relaxed state to perform optimally.

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EXERCISE:  Use It or Lose It! There is no getting around it; we need to move our bodies, stretch to loosen taut muscles and get our heart rate pumped to prime all body functions and systems.   Ride a bicycle, swim, jump on a trampoline, play ball with your children, hike, join an exercise club . . . there are limitless choices to get off your duff and start moving.    

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AMBIENCE:  Balance and harmony are the key to taking a successful preventative approach.  A clear and free flow of energy through the various aspects of individual life can transform metabolic and physiological processes.  Lighting, color, music, placement, personal interactions, spirituality, cleanliness and energy flow all contribute to either the ease or hindrance of function, temperament and attitude.  It makes sense; the more pleasing your environment (there’s that ‘terrain’ again), the happier your immune system.  If you have a constant irritable problem with a co-worker or other difficult relationship, seek resolution so that this is not adversely affecting your good health.  Remember little things like periodic cleaning of your toothbrush – and wash your hands often! 

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COMMUNITY:  We have much to do in our modern lives.  The ancient expression, "Kali Yuga" is loosely translated to ‘too many things for the time allowed’.  This certainly can apply to our modern world.  It is easy to neglect relationships, volunteering for projects in the community, and plain old what was once called ‘chewing the fat’  because we simply find we do not have time.  Using the ‘terrain’ ‘concept, help your family make time and allowance in your life for participating with others in your community and environment.  Spend time with those confidants who can help you talk through and resolve problems and troubling issues.  Join a church choir, book club, nonprofit action group – or simply call a friend who makes you laugh and make a date for lunch or similar fun get-together.  

The information below provides a list of herbs and essential oils that can be helpful to maintaining a healthy immune system.  Before starting any self-care regimen using natural ingredients, be sure that you have fully researched all available information to ascertain  any risks or possible adverse effects. 

Herbs and Essential Oils to Help build your immune system:

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Herbs for deep immune action:  Astragalus membranaceous, Ligustrum lucidum, Lentinus edoes, Ganoderma lucidurn, Codonopsis tangshen
Herbs for systemic support for homeostasis:  
Bitter tonics (Mild -Taraxacum off., Artemisia abotanum, Achillea millefolia, Matricaria recutita) (Strong -Artemisia absinthium, Berberis vulgaris, Centauria erythraea, Eupatorium perfoliatum, Gentiana spp. Hydrastis canadensis, Ruta graveolens). Alterative/Tonic herbs (Mild – Allium sativum, Anemone pulsatilla, Berberis aquifolia, Chionanthus virgincus, Cimifuga racemosa, Baptisia tinctoria, Echinacea spp., Menyanthes trifoliata) (Stronger, yet safe -Arctium lappa, Fumaria off., Galium aparine, Guaiacum off., Hydrastis canadensis, Rumex crispus, Trifolium repens, Urtica doica)


All of the terpene essential oils are anti-microbial.  At one time various essential oils and their constituent terpenoids were applied in allopathic medicine for combating infections, particularly those of the bronchial and urinary tracts, and in preventing sepsis of burns and 17405001_Starter_kit_book_475x393wounds.  Some of these oils still find extensive application as disinfectants, as the anti-septic activity of these oils often exceeds that of phenol.  For example, Thymol is about 20 times more efficacious than phenol.  Monoterpene oils have mild anti-septic properties and coupled with their rubefacient action on gums are beneficial as toothpaste or mouthwash.  Essential oils (common names) with anti-septic strength above that of phenol are: Thyme, Origanum, Sweet Orange, Lemon Grass, Cinnamon, Rose, Clove, Eucalyptus, Peppermint, Rose Geranium, Anise, Rosemary, Neroli, Lavender, Melissa and Ylang Ylang.  All of these essential oils can be diffused in moderation to keep the environment more germ free, and combined with those that relax and calm, will help create the desired harmony and balance.   Shop for any of these essential oils at our online shop. 
Books – Prescription for Nutritional Healing, Balch & Balch; Prescription for Herbal Healing, Phyllis A. Balch, CNC; Essential Aromatherapy, Susan Worwood & Valerie Ann Worwood

 

In the year 1575, Italian adventurer Giralimo Benzoni writes in his Historia del Mondo Nuovo (History of the New World) , that "chocolate is more a drink for pigs than for humans".
We see today how that opinion worked out.

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I wrote this blog post last year which you may also enjoy; it contains information about the history of dying eggs.  I’ve updated the instructional portion with new pictures and additional tips. The other thing I love about this activity with children is foraging for the botanicals . . . it helps me teach them about wildcrafting and opens the door to pass on in the Wise Woman tradition.

Teaching_Caleb391x344My 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 ingredients 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 (you can use single botanical source, or combine several for differing hues) 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.  You can also cook all dye materials (the longer, the darker), cool and add uncooked eggs, reheat to cook egg and set aside to continue darkening the dye while cooling. (Refrigerate if over 2 hours.) If you want to have botanical impressions on your eggs, do the following before you cook the eggs:

Here are the things you want to have on hand: 
The_botanicals400x353 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 to the Easter hunt or to share.
Trussed_n_Ready442x289Pantyhose or cheesecloth, cut in squares that can be tied with twisty ties 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 partially dry as you remove pantyhose or cheesecloth and botanicals. 

In_the_Soup450x262Here 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 Lovely_collection406x320 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 usUsing_Lavender334x412 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.

The large one pictured here was done with a Rosemary sprig.  Isn’t it lovely?

Happy Easter and Spring!

 

The Compact for Safe Cosmetics (CFSC) is co-founded by Stacy Malkan, author of Not Just a Pretty Face, her blog which promotes her book by the same name. Stacy Malkan is the public voice and spokesperson for CFSC, who are fomenting fear that could push the evolution of sensible personal care product manufacturing into the legislative dark ages.  Under the guise of protecting Americans from cancer and other unknown maladies contracted  from using personal care products and cosmetics (currently one of the safest industries), the CFSC exhibits ignorance and short-sightedness to achieve a legislative agenda that if passed will undoubtedly result in grave unintended consequences for small, emerging personal care products companies. 

Stacy Malkan may have started out a well-meaning advocate with a sad personal experience, but she and CFSC are throwing the baby out with the bathwater.  This has been pointed out to her by those actively engaged in the personal care products industry; those who are aggressively promoting safety and efficacy while moving into the 21st century with sustainable, green ideas for the future.   Admitting that she is not a chemist, nor educated at all in cosmetic ingredient safety or formulation, Stacy Malkan is attracting a host of celebrities and others to the cause, perhaps also well meaning, who have absolutely no depth of scientific knowledge to support what they are advocating.  They primarily depend on the Environmental Working Group’s Skin Deep Database.  This database has been challenged as insufficient, erroneous, out of date and lacking clearly identified peer review by chemists, scientists and formulators in the industry, as reported here.  EWG will call foul (not their scientists, but their lobbyists) that the people who challenge the veracity of their database are employed in the industry.  Wouldn’t we expect that those of us in the industry would be educated experts in our respective positions?  Likewise, in Stacy Malkan’s “Petroleum in Cosmetics” article on Huffington Post, she references a “new CFSC report” which has been thoroughly debunked by respected fragrance chemist Tony Burfield. In that same article, she uses a totally unrelated NY Times article about cancer causing food ingredients to support her Chicken Little agenda regarding products applied topically. It now behooves Huffington Post to allow a comprehensive rebuttal.  And, although I am a great fan of Amy Goodman, host of Democracy Now and allowing that she did host a debate on the issue between Stacy Malkan and John Bailey the chief scientist at the Personal Care Products Council, her coverage was not equally represented from both sides of the issue. I am hoping she will revisit with some of the colleagues I mention here.

Stacy Malkan and the CFSC are relentlessly bent on pushing for cumbersome and ineffective federal regulation that will surely thwart the emergence of eco-conscious entrepreneurs rising up with progressive ideas for sustainability, safety and efficacy in the personal care products industry.  These are the very people who are already at the forefront of innovation and research to eliminate harsh synthetic chemicals, but who are also realistic about using good science in the process.  Some of these entrepreneurs are unsuspecting company signers on the CFSC who do not know that the CFSC agenda is acting against their own interests because they have not been consulted as partners by those at CFSC, as they should be, especially in the current pursuit that could so gravely affect them.  They are being used as pawns in a deadly game, much to their possible detriment.   CFSC has been parroting the same tired old rhetoric that has failed to move the FDA Globalization act of 2008 out of committee, and more sensible minds prevailed. Their attempt to influence similar legislation at the state level in Colorado. failed as well. You can see my blog post at the time and links to other sensible personal care products companies who rallied to help defeat the Colorado bill.  CFSC is relentlessly at it again in an attempt to achieve their goal of establishing into law the  Safe Cosmetics Act of 2010, recently introduced into the House by Reps. Jan Schakowsky, D-Ill., Ed Markey, D-Mass., and Tammy Baldwin, D-Wisc.

Among those who will be adversely affected are myriad handmade soap makers, most of whom make soap like your grandmother did. The requirements to register and identify all ingredients (whether potentially toxic or not) would place an undue reporting burden on these small businesses (sometimes one or two-person operations), Even though they would be exempt from registration fees unless their business grossed $1M in annual sales under this new legislation, the cost of research and reporting could be too costly and force them to close their doors. Who wants to see this in our current economy?  This smaller segment of the indie personal care products industry now supports an active Handcrafted Soap Makers Guild, whose president had this to offer regarding the proposed SCA bill.

Colleagues Kristin Fraser Cotte and Lisa M. Rodgers founded the Personal Care Truth website which contains myriad articles and information attesting to the diligence and integrity of companies in the personal care products industry with regard to product safety and scientific clarity and veracity.  You’ll also find lively conversation between at least one lobbyist from EWG and some of my colleagues. The lobbyist is clearly factually outgunned.

You can go to Open Congress to register your support or nonsupport of the current federal bill, as well as read and rate the linked blogposts related to the bill.

Samara Botane is one of many aromatherapy companies who are passionate about safety and efficacy.  Our own website is growing with factual scientific information about essential oils and related personal care product ingredients, and we make ourselves available to anyone who wishes to learn more. In addition to this blog, which is primarily aimed at our customers, we host and contribute to aromaconnection.org, a group blog which has more scholarly information relative to the  worldwide aromatics industry.  I see the same ethical passion among my indie peers engaged in the small indie personal care products industry.  CFSC has, perhaps inadvertently, created an adversarial relationship, positioning themselves as experts when they are not and refusing to form cooperative relationships with the true experts in the industry and far more shameful,  exploiting the companies who support them by not informing them of the surely damaging consequences of their agenda.  Shame on them.   

 

Discovering Natural Fragrance for Holiday Gifts

When it comes to physical attraction, smell is everything, some experts say. It’s no secret that when something smells good, it provokes a positive reaction – a freshly bathed infant, the salty mist from the ocean, a bouquet of fine roses, and, of course, our favorite perfumes. These scents can evoke deep personal and emotional reactions. Certain familiar scents can take you immediately to a fondly remembered time or event in the past or remind you of a favorite person. How many of you smell the scent of lavender or rose geranium and remember your grandmother’s warm, loving presence?

Tiring of the overpowering and pervasive odor (and having allergic reactions) of synthetic fragrance, many have turned to natural ingredients for perfumes, skincare and relaxation products. The emerging study of aromatherapy and natural perfumery is exploding across the United States and the use of natural essential oils for stress relief and simple health problems is now commonplace, both at home and in the clinic or hospital. The Home Spa is now seen as not only desirable, but necessary.

The revival of the interest in personal hands-on preparation of perfumes and natural scented products has created an emergence of plant extraction and distillation training for the aficionado and professional, alike. People are seeking ways to re-connect with the plants and flowers of the Earth to make their lives more meaningful and to seek answers to the deeper questions of purpose.

You can find a wide range of ingredients and natural fragrance materials to make thoughtful perfumes or naturally-fragranced bath and skincare products with a click of your mouse at www.wingedseed.com. You might try your hand at simple natural scented products for gifts that are sure to please this season. And,you’ll save money during these difficult times. Some of your creations may offer additional health benefits to surprise and delight the recipient. Here are some simple ideas to try.

Simple Scented Bath Salts:
3 cups coarse Dead Sea Salt
3 cups Epsom SaltsJarSalts010_150
20-35 drops of a combination of essential oils. Rose otto (or Geranium), Lavender, Lemon and Sandalwood (or Vetiver) makes a nice floral scent. (Easy on the lemon and remember to stay out of the sun for a day after bathing to avoid sun sensitization).
Place Sea salt in glass jar and add, drop by drop, the essential oils. Tightly cover and let sit for several days, shaking periodically. Decant salts into plastic jar or container suitable for use in the bath. Present in a lovely organza gift bag with instructions to use within 2-3 weeks to maintain strength.  For layering of scent, make the following simple cologne.

Perfume_Bottle1_105 Simple Rose Cologne:
2 C. distilled water
1/2 C. vodka
10 drops rose essential oil
1 C. fresh, deep-red rose petals
(You can substitute other desired flowers such as lavender flowers, and lavender essential oil or eliminate flowers altogether, just using essential oil.)
Measure the distilled water into a thoroughly cleaned glass jar. Add the vodka slowly to prevent cloudiness. Gently mix in the rose petals until they are completely wet. Add the rose oil and mix well. Let the mixture stand in a covered bottle in a cool, dark place for one week to allow the scent to age. Strain mixture and pour into decorative perfume bottles or perfume misters.  You’ll find perfume bottles and misters in the packaging section on the website.

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Elegant Salt Crystal Potpourri:
Place a few Colossal Salt Crystals from Brazil (item 66004 found in Dry Raw Materials) in a pretty dish. A nice covered dish works beautifully.  Slowly drop a favorite essential oil or undiluted essential oil blend directly onto the crystals to the desired saturation.  If in an open dish, cover tightly with saran wrap.  Wrap with a pretty bow and it’s ready to go.  This potpourri is lovely anywhere in the house.  If placing in the bathroom, make sure it cannot be easily knocked over and broken, especially near the tub.  The salt crystals can be refreshed over and over with the essential oils and add negative ionization to the scent. 

If you simply don’t have time to make your own, may we recommend a couple of the lovely aromatic gifts from Samara Botane to delight the people in your life.  

Renew Milk & Honey Bath Ensemble  This fabulous skin softening blend dissolves in theimage bath to create a beautiful skin renewing therapy – drops of the essential oil blend make it aromatically restful while adding additional skin healing, and the lotion completes the experience of skin rejuvenation and renewal. Packaged in a charming little suitcase with Fall colors. Item code 02703001 under Aromatic Gifts in the shopping cart.

image Sea Spa in a Tin  This therapeutic bath contains harvested organic seaweed Fucus serratus, dead sea salt and Epsom salt and recreates the traditional combination used in seaweed baths for hundreds of years in Ireland. We’ve updated the experience by including our Sea Spa essential oil synergy of French lavender and seaweed, making this a most powerful detoxifying and rejuvenating spa experience. Very special for the stressed out, overworked person in your life.  They’ll appreciate you all year to come.  Comes packaged in a nice silver tin with angels dancing all around. Code 02526001 in the Aromatic Gift Section of the shopping cart.

 

Back in May, we talked about practical things you can do to prevent colds and flu: http://wingedseed.blogspot.com/search/label/Colds%20and%20Flu
Since then, cyberspace has been a-flurry with controversy surrounding the H1N1 virus and the vaccination being prepared and distributed to attempt to mitigate what some are predicting as a pandemic.  Doctors are being trotted out all over the news shows to implore you and your children to get vaccinated.  Conversely, many alternative professionals are being more cautious.  We must each follow our own instinct and best judgment whether we do or don’t get vaccinated.  Here are some opinions from those who suggest that a healthy immune system can be the best solution for avoiding getting colds and flu.

Quality essential oils can be a valuable tool, both as prevention and to help mitigate the severity of viral and bacterial illness.  Please spend some time on our website to learn more.

 

An Aromatherapy diffuser is a primary means of distributing essential oils into the olfactory system. The essential oil molecules are evaporated or otherwise placed into the air and pass into the human nose when you breathe. It’s called a diffuser because the aromatic essential oil molecules "diffuse" throughout the air in a room or other enclosed or semi-enclosed space..

Diffusion helps purify the entire environment by distributing the anti-bacterial and anti-viral essential oils to all surfaces within a room, reducing the risk of infections being transmitted.

The best diffusers transport the essential oil molecules in a complete form without modification. The smaller the droplets of oil produced, the longer that they stay suspended in the air and the more they will travel throughout the room. The non-heated diffuser is best, because all notes are transported equally. With a heated diffuser the lighter molecules diffuse first, leaving the heavier notes behind.

Because the olfactory system tends to "overload" it’s best to diffuse intermittently. After about 15 -30 minutes you won’t be able to smell the EO any more and you are wasting oil. You can either change to a different scent, or simply wait until your olfactory sensors clear out. On the other hand, if you are treating a respiratory problem or purifying an environment, it may be desirable to run the diffuser continuously on a lower setting. Even though you won’t be able to smell it, you are still getting a benefit from having the molecules introduced into your system. We recommend the Ultrasonic Cold Steam Diffuser/Atomizer for wellness applications.

Safety Precautions: Because some essential oils are inflammable, be very careful when using them around open flames, such as candles or near the fireplace. When using a "Burner" or tealight diffuser, it is best to place some hot water in the bowl and then sprinkle a few drops of essential oil on top of the water-before lighting the candle. That way if you spill it there is less likelihood of causing a fire.

When diffused, the tiny aromatic molecules from pure essential oils can:

  • Purify the air you breathe and help remove metallic particles and toxins.
  • Increase negative ions in the atmosphere and inhibit viruses and bacteria.
  • Eliminate odors from mold, cigarettes, cooking and animals.
  • Fill your surroundings with fresh, uplifting aromatic fragrance.
  • Create positive psychological and emotional feelings and help focus attention.
  • Welcome guests and provide a relaxing, comfortable environment.

There are several ways to diffuse essential oils, from simple to elaborate. Here are several different types of diffusers and their attributes:

Tea Light Diffuser
Tea light diffusers are inexpensive and simple to use.You simply fill the bowl or  image dish with water, light the tea light beneath the dish and add a few drops of  essential oil to the water in the dish.You will want to replenish the water in the dish often to insure that it doesn’t completely evaporate. And, you may want to add a drop of two of essential oil occasionally, as they will also vaporize quickly into the atmosphere. Tea light diffusers are ideal for a desk or small space.Never leave a tea light diffuser within reach of children and make sure that the tea light is extinguished when unattended.


Nebulizing Diffuser
Nebulizing diffusers are the most efficient method, however, they are also the most expensive. This investment is well worth it if you are looking for the very best for your family’s health and comfort.Depending on the size, they will easily cover from 300 to 600 square feet. The vibrational action of the air pump gently movesimage the aromatic molecules into the nebulizer, where they are fractionated into the tiniest molecules and then dispersed into the air, covering a wider area than when using a tea light diffuser. Nebulizing diffusers should be used sparingly, not more than 5-10 minutes each hour, unless you are addressing sickness or extreme odor conditions. Adding a timer will insure regulated periodic dispersal of your essential oils.

Air Diffuser
Air diffusers are another simple device, made to disperse essential oils placed on a pad with air circulation from a fan.An air diffuser is safe to use in a small child’s or elderly person’s room because you can be sparing with the essential oil drops and not run the risk of overdoing.Air diffusers will gently disperse essential oil molecules in a slightly wider area than a tea light diffuser. They are ideal for a bedroom.

Cold Steam Atomizer

This is the ultimate diffuser for introducing essential oils for family wellness, as it introduces humidity while diffuses healing essential oils for gentle inhalation. The image Ultrasonic Aromatherapy Diffuser/Atomizer carried by Samara Botane is safe (no risk of overheating) and user friendly (change levels of output with a turn of a knob and five different timer settings). It is easy to operate and digital controller shuts the diffuser off when water level is too low.

Since essential oils are volatile, they are already aromatic and begin dispersing into the environment whenever a bottle is opened or they are dropped upon any surface. This makes it easy to place a few drops on a handkerchief or Kleenex and place nearby for instant aromatherapy by inhalation. This is quick and handy when you don’t have another type of diffuser readily available.

Aromatherapy Candles are not recommended for therapeutic use because the essential oil molecules are burned up in the candle and are less likely to reach your olfactory system.

SPECIAL FOR AUGUST
Enter “Hot Summer Diffuser Special” (no quotes) in promotion code at checkout and take 12% off any Samara Botane diffuser.  Comes with free surprise gift!
http://www.wingedseed.com

 

Second to global climate disruption, I think healthcare is the most important thing we should be talking about in America.  There is not a one of us who hasn’t either had our own problems with our doctor-patient_200 health insurance coverage or who knows someone who has.  The stories of family financial devastation, denied healthcare and resultant illness and death portrayed in documentaries and on the news is staggering.  This failing system can be directly attributed to draconian policies of the big health insurance giants to increase their own profits. These insurance companies have taken extraordinary measures to deny health coverage when you need it most, and even hired computer software companies to routinely design programs that cut payments to healthcare providers,  which add additional patient co-pays, resulting in billions in revenue for the health insurance industry.  They also stand up there with Wall Street financial institutions in big salaries and bonuses for execs and incentive payment to employees who manage to produce high denial numbers.   The idea that pre-existing conditions should null and void all your good faith payments over the period of time you are in good standing is ludicrous to most doctors and nurses.   In fact, most doctors and nurses stand with the people in crying for massive change.  Sure, I know people who say they are perfectly satisfied with their healthcare provider.  However, they also tell me that their premiums and co-pays are steadily increasing, making healthcare one of their biggest household expenses.  And what does that say to the 50 million uninsured Americans and the 50 million more of those underinsured?  Those of us with small businesses are hard pressed to adequately insure our employees and maintain minimal profit margins.

It’s nice to know that our new president is using the words “prevention” as needing to be a part of the equation.  Certainly those of you who practice safe aromatherapy at home know all about that.  This is important, and we’ll deal with that in another post in more depth to do our part to hold his feet to the fire.

But, how should we now respond to the continuing debates in Congress and the aggressive dilution of effective legislation by lobbyists for the health insurance industry?  Sure, we’ve signed petitions and sent emails indicating that 72% of us want single payer.  Is that really enough to bring about the reform we desperately need?  At one point the insurance industry promised to trim 1.5% of its costs and reprogram the money into healthcare.  Two days later, they rescinded the offer.  Their testimonies on the hill shed a public light on just how out of touch those execs are with the real world out here and glaringly portrayed them as not very interested in the human aspects of healthcare.   As Congressman Dennis Kucinich reports, “of $2.4 trillion spent annually for health care in America, $800 billion goes to the activities of the for-profit insurer-based system. “ This means that one out of every three health care dollars is siphoned off for corporate profits, stock options, executive salaries, advertising, marketing, lobbying and paperwork."  These costs are anywhere from 15-35% in the private sector as compared to Medicare (our existing single-payer system) which has only 3% administrative costs.  Those politicians who take campaign funds from the private healthcare firms are taking the money and refusing to listen to us, the people.

I’ve come to the conclusion that I don’t trust the current for-profit health insurance companies . . . in fact, only 4% of  all other Americans trust them.   I want better for my family, and I want to know that every American is equally taken care of. 

The current bill going through committee in the house (HR3200) excludes single payer from the bill . . . and consequently from the debate, in spite of overwhelming support for single payer by the American people.  Canada, England and most European countries already provide universal health care.  Here in the U.S., hundreds of labor unions, thousands of physicians and nurses, and virtually millions of American stand behind a single payer healthcare plan.  Are we going to sit back and let capitalism wage war on democracy?

Contact your representatives and senators now and tell them to support HR676 (currently with over 85 co-sponsors in Congress), which calls for a universal single-payer health care system in the United States.  It’s a no brainer.    

 

Like most of you, my passion for aromatics does not always supersede other artistic enjoyment.  As we grow nearer to Spring (thank the stars!), my wanderlust kicks in and I yearn to travel, clearing the cobwebs of inactivity and opening my senses to new cultures and experiences.  My brother recently visited Argentina (what me jealous?) for a month while working on fine art commission and has introduced me to many of the fascinating people he discovered.  Revel in this sensuous video featuring one of Argentina’s lovely songstresses of the Tango . . . makes you want to bite your scarf and dance with abandon. . .       

Silvana Deluigi vocal, Leading Ladies of Tango Orchestra. Live recording December 2006.Video by John Campbell.

The tanguera Silvana Deluigi dispenses with the cliché of the woman who was made to serve as the source of her man’s unhappiness. In duos with the bassist Jean-Paul Celea, the saxophonist, Ulrich I. Lask, and the Uruguayan bandoneon virtuoso Luis di Matteo, she demonstrates that the sung tango is no nostalgic museum piece but a self-confident and up-to-date musical form.

Be well,
Marcia

Special this week only (through Sunday, March 22) take 20% off all aroma jewelry.  Enter “Silvana Deluigi” (no quotes) in promotional code on website
http://www.wingedseed.com

 

I came upon this cute video . . . no, not created by Photoshop.

Since we talk of the delights of goat tincture (obtained from the male sweat glands by plucking a a few hairs) in perfumery circles, it struck my fancy.  Amazingly, these uncanny goats are actually climbing the Argan trees of Morocco in search of food, which is otherwise very sparse in the region.   They have become quite agile and adept, almost artful as they traipse across the trees and branches with a sure-footedness hard to imagine from a hoofed animal.

Special this week only (through Sunday, March 8) take 20% off all aromatic extracts (essential oils, CO2’s, Concretes, Absolutes, Floral Waxes and Oleoresins).  Enter “16goatsinatree” (no quotes) in promotional code on website http://www.wingedseed.com

© 2008-2009 Marcia Elston Suffusion theme by Sayontan Sinha