Treat Yourself! Free with Your Next Order: Our Finest Helichrysum & Rosehip Seed-Based Therapeutic Skin Care Formulas!

With any order over $79, choose one of our finest therapeutic skin care formulas with true therapeutic grade essential oils and CO2 extracts for free ~ up to a $32.50 value! These healing, nourishing a revitalizing blends are among the very best blends we’ve ever offered at The Ananda Apothecary.

To receive the blend of your choice: When placing your order, simply enter ‘Milk and Honey’, ‘Smooth Skin’ or ‘Radiance Serum’ in the comments box, and we’ll ad your choice to your order here. Plus, get free shipping on all first time orders, and every order over $99. See our Specials page here for all the details!

What are theses blends incredible blends all about?

Milk and Honey

Our most precious oils in a balanced blend for daily face care. Rejuvenative, cleansing and nourishing with a fantastic aroma, for daily, ‘all-purpose’ skin care.

Rosehips

Rosehip seed is an important ingredient in all these formulas, researched for its profound therapeutic properties for skin care.

Contains Helichrysum, Lavender, Sandalwood, Neroli, Carrot Seed, Rose Geranium, Roman Chamomile, Jasmine Grandiflorum, Palmarosa and Ylang Ylang essential oils, in a base of Rosehip Seed and Hazelnut oils. Rosehip seed itself has vitamin A compounds that act like natural ‘Retin-A’, without the side effects of excessive drying and photosensitivity.

Smooth Skin

Described in the medical aromatherapy literature for reducing or eliminating appearance of old scars, including keloid scarring from wounds or surgery.

Used regularly, this blend of Helichrysum, Sea Buckthorn, Rosemary Verbenone, and essential oils based in organic Rosehip Seed (studied for it’s skin smoothing effects) Tamanu (Callophyllum, a very healing oil for the skin) and Hazelnut oils can reduce the appearance of scars and stretch marks. Works equally well on the face and other parts of the body.

Radiance Serum

For sensitive, damaged, chemically treated skin, or for use during and after facial treatments such as micro-dermabrasion. Also helpful for spider veins and weak capillaries and daily care for sensitive skin.

This blend of Blue Tansy, Helichrysum , Lavender, and Roman Chamomile essential oils based in organic Rosehip seed and Hazelnut oils. Soothing and highly anti-inflammatory, with the powerful rejuvenative properties of Helichrysum. A lovely aroma and high in regenerative ‘ketones’.

Choose your favorite, on us! Remember, there’s free shipping on all first time orders, and every order over $99. Check out our Specials and Free Shipping page for all the details!

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Science Reports: Bergamot Essential Oil Appears Good for Just About Everything that Ails You…

Just published this month in “Frontiers in Pharmacology” is an in-depth look at research supporting Bergamot essential oil’s variety of potential health benefits: Anti-microbial, anti-inflammatory, anti-cancer, neuropsychological & neuroprotective, analgesic, and cardiovascular system supporting properties in laboratory research.*

The paper, entitled Citrus bergamia essential oil: from basic research to clinical application notes in the abstract: “The aim of this review was to collect recent data from the literature on C. bergamia essential oil and, through a critical analysis, focus on safety and the beneficial effects on human health.” (1) *

By the way, want to encourage everyone to give Bergamot a try, so we’re offering a free 12ml bottle of our organic Italian Bergamot with every nebulizing diffuser purchased though the month of May! Easily qualify for free shipping too. See the details of this special here!

The botany of Bergamot: The tree produces Neroli from the flowers, Petitgrain from the leaves and Bergamot from the peels of the fruit.

Yes, Bergamot is one of our very favorite, most used essential oils in our entire collection. It’s great in a diffuser all by itself, particularly when it’s a truly outstanding oil with distinct, beautiful ‘sweet’ & ‘tart’ notes. We find, as the literature supports, it feels to have an uplifting and calming action.

For those whom may not know, the term ‘Bergamot’ is apparently derived from ‘Berga’, a Spanish city from where this bitter-orange fruit may have originated. The vast majority of Bergamot is now grown in coastal regions of Italy (where our Bergamot is sourced)…Like many of the citrus oils, Bergamot benefits from the soil and climate of the region, and your nose can certainly tell when the oil is of really high quality.

  • Bergamot’s Traditional Use and Its Anti-Microbial Activity

One crazy looking fruit, isn't it?

The authors go on to describe the essential oil’s historic applications: “In Italian folk medicine, it has been used primarily for fever and parasitic diseases, in addition to mouth, skin, respiratory and urinary tract infections, gonococcal infections, leucorrhoea, vaginal pruritus, tonsillitis, and sore throats (Pendino, 1998). For its antiseptic and antibacterial proprieties, BEO has been used as an antimicrobial agent to facilitate wound healing and has been included in preparations used to treat upper respiratory-tract disorders and hyperhidrosis.”

The researchers note several bacterial and fungal strains which the oil has been effective against, and has been successfully used both liquid and ‘vapor’ phases – the vapor phase being our nebulizing diffusers produce…a mist of just the pure essential oil, without water or heat to do so.

  • Bergamot’s Anti-Inflammatory Properties

The only study within this ‘meta’ research regarding Bergamot’s anti-inflammatory action was done on artificially-induced tissue swelling. Yes, Bergamot was shown effective, though we decided to dig a little deeper and found this research performed in 2011: “Bergamot (Citrus bergamia Risso) fruit extracts and identified components alter expression of interleukin 8 gene in cystic fibrosis bronchial epithelial cell lines”(2). While the experiments were done “in the petri dish”. this is really cool stuff…why?

Because further experimentation could be done, with…yes, you guessed it, a nebulizing diffuser! Patients with this deadly illness may one day be inhaling Bergamot vapor in the comfort of their own homes, and feeling better. Also, it’s interesting to see how Bergamot reduced the inflammatory response…it actually changed the way a gene was expressed such that inflammatory molecules were not produced (though they were in the controls). That says a lot about how plants and animals interact…which we’ll leave to a whole other post!

  • Bergamot’s Anti-Cancer Activity In The Laboratory

Three studies were cited in the review, all indicated Bergamot can lead to cancer cell death via multiple pathways, with one describing that it was a combination of constituents, not one extracted alone from the oil, which had this effect. Just a couple of points here: 1- it seems there are a very wide variety of essential oils with anti-cancer activity, and more research needs to be done in this area…it appears that some oils are better against some cancer cell lines, and different oils better against others. We look forward to this growing area of study. 2 – In every study we’ve read where a single constituent of an essential oil has been tested for anything, it’s been a combination of natural constituents, or the whole oil itself which has produced the more significant effect. Bottom line: Mother nature knows best.

  • Neuropsychopharmacological and Neuroprotective Activities (think “Stress Relief”!)

We’ve actually reviewed some of this before – Bergamot, after Lavender, has the most data supporting its anti-anxiety properties. Study after study has shown that animals and humans have lowered stress response after exposure to Bergamot, frequently compared to Diazapam (Valium) it it’s reduction of “stress measurements” (corticosterone levels, for example), though it is not an oil that puts one to sleep – and gratefully, no addiction potential.

What’s NEW is the reporting of neuroprotective properties. Over-excitation (think “too much stress”) can be physically damaging to the nervous system. PRE-treatment with Bergamot prevented such damage from occurring. Two studies mentioned within the meta-data review have uncovered different bio-molecular pathways which this may occur.

Further, published in Phytoterapia, authors of “Neuropharmacology of the essential oil of bergamot”(3) begin their abstract with this statement, which we think says a lot: “Bergamot (Citrus bergamia, Risso) is a fruit most knowledgeable for its essential oil (BEO) used in aromatherapy to minimize symptoms of stress-induced anxiety and mild mood disorders and cancer pain though the rational basis for such applications awaits to be discovered.” They go on to state that exposure to Bergamot essential oil make affect the plasticity of the brain…making it more “flexible” in a way that patient may perceive as relief from the conditions under which the oil was utilized. We’ve interpreted it this way: Bergamot may help one manage stress like “water off a duck’s back”.

  • Bergamot’s Analgesic Effects

Three studies were noted which Bergamot produced ‘pain relieving’ effects. We looked at one of these studies more closely….in 2011, Japanese researchers found that Bergamot’s pain reduction potential (the pain was temporarily induced by capsaicin, the “hot” in “hot sauce”) was significantly reduced by the application of Bergamot.(4) Interestingly, the same pharmaceutical which stops opioids from working prevented Bergamot from producing its “antinociceptive” action (the reduced sensitivity to pain).

  • Bergamot and the Cardiovascular System

And on to the last of the promises that Bergamot may hold (for now)! Four papers were discussed regarding Bergamot’s effects on the cardiovascular system. There were two primary points: 1 – Bergamot affects physiological processes which could otherwise lead to angina or heart attack. and 2 – Pre-treatment with Bergamot limited inflammation, scar tissue production and oxidative radical formation in experimental models of angioplasty (coronary artery surgery).

Whew! Thank you for reading! We encourage you to do further research on how you can incorporate Bergamot essential oil into your daily aromatherapy routines. Its such a lovely oil – one where, when samples arrive from a new-season’s press of the oil, we anxiously get into the bottles to smell what the Earth and its plants have given us this time around!

* Disclaimer: These statements have not been evaluated by the FDA. These products are not intended to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent any disease.

References: 1) Front Pharmacol. 2015; 6: 36.Published online 2015 Mar 2. doi:  10.3389/fphar.2015.00036PMCID: PMC4345801 “Citrus bergamia essential oil: from basic research to clinical application”. Authors: Michele Navarra, Carmen Mannucci, Marisa Delbò, and Gioacchino Calapai.

2) BMC Biochem. 2011; 12: 15.Published online 2011 Apr 15. doi:  10.1186/1471-2091-12-15PMCID: PMC3095539 “Bergamot (Citrus bergamia Risso) fruit extracts and identified components alter expression of interleukin 8 gene in cystic fibrosis bronchial epithelial cell lines”. Authors: Monica Borgatti, Irene Mancini, Nicoletta Bianchi, Alessandra Guerrini, Ilaria Lampronti, Damiano Rossi, Gianni Sacchetti, and Roberto Gambari.

3) Fitoterapia. 2010 Sep;81(6):453-61. doi: 10.1016/j.fitote.2010.01.013. Epub 2010 Jan 20. “Neuropharmacology of the essential oil of bergamot”. Authors: Bagetta G, Morrone LA, Rombolà L, Amantea D, Russo R, Berliocchi L, Sakurada S, Sakurada T, Rotiroti D, Corasaniti MT.

4) Pharmacol Biochem Behav. 2011 Jan;97(3):436-43. doi: 10.1016/j.pbb.2010.09.020. Epub 2010 Oct 13. “Intraplantar injection of bergamot essential oil induces peripheral antinociception mediated by opioid mechanism.” Sakurada T1, Mizoguchi H, Kuwahata H, Katsuyama S, Komatsu T, Morrone LA, Corasaniti MT, Bagetta G, Sakurada S.

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Aromatherapy Science: Reduce Anxiety with These Essential Oils Daily

There’s tons of research on Lavender helping sleep and anxiety (see this post) but what does the science say about other daily-use oils.

For those who’d love to try something different, there’s a great many other essential oils have been shown to have anxiety and depression-reducing properties in laboratory studies.*

Sweet Oranges

The aroma of Sweet Orange essential oil has been shown to reduce anxiety.

Sweet Orange has been the subject of a number of studies. Simple inhalation of the oil produced a significant reduction in anxiety scores in this study: “Effect of aromatherapy with orange essential oil on salivary cortisol and pulse rate in children during dental treatment: A randomized controlled clinical trial”1.

Sweet orange essential oil is wonderful with kids, as they enjoy the aroma, perhaps more than they would that of Lavender. In this randomized research, children who inhaled Sweet Orange before visiting the dentist had significantly lower levels of cortisol (the ‘stress’ hormone) as well as pulse rate, with the authors concluding: “It seems that the use of aromatherapy with natural essential oil of orange could reduce salivary cortisol and pulse rate due to child anxiety state.”

As a side note, Red Mandarin may work even better for children than Orange. It’s called the “Children’s Remedy” in France, not only for its potential to calm kids down, but even works for tummy troubles when massaged on the abdomen. If you’re thinking of giving Sweet Orange a go for your young ones, you might also take a look at Red Mandrin. It has a sweet-candy aroma, loved by the little ones, a constituent found only in this oil that seems most effective on those in per-pubecense.

Sweet orange also worked for adults in another study, “Effect of sweet orange aroma on experimental anxiety in humans.2 This study 40 men were subjected to a standard anxiety examination, and divided into 5 groups to inhale a variety of scents (including Tea Tree, water, and varying amounts of Orange. Those inhaling Orange showed statistically significant lowered amounts of stress than those inhaling the ‘placebo’ aromas.

Clary Sage, source of Clary Sage Essential Oil

Clary Sage, often used in "women's" formulas, made up 25% of the essential oils in these blend.

Clary Sage

Next up: Clary Sage, studied as an anti-depressant oil. In a study titled: “Changes in 5-hydroxytryptamine (5-htp) and cortisol plasma levels in menopausal women after inhalation of clary sage oil.3” A group of 22 50+ year old women in menopause were tested for their levels of depression. They were then seperated into two groups. For both groups: “After inhalation of clary sage oil, cortisol levels were significantly decreased while 5-hydroxytryptamine (5-HTP) concentration was significantly increased.” And self-depression scores dropped dramatically.

If one hasn’t tried Clary Sage essential oil yet, it may be the perfect addition to the collection of any woman seeking to reduce symptoms of depression.

Bergamot

Bergamot is an essential oil widely-researched for its anti-anxiety properties.

Bergamot

Bergamot essential oil is, somewhat like lavender, an old “stand by” for relieving anxiety and lifting mood. It is pressed from the rids of the Bergamot fruit, which is an orange so bitter you probably wouldn’t eat it, but it essential oil has been used for decades both aromatically and therapeutically.

The authors of this study: The ”Acute effects of bergamot oil on anxiety-related behavior and corticosterone level in rats” begin their abstract by noting:”Bergamot essential oil…is used widely in aromatherapy to reduce stress and anxiety despite limited scientific evidence. A previous study showed that BEO significantly increased gamma-aminobutyric acid (GABA)levels in rat hippocampus, suggesting potential anxiolytic properties.” That alone gets you thinking you might need some!

The study goes on to note that Bergamot oil significantly reduced actions which indicate stress, and was compared to diazapam in its activity. Diazepam is a well-know anxiolytic drug. The authors have written in conclusion:”both BEO and diazepam exhibited anxiolytic-like behaviours and attenuated HPA axis activity by reducing the corticosterone response to stress.”

And then of course, Lavender: There’s so much data on Lavender, it’s impossible not to ignore. Inhalation and controlled ingestion of the oil has been the subject of much research, noting both its ability to reduce anxiety, as well as improve sleep in many cases. See our complete review of the science supporting Lavender here: http://www.anandaapothecary.com/weblog/2015/01/studies-show-ingested-lavender-essential-oil-effective-for-anxiety-relief-sleep-support/

In conclusion, if you or someone you know is experiencing anxiety or anxiety-related depression, inhalation of one or more of these oils may be of great benefit. We run these oils in our diffusers regularly simply to ‘lighten the mood’ in our homes and workplaces. Bergamot may be a favorite of many of our staff, though all these oils are used at one time or another to brighten our day.

We’ll also carry small bottles (or pocket diffusers) with these oils to inhale from whenever we feel the need. This is a great, simple way of getting scientific results from your essential oil collection. And know, for sure, other oils may work well for different people! Neroli, Rose, Sandalwood and Coriander are all mentioned in the scientific research. We highly recommend giving one or more of these oils a try.

Know that this is just a small part of the research on essential oils. And know too, that many other essential oils are noted in the aromatherapy literature to have calming properties. A few of our favorites include Neroli, Sandalwood, Rose and many more.

* These statements have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. This product is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent any disease.

The Research Abstracts

1. Effect of aromatherapy with orange essential oil on salivary cortisol and pulse rate in children during dental treatment: A randomized controlled clinical trial. Published in Biomed Res. 2013 Mar 6;2:10. doi: 10.4103/2277-9175.107968. Author information: Jafarzadeh M1, Arman S, Pour FF.

BACKGROUND:
Essential oils have been used as an alternative and complementary treatment in medicine. Citrus fragrance has been used by aromatherapists for the treatment of anxiety symptoms. Based on this claim, the aim of present study was to investigate the effect of aromatherapy with essential oil of orange on child anxiety during dental treatment.
MATERIALS AND METHODS:
Thirty children (10 boys, 20 girls) aged 6-9 years participated in a crossover intervention study, according to the inclusion criteria, among patients who attended the pediatric department of Isfahan Dental School in 2011. Every child underwent two dental treatment appointments including dental prophylaxis and fissure-sealant therapy under orange aroma in one session (intervention) and without any aroma (control) in another one. Child anxiety level was measured using salivary cortisol and pulse rate before and after treatment in each visit. The data were analyzed using t-test by SPSS software version 18.
RESULTS:
The mean ± SD and mean difference of salivary cortisol levels and pulse rate were calculated in each group before and completion of treatment in each visit. The difference in means of salivary cortisol and pulse rate between treatment under orange odor and treatment without aroma was 1.047 ± 2.198 nmol/l and 6.73 ± 12.3 (in minutes), which was statistically significant using paired t-test (P = 0.014, P = 0.005, respectively).
CONCLUSION:
It seems that the use of aromatherapy with natural essential oil of orange could reduce salivary cortisol and pulse rate due to child anxiety state.

2. Effect of sweet orange aroma on experimental anxiety in humans. From the J Altern Complement Med. 2012 Aug;18(8):798-804. doi: 10.1089/acm.2011.0551. Authors: Goes TC1, Antunes FD, Alves PB, Teixeira-Silva F.
OBJECTIVES:
The objective of this study was to evaluate the potential anxiolytic effect of sweet orange (Citrus sinensis) aroma in healthy volunteers submitted to an anxiogenic situation.
DESIGN:
Forty (40) male volunteers were allocated to five different groups for the inhalation of sweet orange essential oil (test aroma: 2.5, 5, or 10 drops), tea tree essential oil (control aroma: 2.5 drops), or water (nonaromatic control: 2.5 drops). Immediately after inhalation, each volunteer was submitted to a model of anxiety, the video-monitored version of the Stroop Color-Word Test (SCWT).
OUTCOME MEASURES:
Psychologic parameters (state-anxiety, subjective tension, tranquilization, and sedation) and physiologic parameters (heart rate and gastrocnemius electromyogram) were evaluated before the inhalation period and before, during, and after the SCWT.
RESULTS:
Unlike the control groups, the individuals exposed to the test aroma (2.5 and 10 drops) presented a lack of significant alterations (p>0.05) in state-anxiety, subjective tension and tranquillity levels throughout the anxiogenic situation, revealing an anxiolytic activity of sweet orange essential oil. Physiologic alterations along the test were not prevented in any treatment group, as has previously been observed for diazepam.
CONCLUSIONS:
Although more studies are needed to find out the clinical relevance of aromatherapy for anxiety disorders, the present results indicate an acute anxiolytic activity of sweet orange aroma, giving some scientific support to its use as a tranquilizer by aromatherapists.

3. Changes in 5-hydroxytryptamine and cortisol plasma levels in menopausal women after inhalation of clary sageoil. From: Phytother Res. 2014 Nov;28(11):1599-605. doi: 10.1002/ptr.5163. Authors: Lee KB1, Cho E, Kang YS.

The purpose of this study was to examine the antidepressant-like effects of clary sage oil on human beings by comparing the neurotransmitter level change in plasma. The voluntary participants were 22 menopausal women in 50′s. Subjects were classified into normal and depression tendency groups using each of Korean version of Beck Depression Inventory-I (KBDI-I), KBDI-II, and Korean version of Self-rating Depression Scale. Then, the changes in neurotransmitter concentrations were compared between two groups. After inhalation of clary sage oil, cortisol levels were significantly decreased while 5-hydroxytryptamine (5-HT) concentration was significantly increased. Thyroid stimulating hormone was also reduced in all groups but not statistically significantly. The different change rate of 5-HT concentration between normal and depression tendency groups was variable according to the depression measurement inventory. When using KBDI-I and KBDI-II, 5-HT increased by 341% and 828% for the normal group and 484% and 257% for the depression tendency group, respectively. The change rate of cortisol was greater in depression tendency groups compared with normal groups, and this difference was statistically significant when using KBDI-II (31% vs. 16% reduction) and Self-rating Depression Scale inventory (36% vs. 8.3% reduction). Among three inventories, only KBDI-II differentiated normal and depression tendency groups with significantly different cortisol level. Finally, clary sage oil has antidepressant-like effect, and KBDI-II inventory may be the most sensitive and valid tool in screening for depression status or severity.

4. Acute effects of bergamot oil on anxiety-related behavior and corticosterone level in rats. From Phytother Res. 2011 Jun;25(6):858-62. doi: 10.1002/ptr.3325. Authors: Saiyudthong S1, Marsden CA.

Bergamot essential oil (BEO), Citrus aurantium subsp. bergamia (Risso) Wright & Arn. (Rutaceae), is used widely in aromatherapy to reduce stress and anxiety despite limited scientific evidence. A previous study showed that BEO significantly increased gamma-aminobutyric acid levels in rat hippocampus, suggesting potential anxiolytic properties. The aim of this study was to investigate the effect of BEO (1.0%, 2.5% and 5.0% w/w) administered to rats on both anxiety-related behaviours (the elevated plus-maze (EPM) and hole-board tests) and stress-induced levels of plasma corticosterone in comparison with the effects of diazepam. Inhalation of BEO (1% and 2.5%) and injection of diazepam (1 mg/kg, i.p.) significantly increased the percentage of open arm entries on the EPM. The percentage time spent in the open arms was also significantly enhanced following administration of either BEO (2.5% and 5%) or diazepam. Total arm entries were significantly increased with the highest dose (5%), suggesting an increase in locomotor activity. In the hole-board test, 2.5% BEO and diazepam significantly increased the number of head dips. 2.5% BEO and diazepam attenuated the corticosterone response to acute stress caused by exposure to the EPM. In conclusion, both BEO and diazepam exhibited anxiolytic-like behaviours and attenuated HPA axis activity by reducing the corticosterone response to stress.

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