Natural Health: Sweet Orange Essential Oil

Sweet orange essential oil (Citrus sinensis) has multiple healing properties, which is why it is one of our favorite oils to use here at 5 Seed.

Aromatherapists claim sweet orange essential oil can lift the spirits, and generate creative energy.

According to Mountain Rose Herbs, its healing properties include: antibiotic, anticoagulant, antidepressant, anti-inflammatory, antiseptic, antispasmodic, bactericidal, calmative, diuretic, and  fungicidal. (Click here for the full list.)

Sweet orange essential oil has many health benefits for the skin, as well. It is packed with vitamins A and C, which can help to treat mild acne. Its slightly astringent nature helps the skin exfoliate and keeps the pores tightened.

We use organic sweet orange essential oil in our Orange Cocoa Moisturizing Cream. Check it out here.

The feedback has been very positive: “super creamy,” “lush,” “not at all greasy,” “divine smell!”

Please remember that all information here is for educational purposes only. This information is not intended to diagnose any illness, nor do we make any medical claims or guarantees about our products’ ability to treat or cure any disease.

Herbal Aromatherapy Perfume: Jane

Okay, technically, THIS blend was the first to be developed for the Herbal Aromatherapy Perfume line (formerly known as Sankalpa Scents). After all, it is named for Jane Goodall, the recipient of 5% of our profits. Hopefully, having a Jane and a Janie won’t be too confusing! :)

At the young age of 22, Jane Goodall became the assistant of paleontologist and archaelogist, Louis Leakey in the jungles of Tanzania – a very unusual profession of a young woman living in 1957! She famously observed chimps eating meat, when they had previously been thought to be vegetarians. Further, she discovered that they used “tools” (grass stems, branches, etc.) to extract termites from their homes. This observation turned the anthropological world upside down, as it had always been believed that humans were the only ones who made and used tools. As Leakey said, in response to this discovery: “Now we must redefine ‘tool,’ redefine ‘man’ or accept chimpanzees as humans.”

During her subsequent education and observations, Goodall refused to refer to chimps by numbers, as most scientists did. She always named them, and maintained that we are closely related by bonds that extend far beyond genetic makeup.

In the years since her fieldwork, Goodall has established the Jane Goodall Institute (to which we donate 5% of our profits), and the youth-oriented Roots & Shoots. Goodall lectures around the country, sharing her stories of the deep connections between humans and the inhabitants of the jungles and forests. I was privileged to attend one of her lectures a few years ago, and was brought to tears by her words and her vibrant energy. She is truly a mother goddess protecting all the creatures (human or not) of this beautiful planet. (Read more about our donations, and JGI here. Or click here if you want to help JGI.)

Jane contains the organic essential oils of patchouli, ylang ylang, and a touch of lemongrass. It is the ultimate down-to-earth blend. The patchouli is a strong, grounding base, while the ylang ylang gives it a feminine note, and the lemongrass a touch of the exotic. This scent will help keep you focused, and allow you to open your eyes to the world around you. It can help you in situations in which you need sharp observational skills, or when you simply need patience, and a bit of a lift. And believe it or not, lemongrass and patchouli oils are often used as natural insect repellents! So if you really are going out into the jungle, this is the perfect blend for you! ;)

Please remember that essential oils are potent plant substances. Please click here to read important information.

(Photo credit: CBS/Landov.)

New Product: Sankalpa Scents

Our two debut scents: Jane & Janie. Yeah, we know – confusing!

There are two things I have wanted to primarily focus on here at 5 Seed: natural remedies (if only I could figure out how to ship liquids without getting in trouble), and aromatherapy products. These are two of my passions. With the help of some creative friends, I decided to create solid aromatherapy balms – which not only keeps me on the good side of the USPS, but it makes this item perfect for traveling, or just keeping in your desk or purse.

My sister (and her brilliant unborn baby) came up with the idea for the name (Sankalpa Scents). I was reluctant, at first, simply because I don’t wish to capitalize on the whole “yoga gimmick” movement. But I decided to go for it, and hope that my customers will trust that further commercializing yoga is not my sankalpa. ;)

To back track a bit, sankalpa is Sanskrit for resolve, intention, will, purpose, and/or determination. According to Yoga Journal:

To make a sankalpa is to set an intention—it’s like a New Year’s resolution with a yogic twist. While a resolution often zeros in on a perceived negative aspect of ourselves…, a sankalpa explores what’s behind the thought or feeling… A sankalpa also praises the nobility of the effort rather than focusing on what you are doing wrong.

This description might give you an understanding of why I decided to use this name. Each one is meant to help you shift your internal focus to where you want it to be. Some are invigorating, some are motivating, and some are calming. They are meant to be used with strong intentions – a vision of the quality you wish to experience. Confidence. Peace. Joy. Love. Energy.

Each scent is named after a woman – real or fictional – who embodies the qualities that are enlivened and enhanced by the essential oil blends. We will list specific aromatherapy information for each blend here on the blog, and on the corresponding product pages.

The beauty of Sankalpa Scents is that you don’t have to believe in aromatherapy to use them. They can be used simply as solid perfume, rubbed on at your pulse points. The scents are always light and natural – never overpowering and artificial like commercial perfumes.

For those of you who wish to take advantage of the benefits of aromatherapy, you can not only use these as perfume, but can keep them in your purse or desk so they are available when you need to recenter, recharge, and rejuvenate. Simply rub a pea-sized amount into your palms, creating warmth which will enliven the scents in the blend you’ve chosen. Open your hands in front of your face and take a few moments to breathe the scent in, meditating on the quality you need at that moment (tranquility, energy, patience, etc.). You can also rub small amounts of this perfume balm into your temples or at the back of your neck to relieve headaches. When you’re done, simply wipe off your hands, or give them a quick rinse in the sink.

Having said all that, I do want to make sure you understand the potency of essential oils. They aren’t potentially toxic, chemically derived fragrances, but they are extremely potent natural substances. First of all, please click here to read more about this. Secondly, please be aware of your allergies. We cannot stress this enough. Essential oils are plant materials, so if you’re allergic to, say, oranges, then you will want to avoid all Sankalpa blends containing citrus oils, just to be safe.

Finally, if you are pregnant, the safest thing to do is to consult your doctor before using ANY product from any bath & body business containing essential oils. There are multiple reasons for this, but I’ll leave the explanations to the professionals. This doesn’t mean that essential oils are harmful or dangerous – it is simply wise to inform yourself about anything you use on your skin during pregnancy.

Please remember that all information here is for educational purposes only. This information is not intended to diagnose any illness, nor dowe make any medical claims or guarantees about our products’ ability to treat or cure any disease. Remember, if you are pregnant, or are suffering from a disease or illness, please consult your physician before using products containing essential oils. We do not recommend use of Sankalpa Scents on children.

DIY: Chocolate & Lube

Happy Valentine’s Weekend! I hope you are planning a celebration of love, whether you are in a relationship or not. No matter what, there should be copious amounts of chocolate consumed! ;) In that spirit, I wanted to share this video with you. Kathryn Budig, one of my favorite yoga teachers, demonstrates a wonderful recipe for homemade chocolates. These are all ingredients (minus the coffee) I always have on hand – raw cacao is my life. (You can purchase it from Mountain Rose Herbs, Navitas Naturals, or at your local health food store.)

And if you’re in the mood for something a bit more…active…try this DIY lube from Grist.org. Traditional lubes are full of chemicals, like propylene glycol, that don’t belong near our delicate parts. Ditch those chemicals and make your own – you only need flax seeds (easily found at most grocery stores these days) and water. Funnily enough, this concoction can supposedly double as a hair gel!

Hope you have a fabulous, chemical-free, all-natural Valentine’s Day weekend! May you be blessed with love in all its forms.

DIY Wednesdays: Natural Deodorant

Thinking about giving natural deodorant a try after reading yesterday’s post? Trust me – it’s amazing.

Personally, I like to make my own. Nearly two years ago, I found the recipe featured here from Lindsay Edmond’s Passionate Homemaking. I’ve been using it ever since then, and have found it to be the best deodorant I’ve ever used.

Here’s the tutorial, or click here to read her post about it.

Yes, you will still sweat when using this product, but I very rarely find this to be a problem. And the big worry: body odor? I have only had a problem with this on a very rare occasion when I was extremely nervous – maybe four or five times. In two years. (Yeah, that’s a long time to be relatively non-stinky.) Click here for yet another rave about it at Kitchen Stewardship.

As for scents, I make mine with lavender essential oil, whereas Lindsay uses peppermint and tea tree in the video. You can experiment with this.

If you aren’t quite ready for the DIY route, try the natural deodorant brands. My absolute favorite is Terressentials roll-on deodorant. I hate that it’s liquid (I always prefer solid or semi-solid deodorants), because it does take some time to dry, but it works better than any other natural brand I’ve tried. (But not better than the DIY version!)

Here’s some more info from grist.org: