Tuesday, May 24, 2011

Appalling advice!

I happened upon a forum apparently devoted to one of the newer MLM companies in our industry...the one who has trademarked the phrase "certified therapeutic grade" but never managed to explain certified by whom.

At any rate,  a parent wrote in describing her five year old child's pet allergies and the problems he has sleeping due to congestion.  She had tried "putting lavender, lemon and peppermint in a gelcap" but "he couldn't get it down".  Since he couldn't swallow it, she's contemplating having him drink it, with her fingers crossed.

Yes, crossing her fingers seems really appropriate.  Why she would administer those three oils internally for a respiratory allergy is puzzling to me. Administering them to a five year old borders on child abuse, in my humble opinion. She is VERY fortunate that her child is not one of my grandbabies.

Other members of the forum have suggested diffusing the oils, or applying them to the soles of his feet. 

Now, seems to me that a child with allergies would be a PRIME candidate for sensitization, so applying the oils, undiluted, would not be advisable.  Others on the forum are, thank goodness, discussing diffusing various blends. (One actually sounded effective for respiratory problems, the other sounds like a powerful germ killer and I'm not sure how it will help with a child's allergies.)

No one, of course, recommended the use of blue tansy oil... probably the most effective anti-allergen of all the essential oils, but I guess this MLM doesn't offer it. 

Thursday, May 5, 2011

Those Aluminum Canisters

For the last couple of years we have gradually been transitioning to aluminum canisters, rather than amber glass, for our bulk essential oil sales.

Recently we've received some negative feedback from people having difficulty opening the canisters. I can WELL understand and sympathize. I remember the first few times I received bulk oils in these aluminum canisters, with plastic inserts (that I couldn't budge) covered with white plastic caps (that I couldn't remove.)

However, after receiving 10 kilos of an imported lavender delivered in a soaked cardboard box, with melted and dissolved packing peanuts, the entire package bagged in a black plastic trash bag, I learned to appreciate the sturdiness and unbreakability of these aluminum canisters.

Glass is fragile; this is the bottom line.  And shipping highly volatile chemicals in glass is at the very least irresponsible.  I know of NO international supplier who ships in glass. Every oil we import comes in these aluminum canisters (in various sizes.)

I asked "T",  our production manager, to take some shots of Vannessa and her opening a recent arrival, and asked that they describe the process they use.

First of all, although the plastic "plug" has a loop that you would think would help in removing...IGNORE the plastic loop.  I guarantee if you try to remove a new lid by pulling on the loop, all you will accomplish is pulling the loop off the plug.  Promise!     T and Vannessa totally ignore the plastic loop, reach for a pair of trusty pliers, and lift as shown:

You can see Vannessa easing the plug out of the bottle in these shots.

However, Vanessa and T are young and strong.  If, by any chance, you are neither, or if you are troubled by arthritis, or for some other reason have trouble grasping the plug with your pliers, there is another solution.

A Screwdriver is NOT just for drinking.  When I can't grasp the plastic plug with my pliers, I take a screwdriver, and work it around bottle top, putting enough pressure to gently raise the plug.  In theory it's possible to totally remove the top just by levering it with the screwdriver, but that takes forever.  I loosen it up just enough to get a firm grip with the pliers.

THEN I grasp with the pliers, as shown above, and:

Please do NOT attempt to store your precious oil in the cannister with the plastic plug removed.  YES it is a tight fit to remove and replace (it does grow easier and softer over time.)  It is also an integral part of the seal.  If you only use the white outer cap your canister will NOT be sealed and the oils WILL spill.  Or be degraded by coming in contact with the air.

These canisters are more difficult to work with than amber bottles. We agree. But the advantages of safety are why they have become industry standard, and why we have adopted them. Hope this explanation makes it a bit easier for you to use them.