essential oilsWho would have thought that finding a reliable resource on aromatherapy could be so challenging?  Unfortunately, false marketing claims about essential oils (EOs) leave me wary about trusting just about anyone who gives advice online.  Too frequently, websites look official but turn out to be written by people who are not trained in the therapeutic use of essential oils—yet have a vested interest in selling them. The information can be misleading and harmful when not applied correctly.

That’s why I got excited when I met Amy Galper, Founder of the New York Institute of Aromatherapy, at the Feed, Nourish, Beautify event in 2014. We clicked instantly, and besides wanting to get to know her better, I wanted to share her wisdom with you as well. You might say that Amy’s nose knows—and it’s no wonder that her artisan line is called Buddha Nose.

Just to give you an idea, when brands want to create a signature fragrance or to swap their existing synthetic fragrances with natural scents, they turn to Amy. She’s a consultant for major companies, such as Yarok, Olie Biologique, Jenise Parris, Pursoma, LOLI, and others, plus has used her expertise in marketing to promote the uber-successful Green Festival Expos that take place in New York City.

These Q & A will give you a glimpse into the essential oils that Amy carries around with her everywhere, which brands she trusts (they’re not your typical ones!), and how EOs have helped her clients, students, colleagues, and herself overcome ailments from anxiety to bladder infections. I’m grateful to Amy for sharing her expertise with The Hub of Clean Living.

Q & A

oils closeup

Q

What are three ways that you incorporate essential oils into your life?

A
I never leave home without my bag of EOs!  At the moment I have the following:  
Hemlock—for quieting my overactive mind, and giving me some breathing space when things get stressed.  I just use one drop on my palm, rub my hands together, and inhale for a few seconds to regain my center.
 
Blue Tansy—for soothing my nervous belly.  Sometimes I am running around, traveling, meeting with various people, and have to literally eat while I am walking down the street, or in a taxi—and my belly doesn’t like that!  I find that rubbing a little Blue Tansy—just a drop added to whatever hand cream, oil, sunscreen that I have in my bag—over my lower belly immediately gives me that sigh of relief.  It’s an awesome anti-inflammatory with lots of anti-histamine qualities!
 
Lavender—of course!  How can anyone go anywhere without it? 
There are days I douse myself with it!  Pouring a few drops directly on my palms, rubbing them together and then massaging my scalp, the back of my neck, my throat chakra area…also great for scratches, marks, bites etc.  Just the other day I dropped a few drops on a blister I got from some new sandals. Poof!  And it was soothed.
Q

Can you please share some results that you’ve seen from other people using the oils?

A
One student with post-nasal drip used a blend of pine and spruce oils in her nebulizing diffuser—and had huge results after having tried rosemary and eucalyptus, which left her too dried out.
 
Another student used her husband’s warts as a case study and within 5 days they disappeared!
 
Bathing in a soothing blend of lavender, cypress, and rosalina EOs, mixed with a little sea salt is a great way to nip a bladder infection right away!
 
A student made a sleeping blend for a friend struggling with insomnia—and they finally slept!
Q

What are some benefits of EOs that you wish more people knew about?

A
I wish people realized that EOs are really potent Herbal Medicine!  That using them is actually using herbal medicine.  The medicine from plants is so powerful, and it’s actually what inspires our pharmaceutical industry!
 
I wish they knew that EOs are mucus membrane irritants, so they should be careful using them.  Keep away from eye area.  If you want to use them internally you must first mix them in a solubilizer, like honey or milk.
 
I wish they knew that they can use them for both physical, emotional, and psychological ailments.
Q

What were your goals in starting the NY Institute of Aromatherapy—to share those benefits with more people?

A
Yes! And to be able to offer authentic professional training approved by NAHA (the National Association of Holistic Aromatherapy).  To empower people to take control of their own wellness and beauty.  To de-mystify cosmetic ingredients—and show everyone how to DIY! 
Q

What can a person expect to get  out of one of your DIY classes?

A
 
A great recipe, fun, and a great love for the power of EOs! The confidence to make things on their own. 
Q

You offer certification classes too. What are some ways that a certified aromatherapist can use their training?

A
Aromatherapy is a dynamic and fast growing field!  Certified Aromatherapists can start beauty brands, add value to their already exciting practice (if they are already a practitioner in another modality), write about EOs, consult for spas, wellness centers, help family and friends, start businesses… 
Q

You use very different EOs in your school and in your practice than the mass marketed brands. What made you choose those companies and what sets them apart from others?

 A

The EOs I work with I source directly from my teachers and mentors—people who have written books and educated and inspired thousands of people around the world about the healing power of Aromatic Plants.  These teachers and mentors have been working with small distilleries and collective farms around the globe for decades—and I implicitly trust their sources. 

Here are the three companies where the school gets their oils from:  White Lotus Aromatics,  Stillpoint Aromatics,  Original Swiss Aromatics.

I find these companies are transparent and honest and full of integrity.  They are not interested in marketing or sales—but education.

Q

You mentioned that you help brands reformulate their synthetic fragrances to essential oil blends. Are more people wanting to switch to natural now? What do you need to find out to help a company or person achieve their ideal scent?

 A

Yes, I am often approached to help advise brands on what ingredients to use and what to avoid—especially concerning scent.  More and more people are switching to natural as more facts are revealed about the toxicity of synthetics.  When I work with someone, we usually sit down together for a few sessions and smell many different combinations of different EOs  and try to hone in on their intentions for the blend they want to create.

EOs

WOW! Isn’t Amy a wealth of information? I could take notes all day and definitely need to jot down some of those recipes mentioned above!  I hope that you have the opportunity to take advantage of her classes so that you too can expand your healing tool box.