• Jan Baker

Bloody weather!

It's the end of May and I'm sat looking out at this awful wet and miserable weather. In a month the nights will start drawing in again (we'll have our "longest day") and the cycle towards autumn and winter will begin again. Quite depressing don't you think. I'm sure that we will get some sun at some point, but it seems rather far away at the moment. My personal take on it is that the seasons are shifting. Winters are getting later and therefore any noticeably better weather typically isn't arriving until later too.

Now I've now not done any specific scientific research on this; it's purely based on observation. A few years ago our plants were incredibly confused and started flowering well out of season. Anyone who has ever done any gardening will remember this well! This year, our magnolia tree (pictured above) suffered terrible damage with the "late" frost earlier this month, and for a few years, we've suddenly had good weather into September, just when I was getting back to school teaching after poor summer months weather-wise.

Of course, the Geographer in me (I used to teach it occasionally) had to go and look up what's happening with the Atlantic "conveyor belt" (Gulf Steam). This is the Atlantic Ocean current that brings warm water up from the tropics. We watch an awful lot of stuff about nature on TV in our house so we are kinda interested in these things. Research suggests that this conveyor belt is weakening and, as it plays a crucial role in keeping us warm, it therefore has a direct impact on what our summers look like! I don't know if you watch any weather reports but it was on the news recently that the Gulf Stream had "moved" and this is why our weather is currently like minus 50 for May!

Now if you're wondering what on earth this has to do with Aromatherapy. Well, as it's a plant-based science, quite a lot! The properties of essential oils are very dependent on how the plants are grown and which part of the plants are used. I was reading an article this week about how "air bubbles" could put Eucalyptus trees at risk of death. If you have ever used any remedies for coughs and colds, it's likely you'll have been using some form of Eucalyptus in them and so we definitely don't want them dying out! Eucalyptus trees (pictured below) are not good at coping with longer, hotter droughts and heavier rainfall. They're just not designed for it and so any threat to their natural growing conditions is a serious thing. (This definitely comes under the category of what have I learned this week!?)

So if you're serious about sustainability (as we are as a company) and helping our environment, using essential oils is a great way of reducing the chemicals in your products, whether for the house or your skin! They are natural, biodegradable and highly concentrated, therefore a little goes a long way. And even for those products that you have to use a little preservative in (usually water-based ones), the good thing is that there is always less because they are made to order! Best of all, because they're natural there are extremely few side effects and your body will just get rid of anything it doesn't need (in the same way it gets rid of excess sugar, water) etc. So if used properly, they are helpful all round!

As I've been writing this, the rain seems to have eased a little. I'm sat in my workroom at the moment, looking at the moutain of jobs I have to do. I've gotten really behind this past week or so. Partly because clinic is getting busier and partly because I've been waiting for equipment and stock to arrive. My OCD is very happy with my new bottles now sat in rows on my shelf. The lotion bottles remind me of the Star Wars Trade Federation Army all lined up with their pointy dispensers. (What? I can't help having a highly developed imagination).

Next on the list to be done is a cuticle nail & oil, a cleansing oil and a cream and body lotion. I spent yesterday decanting six hand lotions for a client, as hand sanitizer is the absolute worst for drying out your skin! The lotions contain Helicrysum, Lavender, Sandalwood & Chamomile if you're wondering. All designed to attract moisture and calm any inflammation and redness caused by chemicals. So I'd better finish this and get cracking.

If I finish early enough, there may be just enough time to watch another episode of Suits too!

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