The immune system is classified in two broad categories. The innate immune system (non-specific immune system) and adaptive immune system (specific or acquired immune system). However, the relationship between the innate and adaptive immunity is far more complex, integrated and interdependent than it is described in most anatomy and physiology texts.

The recent COVID-19 pandemic has fuelled so much debate and division between those who support the germ theory and those who support the terrain theory. Many consider the germ theory and terrain theory as mutually exclusive. There is no doubt that thanks to the germ theory, millions of lives have been saved through the development of vaccines; however, we also know that healthy lifestyle practices support immunity and helps prevent diseases. Very few health professionals have considered the merit and wisdom in both.

It has been considered by some to be sacrosanct for an individual practicing holistic therapies such as aromatherapy, naturopathy, herbal medicine to support the germ theory, and on the other hand, those who support the germ theory have referred to those who support the terrain theory as stupid, narrow-minded and science-deniers. Join me for my two new webinars on germ theory, terrain theory, and how to boost the immune system.

Indian sandalwood, Santalum album, is commonly used as a natural active ingredient in cosmetics and perfumery. This soothing and cooling essential oil is used in skincare for dry and sensitive skin, and is reputed to have anti-inflammatory activity which research indicates is potentially highly beneficial in skincare preparations. Read my article to learn more, including skincare blending recipes.

For my Aromatherapy & Shinrin-yoku Webinar, I had originally intended to go to Japan to take you on a tour of the distillery producing our Japanese pure essential oils. Unfortunately, I was not able to make it to Japan; however, thanks to the power of the internet, I was able to conduct the tours and interviews virtually with my Perfect Potion Japan business partner Kiyo Yamamoto.

In these two live-recorded interviews, I take a virtual tour of the Japanese distillery producing the pure essential oils for our Shinrin-yoku Collection. I also interview the forest caretakers who manage the sustainable plantation on sacred Mount Kōya.

What is shinrin-yoku? Many cultures have long been aware of the unique relationship we have with nature. In Japanese, shinrin-yoku is defined as ‘forest bathing’ or ‘taking in the forest atmosphere’. Many Japanese studies have reported spending time in the forest provides better emotional, physiological and restorative effects. Discover the benefits of forest-bathing and celebrate the launch of our new Limited Edition Shinrin-Yoku Collection with special blending recipes.

Several years ago, I wrote a blog to dispel the concern that it is not safe to diffuse essential oils around cats. I did -and still- err on the cautious side by recommending that it is not a good idea to apply essential oils topically, to never allow your cat to ingest essential oils, and when diffusing essential oils around cats to ensure the room is well ventilated. Why is it that there is still so much misinformation regarding the safe use of essential oils around cats?

Many plants from which essential oils are extracted are now listed as threatened and endangered, and for this reason aromatherapy has been criticised for 'greenwashing.' In this blog, I examine why so many species used to produce essential oils are now on the endangered or vulnerable species list, and what the industry is doing and can do to ensure the long term sustainability of our precious aromatic plants. I also explore the differences and the challenges in using essential oils that are produced from wild crafted, certified organic or conventional farming practices.

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