Are Essential Oils Really Drugs?

To some of us seeking natural solutions to maintaining health includes herbs, essential oils, and nutritional changes. Oils are used to maintain balance with the immune system, and sometimes to relieve chronic ailment related symptoms. In recent years governmental agencies have began to pay attention to claims reported from essential oil users and naturopathic medicine in general.

With the rise in medical cost many families are being forced to live without coverage is causing many in society to look at alternate remedies to treating illnesses.

In the current climate good health is vital as societal stress is escalating, financial pressures mounting causing “dis-ease” the basis of health imbalance and sickness.

Soo, how exactly do these oils work? Good question! Aroma therapy, topical application, ingesting are the most common methods of delivery. The olfactory (smell center) system triggers the limbic system ( involved in motivation, emotion, learning, and memory) which in turn controls involuntary body systems.

Depression, anxiety, and related gastrointestinal complaints all have been reported to respond to lavender when diffused or burned in environment, or worn on clothing or placed on bed linens. roman chamomile also helps with restful sleep, muscular pain relief.

Image the shift in the financial burden of prescriptions with educated use of essential oils. Can’t think of reading anyone overdosing on a essential oil. Wellness is about personal accountability. Being aware of one’s personal history and how natural elements can maintain and balance wellness. Be Well!



Some Is Always >Than None?

Do you remember as you grew older from your childhood you promised yourself how you would do this or that? But the closer we grow to maturity some things morph and others just fall away!

Exercise, completion of secondary education and beyond, even finding the perfect relationship lose steam for some of us. It seems that at some point we all recon with, “well ‘this’ is enough.” Our weight becomes OK where it is. Pursuit of higher education, a better career with more responsibility sidelines best made plans of progression toward more. Even the dreams of procreation for some transforms into become a great-aunt or mentor to an unrelated younger person.  Promises of maintaining health and our youthful bodies get lost in the sofa.

Once we recover from the guilt, shaming and other emotional penance we tend to ascribe to our lives, hopefully we come out onto the other side intact and at peace with what we can do better to achieve some form of progress in life. This attitude in opposition to focusing on how we fell short, missing the mark keeps the progress train moving forward.

Years ago I had the experience of attempting to shed weight. The plan was to eliminate all animal fat, processed sugar, and to implement a rigorous weight lifting plan rounded out by resuming my passion for cycling.

I started out of the proverbial gate like a dude on a mission. Eating my breakfast, power meal, fruit smoothie, meditation before work, bike ride to work and on with my day. As the weeks unfolded the motivation began to wane. Once confronted with the realities of family responsibility, stressors of work and my own desire to complete my lofty assigned goals weakened.

The occasional fresh-baked cookie or other sugar laden goods permeating the air around me distracted me from my once vigorous unequivocal resolve. These intruders taking root in my olfactory center  causing battling for my mind and planting doubt toward my success of my reaching my goal. Thoughts like you rode five miles today, what is a little cookie? You deserve it. Why not drive the automobile? You have kept up this journey, and deserve a day of malingering. I had began to fall out of balance.

Something  became better than nothing! Then it occurred to me. If my olfactory system is powerful enough to shift my focus with the smell of baked goods, what would deliberate stimulus with essential oils produce? I found out! Using lavender with my morning meditation for relaxation and focus helps me surmount the next challenge, mindless eating from impulse. Adding peppermint drops to my wrist, lava bracelet, and or showering with peppermint soap also quells the desire for nervous eating, specifically sugar cravings. I began to center myself again seeking to achieve more as my balance is restored.

Peppermint soap

Perspective is a wonderful thing. “A little Bit Of Soap,” by The Jarmels song lyrics was not enough to wash away the pain and memory of a broken heart. On the other hand The Archies lyrics of “Sugar Sugar” confirms the addictive nature of sugar, and its promises of “making your life so sweet!” In both instances “some” is problematic. Either too much in one scenario and not enough in the other.

Life dictates balance as the answer to sustained good stable health. Sugar is necessary for muscle use and energy production. But the natural unprocessed sugar suits our mind and bodies best. Cosmetics, and hygiene products also play a role in good health, herbs, other botanicals enter our body through our skin. A little bit of toxins can have an adverse effect on our general health. So in this instance some is not better than none!

Great Father’s day gift! Coupled with essential oil or perfumed oil, , designed by The Manic Beader

Never settle for some peace or fragments of balanced health. Go for great health. In trying to acheive balance the very beneficial side effects are we tend to be healthier than had we not tried at all. In this instance some is always better than none. Be Well!


Before Yesterday Becomes Today…

Before Yesterday Becomes Today…We spend loads of time reading and researching new ways to be healthy. The intent seems to be in extending life with preserving a high quality existence. Essential oils, nutritional choices as the Paleo diet, vegetarianism, pescatarianism and yet many other methods we implement to preserve our good health. Is it enough?

What happens when despite our best efforts disease strikes? We question the betrayal of our bodies or the effectiveness of our methodology. Diabetes, cardiovascular disease,  and dementia are said to be hereditary. Are they really?

Environmental exposures to heavy metals is shown to cause cognitive decline in recent scientific studies by damaging brain cells. Current strategies used to detoxify patients are showing promise in treating Alzheimer’s disease, along with other dementias. Poor diet and obesity are known contributory factors to heart disease and diabetes. Correcting nutrition as a preventative action for both conditions and treatment for overall wellness is a newer practice.

What happens when despite our best efforts disease invades our lives and attempts to rob us of our future? Getting older increases the chances of developing fragility and loss of normal body functioning. Dementia is one of the most devastating conditions. Most of its victims are lost in the past, along with collateral damage to spouses, children, income, hopes and dreams.

As a primary caregiver to a parent with a cognitive decline, it is common to experience isolation and hopelessness. The thought of losing a loved one is unimaginable. To have a loved one that remains physically alive but cognitively impaired enduring brief windows of their former self requires a great capacity of hope, love, patience, planning, flexibility and selflessness.

Think of parenting your children, limit setting, safeguards in your home. Imagine your parent calling you dad or mom. To them and you time goes into reverse. As I think about this situation it strikes me as ironic that not only is time reverting cognitively for loved ones with this condition, but so does life. The smaller the social circle, and support system progress becomes regression.

Think about families with best made plans to retire. Selling your home and retiring somewhere warm and sunny. College funding for adult children along with retirement investing for maintaining your relaxed lifestyle. Without proper estate planning dementia related conditions can halt these strategies. The need for constant supervision, in-home or institutionalization can deplete any budget.

Stress is the number one factor in disease. The stress of losing independence coupled with the caregiving tasks that increase as conditions worsen risk the overall well-being of all concerned. Plan now for methods of spiritual wellbeing. Burning, diffusing essential oils like lavender, frankincense, eucalyptus, peppermint, orange or other relaxation inducing oils can restore balance and reduce stress. Exercising can help both de-escalate stress, mentally and physically. Create new memories as personality and behaviors change. Take care of both of you, by maintaining balance with baths using bath crystals with dead sea salts, infused with or without essential oils for aromatic therapy designed for mental and physical release and relaxation. Seek out wellness treatment plans with natural remedies for sleep, reduction of anxiety.

Think of the experience this way, we now have a chance to have a do over as yesterday is becoming today, but this time we are prepared.

Dedicated to all families surviving daily with dementia….

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Before There Were Pills

Dis-ease has always been present since the existence of mankind,but pills have not. How was illness treated during the pre-pill era?

I have always turned to nature to help treat illness. My children looked at pill forms of medication as a foreign concept. When a family member was confronted with seizures I discovered that meditation and the addition of blueberries to their meal plan kept seizure activity absent. That was the most profound example that encouraged me that my method of wellness was the path for me. As I c ontinued to educate myself I discovered interestingly most indigious cultures used plant based cures prior to the adaption of manufactured pharmaceuticals. Shaman burned herbs, and used leaves with other botanicals that contain particular essences  to induce trances for the purpose of healing. Potions, poultices and ointments all remedies predating pills and medicinal ointments.  The use of plants to treat disease is based and supported by the  belief that health was maintained and restored through keeping in balance with nature (earth). This belief system and practice recognizes aspects of the natural world (nature) that cannot be seen by the naked eye or by technology (modern imaging, i.e. xrays, ultrasounds etc.), but which can be experienced directly and intuitively. This sets the stage for understanding holistic treatment and how essential oils are a health benefit on mulitiple modalities of  healing the mind, body, and spirit.

Oils are not only applied topically but are inhaled by use of a diffuser inducing altered mental states as effects of relaxation on both the physical and spiritual planes.  Other cultures adapted the practice of counteractive medical treatment. This too being based on internal and external imbalance as the diagnostic tool for identifying disease. This methodology operated on cause and effect of function of organs and related body systems, and mirrors illness and treatment of modern medicine more closely.

With the emergence of interest of both lay persons and the medical community of the benefits of essential oils realizes the conceptual practices of holistic healing of indigenous cultures many years predating our current society. I welcome the return of  balance.



Peppermint For The Day Keeps The Pests Away

The summertime is filled with great fun. Increased outdoor time. BBQ’s, pool parties, along with beach time, and MOSQUITOES! One of these events is NOT a fun experience. Mosquito bites can make the most fun activity stressful and just down right annoying. Relax, Imani’s Secret Garden to the rescue. Mosquitoes, mice, and other flying pest absolutely hate peppermint!

Take note with the following with other natural oils on the warfare again these disease and pet endangering pests. Their pesky deeds include everything from limiting the outdoor time we enjoy uninterrupted, by ruining a perfect outdoor event with days of itching welts remaining long after the encounter.
Your arsenal:
Citronella Grass
Peppermint (repels mice also, their sense of smell is bothered by the menthol) mosquitoes are deterred too.
Eucalyptus eucalyptus oil is a great natural bug spray. Not only will it keep the mosquitoes away but the no-see-ums too.
Lemon Grass- What a wonderful lemony smell, and also repels mosquitoes.
Rosemary- is also refined and used commercially in concentrate as a mosquito spray and will kill mosquitoes on contact.  Rosemary oil in concentrate is one of the active ingredients in our 100% Simply Organic spray we use to kill ticks and mosquitoes.
All essential oils mentioned above are available and are sold online at Imani’s Secret Garden. Go to our on line store: 
Take back the outdoor summer fun!


Glad To See You Again!

When I began Imani’s Secret Garden over three decades ago my goal was to create an experience that people would get used to and want again. I did then as I do now, keeping my product and information easily accessible to those interested in living a healthier existence. Maintaining a fair price with exceptional quality is key to seeing my customers again.

I was one of the first vendors to create a brochure, with information on nutrition, and health benefits of essential oils, and natural products. I like other vendors, sold a similar product. But soon the quality of my products although sometimes not the least expensive in comparison was of better quality and always available. My customers began to come to my store where ever I was because they knew the quality they could expect.
I am pleased to say that all these years later customers still call me to order products from our store. The addition of online ordering just makes the experience of continuing to provide products wanted and needed no matter the distance even sweeter. When we set up and see customers following our facebook ( posts, returning with their business is such an honor!  Some bring friends, or purchase for friends. We sincerely thank you, and we are always glad to see you again.
Please visit our online store , email us or call if there is something in the garden you need. Thank you also for your trust in us because our business is truly your pleasure.


Lotions, Ointments And Creams Oh My!

What are the differences between lotions, ointments and creams? Confusing isn’t it? The answer: it is the proportion of lipid (oil) to water. The lipid content is lowest in lotions, intermediate in creams and highest in ointments, balms and butters. As a general rule the higher the lipid content, the greasier and stickier it feels and the shinier it looks on the skin. An added bonus, the greasier and thick the emollient, the better and longer it works but requires effort to apply. Ointments/butters, creams and lotion can be used to deliver medication topically (applying on skin) to effected areas or for daily use too!

Familiar examples of high content emollients (moisturizers) are Cocoa butter, Shea butter, Mango butter, and Brazilian Nut butter all found in Imani’s Secret Garden. Matcha Green Tea Butter and Lemon butter are thinner butters closer to silken consistency.  Imani’s 4 in 1 contain a mixture of several butters and natural oils for a perfect mix between natural butter and a high lipid content lotion without additives or water.  
Emollients are called moisturizers. Lotions, creams, ointments and bath/shower additives oil the skin to keep it supple and moist. Regular use of emollients is the most important part of the day-to-day skin care for people with eczema. If you have eczema, you should keep applying emollients every day, even when you do not have any areas of inflamed skin. The prevention of skin dryness can help to prevent eczema flare ups; by preventing the skin from becoming inflamed from a chronic dry state. Daily application of emollients helps in controlling balance in general skin moisture, minimizing the effects of aging or dry chapped skin  helping skin to appear healthier and more youthful from head to toe.
How do I choose?
Here are some general rules to consider:
Mild Skin Dryness
The type to use depends on the dryness of your skin, the area of skin involved and your preference. If you only have mild skin dryness and flare-ups of eczema do not happen often, then a lotion or cream may be a good choice for you. (Try Imani’s 4 in 1, or Matcha Green Tea Butter, Lemon Butter)
Moderate Skin Dryness
With moderate-to-severe dryness a thicker cream or butter is usually best. Creams are less messy but need to be put on more often than butters. (Try Imani’s 4 in 1, Mango Butter, Shea Butter, and Brazilian Nut Butter)
Varied Skin types and other areas
Hairy skin-lotion is often best for areas of hairy skin
Oily skin requires less emollient, thinner lighter formula
Broken or inflamed skin
Areas, if weeping like with eczema flares, a cream or lotion is usually best as ointments will tend to be very messy. (Check with your health adviser to ensure no infection is present and for suggestions and treatment.)
How do I use?
Keeping your product clean and free of debris is important to prevent contamination and potential infection. Thoroughly washing hands prior to or using a clean spoon or spatula to remove butters from jars and apply to clean skin is a habit to practice. You cannot overdose as emollients do not contain active medicines which pass through the skin.
  •   Many people mix and match different moisturizing types to suit their   needs and daily routine.
  •  Emollients should be applied by smoothing them into clean skin along the line of hair growth, rather than rubbing them in.
  • Sensitivity develops based on preservatives in moisturizers, i.e. fragrances and additives.
  • Apply moisture to the washed areas as soon as possible afterwards in addition to any other times that you use emollients.
  • Apply as often as needed to keep the skin supple and moist. This varies from person to person and from time to time in the same person, depending on how bad the skin dryness has become.
  • A good starting point is to apply 2-3 times a day but some people need to increase this to up to every hour if the skin is very dry.
  •  As a rule, butters/ointments need to be applied less often than creams or lotions for the same effect.