By Lisa Maliga
Meet Mountain Rose Herb’s Certified Aromatherapist, Christine Guerts. This interview was originally conducted in 2010. Why is it just appearing now? Recently, I was sorting my Word files when I discovered it in a folder for an aromatherapy eBook in progress. I probably won’t have time to publish the book this year, so I’m going to share this valuable aromatherapy information that Ms. Guerts has so kindly provided.
1. How and when did you get involved in aromatherapy?
My interest in aromatherapy started while working at Mountain Rose Herbs. The essential oils always fascinated me. Why did we sell so many and what were they used for? Why did some people love one oil and others dislike it? When I became a part of the QC team, I started working with the oils on a more intimate level which brought up even more questions. Why does the quality vary so much? What qualities should different oils have? I had the privilege of taking some classes and now hold a Certificate in Aromatherapy from The American College of Healthcare Sciences. Throughout my studies I was able to focus on the quality of essential oils, which I now apply every day at Mountain Rose Herbs.
2. How has aromatherapy helped you?
I find that aromatherapy has given me a new appreciation for all of the odors you come across throughout the day. It has given me a professional focus within the herbal / alternative medicine world. It has also enriched my personal life. I am constantly experimenting with new blends to use around the house and in personal care products.
3. Is aromatherapy being properly represented commercially in department stores, drug stores, health food stores, and bath & body shops?
I obtain most of my aromatherapy and essential oil supplies through Mountain Rose Herbs. I prefer to make most of the products I use myself, so I haven’t had much experience with mass manufactured items.
4. What essential oil[s] do you prefer?
There are many oils that I use for different reasons. Some of my all time favorites are Clary Sage (Salvia sclarea), Helichrysum (Helichrysum italicum), Neroli (Citrus aurantium), and Lime Peel (Citrus aurantifolia).
5. What essential oil[s] do you sell the most?
Some of the most popular essential oils at Mountain Rose Herbs are Lavender (Lavendula angustifolia), Peppermint (Mentha piperita), and Sweet Orange (Citrus sinensis).
6. What is your preferred carrier oil[s]?
I enjoy working with Jojoba (Simmondsia chinensis) and Grapeseed (Vitis vinifera).
7. What method[s] of [non-body] application such as diffuser, candle, lamp, jewelry, etc. do you recommend most?
I find the use of diffusers and aroma sprays to be very helpful and easy. There are many types of diffusers on the market to choose from, so I find that they appeal to most people. A quick spray can brighten up your day!
8. What method[s] of [body] application such as massage oils, lotions/creams, baths, powders, etc. do you recommend most?
Topically, I prefer oils or lotions and baths. An essential oil blend added to a carrier oil can be applied directly to the skin as a massage oil or added to a bath. This way you can take the time to relax in the bath or apply the blend directly to the desired area.
9. Have you noticed any trends in aromatherapy?
The interest in organic therapeutic quality essential oils is on the rise in the aromatherapy community. I have been receiving a lot of questions about organic products, and the use of the term therapeutic quality. At Mountain Rose Herbs, we strive to supply organic materials whenever possible. Over the last year or so, I have also noticed a growing interest in aromatherapy jewelry.
10. What do you feel is the future of aromatherapy?
As people are becoming more aware of their environment and what goes into the everyday products that they use, I believe that the interest in aromatherapy and essential oils is going to grow. There are many preventative applications in aromatherapy, and essential oils can be used around the house in many ways from refreshing a room, to cleaning, and disinfecting.
11. How can a consumer tell fake aromatherapy from real aromatherapy?
When purchasing essential oils, you should look for “first distillation” oils that have not been diluted or rectified. Other important things to look at are the Latin name and plant part used for the oil. Most importantly, you should work with a company that you trust.
12. Do you feel that aromatherapy has been given fair press?
There are many publications devoted to aromatherapy that provide readers with up to date information. Some aspects of aromatherapy are very opinion based, and information on the subject has become quite prolific. I feel that it is important to read and research as much as possible to form an educated opinion.
13. Any advice for someone interested in making aromatherapy a career choice?
The field of aromatherapy is growing. It seems that there are new courses popping up all over the place. If you have the privilege of taking classes in person, that is ideal. If not, there are a number of on-line courses you can take. Also, look into your community for practicing aromatherapists. Ask them about their training and any insight they might be able to offer. Taking an introductory class is also helpful in giving a general overview of the field.
14. Are there any aromatherapy books you would recommend?
Advanced Aromatherapy-The Science of Essential Oil Therapy by Kurt Schnaubelt
Aromatherapy: A Complete Guide to the Healing Art (Second Edition) by Kathi Keville and Mindy Green
Essential Oil Safety: A Guide for Health Care Professionals by Robert Tisserand and Tony Balacs
The Illustrated Encyclopedia of Essential Oils by Julia Lawless
Visit Mountain Rose Herbs to learn more about their fine aromatherapy [and herbal] products!