JEANNE ROSE VISITS PA - November 13th, 2006

Sharon Houghton of SharAmbrosia, PA, Nov. 13th, 2006

I just had a really nice weekend that Iíd like to share. Saturday morning I arrived at a very quaint herb store called The Rosemary House, located in Mechanicsburg, PA. Actually the class was held next door at an equally cute historic building which houses a tearoom called Sweet Remembrances. Two sisters, Suzanne and Nancy that continue the herbal tradition started by their mother when she created the business back in 1967, run both of these businesses.

The morning started off with hospitality pastries, coffee and herbal tea, while the participants met and chatted about our love of herbs and Jeanne Rose, the well-known Aroma-Herbalist, teacher and author. The class promptly started at 9:30, when Jeanne Rose was introduced, and began to share her vast knowledge of herbal and aromatic medicine with us. I always say that learning from Jeanne Rose is an opportunity not to be missed. This was my second class with her, and this one held up to my high expectations. She was there to teach, and thatís what she did, mentioning many facts that are in her Aromatic and Herbal Studies Courses. She began with hydrosols, essential oils and the art of distillation, and then answered some questions. There were students at every level. Which worked fine, because the informal class was geared to everyoneís needs.

Some tidbits of information that I enjoyed were hearing her personal stories of how she acquired an essential oil of Rose that was 80 years old. Fortunately one of her past students had a vial of it that he had acquired from her, and we all got to smell this exquisite, rare scent. She picked out some of her Aromatherapy Kits and passed around other expensive and beautiful essential oils like Jasmine and Sandalwood. We learned that Ms. Rose has some hydrosols from the 90ís that are still intact and smell great, which further emphasized her point that proper distillation creates a better, more long-lasting product. These hydrosols donít have a separate preservation system in place. The fact that they were created in a sterile way, and that their pH is 5 or less has kept them in their great condition. She also mentioned that they have been kept in her basement at around 55 degrees.

On the subject of essential oils, she mentioned that 5-10 drops should be used in the bath, depending on the size of the bath, and the oil used. She also made a point of saying that essential oils do not have the same properties of hydrosols. Did you know that eating certain foods before working with essential oils can make you sick? Foods that are high in carbohydrates are one such group. Jeanne suggests lettuce and other low carbohydrate choices instead. Foods that are highly fatted will reduce your ability to perceive odors because all energy is going towards digestion. Also, the more you drink, the more your ability to smell is altered. So for the serious aromatherapists, itís best to create your blends in the early morning, before drinking anything, and not after a heavy carbohydrate-loaded or fatty meal.

Mid-day we enjoyed a small break, with just enough time to get up, stretch our legs (and go next door to the herb shop and purchase our herbal supplies and Jeanne Rose books). Then we enjoyed an incredibly delicious lunch back in the tearoom (and I do mean delicious!). After a relaxing meal, Jeanne once again got back to what she does best, teach about herbs and aromatherapy! We learned what Jeanneís favorite beauty ingredients are: Rosemary, Seaweed, Comfrey, Chamomile, Peppermint, Calendula and Roses, and how she uses them. Jeanne has the most beautiful skin, and is a walking testament to no-nonsense all-natural beauty care.

More questions were answered, more facts were shared (too many to mention here), and then in turn, everyone in the class shared what their personal favorite herbs and essential oils were. This was such a nice and interesting group. There were about 24 of us. I always feel at home in a class like this. Itís so nice to learn from others, to be with like-minded people, and of course, to have Jeanne Rose there, sharing her wisdom with us. I canít say enough about the setting; it was lovely and warm, just like the Indian summer weather that we experienced that day in November, when it should have been cold and dreary. It was the perfect day to roam the herbal garden located behind the tearoom, and to have a wonderful class about herbs and aromatherapy.

I understand that Jeanne will be back again next year at the same location. I urge anyone that reads this to sign up; itíll be well worth the trip! A special thank you to Jeanne Rose, teacher and author of 20 books, and someone that I admire and respect. She is both a leader and pioneer in the field of all-natural beauty and health, and Iím so very proud to know her. What a great day it was!

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