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Pat

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Hi Carolyn: I have a receipe for tolu balsam - what is it? Is there anything I can substitute? Also, I made some shower soap for two different people - they both would like more lather - both have dry skin and hair - I used auroma's bath and shower base - could the oils I chose have cut down on the lather? What would you use? Your suggestions for the eczema were great - she liked everything. Thanks !! Have a great day. Pat Molter

Carolyn

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Hey Pat, Well, the problem with more lather is that you need to up the surfactant content and many surfactants are potentially irritating - so Auroma decided to add the minimum using plant-based lather-making infredients to protect the user, and sacrifice the bubbles slightly. Personally, I'd have less lather and a softer skin with no irritation any day. I't only that we've been duped by the big boy personal care product manufacturers that lots of lather means cleaner - not at all. There are a number of exoctic botanicals being discovered recently from the Amazon forests that provide perfect cleansing with natural lather - such as the not so exotic soapwort - and many thinking-users are changing to these because they offer much less risk of irritation or sensitization. It is possible to find surfactants for sale on the web - I have a source that provides plant-based surfactants that my students use to crea te their own personal care products as practical vehicles for essential oils - you could try http://www.somerset-co.com. As for Tolu balsam - Myroxylon balsamum var. balsamum of the Leguminosae family and originating in South America and also now cultivated in the West Indies apparently - it comes from the crude balsam which is collected from the trees and then either steam distilled to give an eo or dry distilled to provide a resinoid and absolute mostly used by the perfumery industry as a fixative. The balsam which is a natural response to the bark being cut or injured, will harden from its original liquid form - more liquid than a resin - with time and exposure to oxygen. It's interesting to note that its not considered to be a true balsam until the bark of the tree is scorched with fire and beaten - how horrid for the tree! According to Julia Lawless the eo has a sweet-floral and peppery undertoned scent - and the absolute or resinoid has a much richer balsamic floral note. It contains vanillin as well as cinnamic and benzoic acids so it's going to be very reminiscent of vanilla - and Styrax benzoin and Peru balsam may be very similar in the vanilla note although benzoin is used to give a long-lasting powdery dryout so popular in Oriental fragrances. AS far as most balsams and resinoids are concerned, they seem to have an affinity for skin care being able to heal dry, chapped, cracked lesions as well as soothe irritations like eczema and rashes. Another main affinity is for the respiratory system and has been used as an inhalant in herbal medicine and various pharmaceuticals for all sorts of inflammatory chest complaints. Be careful though there's evidence to show that cross-sensitisation can occur with these similar aromatic products so be cautious in sensitive individuals - although sensitization can occur at any point after the first exposure when the individual's immune system has been sensitized and primed for future exposure - can be the second or the umpteenth time. It's quite yummy blended with a citrus - which cos of any d-limonene content 'may' help to offset potential hazard. I just used Peru balsam with sweet orange and sandalwood for an almost edible massage blend - and based on the response by the purchaser and recipients, I'll certainly do it again. Classically to create an Oriental fragrance you'd add to a floral and/or spicy notes - try ylang ylang, sandalwood, patchouli, neroli, etc. Hope this helps Cx

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