What Can You Do With An Aromatherapy Certification?

June 7th, 2016 by Natalie

Before signing up for classes, many people wonder what exactly can you do with an aromatherapy certification. What kind of jobs can you apply for? Can you open your own business? What school should I choose? When it comes to choosing a school, that is a very personal choice of the consumer. What is important to you for your education? Do you learn better online at your own pace, or do you learn better in person? Do you want to be challenged into doing all the research for your questions? Do you work well under deadlines? These are all things to take into consideration when looking at schools.



So what kind of jobs can you get once you complete your certification courses?


There are many different options to choose from when applying for a job. It might be hard, but it is not impossible. Here are a few things that you can look for in your area:

  • Hospice/Palliative Care
  • Aromatherapy Educator/Teacher
  • Consultant for spas
  • Business Owner
  • Author
  • Public Speaker
  • Aromatherapy Consultant
  • Design your own products
  • Work in an alternative medicine clinic
  • Custom blending for your clients
  • and many more!

Many people continue on with their education and pursue their massage therapy license so that they can incorporate the essential oils into their massage therapy work. Currently, aromatherapy is an unregulated and unlicensed field of practice, but that can always change. So it is a good idea to check with your state laws where you live to see if there are any rules or regulations where you are if you are wanting to make and sell products, or start a private practice.

Fixing the Earth in the sign of Fixed Earth- “Bio Char”

May 2nd, 2016 by Lukah

Shalom Namaste and Greetings,

Here is another update on the latest happenings for the permaculture build out and Gritman Garden loving.  The focus of this post is to share an ongoing project making and using “bio-char.”  It is very exciting to be working on this and using this rich organic matter to provide the energy that will help support the new life that is growing all over the land.  There is an update coming soon on the mushroom progress- as beds are being prepared for the logs (in between the rainy days) and I hope to have an update to show the new trees, vegetables and herbs that are enjoying their new home.  Several trees with their companions are already in as well as new beds with a variety of new plants (okra, squash, cucumber, herbs, and more)- but there is still more work to finish on that end.

The Bio-char that is being made will definitely benefit all of the plants growing around the land- Meg’s Magical Garden (where many beautiful macerations come from)- the new forest of trees being planted and of course the new sustainable beds.  Here is some great info from the International Biochar Initiative



Biochar Is a Valuable Soil Amendment

This 2,000 year-old practice converts agricultural waste into a soil enhancer that can hold carbon, boost food security, and increase soil biodiversity, and discourage deforestation. The process creates a fine-grained, highly porous charcoal that helps soils retain nutrients and water.

Biochar is found in soils around the world as a result of vegetation fires and historic soil management practices. Intensive study of biochar-rich dark earths in the Amazon (terra preta), has led to a wider appreciation of biochar’s unique properties as a soil enhancer.

Biochar can be an important tool to increase food security and cropland diversity in areas with severely depleted soils, scarce organic resources, and inadequate water and chemical fertilizer supplies.

Biochar also improves water quality and quantity by increasing soil retention of nutrients and agrochemicals for plant and crop utilization. More nutrients stay in the soil instead of leaching into groundwater and causing pollution.

Biochar is a Powerfully Simple Tool to Combat Climate Change

The carbon in biochar resists degradation and can hold carbon in soils for hundreds to thousands of years. Biochar is produced through pyrolysis or gasification — processes that heat biomass in the absence (or under reduction) of oxygen.

In addition to creating a soil enhancer, sustainable biochar practices can produce oil and gas byproducts that can be used as fuel, providing clean, renewable energy. When the biochar is buried in the ground as a soil enhancer, the system can become “carbon negative.”

Biochar and bioenergy co-production can help combat global climate change by displacing fossil fuel use and by sequestering carbon in stable soil carbon pools. It may also reduce emissions of nitrous oxide.

We can use this simple, yet powerful, technology to reduce carbon emissions. Learn more at http://www.biochar-international.org/biochar/carbon

And now what you have been waiting for….pics of the process =D

Lou preparing the chamber

Lou preparing the chamber

Lou making final adjustments to the chimney flute

Lou making final adjustments to the chimney flute

when burning things in a drum....remove the rubber seal first=P

when burning things in a drum….remove the rubber seal first=P

The South American Taurus vibes- to bring that "terra petra" dynamic!

Beautiful South American Taurus vibes- to bring that “terra petra” dynamic!

Taylor planted a seed for this project a while ago- so only fitting he lights the celebratory fire:)

Taylor planted a seed for this project a while ago- so only fitting he lights the celebratory fire:)

small sample of the wood after process...now how do we crush it?...

small sample of the wood after process…now how do we crush it?…

Taylor putting his sole in it;)

Taylor putting his sole in it;)

More sole fixing the earth, from the Venus Taurus herself:)

More sole fixing the earth, from the Venus Taurus herself:)

Hey look, I have sole too!

Hey look, I have sole too!

another onlooker no intention to help... lazy lizard!

another onlooker no intention to help… lazy lizard!

what do you think of our new friend the skink?

what do you think of our new friend the skink?

Thank you to all that were a part of this awesome and exciting process! Especially, Lou, Taylor, Brody and Priscila.  Although this is just the beginning, we are off to a wonderful start.  As the rain dissipates we have plenty of wood around the land to carbon sequester and continue adding beautiful layers to the improving rhizosphere.  Thank you to the Gritman family and friends for your continued support and interest- I look forward to the next update in the not too distant future=)




Chakras & Aromatherapy

April 13th, 2016 by Natalie

I have always enjoyed learning and teaching myself about the chakra system and how they play such an important role in our journey of life. I get asked pretty frequently about how to incorporate aromatherapy into chakra balancing or clearing chakra blockages so I figured I would spend some time today going over this topic a bit.

So if you haven’t worked with energy before, you might be asking yourself “What is all this chakra stuff?”. Chakras are energy, and energy is life. The chakras is where universal energy flows, it comes up from the earth and passes through our energy field at each chakra point. It doesn’t move in a straight line though, it is cyclic.


Author David Pond explains how the chakras correlate to our life journey with this simple explanation: “Picture the spine as an elevator shaft and the chakras as the various floors from which we can experience life. When you rise from one floor of consciousness to another, your perceptive expands. Or imagine the chakras as seven floors of a building. When you are on the bottom floor and looking out the window, the view is significantly different from the view through each of the other floors. With each successive elevation, one’s view becomes successively more expansive.”

When you are working with the chakras, you want them to be balanced. Any un-balance can cause unwanted situations and trigger issues related with that chakra.



There are seven main chakras that fall along different areas of the body. We are going to start at the bottom with the first chakra and work our way up and I will explain each one and which essential oils you can use to help balance these chakras.

Muladhara root chakra

  1. The Root Chakra (Muladhara)
    Color: Red
    Location: The base of the tailbone.
    – The Root Chakra is the first one, located at the base of the tailbone and opens downward. This chakra is associated with the element of Earth and the basis of life. This chakra focuses on “grounding” or “rooting” which represents stability and security, and being at one with life and ourselves. When you start working with your chakra system, this is where you will start. You cannot balance any other chakras without balancing the ones that come before it.
    Essential oils that can be used to help balance the Root Chakra are: Citronella, Eucalyptus 80/85, Dalmation sage, Spanish Sage, Summer Savory, White Thyme, Vetiver, Cedarwood, Patchouli, and Myrrh.


  2. The Sacral Chakra (Svadisthana)
    Color: Orange
    Location: Upper part of the sacrum below the navel.
    – The Sacral Chakra is the second chakra and corresponds to the element of Water and is associated with sexual energy, or “prana”. It is also associated with creativity, enthusiasm, friendships/relationships, and feelings of joy. When the Sacral Chakra is not in balance, we can have feelings of anger, jealousy, overprotectiveness, and just an inability to feel love. Essential oils that can be used to balance the Sacral Chakra are: Damiana, Davana, Laurel Berry, Mentha Citrata, Dalmation Sage, Summer Savory, Black Spruce, Hemlock Spruce, Tea Tree, White Thyme, Vetiver, Sandalwood, Jasmine, Rose, Ylang-Ylang, and Champaca.

    Manipura solar plexus chakra

  3. The Solar Plexus Chakra (Manipura)
    Color: Yellow
    Location: Between the navel and the bottom of the sternum.
    – The Solar Plexus Chakra is the third in the chakra system is yellow which symbolizes the Sun, but it is also associated with the element of Fire. The Solar Plexus is the location where we hold our power, expansiveness, and growth. When this chakra is out of balance, you can be experiencing feelings of sadness, disgust, fear, jealousy, anxiety, stress, and being opinionated. Essential oils that can be used to help balance the Solar Plexus Chakra are: Clary Sage, Juniper, Geranium, Galbanum, Lemongrass, Bigarde Petitgrain, Pine, Cineole Rosemary, Dalmation Sage, Summer Savory, Spikenard, Black Spruce, White Thyme, and Vetiver.

    anahata heart chakra

  4. The Heart Chakra (Anahata)
    Color: Green
    Location: At the center of the chest on the sternum.
    – The Heart Chakra is the fourth chakra and represents love, passion, compassion, empathy, and devotion. But not just love as in loving another person, or loving your children. It represents the love of all things. The Heart Chakra is symbolized by the element of Air. When this chakra is out of balance, we can experience anxiety, hatefulness, a feeling of longing, arrogance, incompetence, discrimination, and a defiant attitude. The Heart Chakra is considered at the middle of the chakra system and often called the gateway to conciousness, because once you have balanced chakras 1-4, the following chakras 5-7 are more of the spiritual enlightenment aspect. You can use essential oils to balance the Heart Chakra such as Rose, Melissa, Neroli, Ginger, Goldenrod, Guaiacwood, Helichrysum, Hyssop, Linaloe, Litsea Cubeba, Lovage, Palmarosa, Cineole Rosemary, Rosewood, Spikenard, and Wintergreen.

    2000px-Vishuddhi_blue.svg throat chakra

  5. The Throat Chakra (Vishuddha)
    Color: Turquoise
    Location: Between the collar bone and larynx in the neck.
    – The Throat Chakra is the fifth chakra and it is associated with the element ether/akasha. Vishuddha means “to purify” and the lotus has 16 petals which are linked to each of the Sanskrit vowels, mantra, or a musical tone. The Throat Chakra is like a bridge from the heart where we start to raise our conciousness. It takes us from the physical aspect, to the spiritual aspect. This chakra represents our voice of goodness and speaking kind words, having fluent thoughts, feeling independent and secure in our life journey and our choices or decisions. When the Throat Chakra is not balanced, we can be speaking hurtful words, or we speak bitterly with the intention to hurt or break down others including ourselves. Essential oils that can be used to help balance this chakra are Lavender, Roman Chamomile, Rosemary, Thyme, Sage, Allspice Berry, Erigeron, Marigold Absolute, Patchouli, Sandalwood, and Tea Tree.


  6. The Third Eye/Brow Chakra (Ajna)
    Color: Deep Blue or White
    Location: The center of the brow.
    – The Third Eye Chakra is also known as the Brow Chakra. Either name is fine to use. This chakra is represented by 2 petals which stand for the two aspects of prana that meet here. It represents the element of Ether. When the Third Eye Chakra is balanced, you are able to step beyond the physical mind of desires and enter realms of knowledge and wisdom. When this chakra is not balanced or blocked, you will tend to use your own powers or insight for negative things and spiritual arrogance. You mistaken information gathered with knowledge received or gained from insight. The Third Eye Chakra is used for intuition, deep meditations, and emotional clarity. Essential oils to assist in opening or balancing this chakra are Frankincense, Holy Basil, Peppermint, Spanish Sage, Tangerine, and Ylang-Ylang #2.

    crown chakra sahasrara

  7. The Crown Chakra (Sahasrara)
    Color: Violet
    Location: Top of the head.
    – The Crown Chakra is the last of the seven chakras. This chakra represents meditation, universal consciousness, being, and unity through transcendental consciousness. This is the place of pure consciousness and the balance of duality within us. It is hard to describe the Crown Chakra on a personal level because it is something that one must experience themselves to understand. It is a feeling of being completely one hundred percent at peace with all that is. When it is out of balance, many people often experience constant headaches which can mean you have an overactive mind, or your thoughts are so burdened with worry or obsession. You can use essential oils to help calm your mind and to balance or open the crown chakra. Essential oils you would want to use are White Thyme, Ylang-Ylang, Rosewood, Lime, Pink Lotus, White Lotus, or Blue Lotus.


When working with the chakra system and achieving balance or if you are wanting to open the chakras, it is important to prepare yourself and come up with your own rituals or ceremonies for this process. This gives intention for your actions and when you are wanting/needing to do energy work, these small phsyical actions will help calm your mind and prepare yourself in focusing on what you are wanting to do. Here are some examples that you can try out…

  • Smudging before meditation.
  • Washing your hands with cold water before and after your session.
  • Belly breathing through meditations.
  • 4 Part Breathing (breathe in for 10 seconds, hold your breath for 5 seconds, breathe out for 10 seconds, hold your breath for 5 seconds)
  • Check chakra flow using a pendulum or doing an aura check.
  • Color channeling to each chakra.
  • Using sound therapy such as tibetan singing bowls.
  • Using crystals that are associated with each chakra.
  • Reiki

Essential Oils & Grief

April 11th, 2016 by Natalie

Grief is a process that eventually everybody goes through for various reasons. Loss of a loved one, loss of a job, loss of a beloved pet… The processing of grief is very important for ones emotional well being, and also their physical well being. Many people turn to their family and friends for support and comforting during this time, sadly others turn to drugs or alcohol or other vices to help numb the pain away. But with grief, as much as we want to make the pain disappear, you just can’t. You end up riding the waves and doing the best you can while processing and working through the emotions you are having. Anger, sadness, loneliness, agitation, insomnia, nightmares, etc… these can all be part of the grieving. And grieving has no time frame. For some people it can take a few weeks, for others it can take several years. However long it takes, just know that you are not alone. You will get through this.

It is important to take care of your physical body at this time making sure you are eating properly and staying hydrated and nourishing your body with what it needs. But it is also just as important to nourish your emotional and spiritual mind too. Using aromatherapy can be very beneficial to the grieving process. Essential oils can help you through the emotions of anger, resentment, sadness, and many others. They can be used in bath therapy, meditation, massage, diffusing, or personal inhalers.

  • ACCEPTANCE: Egyptian Anise Seed, Helichrysum, Yellow Lemon, Orange, Hemlock Spruce.
  • ANGER: Allspice Berry, Peru Balsam, Cajeput, Cassia Bark, Blue Chamomile, Davana, Dill Weed, Ginger, Melissa Blend, Red Mandarin, Rosemary, White Thyme.
  • COMFORT: Lavenders, Sandalwood, Canadian Balsam, Rosemary, Rose
  • DEATH: Cade, Storax, Valerian Root
  • DEPRESSION: Allspice Berry, Himalayan Cedarwood, Wild Chamomile, Bergamot, Patchouli, Bigarde Petitgrain, Rose Absolute, Clary Sage, Sandalwood, Spearmint, Tea Tree, Red Thyme
  • EASE OF EMOTIONS: Chaste Tree, Green Lemon, Lemongrass, Indian Lemongrass, Patchouli, Bigarde Petitgrain
  • FORGIVENESS: Bay, Cade, Frankincense, Ginger, Winter Savory, Blue Tansy
  • GUILT: Cade, Cajeput
  • HEALING PROCESS: Cardamon Seed, Labdanum, Black Pepper
  • LONELINESS: Sweet Basil, Patchouli, Wormwood (under supervision)
  • LOSS: Anise Seed, Bay, White Birch, Maile Fern, Rosewood, Clary Sage, Wintergreen
  • PEACE: Copaiba Balsam, Benzoin Absolute, Roman Chamomile, Cistus, Galbanum, Garlic, Labdanum, Northwest Lavender, Spike Lavender, Neroli, Bitter Orange, Oregano, Parsley, Winter Savory, Blue Tansy, Valerian Root
  • PROCESSING EMOTIONS: Anise Seed, Hops, Turkish Pennyroyal
  • RESENTMENT: Ginger, Onion, Peppermint
  • SPIRITUAL GUIDANCE: Tolu Balsam, Mugwort, Olibanum (Frankincense), Onion, Sweet Orange, Red Mandarin, Winter Savory, Spearmint
  • STRESS: Blue Egyptian Chamomile, Cypress, Cypriol, Davana, Dill Weed, Elemi, Gingergrass, Goldenrod, Turkish Hyssop, Northwest Lavender, Neroli, Nutmeg, Bergamot, Bitter Orange, Summer Savory, St.Johns Wort, White thyme, Ylang Ylang #2, Ylang Ylang #3
  • STRUGGLE: Ajowan, Canadian Balsam, Champaca, Guaiacwood, Lavandin, Niaouli
  • TRAUMA: Star Anise, Cajeput, Thuja Cedar Leaf, Atlas Cedarwood, Clove Bud, Garlic, Sweet Marjoram, Bigarde Petitgrain, Pine, White Pine, Tangerine, Vetiver, Wormwood, Yarrow
  • WORRY: Copaiba Balsam, Goldenrod, Black & Red Henna, Turkish Hyssop

There’s How Many Lavenders?

March 29th, 2016 by Natalie

Lavender…. A very popular and well-known word amongst the majority of people. You can buy lavender lotions, bubble baths, epsom salts, pillows….. There is an endless supply of merchandise that has lavender in it. But, did you know, there are different types of lavender essential oil? And each one is a bit chemically different than the other.


So let’s take a look at the different lavender essential oils that Gritman carries currently.

That’s quite a few different lavenders isn’t it? Well no worries! I am here to explain the differences to you so you can make the best choice for whatever you need it for.

So let’s start off with Spike Lavender, what do we know about it? Spike Lavender (Lavandin latifolia) is also called Aspic or Broad-Leaved Lavender. It comes from the Lamiaceae (mint) family of plants and is indigenous to France & Spain. Spike Lavender has more of a harsher scent than the other lavenders. This is not the lavender you would want to use for calming properties as it is actually does quite the opposite and can be stimulating. Spike Lavender has a higher 1,8-cineole count which makes it a suitable essential oil to use for coughs and congestion. Spike Lavender is not recommended to use during pregnancy.

Next, we move on to Bulgarian Lavender. Bulgarian Lavender (Lavandula augustifolia, L. officinalis) also is from the Lamiaceae (mint) plant family and is indigenous to the Meditterranean. This specific lavender has a more spicier scent than other lavenders and is a good choice if you are trying to find a good median among the other lavenders. Overall, Bulgarian Lavender is an all-around good lavender. Since Bulgarian Lavender is distilled at a higher altitude than the former Spike Lavender, it has been distilled at a few degrees lower so the distillation process takes a bit longer. When this happens, the ester counts are a bit higher which gives it that sedative/calming effect. So Bulgarian Lavender would be a good choice to use to promote sleep or during stressful times so you can calm yourself. Bulgarian Lavender is safe to use during pregnancy, but do not use it with preperations containing iodine or iron.

Now onto French Lavender, which is also known as Lavender 40/42. French Lavender is a perfume standard, which means it is highly used in the perfumery industry and for making products such as soaps, candles, lotions, linen sprays, etc. The 40/42 refers to the ratio of linalool and linalyl acetate. This essential oil is very popular as this is the lavender scent that many people are familiar with from it being used to scent various products. It is not recommended to use this specific lavender for therapeutic uses as it is mainly used for perfumery and scenting products. Because of the 40/42 ratio of linalool and linalyl acetate, it is often adulterated with synthetic constituents.

Albanian Lavender (Lavandula augustifolia, L. officinalis) is indigenous to the Mediterranean and comes from Albania. Albanian Lavender is a very gentle lavender and is lower in esters than Bulgarian Lavender. This lavender is a popular choice to use for aiding in sleep. This is a safe essential oil to use during pregnancy and with children.

Next, we have Lavandin (Lavandula hybrida, Lavandula x intermedia, L. hortensis) which is also commonly called Bastard Lavender. Lavandin is actually a hybrid of lavender and spike lavender. Lavandin grows larger than true lavender so it yields a larger amount of essential oil which makes it a cheaper option also. Lavandin is also an ester and contains linalyl acetate and linalool, but also contains cineol, camphene, pinene, and camphor. Lavandin has a sharper scent to it so it is also popularly used in product making, and the addition of camphor to it, unlike the other lavenders, makes it a popular choice to use for easing sore muscles and helping aid anxiety and stress. It is advised to avoid use of Lavandin during early pregnancy.

Now we have Northwest Lavender (Lavandula angustifolia, L. vera, L. officinalis) which is also commonly called English Lavender, Garden Lavender, or Common Lavender. Northwest Lavender is a combination of Lavandin, Bulgarian Lavender, and Tasmanian Lavender (Gritman does not carry Tasmanian). Northwest Lavender is indigenous to the Mediterranean but is produced in the USA, France, and Spain. Many people use this blend of lavenders to ease headaches and relieve tension. Northwest Lavender is safe during pregnancy, but do not use it with preparations containing iodine or iron.

Last, but not least, we have our newest addition Highland Lavender (Lavandula vera, L. augustifolia, L. officinalis). Highland Lavender is also commonly called Lavender Maillette. This lavender is distilled at high altitudes in France and has the highest linalool count at almost 32% and linalyl acetate at around 46%. With these counts, it makes Highland Lavender a great choice for calming stress or anxiety and promoting a good nights sleep. This lavender is safe to use during pregnancy, but do not use it with preparations containing iodine or iron.


Overall, most people enjoy lavender and its wonderful properties and aroma. I hope you got some great information about the differences in lavenders!


lavender photo

Nature will sing if you work with her in Spring:)

March 26th, 2016 by Lukah

“Namaste Y’all”

Here is a little update/preview of the happenings on the regenerative living system build-out.  The new compost bin made from scrap pallets and chicken wire has been put to great use and is leaching beautiful nutrients into the surrounding bed. A couple new beds have been put together and there are a couple more to go- though I think this month will be mostly about clearing more space for our new trees and putting them in the ground.  In the front- as per focus of the last post- there has now been added a mountain laurel tree, witch hazel tree, magnolia tree, and various flowers, shrubs, plants.  Oh and there are a couple new moringa trees growing too!  I have added more comfrey around the land and it has been springing up everywhere- which is a wonderful sight as it is an amazing nutrient accumulator and loves to be used.  I will wait till the next post to show the new plants in the front that are being established throughout the cleared and chipped areas….ok one on the moringa=P


New growth from successful moringa truncheon=D

New growth from successful moringa truncheon=D And I find new buds most fitting for a spring post!

I do want to show how drastic the changes have been for the large area in the back where the focus is for the gardens and orchard.  There is still plenty of clearing and chipping to do to make room for our new trees- but there are parts I am willing to show now.

well the good news is I can start from anywhere...

well the good news is I can start from anywhere…

well that is better, but let's move those mushroom logs to a more shaded area and keep going...

well that is better, but let’s move those mushroom logs to a more shaded area and keep going…

better...but I still see those logs and it feels like it is missing something...

better…but I still see those logs and it feels like it is missing something…

ooh, nice touch with the compost bin below the balcony near the kitchen. Ok, I can do something else now=)

ooh, nice touch with the compost bin below the balcony near the kitchen. Ok, I can do something else now=)

Stay tuned for that yucca to be substantially pruned and repurposed into a new living wall/border this spring;)

Before I show a few more before and after pics of the back, I am happy to introduce a new member of the pack, Brody Staples, interning with me to brush up on his “permaculture” skills and to hone in his natural nature talents! He is Olivia’s brother and that explains the beautiful disposition and awe-inspiring work ethic.  Brody is 16 and a sophomore at Friendswood highschool, though after working with him and being around his mature energy I still find that hard to believe.  He is into essential oils(which is kind of important around these parts if you didn’t already know), permaculture, kundalini yoga, hunting, fishing and high performance cars/trucks…a renaissance man in the making.  He enjoys soaking up knowledge from various subjects and has a passion for traveling- with a keen interest in Scotland. I am grateful for his aid and the land is happy to have his energy in the mix.

Brody: hey lucah, anything you can do I can do better:) Me: I believe it- now do a couple hundred of those and prove us both right=P

Brody: hey lucah, anything you can do I can do better:)
Me: I believe it- now do a couple hundred of those and prove us both right=P


Brody: nah, I am going to smooth out these chips...

Brody: nah, I am going to smooth out these chips…

me: damn =P

me: damn =P

hmmm, if we move that leaf there...and that branch there...and pile those chips there...

hmmm, if we move that leaf there…and that branch there…and pile those chips there…

better- now fix up that bed down there!

better- now fix up that bed down there!

alright, now may I proceed:)

alright, now may I proceed:)







Ok, enough showing off- time for another shameless plug for my peeps at Friendswood Firewood Co for their awesome support and shared love of natural/organic/sustainable harmonious living…and their understanding that their trash this man treasures=D

shameless plug and local support

shameless plug and local support

I also have a pic of several of our new tree friends showing off their new leaves in anticipation of being planted in their forever homes, which will be revealed later this spring. These are olive trees pomegranate trees, orange, persimmon, pear, tea tree, kumquat…and paw paws=)

"pick me pick me" do not worry, you will all be planted and many of you picked as well!

“pick me pick me” do not worry, you will all be planted and many of you picked as well!

And last but not least- some pics of some signs for a beautiful spring…

patchouli. bless you. no, patchouli the flower smarty pants

bless you.
no, patchouli the flower smarty pants


this bamboo was green...oh boy, I am sticking out like a sore thumb aren't I

this bamboo was green…oh boy, I am sticking out like a sore thumb aren’t I

harbinger of sunny days ahead

harbinger of sunny days ahead….and wonderful fresh batches of calendula macerations;)

meu brazilian button, beautiful, of course

meu brazilian button, beautiful, of course- and definitely a harbinger of a divine spring unfolding:)

Have a beautiful day(s) and enjoy the spring season- I will try and keep you abreast of more changes and happenings before the end of April. shalom


Not Pregnancy Safe Essential Oils

March 2nd, 2016 by Natalie

Many people ask about what oils to avoid during pregnancy, it is a very commonly asked question. Essential oils can be wonderful to use during pregnancy but there are definitely ones you want to avoid during this time. Here is a compiled list of the essential oils to AVOID. This list is pulled directly from the Gritman Guide To Essential Oils 4th Edition. Essential oils will be continuously added/removed if safety information and testing has changed. So this will be an ongoing list.



  • Anise Raven – Ravensara anisata
  • Anise Seed – Pimpinella anisum, Anisum officinalis, Ansium vulgare
  • Star Anise – Illicium verum
  • Artemisia (Greater Mugwort)- Artemesia arborascens
  • Artemisia Douglas (Mugwort)- Artemisia douglasiana, Artemisia heterophylia
  • Exotic Basil – Ocimum basilicum
  • Basil Lemon – Ocimum basilicum varminimum, Ocimum basilicum var citriodorum
  • Buddha Wood – Eremophillia mitchelli, Eremophila mitchelli bentham
  • White Birch – Betula alba, Betula odorata, Betula pendula (silver birch), Betula pubescens
  • Cajeput – Melaleuca minor, Melaleuca cajeput, Melaleuca leucadedron var. cajeput
  • White Camphor – Cinnamomum camphora, Laurua camphora
  • Caraway Seed – Carum carvi, Apium carvi
  • Cassia Bark – Cinnamomum cassia, Cinnamomum aromaticum
  • Cassie Absolute – Acacia farnesiana, Cassia ancienne
  • Lemon Catnip – Nepata citriodora, Nepata cataria var. citriodora
  • Thuja Cedar Leaf – Thuja occidentalis
  • Atlas Cedarwood – Cedrus atlantica
  • Himilayan Cedarwood – Cedrus deodora
  • Red Cedarwood – Juniperus virginiana
  • Red Western Cedarwood – Thuja plicata
  • Texas Juniper Cedarwood – Juniperus ashei, Juniperus mexicana
  • Celery Leaves – Apium graveolens
  • Celery Seed – Apium graveolens
  • Roman Chamomile (avoid in early pregnancy) – Chamaemelum nobile, Anthemis nobilis
  • Chaste Tree – Vitex agnus-castus
  • Wild Chamomile – Ormenis mixta, Chamaemelum mixtum, O. multicaulis, O. mixtum, Anthemis mixta
  • Cinnamon Leaf – Cinnamomum zeylanicum, C. verum
  • Cistus – Cistus ladaniferus, C. ladanifer, C. ladanosma, C. viscosus
  • Coconut Absolute – Cocos nucifera
  • Copper Daisy – Tagetes lemmonii, Tagetes palmeri, Tagetes alamensis
  • Cumin Seed – Cuminum cyminum, Cuminum odorum
  • Current – Ribes nigrum
  • Curry Leaf Tree – Murraya koenigii
  • Cypress – Cypressus sempervirens, Cypressus sempervirens var. stricta
  • Cypriol – Cyperus scariosus
  • Davana – Artemisia pallens
  • Dill Seed – Anethum graveolens, Peucedanum graveolens, Fractus anethi
  • Dill Weed – Anethum graveolens, Peucedanum graveolens, Fractus anethi
  • Douglas Fir – Psuedotsuga menziesi, P. taxifolia, P douglasii
  • Elemi – Canarium species, Canarium luzonicum, C. commune, C. communis
  • Erigeron – Erigeron canadenis
  • Eromenth – Mentha erospicata
  • Eucalyptus Dives – Eucalyptus dives
  • Bitter Fennel – Foeniculum vulgare, F. officinale, F. capillaceum, Anethum foeniculum, F. vulgare var. amarga
  • Sweet Fennel – Foeniculum vulgare, F. officinale, F. capillaceum, Anethum foeniculum, F. vulgare var. dulce
  • Frankincense (some can have synthetics or unidentified ingredients) – Boswellia carterii (Somalia), B. sacra (Oman, Yemen, Saudi Arabia), B papyifera (Ethiopia, Sudan), B. serrata (India), B. frereana (Somalia)
  • Galangal – Galangal officinalis, Radix galanga, Languas officinarium
  • Galbanum – Ferula species, F. galbaniflua, F. gummosa, F. rubicaulis, F. ceratophylla
  • Garlic – Allium sativum
  • Egyptian Geranium (avoid in early pregnancy) – Pelargonium graveolens, P. asperum, P. odoratissimum, P. roseum, P. radens, P. capitatum
  • Ginger Lily Root – Hedychium spicatum
  • Gingergrass – Cymbogon martini va. matinii, Andropogen ahoenathus
  • Goldenrod – Solidago canadensis, S. altissima, S. odorta
  • Black Henna – Lawsonia inermis
  • Red Henna – Lawsonia inermis
  • Hyssop – Hyssopus officinalis
  • Turkish Hyssop – Echinophora tenuifolia
  • Lemon Scented Ironbark – Eucalyptus staigeriana, Eucalyptus stage
  • Juniper Berry – Juniperus communis
  • Katrafay – Cedrelopsis grevel baill
  • Kunzea – Kunzea ambigua
  • Labdanum – Cistus landaniferus, C. incanus, C. landanifer, C. landaniferus var. pinene, C. ladanosma, viscosus
  • Wild Lanyana – Artemisia afra
  • Laurel Berry – Cinnamomum glauceschens, C. cecidoaphne
  • Laurel Leaf – Laurus nobilis
  • Lavandin (avoid in early pregnancy) – Lavandula hybrida, Lavandula x intermedia, Lavandula hortensis
  • Spike Lavender – Lavandula latifolia
  • Stoechas Lavender (Spanish/French Lavender) – Lavandula stoechas
  • Lemongrass – Cymbopogon citratus, Andropogon citratus, A. schoenathaus
  • Indian Lemongrass – Cymbopogon flexuosus
  • Leptospermum (Manuka) – Leptospermum scoparium
  • Lotus Blue – Nymphaea caerulea, Nymphaea nouchali var. caerulea
  • Lotus White – Nelumbo nucifera, Nympheae lotus
  • Magnolia Lily – Magnolia fargesii
  • Maile Fern Extract – Phymatosrus scolopendria, P. grossus
  • Marigold Absolute (Calendula) – Calendula officinalis
  • Sweet Marjoram – Origanum marjorana, Marjorana hortensis
  • Massoia Bark – Cryptocarya massoia, C. aromatica, Massoia aromatica
  • Mugwort – Artemisia vulgaris
  • Myrrh – Commiphora myrrha, Balsamodendrom myrrha
  • Sweet Myrrh – Commiphora erythrea var. glabrascens
  • Lemon Myrtle – Backhousia citriodora
  • Nerolina – Melaleuca quinquenervia, M quinquenervia CT nerolidol
  • Niaouli – Melaleuca viridiflora, M. quinquenervia
  • Nutmeg – Myristica fragrans, M. aromata, M. officinalis
  • Olibanum (Frankincense) – Voswellia carteri, B thurifera, B serrata, B paypyrifera
  • Onion – Allium cepa
  • Oregano – Origanum vulgare
  • Parsley Leaves – Petroselinum crispum
  • Parsley Seed – Petroselinum crispum, P. c. var. neapolitanum
  • Pennyroyal – Mentha pulegium
  • Turkish Pennyroyal – Micromeria fruticosa
  • Green Pepper – Piper nigrum
  • Peppermint – Mentha piperita
  • Petitgrain Lemon – Citrus limon, C. limonum
  • Petitgrain Mandarinier – Citrus reticulata blanco, C. r. mandarin
  • White Pine – Pinus palustris
  • Radriaka – Lantana camara
  • Ravensara – Ravensara aromatica, Agathophyllum aromatica
  • Rose Otto (avoid during first 4 months of pregnancy) – Rosa damascena, Rosa gallica, Rosa canina
  • Rosemary – Rosmarinus officinalis, R. coronarium
  • Verbenone Rosemary – Rosmarinus officinalis
  • Rue – Ruta graveolens
  • Clary Sage – Salvia sclarea
  • Dalmation Sage – Salvia officinalis
  • Spanish Sage – Salvia lavandulaefolia
  • Summer Savory – Satureja hortensis, Calamintha hortensis
  • Winter Savory – S. montana, Calamintha montana, S. obovata
  • Seaweed – Laminaria digitata
  • Spikenard – Nardostachys jatamansi
  • Hemlock Spruce – Tsuga canadensis, Pinus canadensis, Abies canadensis
  • Tagetes – Tagetes minuta, T. glandulifer, T. patula, T. bipinata
  • Blue Tansy – Tanacetum anuum
  • Wild Tansy – Tanacetum vulgare, Chrysanthemum vulgare, C. tanacetum
  • Tarragon – Artemisia dracunculus
  • Lemon Tea Tree – Leptospermum petersonii
  • Lemon Thyme – Thymus hiemalis, T. vulgaris
  • Red Thyme – Thymus vulgaria, T. zygis, T. sylvestris, T. sabulicola
  • Thyme – Thymus serpyllum
  • White Thyme – Thymus vulgaris, T. zygis
  • Tobacco Leaf – Nicotiana tabacum
  • Turmeric – Curcuma longa, Amomoum curcuma
  • Valerian Root – Valeriana fauriei, V. wallichi
  • Vanilla Concentrate – Vanilla planifolia, V. fragrans
  • Vanilla Oleoresin – Vanilla planifolia
  • Wintergreen – Gaultheria procumbens, G. fragrantissima
  • Wormwood – Artemisia absithium
  • Yarrow – Achillea millefolium, A. m. var. ligustica, A. m. milfoil
  • Zanthoxylum – Zanthoxylum alatum, Z. amerianum, Xanthoxylum alatum, Xanthoxylum americanum

Diffuser Recipes

March 2nd, 2016 by Natalie

I know a lot of people like finding diffuser recipes for various needs so I wanted to compile some together for everybody. Enjoy!




3-Bulgarian Lavender



4-Bulgarian Lavender

2-Texas Cedarwood


2-Cinnamon Bark



3-Sweet Orange






2-Cinnamon Bark









3-Sweet Orange


1-Cinnamon Bark


2-Sweet Orange






1-Sweet Orange






1-Roman Chamomile

1-Clary Sage


2-Roman Chamomile






3- Texas Cedarwood





Stomach Virus Oils For Adults & Children

February 29th, 2016 by Natalie

stomach ache

Nobody enjoys catching the stomach bug. It’s miserable, you don’t know how long it will last, and there is just not much you can do about it except treat the symptoms that accompany it. It can be even harder when families catch it! It just makes its rounds which can make for a very tired and grumpy situation. I’m going to go over how you can use essential oils to help ease the symptoms of stomach virus/food poisoning/stomach bug/etc…


First we are going to go over what is good to use for symptoms with adults:


Diarrhea: Blue Chamomile, Ginger, Roman Chamomile, Peppermint, Sweet Marjoram, Sandalwood, and Linalool Thyme.

Nausea/Vomiting: Allspice, German Chamomile, Roman Chamomile, Fennel, Ginger, Nutmeg, Rose, Rosewood, Sandalwood, Geranium, and Cardamon.

Applications: These essential oils can be used in a compress over the abdomen. Fill a bowl with warm water and a few drops of essential oil of your choice, soak a wash cloth in the bowl and ring out. Apply the warm compress to the abdomen. Another way to use them is to dilute the essential oils of choice in a carrier such as fractionated coconut oil or jojoba oil and massage over the stomach in a clockwise motion around the belly button. You can also massage into the lower back. Alternatively, you can make a personal inhaler with 15 drops of your choice to the wick to help ease the symptoms. Many people also enjoy taking a warm bath with the essential oils. If you do this, please make sure you have properly diluted the essential oils because some of them can be skin sensitizing. Another way to use these essential oils is to diffuse in a diffuser or make a mist spray.



Diarrhea: Blue Chamomile, Roman Chamomile, Peppermint, Lavender, Sandalwood, Ginger, Geranium

Nausea/Vomiting: Ginger, Peppermint, Geranium, Lavender

Applications: MAKE SURE YOU PROPERLY DILUTE FOR CHILDREN! You can make a warm compress to put on the abdomen by placing a few drops of essential oils into a bowl of warm water, soak a wash cloth in the bowl and ring out. Apply the warm compress to the abdomen. These essential oils can also be used in massage by properly diluting in a carrier oil, and massage on the abdomen in a clockwise motion around the belly button and can also be massaged into the lower back. You can also make a personal inhaler with 15 drops of essential oils of your choice which is more convenient for children because they can smell it as needed to help ease their symptoms. Or, you can diffuse a few drops in a diffuser or make a mist spray.


  • Upset Stomach: 3 drops Roman Chamomile, 2 drops Ginger, 2 drops Peppermint. Diffuse, personal inhaler, or use topically (diluted) over abdomen. Massage in a clockwise motion.
  • Diarrhea Blend: 5 drops Ginger, 2 drops Peppermint, 7 drops Sandalwood, 8 drops Roman Chamomile. Diffuse, personal inhaler, or use topically (diluted) over abdomen. Massage in a clockwise motion.
  • Diarrhea Blend: 3 drops Linalool Thyme, 2 drops Lavender, 3 drops Peppermint. Diffuse, personal inhaler, or use topically (diluted) over abdomen. Massage in a clockwise motion.


Other essential oils that are good to focus on when dealing with a stomach virus, is anti-viral and anti-bacterial oils. You can make a mist spray with them, clean hard surfaces with them, or diffuse them in a room to help rid of germs.

Anti-viral: Oregano, Winter Savory, Bandit’s Blend, Rosewood, Patchouli, Orange, Elemi, Cinnamon Leaf, Lemon Eucalyptus, Lime, Sweet Marjoram

Anti-bacterial: Kunzea, Elemi, Bandit’s Blend, Oregano, Cinnamon Leaf, Eucalyptus 80/85, Frankincense, Geranium, Sweet Marjoram, Neroli




Harmonious Living Systems- to thrive not survive

February 25th, 2016 by Lukah

Greetings and Namaste to all men and women of creation and the Gritman community,

Thank you for your interest in the “permaculture-style” sanctuary build out for the family- here at the home base near Friendswood, Texas.  “Permaculture” generally refers to a methodology of working with land by mimicking the processes found in nature (working in harmony with nature and not trying to impose currently held popular dogmas/beliefs/ill-conceived notions).  For example, nature does not need a drip irrigation system and NPK fertilizers for the forest to produce an abundance of fruits, nuts, and vegetation year after year- nor does this require tilling.  Furthermore, one does not see monocrop systems (fields of one type of vegetation common to modern agriculture-soy, corn, etc.) in nature which is why a major component of “permaculture” is to apply companion planting techniques.

I am grateful for the opportunity provided by the Gritman family to connect with nature/spirit in this labor of love working to co-create a harmonious living system for all to enjoy and benefit.  As many of you know, Meg has spent many years on her land building upon a beautiful medicine garden that has provided a safe haven for many plants, insects, birds, other animals…and of course, fresh oils and macerations for healing people!  This project is intended to enhance her current work by bringing in fruit trees, nut trees, vegetables, herbs, and more medicinal plants around the land.  We also hope to have bees and chickens in the not too distant future- to increase pollination/flowering-fruit production and to provide on site composting/fertilizer…and eggs:)  Currently, I am in the stage of clearing area and prepping the soil to make room for the agroforestry portion and the garden beds.

Here are some before and after pics of the front area- it is still in progress, but it is coming together:)

view towards sweat area before....

view towards sweat area before….

view towards sweat area in progress

view towards sweat area in progress

front drive north side before....

front drive north side before….

front drive north side cleaned, cleared, and chipped

front drive north side cleaned, cleared, and chipped

southeast view from drive before.....

southeast view from drive before…..

southeast view from drive in progress.

southeast view from drive in progress.

Is there anybody home?

Is there anybody home?

Front view post clear...still in progress, stay tuned for new plants!

Front view post clear…still in progress, stay tuned for new plants!

I have also been asked to help start a mycology/mushroom project- as mushrooms are powerful healers and the fungi are vital to soil health.  Thanks to our combined efforts (Meg, Lou, and Taylor:), we have introduced many varieties of  mycorrhizal fungi to the soil and are waiting for the fruits from inoculated logs of several culinary and popular medicinal strains (not the psychoactive “illegal” variety though I do not deny their role and ability to heal in the right circumstances); the strains we do have are reishi, shiitake, lion’s mane, blue oyster, pearl oyster, turkey tail, and maitake-to date.  We hope to have chicken of the woods and phoenix oyster inoculated soon.  I encourage you to google/research these strains and their healing abilities as we hope to one day offer them in a special line of oils to incorporate with your plant essential oil knowledge and use.  After all, in nature there is a symbiotic relationship with plants and fungi- why not in your oil work!  😉

Carol and Taylor drilling and waxing logs- I am plugging them behind the scenes:)

Carol and Taylor drilling and waxing logs- I am plugging them behind the scenes:)


The beautiful men and women that make up the Gritman family are excited to share with the surrounding community the fruits of the labors as the projects develop and mature.  I am honored to be a part of the process and look forward to sharing the progress.  I want to say thank you to Justin, Melissa, and Brady of the Friendswood Firewood Co. for their work and support in beautifying the local community.  It is nice to know others who appreciate the perfection in nature’s processes and I am very pleased with their plant-based compost/mulch with no additives (pesticides, insecticides, heavy metals, chemicals, etc.)  We noticed that adding just a fraction of their nutrient rich resource to our existing compost pile substantially sped up the break-down/composting process and simultaneously improved the water retention of the beds.

Awesome plant-based compost/mulch from the peeps at Friendswood Firewood Co.

Awesome plant-based compost/mulch from the peeps at Friendswood Firewood Co.

The Friendswood Firewood Co. hang-out

The Friendswood Firewood Co. hang-out


If you have any questions pertaining to the projects feel free to drop me a line. I look forward to sharing pics of the progress and updates as father time works his mojo =P