Send me your Questions by email and I’ll Answer them!

Q: I found a comment by you on kitchen stewardship. I would love some good resources on essential oils if you can recommend some. Do you recommend eucalyptus oil in a bath for decongesting?

A: I recommend that you start learning about essential oils through my store, which contains a 700-page Materia Medica - info on all the essential oils I carry and use.
You can search for the oil you are interested in in the SEARCH bar in the upper left area on any page of my site. One of the eucalyptuses is here:
Eucalyptus and peppermint oils can be too cooling for children under 5 years of oil. Peppermint can irritate mucous membranes. Lemon is a gentler decongestant. Use only 3-6 drops of essential oil in running water just before you get in!

Q: What draws you to work in sexual education and health?

A: Sex education is part of my heritage – my mother was a health educator, had a sex-ed radio show and hosted Planned Parenthood meetings in our living room back in Nova Scotia. As a teenager, AIDS hit my radar as my queer community became threatened. I was an Ambassador with The Works Needle Exchange Program, an AIDS activist and a presenter and activist at the 5th World Conference on AIDS. My first video collaboration was called Please Adjust Your Sex. Before I finished my Honours Degree in Fine Arts Studies at York University, I had a full-time job making safer sex and safer needle use videos with street-involved youth through a social service agency – we made STD Street Smarts and Street Wise Women.

Q: Can you tell me a bit about why you are passionate about this workshop topic (healthy sexual lubricants)?

A: I shudder when I think of the chemicals that we have been allowed to be exposed to through sexual lubricants, and products we put on or in our bodies in general. In cynical moments, I imagine that regulators and manufacturers out there are punishing us for being sexual by poisoning us. Propylene glycol comes to mind. It causes ingredients that accompany it to penetrate cell walls and even into our bloodstreams. It basically leaves use WIDE open literally to sexually transmissible infections. Meanwhile, we’ve been robbed of our traditional knowledge of sexual health. It’s my mission to bring this healing knowledge back to living practice.

More Questions & Answers

About Mineral Makeup

Q: Hi. Since you are such a guru of all things natural, I was wondering if you had any recommendations for good mineral makeup? All of the grocery store ones have crap added to them. Thx. p.s. just left you a great comment about the deodorant. I waited to make sure I wasn't allergic. Love it! ~ Etsy customer

A: You can buy mineral makeup without all the crap added here:
There are other places, too. Here is my teacher, Jan Benham's site with resources to learn to make your own makeup
Just make sure the manufacturer discloses ALL the ingredients and check here to see how harmful or harmless the ingredients are:
Skin Deep Cosmetic Safety Database
PS I will look for your deodorant comment, but feel free to contact us about it.

Help to Stop Smoking

Q: What are my options for help to Stop Smoking?

A: If you already know that you want to stop smoking, then you are already halfway there in achieving your goal.

The following aromatherapy blends are used by inhaling from:
~ a dropper bottle
~ terra cotta pendant

You can also use your blend in dish soap, creams, in diffusers etc
Quit Smoking Blends – customized to your needs based on assessment
Ingredients: Grapefruit, Bitter Orange, Lime, Spearmint, Black Pepper, and Helichrysum

Quitting the smoking habit is supported in different ways: The blend soothes irritability and nervousness, promotes a feeling of calm, centring and peace. Grapefruit, Bitter Orange and Lime help ease cravings and detoxify. Spearmint and Black Pepper energize. Helichrysum helps release the underlying emotional imbalance. The blend also purifies the air.


Grapefruit, Orange, Chamomile, Eucalyptus, Fennel, Marjoram, Sandalwood

If you like you can email me for a free consultation. Let me know.

Q: I'm about to make an order on your website and I just had a quick question for you (or maybe two) the night exfoliant serum... I'm just wondering if it is a heavy serum. Should I put it on after a shower at night? And also what does photo-sensitizing mean? And the night cleanser and lotion. Is that for your face only? I find that even light facial moisturizers clog my pores so I'm looking for something really light, but really hydrating cause I have super dry skin around my nose especially. Okay! Hope you can answer these for me, or maybe you can give me some other suggestions? I'm also looking for a sandalwood-y smelling body lotion.

A: The night exfoliating serum is made of organic lemon essential oil and jojoba.
Lemon – “Photosensitizing” means you shouldn’t go out in the sun with it on, or you may burn.
Jojoba – same chemically as your skin’s own oils, so it’s a great light moisturizer for oily and dry skin. Can’t clog pores.
Yes! After showering and wash your face in the morning.

The night cleanser and lotion should not clog your pores, as it’s made with all vegetable ingredients, and it’s animal and petroleum oils and waxes that clog. You can experiment, but I suggest washing your face with the cleanser, then putting some on your dry parts overnight.

For sandalwood smelling lotion, I recommend the Shea Intensive Healing Lotion with 1 ml of Sandalwood essential oil. Sandalwood is extraordinarily expensive, so you need to add $6 to the lotion order!!! Or maybe ten drops would do for $3.

An interview for an Australian magazine

Q: I am going to ask you some questions for my article about chemicals in makeup. What are the 3 chemicals that someone should look for? and why are they harmful?

A: Ingredients in cosmetics are virtually unregulated in North America, unlike other parts of the world. Safety testing of ingredients or products is not required for approval, and ingredients that are well known to be hazardous can be hidden as trace ingredients, “trade secrets”, “perfume” or “fragrance” or “colour”. I caution clients to avoid any company, and any product, that does not fully disclose its ingredients. The three ingredients in makeup that I’d avoid the most are:

Colours: Colouring and dyes not listed as mineral or botanical (such as alkanet root or carrot infused oil) are made from coal-tar. Many are well understood to be carcinogenic. I say that all petroleum by-products are.

Metals: Often used for colouring, or to add body or sheen, or as a contaminant in other ingredients, metals in makeup are toxic, especially lead and mercury. These metals are toxic to the brain and nervous system even at small doses. These metals are not listed as ingredients and are commonly found in lipsticks, such that they are not only absorbed through the skin but are ingested through the mouth as well!

Fragrance: Phthalates are a group of chemicals, some of which are well known to cause reproductive and developmental effects. Phthalates are associated with autism, hormonal disruption and asthma. Phthalates are not identified on labels of cosmetics because they are usually “fragrance” ingredients. All leading manufacturers of cosmetics use phthalates.

I tell clients to check the safety of their products and of ingredients on the Environmental Working Group’s Skin Deep Cosmetic Safety Database.

Q: What is a safe cosmetic? Is there such a thing?

A: I’d say that the only safe cosmetic is one that you’ve made yourself, or bought from a manufacturer who:
a. Lists ALL of the ingredients on the label, without hiding behind the terms “perfume”, “fragrance” or “colour”
b. Uses only ingredients with low or 0 hazard scores on the Cosmetic Safety Database
c. Is a reputable company, usually with an explicit mission to eliminate toxins in our lives, and that itself only sells safe products, such as Anarres Natural Health, or The Aromashoppe, or My Left Breast in Peterborough…

Q: This is going to what I think is a very mainstream audience so I am assuming they know very little about the environment and health but are curious. If there is anything else you would like to add then feel free.

A: We’ve all been affected by toxins in products. For some of us, we’ve been struggling with infertility, or PMS, or disruptive menopause, or depression, or cancer, or for our children who have autism, asthma or learning difficulties, and for us lucky ones, the worry that these chemicals are lurking in our bodies like a time bomb. We can’t help but feel that we’ve been let down by regulators, who still let this happen to us.

We can’t help but feel abused by manufacturers who have turned a blind eye to safety studies showing the harm that the chemicals they are using on us, and hiding from us, are doing – all the time profiting from our illness. Many cosmetics are considered hazardous waste for disposal purposes. If someone put hazardous waste on our bodies or had us ingest it, even once, it would be considered assault causing bodily harm.

So from my point of view, we are being assaulted and abused, and the only way that we can stop this nightmare is to refuse to use toxic garbage: to boycott products with unsafe or unlisted ingredients, to lobby manufacturers and regulators to require and enforce full safety and labelling of cosmetics and household products, and most importantly, to seek out and buy healthy cosmetics from responsible makers. The big companies get that message loud and clear! When you give your money to someone else and tell them why, then the change starts right away.

Thank you, Jackie, for this brilliant opportunity for me to further my mission through ranting. Best wishes on your deadline!

About Burning Essential Oil Incense

Q: I am getting into natural things. How do you burn the incense?

A: You burn my incense the same way you burn any other incense. Light the tip of the stick or cone. When there is an ember glowing on the end, blow the flame out. (If you don’t blow the flame out, the incense may begin to smoke.) Then place your incense on a burn-proof surface such as a ceramic or metal dish. Sticks can be stuck into a plant pot or stick incense burner.

About Hyper Thyroidism from a Facebook Question

Q: Hi all, I need a bit of advice please if anyone can help? My friend's mum suffers from Hyperthyroid and does not want to take medication for it. Does anyone know of any natural remedies for this? I think iodine is one but would like to know if there are any more. Any help will be greatly received. ~ X Chad S., Liverpool

I am a Certified Natural Health Practitioner, not a medical doctor, and your friend's mother needs to continue consulting her medical doctor to monitor her health and risk. My suggestions for alternative treatment might consist of:
1) Diet with sea salt, multivitamin & mineral supplement plus seaweeds (kelp, dulse etc)
2) Reflexology weekly, then every 2 weeks with daily self reflexology
3) Hypnotherapy and/or aromatherapy depending on medical history.