Interview with Aromatherapist Mindy Green

Posted on May 23, 2013 0

Mindy Green & Sharon Falsetto
Mindy Green & Sharon Falsetto

In this issue, I introduce you to Mindy Green, an active educator and consultant in the aromatherapy and herbology field.  I would personally like to thank Mindy for taking the time to answer the questions put to her in this interview, and hope that you, the reader, can draw both knowledge and inspiration from Mindy's answers!

SF: What inspired you to start your journey into aromatherapy/essential oils/herbs?
MG: I began as an herbalist, which was an easy transition into aromatherapy.  I see herbology as a concentrated version of herbal medicine.   In the 1970s I owned an herb store/health food shop/vegan restaurant in Victoria, British Columbia, and I began selling essential oils and teaching classes there.

SF: Who have been the most influential people in your life with regard to this journey?
MG: My first herb class was around 1974 with Rosemary Gladstar, future founder of the California School of Herbal Studies, which I later co-owned with other staff members.  When I returned to Sonoma County from British Columbia in 1985, I met Kurt Schnaubelt and many other pioneers of the aromatherapy industry.  Among the most notable of these which I have studied with are Daniel Penoel MD, Jean Claude Lapraz MD, Kamyar Hedayat MD, Len and Shirley Price, Robert Tisserand and Pierre Franchomme.

SF: Which aspect of your career do you enjoy the most?  Do you have a particular area of interest in aromatherapy that you are most passionate about and are an advocate for?
MG: I especially enjoy teaching what I call aroma-herbalism, combining the uses of essential oils with herbs.  They are sister healers and blend beautifully in almost every instance.  My two passions are in skin care and women's health.  Aroma-herbalism has a special affinity in both areas.

SF: Do you have a number one tip to share with readers for creating aromatherapy blends/herbal infusions?
MG: The easiest way is to utilize the properties of herb infused oils as a carrier for diluting essential oils.  Why miss an opportunity to combine the synergistic effects of both botanical systems?   It is simply done and you can find information on how to do this on page 49 of my book, co-authored with Kathi Keville, Aromatherapy: A Complete Guide to the Healing Art.

SF: Do you have a favorite plant and if so why?  What are your recommended uses for this plant?
MG: It is difficult to choose just one plant, but if I had to narrow it down it would be rose otto (Rosa damascena) for its affinity for both spiritual connotations and physical healing potential.  I identify with its kinship; with the feminine principle in general and its association with the fourth chakra (heart), mediator of the three lower physical and three upper spiritual or higher octave, chakras. This plant is also well utilized in herbal medicine for food and healing, and not a single plant in the Rosaceae plant family is toxic.

SF: Do you have a favorite aromatherapy recipe to share with readers?
MG: My favorite recipe is for rose chocolate milk. A favorite of mine before bed!  The recipe is as follows:

  • one cup of almond, hemp, soy or dairy milk (warm or cold)
  • ¼ cup of raw cocoa powder
  • 1-2 tablespoons sweetener such as agave syrup, maple syrup or honey
  • 1-2 tablespoons rose water or ½ teaspoon rose extract *
  • Mix and enjoy!

* In this instance the extract is made with three to five drops of rose otto (Rosa damascena) essential oil, diluted in one ounce of alcohol, such as vodka.  See page 121 of Aromatherapy: A Complete Guide to the Healing Art by Kathi Keville and Mindy Green for more information on making extracts. 

SF: In addition to good training, what qualities do you think are most valuable to being an Aromatherapist/herbalist?
MG: A personal passion for plants! There is a saying amongst herbalists, “I heard the plants call my name.”  This is when you know that you've been marked as a botanical trooper and nature advocate.

SF: Why is it important for people to know and understand the source of their essential oils?
MG: Basic botany is a must for any form of plant medicine.  In aromatherapy it is important to know the difference between many common-named plants.  For example:

  • cedarwood – true cedarwood (Cedrus atlantica) or  Texas cedarwood (Juniperus mexicana, Juniperus ashei)
  • bay –Bay laurel (Laurus nobilis), or allspice (Pimenta dioica).


Some plant chemistry is useful too.  The herbal uses of a plant are often mirrored in the essential oil. Occasionally, there are components which are only available in the herbal extract and are not found in the essential oil constituents or vice versa.

SF: Do you have any advice for those considering a career in aromatherapy?
MG: You must be a self starter, imaginative in creating personal income and find a unique niche.  True aromatherapy jobs in the “real” world of business are few.  Often success lies in becoming a resource in your community.  Get out there and let yourself be known, be of service, be humble and never stop learning.  In addition, a big plus is having a medical background, such as nursing.  I see a big future in this area.

Biographies

Mindy Green is an esthetician, nationally certified Registered Aromatherapist and professional member of the American Herbalists Guild. An active educator and consultant, her vast credentials and positions in botany, aromatherapy and skin care include her current role as committee chair for botanicals in cosmetics for the American Herbal Products Association and an advisory board member for the American Botanical Council, publishers of HerbalGram magazine.  From 2003-2009 Mindy worked in the botanical research division of Aveda’s Research & Development department as their clinical aromatherapist. She is the author of three books and 55 published articles, and works at Pharmaca, an integrative pharmacy in Boulder, CO.  For more information on Mindy, visit her website at www.greenscentsations.com or find her on Facebook at http://www.facebook.com/#!/mindy913.

Sharon Falsetto is a UK certified clinical aromatherapist who trained with Penny Price Aromatherapy.  She moved to the US in 2006 and successfully founded an online aromatherapy business, Sedona Aromatherapie.  Sharon personally creates custom blends (both wholesale and retail) for individual requests, therapists, spas and weddings.  She also personally wrote, and tutors, professional aromatherapy and product making courses for the beginner.  In addition, Sharon offers professional writing services for aromatherapy related businesses.  She is in the process of writing her first aromatherapy book, due for publication in winter 2014.  You can visit Sharon’s website at www.sedonaaromatherapie.com

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