This time of year, we at The Alchemist’s Kitchen have been incorporating essential oils into our rituals, home, and self-care. Check out this conversation with Nadine Artemis, creator of Living Libations, a company that specializes in pure botanical health and beauty products, including essential oils!
How did Living Libations come to exist as a company? What was the inspiration for the name?
I spent my childhood picking flowers, making potions from petals, and stirring up mud pies in puddles, so creatively compounding the properties of plants is second nature to me. I started formulating skin care and doing a dive into aromatic compounds while in university. After graduating, I opened, North America’s first full concept aromatherapy store in Toronto. Yet, the trees and lakes were calling to me and I longed to move out of the city. So I closed the store to spend time thinking and planning, and that’s when I met Ron. We imbibed on essential oils and luxuriated into a world of luscious libations. Then we took to the woods together, and out of our providential-plant-play we laid the foundation for Living Libations.
A libation is a drink poured out as an offering to a god, and essential oils are the life juices of plants. Plant essences are both a gift from and a gift to god, and to the sacred in us all. Plants are cosmic-chemists, endlessly assembling the molecules of all the world and we live by the grace of this assembly.
What was your process for the creation of this line?
I began making botanical concoctions and importing essential oils from organic distillers when I was in university. I made a leg rejuvenating cream for spider veins called Waitress Legs for friends who worked long hours in restaurants. And it worked! So I made more potions, and my friends and family loved them and wanted more. That set the stage for all Libations creations.
How can essential oils be used as part of healing or ritual?
There are a few lovely ways to use essential oils in rituals and spiritual healing. The easiest method is to just open a bottle and take a whiff, and the scent molecules will travel through the nose, cross the blood-brain barrier, and work its special magic in the brain and on the soul. One can also apply one drop of an oil directly to the skin, especially at chakras and pressure points. Diffusing is also a beautiful option. There are mechanical diffusers that adorn the air with a microscopic mist of molecules, though one can also simply add a few drops of a favorite oil to a simmering pot of water on the stove.
Frankincense is my favorite healing oil for healing and spiritual practice. Sacred Frankincense Sacra (Boswellia sacra), from the Middle East, is distilled from frankincense that grows in southern Oman. The distillation from this species is a high-vibe frankincense that is wonderful for meditation, yoga, and ceremonial prayer. It has a high alpha pinene content, which makes it an optimal choice for enhancing focus, concentration, and memory. In addition to its sacred nature, the Sacra bolsters robustness.
Do you have one you like to work with, in particular?
Oh my, it is impossible to pick a favorite! Right now, I’m loving the euphoria and fortitude of frankincense and neroli. These two oils seem to always be on my list of go-to oils.
What is something about essential oils you wished more people knew?
Integrating essential oils into daily life is easy. Be playful and curious, and have fun with these cherished treasures. As you welcome botanical elegance into your life, let your nose and your intuition guide you. Your nose knows what it likes and if your intuition inspires you to use essential oils and you feel that it will benefit your well-being, give it a try. The best essential oil to use is often the one you have on hand.
How else do you incorporate plant medicine into your life?
I use essential oils in beauty and self-care creations every day, of course. I also add them to food and elixirs. Many oils are distilled from plant matter that we eat, such as citrus fruits and spices. Adding a drop or two of an oil to a piece of chocolate, to smoothies, in salad dressings, or to your favorite cuisine is a fun taste adventure.
I also add plant power to my baths. At any one point, the skin is receiving about one-third of the circulating blood. This makes our skin an amazing absorptive canvas for quenching in the benefits of minerals and botanicals by bathing. The unique properties of essential oils allow them to quickly and easily absorb deeply into the skin while boosting the vitality of our skin cells. My esteemed bathing essential oil options are neroli, rose otto, frankincense, cardamom, marjoram, laurel, and yarrow. I add a drop or two of one or two oils while the bath water is running and then enjoy it.
Anything else you would like our readers to know about you and your company?
All essential oils are not created equally, and Living Libation is dedicated to providing the purest of the pure and the most authentic essential oils on the planet. All of our oils are distilled from either wild crafted plants collected from the plants’ natural habitat or organically grown plants cultivated without synthetic fertilizers, pesticides, insecticides, or herbicides.
We are also deeply dedicated to education. Over the last twenty years, thousands of women have come to me with their beauty and self-care questions – often distressed or filled with worry. The nature of their questions is complex as there are too many bottles and there is too much information to wade through to find effective, accurate, and simple solutions. I and my dream team, the staff at Living Libations, spend hours and hours every week on educational activities: giving talks and lectures, answering questions on podcasts and blogs, providing detailed information on the Living Libations website, and carefully answering emails from people with questions. We aim to be helpful and to people all the information they need to make intelligent and inspired decisions.