Lancaster based aromatherapy company Autumn Blossoms put ethics and localism at the heart of their business. Emily and Paul are a small family business using locally grown medicinal plants to create their products. Emily shares some insights into what is different about their aromatherapy products.

“Since training as an aromatherapist, I was really taken by the distance between me and the plants. There seemed to be a gap and a disconnect. Even though the medicinal plants I used were the ones I had trained with, I knew that I was being drawn by Earth to connect much more to the plants growing beneath my feet.

Paul and I use indigenous plants in our blends because they are abundant and readily available without intensive agricultural processes. We have a small distillery that we use to create hydrosols and essential oils from all these plants.

I am a shamanic healer, and an expression from my practice that I like goes, “the plants grown under our feet are the most powerful”. This is a gentle message that we all have a patch to tend, and it is here where we live. So many global problems are fought ‘out there’ when we have solutions that are ‘right here’. Our habitat is ours to tend and care for. Simply using our local medicinal plants, buying from local suppliers, returning bottles and supporting local networks is an example of environmental regeneration and sustainable change.

I realised that in the Aromatherapy Industry, there is a need to educate around endangered medicinal plants and environmental issues of over-production. Frankincense and cedarwood for example are industry favourites, yet are both now endangered species and over-production of eucalyptus is a cause of the recent severity of wildfires due to the dry leaves which contain the flammable essential oil.

Native oils all over the world have similar medicinal properties. Therefore by reducing the size of production and using a local model for aromatherapy, a greater biodiversity and more sustainable future for aromatherapy is possible. Local distils such as yarrow, a sacred oil of protection and wound healing, can be used instead of frankincense and nettle hydrosol is a viable alternative to witch hazel or rose water.

As well as nettle, we distil willow for our heart chakra blends, sage for smudging sprays, bay and mugwort. Our business has an important role in diversifying the market and regenerating indigenous knowledge of aromatherapy.”

Emily and Paul’s products are all made with natural ingredients which are gentle for the skin and environment. Not to mention that they smell amazing!

You can find them at www.autumnblossoms.co.uk and at Lancaster’s Midwinter Market on 15 December, where they accept returns and can refill your amber glass bottles on the stall.

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