🌸My 3 Favorite Essential Oils for Meditation🌸


Having more than 30 years’ experience with meditation, I’ve had the pleasure of trying many different methods as well as different essential oils that could enhance my timeless/space-less connection to a higher consciousness. As an aromatologist, I often explore the more esoteric side of essential oils and I’ve noticed that some oils have definite enhancement effects during my meditation, albeit at the more subtle energetic levels.


white and purple flower plant on brown wooden surface

Photo by Pixabay on Pexels.com


Here are my top 3 pics for amazing essential oils to use during meditation,  and why!


1- Frankincense:

(To be used in a diffuser)

Frankincense allows the ego-self and transpersonal-self to work together, which helps free us from attachments. It also cleans the auric and psychic planes.

I know that my meditations are always enhanced, deeper, when I use Frankincense in my diffuser.

On the physical level, Frankincense has the ability to slow down and deepen our breathing, helping us breathe more slowly and deeply, which in turn brings a feeling of calm and centeredness to our meditation.

I remember a particularly strange event that lasted days in my house… For days my whole house was infused with a strong scent of frankincense… and I could not find its source. I could feel a very high frequency energy within my house during that time. And then it just went away. But it did leave me with a sense of that magical connection that is always there between our 3-D world and the energetic realms.


2- Rose Otto:

(To be rubbed onto the heart chakra)

Rose otto opens the heart chakra. It instills compassion and forgiveness, and brings in love energy as it vibrates with the energy of universal love. It is also a powerful healer of emotional wounds.

From my personal experience, something very moving always happens when I meditate with rose otto essential oil on my heart chakra.

I’ve also experienced the scent of roses out of the blue without having any roses in the room. I know it was my angels saying hello from the energetic realms!


3- Lemon:

(To be used in a diffuser)

Lemon enhances spiritual and psychic awareness while also increasing the connection between our soul and Spirit. For me this translates into a feeling of lightness and expansion during my meditations.

Lemon essential oil also enhances our focus, clears our thoughts and helps us to better concentrate. This makes it a wonderful oil to use during our visualizations and our co-creative practice.


This 3-D world is much closer to the energetic realms than we can even imagine… sometimes the veil is lifted through the magical world of scents! 🌺


close up of a defocused


What is Bioenergy-Therapy?


Have you ever wondered about energy healing?

What is this mysterious healing modality that uses ‘energy’?

Are we truly able to heal by tapping into our own energetic system?

Here is the energy therapy method I use (linked below). Find out more about this amazing modality.

I loved it so much that I became a certified Bioenergy Therapy practitioner ❤️

Wishing you all the loving energy in the Universe. It is available to you at every moment, within every cell. You are a beautiful energetic being! ✨

via Bioenergy-Therapy

Finding love in a #MeToo watershed moment

MeToo blog pic

(NOTE: Please be advised that the following article deals with #MeToo sensitive subjects that some may find triggering. Please take care of your hearts lovely ones and call a friend or a crisis hotline if you need to reach out. Your heart is beautiful, and tender, and deserves loving care. You are not alone.)


Finding Love in a #MeToo Watershed Moment

By Michèle Duquet


There is something happening… An energetic shift is taking over our collective consciousness. This is it… we think. The moment everything changes… we hope. Each story, opening our hearts a little bit more. Each shared memory, a reminder of how sensitive, breakable and beautiful the human heart truly is.

The dam finally broke under pressure, and the painful truth of days gone by is now bursting through our carefully constructed version of reality.

What we couldn’t feel then, we are feeling now.

Navigating anxious sleepless nights however, waking up at 2:00 am filled with triggered emotions surfacing from long forgotten memories… this is not the #MeToo watershed moment I had in mind.

It’s 2:00am. I wake up in a panic, blood rushing through my veins, my heart pounding in my chest and throat. A memory resurfaces. I’m a 22-year-old model on a location shoot for a big magazine and I’m being groped by the photographer. Out of nowhere he sneaked up on me from behind and shoved both of his hands in my front pockets, reaching down to grope me, uninvited. Unwanted.

But tonight, I’m not shocked or frozen. I am furious. This isn’t the first time I remember this… so why am I so angry tonight, and scared…? I feel panic rising, I feel myself resisting looking at a snapshot emerging from the shadows of my past…

Suddenly I’m 16 and this same photographer rips open my blouse in front of everyone as I stand posing for a jeans ad campaign alongside a lineup of young women also forced to reveal too much cleavage. Click-click-click goes the camera, freeze-framing us in our low-cut blouses and tight jeans for the sheer sexiness of it, the shock of it: the selling of it. I say nothing. I smile for the camera. We all do. I was paid a lot of money to stand there, unbuttoned, in a big jeans billboard campaign. But I was 16. Only 16. I had been violated and thought nothing of it, thought it would seem too prudish of me to say something. I was very successful, had been on many magazine covers. I could’ve said something, but I didn’t. I went into survivor mode. I went into shock. I froze. At other times I’d stood up for myself, was assertive, strong, vocal, but not then. Not at 16. And until this mid-night #MeToo moment, I’d completely forgotten that it was the same photographer who had assaulted me 6 years later.

Yet here it is decades later, click-click-click the photographs of my past streaming by, landing in my pounding heart for the very first time… as I feel now what I couldn’t feel then. I was violated at 16, and then again at 22 by the same man, both moments now flashing back before me in the dead of night.

Many more photographs stream by, a picture-show telling the same story, over and over again. But none affect me in quite the same way. After the age of 22, I began speaking up. I became tough and very vocal. I often wondered why that was… now I know. My 16 and 22-year-old selves had somehow formed an alliance in the dark corners of my subconscious that let me know, “it’s not you. It’s him.”

That is when, unexpectedly, tenderly, love shined its light on the past. I love that 16-year-old. That 22-year-old. That 35-year-old. That 41-year-old. They all live in me and I love them all. I love them for braving to come out of the dark, for breaking through my resistance, my suppression, to let me know that “It’s not you. It’s not yours.”

As I embrace what travels through me during this mid night slideshow, I awaken to the profound recognition of just how beautiful and sensitive the human heart is. We’ve all been hurt. We all carry within us our own version of that 16-year-old who went into hiding, not to resurface again for decades. I can love my anger, my pain, my fear and my silence because I know I am not alone. I have my sisters and my brothers standing with me, side-by-side, feeling and healing what has been reawakened through this collective shift in our heart-consciousness.

Those of us reliving our #MeToo memories are waking up to a new reality, where we can see ourselves and our human condition with new depth, clarity and love; where accepting and loving our anger, fear, panic and silence becomes possible because this is our healing moment.

It’s 3:00 am… I can hear my spirit’s wisdom as I listen to my heart. “Your feelings are beautiful” it tells me. “It’s safe to feel now” it whispers.

And I know. In my heart, I know. This is our moment, the moment we stand together for love… and together, we heal.


©Michèle Duquet, all rights reserved.


DIY Toothpaste!


DIY Toothpaste!

( Disclaimer: I am not a dentist. Nor am I a dental care expert – although 2 teenage years in braces to get these perly whites to straighten did make me a wee bit obsessive about teeth cleaning, but I digress… The information contained in this article is for fun anecdotal entertainment only. If you decide to try this, do so at your own risk. And always remember to floss 😉 )

Full disclosure…. I make my own toothpaste!

Why DIY when the shelves are overflowing with every type of toothpaste imaginable? I first stopped using commercial brands years ago, switching to the natural brands to avoid certain ingredients I was not fond of. We all know what those are wink wink 😉

I was very honest with my dentist, telling her exactly what I was using in the way of alternative brands, and I was always “one of her best patients, with exemplary dental hygiene” as she put it.

One day after running out of toothpaste, I didn’t want to leave the house without brushing my teeth so I decided to go to my kitchen to see what I could whip up.

Hmm, lets see… aluminum-free baking soda, check. Organic coconut oil, check. Essential oils… goes without saying, check.

A bit of mixing, testing and… YUCK!!

The baking soda taste was horrible…!

I needed a little something to sweeten and soften the mix… I added some organic liquid stevia and…. voilà!

I love this so much that I actually don’t buy toothpaste anymore. I love how my teeth feel afterwards, so smooth and clean! I’m also switching to a biological dentist but that’s a whole other topic 😉

My DIY toothpaste recipe:

1 tbs organic non-processed coconut oil
1 tbs aluminum-free baking soda
8 drops organic spearmint essential oil*
1 squirt liquid Stevia

* I use spearmint rather that peppermint because peppermint is a contraindication to homeopathic remedies. (That’s just a fancy way of saying your homeopathic remedies won’t work if you use peppermint).

(NOTE: Essential oils are for external use only. So spit it out & rinse well. Always consult your health care professional if pregnant, breastfeeding, on medications or homeopathic remedies before using any essential oil products. Keep out of reach of children and pets, especially cats and birds. NEVER use essential oils on cats or birds.)


My top 5 essential oils & carrier oils for your skin’s winter survival!


         So we’ve survived the first month of winter. Barely. Between the snowstorms, weather extremes, and indoor heating, are you finding that your skin is now dry no matter what you do?

Want to know an effective way to keep your skin well hydrated during our harsh Canadian winters?

Oil. Yep, oil.

A few years ago, while working for a few weeks in Banff, I experienced some of the harshest and driest climate I’ve ever been exposed to. No matter how much water I drank and organic creams & lotions I used, my skin was still dry.

Thankfully I brought my favorite oils with me (along with my parka!) in case my skin needed extra help against the -40°C/F temperatures and the extreme dryness the region is well known for. I mixed some of the carrier oils with a blend of essential oils and lavished this on my face and body as often as I could. And it worked!

Using oils on your skin, especially on your face may seem like a recipe for breakouts, particularly for those with oily or mixed skins, but if you use the right oil combinations and blends, you can survive winter with beautiful, glowing skin.


Here are my picks of the top 10 oils for skin hydration: 5 carrier oils & 5 essential oils.

For easy do-it-yourself home remedies, use any of the oils on the following list in combination, by mixing the carrier oils with your choice of essential oils.

Use a ratio of 10 drops of essential oils for every 50 ml of the carrier oils.



  1. Jojoba carrier oil:

Jojoba oil is a liquid wax, extracted from the beans of the jojoba plant. It mimics and dissolves sebum, the fatty substance produced by the body to protect the skin.

This is important because acne is caused by the over production of sebum. Adding Jojoba to the mix will not only hydrate the skin, but also help prevent breakouts. It is very stable, which is ideal if you want your mix to have a longer shelf life.

Can be used at a 100% ratio in your mix.


  1. Apricot Kernel carrier oil:

If you are looking for a silky-smooth carrier oil that is easily absorbed by the skin without leaving it feeling oily, look no further.

Apricot oil has a lovely light texture and is wonderful for mature skin, prematurely aging skin, and dry or sensitive skin. I find it leaves my skin feeling silky and well hydrated. It is mostly used as a facial oil and has a long shelf life.

Can be used at a 100% ratio in your mix.


  1. Sweet Almond carrier oil:

Sweet almond is a lovely oil to work with. It penetrates well into the skin while softening, soothing, and re-conditioning. It contains mono & polyunsaturated fatty acids and vitamins A, B1, B2 & B6, as well as a small amount of vitamin E, which will help it from going rancid too quickly.

Sweet almond oil is a wonderful choice for dry and itchy skin.

Can be used at a 100% ratio in your mix.


  1. Macadamia Nut carrier oil:

Macadamia nut oil is one of my favorite anti-aging oils. It is to be used as an addition only, but well worth adding it to the mix because it contains palmitoleic acid, an essential fatty acid found in sebum (the fatty substance produced by the body to protect the skin), especially the sebum of infants, children and teenagers. Because its presence diminishes as we age, adding macadamia nut oil becomes very beneficial for mature skins. It doesn’t clog the pores while also providing a barrier against moisture loss.

Can be used at a 5-10% ratio in your mix.


  1. Calendula carrier oil:

Calendula oil is known as “pot of marigold”, and is extracted from the flower heads of the plant. It has a reputation as a wonderful skin-healing oil, and has been used in ointments and tinctures for centuries. It is well known for its ability to protect against dry, chapped and cracked skin. It is to be used as an addition only.

Can be used at a 25% ratio in your mix.



(Important note: Please consult a health care professional if pregnant, breastfeeding, on medications or homeopathic remedies before using any essential oils).


  1. Rose Otto essential oil (For the face – high-end):

Known as the queen of essential oils, Rose Otto is soothing to all skin types. It is highly regarded as being especially effective with acne, dry sensitive skin, mature skin, wrinkles, and broken capillaries. Its toning and soothing effects make this essential oil a wonderful skin healer as Rose Otto is regarded as a powerful skin rejuvenator.

Because it is so expensive, it is often sold at a 10% dilution (10% Rose Otto, 90% Jojoba). This is a good option and can be used in your oils at the same ratio even if you buy it diluted


  1. Neroli essential oil (For the face – high-end):

Neroli is renowned for its cytophylactic (cell-regenerative) properties. It is excellent for stimulating cell growth and cellular activity, and is therefore very helpful in rejuvenating and regenerating the skin. Neroli is also considered to be wonderful for treating acne, dry, devitalized, oily, and mature skins. It is also highly sought-after for improving elasticity, fighting broken capillaries on the skin and preventing permanent scarring, making this essential oil ideal for both young and mature skins alike. If you’ve never heard of Neroli, it is produced from the blossom of the bitter orange tree.

Neroli is also sold at a 10% dilution because of its high cost.


  1. Carrot seed essential oil (For the face & body – mid-range cost):

Carrot seed oil is one of my favorite oils for anti-aging and skin healing. It is known for reducing or preventing wrinkles and for its regenerative powers, particularly after severe burns. It is a good addition to a blend for treating and healing scars.


  1. Lavender essential oil (For the face & body – more affordable):

Lavender not only has a wonderfully soothing scent but it is also known as a remarkable healer & balancer. It is considered to be incredibly versatile & adaptable for all skin types and skin problems. It is highly regarded for possessing cell-regenerating properties and is well known for healing sunburns or burns of any kind. This is a wonderful oil to use for all ages and skin types.


  1. Sweet-Orange essential oil (For the face & body – most affordable):

Sweet-Orange essential oil is regarded as useful for dull and oily skin, while its renowned cell-regenerating and hydrating properties work well on wrinkles & dry skin. It is also considered helpful with puffiness, strengthening to the epidermis, stimulating to circulation and melanocyte development (the cells capable of producing melanin) and calming to skin gland function. This is another wonderful oil to use for all ages and skin types.


TIPS on how to oil the skin:


Massage the oils gently, until they start to penetrate. Let this settle in the skin for 30 minutes before applying your favorite organic facial creams.


Dermatologists warn against the use of hot water because of its drying effect on the skin, but I’ve always failed miserably at my attempts to bathe or shower in lukewarm water. When I’m freezing, I want hot water. So while it is excellent advice, I can’t very well expect anyone to follow it if I can’t.

Here’s a compromise: take shorter showers and baths, and follow the methods listed below. They work!

(1) Baths:

In a bath, add 2 tablespoons of the oil mix to your bath water. A lovely residue will cover your skin and it will look radiant. If you find you need even more hydration, either add more oil next time, or apply the oil mix prior to entering the bath, massaging lightly to help its absorption. When toweling off, dab, don’t rub.

(2) Showers:

Try both of these methods to see which suits you best:

(a) Apply the oil mix before entering the shower, massaging lightly to help its absorption.

(b) Slather on the oil mix after washing, away from the water flow. Either stop the water or turn the showerhead away. Massage briefly and then rinse lightly. When toweling off, dab, don’t rub.

I highly recommend attaching a shower filter to the showerhead. There are quite a few affordable ones available now. The one I use is from Santevia.ca and was under $40.


Always choose organic oils and soaps. Harsh chemicals in soaps can strip the natural oils from the outer protective layer of your skin and dry it out more than any hot shower can.

Essential oils should be therapeutic grade. Make sure to look for the following on the labels: the Latin name, country of origin and whether it is classified as certified organic, organic, wildcrafted, or unsprayed, otherwise it is not therapeutic grade, and could be a false chemical replica.

A final note on skin hydration: when applying the oils, if they are absorbed too quickly, it’s your body’s way of telling you that you are dehydrated. Your body is literally drinking in the oils.

In the winter I find it difficult to drink water, so I hydrate with organic herbal teas or soups, juicing and smoothies. I dilute the juices & smoothies with water and that does the trick for me!

Wising everyone happy, well hydrated skin!


(NOTE: Essential oils are for external use only. Always consult your health care professional if pregnant, breastfeeding, on medications or homeopathic remedies before using any essential oil products. Keep out of reach of children and pets, especially cats and birds. NEVER use essential oils on cats or birds.)


5 amazing things you may not know about Rose essential oil


By Michèle Duquet


Rosa Damascena

Photo credit: By Kurt Stüber [1] [GFDL (http://www.gnu.org/copyleft/fdl.html) or CC-BY-SA-3.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/3.0/)%5D, via Wikimedia Commons


A rose by any other name would smell as sweet
William Shakespeare


Ah the rose… There are so many breathtaking aspects to this dazzling flower. As an aromatologist, I feel very fortunate to be able to work with this elegant aromatic essential oil.

I was thinking lately of the many aspects of the rose oil that are perhaps less well known, and thought it might be fun to talk about them today.

So here are but a few…


1. It takes 10,000 roses to fill a single 5ml bottle (about the size of your thumb)!

– It also takes 60 roses to create a single drop of Rose Otto oil. That’s just under 5 dozen roses!

It is extraordinary to think of how many roses it takes to make a single drop of this magnificent oil. Imagine receiving 5 dozen roses from your beloved, can you visualize the space it would take up in your living room? Now imagine all of those gorgeous bouquets being steam distilled to create a single drop of Rose Otto oil!

Here are some more astonishing visuals…

– 10,000 roses is equal to 833 dozen roses.

Can you visualize that in your living room? Oh the fragrance! It would be much simpler to buy a 5ml bottle of Rose Otto essential oil, but as you can imagine, it will cost you. The sheer number of roses needed, along with the intricate nature of cultivating the rose crops, make this an expensive oil to produce.

Ever wonder why rose essential oil is so expensive? Now you know!

A 5ml bottle of distilled high quality organic Rose Otto should cost between $110 and $160 in today’s world market. Prices fluctuate depending on the climate, crop conditions and availability, but if you pay a lot less, it’s not the real deal.

At 60 roses per drop, no wonder Rose Otto oil is so fragrant… and moves my soul to its core!


2. Rose oil is known as The Queen of essential oils

Rose oil (or Rosa Damascena, its Latin name), is exquisite, feminine, powerful and seductive, an oil truly fit for a queen. And ladies, you will feel like a queen when you let your senses become spellbind by its spirit.

Cleopatra used roses not only as an ingredient in her cosmetics, but also as an instrument of seduction. It is claimed that she used both the rose and the Jasmine scents to seduce Marc Anthony from the Roman Empire. It is interesting then, that Jasmine is referred to as the king of essential oils and that both oils are well known aphrodisiacs. Cleopatra, it would seem, was quite the clever enchantress!


3. Rose Otto oil solidifies at slightly cooler temperatures

Did you know that Rose Otto essential oil becomes solid at temperatures below 21 °C (69.8 °F)? This happens because the waxes in the oil begin to set below a certain temperature.

You might say that Rose Otto is a wax and not a liquid, but that is not entirely accurate. The parts of the rose used for distillation are the rose petals. The steam pushes its way through the petals during the steam distillation process until the wax and the oils become separated from the water during cooling and condensation. What is left is the stunning rose water in one part, and the oil and its waxes in another.

My favorite Rose Otto oil is from Bulgaria precisely because of its moderate wax content. The Bulgarian climate is perfect for the rose oil production since the petals don’t over-produce the wax. In less favorable climates, the petals need to produce more wax for protection. When the climate is too harsh, or has too little sun, the rose petals will not have the optimum amount of wax as they adapt to their less than optimum climate by producing too much, or too little wax.


4. Rose Otto vs Rose Absolute

I’m often asked what is the difference between Rose Otto and Rose Absolute. The simple answer is the different processes used to produce both oils, where Rose Otto is produced using the steam distillation method, and Rose Absolute is produced using a solvent extraction method.

While both methods produce beautifully fragrant oils, the extraction method produces more oil and the resulting scent is stronger, which is why Rose Absolute is mostly used by the perfume industry, while Rose Otto is mostly used in Aromatherapy since the steam distillation process keeps its therapeutic grade intact.

The name “Rose Otto” comes from the Persian term “attar of roses” and dates as far back as the 17th century. It originates from the Persian word ‘atar-gul, meaning “essence of roses” and from the Arabic word ‘utur, meaning “perfumes” or “aromas”.

Rose Otto’s scent is lighter than Rose Absolute, and is said not to be a true rose fragrance, but it is far richer in my opinion, immensely more alluring and truly entrancing!


5. Rose fragrance legend in the ethereal/spiritual realm

One of my favorite books on healing the spirit with essential oils is “Aromatherapy for the Soul” by Valerie Ann Wordwood.

In her book she describes angelic fragrances and their properties, and it is no surprise that her description of the rose fragrance is as lovely as the rose itself:

“Rose can be used to bring our consciousness closer to our angels and to the angelic self that dwells within us. To inhale rose is to inhale the love and kisses of angels.” (Aromatherapy for the Soul, P.79)

Judging by the bliss I feel every time I smell my beloved Rose Otto oil, I can say that I am indeed a believer of angelic love and kisses!

Roses are also said to have powerful energy fields that vibrate at a high electrical frequency.

“Rose Otto vibrates with the energy of universal love, operating in the light of unconditional love and giving… [It] eases the sorrow of the soul, bringing harmony and comfort. It is gentle, yet euphoric.” (Aromatherapy for the Soul, P.273)

In aromatherapy, when working with this delicate oil, I have witnessed my clients experience healing and an uplifting of their spirit. Working with essential oils at the more subtle energy levels is perhaps less tangible than, say, healing a skin rash, and it is certainly quite subjective. But being that every thing in our world is energy, believing in the vibrational frequencies of essential oils and their potential healing benefits to the soul isn’t so far fetched. Adopting an open-spirited attitude towards these glorious flowers feels natural to me, and working with clients at that more subtle level is one of the daily delights of my work.

Have you stopped to smell the roses lately?


(DISCLAIMER: The content of this article is for information purposes only and is not meant to be taken as any form of healing advice. Always do your own research or consult your health care professional before using any products you are not familiar with. Essential oils are for external use only. Always consult your health care professional if pregnant, breastfeeding, on medications or homeopathic remedies before using any essential oil products. Keep out of reach of children and pets, especially cats and birds. NEVER use essential oils on cats or birds.)


Coconut oil: 5 fantastic reasons to love it!



By Michèle Duquet

Coconut oil: 5 fantastic reasons to love it!

As I was buying yet another tub of organic coconut oil, it dawned on me that I go through a jar rather quickly. When I make a mental list of its many uses, and why so many people love it, 5 definitely stand out. Some of these might even surprise you… so here goes.

1- Coconut oil for the skin, hair and as a sunscreen of 4 spf:

Coconut oil is a wonderful moisturizer, great for all kinds of skin conditions. It has a very long shelf life, 2 years being a conservative estimate, so adding it to your DIY (do-it-yourself) lotions helps them keep longer, especially if you haven’t added a natural preservative like grapefruit seed extract to your homemade recipes. Add your favorite essential oil blends for a super hydrating body lotion.

Coconut oil is known to have some natural sunscreen capabilities too, but at an spf of only 4 spf, I wouldn’t rely on coconut oil to prevent sunburns. If mixed with zinc oxide, at 30% of your mixture, you can reach what is called a ‘physical block’ from the sun, creating a sunblock with an approximate spf of 15-20. (Please ensure you use a mask when adding it to your lotions as airborne zinc oxide has respiratory toxicity and can irritate your sinuses – and never use it on pets as it is very toxic for our little loved ones).

Coconut oil is also known to reduce protein loss when used in hair. Since hair is mostly composed of protein (called keratin), and some studies have shown that a low protein diet can be associated with hair loss, a coconut oil hair treatment sounds like a good thing! It can also be a more economical alternative to argan oil, the oil usually associated with hair conditioning treatments.

2- Coconut oil can burn fat??

All saturated fats are not created equal. Coconut being of the natural variety, happens to be one of the richest sources of medium-chain fatty acids (MCFAs), also known as medium-chain triglycerides (MTCs). This means their molecules are smaller and more easily digested and converted to energy.

What does that mean…? Eating coconut oil might actually boost your metabolic rate… who knew!

Have you also heard the latest rumors? Eating coconut oil can even help reduce fat in the most difficult body fat area, the stomach. Now I’m a healthy skeptic, I like to test rumors out for myself (even if the popular Dr. Oz says it works), and I would recommend taking a look at the overall diet and eating habits before running out to buy gallons of coconut oil, but… I confess… I’ve been adding a teaspoon of coconut oil to my spirulina smoothies just in case the rumors are true.

My coconut oil of choice for food is one that is certified organic (made without pesticides or hexane), virgin, unrefined, cold-pressed, non-deodorized, and non-bleached.

3- Cooking with coconut oil – My fave vegan ‘butter’ & kale chips recipes:

As a vegan, I love making a coconut and banana spread that I use as ‘butter’. I wait until the bananas are ripe and mushy, and then mix equal parts bananas and coconut oil. It’s a delicious spread on my fresh-out-of-the-oven vegan cranberry muffins, and looks/melts just like butter!

My other favorite recipe to make with coconut oil, is a simple one for kale chips. Coconut oil is wonderful for cooking because it is stable enough to withstand high temperatures. I prefer purple kale for my chips. I lay them out on a cooking sheet in the toaster-oven, cover them lightly with coconut oil, sprinkle them with Himalayan salt, cook for 7 minutes at 400 degrees, and voilà! A delicious crispy and healthy alternative to regular chips, without any of those nasty free radicals.

4- Oil pulling with coconut oil:

Ok, I admit, this one may be a bit too ‘out there’ for some, but I swear it works like nothing else to clear my sinuses.

(If I’ve already shared too much information, feel free to skip to next point which I promise is far more pleasant)

Every morning, first thing before breakfast, even before I let my dog Roxy out in the backyard, I take a teaspoon of coconut oil and let it melt in my mouth. Yes it feels gross, but once it melts, it’s somewhat bearable. Then as I let Roxy out, and go about my morning routine for the next 20 minutes, I swish it around my mouth. Yep, 20 minutes… Again, kind of gross, and it does feel long as I keep checking the clock, but you will be amazed at how well it works.

It will also pull toxins from your system, so make sure you don’t gargle or swallow it. Once the 20 minutes have thankfully passed, spit it out into your green bin or compost bin because coconut oil will clog your drain when it hardens. Make sure to rinse your mouth with water 2-3 times and you’re done.

This is based on the ancient Ayurvedic practice of oil pulling with sesame oil, now more and more being replaced with coconut oil.

In his book, ‘Oil Pulling Therapy: Detoxifying and Healing the Body Through Oral Cleansing’, Dr. Bruce Fife says: “When you put it in your mouth and work it around your teeth and gums it “pulls” out bacteria and other debris. As simple as it is, oil pulling has a very powerful detoxifying effect. Our mouths are the home to billions of bacteria, viruses, fungi and other parasites and their toxins… that cause gum disease and tooth decay and contribute to many other health problems.”

He had me at ‘billions of bacteria’… but parasites? Yuck! So I was very happy to learn that my 20-minute oil pulling efforts might be rewarded with whiter teeth, as coconut oil pulling apparently also helps to whiten teeth. And I have indeed noticed my teeth looking whiter since adding oil pulling to my daily routine!

5- Sensual uses of coconut oil:

For the passionate lover in you, this oil will delight your senses. Use it as a massage oil or personal lubricant for a wonderful natural experience.

As a massage oil, I prefer to use what’s called fractionated* coconut oil because it doesn’t solidify and has no odor. I love creating my own scent blends for added sensuality. My favorite is a simple mix of rose and sandalwood, although those essential oils are quite expensive. For an equally sensual blend but less expensive, you can do a lovely mix of ylang ylang and geranium rose (5 drops of each essential oil in 50ml of fractionated coconut oil). Or an even more economical option would be to add sweet-orange, a very hydrating, uplifting essential oil, and use the left-overs as a body lotion.

As a lubricant, coconut oil has been gaining popularity in the last few years. Commercial lubricants contain parabens, so many women are now turning to more natural lubricant such as coconut oil as a healthy alternative. One of the benefits of using coconut oil is that it washes off easily, thus helping to remove any bacteria more effectively, while also preventing any chemical interactions with condoms. I recommend the deodorized solid organic coconut oil, for obvious practical reasons.


So there you have it, my top 5 fantastic reasons to love coconut oil. Did some of them surprise you? There are so many more wonderful uses for it, I’d love to hear your favorites!

* Fractionated coconut oil: Fractionated coconut oil is literally a fraction of the whole oil. It is processed in a way that removes all the long chain fatty acids, leaving only the healthy medium chain fatty acids, high concentration of Capric acid and Caprylic acid, which gives it an amazing amount of antioxidant and disinfecting properties.

(DISCLAIMER: The content of this article is for information purposes only and is not meant to be taken as any form of healing advice. Always do your own research or consult your health care professional before using any products you are not familiar with. Essential oils are for external use only. Always consult your health care professional if pregnant, breastfeeding, on medications or homeopathic remedies before using any essential oil products. Keep out of reach of children and pets, especially cats and birds. NEVER use essential oils on cats or birds.) 


My 5-Point Guide to Reading Cosmetics Labels at a Glance

By Michèle Duquet


Read any good labels lately?

Did you know that… formaldehyde and thousands of other toxic chemicals can be hidden from the ingredients list if included in ‘Fragrance’?

Yesterday while filling out a Health Canada form for a new product, I had to refer to the hotlist where all the ingredients not permitted by Health Canada are listed.

Formaldehyde is listed in Health Canada’s hotlist as permissible in certain concentrations.

It is incomprehensible to me that formaldehyde is even permitted, let alone that it exists as a preservative for living beings.

While most consumers know by now that many products contain toxic ingredients, an average person can easily become overwhelmed when looking at a label.  Heck, even a savvy label reader needs help. Who has time these days to stand in the aisles and decipher the good from the bad in teeny tiny print at the end of a long day.

So here’s my 5-point guide for reading labels and what to look for at a glance:

(1) Certified Organic / Organic:

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Look for a Canadian, USDA or International organic certification logo on the front label, or, on the  back label look for markers beside each ingredients indicating which are certified organic or organic.

This gives you a good indication of the percentage organic content, or if it is a small company not yet certified, it tells you that their suppliers’ organic certificates are valid & verifiable.

(2) Parfum / Perfume / Fragrance:

In one word, avoid.

Many products that claim to be ‘Natural’ or ‘Made from Botanicals’ are not trustworthy if they include this in their list of ingredients.

The reason is that perfumes are considered to be trade secrets, and companies are under no obligation to divulge their perfume or fragrance ingredient content. That is how a preservative like formaldehyde can end up in your product without your knowledge.

(3) Ksllsmfoiujwlkdlkfjroitjlkdjfslsikhdfkd:

If you see too many ingredients that look like this, AVOID!  (Or run out of the store!)

(4) BIG capital LETTERS + numbers:


They are made to fool you by looking innocuous, but they are anything but that. Here’s what a few look like so you can recognize them at a glance:








(5) Look for (layman terms) in parentheses:

All ingredients for cosmetics must be listed in the International Nomenclature of Cosmetic Ingredients (INCI), which can turn a simple ingredient like olive oil into Olea Europaea oil.

An honest company wants their customers to be knowledgeable about ingredients but it also understands that most people won’t know that Lavandula Angustifolia  is the Latin name for Lavender essential oil and will therefore include the easy-to-read version on the labels. So look for the layman term in parenthesis that helps you understand what you are putting into your body.

An easy to read label should look like this:

Olea Europaea (olive) oil*, Lavandula Angustifolia (lavender) oil**, Tocopherol (vitamin E).

*Certified Organic   **Organic

This is by no means a comprehensive guide to reading labels, but at the very least it can help you recognize a questionable product by its highly questionable ingredients.

On the brighter side, you’ll now be able to recognize at a glance a good product label when you read one!