Alumni Highlight: Brenda Nielsen | achs.edu

    Written by: Gillian Turner /
    Jun 11, 2020 11:30:00 AM

    Brenda Nielsen Blog Header-1

    Brenda has always had a good nose. As a kid, she was the first to smell if the stove was left on. Years later, she is a Master Aromatherapist who graduated from ACHS in 2015 with a Diploma in Aromatherapy.

    More recently, Brenda is recovering from cancer. She restarted her newsletter after seeing the misinformation about essential oils that were spread around during COVID. In the future, she’s interested in looking into the spiritual side of essential oils as her next area of study. 

    Starting Up Again

    Brenda had taken a pause from writing her newsletter but started writing it again during the COVID pandemic. She says, "if you do something yourself, it feels like you’re not so helpless." 

    Another part of what drove Brenda to start writing about aromatherapy again is the information that she received in an essential oil class by a representative from a well-known essential oil company. After the class, they called her and asked her to become one of their distributors. She says she was tempted, but something stopped her.

    Brenda explains the issue with this company, or any other company that depends mostly on blends, is that “customers are purchasing from people (distributors) who do not have enough knowledge about the actions of the essential oil to put together blends or recommend more than one or two essential oils for a given purpose.” In addition, she says that prepared blends “also narrow usage, which could bring about problematic sensitivity or sensitization.” 

    "That really provoked me and that’s what actually drove me to start writing about aromatherapy again," says Brenda. 

    Moving Forward

    As she recovers from cancer, Brenda says "it's been a huge thing for my body and also psychologically". As a result, she is just starting up again in terms of her business. She says, "I'm trying to figure out what I want to do. I thought I would start out by doing these newsletters." Another possibility that Brenda is exploring is an online group- perhaps a women's group- that meets monthly. Brenda also teaches various online classes throughout the year. If you're interested in learning about future opportunities and learning more about aromatherapy, you can sign up for her newsletter by clicking here.

    Spiritual Aspect of Essential Oils

    "Probably because of the experience I’ve had relative to essential oils, I’m interested in looking more into the spiritual aspects of the oils," Brenda says. She relates this to the similar study of the spirituality of herbs, and the concept of ‘intuition’ with plants that the German philosopher Goethe has written about. She explains that Goethe’s ‘intuition’ is a “specific, four-step process where you first separate the plant from all others and any background or preconceived notions that you have, then ‘read’ the plant in various ways.”

    “I do still love and use the science and chemistry of essential oils, and having learned those areas of study to my satisfaction, my next area of study is the spiritual aspects,” Brenda says. “To go into those and try to learn about that, I don’t think there’s a lot of that out there.”

    From The Newsletter

    With Brenda's permission, here are some of the recipes and insights from her newsletter:

    “When using essential oils in cleaning products, always use clean bowls, jars and other equipment. Make small batches as essential oils can evaporate or break down chemically in air. It is safe to use the essential oils in these formulas even if they are older, in fact, I often use my older oils for cleaning products. Using glass containers is best. Store any leftovers in a dark and cool place. As you work, shake the bottle frequently to keep the ingredients mixed. Btw, varnished wood is not suitable for cleaning with essential oils. If you are in doubt, test on a tiny area first.”

    Multi-purpose cleanser 1

    • 1/2 cup/120 mL white vinegar
    • 1/2 cup/120 mL rubbing alcohol or vodka
    • 2 cups/500 ml (distilled) water
    • 10 drops essential oil of lemon Citrus limon

    Mix in a spray bottle. Shake and use.

    Multi-purpose cleanser 2

    • 5 drops essential oil of lemon Citrus limon
    • 5 drops tea tree Melaleuca alternifolia essential oil
    • 1/2 cup/120 mL rubbing alcohol or vodka
    • 1 cup/250 ml (distilled) water

    Mix in a spray bottle. Shake and use.

    Dust and furniture polish

    • 4 oz/120 ml linseed oil
    • 4oz/120 ml vinegar
    • 1½ tsp lavender Lavendula spp. essential oil of any type
      Mix. Rub into furniture with a soft cloth. 

    Vacuum cleaner

    5-10 drops of lemon Citrus limon, peppermint Mentha piperita, manuka Leptospermum scoparium or another the essential oil of your choice on your vacuum cleaner bag or filter to freshen the air and leave a nice scent throughout your home.

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    Disclosure of Material Connection: I am the social media coordinator for the American College of Healthcare Sciences, the Institution that publishes this blog. However, all opinions are my own. This blog may contain affiliate links. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255: “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.” 

    This article is for informational purposes only. It is not intended to treat, diagnose, cure, or prevent disease. This article has not been reviewed by the FDA. Always consult with your primary care physician or naturopathic doctor before making any significant changes to your health and wellness routine. 

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    Authored by Gillian Turner

    Gillian joined ACHS after graduating from Linfield College with a BA in Mass Communication and a minor in visual studies. She grew up off the grid in rural southern Oregon and spent time exploring the forest surrounding her house and teaching gardening classes to other children in her garden. While at Linfield, Gillian gained valuable experience in public relations, social media management, and digital art. She was awarded a strategic communication scholarship and inducted into Kappa Tau Alpha, a national college honor society “that recognizes academic excellence and promotes scholarship in journalism and mass communication.” When not at work, Gillian can most often be found making art, enjoying nature or drinking coffee with her husband, Preston. Her interests include sustainability, mental wellness, and trying to stay connected to nature while living in the city. She studied abroad at the National University of Ireland, Galway, and has traveled to over ten different countries. Her favorite place that she has visited is the Scottish Highlands, and she hopes to visit many more countries in the future.

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