Essential Oils

One of the tricky things about making your own skincare products is sourcing the ingredients.

When I started this "hobby", nearly a decade ago, I lived in a small Maine city with an excellent health food store that stocked everything I needed to get started with making soap and body care products. I could buy a little bit of this, a little bit of that. I didn't have to pay for shipping.

I could experiment and play with this hobby without a huge financial investment.

As I become more interested and invested in making my own skincare products, selling some of my soap and teaching others, I started ordering larger quantities from online suppliers.

When I was living in the United States I was able to access the many online stores and took for granted the relatively inexpensive shipping prices. When we moved back to Canada six years ago it felt like going back to dark ages in terms of online shopping; fewer stores, higher prices, expensive shipping.

Thankfully, the online shopping options have improved in Canada over the past few years.

Making soap and body care products, herbalism, and essential oils have become businesses for many people (which is great!) and online suppliers have responded in kind with wholesale sizes and pricing.

This is good for those willing to spend hundreds of dollars on an individual order, but not everyone is able or interested to make that kind of investment into materials, especially if you're just exploring or experimenting with a new hobby.

Sunrise Botanics fills an important niche in the online Canadian market. (They sell also to US customers, but US customers have so many options for buying these supplies online, whereas Canadians have much fewer.)

Like other online retailers, Sunrise Botanics sells soapmaking, cosmetic and skincare raw materials, bulk herbs, candle making supplies, and essential oils.

Unlike other online Canadian suppliers with wholesale pricing and sizes, they have no minimum order and small sizes are available for almost all of their products.

And they have $5 flat rate shipping with minimum $50 purchase. They are the only online retailer, that I am aware of, in Canada to offer this.

Sunrise Botanics has a modern, up-to-date online interface. They have an extensive inventory, products are easy to find, and shopping cart mechanics are straightforward.

Their turn-around is excellent. I received my order within 5 business days, during the pre-Christmas rush, the busiest season of the year. A similar order at one of the wholesale suppliers would have taken three weeks. And I received excellent and friendly customer service. (I am doing a review, so it was in their best interest to do so. I would hope they treat everyone the same.)

A brief summary from a company representative highlights Sunrise Botanics unique place in the Canadian market:

  1. No order minimums.
  2. Shipping charge is subsidised for order minimums of $50 and above. $5 flat rate is the best in Canada bar none for this industry.
  3. Wide range of products from oils to bulk herbs/spices, dried flowers, and raw materials.
  4. Place your order today and it is shipped in 2 to 3 business days 95% of the time.
  5. Small sample sizes available for practically all of our products.
  6. Wide range of packaging options at reasonable price points.

In my experience with the company I cannot disagree with this assessment.

Sunrise Botanics meets a unique need in the Canadian market with an extensive supply of soapmaking, cosmetic and skin care raw materials, bulk herbs, candle making supplies, and essential oils in accessible sizes and quantities; while offering quick shipping and low cost delivery.

Sunrise Botanics is pleased to offer blog readers a 15% discount at their store, good until the end of February. Use the discount code FIMBY at checkout.

I received product in exchange for this review. I do not accept compensation for my opinion, ie: you can't buy my good recommendation or endorsement, but I do accept compensation for my time and expertise in evaluating products, services and/or brands. See here for full review compensation policy.

This post is a continuation of my last one. I'm going to explain the Herbs & Essential Oils Super Bundle, tell you what I like about it, and what resources I plan to use. I will also talk a little bit about essential oils.

The thing I appreciate most about this bundle is how focused it is on one topic. Most bundle sales don't appeal to me in part because there is simply too much stuff. Too much digital stuff, is still too much stuff.

And of course the subject is exactly what I need right now to help me get my act together for the next cold and flu season.

Bundle Details

The bundle contains 20 resources which include 4 online courses, 14 ebooks, and 2 printable packs.

I bought a bundle for myself (full disclosure: at a discounted affiliate rate) and I've done an overview of most of the material to plan my course of action in using these resources.

I'm impressed with the depth and scope of what's offered in the focused topics of herbs and essential oils. I'm impressed with the variety of teaching methods - audio, video and reading materials. And I'm super impressed with bonus offer.

The bundle costs $29.97 and is such a good deal, as I describe below.

It's only available till Monday, June 27th 11:59 EST. I have no idea if it will return later in the year as flash sale. (I usually despise flash sales, they seem so gimmicky.) If you think you can use these materials, I would take advantage of the sale while you can.

Here's what I like in these resources and what I plan to use.

This bundle has more value than my original plan to buy a couple online courses to get me ready for next winter. I do feel I have to work for it a little bit more than if I bought a specific, targetted "cold & flu" course. I have to sort through the 20 resources and set up my learning path, but I've pretty much done that work already in reviewing the material to write this post. In addition, I get more than the cold & flu material and the bonus offer is worth the bundle price alone.


  • The ecourse I am most excited about is Herbs & Oils: Beyond the Basics from Vintage Remedies. It covers oils and herbs, including safety and toxicology, effective dosing and advanced research. One of the things I found most frustrating this winter, as we dealt with real sickness, is the "try a bit a this" approach and folksy-type wisdom people like to dole out. When you're not very sick, when the cold lasts a couple days, folksy wisdom is nice; sipping hot tea in bed, etc. But I want to know what really works when you're battling a beast, in what kind of doses and when to use it. I'm hoping this course will teach me.

  • 5 Multi-Use Herbs (And What to Do with Them). This is a video teaching. Yay for not having to read more stuff. I love when things - furniture, food, etc can serve multi-purposes so I'm keen to learn about multi-use herbs, especially since yarrow grows like a weed in my yard and it's one of the herbs taught. I've been feeling really bad about my weedy yard and then this bundle comes along and I realize what a gift it is to have so much yarrow at my disposal!

  • The Essential Oils Course course by family physician, Dr. Edie Wadsworth. I'm especially interested in her teaching on efficacy, emotions, and safety. This teaching has a very strong Christian bias, that frankly, I am uncomfortable with, but oh well. I'm hoping it won't detract too much from what I'm learning. From the little bit of research I have already done, I believe I could increase my emotional wellbeing and lower my stress and anxiety with essential oils. I'm currently taking an online course, gifted from my mom, to help me in this regard. I'll be curious to see how Dr. Wadsworth teaching compares to what I'm doing already.


  • Wellness Mama is one of the go-to resources in the blogging world for recipes and DIY on all things wellness, herbal, make-it-yourself wisdom. I'ved used her recipes a lot over the years: non-toxic cleaners, homemade makeup for Brienne, etc. Her book Handbook of Home Remedies is very extensive. I'll be focusing on the cold & flu protocols for now. But this is one of those comprehensive resources you can have at your fingertips and if your cupboards are stocked (she gives a list in the front) you can make what you need as situations arise.

  • Cold & Flu Season: Are You Ready? (not yet, but I will be). This is one of the main resources I will be scouring when I put together my plan.

  • Common Sense Home Remedies Book #1 – Head, Throat & Chest - This ebook feels like folksy wisdom but I will be pulling recipes out of here. The last section on Home Remedies for Seasonal Allergies is very intriguing to me. In the past few years, I've noticed our family suffering more with these, not significantly but some. It could just be that we are being exposed to new pollens - I noticed the symptoms on the trail and also this year in Montreal. It could also be exacerbated by dairy consumption, something we didn't eat for years but are now eating (mostly organic and raw) more frequently.

  • The Beginner’s Guide To Adaptogens: Herbs For Energy, Stress Relief & Immune Support Adaptogenic herbs are something I have been experimenting with, mostly as related to mental and emotional health. Adaptogens are herbs that support good health, which includes immune function. As I understand it, "they build you up" and they are notable for their support in adrenal health. I use them in supplement form as part of my winter wellness toolkit and also as part of my anxiety solutions. But my knowledge of how they work and how to incorporate them, beyond supplement form, is surface at best. I'd like to move my knowledge of adaptogens beyond experimentation and buzz word recognition into sound practice. I'd also like to learn how to make my own preparations to save money.

  • Homegrown Healing: From Seed to Apothecary is a comprehensive herbal resource. Herbal knowledge is basically the same across most of the resources I've found. What makes this ebook unique is the gardening emphasis which I am keen about right now as I have a full sun, tabula rasa (albeit weedy) backyard and I am designing gardens right now.

  • Essential Oils: Separating Truth from Myth - The next section of this post explains why I appreciate this ebook de-bunking 25 myths about essential oils. I don't think the author holds 100% of the truth, but the information seems balanced. I had believed the myth that essential oils are superior to simple herbal remedies, which is part of how I lost the little bit of herbal knowledge I did have. I replaced it with an over-reliance on a product I didn't entirely understand. And when we got really sick this winter, in spite of using essential oils, I felt a bit misled. I'm not blaming anyone. I need to arrive at my own understanding of these things, not take other people's positions, even people I trust, for gospel truth. (This is something I am prone to by nature.)

The cost of all these resources as stand-alone products is $324.90. Even if some are over-valued (another gimmick I despise) it's still a great price.

Let's talk about Essential Oils.

I have a lot of confusion about essential oils.

They are a "relatively" new thing in the North American natural health and wellness community. I've seen them in health food stores for years but dismissed them as over-priced incense. And their meteoric rise in popularity over the past few years is due to multi-level marketing, of which I am highly suspicious.

One of my dear, close friends has used essential oils therapeutically for years and her advice is sometimes different from my friends and relatives who got into this very recently through the MLM side of things.

I started using essential oils a few years ago, and honestly, I just don't feel educated enough. At first, I thought they were ok to just experiment with. "It can't hurt!", bloggers, acquaintances, all essential oils newbies, were telling me. Well, yes it can.

And just because you've been using a product for a few months does not make you an expert.

I feel fairly ignorant about essential oils for health, but haven't had the mental energy to do anything about it. This winter I was extremely frustrated with how hit-or-miss it all felt. I'm not asking for guarantees but it's important to me that I'm using best practices and that I'm learning from people who have extensive experience and a scientific understanding (that's my bias).

The science around essential oils is exploding but a lot of confusion still exists for me.

I also don't like all the "start a business stuff" that accompanies so much of the essential oil teaching and online health teaching in general. I don't want to start a business or be coached in reaching my potential as a consultant. There is nothing wrong with these aims of course, they're just not mine.

My aim is to use essential oils with knowledge and confidence and I feel this bundle offers that kind of teaching.

This winter I watched a great, free video from Lisa Grace Byrne about essential oils. And I found her approach completely refreshing and well-grounded (no pun intended). You can access that here. Her teaching always feels so solid to me, and trustworthy. This video is not about cold and flu but overall wellness and self-care, her speciality.

The Bonus Offer (more than icing on the cake)

The bonus offer in the bundle is fabulous.

In order to use essential oils and herbs you have to have them in your cupboards. You can grow your own herbs, or wild-harvest them, but most of use buy what we need. And very few people are set up to make their own essential oils. You need the stuff to use the stuff.

The bonus offer of this bundle has you covered with a 50% (50%!) coupon code for the online apothecary Golden Poppy.

The discount applies to bulk herbs and essential oils.

Here's the bad news, it's only good for shipping in the U.S. I happen to be traveling to the U.S. this summer so I had my order shipped there. If you are in Canada and can't access this, I'm sorry. (I know, it sucks.)

Here's a screenshot of what I ordered:

You can see that my savings were greater than the price of the bundle. I needed these oils anyway, they were on my to-buy list. This was a sweet deal.

Because I am familiar with doTERRA and I buy almost all my oils through that company (because I am able to support my mom and brother in doing so), I did a price comparison and found that the average pre-discount price of buying oils at Golden Poppy was a bit less than the doTERRA equivalents. This is not surprising because doTERRA's prices are set up for MLM sales. This is not bad or good, it just is.

If you are interested in buying oils and potentially saving money/earning money by having friends/family buy oils through you I recommend doTERRA. I can get you set up with my mom who does this for a business and can walk you through the whole process. You totally want to meet my mom. She's the best.


If you are at all interested in growing your knowledge in herbs and essential oils, you simply cannot go wrong with this bundle, priced at $29.97. And if you take advantage of the bonus offer (you really should), and purchase some herbs and oils at 50% off, your savings on those products pays for your teaching material.

You have a 30 day happiness guarantee with this bundle. I'm not sure how you can go wrong.

If you have any questions about the bundle contents before you purchase feel free to ask me. I will do my best to give you an honest evaluation, based on your needs and interests. I'm on Facebook, you can email me or leave a comment.

I used to really be "into" herbs and herbal knowledge. I'd say approximately ten years ago, in my late 20's and early 30's at the same time I started blogging, is when this interest took root in my life.

On the recommendation of a close friend (she swore by elderberry) I started using a few store-bought herbal remedies. But in my opinion, they were pricey and when I learned I could make my own, well, that's what I wanted to do. I started growing herbs, making tinctures, poultices, and salves. I was very excited by all of it. This is also the phase of my life in which I became a soapmaker.

It was the edge of my growth curve and like anything at the edge of my growth curve, I was motivated to write about it also.

When we downsized and left Maine, moving back to Canada and deep-diving into the adventure phase of our family life, I moved my stash of dried herbs, tinctures, and infusions. But slowly, through a combination of moving every nine months, hearty and healthy constitutions, and evolving interests and shifts in personal growth and development, my study and practice of herbalism fell by the wayside.

Then, a few years ago when I started to learn about essential oils I figured these could replace the role of herbs in helping me to treat the minor illnesses and everyday aches our family experienced.

A small kit of essential oils were my go-to remedies on the Appalachian Trail to treat upset tummies, rashes, sun exposure, bug bites, etc. (We used Permethrin on our clothing and tents and Picaridin on our skin to repel insects. When it came to ticks, we weren't messing around.)

I wasn't exactly sure what I was doing, whether to dilute or not, how much to apply, etc. but what I did worked relatively well. Lavender, lemon, peppermint, melaleuca, oregano, frankincense, and Deep Blue®, from the DoTERRA Family Physician Kit were my go-to oils on the AT.

But even so, it wasn't enough to prevent each and every one of us from experiencing mild to severe gastroenteritis; acquired from the unsanitary conditions on the trail. We should have used more hand sanitizer. We should have used more On Guard. We should have... we should have... all easy to say when you're looking back. We survived and finished the trail, with the exception of myself due to a foot injury.

Fast forward to this past winter when our family came down with the worst flu virus we've ever experienced.

The cupboards were mostly empty of the herbal remedies I had used in the past and I had actually forgotten the best strategies for using herbs. I was so out of practice. And by the time I had wrapped by brain around the fact that rest and fluids was not going to cut it this time around, it was too late for any essential oil or herb to be effective at treating our illness.

I went into the winter unprepared. The knowledge I had acquired in the past was relegated to a long-term memory folder I wasn't able to access and was insufficient for what I was dealing with. Wait and see meant wait and be ill.

And if I'm completely honest, I was kind of hoping we were done with all that. That once the baby reached 13 we'd be through the worst of the kid illnesses and that somehow just having the bottles of essential oil in the house would keep illness at bay.

This is almost comical in retrospect and I can't say it was a conscious thing, but I do think subconsciously I may have thought we were done with all that. Like you can be "done" with illness. Ha!

When we emerged from the fog that was two months of flu and and then secondary infections (that required antibiotics, the first time in about fifteen years) I resolved to re-learn what I had lost, re-stock what I need in the cupboards, and to have a plan for next winter.

I never want to go through that again. Pain does that. It hurts and you try to figure out how to avoid that suffering in the future, because it sucks.

My goal, by next winter, roughly November, is to have developed our family's essential oil and herbal remedies path for treating cold and flu. What I want to create is a classic if-then-else flowchart for cold and flu. (At the first sign of... do this.... then this.... else this...) I don't want to mess around, I don't want vague notions in my head about horseradish, onions, oregano oil and zinc.

I don't want to start searching the web, dusting the cobwebs off my knowledge, when we start feeling off. It didn't work last time. I want to have a plan of action, going into winter.

To that end I was going to take online courses. And I was planning to buy some herbal remedies my friend recommended. But the money situation has changed and it will be tight well into winter, so I was waiting and worrying, resigning myself to the fact that I'd have to do the work myself of finding the resources, searching the links and finding other solutions to the expensive herbal products I hoped to buy. (I recognize essential oils are also relatively expensive, but I have a lot of the basics already.)

And then... the Herbs & Essential Oil Super Bundle came along.

This is exactly how it happened. I don't keep in the Bundle loop, as I don't need a lot of homemaking help these days, and I find most bundles are full of a bunch of stuff I don't need. But I got an email a couple weeks ago that this would be for offered for sale. Was I interested in helping promote it?

Yes! Never mind promoting it, I need it for myself.

The information is all here. I don't have to go searching the web, or clicking through my growing list of essential oil bookmarks. These books have everything I need.

In truth, I probably have everything I need in the two hardcopy books I own (yes, just two), one on essential oils, one on herbs, but there is so much information in those books and I really want to focus on cold and flu right now.

Do you need this bundle to learn about essential oils and herbs? Do I need this bundle to learn what I need to get me ready for next winter?


But I believe it will simplify the process or at least get me solidly pointed in a good direction. And at a price I can afford.

I still have to do the work of reading through the material (not all of it, just the ebooks most relevant to me), making notes and drafting my flow chart (I'm serious about the flow chart). But it seems doable.

Before I committed to buying and writing about this bundle I wanted to make sure it provided a few things:

  • resources for cold & flu specifically
  • high caliber authors & teachers
  • non-MLM essential oil resources
  • great bonus features

I'm not one of those people who's going to tell you this bundle has everything you need, because it doesn't. You don't just need the knowledge, you don't just need the resources at your "fingertips". I had resources at my fingertips and it wasn't enough.

yarrow, growing like "weeds" in my backyard

I need to use the knowledge, find the supplies, buy the supplies (the bonus offer of the bundle helps with this), make the stuff. That part isn't done for me, or you.

I'm at the stage of life where I wish that part was done for me (because I have other interests I want to spend time on) but I can't afford what that costs. So... I'm back to rolling up my sleeves, using the brain God gave me, and the resources easily accessible (my weedy yard is full of yarrow!) to get where I need to go. Because I do not want to re-live another sick season like this past winter.

I'm going to publish a bit more about this bundle in the coming days, sharing what I'll be using specifically for my cold and flu prep work, and what I think about the bonus offer. (It rocks! I've already ordered my oils and saved more than the cost of the bundle. That's significant.)

In the meantime, you can check it for yourself of course.

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