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John Phipps: Essential Oils for Farmers

20:54PM Aug 21, 2018

John Phipps( Farm Journal Media )

During a family gathering with my in-laws, I found myself sitting next to a young woman whose age I would guess to be under 60, which is about as close as I can come these days. As we cast about for a topic of discussion, she mentioned she sold essential oils.

I work very hard these days to present the image of an up-to-date, totally non-lame citizen of the 20th century, so I nodded along to her sincere efforts to explain the health and mental benefits of these miracle unguents. You can only say, “I see” so many times in a viable conversation, so it became imperative to find out what she was talking about. The first thing I learned was these oils were not “essential” as in “gotta have them,” but rather contain the “essence” of the core ingredient. “Why not both?” I wondered silently, as the germ of an idea infected the considerable idle portion of my brain.

My attention was riveted when she talked about how the right mixture of essential oils could help with dementia. At my age this is a problem you don’t dismiss lightly. In fact, you constantly examine your actions for hints of the onset. Even when you can’t find any real evidence to support such a diagnosis, you worry you’re too far gone to recognize the symptoms.

It turns out there are myriad more benefits from diffusing (a sort of warm snorting, if I understand the process correctly) the right mixture of essential oils. Anxiety distraction, whimsical digestion, cosmic telepathy, alternative moods, diplomatic immunity and measurable attention spans are just a few. Plus, I’ll bet people are more waterproof—I know I am after being misted by a hydraulic oil leak. In fact, the benefits were eerily similar to the effects of administering single-malt scotch. According to many people I know.

A subset of essential oils are absolutes, which are refined by chemical processes, not unlike paint stripper, with the solvents thoughtfully removed prior to use and exposure to open flame. This complementary process opens up many other sources for beneficial fragrances other than raw materials you can squeeze or boil the heck out of.

The real question bubbling up in the back of my mind was how I could adapt this dubious medical therapy to help farmers with similar problems, while delicately extracting a stream of revenue for me. Since that conversation, I have performed literally bunches of research and have formulated a line of Essential Oils for Farmers™—specifically created to ease the emotional and agronomic tensions. You can tell they work because they are expensive.

  • Oil of Olé: Gently distilled sweat of minor-league bullfighters from the mystical rainforests of Spain, this manly aroma can enhance your mastery of livestock during stressful events such as calving, cow tipping or selling a loyal old milker. Not to be confused with Oil of Ole—a simple reduction of Norwegian pine needles inhaled to relieve the urge to tell ethnic Scandinavian jokes.
  • Essence of Waterhemp: This delicate reduction of the plumpest seeds from this preternatural plant can confer almost complete immunity to pesticides, industrial solvents, soap and even lite beer. A charming, but possibly perilous side effect is sharply increased propagation capabilities.
  • Oil of Cinnamon [Roll]: Beginning with the popular Oil of Cinnamon Bark, this potion adds the subtle allure of refined sugar icing to distract the most soybean-market-agitated spirit. Sharpens the appetite, increases saliva flow and can trigger tender memories of shopping malls and airports.
  • Absolut Absolute: The name is self-explanatory, but the relaxation effect can be rapid, compared to sniffing Oil of Catnip, which is too a thing.
  • Oil of Me: Why not take Oil of Me?

Considering the sobering cost of conventional medical care, a few hundred extra bucks for my nasal nostrums are worth a shot. That tantalizing fragrance you are now experiencing is the sweet smell of [my] success. I feel better already.