How a Treatment for a Teenager's 2nd Degree Burns Grew Into an Age-Defying Skin Care Line for Women Over 35
by Sharon Gnatt Epel, CEO/Founder La Ishá Inc.
The La Ishá Story began in June of 2005, when my teenage son left home to attend a summer Rainforest Program in beautiful Costa Rica.
After several days in group orientation, Aaron and his peers left their base camp deep in the rainforest to go on a white water rafting expedition on the border of Panama. A heavy rainfall the night before had saturated the soil, causing runoff from neighboring fruit plantations. Unbeknownst to the campers, toxic agricultural chemicals had seeped through the soil into the streaming water and made their way into the river where they sat undetected on the surface, like an invisible oil slick. One chemical in particular had been banned just about everywhere on the planet. It was still being used illegally by a plantation in the area.
My unsuspecting son waded into the river where his hands and knees came into direct contact with this chemical.
A mere six hours later, these tiny blisters had grown so large that they hung over the sides of his hands like heavy water balloons. Please be forewarned: These are graphic pictures and may be hard for you to look at. My son's left hand six hours later. His right hand six hours later.
The camp called to tell me that Aaron was suffering from "a minor allergic reaction to sunscreen", but they knew better. They made the long journey with Aaron from the rainforest base camp to a hospital in San Jose, the capital of Costa Rica. There, the attending physician diagnosed my son with 2nd degree burns. She cut open the huge blisters, administered oral antibiotics and applied a petroleum-based burn ointment to the gray, oozing, bloodless skin underneath. I insisted that he be sent home for follow-up care immediately.
While I waited for Aaron to arrive at Denver International Airport, I contacted several physician friends for guidance. One specialized in integrative medicine, and had been a doctor with the U.S. Army for over 30 years. Based on the description of the injury, he suspected that Aaron had sustained chemical burns, something that he had become familiar with during his career with the Army. The leader of the rafting expedition eventually admitted that the camp knew about the toxic chemicals that were seeping into the river, but because he was afraid of losing his job, swore he would deny having told me if forced to give testimony in court. I promised not to litigate, in return for information that could help us figure out an appropriate treatment for my son.
After looking at Aaron’s hands, my physician-friend suggested we treat the burns with clinical essential oils: natural plant substances I had never heard of before. Aaron and I agreed to the treatment after consulting several other physicians who - like us - had never heard of clinical essential oil therapy. They felt that we had nothing to lose by trying it since traditional therapy would prevent infection but leave him scarred for life; his dexterity impeded by thick, inflexible scar tissue. Deciding to use the essential oils was a huge leap of faith for us, but one that paid off better than we could ever have imagined.
We took dated pictures to document Aaron's treatment. When Aaron first returned home to Colorado, the skin under the blisters was gray in color, dull like cadaver skin, and completely void of surface blood. After 3 weeks of applying essential oils to his hands only twice a day, blood flow was restored to the injured areas on his hands and knees. Although these areas certainly didn't look very pretty at the time, we were assured that that bleeding was a sure sign that healing was indeed underway; His left hand: and his right hand.
Miraculously, one short month later, only a red outline remained on the skin where the injury had been. Here are pictures of His left hand and his right hand. The entire healing process took about four months from start to finish.
Here are pictures of Aaron's hands as they look today. I've posted two separate views of his left hand, the first one here, and the second one here. Here is a picture of his right hand. Please note that both hands are fully healed. There is no residual scarring whatsoever. Both hands enjoy free movement unhindered by scar tissue. His fair skin is supple, and its' natural color fully restored. Remember that nothing other than essential oils was ever used on his skin. The pictures you've seen here were submitted to the AMA to document his impressive recovery. They are a testiment to the expert knowledge of our wonderful doctor, and have been included in a textbook written by Robert Tisserand extolling the benefits of Lavendula angustifolia on burns.
Aaron's ordeal inspired me to learn as much as I could about essential oils and how they are used to safely treat a variety of issues. I wondered what these oils could do for someone like me, with the kind of ongoing problems typical of skin that is maturing: wrinkles, age spots, diminishing elasticity and sun damage. After three years of intensive research and product development, a small subset of the La Ishá Natural Skin Care line made its debut, establishing La Ishá as the 1st all-natural/green company whose products are designed for women over 35, and based on clinical essential oil therapy. We are proud to be setting new standards for age-defying skincare: fusing "glamour" and green, organic ingredients that support good health and produce visually stunning results without the use of harmful synthetic chemicals.
I am a huge fan of my own product line, and use our formulations daily to combat years of serious "sun abuse" and minimize future free radical damage. I invite you to try it for yourself, and experience the benefits of clinical essential oil therapy in an easy-to-use, ready-made skin care routine that takes the guesswork out of how to use essential oils, produces long lasting, age-defying results and skin that glows with vitality.
May you enjoy the blessings of good health and timeless beauty always!
Sharon Gnatt Epel
Founder/CEO La Ishá Inc.