Touch of Beauty July 2018

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While this remarkable passage is the one everyone remembers, it’s only a small portion of the Declaration. Structurally, the text proceeds like a classic example of a rhetorical argument. It begins by proposing that if a government is oppressive and unjust, it should be overthrown. Then, it lists the ways the British government has been unjust to its colonial citizens. Finally, it concludes that because of these grievances, it is time for the U.S. to establish a government of its own. It’s also a literary achievement, full of timeless sentences that are as compelling to read today as when they were written. Somehow, the text achieves both clarity of argument and an overflow of emotion. It was so powerful that it stirred revolutionary emotions across the world, most notably in France. This Fourth of July, why not take the time to read the Declaration of Independence? It’s something few U.S. citizens do, and you’ll likely find it about as awe-inspiring as the biggest display of fireworks you can imagine.

that he presented it to Congress on June 28, 1776. The original draft was heavily revised over the next few days with input from all Congress members. This revision process coincided with convincing the final holdout states to move toward independence. By July 2, independence had been decided, with 12 states voting in favor, one absenting, and zero against. Jefferson thought that July 2 would become a national holiday as a result of this vote. Turns out he was two days off. That’s because two days later, the final text of the Declaration was approved and sent to the printer, and this event became the moment synonymous with the birth of our nation.

be so, until by an independence we take rank with other nations,” Paine wrote. “Common Sense”was wildly popular, selling more than 150,000 copies in its first weeks of publication, and created a groundswell of colonist support for independence.

DRAFTING THE DOCUMENT

Once a route forward was agreed upon, Congress set about drafting a formal document to dissolve all ties with Great Britain. They assigned a group of five congressmen, now known as the Committee of Five, to begin work on what would become the Declaration of Independence. That group comprised John Adams, Ben Franklin, Thomas Jefferson, Robert R. Livingston, and Roger Sherman. Most people believed that Adams, one of the earliest supporters of revolution, should be the man to pen the document. Adams, on the other hand, was insistent that Jefferson was the man for the job.

THE POWER OF THE PROSE

“We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness.”

Not much is known about how Jefferson wrote the document, but we are certain

–The Declaration of Independence

Sourcing the Sweet-Smelling Stuff Where Essential Oils Come From

distributor. There are other methods, such as expression (aka cold pressing), but because steam distillation is so easy to do, most essential oils you see on the shelf will have gone through this process. Lavender essential oil is harvested from sheaves of lavandula angustifolia , that purple herb you see all over gardens across the United States. There are lavender farms all over the world, from California to Japan to Brazil, but the biggest world producer of lavender is, interestingly, Bulgaria. Tea Tree oil comes from the leaves of melaleuca alternifolia, commonly known as narrow-leaved paperbark, a short, bushy tree that produces white, fluffy flowers in the spring. The trees are endemic to Australia, but today are usually farmed in New South Wales or Queensland. Bergamot is distilled from the peels of lime-green bergamot oranges, or citrus bergamia . Most of it comes from coastal areas around the Ionian Sea. Whatever you do with it, use it sparingly on your skin — it can amplify skin damage from the sun!

Call it a pseudoscientific fad or a medical revolution; either way, essential oils are more popular today than they have ever been. Though research on the efficacy of lavender, ginger, and the dozens of other sweet-smelling oils is conflicting at best, people are using them at an astonishing rate. In fact, according to Stratistics MRC, essential oils were a $5.91 billion industry in 2016 and are expected to reach $12.85 billion by 2023. Whether you’re an essential oil acolyte or fly into a rage at the faintest hint of bergamot, your mind is probably already made up about aromatherapy. The question remains, though: Where does all this delicious-smelling stuff come from? Most essential oils are derived from a process called steam distillation . Soon after harvest, the plants are placed on a mesh inside a sealed still, into which steam is injected. As the steam rises and envelops the plant, it breaks it down and lifts its constituent components up through a tube and into a condenser. The condenser cools the resulting vapor and collects it in liquid form at the bottom. Since essential oils do not mix with water, they float on the surface, where they’re siphoned off, bottled, and shipped off to a

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