I have used essential oils for more than 25 years, and yes I sell them, but …

Essential Oils… the do’s and don’ts

The use of Essential Oils with in the context of Aromatherapy is a modality that falls under the umbrella of Complimentary Health.

There is much to be said about providing the right environment for the human body to heal and many ways to protect one-self from developing or acquiring disease, this is where complimentary health modalities come into play and adopting a healthy lifestyle.

In my opinion it would be negligent to solely use complimentary treatments to treat serious medical conditions. While raising my family and for my own health and wellness I have always adopted a balance between allopathic health treatments and complimentary health modalities.

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Throughout my years of experience as a natural health product advisor via ownership of health food stores and my personal use of natural health products, be it; vitamins, herbal supplements, herbal teas, homeopathic tinctures and essential oils – there are five points that I have always stressed to my clients:

  1. If you have a new or worsening condition visit your doctor for tests and diagnosis.
  2. Learn and understand fully what the condition entails; signs and symptoms, underlying cause, how to treat, make a list of questions to take to your doctor.
  3. Take all prescribed medication as indicated by your doctor.
  4. Research fully all natural solutions and complementary modalities that may help to lesson your symptoms and reduce harm. Then ask your doctor and pharmacist if there are any natural remedy interactions that may interfere with your prescribed medication.
  5. Once you have become an expert on your particular condition – work towards finding a healthy balance between your allopathic health treatment and complimentary health modalities.

Essential Oils & Aromatherapy
Essential Oils are aromatic essences that are extracted from plants. They are complicated substances – and yes they contain substances that when isolated are used in food flavourings and in pharmaceuticals, but in their whole form they also contain other substances that might be harmful, so I don’t promote using essential oils internally, unless you are using oils that have GRAS status (generally recognized as safe) meaning they are essential oils that can be used for culinary or flavour purposes.

Other useful and recent posts include:

All About Essential Oils & Aromatherapy
Lavender: is it the be-all and end-all and what on earth is linalool?
Antimicrobial Activity of Essential Oils
Frankincense: Let’s put this in perspective!

Note:  Aromatherapy, like any other natural therapy, is intended to complement not replace traditional medicine.  When in doubt about any medical condition, always seek medical advice.   See legal

TinyFlowerVisit us – we’ll turn your nose on
#LiveLoveSmell

 

All About Essential Oils & Aromatherapy

1. What is an Essential Oil?

Esseoential oils are distilled essences that are derived from a wide range of aromatic plants. These essences contain upward of 50 different naturally occurring components that work synergistically within the botanical matrix of the plant rendering the plant with theability to protect itself from invasive disease, repel predators and attract pollinators. The term ’essential’ does not indicate that these substances are essential to humans, rather the term ’essential’ is derived from the word essence. While these substances are natural they are still considered volatile chemicals that require stringent respect. There are many references indicating that humans have used herbal and aromatic extracts and resins dating back to the Mesopotamia era. It is imperative to know that herbal extracts and resinous plant materials are completely different from distilled Essential Oils.

 

2. How are essential oils made?

Essential oils are predominately produced through a steam distillation process. Citrus essential oils are primarily produced through a cold pressed process. It takes several kilos of plant material and flower petals to yield a natural essential oil. Some plant material yields more essential oil than others which is why essential oil prices differ. When a particular plant does not yield much oil it’s natural odour molecules can be captured through a solvent process commonly referred to as absolute. The oldest known method for preserving plant odours is called enfleurage. For example gardenia petals would be soaked in a fat for several days and then the process is repeated until fat is saturated with the fragrance.

3. Are essential oils and the practice of aromatherapy regulated?

In Canada and the United States there are two professional organizations; respectively The Canadian Federation of Aromatherpists (CFA) and the National Association for Holistic Aromatherapy (NAHA), these organizations have strict guidelines that practitioners and businesses adhere to with respect to the proper dissemination of information and education surrounding the use of essential oils, absolutes and natural essences and including the distribution of such.

Aromatherapy is currently an unregulated and unlicensed field both for the practice of aromatherapy as well as the manufacturing of aromatherapy products, generally speaking aromatherapy inspired products fall under the category of natural wellness products (as long as no medical claim is being made) otherwise they may be considered as cosmetics. As a whole the industry seeks to comply with current safety and standards of practice, and to stay informed about potential impending regulations with regards to the manufacturing of aromatherapy inspired products and items that contain essential oils.

4. Pure essential oil vs. a fragrant oil?

Essential oils are predominately distilled from leaves, stems, flowers, roots, seeds, bark or resinous substances that exude from trees such as sap. Natural cold pressed essential oils are extracted from the peel of citrus fruits such as grapefruit, lemon, lime and orange. Fragrant oils are industry approved aromatic materials that are used predominately in soaps, detergents, cleaning products, body care products, cosmetics and perfumes. Fragrant oils are relatively inexpensive and are created with petrochemicals, commercial brand products that are fragrant also contain synthetic fixatives which allows the scent to last for several hours or an entire day.

Advancements in the petrochemical industry over the last century have provided industries with the ability to create synthetic fragrance and produce aromatic chemicals (such as musk) or that simulate natural odours such as lilac or watermelon. These synthetic aromas are used extensively in the perfume industry and by companies that manufacture body care products, detergents and soaps. Pure essential oils are expensive and unstable constituents; for example a batch of fresh distilled lavender oil could contain between 25— 50% linalool (a terpene alcohol that occurs in hundreds of aromatics plants and flowers). However, from season to season and depending upon the geographical growing location the resulting amount of linalool in a particular batch of lavender will vary. Varying amounts of linalool is not conducive to quality control standards when a manufacturer is trying to achieve a consistent scent. Therefore synthetic linalool is used extensively as an inexpensive filler and adulterator.

5. Can essential oils be used internally?

Essential oils that are of a culinary nature are used in the food and beverage industry as flavour enhancers. These additives are formulated by food chemists who are bound by industry protocols, licensing and government regulations. Sometimes you may see the term GRAS status on a label, meaning that a substance is Generally Recognized as Safe by the EPA & FDA (Environmental Protection Agency & Federal Drug Administration). This does not indicate that an essential oil is safe to ingest as a medicine or from a nutritional perspective.

Many companies are promoting the idea that it is safe to consume essential oils due to their naturalness and purity, with anecdotal marketing tag lines that entice purchasers into believing that essential oils can be used to cure, treat or render the human body from developing illnesses and disease. For example adding a few drops of a cold pressed citrus essential oil to your water or smoothie does not provide any vitamin c, nor does it provide any other nutritional benefits compared to eating and/or consuming the whole fruit. Some essential oils contain naturally occurring substances that cause mucous membrane, esophageal and stomaching lining irritation. Under the code of ethics stipulated by organizations such as the CFA & NAHA, essential oils should not be ingested for any reason. However some essential oils can be used in oral products such as toothpaste and mouthwash. As a flavour enhancer 1 drop of essential oil that is of a culinary nature should be well dissolved or blended in 1 teaspoon of olive oil or honey and then could be added to various foods and beverages.

6. How do essential oils work and how do odours affect people?

There are numerous books on the subject of Aromatherapy and piles of references on the internet directing folks to use essential oils either topically or internally to treat, cure, or prevent various conditions. However, making such exaggerated and unjustifiable product claims is sheer negligence.

Many of these anecdotal claims are being made by companies and individuals who have construed scientific information. There is however, empirical research indicating that pure essential oils contain constituents that are that are anti-microbial and possess insecticidal properties, some essential oils may provide topical relief related to musculoskeletal disorders, due to their cooling and/or warming properties, and some essential oils may benefit skin conditions. However, essential oils should never be used on the skin undiluted and it is imperative to know which essential oils should be used in lessor dilutions and realize that many can cause dermal irritation especially those that oxidize quickly. There is also verifiable science indicating that from a psychological perspectivethat an odour, be it natural or synthetic, be it pleasant or obnoxious – will light-up various centres of the brain and elicit positive or negative mood states.

7. Is one brand of essential oil better than another?

There is a lot of chatter purported by many businesses who indicate that their particular essential oils are classified as the purest or possess most therapeutic quality. One company in particular indicates that their oils are certified* which is a misleading statement. Most essential oil companies do not distil or manufacture their oils, rather most businesses buy in bulk from raw material distributors or have pre-arranged contracts with agricultural producers and farms.

*Certified Pure Therapeutic Grade: This is a relatively new trademark by a multi-level marketing company. It gives the appearance of being approved by some kind of higher authority and it has been said that the company states it is a FDA approved to use this label. According to Elston (2009), “This registered word mark has not been provided to them by the FDA as they claim and is meaningless in proving that an outside certifying body has declared or designated that DoTERRAʼs essential oils are certified pure therapeutic grade. DoTERRA, LLC owns the right to exclusive use of the mark (however not the exclusive right to the actual words “Certified Pure Therapeutic Grade” which is revealing) This seal or word mark is nothing more than a commercial trademark that they have registered and paid a fee for”. (Jade, Shutes, The East-West School for Herbal & Aromatic Studies).

8. Can people be allergic to essential oils or synthetic fragrance oils?

Just because something is natural doesn’t mean that it’s good for you! Many botanicals are poisonous, many people have environmental allergies, and many folks have very sensitive skin. If you know that you are sensitive to a particular plant then it is best that you avoid that particular essential oil, absolute or natural essence. Over the last one hundred years many folks have developed sensitivities to synthetic perfumes and to petrochemical derivatives in cosmetics. Best health practices indicate that adopting healthy lifestyle habits and reducing our exposure to toxic ingredients will benefit our planet and our bodies.

Note:  Aromatherapy, like any other natural therapy, is intended to complement not replace traditional medicine.  When in doubt about any medical condition, always seek medical advice.   See legal

TinyFlowerVisit us – we’ll turn your nose on
#LiveLoveSmell

 

 

Lavender: is it the be-all and end-all & what on earth is linalool?

The internet is all a buzz, Lavender is everywhere – and supposedly it’s going to knock you out and cure you of everything under the sun.

Every day folks come into my little Aroma Apothecary
questioning . . . Do you have any Lavender essential oil . . . or they declare lavender cures insomnia, reduces anxiety, cures depression, quells anger, improves heart function, balances hormones, cures headaches, settles restless legs, relieves sore muscles and improves libido.

Then they ask . . . is this true? . . .  or they declare . . . I would like to get off my medication!

And so I say – well it’s complicated!

  1. The common factor with all of the above symptoms is that we all suffer from them, why because:
    – we don’t get enough sleep,
    – we are over-exposed to a plethora of synthetic chemicals,
    – 
    we work too hard,
    – we abuse our bodies,
    – we don’t eat well,
    – we consume too much sugar
    – we have a lot of stress in our lives,
    – our lives are frantic,
    – politics and bureaucracy make us angry,
    – life is expensive,
    – we live with grief,
    – we live with mental health issues,
    – we are a living organism that is susceptible to disease, due to genetics and the environment, and
    – as much as we don’t want to hear – we get old and the vehicle breaks down.

  2. First and foremost, don’t stop taking your medication that was prescribed by your doctor if you have a serious medical condition.
  3. Secondly there are many natural wellness modalities that we must incorporate into our lives in order to maintain our wellbeing.
  4. Yes Lavender is known to elicit a calming effect on the central nervous system because it smells lovely and looks beautiful. The psychological calm that it produces when we smell lavender is the result of primarily one chemical constituent that occurs in lavender and it is called linalool.  However linalool also occurs in nearly 200 different aromatic plants.  When our olfactory bulb detects linalool it immediately produces an . . . ah effect (but smell is very subjective – so go a head and smell something that you adore – but it doesn’t have to be Lavender).  Take a deep breath, exhale slowly and notice how your shoulders relax the corners of your mouth turn up and eyes soften . . . research indicates that a pleasant fragrance can produce an immediate change in physiological parameters such as blood pressure, muscle tension, pupil dilation, skin temperature, pulse rate and brain activity.
  5. But what if you don’t particularly like Lavender . . . well hey . . . below we have provided a lovely visual of 7 other essential oils that contain the relaxing linalool substance.  Now you may not like them in their individual or neat form, but one of the beautiful things about having a collection of essential oils is that you can create unique combinations of aromatics to fragrance your body, fragrance your home, use in skin care products, and to help alleviate stress.  But I don’t generally recommend that you use all of your relaxing oils at one time or blend them all together. Drop in sometime for a whiff ! Our Professional Aromatherapist is always happy to explain – it’s just a little easier to educate our clients before they walk in the door. (what are essential oils – read more here)

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Note:  Aromatherapy, like any other natural therapy, is intended to complement not replace traditional medicine.  When in doubt about any medical condition, always seek medical advice.  See legal

TinyFlowerSandra Topper, Professional Aromatherapist & Aromachologist
www.bespokearomatics.com

Neroli

Neroli ~ Citrus aurantium L. and/or Citrus bigardia L. possesses GRAS status (generally recognized as safe).  Neroli oil contains more than 70 different natural occurring chemicals, however the constituents that are responsible for its lovely scent are primarily:
linalyl acetate (43-68.5%)
linalool (23.8-54.3%)
geraniol (2.8 – 5.9%), and
limonene (traces up to 10.2%). Percentage levels vary from batch to batch, due growing conditions, geographical location and species.
The essential oil of Neroli is derived by the steam distillation of orange and/or bitter orange tree blossoms. Neroli is one of the most expensive essential oils on the market (approximately $8,000 Cdn. per litre) because it takes about 100 kilos of blooms to create just 1 litre of neroli oil.  At that price it is not economically viable for candle and soap manufacturers to use pure essential oil of Neroli in their products and so they often use synthetic knock-offs.

In contrast, just 1 litre of distilled Petitgrain (orange or lemon LEAF oil) is approximately $160 Cdn. per litre, this is due to the fact that the orange leaf yields much more oil than the blossom. When you smell Neroli and Petitgrain side-by-side it is quite clear that they have similar aromatic notes with Neroli being very sweet and floral, while Petitgrain has more sharp, and tenacious green notes.

Neroli oil is highly valued by perfumers for its sweet and middle floral notes, with a slight smokey green pepper undertone. Skin care alchemists declare that Neroli helps to combat dry, irritated and sensitive skin and it may help improve the skin’s elasticity which in-turn may slow down the occurrence of thread veins and prevent scaring.

True Neroli oil is prized by Aromatherapists as being one of the most important oils in their collection, as the scent of Neroli can produce feelings of euphoria and lower respiration, thereby helping to reduce stress and help to quell anxiety.

Two of the chemicals that occur naturally in Neroli and Petitgrain (and in approximately 200 other different species of aromatics plants) are Linalool and linalyl acetate. Research indicates that when the scent of linalool and linalyl acetate are lightly vaporized they have relaxing and positive effects on the central nervous system, helping to quiet the mind and lower respiration and may be useful from a pain management perspective.

In a laboratory setting, the application of Neroli oil was found to have antibacterial action against several species of bacteria while it’s vapour was less effective.  Neroli oil application proved effective with many forms of fungi.

Given the fact that Neroli possesses anti-microbial and anti-fungal properties it does not indicate that the oil be used as an alternative to treat bacterial infections in humans.  Based on the fact that Neroli possesses anti-microbial properties, some ‘essential oil sales folks’ may entice or suggest that people buy Neroli oil and add it to their home-made cleaning products.  In my opinion this is sheer nonsense and an un-ethical sales pitch. Don’t waste your money or your Neroli. There are plenty of other essential oils that contain constituents that are anti-microbial and are more affordable for your do-it-your-self natural cleaning products. 

Petitgrain ~ Citrus aurantium L., Citrus reticulata, possesses GRAS status (generally recognized as safe).  The primary chemical constituents in Petitgrain are:
linalyl acetate (46-71%)
linalool (12.3-27%)
geraniol (1.4-4%)
limonene (1-8%)
a-Terpineol (2-8%), and
Geranyl acetate (1.9-3.4%).
As previously mentioned Petitgrain oil is derived via steam distillation of leaves and twigs primarily from the lemon and orange tree.  The odour of Petitgrain oil is comprised of nearly 400 different components.  Dermal sensitization and phototoxicity is rare with Petitgrain oil unless it has been adulterated with cold pressed citrus oils.  In a laboratory setting, the application of Petitgrain oil was found to exhibit relatively good action against several species of bacteria and fungi, however its vapour was less effective.

Given the fact that Petitgrain oil possesses anti-microbial and anti-fungal properties it does not indicate that the oil be used as an alternative to treat bacterial infections in humans.  Since Petitgrain is a very affordable essential oil it would make more sense to add a little Petitgrain oil and not Neroli oil to your homemade natural cleaning products. Petitgrain oil is an excellent fragrant choice that could be used to naturally scent unscented mediums such as carrier oils, lotions, creams, deodorants, soaps, shampoos and shower gels.  In the palm of your hand with a dollop of your choice (lotion, carrier oil, soap) add 2-3 drops of petitgrain and enjoy.

Linalyl acetate also possess promising anti-inflammatory properties.  Linalyl acetate often occurs in conjunction with linalool in many essential oils but it must be understood, that while essential oils possess these valuable properties it does not mean that essential oils should be used in leu of conventional therapies.

Most of the empirical research (scientific) involving essential oils has been conducted in laboratory settings in vitro (controlled environment outside of a living organism) often on skin tissue or ileum (smooth muscle intestine samples) excised from laboratory animals.

Neroli in it’s pure or neat form could cause cutaneous irritation therefore it is imperative to dilute neroli in a carrier oil such as fractionated coconut oil.  Typically safe dilutions of all essential oils should be maintained at less than 6-10% per volume, however harsh essential oils (those essential oils that are known to be severe dermal irritants) should be maintained a lower dilutions such as 1-2% per volume.

Because Neroli is so darn expensive it would be a waste of money to use it in wash off products or to diffuse it in an electric aromatic diffuser.  To truly benefit from the relaxing effects of Neroli consider blending 20 drops of neroli in 10 ml bottle of fractionated coconut oil or jojoba oil and use it to perfume your wrists and palms of your hands, and then cup the aroma around your nose in order to benefit from it’s odour – this is what ‘Aroma’-therapy is all about.

Neroli is a very delicate aroma – blending it with other essential oils takes some skill and understanding because some will compliment and others will compete. At Bespoke Aromatics – I personally create custom blended natural perfumes with pure essential oils – drop in for a whiff sometime – and ask about my Neroli Solifore perfume.

References:

Lis-Balchin, M., Dr. (1995) The Chemistry & Bioactivity of Essential Oils.

Lis-Balchin, M., Dr. (2006) Aromatherapy Science, A Guide for HealthCare Professionals.

Tisserand, Robert & Young, Rodney. (2014) Essential Oil Safety, A Guide to Health Care Professionals, 2nd Edition.

Online Research Resources:

Anticonvulsant activity of Citrus aurantium blossom essential oil neroli: involvment of the GABAergic system.

Effects of Inhalation of Essential Oil of Citrus aurantium L. var. amara on Menopausal Symptoms, Stress, and Estrogen in Postmenopausal Women: A Randomized Controlled Trial.

Effects of aromatherapy on the anxiety, vital signs, and sleep quality of percutaneous coronary intervention patients in intensive care units.

Essential Oils for Complementary Treatment of Surgical Patients: State of the Art.

Anti-inflammatory activity of linalool and linalyl acetate constituents of essential oils

Lavandula angustifolia Mill. Oil and Its Active Constituent Linalyl Acetate Alleviate Pain and Urinary Residual Sense after Colorectal Cancer Surgery: A Randomised Controlled Trial.

Note:  Aromatherapy, like any other natural therapy, is intended to complement not replace traditional medicine.  When in doubt about any medical condition, always seek medical advice.  See legal

TinyFlowerSandra Topper, Professional Aromatherapist & Aromachologist
www.bespokearomatics.com

 

 

 

 

Coconut Oil: What’s the Fuss?

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Consuming Coconut Oil might be better than animal fat – but it’s still a high calorie fat, until more research is conducted, especially looking at the impact on heart disease risk, it may be better to limit your consumption.

From a skin nourishing perspective we like coconut oil because it has a long shelf life and it is considered an occlusive agent providing a physical barrier to reduce water evaporation from the skin.

In order to fully enjoy the odorous benefits of essential oils I prefer to use fractionated coconut oil because it remains liquid at cooler temperatures allowing us to create pourable massage oils and it doesn’t go rancid.

A few useful links:

Fractionated Coconut Oil
Why all the Fuss?
Is it good or bad for your skin?

Note:  Aromatherapy, like any other natural therapy, is intended to complement not replace traditional medicine.  When in doubt about any medical condition, always seek medical advice.  See legal

TinyFlowerSandra Topper, Professional Aromatherapist & Aromachologist
www.bespokearomatics.com

Do essential oils go rancid?

carrieroilWhen you purchase various vegetable oils (which are primarily cold pressed) for cooking and consuming, you will discover that over a period of time of 3-9 months, depending upon the type of oil it will begin to turn rancid and develop an off odour. Different vegetable oils vary in their shelf life.  Storing vegetable oils in dark glass containers at slightly cooler temperatures (rather than in a cupboard above your stove) will help to maintain their freshness. It is recommended that some vegetable oils be kept in the refrigerator – but it is dependent upon the type.

Essential oils are primarily distilled from aromatic plant materials and typically do not go rancid in the same respect as vegetable oils.  Over time essential oils will lose their freshness and crisp odour. When essential oils become oxidized they are more likely to cause dermal irritation – specifically citrus oils.

eoMany essential oils begin to breakdown or become oxidized when they come into contact with air (oxygen) – therefore never leave bottles opened.  Specifically cold pressed citrus oils contain high levels of limonene which begins to oxidize at the very moment that it is exposed to oxygen.  To extend the shelf life of a citrus oil beyond 6 months store them in the refrigerator.

Essential oils are often termed as volatile (meaning to evaporate) because they contain naturally occurring alcohols. Top note oils such as peppermint, rosemary, and eucalyptus contain high levels of alcohols so they tend to evaporate more quickly than those that contain less alcohol. Generally speaking top note oils should last 6 – 12 months (some say longer). Middle note oils such as lavender and geranium should last even longer 1 – 2 years.  Base note oils such as cedarwood, patchouli and sandalwood tend to be more viscous, are darker in colour and have lower alcohol levels resulting in a longer shelf life (possibly 2 – 4 years).

Storing essential oils in dark glass containers and not exposing them to drastic temperature fluctuations and away from direct sunlight will help to preserve your oils.  If you invest in a large bottle of an essential oil such as 1 – 2 oz (30-60 ml) then over time the oil should be decanted into a smaller bottle to reduce the ratio of air-to-oil in the bottle. Replacing the orifice reducer (dropper cap) periodically can also help to maintain an essential oil.

All essential oils should be blended into a carrier oil (natural vegetable oil) in order to use them on your skin. It is the carrier oil that goes rancid (often within 3 months) – a rancid carrier oil smells like old cooking oil. In order to render your aromatic body oil concoctions from going rancid and reduce the risk of allergens (such as almond oil) consider using fractionated coconut oil.

Using essential oils is akin to cooking – it is advised that you blend and use your concoctions immediately or at least use them within a week or two. You wouldn’t make a fresh batch of soup and store the leftovers in containers on a windowsill – would you?

Some useful links:

Eat by Date

Keep your essential oils cool

Note:  Aromatherapy, like any other natural therapy, is intended to complement not replace traditional medicine.  When in doubt about any medical condition, always seek medical advice.  See legal

TinyFlowerSandra Topper, Professional Aromatherapist & Aromachologist
www.bespokearomatics.com

Antimicrobial Activity of Essential Oils

IMG_3553Many essential oils possess anti-microbial properties, due to the naturally occurring constituents that result from the distillation process.

However this does not mean that humans should consume essential oils in order to treat or prevent bacterial infections.

Essential oils are extremely strong substances and they need to be used with caution, with respect to inhalation and topical skin use.

If an adult were to receive an entire body massage with a massage oil and that individual does not have a medical condition nor is taking a medication, the massage oil blend should not exceed six (6-10%) percent of added essential oils in a base oil such as coconut.

Pregnant or nursing mothers, the elderly, children under the age of 12 years, those with a medical condition, those persons taking medication or receiving treatment such as chemotherapy, persons with respiratory conditions or those who have allergies or skin sensitivities should use milder dilutions at one (1%) to two (2%). Some essential oils should be completely avoided by persons who fall into any of the above scenarios and it is imperative to consult with your physician.

Essential oils are commonly being used in cold water vapour machines known as ultrasonic misters.  Many folks are turning to this method in order to naturally scent their homes and personal spaces. Since many essential oils contain naturally occurring substances that have antimicrobial properties it is believed that this practice may help to improve air quality. According to Robert Tisserand & Rodney Young (2014):

A few drops of essential oil in a burner, vaporizer or in a steam inhalation is virtually risk-free.  However, prolonged inhalation (more than about 30 minutes) of concentrated essential oil vapors (eg., steam inhalation, or direct from a bottle) can lead to headaches, vertigo, nausea and lethargy.  In certain instances more serious symptoms might be experienced, such incoherence and double vision.

For children 5 years old or less, direct inhalation should be avoided.

At Bespoke Aromatics we carry over 100 different varieties of pure essential oils and we teach classes about how to use essential oils safely and effectively.

Many of our customers ask us if we make our essential oils, and often folks tell as that ‘such and such’ a company or that ‘this person I know’ makes their own essential oils.  In order to make an essential oil, expensive and complicated machinery is required.  Essential oils are most often extracted or distilled on-site at the location where the plant material is grown and harvested. Oh for sure there are many companies, manufacturers, aromatherapists, practitioners and even back-yard do-it-yourselfers who blend essentials into various concoctions and mediums but this does not equate to ‘making’ an essential oil.  Nearly all of the essential oils on the market are purchased in bulk (25 kg +) from just a handful of multi-national distributors of essential oils and raw material handlers.  Then the essential oils are re-bottled into smaller bottles and are re-labeled and branded.

It doesn’t take rocket-science to create a synergistic blend of essential oils that help to combat environmental germs, and you don’t have to pay an exorbitant amount of money (or be ‘thieves’) to create your own blend.  At Bespoke we carry all the individual essential oils to create your own ‘thieves blend’ : Lemon, Eucalyptus radiata, Rosemary, Cinnamon Bark and Clove Bud.

There is substantial research pointing to the fact that many essential oils have anti-microbial properties. Below we provide a list of valuable online resources:

Antibacterial activity of essential oils and their major constituents against respiratory tract pathogens by gaseous contact.

Antimicrobial activities of eucalyptus leaf extracts and flavonoids from Eucalyptus maculata.

Antimicrobial activity of clove and rosemary essential oils alone and in combination.

In vitro antibacterial activity of some plant essential oils.

Aromatherapy: Guidelines For Using Essential Oils And Herbs

Other Sources:

Lis-Balchin, M. (1995). Aroma science: The chemistry and bioactivity of essential oils. United Kingdom: Amberwood Publishing.

Tisserand, R., Young, R., Williamson, E. M., Balacs, T., & Tisser, R. (2013). Essential oil safety: A guide for health care professionals (2nd ed.). Edinburgh, United Kingdom: Churchill Livingstone.

Note:  Aromatherapy, like any other natural therapy, is intended to complement not replace traditional medicine.  When in doubt about any medical condition, always seek medical advice.  See legal

TinyFlowerSandra Topper, Professional Aromatherapist & Aromachologist
www.bespokearomatics.com

 

 

Enter with caution and at your own risk!

Screen Shot 2016-06-21 at 11.35.33 PM

Visiting Bespoke Aromatics may cause severe hyperactive glee and in some persons a lowered level of respiration can occur resulting in severe relaxation.

Upon entering some folks have experienced difficulty when trying to articulate into words, the way in which their senses are being stimulated.

Sounds related to extreme joy have been witnessed, such as ooh and awe.

Some folks have become energized and have indicated that they have a profound desire to perform pirouettes, while others have literally been seen jumping up and down.

Some people simply stand in the middle of the shop and become catatonic.

Flared nostrils due to a heightened sense of smelling may also occur – if you are concerned about any these effects it is best to seek professional advice before entering our fragrant gallery.

Note:  Aromatherapy, like any other natural therapy, is intended to complement not replace traditional medicine.  When in doubt about any medical condition, always seek medical advice.  See legal

TinyFlowerVisit us – we’ll turn your nose on
#LiveLoveSmell

Frankincense: Let’s put this in perspective!

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At least once a day somebody asks us – do you have any ‪#‎Frankincense‬ Oil? Then they tell us how they read an article on the emojiinternet, or that a friend told them to place a few drops under their tongue or rub some on the roof of their mouth every day in order to treat or prevent cancer!  

Frankincense Essential Oil (EO) is obtained by distilling the resin (a sap like substance) that exudes from a tree known as Boswellia carterii which is primarily indigenous to India, Ethiopia, Kenya and Somalia.

The chemistry of the essential oil is mainly monoterpenes and sesquiterpenes, with small amounts of diterpenoid components occurring in the upper limit, in terms of molecular weight.

From a scent perspective the EO of Frankincense has a fresh balsamic peppery aroma, with a slightly dry green note, and is used in many citrus, floral and masculine type perfume formulations.

Some folks indicate that the aroma has been known to help reduce the symptoms of anxiety, nervous tension and stress-related conditions.  From inhalation perspective some folks indicate that it helps to lessen the symptoms associated with asthma, bronchitis, catarrh, coughs and laryngitis.

Frankincense EO is often used as an ingredient in natural skin care preparations and in aromatherapy concoctions as it is reputedly known to benefit blemishes, scars, wounds, dry and mature complexions and may help to prevent wrinkles.

In a laboratory setting when bacteria is grown in a petri dish Frankincense EO has proven to be quite effective as an anti-bacterial agent, and food chemists have investigated its properties to control various types of Listeria monocytogenes. However, Frankincense EO has yet to be proven as a substance to treat human pathogens.

From a synergistic perspective a blend (see below) of Frankincense EO would serve as an excellent adjunct to Massage Therapy, as Frankincense EO contains constituents that may help to improve circulation and reduce inflammation (due to the monoterpene levels specifically a-pinene & thujone – which is dependent upon the species of the Frankincense EO). Since there is reputed research pointing to the benefits of Massage Therapy the two modalities may have a positive affect on arthritic and muscular conditions.

Blend Recipe: 1.5 ml (30 drops) of Frankincense EO in 30 ml (1 oz) of a natural vegetable carrier oil, such as coconut oil.

Despite all the chatter on the internet by those who sell false-hope, distilled Frankincense EO does not contain any boswellic acid and therefore possesses no anti-inflammatory or anti-tumour properties.  Under no circumstance should Frankincense EO or any other EO be taken internally.  Frankincense EO is not an approved substance by Health Canada or by The FDA for oral use or for human consumption.

On the other hand, some research has pointed to the possibility that taking an approved oral form of boswellia extract may have some health benefits. Several years ago Health Canada implemented a program to licence products that have been found to be safe, effective and of high quality under their recommended conditions of use. You can identify licensed natural health products by looking for the eight-digit Natural Product Number (NPN) or Homeopathic Medicine Number (DIN-HM) on the label.

Robert Tisserand is a highly regarded expert in the field of Essential Oils, and so we would suggest that you check out the following links.

Frankincense Essential Oil & Cancer

Frankincense Essential Oil – Cancer in Perspective

If you are in the Cobourg Ontario area we carry more than 90 different essential oils including Organic Pure Indian Boswellia serrata, (Frankincense Essential Oil).

Note:  Aromatherapy, like any other natural therapy, is intended to complement not replace traditional medicine.  When in doubt about any medical condition, always seek medical advice.  See legal

TinyFlowerSandra Topper, Professional Aromatherapist & Aromachologist
www.bespokearomatics.com

 

Sneaking a Taste

Pippa often participates in the preparation of a meal (more often the desert) and sometimes she sneaks a taste.

Here’s a little something for everyone’s taste buds; strawberries with waffles & maple syrup, red wine, chocolate chip ice-cream, espresso with lemon & grappa.

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TinyFlower

Namaste

Internal Use of Essential Oils: NO !

IMG_1846Folks are always asking:
Do you make all your own essential oils?
Where are your oils from?
Are your essential oils ‘pure therapeutic grade’?
Can I take them internally?

No we do not make essential oils, we buy essential oils from ethical suppliers who buy directly from farms and producers within the country of origin where the plants are grown, harvested and often distilled or extracted on site.

There is no governing or licensing body that certifies that a particular brand of essential oils are of a ‘Pure Therapeutic Grade’.  Please refer to one of my earlier posts.

Professional Aromatherapists in North America who adhere to professional standards (as stipulated by their college or member association) do not promote the use of essential oils for ingestion or for internal use.

The internet is full of chatter making reference to using essential oils internally and that certain essential oils will cure a disease (specifically cancer).  Please take the time to peruse the following links which may help you to debunk some of the myths and develop a better understanding of how to use essential oils safely.

Essential Oils on Clients with Cancer

Interview with Robert Tisserand about using essential oils safely

Frankincense Essential Oil & Chemotherapy

Are essential oils safe? University of Minnesota

Want to learn more? Sign up for one of my classes.

Note:  Aromatherapy, like any other natural therapy, is intended to complement not replace traditional medicine.  When in doubt about any medical condition, always seek medical advice.   See legal

TinyFlowerVisit us – we’ll turn your nose on
#LiveLoveSmell

 

Ancient Opus

“The combination of simultaneously blending aromatic notes to produce an accord thus having a pleasing effect; the quality of forming a pleasing and consistent whole.”

“The combination of simultaneously sounded musical notes to produce chords having a pleasing effect; the quality of forming a pleasing and consistent whole.”

Opus, an artistic composition.

The Art of perfume making and building harmony into an accord not only requires a good nose but having an understanding of the descriptors of scent by note classification.

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Note:  Aromatherapy, like any other natural therapy, is intended to complement not replace traditional medicine.  When in doubt about any medical condition, always seek medical advice.   See legal

TinyFlowerVisit us – we’ll turn your nose on
#LiveLoveSmell