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

 

 

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

 

Live Love Smell & Learn

#LiveLoveSmell & Learn about Essential Oils
Workshops are starting soon
Visit our website for more details www.bespokearomatics.com 

Basic Aromachology Intro Workshop

Areas of discussion

Defining Aromatherapy and Aromachology. What are Essential Oils?
How are they made?
How to use Essential Oils Safely and Effectively
Debunking the Myths: Purity & Pricing
Reading between the Lines: The Lingo
We will cover 12 of the most useful Essential Oils
Formulation Mathematics
Logistics & Legal regarding the sale of your own handcrafted products.

 

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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

 

Cinnamon: A Tasty and Aromatic Treat

The aroma and flavour of cinnamon is one of the world’s most popular, and just a pinch added to your daily diet has tremendous health benefits.  Research indicates that it may help to control diabetes, improve brain function, and aid in weight loss.

Waffles&BakedApple
When One Belgian Waffle isn’t Enough.  Paired with baked apple wedges and Canadian maple syrup and sprinkled with Sri Lankan Cinnamon. Oh what a Treat!

From an aromatherapeutic and olfactory perspective the scent of cinnamon elicits feelings of warmth and wellness, like peppermint and ginger, the scent of cinnamon may help to ease the discomforts of nausea.

Essential oils should never be consumed or taken internally.  In aromatherapy or in preference ‘aromachology‘ all essential oils must be well diluted in a natural medium such as coconut oil. Well diluted, means at or less than a four percent (4%) solution per volume within a chosen medium.

Even more care is required when using cinnamon or clove essential oils as both of these oils can cause skin irritation.  I do not recommend using cinnamon or clove in any all-over-body preparation.  However one or two (1 or 2) drops blended with other essential oils in a jojoba oil base adds a spicy grounding warmth to natural perfumes.

The aroma of cinnamon may even be a useful retail marketing tool when used in air diffusion.

People smelling warm fragrances such as cinnamon feel that the room they are in is more crowded, and feel less powerful as a result,” the authors write. “This can lead them to compensate by buying items they feel are more prestigious.

Natural perfume blends can be a little more concentrated at ten to fifteen (10-15%) than the four percent (4%) mentioned above.  However, they should only be applied three to five times per day (3 to 5 times per day) in tiny spot applications to body pulse points*, and only after conducting a skin test on the inside of the arm); *temples, inside of wrists, behind the ears, behind the knees and cleavage. 

For a yummy warm wintery natural perfume, in a 10 ml empty bottle try a ten percent (10%) solution mixed with Jojoba Oil – which would equate to the following:

2 drops of cinnamon bark essential oil
2 drops of lemongrass essential oil
10 drops of lavender essential oil
6 drops of vetiver essential oil
+ 9 mls of Jojoba 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

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

History: To Bathe

bath
L. Alma Tadema, victorian artist

Bathing = … ‘the washing of the body, or immersion of the body in water, practiced for personal hygiene, religious ritual or therapeutic purposes’

Star Anise (Illicium vermum) Essential Oil has an aroma similar to black licorice.  From a topical aromatherapeutic perspective it may be helpful with musculosketal aches and pains related to sports injury and rheumatism.  Through nasal inhalation it may help to ease bronchitis and nasal congestion related to the common cold.

Dead Sea salt is renowned for it’s therapeutic benefits for thousands of years due to the high content of magnesium along with other beneficial minerals.  Studies indicate that Dead Sea salts have remarkable improvements with respect to the itching and scaliness associated with psoriasis.

Our Mediterranean Dead Sea Salts have Zen-BathSaltsbeen aromatically enhanced with Star Anise essential oil along with cedarwood, sweet orange and lavender.

If you’re a bath lover – we have several varieties of natural bath salts.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          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

 

Sources:
Bathing. (2015, June 17). In Wikipedia, The Free Encyclopedia.
Dead Sea Salt, Benefits. SaltWorks, America’s Sea Salt Company.

What is an Essential Oil?

Egypt (1)Essential oils are distilled or expressed aromatic extracts that are derived from a wide range of aromatic plants.  These aromatic extracts contain upwards of 50 different naturally occurring components that work synergistically within the botanical matrix of the plant, rendering it with the ability to protect, defend, attract and heal.  The use of aromatic extracts (not necessarily distilled essential oils) dates back thousands of years and is similar to using herbal extracts, tinctures and teas to ease the discomforts from various physiological and psychological afflictions.  Essential oils are however very potent and should never be used in their pure or neat form on the skin.

Essential oils are used in the food and beverage industry and those which are of a culinary nature can be used in minute amounts in food and beverage recipes, however they should always be blended or dissolved in a natural edible alcohol, vegetable oil or in honey.  Note:  2 drops of essential oil is equivalent to one (1) teaspoon of dried herb.

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