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.

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.

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.

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.

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

 

 

 

 

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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

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

 

What exactly is ‘AromaTherapy’ ?

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

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 you 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

 

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

 

Why do essential oils differ in prices?

Why do some essential oils cost so much?

Essenor-lav-euctial oils come from different parts of a plants, the; leaves, stems, flowers, roots, seeds, and resins. Different plants produce different volumes of essential oil.   For instance 1 kilo of lavender buds and stems yields more essential oil than 1 kilo of rose petals.  Market trends, the cost of labour, transportation, insurance and climate also contribute to the fluctuating prices of essential oils.

When purchasing essential oils it is imperative to buy from reputable suppliers who provide growing, extraction methods, safety and purity certificates.

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

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