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

Every day folks come into my little Aroma Apothecary questioning.
Do you have any Lavender essential oil?  I have heard that lavender is good for just about everything from; insomnia, anxiety, depression, anger, heart palpitations, hormone balancing, headaches, restless legs, sore muscles.

Then they ask . . . is this true? … because I would love to get off my medication and use something more natural.

I proceed to say – well it’s complicated!

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.

First and foremost, don’t stop taking your medication that was prescribed by your doctor if you have a serious medical condition.

Secondly there are many natural wellness modalities that we can incorporate into our lives in order to maintain our wellbeing.

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, however smell is very subjective and some people simply do not like the smell of lavender.

In actuality, any aroma that you love, can have a calming affect when you pair it with relaxing breathing techniques, so you don’t have to always default to lavender.

Linalool9labeled

In fact, the mere act of taking a deep breath and exhaling slowly will cause your shoulders to relax, the corners of your mouth turn up and eyes soften.  Olfactory research indicates that any 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.

Each of these aromas are lovely on their own, but a couple of them are quite tenacious and are more suited to being blended with other essential oils that dampen down  their aromatic sharpness.

I personally do not recommend using all of the linalool rich oils together at the same time. Because if you put all of your good eggs in one basket then you have nothing to work with when you develop a tolerance to your concoction.  I am always happy to explain further how to blend your oils, so drop into the Apothecary for a whiff.

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, #dropinforawhiff
Canadian Professional Aromatherapist & Aromachologist
www.primaessence.ca

Tutorial: Making Essential Oil Sprays

If you want to make a fragrant spray from essential oils to be used as: a body mist, linen spray, room spray, dog pillow spray, insect repellent spray or surface cleaning spray it is imperative that you use an emulsifying agent.

The amount of essential oils used in a spray should typically not exceed 4 to 6%.  To do the math consider the size of your bottle:  If you are making a spray in a 120 ml bottle for formula would be as follows:

120 ml x 4% (120 x .04) = 4.8 ml

Therefore in a 120 ml bottle you would add 4.8 mls of essential oil.

4.8 ml is approximately near to 5 ml (1 teaspoon) or is approximately equivalent to 100 drops.  Essential oils do not breakdown in water, or in witch hazel – so it is imperative that you also use a natural alcohol such as Vodka and it is extremely imperative that you also use an emulsifying agent.

I typically match the volume of vodka and emulsifier to the volume of essential oils.  Therefore in a 120 ml bottle I would also add 1 teaspoon of Vodka and 1 teaspoon of emulsifier.

If you are looking for aromatherapy supplies – visit us at Bespoke Aromatics.

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, #dropinforawhiff
Canadian Professional Aromatherapist & Aromachologist
www.primaessence.ca

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

 

 

Frankincense: Let’s put this in perspective!

 

Frequently people ask – which Frankincense is the best one to ingest? Then they proceed to tell me 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, to reverse the affects of concussion syndrome or reduce the inflammation in their joints.

Frankincense Essential Oil (EO) is obtained by distilling a resin (a sap like substance) that exudes from the Boswellia family of trees which predominately include sacra, carterii, frereana and serrata.  Frankincense oil contains a variation of chemical constituents predominately monoterpenes, sesquiterpenes and ketones which are dependent upon the Boswellia species and the geographical region to which the tree is grown. From a scent perspective the EO of Frankincense has a fresh balsamic peppery aroma, with a slightly dry green note, with coniferous tones and is used extensively in the perfume industry.

Traditional Health Uses
From a traditional health perspective the aroma is said to help reduce the symptoms of anxiety, nervous tension and stress-related conditions.  From an inhalation perspective it seems to lessen symptoms associated with asthma, bronchitis, catarrh, coughs and laryngitis. Topically, indigenous persons throughout the world have used the resin in natural skin care preparations for blemishes, scars and wounds and is often touted as improving dry skin, and reversing UV damaged skin.

Massage Therapy & Aromatherapy Massage
Frankincense EO would serves 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, which is dependent upon the species of the Frankincense EO. Since there is reputed research pointing to the benefits of Massage Therapy combining a few drops of Frankincense EO with a natural vegetable carrier oil such as coconut oil may have a positive affect on arthritic and muscular conditions when massaged into those areas of need.

The Contrary Hype
Despite all the chatter on the internet by those who sell false-hope, distilled Frankincense EO does not contain any boswellic acid, and this is where the problem lies or where the inflated statements and headlines are actually prevaricated.

Scientific Study
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.

Other research points to the oral use of Boswellia extract which may in fact have some positive health benefits due to the presence of boswellic acid.  If you are hoping to benefit from boswellic acid then check out your local natural health clinic shop for an oral supplement containing a standardized dose of boswellic acid that has been approved by the FDA or Health Canada. 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.

Under no circumstance should Frankincense essential oil be taken internally because during the distillation process the boswellic is lost and other constituents are heightened, and/or altered into other substances which are not safe to ingest.

Frankincense Essential Oil Preferences
Frankincense sacra, carterii, frereana and serrata are all suitable for general aromatherapy inspired products.  Presently I am using serrata in my skin care products because it is an affordable oil and happens to be organically grown.  I prefer carterii in massage oils and for inhalation due to the higher content of a-pinene.  I flip back and forth between the two when it comes to creating natural perfumes.  Serrata possesses more of a punctuating top note whereas carterii is warmer and more full-bodied.

Price should not be Indicative of Quality
Some Frankincense oils are more expensive than others, this has nothing to do with the quality. Different species of Boswellia resin yield different amounts of Frankincense oil. For example when the same volume of serrata and carterii resin are distilled the serrata will produce more oil.

References

Lis-Balchin, M. (2005). Aromatherapy Science: A Guide for Healthcare Professionals (1st ed.). Amsterdam, Netherlands: Amsterdam University Press.

Lis-Balchin, M. (1995). Aroma Science: The Chemistry & Bioactivity of Essential Oils (1st ed.). United Kingdom: Amberwood Publishing.

Tisserand, Robert, and Rodney Young*. Essential Oil Safety: A Guide for Health Care Professionals. 2nd ed., Churchill Livingstone, 2013.
*This author is not affiliated with the Young Living Oil company.

Boswellia Serrata; A Potential Anti-inflammatory Agent

Effects of Topical Boswellic Acid on Photo and Age-Damaged Skin

Frankincense Essential Oil & Cancer

Frankincense Essential Oil – Cancer 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

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

 

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.

IMG_9315

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.

 

IMG_0414

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

Aroma Art: I need your nose

Aroma is akin to art, with the ability to create a mood or change emotionality.

When describing to how to blend essential oils together I often relate it to the way that an artist blends together primary colours to achieve various hues. Artists often choose to work with a signature scheme of colours and with various mediums in order to objectively convey their subjective experiences and emotions.

RainbowColours

When folks ask me what are my favourite essential oils are, I reply – oh I have many, it just depends on my mood or what mood I am hoping to achieve.  That being said, the way in which another person may interpret an aromatic concoction could be totally different from what I set out to create. It is the individual’s subjective interpretation of scent that I find fascinating, so when I create Aroma Art I literally need your nose as well!

The best way to appreciate essential oils is to understand that despite the fact that they are individualistic by nature they are actually very complex compositions. There are several theories that govern the use of essential oils and how they work synergistically with one another. In the practice of aromatherapy, essential oils are blended with a therapeutic intention. Whereas from a natural perfume perspective essential oils are blended based on a person’s personal taste and how they may affect an individual from a psychological 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

 

 

 

 

What is an Essential Oil?

Egypt (1)

1. What is an Essential Oil?
Essential 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 the ability 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 perspective that 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®  These four words strung together followed by an encircled ‘R’ – simply means that this statement is a ‘paid for’ registered trade mark and is simply a clever marketing slogan which no other company is allowed to use. 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.

9.  Why do some companies charge more money for essential oils and why is rose oil more expensive than eucalyptus oil?
Those companies that sell essential oils through distributorship hierarchies are often more expensive due to the fact their profit margins are being shared.  Many essential oil companies (or brands) are sourced from the same suppliers who are ethical producers and farms which are located in the country to which the plant is native, or grown and harvested. It is important to realize that essential oils are agricultural commodities therefore from crop to crop, season to season, prices tend to fluctuate, also the price of an essential is related to the volume of oil that a particular plant yields.  For example eucalyptus leaves yield voluminous amounts of oil in comparison to rose petals which produce only a tiny amount of 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

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