Article written by Dr. Raphael d'Angelo, AIA Medical Advisor
I recently was given a fascinating article entitled "How to Adulterate Volatile Oils: A Pre-1906 Manuscript Formulary" (G. Sonnedecker, 1990) and I think the AIA members would find this very informative as a part of aromatherapy history that we rarely encounter.
Adulteration is defined as "any practice that through intent or neglect, results in a variation of strength and/or purity from the professed quality of a drug" was the standard before 1859. In that year the budding American Pharmaceutical Association added " the intentional addition to an article, for the purpose of gain, or deception…" Continue reading
Article by Lora Cantele, RA, CMAIA, CSRT
When it comes to Aromatherapy education and safety, any Aromatherapy organization would be remiss to not have any standards in place. When the AIA was newly formed there were many pieces to put into place; business plan, bylaws, budget, standard operating procedures, and the eventual creation of committees and education guidelines for Aromatherapy schools. Prior to the formation of the first Education Committee, the AIA board agreed to adopt the general outlines that had been in place for American Aromatherapy schools as established (in the 1990s) by the National Association for Holistic Aromatherapy (NAHA). In addition, the AIA agreed to "grandfather" in any NAHA schools that desired to be recognized by the AIA. The adoption of these guidelines was to serve in the short-term until the AIA established our own guidelines. The "grandfathered" schools were also informed that when the new guidelines were established and adopted, they would need to reapply for recognition under the new guidelines. Many of these schools either didn't reapply or failed to meet the new guidelines. Continue reading
Article by Haly JensenHof, MA, RA
The title of this article is misleading in that it may cause you to think I never diffuse essential oils, which is not true. I do. However, I am very conscientious about when and where I diffuse essential oils due to the safety implications of exposing others to the power of essential oils.
When clients come to me, some will ask, "Why doesn't your office smell like lavender (or other essential oil)?" Because I am an aromatherapist; clients, friends, and family assume that my space will be filled with the fragrances of my profession, but this is not the case. For natural methods of freshening the air see the methods given at the end of this article.
Bug season is upon us and that means it’s time for aromatherapy bug spray blends. Although all essential oils will repel some insects, there are a few that are more commonly used for the summer pests that many deal with such as mosquitoes, black flies, and ticks.
You may need to experiment to find out what works for your local bugs. Here are some essential oils classically used to deter the tiny biters... Continue reading
Consult A Colleague
Do you have a burning question about aromatherapy that needs answering?
We're here to help! Each month one of our colleagues will answer a question in our newsletter. So send them in and keep them coming.
Robert Tisserand, Gabriel Mojay, Anita James, Mindy Green, Mark Webb and others are part of our panel of consultants to answer these questions. Questions will be posted on our blog and in our email newsletter each month.
The questions need to be submitted to
and put "Consult a Colleague" in the subject line.
This Month's Question
I was wondering when essential oils are used as a dietary supplement what regulations or guidelines are used by manufacturers to assure safety and quality? I know they need to watch verbiage with structure function statements, but how would a consumer know if the oils being used are safe / not toxic, etc.?
The reason I ask is because I was asked to give an opinion about a dietary supplement containing essential oils that was promoting cellular regeneration. Please let me know if you want to know the product name. Continue reading
At the April Mountain Region Meeting, Nellie Shapiro gave a lively and interactive presentation on Ayurveda. Her 2-hour presentation began with a discussion on the 20 "Gunas." 'Guna' is the Sanskrit word meaning attribute or quality. This was an introduction to determining your Dosha or Bioelement that make up one's constitution. While all three Doshas (Kapha, Pitta and Vata) are present in each of us, one generally dominates at any given time. The key is keeping them in balance. After learning about the Gunas, Nellie let her audience try their hand at determining the Doshas of each of the others in attendance and explained further the various nuances in determining each person's constitution. This was followed by a brief break in which attendees sampled some tea Nellie prepared with fennel, cumin, turmeric and coriander and a delicious ginger and beet chutney. After the break, Nellie talked her audience through Dinachariya—a daily morning ritual to nourish and energize the body; including the appropriate time to rise, prayer, hygiene, exercise, breathing and meditation...all before breakfast! With each step, she explained the how and the why, as well as preparations she uses for herself including a tooth powder, body oil and deodorant made with herbs and essential oils. Her presentation concluded with the sharing of the following recipes for nourishment to support an Ayurvedic lifestyle for wellness. Continue reading
Article by Amy Kreydin
If aromatherapy is a frequently misunderstood profession then the specialization of aromatic medicine is so out there we could be discussing xenobotany here. But we're not talking about plant life on other planets, this is a unique branch of botanical medicine that employs volatile aromatic plant extracts in internal dose forms.
Twenty years ago I began studying botanical medicine in high mountain meadows, birthing rooms, greenhouses, gardens, and dining rooms in Northern New Mexico. Six years ago I studied clinical aromatherapy in a classroom at Boston Medical Center. Last year I began studying aromatic medicine at the Heal Center. It was an International effort coordinated by South African Roz Zollinger, Brit Gabriel Mojay, and led by Aussie Mark Webb. It was amazing and I've loved how it has taken my practice and education to another level. 🙂 Continue reading
Article by Marc J. Gian, L. Ac, LMT
There are as many ways to classify Essential Oils as there are to use them. As we use essential oils for "holistic aromatherapy" we need to become clear on what holistic means. All too often, the term holistic is thrown around for the use of treating symptoms without allopathic medicine. However, to accurately be holistic practitioners the inclusion of the emotional/mental aspect of our client is paramount. The philosophy of the 5 Elements is one system that can lead to sincere holistic treatment.
The 5 Elements or Wu Xing is a leading paradigm used in Chinese medicine and is a solution for the aromatherapist eager to understand the root of illness. The 5 Elements are used to describe many of the phenomena of the natural world including the human condition. Each element gives birth to another and then cycles back again, just like the seasons. Continue reading
The world of aromatherapy is a complex one. There are everything from home users who use essential oils through oral traditions, people who self-study, and others that receive formal training to understand the chemical makeup and actions of essential oils. Aromatherapy pioneers such as Robert Tisserand, Sylla Shepherd-Hanger, Jeanne Rose, Colleen Dodt, and Marge Clark have been studying the art and science of aromatherapy for 30-40+ years. Millions are just beginning to study aromatherapy.
Social media sites such as Facebook, Pinterest, and Instagram have made the sharing of information about essential oils easier than ever. Aromatherapy pioneers generously contribute to the discussion and provide valuable insight.
While there is a vast amount of information about aromatherapy available online, it is not all reliable, and in many cases is misleading, incorrect, or dangerous. This range of information has set up a divide in the aromatherapy community and caused finger-pointing and leaves many scratching their heads to find a way to bring the aromatherapy community together to move forward united with a common goal of sharing sound information to make responsible aromatherapy available to as many as possible. Continue reading
by Priscilla Fouracres
I recently had the privilege of visiting the only place in the world where Fragonia™ (Agonis fragrans), is grown and produced into essential oil. The 46-hectare property (114 acres), owned and operated by John and Peta Day, is about two hours from Perth, the capital city of Western Australia.
John and Peta Day in a field of Agonis fragrans (Photo courtesy of the Paperbark Co.)
The 'farm', as the Days call it, has a sense of serenity that emanates from the well-cared for and highly-loved piece of land they began developing 15 years ago.
A mud-map is required to find the farm and even then it is easy to drive past the unassuming property in a low-lying marshland where paperbark trees, a common name for some species of Melaleucas from the Myrtaceae family1, grow naturally. Continue reading