Aromatherapy – Alliance of International Aromatherapists Thu, 08 Dec 2016 20:22:32 +0000 en-US hourly 1 Plantar Fibromatosis Treated with Aromatherapy (Case Study Report) Sun, 02 Oct 2016 15:56:14 +0000 Continue reading ]]> Article by Stefania Borrelli


NOTE FROM AUTHOR: Among the ingredients, I wrote “Sardinia Helichrysum” on purpose since it’s the one I generally use – having similar chemical components and imported from Italy (which is close to Corsica).


Client Background

Age: 51

General State of Physical Health: Good

General State of Emotional Health: Good


Description of the case: I report the case of a 52 year-old Italian female with no family history or cytogenetic abnormality who presented with a plantar fibromatosis, small nodular fibrotic thickening of the central plantar fascia, corresponding to the solar plexus point. It started with a tiny, pea-sized nodule in the middle of her arch. The woman presented then a painful swelling of her right sole. The swelling associated was tender to touch with a dull aching type of pain which prevented her from walking, even small distances, without pain.


A plantar fibromatosis is a benign nodule that grows on the bottom of the foot and usually appears in the second through sixth decade of life. It is usually slow growing and measures less than an inch in size. It comprises extra fibrotic or collagen tissue. This additional collagen is normally denoted as a fibroma. These tissue growths would also grow in size if the treatment is delayed.


Symptoms which are normal with plantar fibromatosis include:


  • Firm lump in the arch of the foot
  • Lump can cause pain
  • Pain is caused from the pressure of shoes


Treatment protocol and method:


I decided to utilize 2 products for acute issue: 1 roll-on oil blend (25% dilution) and another roll-on oil blend (10% dilution). I used essential oils for their properties as analgesic, anti-inflammatory, circulatory and detoxifying effect on the skin as well as for the muscular and skeletal system.


Roll-on oil blend #1:


In a 10 ml carrier oil blend – Arnica montana extract, Olea europaea (olive) Fruit Oil and Calendula officinalis (Calendula) oil – I added a 25% dilution of:


  • Mentha Piperita (Peppermint) Oil – 10 drops
  • Piper Nigrum (Black Pepper) seed oil – 5 drops
  • Matricaria Recutita (German Chamomile) oil – 10 drops
  • Helichrysum italicum (Sardinia Helichrysum) oil – 10 drops
  • Origanum vulgare (Origano) oil – 10 drops
  • Boswellia Sacra (Frankincense) oil – 5 drops


Roll-on oil blend #2:


In a 10ml carrier oil blend – Arnica montana extract, Olea europaea (olive) Fruit Oil and Calendula officinalis (Calendula) oil – I added a 10% dilution of:


  • Commiphora myrrha (Myrrh) Oil – 3 drops
  • Melaleuca Alternifolia (Tea tree) seed oil – 5 drops
  • Helichrysum italicum (Sardinia Helichrysum) oil – 5 drops
  • Gualtheria Procumbens (Wintergreen) oil – 2 drops
  • Boswellia carterii (Frankincense) oil – 5 drops


Directions for using the products:


The first and second day she applied these oil blends daily, about every two – three hours, by alternating the oil blend. The third and fourth day, she applied the products 4-5 times a day. The fifth and sixth day only once-twice a day.


During and after the treatment she did not have any side effects, nor any allergic reaction or dermatitis on her foot.



General references on essential oils components, therapeutic benefits and safety:


  • Medical Aromatherapy – Kurt Schnaubelt
  • Aromatherapy for Health Professionals – Shirley Price, Len Price
  • Essential oil Safety – Tisserand , Young




Pictures were taken at different hours of the day after applying the oil blend. The day before the fibroma was a little bigger.


August 2016 – DAY 1 –


Plantar Fibromatosis Day




Plantar Fibromatosis Day 2




Plantar Fibromatosis Day 3




Plantar Fibromatosis Day 4




Plantar Fibromatosis Day 5


Stefania Borrelli

Stefania Borrelli is a member of AIA and Director (2014). Originally from Rome, Italy, Stefania Borrelli, a creative and enthusiast Italian aromatherapist, began her holistic journey in 1979 in her native country. Her studies in Aromatherapy started together with her love for botanics, at the age of 15. Her interest in Holistic therapies expanded in the study of Energy Healing, Ayurveda, Chinese, Medicine and Psychoneuroimmunology. In 2009 she founded JoyAmore, a business providing holistic approach to a healthy lifestyle by restoring balance through Aromatherapy. Her new business is – Pure & Natural Italian Lifestyle.

A Rare Glimpse into Adulteration of Essential Oils Wed, 07 Sep 2016 17:56:00 +0000 Continue reading ]]> Essential oil adulteration: camphor and turpentine


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…”


Documented falsification of natural substances goes all the way back to the Romans who used their five senses to detect adulterants. This was the only practical way until the early 1800s when physical and chemical tests became more available. The first published work on adulteration (1784) was from a pharmacist in Brussels La Falsification des Medicaments de Voile. The first American publication was by the physician-chemist Lewis C. Beck in 1846 under the title Adulteration of Various Substances Used in Medicine and the Arts.


In the 19th century as it is today, adulteration was a problem that was prevalent and not easily spotted or curtailed. In 1856 the National Wholesale Druggists Association concluded, “the best cultivated and most fruitful field for dishonest practices in our branch of trade has always been in the essential oil business and it continues to be so.” Interestingly, essential oils in this time period were being used much less for personal health concerns and more for food flavoring, drugs, liqueurs, toiletries and cosmetics.


In an effort to combat this greedy practice pharmacy journals would publish specific oils and the proportions of adulterants used in an effort to make pharmacists and other end-users more aware of what to be looking for. However the opposite effect of equipping an unscrupulous producer with the exact knowledge of the craft was a glaring drawback.


The article examined one of these rare manuscripts – a thirty page bound document with fifty-eight formulas for adulterating essential oils and was in use in 1901 and 1902. Twenty different adulterants were noted with oil of turpentine leading the list. In decreasing frequency there was alcohol, oil of Camphor, oil of Cedarwood, oil of Balsam of Gurjon, Castor oil, Black oil, Asphalt Varnish, oil of Birch tar, oil of French Reunion, oil of Geranium, oil of Copaiba, oil of Olivarum, oil of Petit-grain, Carbon Bisulfide, oil of Red Thyme, oil of Sesame, Concentrated Sulfuric Ether, and Carbonate of Iron. An adulterant of 50% or more of the volume was specified in more than half of the formulas. An example was oil of Oregano labeled “pure” contained 17% turpentine and oil of Cedar labeled “commercial” had 90% turpentine.


The article’s Appendix provides examples of the adulteration formulas found in this manuscript. I have selected some that follow.




  • Oil origanum 7 lbs
  • Turpentine 3 gallons
  • Asphalt Varnish 4 drams




  • Oil organum 10 lbs
  • Turpentine 2 lbs




  • French oil of Rose Geranium 2 ounces
  • Oil of Rose, Kissanlick 1 ounce




  • Oil Hyssop 1.75 ounces
  • Alcohol, absolute 0.25 ounces




  • Methyl salicylate 4 lbs
  • Rectified turpentine 1 ounce
  • Oil of Camphor 1 ounce
  • Carbonate of Iron ½ dram


Oil of Turpentine was steam distilled from the crude oleoresin. A V-shaped incision was made in the bark of pine trees in Southern states in the nineteenth century. The sticky resin would flow into collecting pans and then into wooden barrels. From there it was available for sale.




Glenn Sonnedecker, professor emeritus, School of Pharmacy, University of Wisconsin-Madison. “How to Adulterate Volatile Oils: A Pre-1906 Manuscript Formulary”. Presented to the American Institute of the History of Pharmacy, 1990.


My thanks to Mindy Green, Boulder, Colorado for making this article available at the July 2016 AIA Rocky Mountain Regional meeting.

The Bugs of Summer Tue, 14 Jun 2016 23:01:36 +0000 Continue reading ]]> Bugs of Summer


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…


  • Citronella (Cymbopogon winterianus)
  • Lavender (Lavandula angustifolia)
  • Cedarwood (Cedrus atlantica, Juniperus virginiana, Cedrus deodora, or Juniperus mexicana)
  • Patchouli (Pogostemon cablin)
  • Spikenard (Nardostachys jatamansi)
  • Geranium Bourbon (Pelargonium graveolens)
  • Lemon Eucalyptus (Eucalyptus citriodora)
  • Lemon Tea Tree (Leptospermun petersonii)
  • Catnip (Nepeta cataria)


Try different combinations of these oils and experiment by adding some of your own.


Use distilled water with a touch of alcohol, witch hazel, or liquid Castile soap and blend at up to 2% (1% for kids, using kid-safe oils, of course). Hydrosols also make an excellent base and contribute to repelling bugs. Peppermint hydrosol smells especially good when combined with patchouli essential oil.


Try This:


Mix catnip essential oil into neem carrier oil and spray on plants and trees. The neem sticks to the plants and trees and keeps mosquitoes away. Use one tablespoon (30ml) neem per one gallon of water, shake well and spray (catnip eo is optional). Be sure to respray after it rains.


Suggested Proportions:


  • 1 Tbsp Neem oil ( Azadirachta indica)
  • 50 drops Catnip (Nepeta cataria)
  • 1 gallon Water


Bonus Tip:


Leave out Lemongrass as it attracts bees. Beekeepers use lemongrass oil to swarm bees to a new hive (click below to watch video):


Click to watch bee video



Use common sense beyond aromatherapy:


Check your property for potential breeding grounds for mosquitos. Empty anything that has standing water such as buckets and old tires to be sure that they do not nest near your home. Wear protective clothing and tuck pant legs into socks when walking through high grass.


Remember to write down your recipes as you make them so the winning one can be replicated! Share you recipes with us on the AIA Facebook page.


Emily Carpenter

Emily Carpenter is a Certified Aromatherapist, herbalist, and Reiki practitioner who also studies homeopathy. She blogs about her experiences on

Ayurveda Rituals for Beauty & Balance Sun, 15 May 2016 15:49:38 +0000 Continue reading ]]> Ayurvedic Recipes


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.


Ayurvedic Kitchari




  • 1 cup split yellow mung dahl beans
  • ¼ – ½ cup long grain white or white basmati rice
  • 1 Tbsp fresh ginger root
  • 1 tsp each: black mustard seeds, cumin, and turmeric powder
  • ½ tsp each: coriander powder, fennel and fenugreek seeds
  • ½ tsp allspice
  • 3 bay leaves
  • 2Tbs coconut flakes
  • 7-10 cup water
  • ½ tsp salt (rock salt is best)
  • 1 small handful chopped fresh cilantro ( basil ) leaves
  • Can add vegetables – beets leaves, kale, sweet potatoes, carrots, etc
  • Ghee or coconut oil to the taste and according to constitution


I prefer to make my spice mixes every week ahead of time, roasted and powdered.




  1. Wash split yellow mung beans and rice together until water runs clear.
  2. In a pre-heated large pot, dry roast the ginger and all the spices (except the bay leaves) on medium heat for a few minutes. This dry-roasting will enhance the flavor.
  3. Add dahl and rice and stir, coating the rice and beans with the spices.
  4. Add water and bay leaves and bring to a boil.
  5. Boil for 10 minutes.
  6. Turn heat to low, cover pot and continue to cook until dahl and rice become soft (about 30-40 minutes).
  7. The cilantro (basil) leaves and ghee (coconut oil) can be added just before serving.
  8. Add salt.


For weak digestion, gas or bloating: Before starting to prepare the kitchari, first par-boil the split mung dahl (cover with water and bring to boil), drain, and rinse. Repeat 2-3 times. OR, soak beans overnight and then drain. Cook as directed.


Takra: Ayurvedic Butter Milk


“He who uses takra daily does not suffer from diseases, and diseases cured by takra do not recur; just as amrita (divine nectar) is for the gods, takra is to humans.” Bhavaprakasha Chapter 6.7


Great probiotic.


Serves 1




  • ¼ cup fresh cold yogurt (make your own fresh, when possible)
  • ¾ cup purified cold water
  • ¼ tsp cumin powder
  • ¼ tsp coriander
  • 1 pinch of rock salt
  • Fresh cilantro/ basil leaves – optional.




  1. Place the freshly-made yogurt in the blender and blend for three to five minutes. Add the cold water, and blend again on low for three to five minutes.
  2. Collect and discard the fatty foam on top. Repeat blending and remove further fatty foam if yogurt still seems thick or solid white (should appear watery but cloudy in color when finished).
  3. Add the spices and herb
  4. Serve at room temperature.


For simplicity you can just combine all ingredients and mix by hand. The important part is 1:4 ratio yogurt/ water. Milk kefir is another great probiotic.




  • 1/3 teaspoon cumin seeds
  • 1/3 teaspoon coriander seeds
  • 1/3 teaspoon fennel seeds
  • 1 1/2 cups of water


Combine ingredients in a medium pot and bring to boil. Turn down to a simmer and cover. After 5 minutes, turn off heat and allow to cool to a drinkable temperature. Strain to serve. Sweeten with a touch of honey or maple syrup or a splash of almond milk.


Skin-Nourishing Spice Mixture


  • 3 parts turmeric
  • 6 parts coriander
  • 6 parts fennel
  • 3parts fenugreek
  • 1 part black pepper
Aromatic Medicine: Internal Dosing of Essential Oils Mon, 02 May 2016 20:52:45 +0000 Continue reading ]]> Article by Amy Kreydin


  botanical medicine capsule  


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. 🙂  

What is Aromatic Medicine?


Aromatic Medicine is the internal dosing of volatile plant extracts. Extracts used in aromatic medicine include:


  • steam- and hydro-distilled essential oils,
  • expressed/cold-pressed essential oils,
  • carbon dioxide extracted volatiles (CO2 extracts),
  • and deterpenated/rectified essential oils.


Other botanical ingredients used in formulations might include:


  • ethanol botanical extracts (herbal tinctures),
  • triglyceride (fatty) oils, waxes, and butters (think shea butter and almond oil),
  • and raw plant materials from powders to loose herbs.


Aromatic medicine draws on both pharmaceutical standardized methodologies (Galenic method) as well as botanical medicine methodologies to calibrate and formulate doses. This has proven to be the biggest leap in the evolution of how I prepare remedies. Twenty years ago I used dashes, pinches, scoops and generally eyeballed my measurements. That would be a terrific way to make a batch of bone broth, blood builder syrup, healing soup, or adrenal-nourishing tea but a terrifying approach to aromatic medicine! Today you’ll find me cozied up to a fancy little scale measuring active ingredients in milligrams with a handy little calculator and a mason jar full of pipettes. 


Dose Forms in Aromatic Medicine


You’ll recognize some of these dose forms from more common aromatherapy practices but I’m adding notes specific to how the dose may be different in aromatic medicine:  


  • Respiratory tract – an emulsified solution dosed via a nebulizer according to the constitution and age of the client; an emulsified nasal spray/wash; an aromatic suppository.
  • Gastrointestinal tract – milligram dosage according to the weight of the client and chemistry of the active ingredients employed and dosed via enteric-coated capsules, aperitifs and digestifs, emulsified gargles, liquid syrups, or aromatic suppositories.
  • Urogenital tract – milligram dosage according to weight of the client and chemistry of the active ingredients employed and dosed via aromatic suppositories or pessaries.


Should I try Aromatic Medicine?


Professionally, my aromatic medicine training has really elevated my formulation work and introduced me to some unique approaches to drafting wellness plans. Personally, I’ve enjoyed a broader range of wellness tools to support immune health during the 2015-2016 cold/flu season, and this year’s cedar fever season followed shortly by the mold and pollen sinus apocalypse ;-).   Aromatic medicine seems to particularly shine in the area of supporting the body during an acute or chronic infectious disease state. Examples of this include influenza, hospital superbugs, respiratory infections, gastrointestinal infections, and Lyme disease.


Is it safe?


Safety and efficacy should always be at the forefront of any aromatic intervention, be it inhaled, topical, internal, or oral. If you’ve read some of my other posts like Friends don’t let friends drink essential oils, and Why essential oils are not water flavoring agents, and Essential Oils and GRAS: What it really means then you know there are risks associated with oral dosing: mucosal lining damage, internal organ stress, stomach and esophageal damage, phototoxic reactions (worse with oral dosing than topical), and immune system stress (sensitization, triggering an autoimmune condition, etc). So if adding a drop to a glass of water isn’t safe how is adding a drop to a gel cap and swallowing it safe? Great question!


The only way for aromatic medicine to be safe is to have a firm grasp on dosing, chemistry, and pharmacology of these concentrated ingredients. We know that essential oils can safely be used to flavor beverages and foods when they have been appropriately emulsified (remember that oil and water don’t mix!), and used in accordance with flavoring doses. Oftentimes this means an essential oil needs to be rectified for it to be non-irritating to the mucous membranes in the mouth, throat, and stomach.


Dosing, chemistry, and pharmacology go hand-in-hand in a treatment plan. We select a dose based on weight and constitution of the individual – very different dosing and dose forms for a 190 pound adult with a strong constitution versus a frail 110 pound senior citizen. Then we further calibrate the dose according to the chemistry of the aromatics we’ve selected. After that we further calibrate based on the dose form we wish to employ. So each capsule, suppository, nebulizer dose provides the same dose of aromatics.  

Can I do this myself?


I get a lot of safety questions about using essential oils orally, and many of them are centered around the individual wanting to know if their at-home formula is safe or if a commercial formulation they’ve purchased is safe. With some inspiration from Jim McDonald, a Michigan herbalist, I’ve put together a list of questions to help you determine whether an oral dose of essential oils is appropriate and safe for you:


  • What is the binomial (latin) name of the plant this aromatic extract comes from?
  • Does it have a chemotype? (i.e. Rosemary CT Cineole)
  • How was this aromatic extracted?
  • Has it been rectified/deterpenated?
  • How was the plant grown?
  • What is the chemistry of this specific batch?
  • How old is it and what were the storage conditions like?
  • What is the LD (Lethal Dose) 50 of this extract?
  • What are the possible medication and health contraindications for this extract?
  • What is the maximum adult oral dose of this extract?
  • What is the nature of the condition being treated?
  • What is the dosage for the weight and constitution of the person being treated?
  • What delivery form will be the most effective, and safest for the condition being treated?
  • What is the dosage frequency and the treatment plan length?
  • What do the side effects look like?
  • What does an overdose look like with this dose form and aromatic?


This article, written by Amy Kreydin, was originally published at The Barefoot Dragonfly.


Amy Kreydin


Amy Kreydin is a Board Certified Reflexologist and Clinically-trained Aromatherapist, in private practice since 2004. Kreydin received her certificate as a Certified Reflexologist from the Palmer Institute in Salem, MA in 2004, and was awarded her board certificate in Reflexology from the American Reflexology Certification Board in 2006. She trained at a Harvard teaching hospital in Boston, MA and obtained her Certified Clinical Aromatherapy Practitioner (CCAP) in 2011. She is passionate about whole body wellness and loves helping folks reach their health goals to live an abundant, vibrant, and balanced life.

A 5 Element Approach to Understanding Essential Oils: The Wood Element Mon, 18 Apr 2016 19:21:19 +0000 Continue reading ]]> Article by Marc J. Gian, L. Ac, LMT


5 Elements


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.


Let’s take a look a look at the basics of the 5 Elements:


5 Element Chart


We are all born with a predominance of one or two elements that make up our being. During certain situations and times of life one elemental trait will dominate. This can be equated to an essential oil blend. When blending, quantity and function/personality of essential oil determines dominance of one oil over the other.


As the seasons cycle towards spring, it suites that this article focus on correlating the Wood Element and Aromatherapy/Essential Oils. The organs that are associated with the Wood Element are the Liver and Gall Bladder. The mother of the Wood Element is the Water Element, the Wood Element gives rise to the Fire Element.


The Water Element is associated with the winter time and dormancy. The Water Element can be seen as those aspects of our lives that have not been experienced or have brought into the world. Quite often, this can be the expression of our emotions, an idea that has been in the works or the deepest purpose in life.


Naturally, in order to emerge from inactivity (Winter) to a state of renewal (Spring) and then to full expression (Fire) the directionality of energy needs to be in an upward and outward direction. In Chinese medicinal terms, this correlates to the function of Promoting the Movement of Qi. This function helps to maintain the movement of energy in our being and move dormant/suppressed Qi. For the purposes of this writing and to comprehend our energetic cycles we need to be clear that upward and outward direction or promoting the movement of Qi is used in all seasons, it is dependent on what is happening to with the individual.


From the above we can correlate that movement forward is associated with the Wood Element. As a matter of fact, symptoms associated with “sciatica” or “piriformis” and other forms of muscle tightness are associated with the Wood Element. Quite often, the emotional cause of pain in this area is a result of either not moving forward in life or suppressing our emotions or the direction we want to go. The Wood Element is associated with direction in life and the expression of anger. If our anger or direction in life does not progress outward it gets suppressed and moves downward. This is the opposite direction of spring.


This perverse flow on Liver Qi is an actual cause of physical pain and may also be a contributor to the western medical diagnosis of depression. Therefore, from the basics we already know, the proper essential oils to use would be those that have the function to Promote the Movement of Qi to unblock this dormancy (Winter). Essential Oils that are classified for the Wood Element and have this function include: Rosemary, Lemongrass, and Lavender angustifolia.


All of the above oils are associated with moving stagnant Qi yet do so in different ways. Naturally, when we experience irritation and frustration, our muscle tense. The Liver controls the sinews. Lemongrass the “tendinomuscular oil” is key in Promoting the Movement of Qi in the hips, legs and ankles. Consequently, Lemongrass is an excellent choice for muscle tenderness due to emotional suppression, i.e sciatica pain/piriormis syndrome. This warming oil has the ability to move stagnation in the muscle layer especially in the hips and legs. Treating physical pain is often the first step in the freedom from emotional stagnation.


Rosemary is commonly used with Lemongrass for the above symptoms. Yet, its spring like nature can also be seen in its ability to strengthen our digestive system. Our digestive system (Earth Element) becomes deficient for many reasons including diet and emotional experience. A common diagnosis is what is called Wood (Liver) Overacting on Earth (Spleen) Common symptoms of Wood Overacting on Earth include; irritability, bloating, alternating diarrhea and constipation and fatigue. In addition to being associated with the Wood Element it also has an affinity with the Earth Element. This dual association makes Rosemary the premier essential oil for treating this condition.The two functions that Rosemary has to treat this are Promoting the Movement of QI Upwards (the expression of self) and Raising the Spleen Qi.


The rising nature of Wood engenders the Fire Element (Heart and Small Intestine. Lavender is an oil that has an affinity with both the Wood and Fire Element. Similar to Lemongrass and Rosemary, Lavender promotes the Movement of Qi. However, Lemongrass and Rosemary are both warming in nature, while Lavender is cool and is distilled from a flower. As it is a flower, it calms with a cooler, softer and gentler quality. Lavender is a principal oil to be used when there are emotional issues of the Fire Element, such as anxiety, restlessness and nostalgia.


The system of the 5 Element deepens the understanding of essential oils and provides a framework to connect emotions and physicality. When practitioners start to use this structure they will observe the whole person and be able to treat in deeper and more efficient manner.

AIA Becomes “Contributing Producer” for Aromatherapy Documentary – Uncommon Scents Sun, 31 Jan 2016 00:14:45 +0000 Continue reading ]]> Uncommon Scents Thanks AIA


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.


Two women seek to tell the story of aromatherapy and to contribute to uniting the aromatherapy community. Executive producers and trained aromatherapists, Angela Jensen Ehmke and Kristina Bauer, debuted their idea for the full-featured aromatherapy documentary, Uncommon Scents, at the 2015 AIA conference. Since then they have been working tirelessly to vet interviewees and raise funds to make their dream a reality.


While many have a narrow view of aromatherapy based on where they live, Uncommon Scents aims to share a global perspective as has never been done before. They will travel around the world to tell the story of aromatherapy that has been missing up to this point. Interviewees so far include Patricia Brooks, Andrea Butje, Lora Cantele, Marge Clark, Dorene Petersen, Ann Harman, Nyssa Hanger, Sylla Sheppard-Hanger, Ixchel Leigh, Rhiannon Lewis, Gabriel Mojay, Dr. Robert Pappas, Jade Shutes, Robert Tisserand, and Mark Webb.


The film will tackle topics such as aromatherapy history, chemistry, applications, safety, adulteration sustainability, as well as concerns about the marketing and monetization of essential oils. They will share insights about threats and controversies facing the industry and community including challenges surrounding regulation, licensing, and education. They will also talk about why protecting essential oil sources and reducing risk are key to aromatherapy’s future.


AIA recognizes this as an important documentary for the aromatic world. This film must be made. AIA has made a contribution and will be listed as a Contributing Producer of the film. Now it’s your turn! Every penny counts and Uncommon Scents has until February 18th to raise enough funds ($60,000) to begin production.


You can contribute as little or as much as you’d like. Many perks such as aromatherapy books, classes, and essential oils are available to entice you to give at a level you are comfortable with. What’s the next bottle of essential oil or next aromatherapy book you were thinking of buying? Why not wait a little longer and contribute to this film instead. The entire aromatherapy world will thank you!


Learn more about the film and donate at Indiegogo.


Visiting the home of Fragonia™ Wed, 23 Dec 2015 03:59:09 +0000 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.)

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.


Situated in a farming community and region better known for its citrus fruit, beef production and vineyards than native plants, the farm is virtually unknown in its own backyard by the general population. Yet, it is well-known and reputed for its quality oils and hydrosols among aromatherapists and essential oil suppliers worldwide who understand the significance of the Day’s work in bringing a brand new essential oil to an international market.


Clinical trials on Fragonia™ are nearing completion and will be another step forward in confirming the efficacy of the oil along with scientific work that has already been done.2


Sold under the trademarked name of Fragonia™, laboratory tests have shown it has antimicrobial activity similar to Tea Tree (Melaleuca alternifolia), Lemongrass (Cymbopogon citratus), and Oregano (Origanum vulgare).3 Therefore, Fragonia™ is a good substitute for people who are not fond of the smell of tea tree.


Steam distilled from leaves and twigs, Fragonia™ has a middle note.


A typical GC/MS analysis of Fragonia™ will show the following range of components4.


Monoterpenes 30 – 40%
a-pinene 22 – 27%
b-pinene 1.5 – 1.8%
myrcene 1.4 – 2.2%
limonene 2.3 – 2.5%
p-cymene 1.6 – 2.9%
y-terpinene 1.3 – 3.3%
Oxides 26 – 32%
1,8-cineole 26.6 – 32.5%
Monoterpenols 23 – 30%
linalool 10.9 – 12.4%
terpinen-4-ol 3.2 – 4.3%
a-terpineol 5.4 – 4.5%
myrtenol 3.1 – 4.5%
geraniol 0.5 – 1.6%


The oil’s 1,8 cineole content offers expectorant and mucolytic properties, making it useful for respiratory issues.5, 6


As a monoterpene-rich oil with a high percentage of alpha-pinene, Fragonia™ would be expected to have analgesic, antiseptic, antiviral, and decongestant properties.7 Tisserand and Young8 recommend the addition of an antioxidant to preparations containing Fragonia™ because of its high alpha-pinene content.


Fragonia™ is a favorite with many Western Australian aromatherapists because of its aroma and calming properties. The camphoraceous, balsamic, citrus and sweet smell is attributed to its myrtenol content, while its well-known calming properties are due to linalool.9


Fragonia™ can easily stand alone in a diffuser and could be mistaken for a blend.


I have used it in liquid hand soap and blends to alleviate muscle and joint pain. I also diffuse it when I’m alone but want the company of a heart-warming friend.
You will no doubt hear more about Fragonia™ in the weeks ahead when results from the clinical trials are released.



  1. Brophy J.J., Craven L.A. and Doran J.C. Melaleucas: their botany, essential oils and uses. Canberra, ACT: Australian Centre for International Agricultural Research Monograph No. 156; 2013: 415.
  2. Day P. and Day J. Personal conversation. Paperpark Co.; 2015
  3. Robinson C.J. A new essential oil – Agonis fragrans: chemotype selection and evaluation. Publication No 06/090. Barton, ACT: Rural Industries Research and Development Corporation; 2006:73.
  4. Webb, M.A. Aromatic Toolkit – Materia Medica. Two-day workshop. Perth, WA: AromaMedix Pty Ltd; 2015.
  5. Battaglia S. The Complete Guide to Aromatherapy. 2nd ed. Brisbane, QLD: The International Centre of Holistic Aromatherapy; 2003:34.
  6. Price S. and Price L. Aromatherapy for Health Professionals. 4th ed. Edinburgh: Churchill Livingstone Elsevier; 2012:27.
  7. Battaglia S. The Complete Guide to Aromatherapy. 2nd ed. Brisbane, QLD: The International Centre of Holistic Aromatherapy; 2003:76.
  8. Tisserand R. and Young R. Essential Oil Safety. 2nd ed. Edinburgh: Churchill Livingstone Elsevier; 2014:287.
  9. Webb, M.A. Aromatic Toolkit – Materia Medica. Two-day workshop. Perth, WA: AromaMedix Pty Ltd; 2015.


Priscilla Fouracres

Priscilla Fouracres


Priscilla Fouracres is a writer and certified aromatherapist. She has a B.A. degree in Communications and has worked as a journalist and public relations consultant for the health sector. She is an American expat living in Perth, Western Australia, and AIA member.

What is Aromatherapy? Sun, 09 Dec 2012 02:18:49 +0000 Continue reading ]]> Aromatherapy is a true holistic therapy, offering simultaneous healing possibilities on physical, emotional and energetic levels. Aromatherapy works by simply taking a deep breath: the aromatic molecules enter our blood stream and travel to all parts of our body. The wide range of aromas available can gently help any mood or emotion.


The essential oils used in aromatherapy are highly concentrated substances, extracted most commonly by steam distillation from a variety of flowers, herbs, trees, roots, and fruit. Each oil offers its own unique chemistry of healing qualities. Lavender, geranium, spruce, tea tree, eucalyptus, lemon and myrrh are oils commonly used in aromatherapy.


Each essential oil has its own distinct chemical profile that offers therapeutic properties. Each is classified as stimulating, balancing, relaxing, or more specifically, as antiviral, antibacterial, antifungal, decongestants, analgesics, antiinflammatory, digestives, to name a few.


A typical example is shown by the use of lavender, one of the most versatile and widely used oils. Lavender (Lavandula angustifolia) is known to soothe tension headaches, reduce inflammation and pain, cleanse wounds,aid in tissue repair for burns and cuts, and relax you to sleep.


Today, aromatherapy is widely used in various health care settings: in hospitals for stress, nausea and cancer care; in senior care environments for reducing agitation, improving sleep, and improving indoor air quality; and in massage therapy for relaxation and reducing body pain.


To begin receiving the benefits of aromatherapy-find an aroma you love and enjoy all the gifts provided by nature’s healing gifts.