essential oils – Alliance of International Aromatherapists http://www.alliance-aromatherapists.org Wed, 25 May 2016 20:31:51 +0000 en-US hourly 1 Aromatic Medicine: Internal Dosing of Essential Oils http://www.alliance-aromatherapists.org/aromatic-medicine-internal-dosing-of-essential-oils/ Mon, 02 May 2016 20:52:45 +0000 http://www.alliance-aromatherapists.org/?p=6606 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.

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Visiting the home of Fragonia™ http://www.alliance-aromatherapists.org/visiting-the-home-of-fragonia/ Wed, 23 Dec 2015 03:59:09 +0000 http://www.alliance-aromatherapists.org/?p=6253 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.

 

References

  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.

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How to use Essential Oils http://www.alliance-aromatherapists.org/how-to-use-essential-oils/ Sun, 09 Dec 2012 02:20:42 +0000 http://www.alliance-aromatherapists.org/?p=2164 Continue reading ]]> Essential oils are a complement to conventional medicine. Always seek medical advice for serious health conditions. Essential oils are generally used in two ways: topical and inhalation.

Topical uses include: adding essential oils to baths and showers to refresh and cleanse; applying directly to skin for wounds, sprains, strains, muscle pain and tension; and making personalized skin care products for a wide array of common skin conditions.

Inhalation of essential oils molecules is the most common method for mood and emotional support, respiratory conditions, and cleansing and purifying the air. Essential oils can be inhaled from tissues or inhalers, dropped onto st4eaming water, added to vaporizers, diffused or sprayed.

Consulting with an Aromatherapist for oil selection, best application methods and concentration levels will ensure success.

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Internal Use Statement http://www.alliance-aromatherapists.org/internal-use-statement/ Sun, 09 Dec 2012 02:01:01 +0000 http://www.alliance-aromatherapists.org/?p=2152 Continue reading ]]> AIA does not endorse internal therapeutic use (oral, vaginal or rectal) of essential oils unless recommended by a health care practitioner trained at an appropriate clinical level. An appropriate level of training must include chemistry, anatomy, diagnostics, physiology, formulation guidelines and safety issues regarding each specific internal route (oral, vaginal or rectal).  Please refer to the AIA Safety Guidelines for essential oil use.

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