Uh oh. Chemistry – the word itself can make one’s eyes glaze over. But wait, this is “essential oil chemistry’. MUCH more fun! While even beginning aromatherapy students are put off by the mere mention of the subject, they eventually realize the importance of understanding at least the fundamentals. The basics of essential oil chemistry will help you appreciate what gives a fine oil its unique aroma, help you more carefully discern a good oil from a second-rate one, and can improve your practice of using essential oils therapeutically. The greatest benefits of essential oils lies in their potential for true medicinal applications, where their antiviral, antimicrobial and anti-inflammatory properties are effectively utilized. And it is the understanding of their chemistry that enables the practitioner to select the right oils and use them most appropriately. Convinced? Well here’s a primer to get you started…
Modern medicine is based upon the notion of battle. We battle germs and fight for life. As soon as we feel pain or discomfort, we immediately try to stop it from happening and look for some way to soothe what we are going through. We feel we must change our illness or problems, overpower them with our expertise.
Preventing and treating infectious illness is the number one proven medicinal application for essential oils. A great many oils have scientifically proven antibacterial, antiviral, and even immune-boosting actions. Using oils to prevent colds and flu is a very simple affair — here’s a little background, along with quick recipes and techniques to stay healthy through the cooler months.
The body of scientific research regarding the medicinal uses of essential oils for all applications continues to grow. Alongside the data reinforcing the use of oils as antibacterials and antivirals, is a growing amount of evidence published in peer-reviewed journals on the anxiolytic (anti-stress) actions of oils. The evidence is strong enough such that some oils have finally been recommended as “complementary” therapies, meaning researchers are suggesting that M.D.’s consider their use in conjunction with modern medical practices.
One of the great concerns of the aromatherapy practitioner is keeping their essential oils at their best. If one buys a good stock of oils, how should they be kept? The answer is a little complex, requiring diligence and knowledge about each type of oil, and the most protective means by which an oil can be stored. Let’s take a look at the range of possibilities, and how you can most easily care for your stock of precious therapeutic essential oils.
Essential oils from the mint family (technically the “Labiatae” family) are among the most popular in aromatherapy, in part from their impressive diverse therapeutic applications. The mints include peppermint, spearmint and corn mint, along with a close cousin: catnip. Recently, there’s even been solid scientific research backing the use of these oils as medicines for both the mind and body. Here’s a look at the many important benefits of these oils, and how you can make use of them in your own life.
Helichrysum is a favorite essential oil of knowledgeable aromatherapists, as it has such immediate, profound pain relieving and healing effects. The particular species of Helichrysum “italicum”, also known as Everlasting or Immortelle, is the most broadly therapeutic of the 500 Helichrysum species. The reason has to do with the chemistry of the oil. Here we’ll have a look at the oil’s special natural chemistry, and how it might help you relieve pain and heal faster.