The Use of Rosemary Essential Oil with Memory Issues

Posted on: December 11th, 2017 by
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Rosemary (Rosmarinus officinalis) : Photo copyright Sharon Falsetto, All Rights Reserved

Rosemary (Rosmarinus officinalis) : Photo copyright Sharon Falsetto, All Rights Reserved

This article originally appeared in the NAHA Journal (Autumn 2017.3) and is re-published here according to the NAHA Writer Guidelines 2017-2018 copyright statement. This article is excerpted from the original article which contains further information. If you would like to become a member of NAHA and enjoy more articles like this, please visit the NAHA website.

Introduction

In the words of the great English poet and playwright William Shakespeare (1564-1616), “There’s Rosemary, that’s for remembrance” (Hamlet, Act IV, Scene Five). This most unassuming herb of the plant world does, in fact, possesses a great many characteristics but it is its association with memory that we will be looking at more closely in this article. We will discover that rosemary (Rosmarinus officinalis) essential oil metabolizes into several variations with regard to its essential oil constituents, and understanding each of these variations can help us to use it to its fullest potential.

Cognitive performance can be affected in any stage of life, sometimes reduced by stressful events, or simply by the effect of aging. But although memory loss is a distressing condition that affects a great many people, to varying degrees, it hits most cruelly when our bodies (and minds) age. Synthetic drugs have limited use in this area of study. However, clinical studies in the use of rosemary essential oil is producing some encouraging results in how this plant might be able to help.

Botanical Spotlight on Rosemary

Rosemary (Rosmarinus officinalis) is a member of the Lamiaceae plant family. A perennial woody herb, with highly aromatic leaves, rosemary is an evergreen shrub which produces lavender-blue or pink-lavender flowers. Although it traditionally flowers in the spring, it can be an early bloomer in the garden (as early as December in warmer climates) and may produce flowers outside of its traditional flowering season.

Rosemary is indigenous to the Mediterranean region but it grows in any comparable climate. In my garden in northern Arizona, I have seen this shrub flourish both under hot and wet conditions. Rosemary has spiky, green, needle-shaped leaves which are reminiscent of fir needles in shape. Both the leaves and flowering tops are harvested and distilled for use as an essential oil.

Essential Oil Chemotypes

Rosemary has traditionally produced three main chemotypes: ct. camphor, ct. cineole, and ct. verbenone.1 However, other chemotypes that exist in today’s world include ct. borneol, ct. bornyl acetate, ct. myrcene, and ct. pinene.2,3

A chemotype is the different internal chemical composition of a plant; its external appearance, and the genus and species, appear the same. Essentially a chemotype is a subspecies of a plant.4 This means that some plants, when extracted for essential oil, produce a malady of chemical compositions, producing a variance in therapeutic properties of an essential oil.

These changes may occur naturally in the wild or they may be the result of cross-pollination. Other factors which affect the variance in chemotypes in a plant include the elevation at which the plant was grown, the growing conditions of the plant, climate, and various environmental factors.5 It can even depend on the time of collection of the rosemary plant for distillation.6

A few plants, such as rosemary, seem to have a tendency towards this variance of chemical constituents.

Rosemary as an Essential Oil

Rosemary essential oil has a fresh, camphoraceous aroma (depending on the chemotype) with subtle undertones of mint. It typically contains the following chemical components; the names in bold represent the various chemotypes of rosemary essential oil:

  • borneol,linalool, and terpineol
  • camphor, thujone, and verbenone
  • 1,8-cineole
  • camphene, pinene, limonene, and myrcene
  • bornyl acetate and fenchyl acetate
  • caryophyllene and humulene
  • cuminic aldehyde.3

 Dementia and Alzheimer’s Disease

Dementia is an umbrella name applied to a number of symptoms associated with memory loss. The most common type of memory loss is Alzheimer’s disease.7 Symptoms of dementia include:

  • increasing memory loss
  • increased difficulty in communicating effectively
  • inability to focus
  • increasing unreasonableness
  • increased agitation
  • increased anxiety
  • lack of judgment
  • decreased visual perception.

Although most people suffer with dementia after the age of sixty-five, five percent of the population incur “early onset” dementia.8

Symptoms worsen over time. It may start with forgetting where you placed an object, increasing to inability to remember to pay bills on time, to forgetting how to find your way back home from a previously familiar route. Increased agitation and change in mood (aggressiveness) may follow in the latter stages of the disease and it is a very difficult disease for caregivers to watch how a loved one deteriorates.

Clinical Studies with Rosemary Essential Oil: Memory in General

The use of rosemary essential oil with memory loss and, in particular, Alzheimer’s disease, has produced positive results in various clinical studies. Unfortunately, many of these studies fail to mention which particular chemotype of rosemary essential oil was used.

One study suggested increased alertness and lower anxiety scores when rosemary essential oil was given to the study group.9 The study group also completed math computations more accurately and more quickly than the study group who were given lavender (Lavandula angustifolia) essential oil. Another study also showed similar results.10

Clinical Studies with Rosemary Essential Oil: 1,8-cineole

One particular study concluded that “compounds absorbed from rosemary aroma affect cognition and subjective state independently through different neurochemical pathways.”11 Improved cognitive performance was recorded at higher levels of exposure.

Clinical Studies with Rosemary Essential Oil: Alzheimer’s Disease

A positive and encouraging study concluded that there was “some potential” for aromatherapy in helping to improve cognitive function in Alzheimer’s disease patients.12 In the study, rosemary and lemon (Citrus x limon) essential oils were used in the morning, followed by lavender and orange (species not specified) essential oils in the evening. Results showed a “significant improvement in personal orientation related to cognitive function.”

Conclusions and Recommendations

In summary, given the information obtained in these studies, and our understanding of rosemary essential oil and its various chemotypes, it can be seen that rosemary essential oil has potential to assist in a form of a holistic care package for someone suffering with memory loss.

Rosemary essential oil, in general, is a stimulating essential oil and the various chemical components found within it, seem to indicate it is successful in stimulating memory and increasing cognitive function within certain environments. Indeed, one study indicated that ct. 1,8-cineole was successful in affecting cognitive awareness.

It would appear to me that all chemotypes of rosemary essential oil would produce a stimulating effect, although some to a greater degree than other depending upon individual chemical components. The decision between each chemotype may depend upon if there are other issues to address with a patient as well; for example, respiratory issues. The time of day at which the rosemary essential oil is used may also affect the choice of chemotype used; for example, ct. verbenone may be more useful at bed time than in the morning.

I would also consider alternating rosemary essential oil with an “opposite” blend of essential oils, i.e. a calming blend. This method was used in the study Effect of aromatherapy on patients with Alzheimer’s disease11and produced promising results.

It may be difficult to get a patient with memory loss to apply an aromatherapy blend on a regular basis, due to change in mood and memory, so a caregiver may wish to try diffusing the essential oil blend as an alternative.

Having watched my grandfather slip slowly away into the world of Alzheimer’s disease when I was in my early 20′s and taking my finals at college, I only wish I had known then what I know now about the use of aromatherapy. Although research is in its infancy with how aromatherapy can be used with debilitating diseases such as Alzheimer’s disease, the potential for using rosemary essential oil in this capacity is promising.

Aromatherapy Recipes:

Memory Booster Diffusion Blend

Add the following essential oils to a 5 mL glass bottle:

  • 25 drops rosemary ct. camphor (Rosmarinus officinalis)
  • 30 drops lemon (Citrus x limon)
  • 20 drops sage* (Salvia officinalis)
  • 20 drops basil (Ocimum basilicum) 

*Sage has also been shown to be effective to boost memory performance.13

 Instructions for Use: Add an orifice reducer to the bottle, cap, and shake well. Add approximately five drops of the blend to an aromatherapy diffuser, following the manufacturer’s guidelines for use. Diffuse for twenty minutes in the morning.

Cautions for Use: This is an extremely potent blend. Avoid use around babies and young children under the age of five years, around pets, in pregnancy, or around those with specific health conditions such as high blood pressure and epilepsy. Do not diffuse longer than the specified time, and reduce if necessary. Consult a certified aromatherapist for further advice.

Breathe Calmly Bed Time Spray

Combine the following essential oils with 2-oz. of distilled water and one tsp. grain-free alcohol, in a spray bottle:

  • 8 drops lavender (Lavandula angustifolia)
  • 6 drops rosemary ct. verbenone (Rosamarinus officinalis)
  • 5 drops Roman chamomile (Chamaemelum nobile)
  • 5 drops valerian (Valeriana faurieri) 

Instructions for Use: Combine all of the ingredients, cap, and shake well. Spray the pillow lightly before going to bed to promote easy breathing and restful sleep.

Cautions for Use: Avoid use around babies and young children under the age of five years, around pets, in pregnancy, or around those with specific health conditions such as high blood pressure and epilepsy. Discontinue use if agitation occurs and seek professional medical advice.

References

  1. Price S and Price L. (2012). Aromatherapy for Health Professionals, 4th ed. UK: Elsevier Ltd. P10-11.
  2. Tisserand R and Young R. (2014). Essential Oil Safety, 2nd ed. UK: Elsevier Ltd. P407-409.
  3. Elhassan I A and Osman N M. (2014). New Chemotype Rosmarinus officinalis L. (Rosemary) “R. officinalis ct. bornyl acetate.” American Journal of Research Communication. 2 (4), p232-240. Available from: http://www.usa-journals.com/wp-content/uploads/2014/03/Elhassan_Vol24.pdf Last accessed August 11, 2017.
  4. Clarke S. (2008). Essential Chemistry for Aromatherapy, 2nd ed. UK: Elsevier Ltd. p134, p145.
  5. Falsetto S. (2016). What is an Essential Oil Chemotype? Sedona Aromatherapie blog. Available: http://sedonaaromatherapie.com/blog/2016/07/11/what-is-an-essential-oil-chemotype/ Last accessed August 11, 2017.
  6. Lakusi D, Risti M, Slavkovska V, Lakusi B. (2013). Composition of the Essential Oils of Rosemary (Rosmarinus Officinalis, Lamiaceae). Available: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/23472478. Last accessed August 11, 2017.
  7. Alzheimer’s Association. (2016), Dementia. Available: http://www.alz.org/what-is-dementia.asp. Last accessed August 11, 2017.
  8. Mayo Clinic. (2016). Early-onset Alzheimer’s. Available: http://www.mayoclinic.org/diseases-conditions/alzheimers-disease/in-depth/alzheimers/art-20048356 Last accessed August 11, 2017.
  9. Diego M A, Jones N A, Field T, Hernandez-Reif M, Schanberg S, Kuhn C, McAdam V, Galamaga R, Galamaga M., (2016). Aromatherapy positively affects mood, EEG patterns of alertness and math computations. Available: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/10069621/ Last accessed August 11, 2017.
  10. Moss M, Cook J, Wesnes K, Duckett P, Aromas of Rosemary and Lavender essential oils differentially affect cognition and mood in healthy adults. Available: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/12690999 Last accessed August 11, 2017.
  11. Moss M and Oliver L. (2012). Plasma 1,8-cineole correlates with cognitive performance following exposure to Rosemary essential oil aroma. Available: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3736918/ Last accessed August 11, 2017.
  12. Jimbo D, Kimura Y, Taniquchi M, Inoue M, Urakami K. (2016). Effect of aromatherapy on patients with Alzheimer’s disease. Available: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/20377818 Last accessed August 11, 2017.
  13. Falsetto, Sharon, 2012, Sage Aromatherapy Short Course, Sedona Aromatherapie LLC.

About Sharon Falsetto

Sharon Falsetto is a UK-certified aromatherapist. She has been living in the United States since 2006 and is the founder of Sedona Aromatherapie LLC and the forthcoming Sedona Aromatics School and Garden. Sharon offers a home study aromatherapy education program: The NAHA approved Linguistics of AromaticsTM Program. Sharon is both a published author and editor in aromatherapy. She is also an aromatherapy consultant, a custom blend formulator, and a herbal studies student. She works from her garden studio in Sedona, Arizona, where she is in the process of creating her own aromatic stillroom on her one acre homestead and aromatic gardens. Sharon is the author of Authentic Aromatherapy, the current chief editor of the NAHA Aromatherapy Journal, and the NAHA regional director for Arizona. You can visit Sharon’s website at: www.sedonaaromatherapie.com.

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Aromatic Retreats and Workshops 2018

Posted on: December 4th, 2017 by
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Aromatic Retreats and Workshops in Sedona Arizona 2018

Aromatic Retreats and Workshops in Sedona Arizona 2018

If you follow us on Instagram, you will have seen the development of our aromatic garden over the past couple of years, with the culmination in the establishment of our very own still room and on-site class room for 2018. This has led to the inaugural aromatic retreat and workshop for 2018, both of which will be held twice during the coming year. Here’s all the details!

Location of Aromatic Retreat and Workshop

Each retreat/workshop is located on a one acre original homestead property, five minutes outside of Sedona itself, but a world away from the bustling tourism that has become “main town” Sedona. The property is located at the end of a private dirt road and directions will provided once you’ve paid the balance for the class. Instructions on what you will need to bring will also be provided at this point.

As the property is located outside of Sedona, all refreshments and lunch both days will be provided. However, you are welcome to bring your own as well. Just let me know in advance.

Aromatic Retreat: Secrets from the Aromatic Garden and Stillroom

WHEN: August 21st, 22nd, and 23rd 2018

OR September 11th, 12th, and 13th 2018

This is a three day retreat which is the same for both dates.

COST: $595 (inc. materials and lunch) for 3 days. A $150 non-refundable deposit reserves your seat in class. The balance must be paid in full by July 20th 2018 for retreat #1 and by August 10th 2018 for retreat #2, or your place maybe forfeited and awarded to another attendee on the wait list.

SCHEDULE (subject to change):

Day One: Plant collection and plant identification.

Day Two: Plant distillation (demonstration although you might be asked to participate if required).

Scent intention making project.

Day Three: Herbal project.

Blending techniques and one aromatic blend made from using these techniques.

Each retreat will include a custom manual, access to my personal oil collection, custom tote bag of goodies, lunch, refreshments, up close and personal with the plants and still, and lots of memories!

Workshop: The Art of Aromatics: A Journey of Emotional Healing

Please note: This is a WOMEN ONLY workshop.

WHEN: April 20th and 21st April 2018

OR September 28th and September 29th 2018

This is a two day workshop which is the same for both dates.

COST: $495 (inc. materials) for 2 days. A $150 non-refundable deposit reserves your seat in class. The balance must be paid in full by March 17th 2018 for workshop #1 and by August 22nd 2018 for workshop #2,or your place maybe forfeited and awarded to another attendee on the wait list.

SCHEDULE (subject to change):

Day One: Introduction to emotional trauma.

Aromatic oils for emotional healing (including blending).

Happy Place box project.

Day Two: Aromatic journalling.

Botanical aromatic art project.

Leaving a legacy in Georgie’s Garden.

Each workshop will include a custom manual, access to my personal oil collection, your happy place custom box, lunch, refreshments, access to Georgie’s Garden, and hopefully some aromatic emotional healing.

We would love to see you in 2018 for this exclusive opportunity to share our work and vision. To learn more, visit the website and reserve your space today!

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Aromatic Blends with Vanilla

Posted on: November 27th, 2017 by
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Vanilla and Peppermint for Aromatherapy Blends

Vanilla and Peppermint for Aromatherapy Blends

Over the past two weeks we have looked at alternative oils to vanilla, and which oils blend well with vanilla. In the final article of this trilogy, we are creating a couple of aromatic blends with vanilla and/or those vanilla alternatives we have been talking about! These are great blends to make for the Holiday season – or if you simply love the aroma of vanilla. Enjoy!

Minty Vanilla Whipped Body Butter

Whipped body butter itself is a decadent aromatherapy product, but add in mint and vanilla, and you have a seasonal body butter that can be used all year round as well! Instructions on how to create the whipped body butter base can be found in my ebook, 25 Basic Aromatherapy Recipes for Beginners.

You will need:

  • 8 oz whipped body butter base

  • 20 drops spearmint (Mentha spicata) essential oil

  • 30 drops vanilla (Vanilla planifolia) absolute

  • 15 drops peppermint (Mentha x piperita) essential oil

  • 10 drops fir balsam (Abies balsamea) essential oil

Instructions for Use:

  • Blend the essential oils and absolute with the whipped body butter base. Store in a glass jar and store appropriately. Apply to skin as needed.

Cautions for Use:

This blend is approximately 1.5%. These are “strong” essential oils, so you don’t want to over do it. In addition, avoid use in pregnancy, and with babies and young children. Do not store the finished product in the vicinity of babies and young children as it may cause breathing difficulties.

Vanilla-infused Orange Roll-on Blend

As discussed in previous articles, vanilla can be infused into an oil such as jojoba. This blend uses vanilla-infused jojoba as its base. This is a vanilla-orange accord which can be used on its own, or incorporated into a blend with a complimentary accord.

You will need:

  • 0.33 oz vanilla-infused jojoba

  • 20 drops petitgrain (Citrus aurnatium var. amara (fol)) essential oil

  • 5 drops neroli (Citrus aurantium var. amara (flos)) essential oil

  • 15 drops mandarin (Citrus reticulata) essential oil

Instructions for Use:

  • Combine the vanilla-infused jojoba with the essential oils. Add to a roll-on bottle. Apply as required.

Cautions for Use:

This is approximately a 10% blend. Use caution until you know how you will react to the blend. Lower dilution rate if required. For adult use only.

The Study of Essential Oils in Aromatherapy

To learn more about how essential oils are used in aromatic blends, consider the Sedona Aromatherapie Linguistics of AromaticsTM program!

References:

  • The author of this article has a 20 year history in the health care and aromatherapy industry. The blends given here are based on her own work and experience in the area. She is UK-certified aromatherapist and a NAHA Certified Professional Aromatherapist (R). She is both a published author and editor in aromatherapy, a consultant, custom blend formulator and herbal studies student. She is the author of Authentic Aromatherapy and the current chief editor of the NAHA Aromatherapy Journal. She has taken the online Master Gardener short course series with the University of Oregon. Sharon works from her garden studio in Sedona, Arizona, where she is in the process of creating her own aromatic stillroom and school room for on-site workshops on her one acre homestead and aromatic gardens.

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Essential Oils that Blend Well with Vanilla Oil

Posted on: November 20th, 2017 by
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Spice and citrus essential oils blend well with vanilla

Spice and citrus essential oils blend well with vanilla

Vanilla absolute or vanilla CO2 extract blends well with a wide variety of essential oils, adding a sweet, balsamic, “creamy” note to an essential oil blend. It is a popular oil to use in Holiday blends, as it is reminscent, for many, of the season. Think about the purpose of your blend, the product base you are blending it with, and then compose a blend to fit that purpose.

As I discussed in last week’s post, there are alternatives to vanilla oil but, if you want to use true vanilla, here are a few suggestions with which to blend it.

Spice Essential Oils

Spice essential oils are popular during the Holiday season and the winter months because of their “warming” qualities. Spices such as nutmeg (Myristica fragrans), ginger (Zingiber officinale), cinnamon (Cinnamomum zeylanicum), and clove (Eugenia caryophyllus) are also used in many Holiday dishes, so their individual and combined aromas are familiar to many.

When using spices as essential oils, remember to check individual cautions for use, as these particular essential oils are often more “volatile” than others and in some cases should not be used with seniors, pregnant moms, and with babies and children.

Balsam Essential Oils

As I suggested in last week’s article, Peru balsam (Myroxylon balsamum var. pereirae) can be used as an alternative to vanilla oil. However, essential oils of the “balsam family” also blend well with vanilla oil. Balsam essential oils, such as Canadian or fir balsam (Abies balsamea) and copaiba balsam (Copaifera officinalis), are also beneficial for respiratory problems.

Citrus Essential Oils

Citrus essential oils from the Rutaceae plant family, such as sweet orange (Citrus sinensis), lime (Citrus aurantifolia), lemon (Citrus x limon) and even neroli (Citrus aurantium var. amara (flos)), blend well with vanilla oil, in addition to other essential oils with a lemon aroma.

Citrus essential oils add an uplifting, “happy” note to a blend. Many are also beneficial for digestive problems.

Mint essential oils

I think that mint is a quintessential aroma of the Holiday season and, when combined with vanilla, adds a yummy note to any Holiday blend! Peppermint (Mentha x piperita) and spearmint (Mentha spicata) are the two most common types of mint essential oils used. Avoid using peppermint essential oil around babies, young children and pregnant moms; opt for the less “reactive” spearmint essential oil.

Vanilla Blends for the Winter Season

In the final post of my trilogy on vanilla oil, I will give you three vanilla blends to use during the Holidays and into winter. Don’t forget to check back next week!

The Study of Essential Oils in Aromatherapy

To learn more about how essential oils are used in aromatic blends, consider the Sedona Aromatherapie Linguistics of AromaticsTM program!

References:

  • The suggestions in this article are drawn from the author’s combined 20 year experience in the health care and aromatherapy industry. She is UK-certified aromatherapist and a NAHA Certified Professional Aromatherapist (R). She is both a published author and editor in aromatherapy, a consultant, custom blend formulator and herbal studies student. She is the author of Authentic Aromatherapy and the current chief editor of the NAHA Aromatherapy Journal. She has taken the online Master Gardener short course series with the University of Oregon. Sharon works from her garden studio in Sedona, Arizona, where she is in the process of creating her own aromatic stillroom and school room for on-site workshops on her one acre homestead and aromatic gardens.

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Alternatives to Vanilla Oil for Aromatic Blends

Posted on: November 13th, 2017 by
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Vanilla Pods for Vanilla Oil

Vanilla Pods for Vanilla Oil

If you are a frequent user of vanilla oil (as in the absolute or CO2 extract), you will no doubt be aware of the current shortage of this valued aromatic, which is either making it hard to source quality vanilla oil, or making it even more expensive to purchase it than it has been in the past.

In this first article of a new trilogy on vanilla, I will be suggesting some alternatives to vanilla itself, purely from an aromatic perspective (although, in fact, true vanilla does not posess any real therapeutic benefits with regard to aromatherapy practice). I will follow up this article with oils that blend well with vanilla, and suggest a few vanilla blends for the upcoming Holiday period.

The Aroma Of Vanilla

Vanilla typically has a sweet, rich, balsamic aroma. The chemical component responsible for the aroma in vanilla is vanillin. Vanilla (Vanilla planifolia) is a tropical plant which is today mainly cultivated in Madagascar. However it is the vanilla bean itself which is extracted to produce either an absolute or CO2 extract. Vanilla absolute is produced with the aid of a solvent; it is not possible to distill the bean to produce an essential oil. Vanilla oleoresin may also be produced.

The vanillin content of the final extraction may vary; the higher the vanillin content, the more intense the vanilla aroma.

I have been asked to create a vanilla note in several custom blends but the price of vanilla itself (when available) often makes a blend not viable or cost-effective. Trying to reproduce that elusive vanilla-like aroma using natural ingredients can sometimes prove a challenge! However, it is possible to infuse vanilla beans themselves, or the oleoresin, in another oil such as jojoba (Simmondsia chinensis) for oil-based blends – or add an alternative essential oil or absolute.

Balsam of Peru Essential Oil

Balsam of Peru (Myroxylyon balsam var. pereirae) is a tropical tree of the Fabiceae plant family which produces a distilled essential oil from the resin of the tree. The essential oil has a surprisingly rich, sweet vanilla-like aroma, although its chemical conponents principally consist of benzyl benzoate, benzyl cinnamate, and cinnamic acid.1

It is a viscous oil and it will give your aromatic blend a distinct vanilla-like aroma – at a fraction of the price of vanilla itself. Additional therapeutic benefits include uses for stress, respiratory conditions, and skin issues.2

Benzoin Absolute

Benzoin (Styrax benzoin) is, not surprisingly, another tropical tree but this time of the Styracaceae plant family. Again, the resin is collected from the tree and prepared into an absolute using solvents. Benzoin absolute produces a rich, warm, sweet, balsamic aroma with a hint of vanilla and, some would say, chocolate. The principal chemical components of benzoin include benzoic acid and benzyl benzoate.3 According to Lawless, benzoin does contain vanillin.2

Benzoin absolute is another thick, sticky, but vicous liquid which fixes a blend with the sought-after vanilla note, as long as it is used in moderation. Additional therapeutic benefits of benzoin include uses for stress, respiratory conditions, joint pain, and skin care.

The Study of Essential Oils in Aromatherapy

To learn more about how essential oils are used in aromatic blends, consider the Sedona Aromatherapie Linguistics of AromaticsTM program!

References:

  1. Eden Botanicals, Balsam of Peru COA, accessed from: https://www.edenbotanicals.com/product_documents/COA/80_Balsam_of_peru_Oil_COA_14.pdf

  2. Lawless, Julia, 1995, The Illustrated Encyclopedia of Essential Oils, UK: Thorson

  3. Eden Botanicals, Benzoin COA, accessed from: https://www.edenbotanicals.com/product_documents/COA/117_Benzoin_COA_1.pdf

  • The author of this article has a 20 year history in the health care and aromatherapy industry. She is UK-certified aromatherapist and a NAHA Certified Professional Aromatherapist (R). She is both a published author and editor in aromatherapy, a consultant, custom blend formulator and herbal studies student. She is the author of Authentic Aromatherapy and the current chief editor of the NAHA Aromatherapy Journal. She has taken the online Master Gardener short course series with the University of Oregon. Sharon works from her garden studio in Sedona, Arizona, where she is in the process of creating her own aromatic stillroom and school room for on-site workshops on her one acre homestead and aromatic gardens.

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An Introduction to Grape Seed Oil

Posted on: November 6th, 2017 by
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Grapes for Grape Seed Oil

Grapes for Grape Seed Oil

Grape seed (Vitis vinifera) is not a carrier oil that I have used much but it is often preferred by massage therapists because of its non-greasy application. It doesn’t have a long shelf life, so it is best to use it within a short time frame. Here’s a quick introduction to grapeseed oil.

Botanical Profile of Grape Seed

The grape plant belongs to the Vitaceae botanical family. Its Latin name is made up from the Latin word, vitis, meaning vine and vinifera which means wine bearing. The grape is a deciduous, climbing plant and reaches a length of 70 to 100 feet. According to Maud Grieves, in a Modern Herbal, some grape plants have been reported to live for hundreds of years. The grape plant has green-colored flowers but it is from the seeds of the the fruit that grape seed oil is extracted.

Production and Extraction of Grape Seed Oil

Today, the main producing countries of grape seed oil are Spain, Italy and the U.S. (California), although France was the first country to produce grape seed oil. Grape seed oil is extracted from the left over grape seeds, after the distillation of the grapes for wine. Grape seed oil is not a cold pressed carrier oil, unlike the majority of carrier oils used in aromatherapy practice; it is pressed with heat after the grape seeds have been washed, dried, and crushed.

Chemical Components of Grape Seed Oil

Grape seed oil is high in linoleic acid, in addition to vitamin E, flavonoids and antioxidants. Linoleic acid is excellent for use in skin care use, and therefore aromatherapy massage, because it is said to regenerate and restructure the skin and cell membranes. Grape seed oil has virtually no aroma, making it conducive for combining with other carrier oils, for additional therapeutic benefits, in aromatherapy use.

Cosmetic and Aromatherapy Use of Grape Seed Oil

Grape seed oil is light and non-greasy to use for aromatherapy and massage; it smooths the skin. It is often added to cosmetic creams and lotions for skin care use due to its regenerative and moisturizing properties. In addition, grape seed oil is non-toxic and is not known to cause allergies or sensitization in skin care use.

Cautions for Using Grape Seed Oil in Aromatherapy

Len Price, in his book Carrier Oils for Aromatherapy and Massage, records that grape seed oil is non-toxic with no known side effects or contra-indications for use in aromatherapy and massage. As always, consult a certified aromatherapist before using unfamiliar carrier oils if you have any concerns for use.

The Study of Carrier Oils in Aromatherapy

To learn more about how carrier oils are used in aromatherapy practice, consider the Sedona Aromatherapie Linguistics of AromaticsTM program!

References:

  • The author of this article has a 20 year history in the health care and aromatherapy industry. She is UK-certified aromatherapist and a NAHA Certified Professional Aromatherapist (R). She is both a published author and editor in aromatherapy, a consultant, custom blend formulator and herbal studies student. She is the author of Authentic Aromatherapy and the current chief editor of the NAHA Aromatherapy Journal. She has taken the online Master Gardener short course series with the University of Oregon. Sharon works from her garden studio in Sedona, Arizona, where she is in the process of creating her own aromatic stillroom on her one acre homestead and aromatic gardens.

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