Sedona Aromatherapie Certification in Professional Aromatherapy: One Year Anniversary!

Posted on: August 31st, 2015 by
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Back to School with an Aromatherapy Certification Course: Photo Credit: Fotolia

Back to School with an Aromatherapy Certification Course: Photo Credit: Fotolia

A year ago, I launched the Sedona Aromatherapie Certification in Professional in Aromatherapy program. It took me over one year to write this extensive program, yet I had no idea how it would be received. I had offered several shorter aromatherapy courses for some time, and the Sedona Aromatherapie Foundation Course in Aromatherapy for three years, so the certification program was the next natural step. However, writing it was just the beginning of the story….

One year on, I am happy to say that many students put their faith in my aromatherapy program and are now walking their own aromatherapy path. I have been inspired by individual students’ stories, hopes, dreams, and journeys. I am honored to be part of their learning and to be part of the process of the next generation of aromatherapy entrepreneurs! I am also humbled by my own continued learning through my contact with different people.

This week’s post is dedicated to all of those aromatherapy students I mention above – and to the future ones! And in celebration of the one year anniversary of the program, I will be revealing a one time special offer for payment of the course in Sedona Aromatherapie‘s Autumn newsletter – published September 1! Read on to learn more about the Sedona Aromatherapie Certification in Professional Aromatherapy program.

About the Sedona Aromatherapie Certification in Professional Aromatherapy Program

I initially gave details of the certification program in last year’s post, but here is a quick summary about the course:

“This particular home study certification in aromatherapy course is an extremely comprehensive, in-depth look at the world of essential oils and aromatherapy, aromatherapy in practice, product formulation, and unique advice and experience from the author’s personal work.

The course is assessed through continuous assignments, practical projects, case studies, a research paper, and a final examination. It is supported by a 900 page course workbook (split into ten modules), UK and US texts (additional cost), and one-on-one email support (and optional phone, skype, or in-person support at additional cost) of Sharon Falsetto.”

Over the past year, I have added a Sedona Aromatherapie private Facebook group exclusively for Sedona Aromatherapie level 1 and level 2 students. The group offers a supportive environment for learning, a place to share experiences with other students, ask for advice, a place to socialize with like-minded people, and some exclusive looks at my other work that is not shared anywhere else. And the best part? It is all included in your enrollment fee at no extra charge!

Methods of Learning for the Sedona Aromatherapie Certification in Professional Aromatherapy Program

I offer two methods of learning for the Sedona Aromatherapie Certification in Professional Aromatherapy program:

  • PDF instant download – with the option to print out an exact copy of the written workbook at a lesser charge.

  • Printed workbook – I will mail out a printed copy of the workbook to you so that you always have a permanent hard copy for future reference.

Sedona Aromatherapie Payment Plans for Aromatherapy Study

Both the Sedona Aromatherapie Certification in Professional Aromatherapy course and the Sedona Aromatherapie Foundation Course in Aromatherapy offer the option of paying for your course with a payment plan. However, the payment plan for the Certification in Professional Aromatherapy course is extremely generous with a small, initial deposit, and the remaining balance spread out over the next ten months. Aromatherapy certification does not get any more affordable than this! Or does it?

Sedona Aromatherapie Newsletter Offer for Aromatherapy Certification

In celebration of the one year anniversary of the Sedona Aromatherapie Certification in Professional Aromatherapy course, I will be revealing a limited time offer for options C and D of the course in the Sedona Aromatherapie Autumn newsletter. You need to be subscribed to the newsletter in order to receive this offer! Sign up today to receive the Autumn newsletter due out on September 1!

It is never too late to go back to (aromatherapy) school!

If you have any questions about this program, or any of the other Sedona Aromatherapie courses, please don’t hesitate to contact me to learn more.

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An Introduction to Infused Carrier Oils

Posted on: August 24th, 2015 by
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Calendula Infused Oil: Photo Credit, Fotolia

Calendula Infused Oil: Photo Credit, Fotolia

There are several types of carrier oils that are used in aromatherapy practice. A few weeks ago, I wrote a post about berry oils. In this post I am going to discuss a type of carrier oil that you may have used, but you may not understand how it is made – an infused carrier oil. Infused carrier oils are special because they contain the the therapeutic properties of two plants. Here is a quick look at infused carrier oils.

What is an Infused Carrier Oil?

An infused carrier oil may also be called a macerated carrier oil. Maceration is defined as, “…to soften and break down into component parts by soaking in liquid for some time, ” essentially another term for steeping. Infusion is defined as, “… the liquid extract that results from steeping a substance in (water).” (Webster’s New World College Dictionary, 2009). Subsequently, either term can be applied to an oil/plant that has been through this sort of process.

Infusion is not a new practice. Herbalists, and other practitioners of plants, have been macerating plants in oils for centuries (most often referred to as macerated oils in some of the older texts), and it is quite simple to carry out your own infusion at home. It was a common practice in the ancient world when distillation, as we know it today, wasn’t used as commonly to produce essential oils.

A plant is picked, and most often dried out, and then chopped up into small parts. The plant material is then left to steep in a suitable carrier oil. The mixture is left in sunlight for several days in order to allow the plant’s oil-soluble compounds (and therapeutic properties) to “infuse” into the oil; there is also the stove top method of infusion that produces similar results. Once infused, the plant material is drained off separately from the oil. The resulting oil contains the therapeutic properties of the original carrier oil and the added plant material.

Types of Infused Carrier Oils

There are several types of infused carrier oils including herbal and floral infused oils (Falsetto, 2014). Both herbalists and aromatherapists often experiment in making their own infused oils from various types of plant species. Some of the more popular infused oils for aromatherapy use include:

  • calendula (Calendula officinalis) – the flower blossoms are steeped in a vegetable oil such as sunflower (Helianthus annuus).

  • St. John’s wort (Hypericum perforatum L.) – the buds and the flowers are steeped in a vegetable oil such as olive (Olea europea).

  • Carrot(Daucus carota) – the root is steeped in a vegetable oil such as sunflower (Helianthus annuus).

  • Lime blossom (Tilia cordata) – the flowers are steeped in a vegetable oil such as sunflower (Helianthus annuus).

  • Passion flower (Passiflora incarnata L.) – the flowers are steeped in a vegetable oil such as sunflower (Helianthus annuus).

  • Vanilla (Vanilla planifolia) – the seeds (pods) are steeped in jojoba (Simmondsia chinensis) or fractionated coconut (Cocos nucifera) oil.

However it is possible to macerate many types of plant species; I have made peppermint-infused carrier oil and I have also tried to make an infusion of jasmine flowers. Keville and Green give further examples of infused oils such as alkanet, neem, and yarrow.

Uses for Infused Carrier Oils

Infused carrier oils have much the same uses as regular carrier oils in aromatherapy practice. However, instead of just one plant’s therapeutic properties, you will have the benefit of two plant’s therapeutic properties.

Learn More About Carrier Oils with Sedona Aromatherapie Home Study Courses

If you are interested in learning more about carrier oils and aromatherapy practice, consider one of the Sedona Aromatherapie aromatherapy home study courses. Visit the courses page to learn more!

References:

  • Keville, Kathi, Green, Mindy, 2009, Aromatherapy: A Complete Guide to the Healing Art, US: Crossing Press

  • Price, Len, 1999, Carrier Oils for Aromatherapy and Massage, UK: Riverhead

  • Sedona Aromatherapie Certification in Professional Aromatherapy, 2014, Module 7, US: Sedona, Arizona

  • Webster’s New World College Dictionary, 4th Edition, 2009, US: Wiley Publishing Inc.

  • Author is a UK-certified aromatherapist, published author and editor in aromatherapy, an approved education provider for the National Association for Holistic Aromatherapy (NAHA), an aromatherapy business owner, and Chief Editor for the NAHA Aromatherapy Journal.

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Commonly Misspelled Botanical Names for Essential Oils

Posted on: August 17th, 2015 by
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What's in a (Botanical) Name? Photo Credit: Fotolia

What's in a (Botanical) Name? Photo Credit: Fotolia

In the course of my work as an aromatherapy educator, writer, editor, researcher, and consultant I have come across the same spelling errors in the botanical names of plants and essential oils many times. It is not surprising that these names are misspelled time and time again as Latin, as a dead language, is not a familiar tongue. With thousands of botanical names for plant species and genera, many of which are very similar, it is just as important to correctly identify the plants in the Latin language, as it is in the English language.

Here are a few commonly misspelled botanical names for essential oils that I regularly come across in my work.

Lavender Essential Oil

The lavender species belongs to the Lamiaceae plant family and although true lavender (Lavandula angustifolia) is the most common member of the lavender species, the botanical name of all lavender species starts with the name Lavandula. I have seen Lavandula listed as Lavendula, Levandula, and various other conjectures.

Rose Essential Oil

Rose, another common essential oil in use in aromatherapy, consists of various genera within the species. The most commonly misspelled botanical name for rose that I have encountered on a regular basis is that for Damask (Damascus) rose. Damask rose is botanically known as Rosa x damascena, although I have often seen it listed as Rosa x damascene. Both The Plant List and the Integrated Taxonomic Information System (ITIS) list Damask rose as Rosa x damascena.

In addition, the letter x in the botanical name for Damask rose indicates that the plant is, in fact, a hybrid. Sometimes, the letter x is “forgotten” in the botanical name but this should always be included.

Frankincense Essential Oil

The use of frankincense as an essential oil has been changing in recent years due to the limited supply of traditional Boswellia carteri. However, Boswellia carteri is both still used as an essential oil and referred to in literature. Variations that I have seen from the correct botanical name include Boswelia carteri, Boswellia carterii, and Boswellia cartaeri.

In addition, other species of frankincense contain the species name Boswellia, so the correct spelling is appropriate to these other species, too.

Palmarosa Essential Oil

Palmarosa’s botanical name is often confused with a popular beverage of the same name! Although the common English name of martini refers to a cocktail of gin, vermouth, an olive, and/or a lemon twist, the native Indian grass palmarosa bears no resemblance! Palmarosa’s botanical name is Cymbopogon martinii (var. martinii), and not Cymbopogon martini.

Essential Oil Names with the Letter x Inserted

In last week’s post, I discussed the use of the letter x in the names of some plants, and subsequent essential oils extracted from them. To re-cap, the letter x indicates that the plant (and essential oil) is a hybrid. However, I have seen the letter x dropped from many plant and essential oil botanical names in several texts and papers, often leading to additional research of my own to make sure that I am reading the “correct” information.

Common hybrid plants that produce an essential oil include peppermint (Mentha x piperita), Damask rose (Rosa x damascena), grapefruit (Citrus x paradisi), and lavandin (Lavandula x intermedia). Refer back to last week’s post for further explanation.

Learn More About Essential Oils with a Home Study Aromatherapy Course

If you would like to study essential oils in detail, consider taking the Sedona Aromatherapie Certification in Professional Aromatherapy course. Or, why not consider one of the other shorter courses in the Sedona Aromatherapie home study aromatherapy program? Visit the courses home page to learn more!

References:

  • Lawless, Julia, 1995, The Illustrated Encyclopedia of Essential Oils, UK: Thorsons

  • The Plant List website

  • The Integrated Taxonomic Information System (ITIS) website

  • Author is a UK-certified aromatherapist, published author and editor in aromatherapy, an approved education provider for the National Association for Holistic Aromatherapy (NAHA), an aromatherapy business owner, and Chief Editor for the NAHA Aromatherapy Journal.

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Understanding Botany for Aromatherapy: What is a Hybrid Plant?

Posted on: August 10th, 2015 by
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Rosa centifolia is a parent plant of Rosa damascena: Photo Credit, Fotolia

Rosa centifolia is a parent plant of Rosa damascena: Photo Credit, Fotolia

The term hybrid may conjure up an image of something that is not “real” — and in some ways this may be true. However, with regard to plants, hybrid plants, depending upon your point of view, are just as “real” as original plants and, furthermore, when used as an essential oil, hybrid plants have the potential for therapeutic properties, too; hybrid essential oils are not the same as synthetic, or adulterated, essential oils which are chemically made, or altered, in a laboratory or process plant.

Definition of a Hybrid Plant

A hybrid plant is an inter species plant; that is, a plant that has been crossed between two different species but within the same genus (Falsetto, 2014). There are many different hybrid plants. And you will find many hybrid plants within the world of gardening; breeders attempt to create an “ideal” plant for specific climates and to produce the “best” features of the plant. The hybrid plant will share common characteristics with both of its parent plants. Hybrids are sometimes created naturally in the wild through self-pollination, but many are usually specifically bred with human intervention.

Although essential oils were originally extracted from wild plants, today, through commercialization of the industry, many common (or endangered) plant species used for essential oil extraction, are bred specifically for that use, in order to protect the wild resources. Along the way, plants have also been specifically bred to create other species – of which, several are used in aromatherapy practice.

Describing a Hybrid Plant in Botanical Terms

Today, all plants are cataloged using a scientific plant classification system. The system, originally developed by Carolus Linneaus (1707 – 1778), records all names in Latin, in a two part binomial name. For example, true lavender is recorded as Lavandula angustifolia (with various synonyms).

A hybrid plant will have the letter x inserted between the two parts of its binomial name; the insertion of the letter x indicates that the plant is a hybrid, or inter species, plant.

Common Hybrid Plants in Aromatherapy

You might be surprised to learn that some of the common essential oils used in aromatherapy are actually extracted from hybrid plants. Examples of hybrid plants that produce essential oils are:

  • lavandin (Lavandula x intermedia) – a cross between true lavender (Lavandula angustifolia) and spike lavender (Lavandula latifolia). Lavandin shares common characteristics of both of its parent plants; the essential oil is similar in use to true lavender, but has a different chemical make-up and a sharper aroma, with therapeutic properties beneficial for respiratory and muscular problems (Lawless, 1995).

  • Grapefruit (Citrus x paradisi) – a cross between the shaddock or pomelo (Citrus maxima) and sweet orange (Citrus sinensis). Its hybridization is not clearly documented but records indicate it was probably bred sometime in the eighteenth century.

  • Peppermint (Mentha x piperita) – the parents of the hybrid plant peppermint are cited by many resources as spearmint (Mentha spicata) and water mint (Mentha aquatica) but Heilmeyer writes that horse mint (Mentha longifolia) is a parent of peppermint too as it was in common use by gardeners during the time of hybridization (1696, in England) (Heilmeyer, nd). Peppermint essential oil contains some strong chemical components and one of its parent plants, spearmint, is often recommended in preference to peppermint.

  • Rose (Rosa x damascena) – the rose is such a common plant, with many species and hybrids, that many may not realize that the damask rose is a hybrid of musk rose (Rosa moscheta) and Gallic rose (Rosa gallica). In addition, there are several other rose species used as an essential oil, so it is important to know which species (or hybrid) you are using. Even though many rose species essential oils share similar therapeutic properties, their aroma can vary.

Learn More About Essential Oils with Sedona Aromatherapie

If you would like to learn more about the use of essential oils and their application in aromatherapy practice and products, consider one of the Sedona Aromatherapie home study courses. To learn more, visit the courses home page.

References:

  • American Rose Society website, History of Roses: Damask Rose, Haynes, Jerry, PDF document, accessed August 10, 2015

  • Falsetto, Sharon, 2014, Certification in Professional Aromatherapy, Module One, US: Sedona, Arizona

  • Heilmeyer, Marina, nd, Ancient Herbs, US: Getty Publications

  • Lawless, Julia, 1995, The Illustrated Encyclopedia of Essential Oils, UK: Thorsons

  • University of Illinois website, Hybrids and Heirlooms, accessed August 10, 2015

  • Author is a UK-certified aromatherapist, published author and editor in aromatherapy, an approved education provider for the National Association for Holistic Aromatherapy (NAHA), an aromatherapy business owner, and Chief Editor for the NAHA Aromatherapy Journal.

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The Difference Between Coriander and Cilantro Essential Oils

Posted on: August 3rd, 2015 by
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Cilantro and Coriander (Seeds): Photo Credit, Fotolia

Cilantro and Coriander (Seeds): Photo Credit, Fotolia

When I first moved to the United States from the United Kingdom, I was very confused by the term of cilantro in reference to what, I believed, was coriander. However, I have since learned the difference between the two terms, and how they are used in relation to the plant, and more specifically, the essential oil. Here’s a quick summary of what the terms coriander and cilantro mean – depending upon which part of the world you are located in.

Coriander and Cilantro as a Herb

A small annual herb which goes by the general name of coriander in the United Kingdom and cilantro in the United States is one example of why botanical names are important. Coriandrum sativum, of the Apiaceae botanical family, is highly aromatic, with bright green leaves, and umbels of white, lacy flowers. It produces green seeds, turning to brown on maturity, after the flowering season is over.

Coriandrum sativum is indigenous to western Asia and Europe but it is now naturalized throughout North America. In common with mandarin and tangerine, the plant’s name was “altered” when it landed on North American shores, leading to confusion among those who use purely generic English names for plants.

Coriander Seed Essential Oil (UK and US)

Coriandrum sativum produces both a seed essential oil and an essential oil from the leaves and stalks of the plant. The seed essential oil is known as coriander seed essential oil in both the United States and the United Kingdom. However, the term seed may not be used in the United Kingdom, in conjunction with coriander, as much as it is in the United States (based on my experience).

Cilantro Essential Oil (US)

Cilantro is the common term used in the United States to describe the essential oil produced from the leaves and stalks of Coriandrum sativum. It may also be referred to (to a lesser extent in the United States) as coriander leaf essential oil. It is worth noting that the chemical components of the seed essential oil and the leaves/stalks essential oil differ.

Cilantro essential oil has a lesser content of linalool (alcohols) than the seed essential oil, and contains a high proportion of decyl aldehyde (aldehydes). Alcohols are generally less “reactive” chemical components in essential oils than aldehydes, although aldehydes are often more fragrant than many other chemical components.

Coriander Essential Oil (UK)

In the United Kingdom, the term coriander is also used in general when referring to the leaf/stalk essential oil (known as cilantro in the United States: see above paragraph). In summary, there is no real distinction (in name at least) between coriander as a seed or leaf essential oil in the United Kingdom (as there is in the United States), although the terms seed and leaf maybe inserted into the name to ascertain which part of the plant the essential oil has been extracted from, and indicating the expected chemical components and therapeutic properties.

Learn More About Essential Oils with Sedona Aromatherapie

If you would like to learn more about essential oils and their use in aromatherapy practice, consider one of the Sedona Aromatherapie home study aromatherapy courses. Visit the courses home page to learn more.

References:

  • Lawless, Julia, 1995, The Illustrated Encyclopedia of Essential Oils, UK: Thorsons

  • Tisserand, Robert, Young, Rodney, 2014, Essential Oil Safety, UK: Churchill Livingstone

  • Author is a UK-certified aromatherapist, published author and editor in aromatherapy, an approved education provider for the National Association for Holistic Aromatherapy (NAHA), an aromatherapy business owner, and Chief Editor for the NAHA Aromatherapy Journal.

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The Difference Between Tansy Essential Oil and Blue Tansy Essential Oil

Posted on: July 27th, 2015 by
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Tansy, Tanacetum vulgare: Photo Credit, Fotolia

Tansy, Tanacetum vulgare: Photo Credit, Fotolia

Tansy essential oil and blue tansy essential oil are very different in their chemical make-up, and subsequent use, despite the fact that they both belong to the Asteraceae plant family. In addition, blue tansy can also be known by the synonyms Moroccan blue chamomile and Moroccan tansy, adding to further confusion with another essential oil. Here’s a quick look at the difference between these two types of tansy oils.

Profile of Tansy Essential Oil

Tansy (Tanacetum vulgare) is a medium-sized herb that grows up to three feet in height. It has dark-green, fern leaves and small, round, yellow flowers. It has a fragrant aroma. The essential oil is extracted by steam distillation from the aerial parts of the plant.

Use of Tansy in Aromatherapy

Tansy essential oil has a warm, spicy-herbaceous aroma. The principal chemical component in tansy essential oil is thujone, a fairly “reactive” component. Lawless lists tansy as “abortifacient” and advises against use of the essential oil for therapeutic aromatherapy practice.

Profile of Blue Tansy Essential Oil

Blue tansy (Tanacetum annuum) is confusingly also known as blue Moroccan chamomile – not to be confused with Moroccan chamomile (Ormenis multicaulis)*. It owes its other synonym, Moroccan tansy, to its country of origin, Morocco. Blue tansy is an annual herb that produces one of the “blue” essential oils; other “blue” essential oils include German chamomile (Matricaria recutica), yarrow (Achillea millefolium), and Roman chamomile (Chamaemelum nobile). All members of the Asteraceae plant family, the “blue” oils owe their nickname to the azulene chemical component present in the essential oil (from the Spanish word azul, meaning blue).

*NOTE: Schnaubelt lists blue tansy (tanacetum annuum) as Moroccan chamomile in his works. It is important to be familiar with the botanical names of plants for this reason.

Use of Blue Tansy in Aromatherapy

Blue tansy essential oil has a herbaceous aroma. It is extracted from the annual herb (aerial parts) by steam distillation. Rose list the uses of blue tansy essential oil for sciatica, asthma, nerve sedative, and in skincare. Schnaubelt indicates its use for allergies. However, the essential oil is contra-indicated for use with women who have an endocrine imbalance and in pregnancy. In addition, do not use in dilution above 5%.

Learn More About Essential Oils with Sedona Aromatherapie

If you are interested in learning more about essential oils, consider one of the Sedona Aromatherapie home study aromatherapy courses. Visit the courses home page to learn more.

References:

  • Eden Botanicals website, Blue Tansy, accessed July 27, 2015

  • Lawless, Julia, 1995, The Illustrated Encyclopedia of Essential Oils, UK: Thorsons

  • Rose, Jeanne, 1999, 375 Essential Oils and Hydrosols, US: Frog Ltd. Books

  • Schnaubelt, Kurt, 1998, Advanced Aromatherapy: The Science of Essential Oil Therapy, US: Healing Arts Press

  • Tisserand, Robert, Young, Rodney, 2014, Essential Oil Safety, 2nd Edition, UK: Churchill Livingstone

  • Author is a UK-certified aromatherapist, published author in aromatherapy, an approved education provider for the National Association for Holistic Aromatherapy (NAHA), an aromatherapy business owner, and Chief Editor for the NAHA Aromatherapy Journal.

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