Basic aromatherapy, Creating products

What the best aromatherapists know about that you don’t?

Melani 10 months ago 0

In this blog post, I will share with you the simple and powerful insights I’ve collected over many years of my practice. I gained this knowledge and perspective through teaching hundreds of students all over the globe and as well as through many years of developing Dropsmith. It all helped me to uncover my authentic and holistic approach to essential oils.

I believe ‘the secret power’ is cleverly coded in the GC/MS of your essential oil(s). The trick is to know how to use it. It is simple. Essential oil chemistry is the foundation of aromatherapy because:

  • it is the easiest way for you to explain how and why your essential oil and/or blend works,
  • it is a reliable approach to get you recognized as a skilled professional,
  • it is the fastest way to get you credibility for your work,
  • it will help you progress in any area of aromatherapy you please.

 

The 3 notes of EOs: smell, emotion, and chemistry

By the end of this post, you will gain new insight into 3 simple and basic chemical groups that will reveal to you the ‘secret power’ of the essential oils you use in your daily practice.

Monoterpene hydrocarbons

  • are the most common group found in nearly all essential oils.
  • are tiny molecules (they contain only 10 carbon atoms) that can penetrate the skin easily and quickly.

 

What do the small size and molecular weight of monoterpene hydrocarbons reveal to you about the scent?

As monoterpenes are smaller and lighter than other groups found in essential oils they

  • have higher volatility,
  • usually have high notes,
  • evaporate quickly,
  • therefore we smell them for a shorter time.

Essential oils with a high percentage of monoterpene hydrocarbons tend to have subtle aromas that are usually light, fresh, singular, and medicinal.

If you take the holistic approach and look outside the box, you will clearly notice that essential oils rich in monoterpenes are most commonly distilled from needles, fruit, and resins such as different pines, firs, citruses, black pepper, and galbanum.

Isn’t that so inspiring and interesting?

Essential oil chemistry

The picture above shows a few examples of essential oils with over 70% of monoterpene hydrocarbons. In Dropsmith you will see this is simple. Everything is in clear, bright, easy to follow colors.
The orange color represents the monoterpene hydrocarbons and on the bottom left corner, you will find what groups are represented by which color.

 

Alcohols

  • are organic compounds with hydroxyl functional group (-OH) bound to a carbon atom,
  • are heavier molecules (than the abovementioned monoterpene hydrocarbons),
  • the presence of an -OH group increases their boiling points (in comparison to hydrocarbons),
  • so essential oils rich in monoterpene alcohols such as palmarosa and rosewood usually belong to middle notes.

This makes them excellent bridges that bind the light high notes with the more lasting base notes. An absolute must-have in natural perfume.

 

USEFUL TIP

Essential oils rich in monoterpene alcohols such as Geranium, Lavender, and Magnolia are usually much more intense in their odor intensity compared to essential oils rich in monoterpene hydrocarbons.

They will easily dominate essential oils with lighter notes such as Douglas Fir, Mandarine, and Yuzu.

 

 

Esters are products of condensation of alcohol with carboxylic acid, so you will often find their parent alcohol still present in the essential oils as is the case with linalool and linalyl acetate. This combination is quite common in essential oils such as Bergamot, Neroli, Lavender and Lavandin, etc.

 

Creating products with essential oils.

 

Synergy

To put all this into some useful context for you, I’ve compared (in the exclusive table provided for you above) the scientific properties of 3 very common chemical components:

  • limonene (monoterpene hydrocarbon),
  • linalool (monoterpene alcohol)
  • linalyl acetate (monoterpene ester)

These 3 chemical components are found in a large number of essential oils such as Clary sage, Lavender, Myrtle, Laurel leaf, Petitgrain, Spike lavender, Lavandin, Perilla, Kewda, and Linaloe berry.

 

I personally love to use oils and blends rich in this combination for easing physical and emotional pain.

To make it easy and clear for you to apply this valuable information, I colored the properties helpful for pain in blue and the properties beneficial for emotions purple.

 

Why you should take a second look at your GC/MS report and the chemical components that make up your essential oils?

In my personal practice, before making a final decision on my oils I always check 4 parameters:

  • scientifically proven properties of essential oil(s),
  • hands-on experience including traditional use and practical experience,
  • properties of the dominant chemical component(s),
  • the synergy of the components.

 

Are you inspired?
I have plenty more to share 🙂

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REFERENCES

All references are from dropsmith.com

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Barocelli E, Calcina F, Chiavarini M, Impicciatore M, Bruni R, Bianchi A, Ballabeni V. (2004) Antinociceptive and gastroprotective effects of inhaled and orally administered Lavandula hybrida Reverchon “Grosso” essential oil. Life Sci, Nov, 76(2):213-23.

Carrasco A, Martinez-Gutierrez R, Tomas V, Tudela J. (2016) Lavandin (Lavandula × intermedia Emeric ex Loiseleur) essential oil from Spain: determination of aromatic profile by gas chromatography-mass spectrometry, antioxidant and lipoxygenase inhibitory bioactivities. Nat Prod Res, 30(10):1123-30.

Cutillas AB, Carrasco A, Martinez-Gutierrez R, Tomas V, Tudela J. (2018) Thymus mastichina L. essential oils from Murcia (Spain): Composition and antioxidant, antienzymatic and antimicrobial bioactivities. PLoS One, Jan, 13(1):e0190790.

De siqueira RJ, Rodrigues KM, Da silva MT, et al. (2014) Linalool-rich rosewood oil induces vago-vagal bradycardic and depressor reflex in rats. Phytother Res. 28(1):42-8.

Dutra FL, Oliveira MM, Santos RS, Silva WS, Alviano DS, Vieira DP, Lopes AH. (2016) Effects of linalool and eugenol on the survival of Leishmania (L.) infantum chagasi within macrophages. Acta Tropica,164:69-76.

Geun-Hye Seol, Purum Kang, Hui Su Lee and Geun Hee Seol (2016) Antioxidant activity of linalool in patients with carpal tunnel syndrome. Research article, BMC Neurology

Guzmán-Gutiérrez SL, Bonilla-Jaime H, Gómez-Cansino R, Reyes-Chilpa R. (2015) Linalool and β-pinene exert their antidepressant-like activity through the monoaminergic pathway. Life Sciences, Volume 128, 24-29.

Herman A, Tambor K, Herman A. (2016) Linalool Affects the Antimicrobial Efficacy of Essential Oils. Curr Microbiol., 72(2):165-72.

Hsieh YS, Kwon S, Lee HS, Seol GH. (2018) Linalyl acetate prevents hypertension-related ischemic injury. PLoS One, May 25, 13(5):e0198082.

Katsuyama S, Kuwahata H, Yagi T, Kishikawa Y, Komatsu T, Sakurada T, et al. (2012) Intraplantar injection of linalool reduces paclitaxel-induced acute pain in mice. Biomed Res, 33(3):175–81.

Mahboubi M. (2017) Mentha spicata as natural analgesia for treatment of pain in osteoarthritis patients. Complement Ther Clin Pract, Feb, 26:1-4.

Mirghaed AT, Ghelichpour M, Hoseini SM. (2016) Myrcene and linalool as new anesthetic and sedative agents in common carp, Cyprinus carpio – Comparison with eugenol, Aquaculture, 464:165–170.

de Oliveira BM, Melo CR, Alves PB, Santos AA, Santos AC, Santana AD, Araújo AP, Nascimento PE, Blank AF, Bacci L. (2017) Essential Oil of Aristolochia trilobata: Synthesis, Routes of Exposure, Acute Toxicity, Binary Mixtures and Behavioral Effects on Leaf-Cutting Ants. Molecules, Feb 25, 22(3).

Ou MC, Hsu TF, Lai AC, Lin YT, Lin CC. (2012) Pain relief assessment by aromatic essential oil massage on outpatients with primary dysmenorrhea: a randomized, double-blind clinical trial. J Obstet Gynaecol Res, May, 38(5):817-22.

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Piccinelli AC, Morato PN, Dos Santos Barbosa M, Croda J, Sampson J, Kong X, Konkiewitz EC, Ziff EB, Amaya-Farfan J, Kassuya CA. (2017) Limonene reduces hyperalgesia induced by gp120 and cytokines by modulation of IL-1 β and protein expression in spinal cord of mice. Life Sciences, Volume 174, 28-34.

Piccinelli AC, Santos JA, Konkiewitz EC, Oesterreich SA, Formagio AS, Croda J, Ziff EB, Kassuya CA. (2015) Antihyperalgesic and antidepressive actions of (R)-(+)-limonene, α-phellandrene, and essential oil from Schinus terebinthifolius fruits in a neuropathic pain model. Nutritional Neuroscience, 18(5):217-224.

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Sadraei H, Asghari G, Kasiri F. (2015) Comparison of antispasmodic effects of Dracocephalum kotschyi essential oil, limonene and α-terpineol. Res Pharm Sci, Mar-Apr, 10(2):109-16.

Torres-Martínez R, García-Rodríguez YM, Ríos-Chávez P, Saavedra-Molina A, López-Meza JE, Ochoa-Zarzosa A, Garciglia RS. (2018) Antioxidant Activity of the Essential Oil and its Major Terpenes of Satureja macrostema (Moc. and Sessé ex Benth.) Briq. Pharmacogn Mag, Jan, 13(Suppl 4):S875-S880.

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Vieira AJ, Beserra FP, Souza MC, Totti BM, Rozza AL. (2018) Limonene: Aroma of innovation in health and disease. Chem Biol Interact, Mar 1, 283:97-106.

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