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+ What is Scientific Aromatherapy?
It is a natural and efficient therapy of high quality which integrates complementary as well as allopathic approaches.
Scientific aromatherapy, also called Aromatology, is the comprehensive scientific and holistic use of Chemotyped Essential Oils (CTEO) via all interfaces: inhalation, topical and internal. In some cases, concentrations up to 100% of CTEO are used.
It is a complementary care, preventive or curative for humans & animals, this on the level of destroying pathogenic infections as managing the symptoms of the pathologies present. The close connection which links the chemical structure of an essential oil with its activities constitutes the base of Aromatology.
+ What is an Essential Oil?
An Essential Oil is the volatile essence of aromatic plants that has been, in most cases, by forced steam distillation.
+ What is a Chemotyped Essential Oil?
The different qualities of Essential Oils:
These are essential oils made from non certified botanical plants, industrially grown and harvested without consideration of the importance of the energetic impact, method and moment of harvesting. They are usually quickly and incompletely distilled at high temperature under high pressure, often rectified, diluted, denatured and build up with synthetic chemical components when not pure and simply reconstituted. This quality of essential oil is to be avoided for therapeutic uses; its use should be limited to cosmetic industry and perfumery.
Less common than the previous ones, these essential oils are of medium quality. The plants used are not always botanically certified (several species can be mixed up), from wild harvest or organic cultivation. The biodynamic in the growing and harvesting method is not always respected and usually quickly and incompletely distilled at high temperature and pressure. They can be rectified but not cut, denatured or mixed with other essential oils like the previous ones. It is “possible” but not recommended to use them for therapeutic purposes as the active molecules are not defined and consequently the exact properties and toxicities are not known.
These oils are 100% pure, 100% natural and 100% integral, originating from certified botanical plants. They correspond in every respect with the Chemotyped Essential Oils quality criteria. By a biochemical breakdown, the aromatic molecules and thus the exact properties and medical values are identified. They are rare and their price is inevitably higher but it is fully justified by their quality and effectiveness. These essential oils are the only ones that should be used for medical and therapeutic purposes.
The label “CTEO” is a guarantee for quality, efficiency and safety:
+ What does the term "Chemotype" imply?
This is a chemical, biological and botanical classification designating the molecule that is mainly present in an Essential Oil. The notion of chemotype, also called, “biochemically defined race”, is an essential part of Aromatology.
This classification depends on factors directly related to the plants specific conditions such as soil composition, altitude, sunshine, climatic conditions, the harvest period and even neighbouring plants which may influence the composition of an Essential Oil. So, the same botanical certified aromatic plant can produce total different essential oils depending on the country or region it was harvested in. The necessity of specifying the chemotype comes from the fact that different chemotypes will not only have different therapeutic activities, but also very different toxicities.
An example among many others of this fundamental notion:
These two examples illustrate how crucial it is to state the chemotype of the essential oil. This provides highly specific information on the composition, properties, toxicities and full understanding of an essential oil, which will result in highly powerful, effective therapy. A study based not only on knowledge but also on experience.
The ignorance of this capital notion and the lack of precision leave the door open to therapeutic failures and to unnecessary toxicity.
Some competent laboratories have understood this and go to sophisticated and costly lengths to guarantee a quality that is constant, reproducible and without reproach.
+ What is a GCMS?
CHROMATOGRAPHY & MASS SPECTROMETRY
The Analysis by Gas chromatography coupled with Mass spectrometry is able to define the biochemical composition of an essential oil.
THYMUS THUYANOL CT4
+ How do Essential Oils work?
Mode of action of Essential Oils
The activity of an essential oil is bound to the biochemical structure of their components. The mechanism of action of these volatile molecules can be expressed in different ways.
1. Direct action
Numerous aromatic molecules exert a direct and specific biochemical activity on pathogen micro-organisms. They have a specific toxicity, causticity that lead to physico-chemical modifications of the outer membrane of micro-organisms, accounting for the bacteriostatic and/or bactericidal activity of essential oils.
A lot of scientific research has been made in the last decades on the intime mechanism by which essential oils exert their antimicrobial activity. As already mentioned the privileged target is the outer bacterial membrane in which some polypeptic structures are disrupted, leading to a progressive weakening of the bacterial cell wall (formation of "blebs"). Once the integrity of the outer bacterial membrane has been damaged the bacteria becomes highly sensitive to the natural body defence systems but can also become non-viable by loss of cytoplasmic material (formation of protoplams).
The essential oil of tea tree has become one of the prides of Australia. For this reason a lot of scientific research has been made on this essential oil in order to understand its mechanisms of action on bacteria and other micro-organisms (fungi, yeasts ...). Beside the direct effect on the micro-organism cell wall the essential oil of Melaleuca alternifolia has been shown to alterate the transmembranar potassium transport, the glucose metabolism and the ATP metabolism. All these factors are key-elements of the energetic metabolism of the micro-organisms, which becomes no more efficient and rapidly leads to bacterial death.
So far it has not been demonstrated that essential oils can have a direct effect on the division process of micro-organisms or on protein synthesis, as synthetic antibiotics do by acting on the DNA -> RNA translocation or by interfering with mRNA traduction into peptides.
But the fact that one of the main targets of volatile compounds is the outer membrane of micro-organisms also explains why essential oils are anti-viral. They can attack the proteic viral membrane and thereby inhibit viral replication and viral migration. This particular property combined with the immunostimulating effect of essential oils account for their great anti-viral action against a broad range of viruses (herpes virus, influenza, .....)
Some aromatic molecules are so close to naturally synthesized compounds or naturally occurring molecules in the human body that they can mimic the structure and the function of hormones. They are called hormone-like terpenes, present in hormone-like essential oils.
Example: Sclareol (found in the essential oil of clary sage (Salvia sclarea) shows a great structural analogy with estrogens and can therefore be useful in many hormone-dependent pathologies such as amenorrhea.
Other aromatic molecules have a direct effect on neuroreceptors and neurotransmitters.
Essential oils can act on biological processes, or by modifying the general and/or local "ground*" thanks to their energetic activity:
Negatively charged aromatic molecules are soothing, easing, anti-inflammatory and antispasmodic and are useful in :
Positively charged aromatic molecules can either capture electrons, or supply protons. In the first case they act contrarily to the previous ones. In the second case they strengthen the vital energy, accounting for their tonic power. The aromatic molecules rich in H+ ions promote a loss of the blood pH (acidification) and allow therefore to fight against blood alkalosis, first metabolic step leading to numerous health troubles and organic disturbances : viral and microbial infections, severe asthenia, cancers, multiple sclerosis, ... thanks to their informational functions:
Through their high diffusibility and volatility aromatic molecules act directly, when inhaled, on the olfactive cortical areas. This phenomenon leads to chain reactions reactivating weakened biological or physiological pathways. The study of the therapeutic effects of volatile compounds through their binding with neuro-olfactive receptors is called "Aromachology".
Source of information: Pranarom International Belgium - D. Baudoux.
+ Can one have an allergic reaction to Essential Oils?
Allergies and CTEO
The original question we are addressing is whether or not one can have an allergic reaction to an essential oil. The question boils down to whether or not an essential oil can be an allergen.
As previously stated, almost all allergens are proteins and/or polypeptides. Both of these are built from molecules of amino acids. Amino acid molecules all contain nitrogen as an essential element. Protein and polypeptide molecules are quite large compared to essential oil molecules. In fact, they are typically 100 to 1,000 times larger in both weight and size.
In a few cases, allergens can involve nitrogen-free molecules, including some heavier natural oils, but this is rare. Allergens without nitrogen are always composed of molecules that are heavier than those found in essential oils. The molecular weights of 99% of the compounds in aromatic oils range from 100 to 300 amu. They are also structured in compact shapes and sizes, usually involving one or more rings. Allergens that do not contain nitrogen include large chains of hydrocarbons, much longer than any found in essential oils.
The nature of allergens can be summarized as follows:
(1) Allergens are almost always proteins or polypeptides which are large nitrogenous molecules.
Are Essential Oils Allergens?
Aromatherapists of the British school often warn about “sensitizations” from using essential oils undiluted on the skin or taken orally. This is why they dilute their essential oils with 95-98% neutral, fatty vegetable oils and why they oppose taking undiluted essential oils orally. They are alarmed by such practices as raindrop technique where many oils are applied neat (undiluted) to the bare feet and back. Some opponents of raindrop technique actually claim that allergic reactions to raindrop can lead to serious consequences, including anaphylactic shock and respiratory failure.
None of these allegations are true and no verifiable facts or studies are ever cited to support them. The research publication entitled, A Statistical Validation of Raindrop Technique, soundly refutes such allegations with data from thousands of raindrop sessions.
Consider the following facts:
(1) Allergens are almost always composed of proteins or polypeptides, which are relatively large molecules. There are no proteins or polypeptides in essential oils. In fact, nitrogen-containing compounds are virtually non-existent in essential oils except in occasional trace amounts.
(2) Allergens are composed of large molecules. There are no large molecules in volatile or aromatic oils, otherwise they would be neither volatile nor aromatic. The relatively small size of essential oil molecules and their natural plant origins makes them easily metabolized and eliminated, within minutes or hours. This is not enough time for a sensitivity response to develop. It takes a large molecule that stays in the body well beyond its welcome before sensitization can occur.
(3) There has never been a documented instance of an antigen-antibody response (i.e. sensitization) to an essential oil. Essential oil antibodies have never been found or detected in anyone. Never. Unless sensitization occurs and antibodies are produced and stored in the body, there can be no allergic reaction.
Therefore, we can state unequivocally that essential oils are not and cannot be allergens. There is no such thing as an essential oil allergy.
Sometimes people do have allergy-like reactions to essential oils, but these are not allergenic in nature. They are detox reactions.
Non-allergenic Reactions to Essential Oils:
While allergenic reactions from pure therapeutic grade essential oils never happen, this might not be true for perfume, massage, or food grade oils, depending on what synthetic substances and fatty oils are used to alter and dilute them. However, even in cases of reactions to non-therapeutic grade oils, resultant reactions are not likely to be allergies.
To be an allergic reaction, there must be antibodies in the system of the person having the reaction, antibodies designed for that particular substance. There must also be a period of prior sensitization before an allergic reaction can occur. If a person has a reaction to an oil the first time they receive it, it cannot be an allergy because there was no prior exposure whereby sensitization and development of antibodies could have taken place. Such a reaction is non-allergenic.
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