Sunday, April 22, 2012

The True Miracle of Lavender Essential Oil

In aroma: The International Magazine for Essential Oils, an article about the perpetual popularity of Lavender oil reveals that "Domestic consumption and export of Lavender oil far exceed the amount produced by agricultural methods. It has become profitable to mix less expensive essential oils like Lavandin or Bulgarian Lavender (from clones) with synthetic linalool and linalyl acetate and to offer the resulting "bouquet" as True Lavender."
Apparently the president of the confrerie de la lavande said that although Provence produces about 50 tons of true lavender annually, brokers export 250 tons, and he humorously called this a greater miracle than the ones of Lourdes and Fatima.

I can understand why there are strong warnings about using essential oils, and strong recommendations that they be applied topically only: we don't have a clue what is in some of them. That is, unless you have a reputable vendor of genuine and authentic oils.

Over time I have learned about some possible signs of fakery: if the price is too good, it's probably too good to be true. :) Sometimes the aroma itself is too good to be true, or has a solid perfumy smell. But these days, adulterers (ain't that a great word) are smarter and smarter, smarter than my nose and ability to do math.

So I continue to read up about suppliers, try to educate myself about the oils I'm purchasing, so that I can use Lavender with confidence and safety.

From Monica Haas:

How to spot fine lavender made by Nature!

Linalool and Linaly Acetate never more than 80%
Lavandulyl acetate at least 4.5%
Cis beta ocimene and Trans beta ocimene > 0.5%
Camphor below 0.5%
Good luck!

The Quick and Dirty Story of the Evolution of Plant Life and Secondary Metabolites

Here's what I learned in class today:

The first evolving primitive plants established themselves in moist environments of the shores. These early plants were in intense competition with all the other organisms that were established one the shores before plants arrived; viruses, bacteria and fungi owned the place.

Plants began to produce substances which made it more challenging for the surrounding organisms to eat them, which gave them the advantage in their survival and reproduction.

Then, 500 million years of trial and error produced plants with refined biochemical responses that have provided for their survival. The secondary metabolites of these plants, sort of like their immune system, are their defense and self-preservation system. Early needle trees are among the oldest plants on the planet, by the way, and today when we gather essential oils from them, it's interesting to imagine we are harvesting secondary metabolites from a source that has been around for a very, very long time.

These secondary metabolites helped plants address challenges such as too much ultraviolet exposure, pathogen attacks, repairing wounds and attracting insects to assist in pollination.

A Recipe To Improve The Look Of Scar Tissue On My Thumb

Here is a recipe that I used on my thumb scar where I had a deep cut from a plate glass window. Although I still have the scar, it is softer and less discolored and the tissue is more flexible so there is now no discomfort bending the thumb joint.

In carrier oil of Rosehip and Sesame oils (more sesame than rose, maybe 80/20) to which I added helichrysum, rosemary verbone and sage (petites feuilles). The essential oil blend is added to the carrier oil at about 2% dilution and then rubbed into the scar tissue twice a day. At least, that's what I did. A skeptical friend said that the twice daily vigorous massage by itself would have had the same result. It could be, but I am happy with the result and the fragrant experience of the blend made me look forward to the massage.

Having a Good Time with Thyme from France

France has a reputation for producing good essential oil of thyme, and the interesting thing is that the altitude where the thyme grows determines the flavor and strength of the oil.

Thyme paracymene, grows in the lowest altitude, at sea level, and produces the most aggressive oil. Thyme linalool grows in higher areas and produces a gentler oil.

From gentlest to most agressive:

Thyme Linalool
Thyme Geraniol
Thyme Thujanol
Thyme Thymol
Thyme Paracymene

Linalool, the gentlest, can be directly on the skin without discomfort whereas the more aggressive Thymes are not so friendly to the skin. Even the gentle linalool has an intense drying effect and a single drop on the skin, when wiped away minutes later will reveal a dried circle of skin where the oil sat for a while.

What do you use Thyme oil for?

Location:Southern Heights Blvd,San Rafael,United States