Essential oils are often used for aromatherapy, a form of alternative medicine in which healing effects are ascribed to aromatic compounds. Aromatherapy may be useful to induce relaxation, but there is not sufficient evidence that essential oils can effectively treat any condition. Improper use of essential oils may cause harm including allergic reactions, inflammation and skin irritation. Children may be particularly susceptible to the toxic effects of improper use. Essential oils can be poisonous if ingested or absorbed through the skin.
Supercritical carbon dioxide is used as a solvent in supercritical fluid extraction. This method can avoid petrochemical residues in the product and the loss of some "top notes" when steam distillation is used. It does not yield an absolute directly. The supercritical carbon dioxide will extract both the waxes and the essential oils that make up the concrete. Subsequent processing with liquid carbon dioxide, achieved in the same extractor by merely lowering the extraction temperature, will separate the waxes from the essential oils. This lower temperature process prevents the decomposition and denaturing of compounds. When the extraction is complete, the pressure is reduced to ambient and the carbon dioxide reverts to a gas, leaving no residue.
Taken by mouth, many essential oils can be dangerous in high concentrations. Typical effects begin with a burning feeling, followed by salivation. Different essential oils may have drastically different pharmacology. Some act as local anesthetic counterirritants and, thereby, exert an antitussive (cough suppressing) effect. Many essential oils, particularly tea tree oil, may cause contact dermatitis. Menthol and some others produce a feeling of cold followed by a sense of burning.
Aromatherapy is a form of alternative medicine in which healing effects are ascribed to the aromatic compounds in essential oils and other plant extracts. Aromatherapy may be useful to induce relaxation, but there is not sufficient evidence that essential oils can effectively treat any condition. Scientific research indicates that essential oils cannot treat or cure any chronic disease or other illnesses. Much of the research on the use of essential oils for health purposes has serious methodological errors. In a systemic review of 201 published studies on essential oils as alternative medicines, only 10 were found to be of acceptable methodological quality, and even these 10 were still weak in reference to scientific standards. Use of essential oils may cause harm including allergic reactions and skin irritation; there has been at least one case of death.
Research has shown that some essential oils have potential as a natural pesticide. In case studies, certain oils have been shown to have a variety of deterring effects on pests, specifically insects and select arthropods. These effects may include repelling, inhibiting digestion, stunting growth, decreasing rate of reproduction, or death of pests that consume the oil. However, the molecules within the oils that cause these effects are normally non-toxic for mammals. These specific actions of the molecules allow for widespread use of these "green" pesticides without harmful effects to anything else other than pests. Essential oils that have been investigated include rose, lemon grass, lavender, thyme, peppermint, basil, and eucalyptus.
Industrial users of essential oils should consult the safety data sheets to determine the hazards and handling requirements of particular oils. Even certain therapeutic-grade oils can pose potential threats to individuals with epilepsy or pregnant women.
Some essential oils may contain impurities and additives that may be harmful to pregnant women. Certain essential oils are safe to use during pregnancy, but care must be taken when selecting quality and brand. Sensitivity to certain smells may cause pregnant women to have adverse side effects with essential oil use, such as headache, vertigo, and nausea. Pregnant women often report an abnormal sensitivity to smells and taste, and essential oils can cause irritation and nausea when ingested.
OSA was one of the very first Aromatherapy companies in the US and until this day has maintained the highest standard in its variety of over 200 different essential oils. We not only work with essential oils, we live an aromatherapy lifestyle.
We view essential oils as incomparable allies in healing ourselves, our family and friends. In our quest to find the best and most precious essential oils we travel to the countries of origin, work intimately with the producers and guarantee the highest quality of genuine and authentic essential oils one can possibly find. If we are unable to find an essential oil of truly authentic quality, we take it off our list. Our love and dedication to our work has allowed us to remain successful for more than 30 years.
The revised 4th Edition is intended for the student intent on learning the latest developments in essential oils. The goal is to become deeply familiar with genuine and authentic essential oils so the student is empowered to create the most effective therapeutic formulae.
Essential oil chemistry is not as daunting as it may first appear. There are only twelve major families of chemical components found in essential oils. These twelve chemical families are all you need to know to understand the principal healing properties of most essential oils based on a conventional pharmacological perspective.
The current perspective explaining the efficacy of essential oils is largely derived from conventional pharmacology. Accordingly healing properties of oils arise from the molecular structures of their chemical components.
These clinical trials and animal experiments strongly suggest wound healing potential of lavender oil. However, elucidation of the mechanisms, especially the molecular mechanism, is not enough, and it is still unclear how essential oils act on various parts of the wound healing process. Thus, in this study we investigated effect of lavender oil on wound healing and its molecular mechanism, using a cutaneous wound animal model. As wound healing process consists of sequential events such as formation of granulation tissue, collagen replacement from type III to type I and wound contraction (wound shrinking), we evaluated the influence of lavender oil on each part of wound healing in this study. Moreover, expression of transforming growth factor-β (TGF-β) was evaluated as a key molecule playing a role in healing of wounds topically treated with lavender oil, because TGF-β is known to regulate proliferation of fibroblasts, collagen synthesis in fibroblasts, production of wound granulation tissue , and differentiation of fibroblasts to myofibroblasts in granulation tissue . Here, we demonstrated the wound healing potential of lavender oil through induction of TGF-β in an animal model.
The rats were anesthetized with 1.5 % halothane using an induction chamber and intraperitoneal administration of pentobarbital (0.5 ml/kg). After shaving the hair on their back and cleaning with 70 % ethanol, a circular full-thickness skin wound (10 mm in diameter) was made in the midline of the back of each animal. Lavender oil (Lavandula angustifolia 0.8896 g/ml density) was dissolved up to 1 % in solution containing 0.1 % DMSO and Tween 20 because of its lipophilicity. Rats were randomly divided into three groups: (1) Untreated group; wound surgery only, (2) Control group; wound topically treated with control solution containing 0.1 % DMSO and Tween 20, and (3) Lavender group; wound topically treated with 1 % lavender oil dissolved in control solution. Then, 50 μl of each solution was applied to the wound area just after wound surgery, and each treatment was continued on alternating days till 14 days after surgery. As application of diluted essential oils to the skin or a wound is a popular approach in humans , diluted lavender essential oil (1 % solution) was applied to wounds without any ointment base or oleaginous base, in order to avoid the additional effect of these bases on the wound healing process. Each rat was separated to prevent licking the solution and to avoid serious infection of the wound. The wound area was digitally photographed at 0, 2, 4, 6, 8, 10, 12 and 14 days after wound surgery using a digital camera (Canon Power Shot S200, Tokyo, Japan), then the area was quantified using an image analysis system, Image J (NIH). Measurements were performed in a blind manner. Each investigator was blinded to group assignment and other data concerning the animals, as well as to the results of the other investigator. Rats were sacrificed by intraperitoneal administration of an overdose of pentobarbitonein, to isolate tissue samples from skin for investigations.
Immunohistochemical studies demonstrated an increased number of P4H-positive cells, indicating fibroblasts that synthesize collagen, in wound lesions topically treated with lavender oil as compared to that in wound lesions treated with control solution (Fig. 3a, b). Then, we assessed collagen secretion by fibroblasts. As shown in Fig. 3c and d, immunochemical staining showed that production of type III collagen (Col III), which is essential for formation of granulation tissue in the early phase of wound healing, was increased by topical treatment with lavender oil, accompanied by an increased number of P4H-positive fibroblasts (Fig. 3b). 2b1af7f3a8