Tag Archives: molecules

AROMATHERAPY & ANIMALS

beautiful-black-horse

I get a lot of questions about animals and how I treat them. The first and main reason I even came to Luxembourg was because of horses and treating them; mainly one big very sad horse. Animals are individuals with very diverse personalities; some are pushy and some are shy – like the big sad horse; he is gorgeous with the step of an Olympic winner, but he is shy and insecure, and not very smart. He will never become the great competition horse he was meant to be. The pressure on him to succeed was so great that he became unreliable to handle, always ready to run away. He also had problems with the ligaments in one leg. With treatment (essential oils) and training à la Anna he became the nicest horse that even the smallest child could handle and his leg healed and stayed strong. But each time he went to competition he was a bundle of nerves. So in the end was acceptance from the very nice owners; they learned to just love their big wonderful horse and allow him to be part of the family.

Very often there is a communication-problem; things are expected and the animal can not deliver for different reasons. Sometimes the animal can be helped to develop the skills needed, sometimes it is just not there…it is the “wrong” individual. It is like asking an immensely shy person to speak to a large audience; they would rather die. Sometimes this skill can be trained, but not always.

Essential oils work with our emotions, memories, learning patterns and hormones, this makes them very powerful tools in any kind of healing or development. They transgress all existing barriers by going straight to the core of the individual.

With animals I usually work either with emotional imbalances or with obvious physical problems such as wounds, sprains etc. When there is an emotional imbalance or trauma I usually also do some ground-work and I train the owner and animal in communication so there is a lasting balance. For the owner this takes some work, thought, learning and energy. The ones who are prepared to do this end up with good results and lots of happiness with their animal.

Where there are physical problems I use the essential oils pharmaceutical; I check their chemistry and use them from that physical point of view. Essential oils used in this way is powerful medicine, and today research is being done on certain essential oils to see if they can be used on antibiotic-resistant bacteria-strains.

Thujone

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THE SCENT-VOID

smelling-1A friend called me yesterday and talked – interestingly enough – of the absence of smell; he had been to America and noticed that both the hired car and the hotel-room were entirely devoid of smell, the non-odor environment, he called it.

A few years back I was involved in a scientific group in Sweden. It was called GustOlf and was created by a group of scientists and other people involved in the art and science of taste and smell.  I was invited as an aromatherapist. The scientists came from different universities and were all experts in their fields; biology, chemistry and physics. There was also a chef representing a restaurateur institute and an art-professor. A most interesting group. We had a few conferences where we would discuss taste & smell for a couple of days; from pheromones and insects through the make-up of an odorous molecule to the digestive system and emotional impact of scent. I was a frequent speaker at these occasions since I work with the emotional reaction to scent. What we all agreed on was this:

The sense of smell is completely subjective and different for each individual

The most ardent group of participants were from the automotive industry, all with the same question: “How do I make a car smell attractive?”

Scented trees

Smells are smells; some are nice and some not. The problem with “scenting away” an odor is that it usually gets even worse; perfumed deodorant on strong sweat?…well, you get the picture. So how do we avoid smells? (following is taken from Wikipedia)

Air fresheners are consumer products that mitigate unpleasant odors in indoor spaces. They can be in the form of candles, aerosol sprays, potpourri, gels and mechanical or heat release products. [1]

They work in one of five ways:

  1. Masking: Many “fresheners” obscure odors with a fragrance.
  2. Adsorption: Adsorbents like activated charcoal or silica gel may be used to absorb offending, chemical odors.
  3. Chemical neutralization: Substances such as rubber or TEG may be used for some odors.
  4. Disinfection. Odors caused by bacterial activity can be eliminated by disinfectants like ozone, TEG, or bleaching agents containing hydrogen peroxide, chlorine or hypochlorites.
  5. Anesthetization: Some air fresheners use anesthetics to dull the sense of smell.

A Natural Resources Defense Council (NRDC) study of 13 common household air fresheners found that most of the surveyed products contain chemicals that can aggravate asthma and affect reproductive development. The NRDC called for more rigorous supervision of the manufacturers and their products, which are widely assumed to be safe:

“The study assessed scented sprays, gels, and plug-in air fresheners. Independent lab testing confirmed the presence of phthalates, or hormone-disrupting chemicals that may pose a particular health risk to babies and young children, in 12 of the 14 products—including those marked ‘all natural.’ None of the products had these chemicals listed on their labels.” (wikipedia)

It doesn’t paint a pretty picture, does it?

Air-Freshener-Spray

What is an odor? An odor is a molecule; some agents, such as ozone, function by severing the bonds in the molecule. Odors can arise from most anything, many odors are caused by bacteria and fungi. At one point we need to accept that odors are part of life, messages about our surroundings. It is better to smell the smoke and realize that something is burning, than to suddenly find yourself in a burning inferno…?

An alternative is to use essential oils….more about that in my next post… Stay tuned.

ESSENTIAL OILS AS MOOD-ENHANCERS

EssentialOils

One of the most useful aspects of essential oils is the mood-enhancing properties. Every oil will create some kind of feeling in you.  To realize why this happens you need to know a bit about how the essential oils work through our olfactory system: (Following is taken from Wikipedia – text & picture; http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Olfactory_system)

<<In mammals, the main olfactory system detects odorants that are inhaled through the nose, where they contact the main olfactory epithelium, which contains various olfactory receptors. These can distinguish a new odor from the background environmental odors and determine the concentration of the odor.

These olfactory receptors are connected to bipolar olfactory receptor neurons in the olfactory epithelium, which transduce receptoractivation into electrical signals in neurons. The signals travel along the olfactory nerve, which belongs to the peripheral nervous system. This nerve terminates in the olfactory bulb, which belongs to the central nervous system.>>

Olfactory_system

1: Olfactory bulb 2: Mitral cells 3: Bone 4: Nasal Epithelium 5: Glomerulus 6: Olfactory receptor cells

You might say that the olfactory receptors in the nose is the only place where the brain sticks out from the skull. In the olfactory bulb (1) there is a series of key-holes which accommodate different molecules. It’s a little like the round peg in the round hole. If the odor molecule doesn’t fit in the key-hole the odor will stay only in the nose, being analyzed by the brain and that’s it, most odors fall into this category. If, however, the odor molecule fits into one of the key-holes it will enter the limbic system of the brain, also called the reptile brain. )Following text & picture is taken from Wikipedia: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Limbic_system)

In addition, these structures are sometimes also considered to be part of the limbic system:

As you can see the limbic system is situated in the middle of the brain – as if it was the heart of the brain.

The molecular structure of essential oils fit in this key-hole system, so the essential oils do enter the limbic system. The essential oils also transgress the blood-brain-barrier and therefore enters the limbic system through the blood as well. Since many of the molecules in essential oils mimic our own hormones, they can, among other things, help to regulate our hormone-system. Some essential oils are very valuable for mental clarity, help with mood-swings, facilitating sleep and much much more.

In my next post I will tell you a little about the different oils and how you can use them as mood-enhancers.  I will also give you dosages and how-to-use tips. Stay tuned!

ESSENTIAL OIL QUALITY – part 1 -background


Quality is the most important aspect when using essential oils. All the wonderful effects the oils have will only happen when there is a high quality pure essential oil.
To understand why this is even an issue, you need to understand the world of scents; how they are used and where they come from. The largest users of essential oils are the food-industry and perfume/toiletries industry. These industries need consistency more than quality, the oils need to be the same year after year to fit the “recipe”. Such conformation is not possible since essential oils are natural; it would be like expecting a wine to be exactly the same every year. Living stuff will chemically vary depending on soil, weather conditions, fertilizer and harvesting methods/time. Like with wines, if you harvest the same plant in exactly the same way and the same time every year, you will still get a different yield; both in chemistry and bulk.

Essential oils are complex mixtures of different chemicals. The balance between these chemicals is what gives an oil its specific character. Each essential oil has one or two main chemicals that make up the biggest percentage of the oil, for example; linalol in lavender, menthol in peppermint, cineol in eucalyptus. Aside from these there are many, many other chemicals that make up one oil; In rose there are 3-400 identified chemicals and almost as many that are, to this day, unidentified. No matter how small the amounts of chemicals might be, they are part of the whole and very important for the quality and effects of the essential oils. Each essential oil has its own synergy.
In nature these different chemicals are used as messengers. Each molecule has its own signature and “message”. For a human being we need as little as 8 molecules to react to the “message” of a scent. We need about 30-40 molecules to consciously notice the scent. This is why the essential oils are so powerful; they are communicating with every cell in the body – for which a minute amount of molecules are necessary. To make a comparison:
Pheromones – there are alarm pheromones, food trail pheromones, sex pheromones, and many others that affect behavior or physiology. We have all heard about them, still the term “pheromone” was introduced by Peter Karlson and Martin Lüscher in as late as 1959. (wikipedia)
Essential oils and Pheromones work much in the same way. Actually many pheromones are made up from the same molecules as essential oils.

When you smell a full good quality essential oil it is like magic, the scent is limitless. The way to smell an oil is thus:
Keep the bottle or tissue a few cm from your nose and inhale deeply 2 or 3 times. Essential oils are volatile and will very easily enter your olfactory system. Compare an essential oil to a synthetic oil and feel the difference.