Wednesday, 19 May 2010

CAM Library

Besides a knowledge of essential oil chemistry one of the skills we teach our students is how to do a formal medical literiture search with the appropriate citations. An excellent resource is CAMLIS. The helpful and professional library staff show you how to get the best out of your pass and get access to full text articles from CAM journals.

Essential oils have been around for many centuries (perhaps thousands - actually ever since man figured out that if you heated aromatic plant matter and put a sheeps fleece over the top as an efficient condensor you derived an oil with special properties you could sell for many shekels, at times a lot more than the sheep) but essential oils have been available in convenient wholesale form since the 1930s. Prior to that it was necessary and still is necessary to gather and macerate fresh herbs. There is much literiture available from herbalists and homeopaths which is a valuable resource. Whether chemicals are derived from natural or synthetic sources does not matter for most purposes and there are pros and cons both ways. Synthetic chemicals are cheaper and the results from them more easily reproduced and documented.

Against? Synthetic chemicals are not as well adapted to the body as chemicals derived from nutrition or as essential oils and can cause side effects including depending on the dose cancer. This is why antibiotic use is to be minimised.  Synthetics also lack the scattergun approach of essential oils which can comprise 300 aromatic chemicals from which the body can pick and choose which is helpful for a variety of conditions including infectious disease.
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Lets not forget that much of CAM preserves the medical tradition of hands on medicine short of surgery and which guides physicians to more accurate diagnosis.


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