Thursday, 22 March 2012

Organic vs non organic

Besides the many other British schools and colleges over 6000 aromatherapists particularly nurses and midwives have received their training through our college over the years. The training here is very quiet by comparison with the nineties but it still progresses with a gifted class going through this year.

Our policy is to encourage use of organic oils in massage as herbicides and pesticides do come across in the distillation. There is no doubt about that. There is a simple division between organic and non organic oils. Would anyone want to inhale pesticide residues? I dont think so. In many cases I find there is little difference in price between buying organic and non organic oils.

I wont have isolates on the place or in the oils however not everything is within our control. For example certain non organic oils like lavender are widely and systematically standardised with isolates. I suspect MLM companies may not draw this to the attention of their associates when they describe their oil as being of therapeutic grade! That is not to say a synthetic linalool or a non organic lavandin for that matter when inhaled does not have a relaxing effect of use for example in recovering patients post surgery. The fact is that cancer patients and possibly their carers too have a heightened sense of smell and can be disgusted by a strongly smelling oil however its possible to provide organic french lavender with little odour.

Consuming oils which have not been deterpenated except under medical supervision in an emergency seems rather unwise to me. A slice of lemon in hot water is an excellent way of enjoying the essential oil. see Maury M Marguerite Maury's Guide to Aromatherapy (1961) p 230.  "Q. What are the essences used and their provenance?  Are they easily obtained?  A. It is also important to know whether an essence has to contain terpenes or has to be deterpenised.  An essence for external use can contain terpenes, but for internal use they must be removed at all cost."

I see Rachel Herz has a new book out on the theme of 'disgusting' and has another interesting book on olfactory cognition in the pipeline. 

Robert Tisserand has online seminars upcoming on these themes.
April 11 Dermal absorption
April 18 Skin health & disease
April 25 Allergic reactions
May 23 Phototoxicity
May 30 Skin cancer & ageing
June 6 Healing the skin  

the book Aromadermatology is a good read in preparation for the seminars.
kind regards

Ian Brealey          

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