Thursday, 2 August 2012

Frankincense - creating a smokey image

I was in St Barts Hospital London this morning. A complete contrast on the one hand 21st century technology used to smash the DNA of brain tumours and nearby the Church of St Bartolomew the Great where monks tended the sick with the herbal medicine of Culpeppers day. Today frankincense placed in an incensor created a stunning smokey effect and it was easy to imagine the monks chanting while this smokey image hovered in the church to the benefit of the sick.  Monks going about their devotions gain a visual image of the soul or the presence of the divine in their imagination.

The interior of the church will be familiar from a number of films which contain scenes of the interior of the church.

Its amazing how much information is just forgotten. For example Culpepper like the herbalist/aromatherapists of his time used an alembic to distill essential oils/waters from herbs. The point is that this tended to leave behind the larger and more toxic molecules in favour of the lighter ones. No doubt those waters were taken internally where the condition required it and the overwhelming weight of conditions at the time were feverish in nature. 

An intriguing reference in the medieval herbals is to essential oils being used to shrink tumours.  Robert Tisserand has reported a brain surgeon and his team are doing that in Brazil using essential oil constituents to shrink tumours. They are reluctant to reveal exactly what constituents they use while they explore the possibility of patents.  There would be a great deal more research into this cancer supression aspect of the essential oils if patents could be obtained to repay the costly research.  Brain surgery and complimentary treatments

However taking concentrated modern essential oils internally other than in gel pills for specific conditions under medical supervision - no. I have seen plenty of sensible comments from agents about their own use of the oils internally as essentially a drink flavouring. Nothing much wrong with that I can see but Id rather use a fresh lemon that a drop of lemon essential oil or peppermint in a gin and tonic! 

Ian Brealey

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