AROMATIC MEDICINE: INTERNAL DOSING OF ESSENTIAL OILS

If aromatherapy is a frequently misunderstood profession then the specialization of aromatic medicine is so out there we could be discussing Xeno botany here. But we’re not talking about plant life on other planets, this is a unique branch of botanical medicine that employs volatile aromatic plant extracts in internal dose forms.

What is Aromatic Medicine?

Aromatic Medicine is the internal dosing of volatile plant extracts. Extracts used in aromatic medicine include:

  • steam- and hydro-distilled essential oils,
  • expressed/cold-pressed essential oils,
  • carbon dioxide extracted volatiles (CO2 extracts),
  • and deterpenated/rectified essential oils.

Other botanical ingredients used in formulations might include:

  • ethanol botanical extracts (herbal tinctures),
  • triglyceride (fatty) oils, waxes, and butter (think shea butter and almond oil),
  • and raw plant materials from powders to loose herbs.

Aromatic medicine draws on both pharmaceutically standardized methodologies (Gallenic method) as well as botanical medicine methodologies to calibrate and formulate doses. This has proven to be the biggest leap in the evolution of how I prepare remedies. Twenty years ago I used dashes, pinches, scoops and generally eyeballed my measurements. That would be a terrific way to make a batch of bone broth, blood builder syrup, healing soup, or adrenal-nourishing tea but a terrifying approach to aromatic medicine! Today you’ll find me cozied up to a fancy little scale measuring active ingredients in milligrams with a handy little calculator and a mason jar full of pipettes.

Dose Forms in Aromatic Medicine

You’ll recognize some of these dose forms from more common aromatherapy practices but I’m adding notes specific to how the dose may be different in aromatic medicine:

  • Respiratory tract – an emulsified solution dosed via a nebulizer according to the constitution and age of the client; an emulsified nasal spray/wash; an aromatic suppository.
  • Gastrointestinal tract – milligram dosage according to the weight of the client and chemistry of the active ingredients employed and dosed via enteric-coated capsules, aperitifs and digestives, emulsified gargles, liquid syrups, or aromatic suppositories.
  • Urogenital tract – milligram dosage according to the weight of the client and chemistry of the active ingredients employed and dosed via aromatic suppositories or pessaries.

Should I try Aromatic Medicine?

Professionally, my aromatic medicine training has really elevated my formulation work and introduced me to some unique approaches to drafting wellness plans. Personally, I’ve enjoyed a broader range of wellness tools to support immune health during the 2015-2016 cold/flu season, and this year’s cedar fever season followed shortly by the mold and pollen sinus apocalypse ;-).

Aromatic medicine seems to particularly shine in the area of supporting the body during an acute or chronic infectious disease state. Examples of this include influenza, hospital superbugs, respiratory infections, gastrointestinal infections, and Lyme disease.

Is it safe?

Safety and efficacy should always be at the forefront of any aromatic intervention, be it inhaled, topical, internal, or oral. If you’ve read some of my other posts like Friends don’t let friends drink essential oils, and Why essential oils are not water flavoring agents, and Essential Oils and GRAS: What it really means then you know there are risks associated with oral dosing: mucosal lining damage, internal organ stress, stomach and esophageal damage, phototoxic reactions (worse with oral dosing than topical), and immune system stress (sensitization, triggering an autoimmune condition, etc). So if adding a drop to a glass of water isn’t safe how is adding a drop to a gel cap and swallowing it safe? Great question!

The only way for aromatic medicine to be safe is to have a firm grasp on dosing, chemistry, and pharmacology of these concentrated ingredients. We know that essential oils can safely be used to flavor beverages and foods when they have been appropriately emulsified (remember that oil and water don’t mix!), and used in accordance with flavoring doses. Oftentimes this means an essential oil needs to be rectified for it to be non-irritating to the mucous membranes of the mouth, throat, and stomach.

Dosing, chemistry, and pharmacology go hand-in-hand in a treatment plan. We select a dose based on weight and constitution of the individual – very different dosing and dose forms for a 190 pound adult with a strong constitution versus a frail 110-pound senior citizen. Then we further calibrate the dose according to the chemistry of the aromatics we’ve selected. After that, we further calibrate based on the dose form we wish to employ. So each capsule, suppository, nebulizer dose provides the same dose of aromatics.

Can I do this myself?

I get a lot of safety questions about using essential oils orally, and many of them are centered around the individual wanting to know if their at-home formula is safe or if a commercial formulation they’ve purchased is safe. With some inspiration from Jim McDonald, a Michigan herbalist, I’ve put together a list of questions to help you determine whether an oral dose of essential oils is appropriate and safe for you:

  • What is the binomial (latin) name of the plant this aromatic extract comes from?
  • Does it have a chemotype? (i.e. Rosemary CT Cineole)
  • How was this aromatic extracted?
  • Has it been rectified/deterpenated?
  • How was the plant grown?
  • What is the chemistry of this specific batch?
  • How old is it and what were the storage conditions like?
  • What is the LD (Lethal Dose) 50 of this extract?
  • What are the possible medication and health contraindications for this extract?
  • What is the maximum adult oral dose of this extract?
  • What is the nature of the condition being treated?
  • What is the dosage for the weight and constitution of the person being treated?
  • What delivery form will be the most effective, and safest for the condition being treated?
  • What are the dosage frequency and the treatment plan length?
  • What do the side effects look like?
  • What does an overdose look like with this dose form and aromatic?

Source

Please visit http://www.thebarefootdragonfly.com/ for more information.

CLAY TOOTHPASTE

Truth Beauty Kindness

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If you are not familiar with clay toothpaste it might seem like ‘clay’ and ‘toothpaste’ are two words that should not be combined.  And, yes, when brushing with clay toothpaste your mouth is full of clay!  But, like so many things in life, all is not as it seems.  What is actually happening when you brush with Bentonite clay, is that you will have the cleanest feeling teeth and mouth you have ever felt.

There are quite a few varieties on the market as well as tons of DIY recipes on line ( which are mostly very simple ).  Earthpaste is probably the most popular and easy to find, but I prefer Uncle Harry’s in the jar (pictured) which is also quite popular and available at Urban Outfitters.

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This is the one I am currently using and really like it.  You can buy it on their website.  This one…

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Produce Cleaning Spray

AromaTools™ Blog

Are you concerned about the chemicals and wax found on produce that you purchase from the grocery store? Many people just quickly rinse their produce with water, but that doesn’t necessarily clean the fruit or vegetable. This produce cleaning spray can not only help you get your produce clean, but may also help extend the life of your fruits and vegetables. As an additional bonus, your fruits and vegetables will already be washed when you need to grab a snack quickly, so it will be more convenient to eat something healthy!

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Spring Cleaning Blend

As winter begins shifting towards spring and the days grow longer, the natural world slowly awakens to a lively buzz of excitement. Similarly, we find ourselves emerging from the quietude and slumber of wintertime to greet the invigorating spirit of spring. The cold, damp heaviness of winter can leave us feeling sluggish and melancholy, so it is important to surround ourselves with bright and uplifting energies this time of year. Here is a spring cleaning blend to support you during this transition and prepare your space for the changing of the seasons.

  • 3 drops Bergamot essential oil
  • 1 drops Tulsi essential oil
  • 1 drops Rose Geranium essential oil

Rose Geranium: is the star of this blend! It helps us find balance in the midst of the changing seasons, allowing us to gracefully transition during this special time when night and day are equal. Its sweet floral scent is soothing and cheerful while its gentle, harmonizing effect will bring just the right dose of energy.

Bergamot: Like other citruses, brings a bit of sunshine to any blend. This solar note provides a subtle energy and mood boost, banishing any lingering gloom left over from winter’s stay. Bergamot also helps maintain focus and clarity, while encouraging positive choices.

Tulsi: increases vitality while also promoting relaxation. This addition to the blend inspires purification on both physical and emotional levels to provide a fresh start for the new season.

*Add a few drops of this blend to your diffuser or incorporate into some of your favorite homemade cleaning products to welcome spring into your life.

Note: Bergamot oil, like all citrus oils, can cause photosensitivity. Avoid topical use for 12 hours before sun exposure, unless it will be rinsed off.

*Recipe may be doubled when using in a diffuser for a stronger aroma.

Tips For Healthy And Young Looking Skin.

Skin experts say that the best way to keep your skin healthy and looking young is to protect it from the sun and not smoke: and after that, taking care with how you wash, moisturize your skin and shave also help.

According to a British Association of Dermatologists survey carried out in 2008, many Britons are unaware that sun protection can keep the skin looking younger, believing instead that applying a daily moisturizer, eating a healthy diet, drinking plenty of water and having facial massages will suffice.

The Sun Awareness campaign officer at the Association, Maria Tabou, told the press at the time that such measures will have “nowhere near the anti-ageing impact of sun protection”.

Not only does exposure to UV increase a person’s risk of skin cancer, it also affects the elastin in the skin, which leads to wrinkles and sun-induced skin ageing such as leatheriness and blotchy pigmentation. Featured below are 5 tips for healthy skin..

Tip #1 for healthy skin: Sun protection

Ensure you protect your skin from the sun to maintain healthy skin

According to the Mayo Clinic in Rochester, Minnesota, USA, a non-profit organization with an international reputation, most of the changes seen in ageing skin are actually “caused by a lifetime of sun exposure”.

To protect yourself from the sun, they advise the following three methods (with maximum protection coming from using all three).

  1. Avoid the sun during high intensity hours: the sun’s rays do the most damage between 10 am and 4 pm, so limit the time you spend outside during this period.
  2. Wear protective clothing: wear long sleeved shirts, long trousers or pants and a hat with a wide brim. Remember that tight woven fabric (eg denim) offers better protection than loosely woven fabrics like knits.
  3. Use sunscreen: go for a broad spectrum sunscreen with an SPF (sun protection factor) higher than 15 and apply generously about 20 minutes before you go out and then every two hours. You will need to apply more frequently if you go in the water or sweat a lot.

Tip #2 for healthy skin: Don’t smoke (and watch the alcohol)

Research shows that smoking alone ages skin. In a study published in the Archives of Dermatology in 2007, researchers at the University of Michigan, Ann Arbour, in the US, described how they examined the upper inner arms of smokers and non-smokers aged from 22 to 91 and found that after taking into account age and other variables, the number of packs of cigarettes that the smokers smoked per day was significantly linked to skin ageing. They looked at the skin on the upper inner arms to minimize the influence of sun exposure.

Indy Rihal from the British Skin Foundation told NHS Choices that smoking reduces the skin’s natural elasticity by promoting the breakdown of collagen and also reducing the amount that is produced.

Collagen, a protein that helps skin strength, gradually degrades with age, leading to wrinkles. Smoking causes this to happen sooner and also causes the tiny blood vessels in the skin to tighten, which reduces the amount of oxygen and nutrients that the skin cells receive, which also reduces elasticity and accelerates ageing.

The Mayo Clinic also suggest that exposure to heat from burning cigarettes damages facial skin and that certain smoking behaviors contribute to wrinkles, because of the repetitive facial expressions that smokers make, such as pursing the lips on inhaling and squinting their eyes to keep the smoke out.

Drinking alcohol can make your body and skin dehydrated, leaving the skin looking old and tired. So if you are drinking alcohol drink plenty of water and stick to sensible amounts. Have a non-alcoholic drink like soda water or watery fruit juice in between the alcoholic ones to help your body re-hydrate.

Tip #3 for healthy skin: Clean your skin regularly and apply moisturizer

A British Skin Foundation survey published in January 2008 found that an astonishing 50 per cent of people who wear make up in the UK are damaging their skin by not removing make up before they go to bed.

The reasons for not cleansing the skin of make up before going to bed were also revealing in that most people were too tired to take it off, suggesting they were not getting good quality sleep which also affects skin health. A significant proportion also said they had had too much to drink or simply couldn’t be bothered.

Cleansing is an important part of skin care because it removes dirt and bacteria; and the key is to do it gently.

Use warm rather than hot water and limit the time you spend in the bath or shower to 15 minutes or less as too much time in hot water strips oils from your skin.

Also, use mild rather than strong soaps and avoid irritating additives such as perfumes and dyes, especially if you have sensitive skin.

When removing make up take care with the delicate skin around the eyes, and if you use waterproof make up you may need an oil-based product to make sure you get it all off.

When you have finished try to pat your skin dry so some moisture stays on it.

Moisturizing is important because it protects the skin from the weather and from drying up and looking dull. It helps your skin maintain its natural moisture levels too, say the Mayo Clinic experts, because it seals in the water already in the skin or slowly release water into the skin.

You may be surprised to know that according to the British Skin Foundation the price of a moisturizer is not a measure of how good it is: cheaper ones can be just as effective.

If you have dry skin avoid alcohol-based products and if you have oily skin avoid oil-based products (use water-based instead).

Some people with oily skin don’t need moisturizer: if your skin feels tight 20 minutes after bathing, then you probably do.

Tip #4 for healthy skin: Get enough quality sleep

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Focus on quality sleep to keep your skin looking young and healthy

Sleep is essential for healthy skin. Not enough quality sleep will make your skin look tired and older, especially with bags under your eyes. Poor quality sleep can become a vicious cycle because lack of sleep makes you irritable, anxious and depressed, and that makes it harder to get good sleep.

Make sure you have plenty of physical exercise as this reduces stress and creates a healthy tiredness that helps sleep. Yoga and swimming are also good ways to improve sleep.

Aerobic exercise increases the oxygen circulating in your body which helps the skin stay vibrant and healthy.

Here are some more tips for getting a good night’s sleep

  • Try to keep to a regular routine at bedtime.
  • Have a warm bath to relax you.
  • Learn how to put aside the “worry list” that is in your head: write it down, keep a pencil and pad of paper by your bed.
  • Get a relaxation tape: don’t watch TV late at night or in bed as this can stimulate rather than relax you.
  • Avoid eating a heavy meal late at night. Try to eat your last food for the day 2 to 3 hours before bedtime.
  • Drink plenty of water during the day rather than toward bedtime.
  • If you wake in the night get up and do something distracting until you are sleepy again rather than toss and turn and worry in bed.
  • Keep your bedroom cool, dark and quiet. It should be a haven of peace and not a den of noise and stimulation.
  • Keep an eye mask and ear plugs handy.
  • Avoid stimulants like caffeine and nicotine in the evenings: drink chamomile tea rather than cocoa to induce sleep at bedtime (but not too much or you will be up in the night for the toilet).

Tip #5 for healthy skin: Shave with care

People shave to make their skin smooth and hairless, but this can irritate the skin, especially if it is thin, dry and sensitive.

For a smooth shave the Mayo Clinic experts advise that you shave after a warm bath or shower (or press a warm wet cloth on your skin) to soften the hair, don’t shave dry skin, use a clean, sharp razor, and shave in the direction of hair growth.

Make sure you rinse well afterwards with warm water to remove soap and dead cells.

If your skin is irritated after shaving don’t use an alcohol based lotion even if it feels cool, it will make the irritation worse because it dries the skin out.