As an aromatherapist I have been trained to look to the chemistry of essential oils to best determine what their therapeutic actions will be. Essential oils are sent off to a lab for a two-part analysis called Gas Chromatograph and Mass Spectrometry or GC/MS. The test will show what chemical constituents are in that specific batch of the essential oil.
A tale of two lavenders
If a lavender farmer took identical seeds of true lavender (Lavandula angustifolia) and planted a field in the lower part of his farm in France and gave the seeds to his sister to plant on her farm in the French Alps what would happen? The plants would still be true lavender but their climates and soil conditions would require adaptation on the plants’ behalf.
After harvesting the brother sends his low altitude lavender to the distiller and the sister sends her high altitude lavender to the distiller. A sample of each batch is sent off to the chemist and they get their GC/MS reports back – and what do you know?! The reports are VERY different from each other. The low altitude lavender is high in linalool a monoterpene alcohol with anti-infectious and tonic actions. The high altitude lavender is high in linalyl acetate an ester with antispasmodic and sedative actions.
I’m sure you can immediately see why you would want to know what’s behind the chemistry of that bottle of lavender in your medicine cabinet! Will it be a good one to use to calm those nerves before the first day of school? Or will it be good to put in your diffuser in the living room when your in-laws are visiting and they’re just recovering from head colds?
An aromatherapist would be a great addition to your wellness team! When you consult with me we work as a team to find an aromatherapy treatment plan that works for you. My approach is to look at the chemistry of essential oils and hydrosols to identify their therapeutic actions then I pair that with my training in Eastern medicine to address root imbalances and patterns instead of perpetuating illness by masking symptoms. This combination is goal-oriented and highly holistic making aromatherapy a powerful tool in your wellness plan! Schedule an appointment online for a consultation here in Austin, Texas or via phone/Skype anywhere in the world.