Before you start to read the essential oil monographs, read the following information, it will provide you with explanations for the sub headings used.
Botanical: This identifies the specific name of the genus and species of the plant, for instance sandalwood, santalum spicatum & santalum album the first is Australian sandalwood the latter is Indian.
Country of origin / distribution This indicates Countries where the plant is grown for production of the essential oil
Part of plant used: This is where the essential oil is extracted.
Family: Like any family, the relations have similarities and differences. Lavender and rosemary are both members of the Labiateae family.
Synonyms Other names that the oil or plant is known by.
Note: Top the lightest oils with the fastest evaporation rate, Middle notes often sweet always a distinct aroma, Base notes are deep, heavy aromas which linger for a few days.
Chakra The chakras are the energy centers of the body, a chart with the positioning of each chakra is attached. The assignment of chakras to oils, are based on my choices, when I smell an oil I feel it as a sensation in a chakra, you do not have to accept my choices, please feel free to determine your own.
Energy: According to Ayurveda oils can heat, cool, help retain moisture or create dryness.
Planet: Determines the Planet that governs the plant that the oil is extracted from. Culpepper was an advocate of treating illness – using plants, based on astrology.
Aroma /Characteristics Wherever possible I have used the descriptions of Stefan Arctander, the author of Perfume and Flavour Material of Natural Origin. He is regarded as the authority on odour description. He is now deceased. I purchased one of the two volumes for my perfumery training, at the knock down price of $330.00 !
Dosha effect: The Doshas = Pitta, Vata, Kapha, they are Ayurvedic classifications. Ayurveda means Science of Health & it ascribes a combination of Doshas to every living thing. To make use of this information, you will first need to determine your personal Dosha profile (a questionnaire, to work this out is available upon request.) The “Dosha effect” informs you of the effect the oil will have on the 3 Doshas if (-) = the use of the oil will lower the Dosha, (o) = will create no change in the Dosha. (+) = Use of this oil will increase the forces of this Dosha in the body.
The information on Doshas and Energy were taken from Ayurveda & Aromatherapy see Bibliography.
Description: A description of the plant the oil is extracted from.
History/ Herbal: This can be the history of the oil or the herb / plant/ tree etc, some have volumes of history and folklore others may be relatively new or have limited availability.
Extraction: Steam distillation, Solvent extraction, cold pressing, enfleurage, and CO2 extraction. The IFA have decided to refer to oils as ‘aromatic plant oils’ in place of the more commonly used term “essential oil” technically only oils that are steam distilled truly meet the criteria of an essential oil.
Chemical Constituents: Once you have some basic understanding of the chemistry of essential oil principles, the chemical constituents of the oils can really help you to independently determine the possible effect of the oil
Properties: These have been compiled from the writings of numerous aromatherapy authors and more recently from research searches on sites such as PubMed. In an effort to provide students with the most up to date evidence based information we are constantly reviewing our notes in an attempt to provide you with honest and factual information regarding aromatherapy.
Safety/ contraindications: There is so much misinformation surrounding the safety of essential oils, while it is true that incorrect dosage & use can be dangerous in certain circumstances, most essential oils can be used with confidence by most people. Again, we endeavor to provide you with verified facts about the specific indications of each oil. Some oils have been tested and determined to have GRAS status which mean Generally Regarded As Safe, this tells us that the oil has undergone formal testing, not all essential oils have. LD50 means the substance being tested is administered in a variety of ways to test animals until 50 % of them have died. The amount required to kill them is averaged and expressed in grams or mls, per kg of body weight, the figures have been obtained from worldwide published results of LD50 testing on animals. A few results are from reported human deaths when the volume of oil consumed was known.