Botanical: Agonis fragrans
Country of origin / distribution Australia (South Western)
Other names: Also known as coarse Agonis or coarse Tea Tree by the cut flower industry. The name Fragonia was chosen by The Paperbark Co. “We chose the name Fragonia™ with great care and think it reflects not only the botanical name, Agonis fragrans, but also one of its beautiful characteristics, the gentle fragrance of the foliage and oil.” (1)
Fragonia has been trademarked by The Paperbark Co. for the following reasons-
⦁ to ensure that the oil is of a consistent quality. The chemical constituents will be within a certain range, as recommended by Dr Daniel Penoel, an eminent French medical Aromatherapist. It is this range that gives the oil its unique balance and to which Dr Penoel refers to as ‘the Golden proportion
Chakra Throat. Brow (7). Dr Penoel suggests applying 1 or 2 drops, neat, on specific chakra of your choice before going to bed and seeing what dreams or experiences occur for you during the night (4).
Energy: Yin – Tonifying, Balancing, Moisturising
Planet: Saturn (7)
Aroma /Characteristics: “The oil is very pale yellow having a pleasant fresh cineolic odour with a hint of a citrus note (which becomes more pronounced after a few minutes, mixed with a slight spicy cinnamon tonality and sweet balsamic undertones. The dry down is very faint being sweet, soapy & woody balsamic. The oil could be potentially useful to give depth to herbal blends, and more generally in masculine fragrance accords”
Dosha effect: VPK=
Description: A lignotuberous shrub reaching approx. 2.5m in height. It has erect flowering branches with thick, rigid leaves and small clusters of 5 white petalled flowers with a pale pink centre. Flowering occurs typically between January and May.
History/ Herbal: Used in the cut flower industry. Local Noongar Aboriginals report having used local ‘tea tree’ for bedding and rubbed it into their hands to extract oil to keep the flies away (3). They also used to warm up the leaves of tea tree and place them as a poultice on wounds when the steam was coming out of the leaves. (3)
Extraction: Steam distillation of the entire shrub is harvested annually, being cut back to approx. 300mm above ground level. The entire biomass from this harvest is distilled, with the oil being extracted primarily from the leaf matter. Little oil comes from the stems. Harvesting takes place at the end of Spring, early Summer – this allows for regrowth before the shrubs enter Winter, and hence shade out the ground, minimising weed germination the oil is steam distilled in a state of the art stainless steel distillation plant designed by John of The Paperbark Co. Distillation is conducted at atmospheric pressure using as low temperature steam as practical.
Chemical Constituents : ”
These constituents comprise of three main molecular groups. Firstly a-pinene, b-pinene, myrcene, limonene, p-cymene and y-terpinen are all monoterpenes. Secondly, 1.8 cineole is an oxide and thirdly linalool, terpinen-4-ol, a-terpineol and myrtenol are all monoterpenols / alcohols (8) & (9). These three molecular groups are in a balance of approximately one third each, it is this balance which first caught the attention of Dr Penoel and to which he referred to as “the golden proportion” with “the unique power of harmonisation and rebalancing”
Properties: Anti-bacterial, Anti-fungal, Anti-inflammatory, Anti-microbial, Expectorant, Immune Enhancement (8) & (9) Emotional balancing. UWA Microbiology Dept. confirmed that Agonis fragrans oil does have significant antimicrobial activity against staphylococcus aurous & Staphlococus epidermidis at 2% vol/vol & E.Coli was killed by Agonis in 30 seconds (10). This activity is similar to other essential oils considered to have effective antimicrobial activity including Melaleuca alternifolia (tea tree) oil, Cymbopogon citratus (lemongrass) oil and Origanum vulgare (oregano) oil. Preliminary clinical use of Agonis fragrans oil indicates possible application in remedial therapies for joint, muscle and arthritis pain and for respiratory infections. (5)
Safety/ contraindications Dr Penoel considers this to be one of the gentlest oils he has worked with, being suitable for both children and the elderly, he states that it can be used in all interfaces and is readily absorbed through these interfaces – the skin,noseand respiratory, mouth and digestive(4)
Genito – urinary . Candida albicans (thrush) (5), Menstrual (PMT) (7)
Immune: Anti-infectious(8) &( 9), Anti inflammatory (6), Enhancing and Balancing(4).
Muscular/ Skeletal: Arthritis, Analgesic, Inflamed / Sore muscles and joints (5)
Respiratory: Anti-infectious (5) Asthma, Breakup of the mucous secretions. Expectorant (5) (8) & (9), Nervous cough (4), Tonsillitis (7). Anti-inflammatory – in-vitro studies were conducted by the School of Paediatrics and Child Health, University of Western Australia and found that “Fragonia™ inhibits secretion of the IFNy, involved in the inflammatory response to tissue injury or infection, which could support the notion that this oil potentially has anti-inflammatory properties. However, more studies are required to determine the effects on other cell types such as neutrophils and purified macrophages, important in the immune responses”(6)
Skin: Acne, Disinfectant, Deodorant, Fungal infections & Oral Hygiene (10)
Mind: Allowing one to let go. “Emotional balance – overall effect of creating peace and harmony in the mind and body”
Nervous: Soothing and Enervating
Other: Fragonia™ / Agonis has not been tested against viruses so there may well be even greater applications for this oil in the future.
I have been using this oil with a number of my massage clients and they tell me that it does have a very strong effect on the emotions, one client reported that she felt very teary during the first half of the massage but felt as if she had cleared some blocked emotions by the end of the massage – I generally use strong rubifacient oils for this clients muscle soreness but decided to try the Fragonia™ at a 3 % concentration in usual carrier oil of extra virgin avocado & sweet almond oil. Another client reported that they had felt empowered to end a business relationship, this was something that they had been deliberating over for almost 2 years. I acknowledge the mind plays an important part in our experience and both client were advised that this oil was for “letting go” so I had sown the seed, but the clients experienced very different aspects of “letting go” indicating to me that Fragonia™ did in fact elicit a clearing – letting go effect, something that has been reported to me from my students as well as practitioners who attended Dr Penoels workshop.
I am currently working with a client who is attempting to stop smoking. I have prepared a personal spray using Fragonia™ & Angelica root (angelica archangelica) for use throughout the day 15 drops of each in a spray bottle filled with distilled water, which she shakes before spraying around her immediate environment, not directly onto the skin as angelica is a photosensitizing oil. I also made a synergy with the afore mentioned oils and Black pepper (piper nigrum) to help when she is experiencing strong urges to light up. The client applies 4 – 5 drops to a tissue which she inhales from and also adds 6 – 10 drops to her vapouriser when she is at home. This client has managed to quit on a number of previous occasions but has always returned to smoking after 3 – 4 weeks. So far it is 5 weeks of non smoking and she reports that her spray and synergy are of great assistance and she is not experiencing the feelings of loss and being denied something that she desperately craves, which was the reason she had returned to smoking in the past.