The Power Of Essential Oil Therapy
by Elizabeth Jones – Excerpt given with permission from Elizabeth Jones copyright by North Atlantic Books.
From the introduction…
“we turn to the field of Energetic Medicine that is emerging today and will play a key role in future healing professions. Studying the Integrative Medicine approach with herbs and essential oils as indispensable players in the global medicine market is key to creating health worldwide. Next is a tour of an aromatic garden, rich with the potential hydrosols and oils that can be created in the garden still house. Anyone with the land and desire to plant a garden with essential oil laden plants will find a blueprint for designing a beautiful fragrant plot. Then an analysis is presented of some opportunities available to educated women in the future for essential oil work in professional healing, family health, and community holistic clinics. The possibilities are unlimited and will open to many more practical and important uses. Lastly, we will soar with the molecules of liquid light into a future of living a life of joy and creativity, grounded in spiritual rhythms. The groundwork laid by our historical women will yield much fruit for women today and in the future. In their work with plants for healing and in the rewards of living healthy, ecological lives close to nature, they will experience more happiness and balance.”
First, let’s describe the origins of essential oils. An essential oil represents accumulated solar energy. The sun is vital to its formation and its complex assembly of molecules, which create therapeutic actions in people. The enigma of photosynthesis that still puzzles scientists is a complicated parent to essential oil creation and infancy. The tiny sacs of oil that form on the leaf or seed or flower of a plant hold the healing power of that plant. The smell of a beautiful flower grabs your total attention, bringing you into the eternal present, more immediately than any other human sense.
To smell an orange blossom or better yet, the oil of Citrus x aurantium l. amara (Neroli), which is a concentrated form of the flower’s fragrance (a pound of oil is made from about 12,000 pounds of blossoms), is a heavenly experience! An essential oil results from the distillation of plants: their roots, leaves, heartwood, sap, fruit, flowers, seeds, or bark. The oil offers us healing through the fragrant smell and applying it to our skin aimed at internal cellular interaction of the oils as catalysts for the organs and systems of our bodies.
The wild aromatic plant is a product of its surroundings, its terrain. It grows according to the soil type, amount of sunshine and rain, altitude, lack of chemical fertilizers, and love of the farmer. All of the above varieties of conditions create subspecies of plants or chemotypes throughout the world. It would be a fascinating project to travel the globe and find every genus, species and variation species of Sage (not just Salvia officinalis). To bring back each one, carefully preserved and examine their plant structure, smell their aromatic leaves, and distill some of them for the scientific pleasure of analyzing their chemistry, could be satisfying. Their extraction by distillation would be governed by the vegetative cycle and harvest time of each plant. They could carefully observe each one. Understandably, it is vital to the quality of the essential oil that the plant be healthy and organic. Imagine the difference between a plant grown on a hillside overlooking the Mediterranean with fresh sea air and constant sun compared to one grown in an inner city plot of land in the shade with polluted air and water, using chemical pesticides, fertilizers, and weed killers!
The oils are distilled from fragrant plants grown in many countries throughout the world. For example, Ravintsara (Cinnamomum camphora) comes from Madagascar, Peppermint (Mentha piperita) mainly hails from Oregon, USA, Rose (Rosa damascena) comes from Bulgaria, and Lemongrass (Cymbopogan citratus) from India. They are plant energy in a focused, liquid form that can be easily used by humans due to their fast absorption through the skin and through the olfactory system. These oils are part of the immune system of the plant to protect them from bacteria, to attract pollinating insects, and to offer a chemical balance to the parent plant. Marcel Lavabre in his book, Aromatherapy Workbook, discusses how essential oils are contained in the glands, veins, sacs and glandular hairs of aromatic plants.