Welcome to Essential Oil Authenticity
Most aromatherapy courses teach how to use essential oils to treat different conditions. But the essential oils themselves are addressed only in general terms. Yes, they are supposed to be unadulterated, pure and natural. But in todays marketing essential oils have become globalized and homogenized. When we discuss Lavender we are barely aware that there are clones and hybrids and population cultivars from different regions. Instead we consider it important which brand label from which corporation is on the bottle. Our awareness has degenerated to comparing Lavenders from Corporation A to those of Corporation B. And these corporations are cleverly obscuring the real origin of their essential oils by inventing a variety of therapeutic or other “grades,” depending on the brand.
But medicinal and aromatic plants (MAP) and their essential oils go much deeper, evidenced by the reverence for them in all civilizations. Hence many valuable therapeutic effects of essential oils known throughout history have also been demonstrated by pharmacological research. Yet there are many qualities of essential oils which pharmacology alone cannot recognize. Plant Language looks for new avenues of understanding to recognize the qualities not obvious to reductionist pharmacology. Biology provides the scientific tools to approach the properties that lye beyond the reach of chemistry.
Plant Language goes to the origins of the different aromatic plants to study how cultures throughout time have utilized essential oils. The essential oils included in Collection 1 and 2 are the core of the Plant Language approach. All oils are verifiably authentic examples from the classic production regions.
For every oil there are suggested applications that allow the student to develop a personal and individual “feel” for the specific oil.
Plant Language Explorations
Plant Language takes the reader on virtual journeys to the geographic and cultural origin of the aromatic plants. For instance Rosemary essential oil. It is commonly described with abstract chemical terminology as having a camphor, a cineole and a verbenone chemotype. In Plant Language we substitute personal experience for arcane concepts. We feel the supple softness of Rosemary oil from coastal – sea level – Corsica, (the classic verbenone type). We recognize the prickly and penetrating Rosemary oil from the high plateaux of Provence as a camphoraceous counterpoint. Finally we register the agreeable character of Rosemary oil from slightly elevated locations in North Africa, the cineole type often equated with general Rosemary. Ultimately the suggested explorations of essential oils will guide the student to a fundamentally revised understanding of essential oil authenticity.
Understanding authenticity in turn will provide real benefits when we need essential oils to heal. Through our studies we gain the confidence to use them effectively.