About Essential Oil Journeys, a Short Summary
Book 3 of the Plant Language Course is entitled ‘Essential Oil Journeys.’ It is the companion book to the Essential Oil collections. Each Journey goes to a specific place of origin of well known aromatic treasures. For instance to Seville Spain for the Bitter Orange tree and Neroli oil. While making the cultural connection, each journey also suggests a specific way (or application) to experience an oil. For instance it suggests a way for the reader to try topical application in the shower for the different Lavenders, to personally feel the difference between a Lavandin, a Fine and a wild Lavender. Or for those who wish to try to ingest essential oils it suggests an especially safe and non threatening first try with the totally non-toxic Lemon essential oil. In some ways Essential Oil Journeys is what sets the Plant Language Course apart from most other courses as it provides the student with the most authentic and often rare essential oils of the collections and gives recommendations for all of them to build a body of visceral knowledge, experiencing these oils with ones own body.
For links to sample pages please scroll down all the way
Essential Oil Journeys: Long Content
Essential Oil Journeys is a richly illustrated virtual tour guide to the places where diverse cultures interface with aromatic plants. It entices the reader to experience the 40 included authentic essential oils in ways fundamentally different than in the past.
Journeys focuses on:
Casually exploring every single oil and registering how one, as an individual, reacts to the oil and what the oil is doing to us.
We connect these experiences with the pharmacological properties but also the biological phenomena known for the specific plant. Helichrysum italicum, for instance, prefers to grow on mountain sides and Lavender on very meager soils. There may not always be an obvious correlation between known biological phenomena and the properties of an oil, nonetheless, connecting the two reinforces our innate wisdom about the oil.
Aromatic plants have connected to human life most intensely through culture, ritual and medicine.
Through this experience based approach, enriched by revisiting aromatic cultural heritage, a connection to essential oils emerges that is so much more intimate than one based on chemical constituents and gas chromatograms alone. Instead Plant Language forges a connection between essential oils and the heart, which will develop its very own healing power!
Following are descriptions of some explorations suggested in Journeys that specifically utilize the EO included in the Collections (Some of the included oils are not mentioned here, for a complete list please go to the “EO and Extras” Section).
Wild, Population, Clones and Hybrid Lavenders
Comparing these oils shows how sexual reproduction ensures constant variation and how cloning creates the identical organism over and over.
Increased complexity can be experienced through the gentler softer character of population and wild Lavender essential oils.
Dalmatian Sage, Sage petit feuilles and Hyssop decumbens
illustrates, in chemical and aromatherapy terms, the presence and absence of ketones as well as the safety issues associated with ketone components. In biological terms these oils illustrate how plants respond to the changing needs of the different stages in their life cycle by continuously changing oil composition. This constant change makes it very hard or impossible for microorganisms to develop resistance. It has also been utilized by sensitive distillers harvesting , for instance, Sage, when it does not yet contain high concentrations of thujone.
Helichrysum italicum from Corsica and Bosnia
There is an ongoing debate about the relative merits and qualities of these two provenances. Fact is that the compostion of Bosnian oils differs significantly from those from Corsica. Nonetheless the oils can be used interchangeably for all issues of wound healing and skin regeneration. The anti oxidant and anti inflammative character of Helichrysum italicum essential oil is apparently best understood through the perspective of organicism. These qualities arise at the organizational level of the plant and can be realized with different molecular make-ups.
Commercial Eucalyptus, Eucalyptus globulus, Eucalyptus radiata and Eucalyptus globulus from one year young trees
The one dimensionality of commercial Eucalyptus illustrates the intent of the industrial process. It is in sharp contrast to the layered expressions of E. globulus and E. radiata. The stark difference between the one year old E. globulus and the oil of the mature tree illustrates again the continuous change of oil composition as plants age or respond to changing conditions.
is chemically most similar to Eucalyptus oils, but even gentler and non toxic, illustrating that organisms can display different expressions, through identical or similar molecular composition.
Thyme linalool, Thyme thuyanol and Thyme paracymene
Thyme illustrates the vast spectrum of components available to a single species. Thymus vulgaris responds to the changing energy bandwidth of visible light in different altitudes. The sensitive response to changes in the spectrum of light is not surprising as mono terpene synthesis occurs exclusively in the chloroplast. The different light energies are reflected in the healing qualities and energetics of the oils ranging from warm – not hot – for T. paracymene to neutral for T thuyanol and etherial for T. linalool.
Ginger CO2 extracted and Ginger steam distilled
this pair highlights the differences the two types of extraction. Distillation produces a soft and warm essence. In addition to the components present in the distilled oil CO2 also extracts more polar and sharp components not present in the other oil.
is best suited to become acquainted with ingesting essential oils if one so desires. Lemon essential oil is non toxic and non irritant. It has a profound effect on liver detoxification enzymes, slightly inhibiting Phase I and inducing Phase II enzymes.
Rose essential oil (Rose Otto) and Rose absolute
A comparison of distillation with solvent extraction. Experiencing the glaringly bright Rose absolute from Morocco and the classic Rose Otto from Bulgaria immediately stimulate the mind to wander from tales of 1001 nights to grandiose Parisian perfumes.
Asteraceae represent the apex in angiosperm evolution and many components found in German Chamomile are not normally found in other essential oils. German Chamomile oil inhibits different molecular targets in the inflammation cascade. It is non toxic and non irritant and can be an ubiquitous addition to topical essential oil preparations.
Cinnamon leaf and Clove bud
The spice character of both oils reveals tropical origin and intense therapeutic potential all at once. Cloves and Clove oil are an important culinary or medicinal element in many parts of the world. They are also an apt example for the chemistry vs culture theme of Essential Oil Journeys. Clove oil has been black listed in aromatherapy because of its sensitizing potential but the Clove tree even has historical relevance based on its medicinal properties? Both oils can be of great value in treatment of infections or yeasts. Instead of dismissing them one’s own sensitivity should be determined in a non threatening way so the oils can be used when needed!
Essential Oil Journeys is the companion book to essential oil collections, visiting, by way of images, the places or cultures from where the oils of the collection originate. Stops on the way are:
Lavenders and other specialties. Higher elevation – The dazzling variety and soothing fragrances of Thyme.
Europe’s moderate climates
From Angelica to Chamomile – The oldest academic botanical garden in Padua
Aromatic history – Seville and its Bitter oranges – El Olor: Painted fragrance
Rosa centifolia from South of the Atlas
Discovering Tea Tree oil
Asia and Australia
Ginger the carminative – China and the Orient: A different language of healing – from Niaouli to Ravintsara
Indigenous plant medicine: treating the liver with oils
Clove and Cinnamon
Journeys Sample Pages
By clicking on the links below you can view some sample pages from the Journeys.
Non-toxic, ketone free Hyssop decumbens from Provence
Absolutes from Aromatic Flowers, the fabled Rosa Gallica
Spain, where Eucalyptus globulus really comes from
Spain and its Aromatic Moorish History
Ginger EO carminative and Ginger CO2 protects the skin from Photodamage