Use of plants, essential oil recipe book
Use of plants
Aromatherapy is the use of aromatic plants. The volatile principles of aromatic plants of not more than 20 to 30 carbon molecules are used in order to obtain essential oils for therapeutic purposes.
At present, about 300 to 400 aromatic plants are used in aromatherapy.
Although the Egyptians and the Chinese already had knowledge of plants, it was not until the last century that aromatherapy really developed, and mainly in France with Gattefossé, who published in 1931 an “Aromatherapy” book in which he Describes his experiences and discoveries. It is the first to show the relationships between the structure and the activities of aromatic components and to codify the great properties of natural flavors (antitoxic, antiseptic, toning, stimulating, calming.
Doctor Jean Valnet is at the origin of the new wave of interest of the general public for the aromatherapy, but his works – very interesting during their exit – have since been deepened by Franchomme.
There are about 800,000 botanical species, but not all of these species will be used in aromatherapy.
One distinguishes among these species:
- Aromatic plants, ie plants sufficiently rich in aromatic molecules. 200 to 300 species will be used only because many species are still little known and their properties poorly defined.
- Untapped aromatic plants:
- Due to their toxicity: Tanacetum vulgare
- For lack of knowledge of aromatological properties: Bupleurum arborescens
- Because the aromatic molecules of the plant contain few essences when they are extractable by the steam distillation of water. These plants will be exploited in perfumery (several hundred) and in the food industry in the form of non-organic flavors. The molecules will be extracted using organic solvents or lipid supports (method of enfleurage).
Essential oil is an extract obtained by distillation with water or steam, whole plants or parts of aromatic plants, and consisting exclusively (or almost) of oily, volatile and odorous molecules.
The essential oil is therefore distilled gasoline. It is liposoluble, that is to say it mixes with fatty substances and alcohol.
AROMATIC ESSENCE is a product located in the aromatic vesicle of plants:
- Obtained by incision: the trunk of the tree or the plant is wounded. The secretion product is collected and then distilled.
- Obtained by expression of plants: the zest of the citrus (mainly) are crushed or passed in rasps. Colored juice is collected which contains flavors and other products. The gasoline will be separated from the other products knowing that it can remain in particular pigments dyeing the gasoline.
Aromatic Hydrosol (HA) or hydrolat is obtained by distillation of the whole plant or a part of the plant with steam, at low pressure and for a precise duration for each one. It is a natural solution of water-soluble aromatic molecules.
Hydrosols are used as a hygiene product as a dietary supplement to correct soil. For this purpose, it is used orally at a rate of 1 to 4 tablespoons per day.The duration can be long uninterrupted periods or in the form of a cure of one to two months to be renewed twice a year. There is no danger of exceeding this dose over a very short period of time.Aromatic Hydrosol (HA) or hydrolat is obtained by distillation of the whole plant or a part of the plant with steam, at low pressure and for a precise duration for each one.
It is a natural solution of water-soluble aromatic molecules. Hydrosols are used as a hygiene product as a dietary supplement to correct soil. For this purpose, it is used orally at a rate of 1 to 4 tablespoons per day. The duration can be long uninterrupted periods or in the form of a cure of one to two months to be renewed twice a year.
Quality of essential oils
If we want an optimal quality of an essential oil, we must work with a laboratory guaranteeing a chemotyped essential oil. Otherwise, we may find ourselves in the presence of a falsified essential oil for the following reasons from our recipe book:
- The original plant is of poor quality, has not been harvested at the right time, or it is not the good part of the plant that has been harvested.
- The essential oil is terpeneed. In general this is stated on the label. Terpenes were removed from the product due to their irritant properties. But insofar as aldehydes are also present in the composition of the essential oil, this molecule will become irritating because it can not be temporized with the terpenes.
- Mixtures and false products: a mixture of lemon verbena and lemon grass, which will only cost 2 euros per 5 ml, is found under the name of lemon verbena (which costs around 50 euros per 5 ml).
- Essential oils of synthesis: it is a pure chemical generally sold in pharmacy and manufactured by the pharmacist who synthesizes the dominant aromatic molecule. For example, for eucalyptus globulus, it is the eucalyptol molecule that is synthesized; For peppermint (mint piperita) it is the molecule of menthol.
- The family
- The species
- The subspecies
- The chemical race
- The chemical part of the plant used
- Family: Myrtacées
- Genus: Eucalyptus
- Species: Radiata
- Subspecies: ssp radiata
- Chemical race: cineolifera (1,8 cineole)
- Part of the plant: leaves
- Lavandula vera is true lavender
- Lavandula vera var grangrans is a wild variety
- Lavandula vera var maillette is a cultivated clone (Var means variety)
- Leaves: family of asteraceae (hypericum perforatum – chamaemelum nobile)
- The stems – family of labiaceae (mentha piperita)
- The bark – family of the lauraceae (cinnumomum zeylanicum)
- The roots or rhizones (family of the acacias (angelica archangelica)
- Flowers – rosacea family (rosa damascena)
- Peduncles: no specific species used
- Seeds or seeds – Apiaceae family (daucus carotta)
- Fruits – family of rutaceae (citrus reticula var mandarina)
Name of the essential oils recipe book
The Latin name is used in the botanical nomenclature for a precise definition of the botanical species. This is all the more important since the name in French may be different from one region to another, hence the need for the Latin name.
Take, for example, the essential oil of lemongrass:
Cymbopogon nardus – Lemongrass from Ceylon
Cymbopogon winterianus – Lemongrass of Java
Cymbopogon citratus – Indian Vervain
This classification enables us to precisely define the designated specific characteristics in our essential oil recipe book informing us about the quality of the product obtained:
Consider, for example, eucalyptus radiata ssp radiata cineolifera (fe):
Some precisions :
Species: The botanical species is the variety of the plant. Let us take the example of lavandula vera (true lavender):
Chemical breed or biochemical specificity (sb):
The chemical race represents the dominant aromatic molecule which confers on the essential oil recipe, its specific properties. This notion will be developed in the next chapter.
Part of the plant or reproductive organ: This is the part of the plant to be used in which the species are located.
The vegetative organs:
The reproductive organs:
Here we enter a completely different dimension. It is from olfaction that the human being will be able to capture this circulating information and to have an opinion on it.
Indeed, through the sense of olfaction, we can see that the essential oils awaken emotional sensations. Thus they can help simply because they can recall constructive and positive emotions consciously or unconsciously insofar as the emotional charge induced by the aromatic molecules is unknown to the mind.
The circulating information is therefore linked to the volatility of the aromatic molecules and to the organization of the human being with its vital force that will be able to capture this circulating information more or less well. It has a positive or negative resonance effect depending on the person’s experience, the information anchored in its cellular memory.
I wanted to give as much information as possible to all those interested in essential oils, users or future users so that they can get a different idea of aromatherapy; A more respectful idea of the synergy of the vegetable kingdom.