About Robert Tisserand

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So far Robert Tisserand has created 62 blog entries.

Essential oils and eye safety

There has been much social media discussion recently (February 2012) about the wisdom or otherwise of putting essential oils into your eyes to treat eye problems. This arose from two webpages, here and here. One of these, the Brothers Media website, which hosts an article originally featured at Livestrong.com, states: “More and more people are choosing to use alternative medicines to treat minor illnesses rather than taking a prescription. Putting essential oils in or near the eyes isn’t something that is widely known about, but there are several that can aid in the treatment of […]

By | 2018-04-24T20:25:59+00:00 February 23rd, 2013|Myth-busting, Safety|40 Comments

Which types of vitamin E prevent essential oil oxidation?


I would really appreciate it if you could tell me what type of vitamin E to use to slow the oxidation of essential oils, as in cream. Is it just tocopherol? Or some other type?

Thank you for your time.
Stephanie P.

PS. I enjoyed your webinar very much!

Hi Stephanie,

There are four principal isomers (chemical subtypes) of tocopherol:


There are also sub-types of each one.

You can use ‘mixed’ tocopherols: all four in various proportions. But my preference for essential oils is to use alpha-tocopherol, specifically d-alpha tocopherol. Here is a supplier that sells small quantities, as well as large.

By | 2018-04-24T20:25:59+00:00 February 20th, 2013|Q & A|10 Comments

Diaper rash safety


Hello there. I am in hopes you can please help me. I currently use the doTERRA line of essential oils and I also have used them to help my 18month old daughter. I have recently used ylang-ylang, roman chamomile, lavender and sandalwood to reduce stress and attempt to balance my hormones that have been out of wack since my pregnancy. Unfortunately, my husband is extremely skeptical as to the healing properties of EO’s as well as the safety of their use. He is concerned about the oils coming through my breast milk and causing issues for our daughter and recently […]

By | 2018-04-24T20:26:00+00:00 February 13th, 2013|Q & A, Safety|4 Comments

Lavender oil is not estrogenic

Lavender oil does not mimic estrogen nor does it enhance the body’s own estrogens. It is therefore not a ‘hormone disruptor’, cannot cause breast growth in young boys (or girls of any age), and is safe to use by anyone at risk for estrogen-dependent cancer. The lack of estrogenic action is the conclusion of a new report, which used a novel form of ‘uterotrophic’ assay.

This measures the effect of a test substance on the uterus of immature or estrogen-deprived female rats over three days. Any estrogenic action causes a rapid and measurable increase in uterine weight.

By | 2018-04-24T20:26:00+00:00 February 7th, 2013|Myth-busting, Safety|15 Comments

Q&A – Essential Oil Extraction Process

Hi Robert,
I have read that the essential oil extraction process can (but doesn’t’ always) include the use of solvents, and that many of the manufacturers buy and distribute oils that contain these solvents (claiming that they are pure). Can you recommend a manufacturer and or a distributor that can be trusted to sell high quality oils?

Dr. James Lembeck

Hi James,

Essential oils are extracted by steam or water distillation, citrus oils generally by expression. Other than water or steam, no solvents are involved. So there are no solvent-extracted essential oils.

Concretes, absolutes and resinoids are extracted using solvents, most commonly hexane. (Benzene used […]

By | 2013-01-09T17:14:32+00:00 January 9th, 2013|Aromatherapy / Research, Q & A|1 Comment

Can essential oils & antibiotics be used together?

Hi Robert,

My husband has just been diagnosed with endocarditis. His doctor wants to start him on intravenous antibiotics followed by oral doses of antibiotics. I was hoping to support him with essential oils. Do you think that’s safe, or could they interfere with the effectiveness of the antibiotics?

I would appreciate your advice.

Hi Karin,

In this situation you can do no harm with essential oils. They often help considerably, as many essential oil/antibiotic combinations are more effective than the antibiotic treatment alone. And if they don’t help at all, you have lost nothing. There is no such thing as eradicating an infection […]

By | 2012-10-22T21:13:46+00:00 October 22nd, 2012|Safety|8 Comments

Tea tree oil and biofilms

One of the outstanding properties of many essential oils, including tea tree (Melaleuca alternifolia), is that they can be effective even against bacterial biofilms.

A biofilm is a layered matrix, consisting mainly of polysaccharide and protein, that bacteria or fungi create on a surface as a secure habitat. In this form they are more difficult to kill, because the biofilm structure affords protection from the environment. Plaque on teeth is an example of a biofilm and the success of ‘essential oil’ mouthwashes such as Listerine compared to others is partly due to their ability to break down and inhibit plaque formation […]

By | 2018-04-24T20:26:00+00:00 October 19th, 2012|Aromatherapy / Research|12 Comments

Book review: The Chemistry of Essential Oils Made Simple

At almost 850 pages, there’s plenty of reading here. Unfortunately, this book is replete with errors. There are innumerable mis-spellings of the names of chemicals. Terpinen-4-ol is an alcohol, not a phenol, and bergamotene is a terpene, not a furanocoumarin. On page 374 we read that “Coumarins are thought to be antispasmodic, as are many other esters.” Coumarin is not an ester. Stewart mentions that myrrh oil is rich in ‘furanoid compounds’ – well yes, it is indeed rich in FURANS, and he goes on to say that “furanoid compounds can amplify ultraviolet light and […]

By | 2018-04-24T20:26:01+00:00 August 24th, 2012|Book reviews|31 Comments

Essential oil label guideline

The American Herbal Products Association (AHPA) announced on August 2nd that it has created a new guidance policy for the labeling of essential oils sold for topical use and offered for retail trade. The AHPA board of trustees adopted the guidance at its recent July meeting.

The AHPA board had adopted in July 2009 and amended in July 2011 a trade requirement for the labeling of essential oils. But it believes that additional labeling may address other issues that do not rise to the same level of a requirement, but that nonetheless represent good labeling practice.
The new essential oils guidance […]

By | 2018-04-24T20:26:01+00:00 August 16th, 2012|News|Comments Off on Essential oil label guideline

Aromatherapy: the big picture

In September 2010 I gave two presentations at an IFA conference in Tokyo. One of them was called: Forty years of aromatherapy evolution: 1970-2010. There were 475 attendees, and I suspect this was the largest aromatherapy conference ever held. You can see some photos here.

After the conference, I went to the office of the Aroma Environment Association of Japan. In 2010 the AEAJ had 50,000 members, and their substantial office reflects the size of the organization. While I was there they filmed a 36 minute interview with me, which was due to be screened in March 2011 at the […]

By | 2018-04-24T20:26:01+00:00 August 13th, 2012|Aromatherapy / Research, Interview|3 Comments
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