Tea tree oil quality and constituents

I am writing this in response to a recent discussion on various facebook pages about tea tree oil (TTO), and whether a TTO with 51% terpinen-4-ol would be better than one with 41%, or whether 51% suggested adultration. Most TTO is produced in Australia and China, and this article is about the quality of Australian [...] [...]

Climate Change News 2013: Essential Oils Cool Planet

It now appears that the world would have warmed more than it has were it not for the aromatic cocktail of chemicals emitted by plants. It turns out that this can change the weather – and anything that changes the weather day after day and year after year changes the climate too. While this mechanism [...] [...]

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 [...] [...]

Rosemary boosts brain power!

In 1652, English herbalist Nicholas Culpeper wrote, about rosemary: “Helps a weak memory and quickens the senses. The chymical [essential] oil drawn from the leaves and flowers, is a sovereign help…touch the temples and nostrils with two or three drops.” Scientists at Northumbria University (UK) are now uncovering how rosemary (Rosmarinus officinalis) oil does indeed sharpen [...] [...]

A week in Beijing

On the morning of Tuesday November 15th 2011 I drove to LAX (two hours of heavy traffic) and boarded an Air China flight direct to Beijing. I was the only non-Asian in my business class cabin. The food was excellent! After dinner and then two movies I remember thinking that I still had eight hours [...] [...]

Geranium oil linked to performance-enhancing drug

An alleged ingredient of geranium oil is now one of the latest performance-enhancing supplements, and has already been linked to two fatalities. In the 1940s, Eli Lilly developed and patented a nasal decongestant known as Forthane. The active ingredient was methylhexaneamine (MHA), also known as 2-amino-4-methylhexane, 1,3-dimethylpentylamine (1,3 DMAA) or “geranamine”.  Some companies are now pitching this [...] [...]

Essential oils and chemical ecology: interview with Kelly Ablard

I met Kelly when I gave a talk in April 2011 in Sidney BC, for the British Columbia Association of Practicing Aromatherapists . Kelly is on the BCAPA Board and is working on her PhD dissertation in Chemical Ecology at Simon Fraser University. She recently returned from Java Indonesia, where she conducted research on slow [...] [...]

Lavender oil and negative innuendo

In a recent blog post an Environmental Working Group (EWG) research assistant suggests that lavender oil may be unsafe, saying: “the science is still evolving and safety can’t be assumed.” The science is still evolving? Isn’t that true of anything? Are we just sowing the seeds of doubt here? I have written a number of [...] [...]

Ten reasons why you should not support SCA 2011

The Environmental Working Group, who have given birth to this legislation, is an incompetent organization that does not understand the science of toxicology, does not understand natural products, and that takes a biased, negative view of safety, often seeing dangers that do not exist. SCA 2011 requires that all ingredients of ingredients must be declared [...] [...]

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