I was recently lucky enough to be invited to talk at the inaugural AROMATICA 2015 conference in Australia on the ‘The Credible Integration of Aromatic Medicine’. As I was preparing my presentation, I realized that despite having worked for more than two decades to establish credibility as a practitioner and aromatherpay supplier for professional health practice, there was still plenty to be said, before our point of difference would register accurately in the minds of the average consumer.
The reality is that when we start to talk seriously about using aromatic plant oils as an integral tool for medical practice, clear definitions are difficult to establish.
The word aromatherapy can mean different things to different people – even within the industry itself – and while popular-brand essential oils (that position themselves as therapeutic without meeting any recognizable standard controls) might be fine for creating healthier home products and natural body oils, the medical application of essential oils requires uncompromising quality and purity.
For Absolute Essential that means:
- certified organic or sustainable wild crops from optimum natural environments
- knowledgeable farming for pure-species crops and minimum impact harvests
- slow, artisan extraction at minimum temperatures and pressures for integral molecules
- strict handling, packaging and storage control
French aromatherapy leads clinical standards for aromatic medicine
My own aromatherapy training began in France over thirty years ago, when the law was established that essential oils must still be prescribed by doctors.
Medicinal-grade oils stand apart from the commercial offering.
Medicinal-grade is not an official term, as such, but I use it here to refer to pure, organic oils that have been slow-processed at minimum heat and handled to preserve molecular integrity. French chemist Henri Viaud was the first to outline clear standards for medical oil production, in 1983.
The French practice of aromatherapy was developed within the conventional medical establishment and is consequently the most integrated example of our trade today.
Clinical aromatherapy is commonly traced to the empirical work of Dr. Jean Valnet, and the renowned publication L’aromatherapy Exactement came into being in the 1990s from French Doctors Daniel Penoel and Pierre Franchomme. French aromatherapy is its own specialized version, sometimes called Aromatology, that includes ingestion capsules and pessaries as primary methods of application. It requires an exacting level of purity and quality in its ingredients, as well as strict dosage, all which prohibit non-qualified administration.
Unsurprisingly, it is also in France where you find the yet further evolved version of Phyto-Aromatherapy or, as it is now known, Endobiogeny (now gaining ground also in the US).
Extensive research and medical practice by Dr. C. Duraffourd, MD and J. C. Lapraz, MD (two students of Dr. Valnet’s original methodologies) has lead to a genuine challenge to modern medical theory: that human physiology cannot ultimately be reduced to isolated mechanics and pathologies for effective health management and disease control. Rather, it must be viewed as a dynamic inter-related system that has one principle managing device – the endocrine system. This is a holistic medical theory coming from within the establishment, with increasingly compelling scientific data to back it up.
While Endobiogeny is not limited to Aromatic Medicine and uses a specialized version of clinical aromatherapy (with blood analysis and specific efficiency tests – aromatograms – to prescribe essential oils to individual cases), the underlying premise that pure-state organic essential oils contain the most efficient compounds to address biological imbalance and disease is of paramount importance for any practitioner interested in credible aromatic health care.
Another important confirmation in Endobiogeny research is that pure essential oils not only work in multiple ways to help address the dysfunction and imbalance behind specific conditions, they also simultaneously contribute to the general healthy function of body systems, adding to the overall potential for restoration and sustained well-being.
Aromatic medicine is made from exceptional pure, natural ingredients
At Absolute Essential, we use the term ‘therapeutic plant oils’ to differentiate our oils in a market that is largely self-regulating and consumer- (not health) orientated.
Our quality standards set us apart from a lot of even supposedly ‘good’ essential oils, not just the bulk of essential oil production earmarked for the flavor and fragrance markets.
When I stepped away from the French system to begin my own health practice with Aromatherapy, Naturopathy and Osteopathy in New Zealand back in the 80s, Absolute Essential Oils came about because I had to source my own supply of pure-state oils to be able to practice at the same professional level.
This involved basically a lifetime commitment to finding the best natural environments for growth and production and in some cases establishing sustainable and organic standards through private contract until official governing bodies were available to provide independent certification.
To give you an idea of just how many known essential oil brands are not even in the ballpark: up to 96% of all essential oils are mass produced through fast, high pressure and high temperature production (500+ degrees), and only 4% are made to medical specifications that preserve the true molecular value of a given plant essence.
Remember, this means slow, artisan production at lowest possible temperatures (80-120 degrees), which is simply not as commercially viable on the multi-billion scale and therefore you will only find, where credible professional healthcare is the genuine goal.
What this specialist level of production is viable for is eco-friendly practice and environmental stewardship and I believe that this is something that does register in people’s minds more and more these days, especially with regards to holistic care.
To achieve sustainable health and well-being includes taking care of the planet and working with ingredients in a renewable, respectful way which makes perfect sense to me… how about you?
Medicinal-grade Therapeutic Plant Oils must be 100% pure. At Absolute Essential we use certified organic or wild grown (sustainable) plants to produce our oils and all extraction processes are strictly controlled to produce the best quality oil with a maximum purity and therapeutic value. See more at Absolute Essential.