Posts Tagged ‘Botanica 2012’

Naho Maruyama, a graduate of the University of Tokyo, Faculty of Pharmaceutical Sciences, was one of the presenters at Botanica 2012. Her lecture was on the effects of essential oils on the cell walls of fungus. Her rating of the anti-microbial activity of the essential oil components (with greatest effect listed first) is:

  1. Phenols
  2. Aldehydes
  3. Alcohols
  4. Ketones
  5. Esters
  6. Ethers
  7. Hydrocarbons

And, in terms of complete essential oils, her line up is as follows: Palmarosa, Tea Tree, Cinnamon, Lemongrass, Melissa and Thyme ct. thymol.
One of the clinical case studies presented was on the treatment of Tinea ungunium, fungal infection of the nails(toe nails).

They applied the following formula 2 times per day:

  • Tea Tree(Melaleuca alternifolia)-25 drops
  • Lavender(Lavandula angustifolia)-10 drops
  • Palmarosa(Cymbopogon martini var. motia)-10 drops
  • Honey-10 grams
  • Carrier Oil-30 grams

Warming the foot(say in a warm water foot bath) was found to be useful in influencing saturation and increasing absorption. The above, with regular sterilization of shoes, showed a clearing in 9 months.

It was noted that not only are essential oils receiving strong attention for the pharmacological activities on bacteria, viruses and fungus but on the indirect effects as well; anti-inflammatory responses and immune enhancement being examples.

During Botanica, it was awesome to see the amount of time, effort, research and results dedicated to the clinical applications of essential oils in other parts of the world. This presenter from Japan was no exception.

Up Next: Natural Microbicides

Until next time…
Breathe Joy,

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Jurgen Reichling, a German professor at the Institute of Pharmacy and Molecular Biotechnology, was one of the speakers at Botanica this past Fall. He presented on the antiviral effect of pure essential oils on HSV-1(Herpes Labialis, caused by the Herpes Simplex Virus-Type 1); commonly known as cold sores. The essential oil of Thyme(Thymus vulgaris ct. thymol) was at the top of the list, inactivating the virus within 10 minutes of contact. Next, in the power line up, were the citrus essential oils, followed by Pine. He shared the following formula:

  • Thyme(Thymus vulgaris ct. thymol)
  • Tea Tree(Melaleuca alternifolia)
  • Eucalyptus(Eucalyptus globulus)

The above essential oils were combined at a 6% dilution in a gel base, applied five times per day to the affected area. The results of the study showed clearing of the blister(s) outbreak in an average of 9 days vs. the typical 12.5 day period, if left untreated.

An interesting note highlighted was that the complete essential oil was more active than the individual main components. The synergistic effect of the whole essential oil had more activity and action on the virus. Are you surprised? I’m not! I think Mother Nature knew what she was doing. :o )

More snippets coming your way.

Next up: Pharmacological Activities of Essential Oils

Until next time…
Breathe Joy,


Photo Credit: American Meadows

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Bud Therapy

Photo credit: David Lev

Gemmotherapy was presented by Nick Churchill at Botanica 2012, in Dublin, Ireland. When I saw the title in the presentation roster, my initial thought was that it was related to gemstones. As a lover of both precious and semi-precious gems, I was excited! But, I quickly found out that the subject was very different and equally as intriguing.

The topic was on remedies created from the material gathered from embryonic tissues found in buds and young shoots (plant stem cell therapy). Gemmotherapy was started in France over 50 years ago and now is very popular in Italy and Romania.

Unlike other herbal harvests, the embryonic material and marrow stem (undivided cells) are harvested during a very short window of time, in some species that can mean 2 days, in others 2 weeks, in order to capture the most vital components before rapid development. Interesting to note that the meristems have the potential to become any other part of the tree. Imagine energetically how that potentiality infuses the remedy and then in turn the recipient!

The very nature of buds is expressed in an “outward energy.” Not a coincidence that the functions of many of the remedies derived have emunctory healing properties on our organs. Mr. Churchill referred to them as a “cellular chimney sweep”, whereas these unique photochemical components act on our biochemical pathways in a drainage, detoxification and tissue regenerating manner.

Mulberry Bud

Mulberry Bud
Photo credit: HM Vanderbeek

Examples mentioned:

  • Black Current(Cassia), known as the “Jewel of Gemmotherapy”-for it’s cortisone like behavior on allergic states, such as Hay fever
  • Mulberry-for diabetes support
  • Cedar-for scaly, dry skin conditions
  • Japanese Creeper-for arthritis of the small joints

The remedies are delivered in a maceration of glycerin and pure alcohol. A dose example would be 3-5 drops taken in water 2-3 times per day, over a period of time(weeks or months, depending).

This was one of the most fascinating subjects of the conference and definitely got my eyebrows raised! For more information, feel free to visit the following links:

Gemmotherapy School
Gemmotherapy Information and Remedies
Gemmotherapy Forum

Until Next Time…
Breathe Joy

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Ginkgo Biloba

Ginkgo Biloba
Photo credit: http://www.pfaf.org

It was heart warming to witness eager attendees from 33 different countries, with the common goal of experiencing the most cutting edge information and case studies in herbal and aromatic medicine. Each of the four days of Botanica 2012 the audience was packed with a wide array of professionals ranging from doctors, nurses, herbalists, microbiologists and clinical aromatherapists. The networking opportunity was fantastic and provided an invaluable view of how each country practices their trade based on culture, government and legal structures.

Anne Varley, a medical herbalist from Ireland, spoke about “The Map is not the Territory.” I did appreciate her insight on being open to the actuality of the case and time at hand. She talked in-depth about how not to confuse models of reality vs. the actual reality in regard to phytotherapy and complimentary medicine. I think this is a very valid point for life in general as well. What looks logical on paper or data that was compiled years past, may very well not be the most efficient way to handle the current situation. I like the quote from Deepak Chopra, “Instead of thinking outside the box… get rid of the box!” Politics of Irish herbal practice were discussed, including the herbs of Ginkgo Biloba and Hypericum’s ban and the campaign to have them re-instated as valuable healing agents. This talk gave me a feeling of gratitude for our current ability to use herbal and aromatic medicine in the United States, as well as a sense of fragility on the topic.

Love FlowersSwitching gears, we had the great pleasure of listening to a heart centered talk from Judith Hoad, a herbalist who also combines acupressure and homeopathy in her work. It was an honor to witness this loving being and her respect for all life. ‘Eco-kin’, a term that she coined, illustrates her deep respect for all living beings, including the plant world, our relationships with one another and how we communicate. She spoke about the intelligence embedded in all living cells and how this intelligence exists in plants as well(although not the same as humans, nonetheless still present). Co-creation Gardening, a book written by Machaelle Small Wright was recommended and Stephen Harrod Buhner’s teachings.
I had an opportunity to visit with Judith and her spirit was bright and demeanor humble. This woman, who as a side note has lived “off the grid” for over 50 years, was my all time fav of the event!

Lots more to come!  Stay tuned for Part 3.

Until next time…
Breathe Joy,

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Wow! I can’t believe it has already been 2 months since my trip to Dublin, Ireland for Botanica 2012. Time has literally flown by! Well, I’m just now getting to sharing some of my experiences there. Luckily, it feels like just yesterday that I was walking briskly along the cobblestone streets admiring the bountiful flower scapes draped out of each window box.

Botanica was organized by an industry top gun, Rhiannon Harris, owner of Essential Oil Resource Consultants and founder of the International Journal of Clinical Aromatherapy, an invaluable resource for clinical aromatherapists world-wide.

Because this event was so rich, I thought that I would break up the posts in parts, in order to share more.

So, Part I:

Stinging Nettles

Stinging Nettles. Photo credit: Wikipedia

The International Celebration of Plant Therapeutics was kicked off with a cheerful Ireland lassie, Vivienne Campbell. She spoke about a variety of the native plants and herbs, including their uses throughout history. One in particular was Stinging Nettles; an iron rich herb common in Irish dishes. Known for it’s detoxifying & tonic qualities, as well as strengthening the kidneys, nourishing to the blood and much more. She suggested using it in the form of tea(steeped 10 min.) or even cooked up with cabbage. I am very interested to try it and more so to wild forge some in my own backyard! Her side note tip: Wear rubber gloves to avoid getting “stung.” If you enjoy using nettles, comment on this post, I would love to hear your experiences.

A couple more of her suggestions: Ballymaloe, An Irish Cookery School, advocating using fresh, local wild herbs.  And, Wild and Free: Cooking from Nature by Cyril O’Ceirin; a great book on wild foraging. Some of their local picks:

  • Tormento-an astringent herb, helpful for IBS.
  • Silver Wheat-nutty flavor, helpful for sore throats.
  • Black Thorn-a type of plum and a traditional, valuable food source.
  • Primrose-good to relax nerves & ease insomnia.

This speaker was so full of life and her enthusiasm for plant medicine just poured out of her. For more information on Vivienne, check out The Herbal Hub.

Irish Wildflowers

Irish Wildflowers. Photo credit: Dennis Flood

During my stay, I had the fortune of traveling from Dublin to Galway, a three-hour tour from the East coast to the West coast, with some of the most magnificent sights(now I know why they call it the Emerald Isle!). Plus, we had an awesome guide sharing juicy tales of myths and legends going as far back as the medieval times. We hiked over the Burren terrain-A one of a kind view of very interesting rock formations along the coast, home of native and rare Irish species. It has even been said that over 70% of Ireland’s wildflowers can be found there in the limestone array, many of which are used in the creations found at The Burren Perfumery. We unfortunately did not have time to stop at the perfumery, Ireland’s oldest perfumery and soap making shop. But, it is definitely on the list for my next visit.

More to follow in Part 2: Coming Soon!

Until next time…
Breathe Joy,

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