Not all plant oils are created equally…

Volume: I    June 1st 2017    Week 1

Author: Judy Ryan, Certified Clinical Aromatherist, Vodder Certified Lymphatic Therapist, ARCB trained Reflexologist-certification pending case study completion-this Summer and Licensed Physical Therapist

Did you know? “Not all plant oils are created equal!”

Many different natural chemicals are exquisitely combined within a plant to make-up the unique attributes of that botanical. Try as they may, manufacturers of synthetic oils cannot duplicate the complete spectrum and properties that pure plant derived oils intrinsically possess by nature. Environmental factors that contribute to the unique properties a plant posses includes soil properties, temperature, cultivation practices and how it was processed.

Let’s consider Lavender Angustifolia as an example. This species of plant is used extensively throughout Europe to promote the healing of acute burns, bites, chronic wounds and resistant infections-(particularly Staphylococcus strains) providing an effective, natural intervention with little to no clinical side effects reported. However, the most effective species of Lavender to heal grows abundantly in Provence, France. Helichrysum is widely sought after from Italy due to its ability to heal wounds better than any other variety grown elsewhere. Beta Carotene-rich in the natural form of Vitamin A is distilled from Carrot Seed, grows readily in Denmark and Rose Damascus possesses skin softening properties beyond that of any other is cultivated in Turkey.

Each plant grows indigenous to a region due to the soil properties, temperature and cultivation practices. Amazingly, an identical species grown under similar temperature conditions in a different part of the world will yield a completely different chemistry, identifying soil property as the most important contributor.

Just like a fine wine, the species of plant, the soil, temperature, where the botanical is grown and how the oil is distilled… all determine the varied uses, scent and essence of an oil. 

Consider the following: the three lavender species (Lavandula ) most commonly used in cosmetic and therapeutic applications, L. angustifolia (English Lavender, full flowery shrub), L. latifolia (Spike ryLavender, grassy plant), and L. stoechas (French or Spanish Lavender) have a similar chemical make-up but all produce a variety of light colored essential oils with a traditionally mild floral smell. L. luisieri oil (a type of Spanish lavender specifically grown in the area of Seville, Spain) has a different chemical composition from lavender grown in other areas, and is amber-colored with a strong honey-like aroma.

Who knew that the scent of a plant would be so telling as to the exact fingerprint of where a plant was grown?

Not All Body Care Products Containing Essential Oils Are Created Equal… 

Other environmental factors to recognize are GMO (Genetic Modification of an Organism) which is strictly banned throughout Europe based on their studies that identified carcinogenic effects. As are the use of pesticides/fertilization that European’s limited and used cautiously with most cultivation practices dependent on companion planting and cultivation practices that go back many centuries.

Unfortunately, plants grown in the US when exposed to harsh chemicals found in pesticides, fertilizers and GMO modification, will reflect a chemical composition that parallels these agents once ingested into the body. Pure plant materials are dismantled by the liver and excreted by the kidneys out of our bodies within hours, unlike synthetic or adulterated plant materials that possess compounds unable to be eliminated that get stored throughout the body’s fatty tissues-including our organs and sensitive cell membranes. These membranes contain receptors that protect the cells DNA. When our DNA mechanism is made vulnerable to transcription errors, microbial invasion and hormonal disruption due to receptor damage, the risk of autoimmune disorders and cancer rises.

Organic varieties of plants are best. However, even when a plant is grown organically, it may not reflect the unique properties related to its indigenous roots that are reflective of the various soil properties throughout different parts of the world.

So what insight does this information give to the average consumer of plant based products and/or essential oil consumption?

First and foremost: Read Your Labels To Avoid Chemicals That Are Known Endocrine Disruptors! 

There are many companies that feature organic and natural ingredients derived from plant material. However, as we have learned, not all oils are created equally and many of these products contain preservatives, colorants, and a variety of additional chemicals to stabilize, emulsify or accelerate dermal absorption. Find out more about these additives and the effects of pesticides as endocrine disruptors by visiting National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences.

Recognize That: Not All Organic & Natural Face and Body Care Products Are Stored or Packaged Appropriately! 

The natural chemical components of some oils are sensitive to being broken down by light, heat, or storage in improper containers (I.e., plastics or metals such as aluminum). Unadulterated, pure medical grade essential oils and pure plant/vegetable based ingredients are best kept in amber or cobalt blue glass jars, or phthalate free plastic containers to protect the contents from plastic/metallic residue that leach into the plant materials.

*All of Gifts Of Nature creams, sprays and salves are stored appropriately in glass jars and pthalate free plastic bottles, in order to preserve the natural components of our organic- natural plant based ingredients so that we derive the very best and longest use from them.*

Do Your Research on the Organic-Natural Company You Trust Your Body To!

Investigate The Three WWWs (who, what and where) About The Organic-Natural Product Producer 

Who are the person (s) developing the menu of products for the company….what is the concentration of the proposed pure plant materials personal care products your body consumes. Are the plant ingredients free of harmful pesticides? Where are key ingredients origins? For example, pure essential medical grade oils are certified through spectroscopy/GC to validate the purity of the distilled plant materials. Most companies are happy to tell you their story for you to learn about their unique offerings.

Lastly: Check Us Out!! 

Gifts of Nature Organics and A Healing Touch At IPT evolved from a need to provide organic and natural products and services for individuals receiving medical treatment for autoimmune disease, cancer, and neurological disorders. Our founder is a medically trained clinical aromatherapist who received hospital training through Jane Buckle’s nursing certificate program. There are plenty of products on the market that are labeled natural or organic that are either lacking the synergistic blending, the knowledge of how to properly and safely compound quality plant materials.

Gifts of Nature products are made in small batches, and packaged in phthalate free plastics, and cobalt-amber glass to protect our precious content. All carrier oils are organic, however, our essential oils come from around the world to possess the unique chemistry that soil property dictates and while not labelled organic, are cultivated without GMO, and harmful pesticides/fertilizers due to Europe’s strict purity act laws.