Time is an interesting concept. A person can consider the length of time passed and be surprised that it has passed quickly, or lament that the same amount of time seems “so long ago”. For those of us preparing for the second part of Aromatic Medicine in Atlanta, the two concepts seem to somehow combine. On the one hand, time is short when one is scrambling with assignments to make certain that all of the T crossing and I dotting are done. On the other, going back and reviewing information that was learned four months ago seems a life time ago. When adding in the life events as time marches on, it can be quite overwhelming. None-the-less, the excitement of returning is palpable, as we look forward to learning more and getting to visit once more with acquaintances met during the last session that have grown into friendships over the winter.
When I last wrote about the Australian oils, there were some that intrigued me that had not yet made it into Nature’s Gift inventory. I am excited that Marge has found the opportunity to add yet more from the Land of Oz. One in particular that she and I discussed last fall was Nerolina, and I look forward to adding this one to my collection.
One of the most common paperbark species of Australia is the Melaleuca quinquenervia (Sweet Tea Tree). Depending on its geography, the small tree has 3 chemotypes. Mark Webb, of Aromamedix and Aromatic Medicine, notes the confusion caused by this, with resulting varieties being improperly classified and named, often confused with the Broad Leaved Tea Tree (Melaleuca viridiflora).
The Melaleuca quinquenervia CT nerolidol/linalool variety is known as Nerolina. Mark has noted that Nerolidol is recognized in the perfume industry as “floral, green citrus with woody, waxy nuances”. It is a sticky substance that allows it to adhere well to the skin.
Of course, those of us in the U.S. will remember that the Australian use of essential oils is on a level far and above the aromatherapy applications in the states, as they have come to recognize already the medicinal qualities of aromatics not yet highly understood here. But, just as it is fun to learn new cultures, many are interested in learning how essential oils are utilized.
Owing to the high content of nerolidol and linalool in Nerolina, this sweet tree melaleuca has gained popularity in Australia, not only for its lovely aroma, but its healing qualities as well. This sesquiterpenol/monoterpenol combination creates an antiseptic/anti-inflammatory powerhouse that is more healing in nature than its antimicrobial relative.
There are many anecdotal claims to Nerolidol, and scientific experiments are underway to verify the therapeutic effectiveness of the constituent. One that stands out in particular is in regard to its effectiveness in relieving pain and inflammation related to tissue damage in lab mice. It will be interesting to see how success in the lab situation plays out in clinical trials.
Meanwhile, in his book, Aromatica, Peter Holmes describes the oil as “restoring, calming.” Mark Webb concurs, noting that he finds that the balance of nerolidol/linalool is both soothing and uplifting. He describes the oil as “slightly fruity, floral-green scent of leaves”. Webb warns that he has come across specimens on the market that has a sour/dirty, unpleasant note to them, and notes that he has used Nerolina as an effective head lice treatment.
You may read more and order Nerolina Essential Oil here.