Tuesday, June 20, 2017

What I learned in Boulder Part 6: There's a Fungus Among Us! (and Herpes)


Fungal infections can range from ring worm, (most common on the skin) deep mycoses (usually at
Typical Ringworm Presentation
hair follicals, red, painful bumps, inflammation.)  Athlete's foot (Tinea pedia) which may be scaly or large blisters with fluid; very contagious!.  Candida albicans, most common in the  mouth (Thrush) and/or the groin area, can develop any place there are skin folds.  (Newer disease, Candida auras, more common in institutions, very serious, can be systemic, cause serious infections in bloodstream or wound infections. Often resistant to conventional anti-fungals.)

For treatment, out of the basic array of carrier oils, best choice is Calophyllum inophyllum (Tamanu) - Madeleine says is anti-fungal in and of itself.  Other bases, borage or evening primrose CO2s, Virgin Coconut or Jojoba. Food grade Aloe Vera Gel can help keep area drier when used as a base.

Best essential oils, either Geranium or Manuka (two first choices.) Depending on the condition you could use German Chamomile for inflammation, Lavender or Peppermint for itching; Helichrysum or Lavender for pain, Sandalwood for itching and soothing, but always the primary oil is one of the two first choice oils. Always a very low dilution!

German Chamomile, Helichrysum, Peppermint or Rose hydrosols may all prove helpful, as may Calendula infused oil.

Suggested using white clay as a dusting powder if area is moist.


Herpes Zoster - Shingles

For shingles, Madeleine recommends Passion flower tincture, or St. John's Wort Tincture, in Food Grade Aloe Vera Gel. (I need to ask if taking the tinctures internally, the way they are usually dosed, would be helpful.)  Reminder,  Dr. R. J. Buckle and Dr.Kurt Schnaubelt both  teach that either Ravensara aromatica or Ravintsara (cinnamonum camphora ch cineole) in a base of Calophyllum Inophyllum (aka Tamanu) is the specific for shingles, in a very strong dilution, even up to 50% initially.

Herpes simplex virus 1 - cold sores
Herpes simplex virus 2 - genital herpes

For both of the above, the preferred base is Calophyllum inophyllum (Tamanu) although Madeleine also recommends Borage, Evening Primrose CO2, or Rose Hip Seed CO2, or Jojoba if Tamanu is not available.    Her preferred essential oils from the basic groupings would be Bergamot or Peppermint, but she also suggests Ravensara aromatica and Melissa.

(Note, Jane Buckle recommended the same treatment for any form of Herpes that she recommended for Shingles.)

Thursday, June 15, 2017

Tea Tree Oil and Contact Dermatitis

For those still using Tea Tree Oil neat:
Re: Review of Contact Dermatitis Associated with Tea Tree Oil Exposure
de Groot AC, Schmidt E. Tea tree oil: contact allergy and chemical composition. Contact Dermatitis. 2016;75(3):129-143. 

Tea tree (Melaleuca alternifolia, Myrtaceae) essential oil prepared from the leaves or terminal branchlets (branch tips) of the tea tree has antimicrobial, anti-inflammatory, antitumoral, and analgesic properties. Therefore, it is used for treating common skin diseases like acne and eczema, skin infections such as herpes simplex and warts, wounds, burns, insect bites, dandruff, and nail mycoses. 
Tea tree oil (TTO) is a common ingredient in a wide range of topical medications, cosmetics, and household products. Of all essential oils, TTO has caused the greatest number (over 90 cases) of contact allergic reactions reported in the literature. This article reviews the literature regarding the chemical composition of TTO and allergic contact dermatitis reactions to TTO. 

Over 220 constituents of TTO have been reported in more than 50 studies. The composition of TTO
Tea Tree awaiting harvest 
varies widely depending upon the chemotype, plant part used, and method of distillation. Although six main chemotypes have been recognized, almost all commercial products contain the terpinen-4-ol dominant (type 1) chemotype. The
other major constituents of commercial TTO are terpinolene, γ-terpinene, 1,8-cineole, α-terpinene, α-terpineol, p-cymene, and α-pinene.
Exposure to oxygen, light, heat, and humidity changes the composition of TTO over time. The antioxidants α-terpinene, γ-terpinene, and terpinolene are oxidized to p-cymene; the level of antioxidants decreases and p-cymene level increases up to ten-fold; and the formation of peroxides, endoperoxides, and epoxides such as ascaridole occurs. With aging, TTO becomes green-brownish in color, the aroma becomes turpentine-like, and the viscosity changes. Prolonged oxidation and aging leads to crystallization of compounds and formation of long, thin needle-like crystals.
TTO is responsible for causing contact allergy and allergic contact dermatitis. In routine skin patch testing with 5% TTO, the incidence of positive reactions ranged from 0.1% to 3.5% of the population. The highest rates were observed in Australian studies. The relevance to previous exposure to TTO ranged from 20-66% in these studies.

Approximately two-thirds of the case reports were related to the application of pure TTO for treatment of various skin diseases. In some of the reported cases, the allergic reactions were caused by application of topical formulation containing TTO, and six cases were due to occupational exposure to high concentrations of TTO. Studies of the sensitizing potential of TTO have shown that the fresh oil is a weak to moderate sensitizer, but oxidation significantly increases its sensitizing potential. The most frequently reported sensitizers are ascaridole, terpinolene, α-terpinene (and its oxidation products), 1,2,4-trihydroxymenthane, α-phellandrene, and limonene. Other constituents which may contribute to sensitivity include myrcene, aromadendrene, d-carvone, l-carvone, terpinen-4-ol, viridiflorene, and more rarely (<5%), sabinene, 1,8-cineole, and p-cymene. "Most positive patch test reactions to TTO … probably result from sensitization to the oil itself. However, in some cases, they may possibly reflect prior sensitization to an ingredient of the oil.

In addition, co-reactivity to oil of turpentine, as well as fragrance mix I, benzoin (Styrax benzoin, Styracaceae) resin, balsam of Peru (Myroxylon balsamum var. pereirae, Fabaceae) resin, colophonium, and other essential oils has been reported.
—Blake Ebersole

(still want to use Tea Tree Oil neat? I hope not!)

Monday, June 12, 2017

What I Learned in Boulder, Pt. 5 More on Skin Problems - Itching!

Itching and Dry Skin in Palliative Care:

(Again this doesn't include the basic course material, just notes I jotted in class in addition to the presentation packet.. And although the course was about palliative care, how many of these solutions apply to daily living, not just hospice situations.)


Many different causes: Dermatological, infections, can be related to oncological conditions, or other diseases, can be side effect of treatment.  Can be caused by or trigger psychological issues.

Suggest adding Evening Primrose CO2 and Borage Seed CO2 to a base of Jojoba for treatment.

If the cause is known, can better address issues.  Even without that, if cause can't be treated we can still perform good skincare and address psychological issues.

Good base substances:  all the fatty oils,  Madeleine specifically mentioned Almond, Olive and Sesame as part of her 'basic tool kit."    Wheat Bran CO2, Evening Primrose and Sea Buckthorn Berry.

Soothing hydrosols: Witch Hazel, Helichrysum, German Chamomile and/or Lavender. 

Useful essential oils (in *very* low dilution, we don't want to risk irritating already traumatized skin!) German or Roman chamomile, Helichrysum, Lavender, Manuka (especially if infected!) Peppermint, Sandalwood, and, mentioned in class, Rose Attar. (especially when causes of itching re related to psychological issues?)

Dry Skin and Itching:

Bases:  Almond, Avocado, Borage CO2, Evening Primrose CO2, Jojoba or Olive Oil.

Essential oils (very very low dilution) Roman chamomile, Geranium, Frankincense, Rose, Sandalwood, (or Rose Attar.)  Possibly Ylangylang.     (Truly holistic care here,  because we could choose from the list oils that address other issues.)

Skin Maceration:  (long exposure to moisture, causing lesions, example, diaper rash, incontinence.)

Jojoba, with Seabuckthorn Seed CO2 and Calophyllum Inophyllum (Tamanu).      For open wounds, food grade aloe vera gel.

Essential oils:  *Helichrysum*,  German chamomile, Benzoin (my note, Benzoin is a sensitizer, I would avoid.) Lavender (preferably higher in Linalol for analgesic effect as well as healing) Sweet Marjoram, Manuka, again, for infection.

Friday, June 9, 2017

Checking them out

In a Facebook group a long time ago, someone talked about finding a new supplier, and buying a dozen oils for her first purchase. 

I cringed, and I had to comment... because when exploring a new supplier (even Nature's Gift!) it only makes sense to start slowly. 

DON'T order a dozen oils as your first time purchase... order one or two oils.. and preferably ones that you are already familiar with so you have an idea of what they should smell like.  AND, when ordering, request samples! Most reputable companies will allow them – either for free or for purchase. You do NOT have to buy full sized bottles to see if you like something. 

Let's say you are going to investigate companies 1, 2, 3 and 4.

From Company 1: order.. (Picking oils at random here) citrus sinensis (sweet orange)...and request samples of .. mentha piperita, (peppermint), Cedrus atlantica, (Atlas Cedarwood,) Anthemis nobilis (Roman Chamomile).
From Company 2: you order the Peppermint, and request samples of Sweet orange, Atlas Cedarwood and Roman Chamomile.

From Company 3: order the Atlas Cedarwood and get samples of the others. This will give you, for a minimal investment, a range of 4 oils from different known suppliers.. and you can test them
aromatically yourself and see if you have a preference. 

YES, you'll pay, proportionally, more shipping by ordering only one oil rather than a dozen... but the point of this exercise is educating yourself.  Think of the additional shipping charges as tuition in your aromatic education.

Does this make sense? It truly is the BEST way to acquaint yourself with new suppliers.

ALWAYS request samples. if a company won't allow you to sample.. I would not buy from them.
Some companies have samples for sale at reasonable prices, some offer them for free.

When you have read about a new oil and are interested in trying it, don't jump in and order 15 mls without experiencing it first.  Find a supplier or two or three who offer it and request samples. In most cases there will be small difference between batches, and you can see if you are drawn to the oil or if your reactions is, "No, I don't THINK so!"   

One last thought - TAKE NOTES!.   I have some small samples on my desk, with a product name, but no producer's name.  Lovely samples, but I have no idea of the source, so I can't order. Partially the supplier's fault for not putting their contact information on their label, but also partially my fault for not listing what they were, who they were from, and my reaction the day I opened them.