Friday, April 27, 2018

CO2 Aromatics

What we first think of when contemplating CO2 extracts, the Aromatics are similar to our beloved essential oils and/or absolutes, but with sometimes small, subtle differences and  sometimes dramatic differences.

As I said at the beginning of this series, on the first article about CO2 extracted lipids/fixed oils,  I owe a great deal to four individuals who have taught me most of what I know about these relatively new CO2 extracts.
Immense gratitude to Madeleine Kerkhof, author of "Complementary Nursing in End of Life Care" and the just published "CO2 Extracts in Aromatherapy" and Mark Webb, of AromaMedix.Inc. in Australia, author of "Bush Sense" for their generous sharing of their expertise, as well as my friends Peter May, PhD from Flavex and Atanas Krachmarov, from Ecomaat, two gentlemen who prove that one can prosper in this industry with ethics and integrity. Much gratitude to all of you.  Thank you for sharing your knowledge and experience so generously.

This is a list of the thirty plus aromatic CO2s that I am familiar with, and have worked with.

Ajowan CO2

Ajowan Seeds

Trachyspermum ammi L., Organically produced from dried fruits in India, CO2 Select Extracted in Germany
Ajowan Fruit Co2 Extract is new to us, recommended by my mentor, Madeleine Kerkhof-Hayes.  The seeds are small and grayish in color, with an appearance similar to Caraway seeds.  The oil is a clear, light yellowish color, viscous with a strong aroma due to its high Thymol (Thyme) content and quite pungently spicy.  While you probably won’t be making a beautiful perfume blend with this oil, as you come to know more about it and use it, you will find yourself reaching for it more and more due to its wide range of beneficial activity.

Ajowan, also known as Bishop’s Weed or Ajwain, originally came from the Mediterranean region, including Egypt where its seeds were used for everything from coughs, to colds, and allergies, and as remedy for tummy upsets and flatulence.  Today it is produced mostly in India.  Interestingly, the fruit has a seed-like appearance.  From the same family as Cumin and Parsley, Apiaceae (Umbelliferae).
The producer says it is antiseptic, anti-inflammatory, anti-oxidative, anti-fungal, antibacterial and anti-spasmodic, so you can see how it could be beneficial in a variety of blends.  In addition to its helpfulness as a physical remedy, Kerkhof-Hayes says about it, “Its deep round smell can be like a blanket around you for emotional cold or as a boost when self-confidence is lacking.”
Due to its high Thymol content, it could be a skin or mucous membrane irritant and Robert Tisserand recommends maximum dermal use should be at no more than 1.4%.*  It is stimulating physically and emotionally and can cause headache and nausea in some individuals.  It is also blood thinning and although generally regarded as safe (GRAS), it is not recommended for use if one is using anticoagulants (blood thinners) or has cardiovascular issues.

This oil has a wide range of potential biological and pharmacological uses which will become clearer as more study and research is conducted.

Anise, Star, CO2

Ilicium verum, CO2 Select extraction, organically produced in Germany from dried fruit ecologically grown in Vietnam.

We have never offered Star Anise essential oil because its high level of trans anethole (75 - 95%) can carry risks during pregnancy, breastfeeding, endometriosis, and estrogen dependent cancers. However, these same cautions apply to all the “licorice scented” oils ... Fennel, Aniseed, Aniseed Myrtle. And we were requested to make this aromatic delight available.
Star Anise
Upon further investigation, we discovered that this CO2 extract is much lower in methyl chavicol (estragole)  and is relatively safer to use for those who are NOT pregnant or nursing, than its steam distilled equivalent, and it's aroma is far superior.   Aromatically softer and sweeter than ANY distilled aniseed or star anise that I have ever experienced, star anise CO2 should have similar therapeutic benefits to Aniseed Oil.
I have seen the essential oil recommended for respiratory problems, asthmatic bronchitis or coughing spasms. It is said to be a circulatory stimulant, and helpful with rheumatism and muscular aches and pains. Like the other anethole high oils it is recommended for various digestive problems.
Star Anise is an important spice in traditional Chinese medicine, and aromatically and essential part of any aromatic Chai Spice blend. (My first introduction to this delightful aromatic was as a flavoring agent in an herbal chai cordial.)

SAFETY: As well as the cautions mentioned above, Robert Tisserand adds that high oral doses of any trans-anethole containing oil should be avoided in conjunction with anti-coagulant drugs, major surgery, childbirth, peptic ulcer, hemophilia or other bleeding disorders. Also use is cautioned as it may affect diabetes.

Buddha Wood CO2 Extract

Eremophila mitchellii, Subcritical CO2 Extraction (SCFE) from heartwood and bark, Australia.
Buddha Wood grove
(Also known as False Sandalwood or Desert Rosewood.)

Once again Australia gives us an interesting essential oil, golden brown, quite woody, lightly sweet and faintly smoky.
Initially it smells deeper and woody but on dry down becomes quite light in aroma, although it is often listed as a “medium” or even a “base” note in perfumery. I (Christi) find it pleasant and reassuring like an old friend and think it would work quite nicely in a woodsy blend, offering a lightness not often found in most wood oils.
Some compare it to Rosewood, but I don’t smell any similarities as Rosewood carries a much deeper note than this particular oil.
Our Australian mentor, Mark Webb, says it effectively kills bed bugs.  It is a known insecticide and repellant. (More on that below)
Buddha Wood is said to be a helpful pain reliever as an analgesic for aching joints and muscles as part of a massage blend. However, the unique chemical constituent profile shows it is high (nearly 100%) in sesquiterpene ketones and normally 30–60% eremophilon. Due to the high ketone content it should be treated with respect and not used on a daily basis for pain relief and it should not ever be ingested.
Buddha Wood’s best use is in a diffuser or blend to clear a space or room of negative or unwanted energy or for meditation/relaxation purposes.
Some tout its fixative value in blending.
This evergreen grows as a flowering bush or small tree with a light bark, mainly found in New South Wales and Queensland. The wood is known for its fragrant aroma when burned and has been used to scent incense over the centuries. The oil is harvested from both the wood and bark.
In recent years, ongoing research has shown the oil extraction to be anti-termite (repellant and insecticide). The heartwood itself was first found to be termite resistant, thus the research into the effectiveness of the essential oil. Companies are springing up across Europe to treat and prevent termites with the oil extract as a main component and a number of patents have been issued for products using Buddha Wood Oil. Further, early promising research is ongoing for its possible cytotoxic effects on several varieties of human cancer cells, as well as preliminary indications it may also be antimicrobial and antibacterial. It is too early to be certain as the research continues.
Mark Webb states that the eremophilone content of Buddha Wood makes it effective at repelling mosquitoes, fleas, ticks, and bedbugs, and that it has very low toxicity.

WARNING: Robert Tisserand says there are no known contraindications or hazards.

Caraway Seed CO2

Carum carvi, CO2 extracted from organic seeds, Germany.

Caraway Seeds
Superior digestive oil, the clear, light yellow liquid emits a warm, sweet yet spicy aroma, and reminds me of warm, fresh, bread baking in the oven, good for uplifting, invigorating, and stimulating the senses. The seeds of this herb related closely to Coriander, Cumin, and Fennel, have been used for flavoring cheese, bread, cakes, and vegetables throughout Europe for hundreds if not thousands of years.
Gabriel Mojay says Caraway represents steadfast determination and constant commitment in Aromatherapy for Healing the Spirit and indicates it aids with centering and “earthing” a restless, nervous, or mercurial mind.
On the digestive front, Battaglia says it has a calming effect on stomach disorders and general bowel complaints including flatulence, stomach cramps, bloating, indigestion, and diarrhea, as well as menstrual cramps. It is considered an appetite stimulant. In the UK it is used for promoting milk secretions in nursing mothers. Shirley Price says due to its gentle expectorant qualities, it is an excellent oil for the respiratory system including bronchitis. She further says it is one of the best oils for combating vertigo. High in carvone (45–65%) and limonene (35–55%), Caraway is anti-catarrhal, antimicrobial, antiseptic, antispasmodic, astringent, diuretic, digestive, and expectorant. Non-toxic and nonirritating although it may cause dermal irritation in concentration or as a mild irritant on mucous membranes.
Warning: Kurt Schnaubelt reports it is contraindicated for tumors.  If using topically I would use at a 1% to 1.5% dilution.
BLENDS WELL WITH: Marjoram, Orange, or Fennel for digestive complaints.

Cardamom Seed CO2

Elettaria cardomomum, dried seeds organically grown in Guatemala, CO2 Select, extracted in Germany.

This delightfully sunny gentle spice oil  is much higher in Limonene than its distilled
Cardamom Seeds
counterpart, and much lower in 1,8-cineole. I fell in love with its light citrusy spice aroma.
When comparing to our distilled organic Cardamom Essential Oil, I would expect the CO2 extracted Cardamom would be less effective as a respiratory oil, because of the lower level of 1,8-cineole. However, for digestive issues, it should be at least as effective, and emotionally I think it will shine.  Mark Webb, of reminds me that the CO2 extracted Cardamom Oil will have enhanced anti-spasmodic effects because of its higher level of esters. This would make it shine in any digestive blend.
Like our distilled oil, it should blend well with the Citrus Oils, the Conifers, and Frankincense and Rose, among other oils.

I am going to flavor a jar of honey and of sugar for morning coffee and/or bedtime tea.

Carrot Seed CO2

Daucus carota, ethically farmed, CO2 select extracted from seeds

Carrot Seed CO2
Love the anti-aging effects of distilled Carrot Seed Oil but find it's 'earthy' aroma hard to deal with? You are going to LOVE this CO2 Select extract!  All the skincare benefits, but with a much lighter and sweeter aroma.
My mentor Madeleine Kerkhof says, of Carrot Seed CO2 extract, Carrot Seed oil will help keep you grounded, while, at the same time, enhances creativity.  She recommends the aroma of Carrot Seed CO2 select to comfort newborns, to make them feel welcome and at home in this strange new world.  Most of all, she recommends Carrot Seed oil to maintain the skin's elasticity and in blends to help heal scars.
In our description of the DISTILLED carrot seed oil, I write, "It does not have an especially pleasant scent, so I usually blend it with Frankincense or Neroli, but for skin care products it is unequalled. It is believed to stimulate the red blood cells, adding tone and elasticity to the skin. There are those who swear it reduces or prevents wrinkles; it is known for its regenerative powers after severe burns. I include it in my scar treating/reducing blends. This is a “must have” oil for those of us who have, as one friend says, “experienced skin.”
The Carotol in Carrot Seed oil is a powerful anti-fungal agent, which makes Carrot seed CO2 a likely addition to anti-fungal skincare blends.   The beta-caryophyllene may help lighten and brighten your complexion.
When it comes to this yummy CO2 extract, you can delete the reference to the unpleasant scent, but keep all the advantages.
We recommend blending the Carrot Seed CO2 with your choice of anti-aging fixed and essential oils, especially with Rose Hip Seed CO2 and Rose Hip Pulp.
Aromatically, it is said to blend well with Bergamot, Juniper, Lavender, Lemon, Lime, Neroli, Orange, Petitgrain, Rosemary.

Celery Seed CO2

Apium graveolens, seed oil, CO2 total, contains both essential oil and lipid components. Seeds grown in India, CO2 extracted in Germany.

Celery Seed CO2 as green as it smells!
Oh my goodness!  Jim brought me a scent strip of this new Celery Seed Extract and I wanted to eat it! Crisp, green, crunchy... it smells like the ultimate stalk of fresh Celery.  Not what I had expected!  Very yummy.
But we didn't bring it in because it smells yummy.  Celery Seed CO2 is a powerful diuretic, a detoxifier, and a tonic for the urinary system.
Madeleine Kerkhof recommends it for treating gout, for pain stemming from inflammation, for edema, in a sitz bath for treating cystitis, for cleansing and detox.  If fluid retention is contributing to high blood pressure it could be helpful for that, as well.
This powerful aromatic extract will probably be most useful by inhalation, either just from a tissue, or from a personal inhaler.   For topical use, normally used in 1 or 2%, although you could go as high as 4% for a small area.  Madeleine says to avoid use with small children and avoid topical use while pregnant.

More to come!


Unknown said...

may i ask from what german supplier youre talking about?

thanks :-)

Marge said...

Sorry, but no. We do not share our suppliers information.