Wednesday, May 9, 2018

CO2 Herbal Extracts

Not Lipids, very low in essential oils, we have chosen to call this last category of our CO2 extracts "Herbal Extracts."  The title fits at least some, if not all.

Arnica CO2

Arnica montana, organically produced blossoms, standardized in sunflower oil, Germany.
Arnica Blossoms

Extracted from the blossom of Arnica montana standardized in sunflower oil to give a predictable proportion of healing sesquiterpene lactones (SQLs). These are the ingredients that give Arnica its effects.

Traditionally, oil infused with Arnica blossoms has been used for easing pain, swelling and inflammation caused by bruises, sprains, muscle aches, wound healing, superficial phlebitis, rheumatic pain, inflammation from insect bites, and swelling due to fractures. It is most frequently recommended for “soft tissue” pain, for muscles and tendons.

Germany’s Commission E has approved Arnica for external use in treating injury and effects of accidents, inflammation of the mouth and throat area, and insect bites. It is DEFINITELY unsafe for internal use.

This extract of Arnica Montana should be used in very low dilutions, less than 1/2 of 1 percent in your favorite carrier oil, to ease the pain and swelling of the sort of injuries listed above.

A reminder: the CO2 Total extract is solid, or perhaps at most, semisolid.  Unless you are used to working with extremely thick extracts and absolutes, *and* used to working with extremely low dilutions, we highly recommend you look at our Arnica Infused Massage blend.  It truly is much more "user friendly."

Calendula CO2 

Calendula officinalis, organically produced, CO2 extracted from flowers, France.

Dried Calendula
The CO2 Total of the Calendula blossom is very thick and rich since it contains the plant waxes and heavier phytochemicals. It will appear solid in the bottle. Like our German Chamomile CO2, it is difficult to work with. I find warming both the CO2 and the carrier oil I want to add it to be the most effective way of blending it into skincare products. When we blend with it we add just a tiny bit of warmed carrier to the correct amount of CO2, and gradually increase the carrier as the CO2 softens and absorbs it.

This CO2 extract of the soothing Calendula has been shown to be anti-inflammatory. One research study indicated that the CO2 extract is as effective in reducing skin inflammation as the anti-inflammatory drug Indomethacin, a potent NSAID.

I have seen amazing success from the use of German Chamomile CO2 and Calendula CO2 in the healing of chronic skin ulcers.

The producer recommends using this extremely potent extract at levels of 0.1 to 0.3%. 

 Carrot Root CO2 (Helio Carrot)

 Radix Daucus carota, organically grown and CO2 extracted in Germany.

This CO2 extraction of the essence of dried carrot roots into pure Jojoba Oil is extremely high in
beta-carotene, and vitamins A and E. It is believed to be very beneficial to hair and skin.

Please note that this CO2 extraction is much more concentrated than many of the infused Carrot Root Oils available on the commercial market. The typical safflower-based infusion is meant to be used as the whole base oil in a formulation. This extract contains the CO2 extraction of 10 lbs of dried carrot root to every one lb of Jojoba, so a few drops of this rich essence would be the equivalent of ounces of infused oil.

Topical application of Helio Carrot Oil is said by many skin care experts to promote the formation of new cells and stimulate the production of sebum in dry, scaly skin, and scalp. Some authorities state that Carrot Root Extract is such a powerful anti-oxidant that it can help preserve the life of products containing it. It is also recommended by some to help prevent sun damage. Just a few drops of this enriching extract brings soothing to chapped and irritated skin. A must in formulas for aging or weathered skin. Please be aware that this extract, like many of the other beta-carotene-rich extracts, is deep orange and will temporarily color your skin.

Like most of our CO2 extracts, we recommend use at 1 or 1.5% in most skin care applications.

Mango Ginger CO2 Total

Mango Ginger Extract
Curcuma amada, extracted from dried rhizomes organically grown in India, extracted in Germany.

For centuries, the roots/rhizomes of the Mango Ginger spice have been used in tea and other concoctions as herbal remedies throughout East Asia. While a member of the Ginger (Zingiberaceae) genus, Mango Ginger (Curcuma amada), is actually part of the Turmeric species.

Our CO2 extracted oil is very thick, a deep reddish brown color, with a mild aroma Michelle describes as, “Taking a bite of ginger at a sushi bar followed immediately by a drink from a fruity tea.” (That is a flavor/taste, but scent and taste are so closely intertwined, we do get what she is saying about it!) In other words, more mango than ginger, (no raw fish!), subtly fruity with a teeny tiny hint of earthy herbaceousness.

Although anecdotally known as an herbal remedy for flatulence, dysentery, various stomach ailments; valuable research is revealing the CO2 really shines as an analgesic and anti-inflammatory, possibly due to the beta caryophyllene content. (Christi has been experimenting with a small bottle of it since January for pain relief in her “trouble” knee, added to our Arnica Massage Oil with more than satisfactory results.)

One note on working with the CO2—it is thick and paste-like, so must be warmed for use. (Not as thick as German Chamomile or Calendula, much less so, but you may have to gently warm it for a few minutes.) We have chosen to bottle it in a 15 ml glass jar, rather than our usual bottles, for ease of use. Since these jars do not have orifice reducers OR tamperproof/childproof lids please open with care and store well away from children.

The producer says it is anti-microbial, anti-oxidative, and anti-allergenic. The main naturally occurring components are monoterpenes (alpha/beta pinene, camphene, b-myrcene), monoterpene hydrocarbons (Limonene, Ocimene), and of course, sesquiterpene beta caryophyllene.

Mark Webb, of, in his recent CO2 course, recommended the use of Mango Ginger extract in topical dermatological products for treating allergic and anti-inflammatory conditions.

One promising area with future potential is in cancer research. It is “early days,” but if you visit this webpage, you will see just one such example of ongoing research that is truly remarkable. A search of PubMed reveals a number of exciting studies utilizing these precious rhizomes and we look forward to exploring its uses.

We are hearing fantastic feedback from clients using it for pain relief, especially with pain caused by inflammation.  It appears to function as a powerful anti-inflammatory agent, when applied topically at perhaps a 1 or 1.5% dilution.

As it is a newer and “time” untested extract, we would suggest avoiding use during pregnancy, by nursing mothers, and for children age 6 and under. Always dilute for use on skin. Not for internal use. Please note, Tisserand’s Essential Oil Safety 2nd Ed, shows no known contraindications. My instinct is that this oil has not been tested for irritation, toxicity, etc. Hence the safety warnings we give.

Rhatany Root CO2 Extract

Krameria Lappacea, Peruvian dried roots, CO2 total extracted in Germany.  
A rare and unusual extract from a root found in Peru.

Rhatany root extract contains all the oil soluble components of the dried botanical, stablized in 40%
Rhatany Root Extract
Olive oil. It consists of rare Rhatany lignans, neolignans and norneolignans.   These plant components are known to be anti-microbial, powerfully astringent, and anti-inflammatory. Also shown to be anti-oxidative.

The producer shows research showing its usefulness in combating radiation damage to the skin, and counteracting UV-A damage.  It is recommended for use in personal care and sunscreen products, both for its sun-protective effects and as an anti-aging ingredient.  Basically, it is believed to help the skin repair itself.

In addition to skincare uses, my mentor Madeleine Kerkhof recommends Rhatany Root for both oral care and wound care.   Its astringency will help control bleeding, while its antiinflammatory and anti-bacterial effects will make it a valued addition to any oral care blend.  She recommends it as an ingredient in food grade aloe gel based blends for mouth sores, after oral surgery, etc.

Aromatically, Christi describes it thus, "It is wonderful.  I love it.  very earthy, like grass and fresh earth being dug up but no manure!  It is a brownish orange, very thick.  It is a very masculine scent."
The manufacturer recommends using this potent extract at perhaps one half of one percent dilution (1/2 of 1%).   Madeleine uses it at up to 1% in oral care blends where bleeding is present.

 Rose Hip Fruit Total Extract

Rosa canina, CO2 extracted from the pulp of the fruit, Germany
Rose hips

The extract from the whole fruit (or berry) contains both the highly concentrated pulp extract and the liquid oil extracted from the seeds, giving the best of both worlds, the skin-saving regenerative power of Rose Hip Pulp, with the ease of use of a pourable oil.   High in linoleic acid and alpha linolenic acid.

Please note, at this writing, the Rose Hip Pulp only extract is unavailable due to crop failures.

 Rosemary Antioxidant CO2

CO2 extracted in Germany from organically produced Rosemarinus officianalis, stabilized in organic sunflower seed oil.

Rosemary Antioxidant is extracted in Germany from organic Rosemary officianalis specifically to provide us all with an anti-oxidant rich ingredient to preserve the freshness of our precious fixed oils and essential oils.

This is not an aromatherapy substitute for any of our several chemotypes of Rosemary Essential Oil.
Rosemary CO2
It is designed as an additive to short-lived fixed oils and/or essential oils, to prevent oxidation. (It is oxidation that causes degradation and rancidity in carrier oils and causes chemical changes in the short-lived essential oils, especially Citrus oils and Conifers.)

Rosemary Antioxidant also has skincare benefits in and of itself. It contains over 13% diterpene phenols which have approved antioxidant, anti-inflammatory, anti-aging and anti-microbial effects when used at the appropriate levels in skincare blends and products.

New research reveals that Rosemary antioxidant is also a promising multifunctional anti-aging agent, protecting cell componetnts against oxidation and inflammation. It also appears to have broad spectrum activity against 29 types of gram positive and gram negative pathogens, many of which specifically of concern in skincare.

Rosemary antioxidant is also said to inhibit the grown of various Candida strains.

According to Cosmetic Science Technology, Rosemary CO2 Antioxidant naturally protects stressed skin against early aging. It is not only a high active antioxidant in cosmetic products, but also possesses anti-inflammatory and antibacterial activity. It is also recommended for topical treatment of skin disorders such as acne vulgaris, seborrheic eczema and atopic dermatitis.

As an anti-oxidant, Rosemary Antioxidant is as effective an anti-oxidant at 200 ppm as is alpha-tocopherol at 500 ppm.  (IE, you may use only two parts Rosemary Antioxidant to replace five parts of Vitamin E.)

It is no wonder that the producer of the vast majority of our CO2 extracts adds Rosemary Antioxidant CO2, in low levels, to many of their CO2 extracts designed for use in skincare!

USAGE: From our producer, “Dosage for anti-oxidative efficacy is usually 0.05-0.02% and should be proportional to the concentration of oxidation sensitive components in final products. A higher dosage (up to 0.5%) will cause antimicrobial, anti-inflammatory and skin soothing effects too.” As with many of these powerful CO2 extracted ingredients, less is more. Please blend with a light hand.

Sea Buckthorn Berry Pulp Extract

Hippophae rhamnoides, wildcrafted, CO2 extracted berries from fruit pulp, Germany.
Total extracted from the fruit pulp, not from the seed
Contains: 30% palmitoleic acid, carotinoids (including a high level of beta-carotine), tocopherols, alcohols, (vitamins A, C and E). 1900 IU of Provintamine A per gram of extract.
Sea Buckthorn Berries
Sea Buckthorn Berry has been used by herbalists for millenia, but this extraction has only recently become available and seems to be taking the natural skin care industry by storm. Many of the wellknown “natural cosmetics” companies include Sea Buckthorn Berry in their skin care products, as a search of the web will quickly show you.
Bio-active substances in the oil from the seeds and pulp are used in a variety of dermatological applications, among them anti-aging face creams and lotions and (since the extract seems to absorb UV rays) in sun care products. My research indicates that these Sea Buckthorn products appear to promote cell tissue building thus aiding in the healing of wounds, and restoring skin tissue.
An international natural bath and beauty chain adds the plant’s oil to its sunscreen products as both a sun-block and tan-enhancer. European cosmeticians sell anti-wrinkle creams made from Sea Buckthorn. (Please note, because of Sea Buckthorn's high level of betacarotene, the oil is a deep reddish orange and unless used in extremely weak dilutions can colour your skin. If you want a “bronzing oil” this is your choice!)
Clinical experiments in Shantow Tropical Disease Hospital and the Shanxi Pharmaceutical Research Institute indicate cosmetics containing Sea Buckthorn extracts can actually improve metabolism and retard skin maturation, thus slowing the aging process, possibly because of the effects of its high levels of Vitamins A and E.
Sea Buckthorn Oil is said to have proven effective in the treatment of skin conditions including burns, skin ulcers, cancer, acne, and dermatitis of various forms. Russian cosmonauts use its oil for protection against radiation burns in space.
Current research indicates that not only does it enhance immune activity and disease resistance, but it also destroys harmful free radicals found in our bodies. Aubrey Organics, on their web page, state that Sea Buckthorn’s high levels of Vitamin A and Vitamin E are the perfect free radical scavenger for your skin. I have read, but can not verify, that hair care products made with Sea Buckthorn had the effect of retarding baldness and improving hair growth.
In my opinion 1 or 2% dilution in the carrier oil of your choice should be sufficient to give your skin the beneficial effects. I am personally experimenting with a 10% dilution on one side of my face every night, while using Rose Hip Seed Oil on the other side. Ask me in a month if there is a visible difference. Much of the Sea Buckthorn Berry extract on the market today is from China. The Chinese extractions are lower priced, but are extracted from the kernel, not the pulp of the berry. These extractions have significantly lower levels of the tocopherols, and practically no vitamin C. They are so low in vitamin E that the producer is adding rosemary extract in an attempt to preserve them. The high level of natural vitamin E in this extract should give it a shelf life of well over one year.
Follow up note, because people keep asking me about the “experiment” above. What I decided to do was blend the Rose Hip Extract into the Sea Buckthorn Berry and get the advantages of both. I also found that 10% was far too strong a dilution…it left my pillowcase orange. 1% is enough.

Monday, May 7, 2018

CO2 Aromatics - Part 5

(I think I had forgotten how many we really have!)

Roses...  The CO2 extracted Roses are much closer aromatically to a Rose Absolute, than they are to Rose Otto, and are most often preferred.  We know of two.

Rose Oils Uses:

The ultimate woman's oil, Rose Oil is calming, and supportive. In my experience nothing strengthens a woman's spirit as well as true rose oil.  Rose has no parallel in treating grief, hysteria, or depression.

Rose oil is believed by many to help balance female hormones, regulate the menstrual cycle, and ease the discomforts of PMS and menopause. In Europe it is used to treat genito-urinary infections. Sexual difficulties also respond well to Rose's gentle support.  It is helpful to all skin types. 

Blends With:

All the different Roses blend especially well with the Citrus oils, Cedarwoods, Frankincense, Jasmine, Lemongrass, Mandarine, Patchouli, Sandalwood, and Vetiver. Rose and Sandalwood are one of my favorite perfume blends, any proportion works well. Sandalwood with a hint of Rose is lovely for a man's cologne; Rose with a touch of Sandalwood works beautifully for women. Either make a wonderfully romantic massage oil. For emotional healing, for grief, Frankincense and Rose together are unsurpassed, perhaps with a touch of Spikenard.

Rosa Alba (White Rose) CO2

Rosa alba, organically produced, CO2 extracted, Bulgaria

Rose Alba
The rare and precious white rose from Bulgaria’s Valley of the Roses is a direct descendant of the ancient Rosa Gallica, one of the oldest members of the rose family. The Rosa Alba has a much more intense aroma than Rosa Damascena, source of our traditional Rose Otto. A very special luxury indeed.

This total extraction is thick and creamy. We have found that it responds well to gentle warming, and will dilute very easily in slightly warmed Jojoba Oil. We have not had success diluting it in our Fractionated Coconut Oil. The producer has mentioned having success in diluting in other fixed oils, but the ones he mentioned are shorter lived and I would not blend a rare and costly aromatic into a short-lived carrier oil.

It is Rosa Alba that was the heart of our Solace blend,  developed to support those affected directly by the 911 attacks in 2001.

The CO2 extraction method yields a product closer in aroma to the raw botanical…in this case the true white rose…than does the process of distillation. More of the aromatic chemicals come through the process, and yet there are no solvents used as found in our Rose Absolutes. This wonderful CO2 extract may be the ultimate pure and natural rose oil. 

Rosa Damascena CO2

Rosa damascena, organically produced, CO2 extracted, Bulgaria.

This lush, rich CO2 extract is from the same rose harvest that gives us our classic, organic Rose Otto from Bulgaria’s Valley of the Roses.

The CO2 extraction method yields a product closer in aroma to the raw botanical than does the
Rosa Damascena
process of distillation. More of the aromatic chemicals come through the process, and yet there are no solvents used as found in our Rose Absolutes. This wonderful CO2 extract may be the ultimate pure and natural rose oil. Because it contains some of the floral waxes that are not found in distillation, it will require gentle warming to liquify. We suggest warming and diluting upon receipt, since repeated warming are not going to enhance its shelf life.

Because the CO2 process produces more of the precious rose oil than does the process of distillation, this beauty costs a bit less than traditonal Rose Otto. We are delighted to make it available to you. I personally plan to use it in all my rose concoctions, rather than the Rose Otto I have always used.

Sage CO2 Select 

Salvia officinalis CO2 Select, ethically cultivated, Sage leaves, Germany

Sage leaves
From the mint family, Dalmatian Sage, True or Common Sage, has a distinctly strong, herbal aroma.  It grows around the world but is abundant in the Mediterranean and on the coast and islands of the Adriatic Sea. Aromatically it is both herbaceous and camphoric, somewhat “medicinal,” and invigorating.

High in Thujone and Camphor, which makes it an oil to be respected.  Never ever (can’t say this enough) orally ingest this oil for it is a neurotoxin.  (Please don't ingest any oil for that matter, just no!)
With its powerful components, there are so many beneficial uses: inflammation, oily skin, memory and mood enhancement, as an antibacterial, antimicrobial, antibiotic, antimutagenic, antioxidant, and antifungal.  It is also carminative, antiseptic, astringent, and according to some sources, antispasmodic.

Dr. Daniel Penoel recommends it for wound treatment/scarring. (We reach for Helichrysum in Rose Hip Seed for scarring but find his recommendation/experience interesting and want to share it.)
Perhaps most amazing is ongoing research suggesting Salvia officinalis may improve cognition and recall. There is a distinct possibility it could benefit Alzheimer’s patients in the future because it additionally seems to calm agitation as dosage increases.  (Research indicates Salvia officinalis is most effective in a blend with Rosemary officinalis and Melissa officinalis for cognition and memory recall.)  Greek Sage Triloba (Fruticosa) may also be beneficial for memory issues.

According to Robert Tisserand, maximum dermal use is 0.4% for the essential oil.

WARNING: AVOID during PREGNANCY, while Breast-Feeding, with High Blood Pressure and with seizure disorders.  Contraindications:  Should never be taken in oral doses (internally).  Danger of neurotoxicity due to Thujone content.

Sandalwood CO2 

Santalum spicatum, ethically cultivated from Western Australia

This new CO2 extraction is from a harvest of cultivated trees in West Australia. We find it aromatically far superior to the distilled WA Sandalwood we have offered, and have been taught that it offers all the therapeutic benefits.

My Australian colleagues stress the anti-bacterial and anti-inflammatory effects of Santalum spicatum, effective against a broad range of gram positive and negative bacteria, including both streptococcus and Staphylococcus aureus, as well as being effective against candida.. In fact, according to Mark Webb, Australian Sandalwood has proven more effective than Tea Tree against staph, and at least as effective as Tea Tree in battling candida. The oil’s high farnesol content has shown it to be useful against acne, as well as the fungi causing ringworm and athlete’s foot.

In discussing this CO2 Select extraction, Mark said, "The select Co2 also pulls out  the sandalac resinoids from the wood, hence the colour. It has improved uses in wound care a bit like myrrh, but with stronger anti-inflammatory properties."

I would use this delightful extract as a skin care oil for the men in your life; and am thinking how useful it would be added to our Organic Liquid Castile. Aromatically superb and a power germkiller...that’s a hard combination to beat.

In another venue Mark commented, “WA Sandalwood CO2 is a complex, deeply spiritual, psychologically and physically therapeutic aromatic whose constituent chemistry is far more complex than its northern relatives. A fitting example of what the Great Southern Land produces.”

Sandalwood has been considered a "sacred oil" for millennia and is believed to be a wonderful ingredient in any meditative blend, helping to calm the mind and prepare you to enter a meditative state.

Thyme CO2

Thymus vulgaris., CO2 Select extracted from organically grown dried leaves

Christi writes, "For me, Thyme oil is on par with Oregano as a “go-to” oil for fighting infections, particularly of the respiratory type.  Phenol-rich with Thymol as its most abundant and outstanding component, Thyme CO2 is beneficial for numerous physical ailments including: coughs, colds, flu, sinus problems, pleurisy, flatulence, digestion, halitosis, cramps, edema (swelling), improving circulation and as an immune stimulant.

Blossoming Thyme
This reddish Brown Select Extract contains from between 60 and 90% Thyme essential oil, primarily Thymol and Para-cymol, with Carvacrol, Borneol, Linalool, Caryophyllene among others.

Thyme oil is antibacterial, antibiotic, anti-microbial, antiseptic/astringent, antioxidant, anti-catarrhal, anti-infectious, anti-spasmodic, anti-tussive and anti-inflammatory. Additionally, it is powerful against many strains of strep and staph and is a bactericide, as well as highly anti-fungal (candida) and expectorant.

If you are not a fan of the aroma of distilled Thyme thymol, which can be a bit over-powering; Thyme Co2’s fragrance (unlike the steam distilled oil), is more woody and herbaceous than medicinal.  The oil is warming and stimulating mentally.

Regarding the CO2, Author and Educator Madeleine Kerkhof says, “I feel this extract is more intense but milder to the skin and mucosa.”  Kerkhof recommends a 1-1.5% dilution for topical use in adults.  (Reduce for geriatric use.)  Avoid during pregnancy and do not use with children.  Note that Thyme can be a mucous membrane irritant.  It should not ever be used undiluted on the skin.
Tisserand and Kerkhof both advise caution for individuals on any type of blood thinner.

Turmeric CO2 Total

Curcuma longa, CO2 extracted in Germany from organically grown rhizomes grown and dried in India. 

Turmeric Roots
We have all read of Turmeric’s anti-oxidant and anti-inflammatory effects. This golden yellow oil has a delightful aroma, mildly spicy, sweet and fresh with an earthy note underlying it. When poured into the beaker it appears a deeper gold, but we notice that when we are pouring it out of the beaker, the glass is coated with a bright, fluorescent yellow. Neon yellow. This will stain if you spill it.

We recommend it in pain relief blends, especially for joint pain, arthritis, any sort of pain caused by inflammation. The oil is high in some unique ketones, the turmerones, and may be expected to be anti-inflammatory, calming, and either analgesic or anti-spasmodic. It should also be very effective at respiratory support, and at supporting the health of the gastro-intestinal system. However, because many ketones are not effectively metabolized by the liver, we suggest using caution with this new oil and using it in low dilution.

Less often cited are Turmeric oil’s anti-fungal effects. I came across a research study showing the effect of Turmeric oil against Trichophyton rubrum, the fungus most often cited as the cause of athlete’s foot, nail fungal infections, jock itch, and ringworm. Although the study was done on guinea pigs, a dilution of Turmeric would certainly seem worth trying.

Please note, the extract does contain the curcuminoids found in the powdered spice, but only in trace amounts, so when researching the uses of the oil it is important to clarify whether the research applies to the volatile oil, to the turmerones, or to curcumin.
Safety: Although there are no known safety warnings about this oil I would avoid its use with babies and during pregnancy. Actually the only contraindications I could find were for oral use, for individuals taking anti-diabetes medication.

Javanese Turmeric CO2 

 Curcuma xanthorrhiza, produced from dried roots, organically grown in Indonesia, and produced in Germany. (Sometimes called "Temulawak" or "Indonesian Turmeric.)

A unique CO2 from the Ginger (Zingiberaceae) family, which we are continuing to explore, having
recently added some lovely Ginger CO2 extracts, Plai, Fingerroot and Turmeric to our offering of oils, among others such as Cardamom and steam distilled Ginger.

Javanese Turmeric is sometimes known as Javanese Ginger or Temulawak. I have read numerous reports of its anti-oxidant and anti-inflammatory effects. This extract has a delightful aroma, mildly spicy, sweet, and a bit earthy. Interestingly, while a bulk amount appears deep reddish-orange (see pic), when using a pipette, in smaller amounts you see more of a yellow-golden hue, which is what one would expect.
We look forward to trying it out in all our various pain relief blends, especially for joint pain, arthritis, any sort of pain caused by inflammation.

Javanese Turmeric is quite gentle and can be helpful for oral care, when added to mouthwash, toothpaste, breath fresheners or chewing gum. The producer says it is recommended for use against strep/staph mutans or other oral pathogens in the mouth, some of which cause tooth decay. Think of blending it with Myrrh for oral care! Both are bitter tasting, so finding a way to mask the taste would be advisable. It is also helpful in combating bad breath.

We are excited about the future of this exciting oil and others in the ginger family. An article in the International Journal of Molecular Sciences, June 2013, outlines research studies with potential uses from anti-inflammatory to possible anti-tumor activity.

Javanese Turmeric’s use in cosmetics, flavoring, and other products is on the rise in this decade as we consider its promising beneficial future.
Also said to be calming and soothing mentally and emotionally.
Madeleine Kerkhof teaches that this Javanese Turmeric extract (which she calls "Temulawak")is highly anti-inflammatory, and recommended for wound healing.

NOTE: The CO2 extract contains close to 80% curcumenes.
Safety: Although there are no known safety warnings about this oil I would avoid its use with babies and during pregnancy.

Vanilla CO2 

Vanilla Beans
Because this CO2 extract of the familiar vanilla bean contains over 12% vanillin it is far richer, sweeter, and more aromatic than any other form of vanilla I have experienced. Sensual, warm and aphrodisiac, this CO2 extraction contains no solvent residues (found in the more familiar Vanilla Absolute). Organically produced.

Emotionally, Vanilla Oil is warming and welcoming, an ideal destressor. It is said to ease stress, anger, and frustration…giving a feel of comfort, perhaps because it recalls warm childhood memories?

Physically, it is said to induce menstruation. I have friends who use it, diluted in honey, in herbal tea to ease menstrual problems. For this reason I would avoid it in the early stages of pregnancy.

Add a drop or two to your favorite carrier oil for a romantic massage base. A dilution in either oil or alcohol will sweeten and smooth any aromatic perfume blend.

Its comforting sweet aroma softens any blend…wonderful with citrus oils, softens the coniferous oils…add a drop to your holiday scents!

Add a drop to a jar of honey for aromatic sweetening for tea or coffee, or add a single drop to your sugar bowl for vanilla sugar. I've added a drop or three to a pound of ground coffee…wonderful. This CO2 Vanilla is safe as a flavoring for internal use…try flavoring your favorite lip balm recipe with a drop.

This exquisite aromatic is VERY intense and requires use in extremely low dilutions for its sweetness to be apparent. Please note that undiluted Vanilla CO2 is very thick. It most likely will not come out of the orifice reducer in the bottle. It may be necessary to remove the orifice reducer and pour or pipette the oil out.  We recommend warming in hot water prior to trying to work with it.

End of the Series on Aromatic CO2 extracts. Go back to Part 4 here.

Still to come: CO2 Herbal Extracts - neither volatiles (like the aromatics) nor lipids (like the fixed/carrier oils) these are some of the most skin-healing CO2 extracts available.

Friday, May 4, 2018

CO2 Aromatics - Part 4

  Someone asked if I am not duplicating what they would find in Madeleine Kerkhof's new and much acclaimed book, CO2 Extracts in Aromatherapy. The answer is, not at all. Madeleine is my teacher and my mentor, but if you will read her book you will see that she often references me.  The GIFT of her book is the much more expansive uses for each of the CO2s that she covers. She gives therapeutic uses from years of nursing experience and teaching, far more than we can share here.  The point of these blog articles are both to collect the information we have in one easily referenced place, and to intrigue you to learn more, by either purchasing her book, (referenced above) or to study directly with her.

Now, on to the aromatics:

Hops CO2

Humulus lupulus, CO2 extracted from blossoms in Germany.

I’ve seen Hops extract highly recommended for use in deodorants or for foot-care products. The
Hops Blossoms
lipophilic ingredients, humulones and lupulones, are highly antibacterial (primarily against gram positive bacteria) which are responsible for the deodorant activity. 

Please note that Hops Extract is proven effective at dilutions as low as 0.1 to 0.2% (that is 1/10th or 2/10ths of one percent), literally a single drop per ounce of base. This would be in an oil-based product. I am contemplating infusing a drop or two in some clay or arrowroot powder for a deodorant powder.
Please note that at cool room temperature this extract is quite thick, ranging from the texture of molasses to semi-solid. You will want to warm it gently before pouring it.

Juniper Berry CO2

Juniperus communis, organically produced, CO2 Select extracted from Juniper Berries in Germany. (Berries grown in Macedonia.)  

Juniper Berries
Softer and aromatically rounder this CO2 select is a wonderful alternative to the traditional Distilled Juniper Berry Oil.

It is in the energetic effects of Juniper Berry Oil that this select extract truly shines.  My mentor Madeleine Kerkhof says that it is extremely uplifting, with both an uplifting and grounding effect, simulataneously, as well as purifying and banishing emotional and spiritual negativity.  The ancient tradition of the use of Juniper to cleanse and repel negative energy spans rituals and cultures around the world.

Emotionally Juniper Berry Extract is said to aid with anxiety and fears, giving a feeling of safety and protection.  Madeleine Kerkhof recommends blending with White Sage essential oil or Sage CO2 for transitions.

Physical effects of Juniper Essential Oil
Physically, Juniper Berry Oil is a diuretic and is often included in anti-cellulite and detoxifying blends. It is an essential component of any detoxifying blend, said by many to help with recovery from too much rich food or drink.
Rosemary Caddy recommends Juniper Oil for treating gout, since, she says, it expels uric acid from the body. (Perhaps blended in St. John’s Wort Oil for its anti-inflammatory effect?)
Juniper is antimicrobial for a wide range of bacteria (airborne, staph, strep, etc.) and can be used for respiratory complaints (inhalation).  Juniper Oil is said to help recover from hangovers. (I remember reading this in a Valerie Worwood book 25 years ago!.)  It may be helpful with arthritis and rheumatism.

Skin Care Uses of Juniper Oil
In skin care it is said to aid in balancing oily skin and hair (thinking it would make a lovely blend with Geranium, perhaps a man’s blend?).
A facial steam with juniper oil is a wonderful aid to balancing oily skin or to soften blackheads.

Energetic Uses of Juniper Essential Oil

Energetically, Juniper is said to clean the atmosphere of a room, clearing negativity from rooms or from people. (Similar to the cleansing effects of white sage.) There are those who recommend its use meditation for centering and drawing loving energy.
WARNINGS:Robert Tisserand advises that Commission E Monographs indicates that it may cause kidney damage or irritation.  Robert found no evidence to support this, nor the pregnancy/fetal dangers.  Regulatory guidelines still say that it may cause damage to kidneys.

BLENDS WITH: Cypress, Eucalyptus, Grapefruit, Lemon, Fennel, Rosemary.

Lavender CO2

Lavandula angustifolia, CO2 extract, organically grown and extracted in Bulgaria.

The process of CO2 Extraction gives an oil closer aromatically to the fresh Lavender blossom than
Lavender buds
any steam-distilled oil can. When ordering our last batch of CO2’s from our Bulgarian producer, I requested a sample of his Lavender Select extraction. And I fell in love.

This CO2 select extracted from FRESH Bulgarian lavender blossoms is without a doubt the most exquisite Lavender I have ever experienced. If you want to scent your room, your linens, yourself, with an absolutely beautiful, fresh floral lavender oil, this is the one for you. This CO2 extraction is truly an exquisite aromatic! We have offered Lavender CO2 extract in the past, and I bragged on its aroma, but this far surpasses our earlier offering, which was produced from the dried blossoms, rather than the fresh. Who knew there would be such a difference?
Use in normal aromatherapy dilutions.

 Lilac CO2 

Syringa Vulgaris, CO2 Total, organically produced from wild Lilacs in Bulgaria.

 When I was a child, my neighbor's 20 foot tall Lilac bush bloomed under my bedroom window.  The intoxicating aroma perfumed my dreams on early summer nights.
Several years ago we received a sample of this rare extract, and declined to import it. The aroma was just too weak.  But my friend and mentor Madeleine Kerkhof teaches its use, so I decided to try again.  What a difference! The undiluted (and very solid) Total Extract is still too mildly scented, but we warmed a wee bit, warmed 90% Organic Jojoba Oil (by weight, not volume) and ah! the difference. It is still softly and subtly scented, but definitely Lilac. It will never be an assertive aroma, never overwhelm the space you are in, but we find it lovely, subtle, and evocative.
A drop of the diluted extract on my wrist, and the warmth of my skin brings the aroma I remember from my childhood.
Madeleine recommends using the essence at only two or three %, and says that this lovely Lilac essence is "relaxing, soothing, and harmonizing.  It is said to promote love and optimism, to be sweetly relaxing."
I believe it is an instant nostalgia trip for those who grew up near lilac bushes. For me, it is a de-stressor. It is said to be helpful in blends for grief, for issues with unconditional love. I defy anyone to breathe this sweet essence and not smile.

Linden Blossom CO2 Select

Tilia cordata, extracted from certified organic blossoms, grown and produced in Bulgaria.  

What a delightful surprise.  In the past we have offered a Linden blossom Total extract that was extremely thick,  not at all pourable, but rather, spreadable.  Even when diluted in Jojoba it thickened upon standing.  A challenge to pour and bottle!

This delightfully aromatic select is liquid, pourable! Well worth the slight increase in price for the ease of use. Aromatically this is very different from the Linden Blossom absolute that we offered years ago. It has a floral note, but is much greener, as though leaves as well as blossoms had been extracted.

Wonderful, alone or in blends, for reducing tension. Robert Tisserand cites Linden Blossom in blends to detoxify and decongest the skin. Some authorities call this lovely essence "lime blossom," but it has no relation to the citrus family.  We recommend using in normal perfumery or aromatherapy dilutions.

 BLENDS WITH: Frankincense, Geranium, Jasmine, Rose, Tuberose, Lemon, Orange, Mandarine, Neroli, Petitgrain, Sandalwood, Clove, Ylangylang, Black Pepper, and Ginger.

 Marjoram, Sweet, CO2 

Origanum majorana, CO2 Select, extracted from dried leaves in Germany.

This CO2 extracted oil is much more vibrant and alive, aromatically, than our distilled oil. We have taken to using this in blending for both relaxation and for the antispasmodic action Sweet Marjoram is famed for.
Sweet Marjoram
True story from our website designer: “My grandmother used to make meat loaf with marjoram in it, and every time I see or smell the herb, I think of her and am immediately calmed.”

Grandma was onto something. Sweet Marjoram has a calming, sedative action— and this CO2 extract is much more relaxing than our distilled Sweet Marjoram Essential Oil because of its higher ester content. (The sensitive sabinene hydrates are preserved by CO2 extraction, making it more relaxing than the distilled essential oil.) Also, the scent of this extract is more vibrant and closer to the fresh herb.

Sweet Marjoram has been used to lower high blood pressure and to stimulate circulation. It warms the skin, where applied. Its powerful antispasmodic action can ease pains of arthritis, cramped muscles, and muscle spasms. Try blending with Clary Sage Essential Oil for relieving menstrual cramps; the result is almost magical! Considered an expectorant and a tonic for the respiratory system. Shown to be anti-infective, fungicidal, and bactericidal against a wide range of gram-positive bacteria. Its sedative action can be effective against some types of migraines.

I have seen this CO2 extract recommended for shortness of breath from any cause but perhaps most useful if anxiety is involved. May be used for sinus and respiratory infections, and nervous cough. It has been recommended in cases of croup and whooping cough. It may prove useful for palsy, for sciatica, and for nerve pain in the face or neck.

As a circulatory stimulant this CO2 extract might be useful for Raynaud’s Syndrome or in any case where you do not want to use one of the warming oils like Black Pepper or Ginger.
Educator and author Madeleine Kerkhof advises use of anti-oxidant and antibacterial Sweet Marjoram for any sort of skin infection.  She says add to bandaid/bandage, use to cover the wound.  i.e, add to the dressing, not directly to the wound itself.    She further suggests use for infected wounds, necrotic tissue (to help with the smell) ulcers and abcesses.    Madeleine recommends a blend of Lavender, Helichrysum, Geranium and Sweet Marjoram to add to wound dressings, to clear infections and speed healing.

WARNINGS: High doses may prove sedating if administered during the day. It may also function as a sexual inhibitor. Do not use on the skin or by direct inhalation during the first trimester of pregnancy, after that use at half normal dilution.
Uses and information cited from “Complimentary Nursing in End of Life Care” by Madeleine Kerkhof-Knapp Hayes.

 Myrrh Select CO2

Commiphora myrrha (Commiphora abyssinica), resin wildcrafted in Somalia, CO2 Select extracted in Germany
Myrrh Resin
Softer and a bit sweeter than our distilled Myrrh, but with the same uses. Myrrh is an effective antifungal and antibacterial, and is recommended in blends to treat chapped or cracked skin. I’ve already incorporated it in a blend for a friend’s skin fungus (in a base of Aloe Vera Gel, blended with some Palma Rosa). Because it is higher in sesquiterpines than our distilled Myrrh Oil, I would expect the CO2 extract to be more calming and a bit better at relieving pain.

Madeleine Kerkhof, in CO2 Extracts in Aromatherapy, recommends Myrrh CO2 rather than the distilled oil for emotional and spiritual uses.  She finds it extremely helpful in healing emotional and spiritual wounds, and as an aid to spiritual growth.  Its warming and protective effects can be helpful for anxiety, for easing emotional and spiritual blockages. (I am wondering how this would support Cistus essential oil for easing emotional blockages.) 

This Myrrh is truly a gift fit for a king.

Nutmeg CO2

Myristica fragrans, wildcrafted fruit from Germany, CO2 select,  extracted in Germany.
The ultimate nutmeg essence! I put a drop on a perfume strip and said “EGGNOG!” Far sweeter and more complex than any steam-distilled nutmeg essential oil this CO2 extraction must be used with care. Used in excess it over stimulates the brain and heart, can cause hallucinations and possibly convulsions. I have a tremendous respect for this lovely oil, to the extent that I do NOT allow my staff to “prebottle” more than about 10 bottles of it at a time. I don’t want them exposed to the fumes in excess.

However, having said that, the slightest drop of Nutmeg Oil, added to a blend, adds a sweet spicy aphrodisiac note. It’s a mental stimulant, not a relaxer, though. Physically, Nutmeg’s stimulating action is believed by some to aid in asthenia (loss of physical strength, debility). Some sources recommend its use as part of a blend for treating gout, rheumatism, arthritis, etc. I haven’t experimented with this use yet.  (For these uses, I would want to blend with Juniper.)

Emotionally it is invigorating and stimulating, while, at the same time, warm and welcoming.

Physically, it is said to be an excellent digestive stimulant for those who can not digest food, and a useful oil in treating nausea, vomiting, indigestion, etc. Nutmeg is also said to be an anti-inflammatory, and useful in treating arthritis. In a massage blend it is gently warming and that, coupled with its anti-inflammatory characteristics make it useful in treating sore joints and muscles.
This CO2 extraction contains no solvents, so adding a drop to 1/2 cup of honey for flavoring food would be exquisite. I suspect it’s going to be a key ingredient in my spiced tea this winter, and think a drop in a large pot of hot cider or mulled wine would be yummy.
Please use this oil with discretion. Please avoid during pregnancy and with children under 6.

BLENDS WITH: Nutmeg blends beautifully with the sweeter citrus oils, with other spices, Bay, Geranium, Petitgrain, and Ylangylang.

Oregano CO2 Select

Origanum vulgare, Organically grown from leaves in Turkey, CO2 Select extracted in Germany
Oregano vulgare

With over 80% Carvacrol this CO2 extract will have all the germkilling power that you have come to expect from distilled Oregano.  We have had trouble sourcing a reliable Oregano vulgare, and although we personally prefer our Spanish Oregano, there are those who insist on only Oregano Vulgare. We are delighted to find this Select extraction.

We prefer to use this potent oil in an inhaler or simply to inhale from a tissue.
If you do plan on using topically, please limit to dilution to 0.25% or 0.5%.  But, honestly, please don’t.  Inhalation will get the components into your blood stream far faster than topical application.    Strong dilutions or neat usage can cause blistering and severe irritation.  Prolonged internal use will place a burden on the liver.

SAFETY: Embryotoxic, to be avoided by all methods of use during pregnancy and while breastfeeding.  Can prevent blood clotting, avoid when on blood thinners or when facing surgery. Avoid use with young children.

 Orris Root CO2

Iris Germanica CO2 Select extracted from organically grown Iris roots (Serbia), produced in
Iris blossom

The undiluted Select extract is a soft solid.  A warm water bath will quickly melt it though.
You will immediately sense something familiar about the aroma of Orris Root.  This root/rhizome of the Iris flower is a major component in many commercial Violet Leaf perfumes and is also used for flavoring and to scent soap.

Iris Rhisomes
Nature’s Gift is physically located in the state of Tennessee where the Iris (Iris germanica) happens to be the state flower, as these beauties are abundant here. Purple flowers emerge each Spring. The various shades of purple boast of vertical, visible, bright yellow and/or white portions. It is a regal flower of natural beauty standing proud and tall. Sometimes its appearance is compared to that of an orchid.

Interestingly, Orris originated in Europe but now grows all over the United States in various eco -systems. (Rainy Oregon, the South West, Louisiana)

This new-to-us CO2 Select Orris Root is literally extracted from the rhizome (root) of the flower. It hails from the Iridaceae family and Liliales order, which includes Tulips and Lilies.  The oil is a yellow to light brownish color and aromatically reminiscent of Violet, although less intense, slightly woody, and softly floral overall.

Orris Root is said to be antioxidant and antimutagenic.  Our Orris Root CO2 Select contains 3% Irones (stabilized with MCT oil), high content of myristic acid, and the essential oil, waxes, and fatty acids.  It is thick and solid in glass but warms fairly quickly to pour. (Marge held a sample vial in her warm hands and the solidity disappeared within a few minutes.)  If you've heard of or used Orris Butter, you will understand about the viscosity and it will require warming to liquefy.  As it warms up the aroma will intensify.
Its best and traditional use is in perfumery, to add a a subtle violet note to a blend, and as a fixative to increase longevity. It has been a classic French perfume since the middle ages.

Author and Educator Madeleine Kerkhof describes Orris Root Co2 as, “relaxing, calming, and comforting,” and says it is best used for perfumery and cosmetics, although she notes that some make a connection between Orris Root and femininity, as well as for spiritual use.  Her research indicates an awareness and use of the rhizome in herbal healing practices for hundreds of years. (Some would say ancient peoples had an awe and reverence for the Iris.) Madeleine recommends usage for adults at from 0.5 to 2%, with up to 3% for small localized areas (ie, pulse points.)

Essential Oil safety consultant, educator, and author Robert Tisserand describes both the Absolute and the Essential Oil as, “no known hazards and contraindications.”

(Marge’s note: for 20 years I have resisted offering Orris Root because I was taught it was a strong sensitizer. I can not find my references for that, but I would still be cautious about using, for example, on broken or irritated skin.)

We tested the undiluted CO2 compared to the 10% dilution, also offered.  In the first few seconds there was a dramatic difference in aroma, but once both warmed to skin temperature it was hard to distinquish the undiluted from the 10% dilution.  Both have extreme longevity on the skin,  and should make a wonderful floral anchor in a perfume blend.  Our experience? Like our Lilac CO2, Orris Root CO2 does beautifully in dilution, and needs the warmth of your skin to open up.  I would not diffuse this gentle beauty, or wear it in a piece of aromatherapy jewelry. I would reserve it for topical use, with proper dilution.

More to come. See Part 5 here.  Go back to Part 3  in this series here.

Wednesday, May 2, 2018

CO2 Aromatics part 3

The third in a series of CO2 extracted aromatics. Similar to our essential oils, but very different.

Fir, Siberian, CO2

Siberian Fir Trees
Abies sibirica, CO2 extracted from wild-harvested needles, Russia.

Why a CO2 extracted conifer? Because I was curious.
The CO2 extracted Fir oil differs dramatically from its distilled cousin. Aromatically it is softer, a bit more muted. Perhaps a high heart note rather than the clear top note we normally associate with all the firs. On a scent strip the difference in aroma becomes more evident over time, as the distilled oil fades, the CO2 extracted lingers for hours longer. (There’s a difference in color, as well. The distilled oil is colorless, while the CO2 extract is brown on the strip.)

Chemistry explains the difference in aroma.  Like most distilled conifers the true essential oil is very high in the monoterpines, both Alpha and beta pinene. It is a-pinene that gives almost all conifers that familiar “piney” smell. The CO2 has only half as much of the pinenes, which lowers and softens its aroma, and would make it less irritating in a topical blend. It also has some compounds not found in the distilled oil... “diterpines” very heavy molecules that don't normally come across in the process of distilling, and that are believed to have strong effects on the immune system (in particular on viral infections) and are believed to have mucolytic and expectorant properties. They are also thought to have a balancing effect on the endocrine system.

Michelle is our chief EO pourer and she doesn’t much care for any of the conifers (how could she not?) she thinks they are too “in your face” aromatically, too assertive. On the other hand she loves the Siberian Fir CO2. She described it as softer, and gentler. And said that it reminds her of Autumn, a great oil for a seasonal transition.

Our producer says, “The CO2 extract includes in its composition, in addition to the essential oils, just about all known lipovitamins (carotinoids, tocopherol, provitamins F, D, K), sterols (phytohormones), flavonoids, phospholipids, complex ethers, higher alcohols, a complex of natural organic acids, chlorophylls, phytoncides, micro- and macro elements. Therefore, prophylactic and curative efficiency of the biologically active substances found in CO2 extracts is considerably higher than that of the Siberian Fir essential oil.”

“In cosmetics, CO2 extract is an attractive option for several reasons:

  • The presence of tocopherol in the CO2 extract determines its antioxidant properties, so there is no need to add stabilizing agents while formulating the preparation;
  • The preparation possesses anti-inflammatory and regenerative effect for outer skin and tissues.
  • As antioxidant, it slows down aging processes in skin cells.
  • CO2 extract of Siberian Fir has bactericidal properties and represses the growth of many microorganisms. According to research institutes in the pharmaceutical industry, the extract represses spore micro flora when used in concentration above 250 mkg/ml.
  • CO2 extract contains up to 48 percent of essential oils. With its pleasant scent, the extract can be recommended for use as an odorant.”
Recommended dosage: for medical treatment 3–5 percent; as stabilizer 1–3 percent.

Recommended use: Of all of our Conifers, Siberian Fir is the highest in esters, hence the most relaxing.  Robert Tisserand, world renowned safety expert, has recommended the use of conifers for congested babies and toddlers.  We would choose Siberian Fir Needle, either the distilled oil or this CO2 extraction in a diffuser for a congested baby at bedtime.  It might both support respiration and help him sleep a bit easier.  Based on the presence of the diterpines, I would expect this Siberian Fir extract to be a wonderful decongestent and an effective addition to any cold or respiratory blend.

Madeleine Kerkhof recommends Siberian Fir CO2 for any type of difficulty breathing, properly dispersed in a gel base for oral care, for candida, and as an immune stimulant, among many other physical uses.  Emotionally it is strongly supportive during times of transition, change, and loss of confidence.

Frankincense CO2

Boswellia Carterii  Wild harvested in Somalia.

In discussing Frankincense CO2 extracts, in her book, "CO2 Extracts in Aromatherapy"  Madeleine Kerkhof writes, " Frankincense builds a bridge from the material to the spiritual world, it opens the soul to the larger contexts of our existence, and it gives understanding for the path one must follow."  

Frankincense has traditionally been used for spiritual growth and meditation. It is believed to have a
Boswellia carterii Resin
centering effect on the emotions. It can slow respiration, thus helping your body calm and center itself. 

A great oil for asthma or chest congestion, Frankincense can act as an expectorant, soothing congestion while also relaxing breathing. 
Frankincense oil has also traditionally been used for the treatment of aches, pains, sprains and ligament and soft tissue injuries (Mark Webb,, CO2 extracts.) "What makes the CO2 extracts stand out, however, are the diterpenes found with this genus: incensol, isocembrene, cembrene A, and Incensol Acetate." (And not found in the distilled oils.)

In skin care, Frankincense is a wonderful oil to blend into facial creams or oils for aging skin. L’Oreal is currently using an extract of frankincense in at least one of their “anti-wrinkle” products.  For topical use, this Select extraction should be used with normal essential oil dilution. This Frankincense CO2 has a delightfully sweet, sparkling aroma. I've found that it blends well with Orange and Neroli. It tends to “soften” any sharply scented oil blended with it and seems to blend well with any of the woods, or spices. 

This CO2 extracted oil contains Incensol Acetate, a compound found in the raw Frankincense resin but never found in distilled Frankincense Oil. Recent research has proven the relaxing, anti-anxiety and anti-depressant qualities of incensol acetate. I would recommend this specific oil for use in the diffuser or, even better yet, the aroma lamp, for meditation or for emotional calming. 

Safety: No known contraindications. Avoid oxidation. BLENDS WITH:Grapefruit, Orange, Lemon, Lavender, Sandalwood, Patchouli, Rose, Vetiver, and Ylangylang.

Frankincense, Indian, CO2 

Boswellia serrata, wildcrafted in India, CO2 Select, extracted in Germany.
Boswellia serrata resin
As I have said elsewhere, in our experience the CO2 extracts are closer to the aroma of the raw botanical than are the distilled oils. This Indian Frankincense Oil is a lovely aromatic specimen.
We have been asked about the boswellic acid content of our Frankincense CO2 extracts, since it is a well known fact that boswellic acid does not come through the process of distillation. Unfortunately, although the Boswellia serrata resin itself does contain boswellic acid, the CO2 extract contains less than 1%. Its contents are 80–85 % monoterpenes, alpha-thujene, alpha-pinene, sabinene, myrcene, p-cymene, limonene etc., sesquiterpenes, terpene alcohols and esters (incensol acetate) and less than 0.1 % boswellic acid.  For topical use, we recommend following standard essential oil dilution recommendations.

We recommend Indian Frankincense CO2 whenever you want an Frankincense with a stronger anti-inflammatory effect. This is where Boswellia serrata shines, compared to the other Frankincense species.
Safety: No contraindications. Avoid oxidation.

Galangal CO2

 Alpinia galangal (Organic) Roots grown in Viet Nam, produced in Germany. Superb
Galangal CO2 Extract
sinus decongestant

Known as “Greater” Galangal or Siamese Galangal, also called “True” Galangal. Warm, spicy, and pungent. Marge and Jim both described the aroma as “oil and vinegar,” or “like sharp salad dressing.”  Aromatically, Galangal is in-your-face, but its benefits far outweigh any potential dislike of its scent.

My mentor Madeleine Kerkoff  says it is best used for congestion, colds, sinus infections, bronchitis, flu-like ailments and that it is antibacterial, antiviral, antifungal, anti-inflammatory and antioxidant.  It is also an excellent mucolytic and expectorant and helpful for rhinitis and sinus problems triggered by inflammation.  Acts as an antiseptic, radical scavenger and lipoxygenase inhibitor (reducing inflammation).  High in sesquiterpenes.

From the Zingiberaceae Family, it is known to have at least two, possibly more chemotypes.  Most common is the 1,8 cineole chemotype, per Robert Tisserand.  However, this particular Galangal is known as the beta farnesene (b-farnesene) chemotype.  Thought to be anti-microbial and a bactericide, massive amounts of research is ongoing into its use as a food preservative to prevent food-borne illnesses.

Quite stimulating and due to its potency, we would avoid use with infants and during pregnancy.  We would also advise lowering dilution for topical use in the elderly.

Topically dilute to between 0.5% and 2% for use on skin and use only in a very small area on the body.  Perhaps blend with Helichrysum or German Chamomile to soothe mucous membranes, along with an appropriate carrier oil. Inhalation is our recommended method of use, since its most appropriate use is for sinus or respiratory infections.(By inhalation, we mean via a personal inhaler, not room diffusion.)

SAFETY: High in diarylheptanoid (as curcumin) which may interact with some blood thinners/anticoagulants.

Galbanum CO2

Ferula galbaniflus, wildcrafted resin from Iran, CO2 extracted in Germany.
Galbanum is an ancient aromatic substance. The author of Exodus named it as a component of incense to use in the temple. It was used by the Romans in ritual anointings for springtime. If you are planning any sort of ritual use of the oils for the Spring Equinox, I suspect this could be the one.

Galbanum CO2
Galbanum’s aroma is intriguing; very much a puzzlement, a reminder of an aroma remembered. My first impression was GREEN, vivid, in your face green, but not a leaf green. The mental image of fresh twigs, with buds waiting to burst into life seems right. My assistant decided it was the air of a green house, moist, rich with traces of living organisms, mosses, leaf mulch. It is complex and multi-layered, an oil I want to play with for blending.

I’m learning there are often physical links with the “energetic” uses of the oils… as in this oil, used ritualistically for rebirth/renewal is also wonderful for skin renewal. Galbanum is highly recommended by Jeanne Rose for healing old scars, and for wrinkle removal. One of my aromatherapy mentors says it sometimes has had some very strong emotional/psychic healing effects on some clients, especially in the area of childhood traumas and memories.

I have also seen it recommended in blends for easing the aches and pains of rheumatism, but it wouldn’t be my first thought for this sort of blend.  Jennifer Peace Rhind recommends Galbanum CO2 for adrenal fatigue, perhaps blended with Black Spruce essential oil.

Galbanum is really a fascinating oil to work with, both for the aromatherapist and the perfumer. I’m tempted to try blending it with Lavender and or Geranium, or perhaps with some Fir Needle or Spruce, and with Carrot Seed and Rose Otto for mature skin care. This select extraction should be diluted as you would any other essential oil. A warning though, it has a tendency to move in and take over most blends, so you might want to blend with a very light hand.

It is often described as a top note, and yet many sources recommend it as a fixative. I would tend to think of it as a very green middle to base note, for blending purposes.

WARNING: Margeurite Maury cautions to avoid using it on young skin. Galbanum is not normally an irritant or a sensitizer, but may be a cross sensitizer with Benzoin and/or Peru Balsam. Please avoid working with it while pregnant.

Ginger Root SELECT CO2

Zingiber officinale, organically produced, CO2 extracted roots, Germany

This delightful Ginger Extract is closer in contents to our Steam-Distilled Ginger Root Essential Oil,
Fresh Ginger
but far more delightful aromatically. Truly the essence and aroma of a freshly grated root. As a select, it lacks the hot/pungent non-volatiles found in our Ginger Total Extract, the gingerols and shogaols that give fresh ginger its “burn.” Instead it is gently warming. We have used it as part of massage blends for pain relief and I have used it, in honey, to add to tea. Gentler than the Total Extract, it is my first choice for gentle warming, for pain relief, and for flavoring.
Educator and author Madeleine Kerkhof recommends it for skin with poor circulation, directly on Stage 1 decubitus (bed sores) or around stages 2 to 4 decubitus. Best use: Stimulating surface circulation, use at 0.25% to 0.5%, best diluted in either St. John's Wort Macerate/infusion or in Sesame oil, says Madeleine.

SAFETY: Robert Tisserand advises no known hazards.

Ginger Root TOTAL CO2

 Zingiber officinale, organically produced, CO2 extracted roots, Germany
Ginger roots
A more freshly scented Ginger oil. In the past we discontinued the Ginger CO2 we had stocked from an Indian producer because it was so intensely hot we didn’t feel it was safe to use. This total CO2 extract is delightful… very warming, but not burning when used in proper dilution. 

The producer especially recommends it as an anti-nausea agent, for morning sickness, motion sickness, or post surgical nausea. We also use it in pain relief blends to stimulate circulation. This is the Ginger extract most recommended for anti-nausea effects. As a total extract, it contains the gingerols and shogaols that give ginger its extreme heat.  I would not recommend this total Ginger Root Oil as a food flavoring or for any type of internal use.

Please note that although this select extract is much less “hot” than some Ginger CO2 extracts, I would still use it at very low dilutions if using topically. It truly does excel when used for diffusion or inhalation. Educator and author Madeleine Kerkhof-Knapp Hayes recommends it for skin with poor circulation, directly on Stage 1 decubitus (bed sores) or around stages 2 to 4. Best use: Stimulating surface circulation, use at 0.25% to 0.5%, best diluted in either St. John's Wort Macerate/infusion or in Sesame oil.

 Which Ginger CO2 is right for you?  In our experience the CO2 Total is a far more effective anti-nausea/ anti-emetic. For nausea of any source I would reach for this Total Extract, preferably blended with Lemon and/or Red Mandarine essential oils.     For topical use, to ease pain, I would go with the Select extraction.  

A word about "the pungent elements", the gingerols and shogals.  Distilled ginger oils will not contain significant amounts of either element. They are too heavy to come across in the distillation process, but are contained in the CO2 TOTAL extracts.  What is the difference?  All CO2s must be extracted from dried roots. But if the roots are allowed to dry naturally, they produce a larger quantity of Gingerols, warming, but not burning.  If the roots are dried under heat, on the other hand, they product an abundance of Shogals, which are fiery hot.  The Indian Ginger CO2 Total that I had years ago was obviously high in Shogals. I learned that the hard way.  Two drops in an 8 ounce jar of honey, blend well, taste, burn your taste buds seriously.

Greek Sage

Greek Sage Triloba (Fruticosa) CO2 (no ratings yet)
Salvia Triloba (Fruticosa) CO2 extracted in Germany from organically grown leaves, Albania.
Greek Sage Leaves

Christi writes, "Ah, this Sage takes me back to the Isle of Patmos, Greece.  Instantly, I am transported to the island just off the Turkish coast, where I first experienced it. If you are a fan of PBS or ITV, think of The Durrells of Corfu television program (a pleasant escape)!

The aroma is very herbaceous and a little bit woody or earthy but quite pleasant.  Greek Sage, like Sage Officinalis, grows in the wild in Greece and throughout the Mediterranean.  There it is used traditionally for herbal remedies and for flavoring in cooking. Marge doesn’t always *love* the herbaceous oils, but she really loves our new Greek Sage Triloba.  Indeed, it is a very special oil. (Greek sage is the herb most often used in Sage Tea, by the way.)"

High in 1,8 Cineole and Camphor, similar composition as White Sage (Salvia apiana) and can be used as an alternative to White Sage for spiritual uses such as clearing negative energy and smudging.

Antimicrobial, antibacterial, antifungal, anti-inflammatory and antioxidant—it is said to inhibit the growth of several types of bacteria including some staph strains and is effective against some food borne bacteria.  There is ongoing research into its effectiveness as a possible anti-tumor agent, which is exciting news.

According to author and educator Madeleine Kerkhof, Triloba and Sage officinalis are both helpful for concentration issues, cognitive and memory challenges such as dementia and Alzheimer’s; as well as for boosting self-confidence, mental and emotional weakness, and mood swings connected to female hormonal systems such as PMS. (Who knew?)

During a presentation at the Alliance of International Aromatherapists (AIA) conference in 2017, Dorene Petersen, President, CEO, and Founder of the American College of Healthcare Sciences (ACHS), spoke of the neuroprotective qualities of Salvia Fruticosa (Greek Sage, Sage Triloba), along with its advantages for improving cognition. Perhaps best used by direct inhalation when there are no contra-indications.

Robert Tisserand cautions against use around or near the face of young children or infants due to the high 1,8 Cineole content of this oil.  Kerkhof also mentions risk of seizures in this and Sage officinalis due to high levels of camphor.  She further warns to avoid both in cases of brain cancer.   Although much lower in Thujone than Salvia officianalis,  neither sage oil  should be ingested.