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.

No comments: