I'll be heading to Costa Rica in the spring to check out various regions of the country to see if it's someplace I'd like to retire. I'd like to take in an essential oil enterprise while I'm there and an herbalist if I do enough research to locate someone. How cool would it be to take my little company there and export all sorts of interesting herbs and essential oils? I'll be staying in a couple of different areas of the country while I'm there so if anyone knows of anyone or any place I should check out - not only for a place to live but for good business contacts - please let me know.
Many of us have read the warning letters the FDA sent to DoTerra and Young Living Oils regarding their claims from reps and on their web sites. I'm no fan of either company because I think they give sketchy information to their reps and do things like make up marketing verbiage that they're aware is untrue but that their reps will use as gospel, and all, in my opinion, solely to make money. However, I also have a problem with the FDA throwing the baby out with the bath water. Yes, I think their claims that their oils can cure Ebola are outrageous and damaging to the aromatherapy community, but I also think they're correct to post things like - Tea Tree is a good antifungal because yes, it is. So many of the properties of essential oils have been pretty decently proven through aromatogram disc diffusion and other lab tests that it's really frustrating to never be able to say these things or risk getting shut down by the FDA. Okay, so according to the FDA, these claims make them potential drugs; I get it. No reputable aromatherapist wants people like the ones espousing essential oils as a cure for Ebola to be out there selling things. But there's a middle ground somewhere between bogus and truthful that hasn't been explored. Just as there are bad aromatherapists with false claims, there are medical professionals selling and using (and/or prescribing) drugs for unintended purposes. What about the damage that causes?
I also know that not many (hell, probably not any) aromatherapist can afford the millions of dollars it takes to go through the FDA approval process. Surely there's some sort of better way to figure things out so that qualified aromatherapists can use essential oils in their therapeutic capacities without risk of losing everything. Even though hundreds or thousands of pharmaceuticals go through their rigorous testing process and are put out on the market with a laundry list of side effects, they're still sold and sometimes used indiscriminately. Where's the logic in that? I can't see that the expensive testing resulted in a safer produt.
If I could get myself elected to one of the FDA's advisory committees, I'd fill out their application. It would be an uphill battle, but at least our voices would be heard. Maybe it's actually the rules governing what constitutes a drug and how that's determined that need to be revised, not the language on a label or the claim on a web site. There really is middle ground and it needs to be looked at. Wish I had the answer.
For those of you who had a chance to read the newsletter with the Restless Leg Syndrome study, here's the first follow-up. I gave Stephanie a 4oz jar of crème containing a 1% dilution of Rosewood, chosen because of the study Robert Tisserand found that said it appeared the chemical component "linalool" in lavender might positively affect RLS. So I made three different cremes, labeling them only as A, B and C and asked her to use A for a week. I chose Rosewood because it has an unusually high content of linalool. Her report? "That first one you gave me? The one labeled A? Absolutely nothing." So things have gotten really interesting. You'd think that one would be a big help, wouldn't you? She's now using the one labeled C and it's the original blend that works for her but minus the Peppermint. I'll keep you posted.
The form for submitting information on adverse reactions to essential oils is now on the web site. Once I get enough reports, I will select one each month and present it in my newsletter as a case study. The case will include analyses and/or comments from leading voices in aromatherapy. They will discuss issues like the particular constituents that might have led to the reaction, or perhaps their known interactions with pharmaceuticals the client may have been taking, dosage, dilution rates, alternative EOs that might have avoided the reaction, etc. You can find the link to the form on buttons on the left-hand side of the home page at www.scentsibility.net.
The Integrative Medicine pamphlet, which publishes the results of clinical research on all sorts of integrative medicine issues, has an article in the current issue on whether or not African Geranium (not Pelargonium graveolens) was effective in treating bronchitis in three separate age groups, from children (1-8) to the middle years to young teenagers. The results were very positive and have me wanting to see if my supplier carries this essential oil so I can compare it in smell and efficacy to my usual bronchitis and respiratory EO's.
One advantage of working in hospice is that I get to play with all the therapy dogs. This is Asher, a Corgi.