Essential Oils Guide Book
Practitioners of aromatherapy and reflexology are becoming more numerous, and include an increasing number of midwives. The usefulness of such analgesic techniques is dependent on the availability of a practitioner. Many women gain considerable emotional support and satisfaction as well as analgesia from these forms of pain relief, and there is no reason to discourage their use in women who are in normal labour.
The terpenoids present in Artemisia species are representative of all classes of compounds, from monoterpenes up to triterpenes. Most of the species are characterized by the typical fragrance of lower terpenoids, such as monoterpenes and sesquiterpenes. These volatile molecules are present in the essential oils, which impart strong aromatic odours to the plants. Among the various compounds, lower terpenoids such as camphor, thujone, borneol and 1,8-cineole are the most representative (Fig. 1). Recently, analytical methods to determine the oil components have been improved by the use of capillary electrophoresis, whilst the separation of enan-tiomers has been achieved by the use of 3-cyclodextrin coated chiral capillary columns (Ravid et al., 1992). As for many aromatic plants, the oil content of Artemisia is affected by environmental factors. The monoterpenoid content of some A. tridentata ssp. tridentata plants varied seasonally with the highest content reached in July (4.18 ) and...
The use of natural products contained in essential oils and soy-based products, for example, the monoterpenes limonene and perillyl alcohol and the isoflavonoid genistein, all showed preclinical evidence of tumor regression.126-129 The effects of limonene and limonene-related monoterpenes, perillyl alcohol and perillic acid, on cell growth, cell cycle
According to a national survey of the medicinal plants of China, more than sixty Artemisia species are used in different areas for certain ailments such as inflammation, liver and stomach disorders and gynaecological problems (Table 1). The leaves of more than ten species are used for the preparation of moxas (see below). A number of Artemisia species are used as choleretic, anti-inflammatory and diuretic agents in the treatment of hepatitis. Two of these are A. scoparia and A. capillaris and are known by the same Chinese name as Yin Chen. Both species contain essential oils, flavones and coumarins. A flavone, capillarisin, the major constituent of A. capillaris, together with two new stereoisomeric constituents, capillartemisin A and B, showed choleretic effects in experiment studies. The coumarin derivative sco-parone isolated from both species had a preventative effect on carbon tetrachloride or galactosamine-induced hepatotoxicity in hepatocyte cell cultures, (Hikino, 1985, Kiso...
A major survey conducted in the early twenty-first century indicated that over 40 percent of Americans had used or were using some form of alternative medicine about 75 percent believed in the healing power of prayer and 85 percent believed that certain foods could cure disease or enhance health. The survey included questions on 27 types of alternative or unconventional therapies. Unconventional healing approaches included acupuncture, aromatherapy, Ayurvedic medicine, herbs, botanical products, enzymes, deep breathing exercises, meditation, energy healing, yoga, homeopathy, medical magnets, chiropractic, massage, reflexology, naturopathy, special diets, megavitamin therapy, prayer, and even the ancient practice of dowsing. Moreover, polls indicate that educated people in search of optimum health are the most likely to seek out holistic or alternative medicine. Seventy percent of Canadians have used alternative medicine and one-third of the population uses it on a regular basis. In...
Aromatherapy Many plant species contain essential oils, which give them their distinctive smell. These oils can be condensed by a distillation process to create a concentrated aromatic solution. Practitioners believe that essential oils can have particular physiological or psychological effects Reflexology
In several (European) pharmacopoeias an assay is included for the determination of essential oils in vegetable drugs. This is a hydrodistillation in a specially designed apparatus. The distillate is collected in a calibrated tube, whereas the aqueous phase is automatically returned to the distillation flask. After determination of the volume, yielding the essential oil content as percentage v m, the samples can be stored at -20 C until analysed for their composition using gas chromatography (GC) and gas chromatography coupled with mass spectrometry (GC-MS). Below, the experimental conditions are given for GC and GC-MS analysis as applied successfully in our laboratory for essential oils (Woerdenbag et al., 1993a, 1994b, Bos et al, 1996). Prior to GC and GC-MS analysis, the samples are diluted 50 times with cyclohexane.
Milhau et al. (1997) investigated in vitro antimalarial activity of several essential oils including a distillate from A. vulgaris. The oil contained a-thujone (36 ) and camphor (26 ) with lesser amounts of l 8-cineole (8 ), 3-thujone (6 ) and camphene (6 ) it showed only low antiplasmodial potency.
The chemistry of the essential oil of davana has been more extensively studied than any other aspect of this plant. Further, most of these studies have been carried out only after 1970 and not in India, where davana oil is exclusively produced, but in other countries. The reasons for these facts are not difficult to guess. Although the cultivation of davana is restricted to a small geographical area in south India, studies on the chemistry of its essential oil are not restricted by any such agro-climatic requirements and hence could be carried out anywhere. The availability of commercial quantities of davana oil only after 1970 (Sugunakar, 1987), and relatively easy accessibility to modern analytical instrumental facilities for evaluating the quality of essential oils in developed countries, may also be a reason for more studies on this oil having been carried out after 1970 and outside India further, the oil is hardly used in India.
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