Friday, March 17, 2017

Which is your most relaxing Lavender?


We are asked this frequently.  And the answer, of course, depends on the chemistry, of the specific components of each specific lavender specimen.

The most relaxing chemical components in most essential oils are the Esters... in the lavender family, specifically Linalyl Acetate and Lavandulyl Acetate.  (Hint for the non-chemists among us... yes, the esters names tend to end in ATE.)


The analysis of some of our current versions of various lavenders show the following:

Lavender Variety
Linalyl Acetate Content
Lavandulyl Acetate
Total:
33.70
3.85
37.55
42.82
0.37
43.19
38.21
4.32
42.53
Bulgarian 36.66 3.69
40.53
21.19
2.38
23.57
Grosso 23.77 2.42 26.19
36.62
1.5
38.12
35.1
3.3
38.4

There are other esters found in trace amounts in Lavender oils.  Review the posted GC's and look for components with ATE in their names. And remember that a different analyst may give different results, depending on the equipment used, so these totals are not locked in stone.


Now, in the past, we have seen case studies that indicate that Lavandin Super was a more effective relaxant in a clinical trial than an oil that was supposedly a true Lavandula angustifolia. The report of the study also pointed out that there was no gc/ms or Certificate of Analysis presented with the research project, and the genesis/provenance of the Lavender oil used was unknown.  It is possible.
 Based on the chart above, Lavandin super may well be more relaxing than our Wild High Altitude Lavender.   

But if I were seeking a lavender for relaxation out of our current inventory, I would reach for either our Mailette clone, or our Population (Lavender Fine.)   Which to use would depend on personal preference. As we so often say, "Get samples and see what you prefer."

After thought:  We have used Lavandin Super in our "go to sleep" blends for years with wonderful results.   I think any of the oils in the above chart would be relaxing with the exception of Lavandins Abrialis and Grosso.  

Choose your favorite, and have a wonderful night's sleep.

Sunday, March 12, 2017

A Lot About Linalool



A Lot About Linalool
Guest blog by Gail Storment
What is linalool? I have seen Linalool percentages listed in GC/MS reports, discussed under the headings of functional families, and listed as a constituent in an essential oil many times.  I wanted to know more so I started searching in my stack of essential oil books, online, asking questions, you name it…I wanted to learn about linalool!

Linalool is a monoterpenol alcohol, with the molecular formula C10H18O, and a molecular weight of 154. That sounds really geeky, sophisticated and scholarly! But where does Linalool come from? Linalool is found in the Lauraceae, Rutaceae and Apiaceae plant families:

·         Ho Wood (how about 98% linalool!)
·         Rosewood
·         Lavender
·         Coriander (Apiaceae family)
Linalool is also found in plants from the Rutaceae family:
·         Bergamot 
         Pink Grapefruit
·         Petitgrain

Linalool can be anti-bacterial, anti-infective, anti-spasmodic, sedative, and relaxing, plus can aid in pain reduction. Linalool also is important for the production of vitamin E in our bodies.
Recently I read about linalool being anti-inflammatory and that stunned me. I have never read anything about the anti-inflammatory properties of linalool so I decided to learn more about this particular therapeutic benefit, verify if the information was true or just wishful thinking, whatever-I just had to know the facts.

I read the cited studies so I will share what I gathered from them so we can learn about the possible anti-inflammatory benefits of essential oils that contain linalool. A particular study from China is the one what about knocked my socks off-cigarette smoke and linalool!
Once upon a time some lab mice needed something interesting to change their routine so some brainy scientists decided to dose up these mice with Linalool by intraperitoneal injection (i.p.) two hours prior to exposing them to cigarette smoke. They continued this schedule for five consecutive days. The experiment was done to determine if Linalool would protect the mice’s lungs from acute inflammation from the cigarette smoke.  After giving the mice the linalool injections, they measured the numbers of macrophages and neutrophils in “BALF” (bronchoalveolar lavage fluid). What big words these studies use and how it messes with my story big time! So a simple conclusion- it was revealed that Linalool protected the mice against cigarette smoke induced lung inflammation. See the link below for the full content of the study.

Now I will add to my inflammation discovery another study that included linalyl acetate along with linalool. Many of the essential oils that contain linalool also contain linalyl acetate so the anti-inflammatory actions of both constitutes were tested individually.
Entering this story are creatures with long tails but this time rats were used in the experiment rather than little mice. The rats had a different ailment cast upon them-carrageenin-induced edema as the inflammation! After systematic doses of both constituents (individually tested), less edema was determined. The linalool administered rats showed a more prolonged effect of reduced edema while the linalyl acetate showed a reduction of edema for only one hour after the carrageenin was given. 

Check out this link for the full story of this experiment on linalool and linalyl acetate.

After years of using essential oils with high concentrations of linalool and linalyl acetate for the therapeutic benefits we learned about long ago, we now need to consider another reason to include them in a blend. Introducing an important therapeutic benefit-anti-inflammatory…take your bow! These studies show that linalool and linalyl acetate were important indications of anti-inflammatory activity in the lungs from essential oils that contained these constituents. Now we can consider making blends for lung inflammation using Lavender, Ho Wood and other essential oils that are high in linalool and linalyl acetate.

I have a new inhaler blend to use respiratory issues and it includes two *new oils for lung inflammation.
Respiratory Inhaler Blend for Congestion and Lung Inflammation
3 drops Ravintsara - anti-infectious, expectorant, decongestant, anti-bacterial, antimicrobial, anti-tussive, mucolytic
2 drops Eucalyptus Dives – mucolytic, expectorant, anti-tussive
2 drops Laurel Leaf - decongestant, anti-viral, anti-bacterial, analgesic, sneezing and allergy symptoms.
*3 drops Lavender - Lavandula angustifolia (approximate percentages of linalyl acetate 42%, linalool 45%), analgesic, anti-bacterial, anti-fungal, anti-inflammatory, anti-microbial, sedative
*3 drops Clary sage – (linalyl acetate approximately 65%) Anti-inflammatory, anti-spasmodic, calming, sedative to help sleep while fighting respiratory issues
Submitted by Gail Storment, a self-studying student of aromatherapy

(Just a note to thank our friend Gail for sharing the results of her hard work with us all!)