Palo santo: the importance of botanical names

I recently received an email that brought to my attention a common misperception that is deserving of attention. The email stated: “I am writing you as someone who enjoys and is interested in palo santo, specifically bursera graveolens. After reading that it was endangered in articles like yours, I stopped using it completely – actively campaigning…

Essential Oils of Citrus Prevent Infection in Plants and Animals

Not all microbes cause disease, in fact most of them don’t, but those that do are called “pathogenic”, meaning disease-causing. Pathogenic micro-organisms (PMs), in the form of bacteria and fungi, have plagued modern humans for 200,000 years. Bacteria, nearly as old as the Earth itself, were a dominant life form about 3 billion years ago,…

Exploring Aromatherapy as a Form of Traditional Aromatic Plant Medicine in Peru

Abstract This study was the first of its kind carried out in Peru to identify and understand the use of aromatic plant medicine (APM) as a form of traditional medicine, within the context of aromatherapy practiced in North America; and to determine sustainable processes and conservation status of Peruvian aromatic medicinal plants. Informants (plant-medicine healers…

Atlas Cedarwood (‘Cedrus atlantica’) essential oil: Exploring alternatives

The majority of essential oil-based literature published prior to 2013 include a profile on Atlas cedarwood (Cedrus atlantica G. Manetti) essential oil. The conservation status of Atlas cedar (C. atlantica) is never noted in these profiles, because there was no conservation status for this species until 1998, when it was then categorized as a species…

Threatened East Indian Sandalwood (‘Santalum album’) Thrives in Australia

Many essential oil-bearing plants, as of 2016, are facing extinction (see Conservation of Essential and Carrier Oil-Bearing Plants) primarily because the demand for their essential oil outweighs the supply of plants. Often times, a low supply results from unsustainable practices such as overharvesting, smuggling, killing entire communities of mature and immature plants, and not replanting…

The Essence of Pollination

Who would have thought that one could draw a connection between the world of *aromatherapy and chemical ecology1. To communicate, species across the five kingdoms (Animalia, Plantae, Fungi, Protista and Monera) use some of the air-borne chemicals that make up essential oils, which are used in aromatherapy. As a chemical ecologist and a certified and…

Update on Kelly’s Work in Peru

Thank you again to those who supported this campaign! I have some good news for you; we did it! All objectives were met and then some. Eighteen semi-mature to mature wild rosewood (Aniba rosaeodora) trees were found and there is hope that this land can be secured so Peruvians will have a constant source of…

Help conserve rosewood ‘Aniba rosaeodora’

Rosewood essential oil is extracted from the wood of the rosewood (Aniba rosaeodora) tree. According to the IUCN (Varty, 1998), the conservation status of this tree is endangered and “populations throughout the species range have seriously declined because of rosewood oil extraction. Where there has been exploitation, population(s) [are] devoid of mature trees and significant signs of…

Humanitarian and Educational Projects: Peru 2017

Climate change, overharvesting, deforestation, invasive species, loss of knowledge, and poverty are just a few of the factors that have impacted the availability of, and accessibility to, native Peruvian aromatic plant medicine. Consequently, communities and healers throughout the Amazon jungles, central regions,and southern mountain regions of Peru expressed to Kelly the desire to learn about…

Muña: An aromatic medicinal plant from Peru

Kelly visited the Amazon jungle in the fall of 2015 to learn about the use of aromatic plant medicine in healing practices, and to explore potentially new essential oils to share with you. One essential oil that she brought back to North America is muña (Minthostachys mollis). Muña is reported to have anti-bacterial properties and to help reduce…