October 29, 2007
One of the projects we are working on for the blog is to catalog all the various organizations and entities that deal with the subject matter of the blog. We've established a database for organizations and web sites and are working on filling it out. It is a work in progress and will probably never be completed as new entities are discovered and then we add the links to other organizations that are on their link sites. Our intent is to write a series of blogs about the various aspects of the world aromatic community. We started with regulatory agencies, both governmental and non-governmental, and started following links from them, some to others we already have in our data base, and others that branch out into entirely new areas. Today I came across entry 108, which of course will lead to another half dozen organizations from their link page, a few of which we already have but there will probably will be at least two or three new ones. Obviously, at this rate if we wait until the list is finished (or appears finished) to start writing about the organizations, we'll never get anything written, you will never find out about all the neat things we are discovering, and the organizations will never receive the interest or (in some cases) scrutiny they deserve. So I've decided to start a series of blogposts about them as I find them. The analysis of the interconnections will come later as we gather all the links. (As you'll see below, in the process of writing this post, I've discovered two links, without even going to their link page--which has 15 more.)
So, to start out this series of posts, that will be categorized under Organizations, I'm going to start with:
ICMAP is the INTERNATIONAL COUNCIL for MEDICINAL and AROMATIC PLANTS. Established in 1993 following the recommendation of the 1st World Congress on Medicinal and Aromatic Plants for Human Welfare (WCOMAP), on it's website the organization describes itself as:
an international non-governmental body with the name: International Council for Medicinal and Aromatic Plants (ICMAP) with the general objective as promoting international understanding and cooperation between national and international organizations on the role of medicinal and aromatic plants in science, medicine and industry, and to improve the exchange of information between them.
This Council coordinates and stimulates cooperation between partners by providing a forum for mobilizing ideas, actions, discussions, long term visions, measures in education and training in all fields related to these plants that play such an important part in the lives of human beings throughout the world.
The group is has a Secretariat in Turkey and holds World Congresses every five years. The next world Congress on Medicinal and Aromatic Plants for Human Welfare will be will be co-organized on 9-14 November 2008 in Cape Town, South Africa (held in conjunction with the African Association for Medicinal Plant Standards).
The organization publishes a Newsletter and News Sheet which are available on their web page (enable popups and click on the dropdown to select the one you want to read or print out).
Website wins Health Care Standard of Excellence Award from Web Marketing Association
The Taking Charge of your Health Website at the University of Minnesota has won an "Health Care Standard of Excellence" award from the Web Marketing Association, according to a U of M press release. The website promotes complementary and alternative medical approaches integrated with conventional medicine, including Aromatherapy and Massage Therapy. The site is conservative and based on sound established references.
October 28, 2007
Welcome to Aromatherapy Thymes Magazine
A new magazine, Aromatherapy Thymes, has published its inaugural issue, and has been reviewed on the MediaPost publication MagazineRack. The review is somewhat mixed, and it's clear the reviewer is not familiar with aromatherapy. Aromatherapy Thymes is to be published quarterly by Willoughby Publications in Los Angeles.
We don't have a copy of the magazine yet, so we can't do our own review. The web site has been up for some time (since 1999 according to Alexa) and I seem to remember getting advertising information at least two years ago. As far as I know, this is the only print based Aromatherapy magazine currently being published in the US. Aromatic Thymes ceased publication in 2000, the NAHA Aromatherapy Journal last published in mid 2006.
The magazine joins other worldwide print publications such as Aromatherapy Today, the International Journal of Aromatherapy, Simply Essential, Aromascents, and In Essence, and the online Aromatic Sage. UPDATE: Other existing publications found: International Journal of Clinical Aromatherapy, International Journal of Essential Oil Therapeutics.
Putting out an aromatherapy magazine has to be a labor of love--it's a lot of work, there aren't that many readers among the general public, and the complications of distribution, finding articles, dealing with publishers, selling advertising, etc. are a daunting task.
Congratulations to the publishers of Aromatherapy Thymes for finally getting it going, and we wish you a long and happy publishing career.
October 25, 2007
Jonathan Treasure is actively blogging
Jonathan Treasure, an Herbologist active in southern Oregon, is busy blogging again at Jonathan Treasure’s Herblog. No direct essential oil blogs, but he has links to research showing the effects of 6-gingerol, a principal component of ginger (Zingiber officinale) and chamomile (Matricaria chamomilla) on cancer cells. He also links to other herbal research, including a study on the use of valerian for sleeping. Well worth checking out, as well as some related herbal items on his site.
Silence Of The Bees
NATURE's "Silence of the Bees" premieres Sunday, October 28 at 8 p.m. (ET) on PBS (check local listings).
You can look at the trailer and some excerpts on line here: Video NATURE | Silence Of The Bees | Online Exclusive | PBS - PBS, Nature, WNET, Thirteen, pollinators - Dailymotion Share Your Videos
In this online-only video, scientists and bee experts featured in the program discuss the crucial role that honeybees, a "keystone species," play in our economy and ecosystems, as well as bees’ fascinating social organization and what we can do to reverse the decline of nature’s pollinators.
October 22, 2007
Seeking common scents
Researchers at Children's Hospital in Minneapolis are doing research on the response of children to various aromatherapy scents in order to better understand how different aromas affect children of different cultures.
The ongoing research project has revealed differences in response to odors from different cultures:
. . . even the same smell sparks different reactions among different kids, said Maura Fitzgerald, clinical nurse specialist for the program. For example, 56 percent of the Hispanic girls tested earlier said they found sweet orange oil to be calming, compared with 18 percent of Caucasian girls.
The Hospital's integrative medicine clinic has been using aromatherapy to complement traditional medicine for almost seven years.
October 20, 2007
ANTIMICROBIAL ACTIVITY OF TEA TREE OIL
The Dr. Howell.net Blog provides an overview of tea tree antimicrobial activity, with several links to previous papers from the mid 90's that conclude that it does have antimicrobial activity.
A simple Google search on the same topic reveals a lot of additional research on the topic. One of the links brings up a number of papers from the Australian government Rural Industries Research and Development Corporation.
This information becomes increasingly important as there is more publicity about antibiotic MRSA and the number of deaths that are being caused in hospitals. We've previously referenced news articles about aromatherapy and essential oils used to help deal with the resistant organisms.
October 05, 2007
STILL ADVENTURE WITH PICTURES
Marty blogs about her still adventures and shows us some pictures of her setup.
October 04, 2007
L'Oreal Body Shop Acquisition Gives Investors Greener Returns
. . . according to an article on that originated on Bloomsberg.com and has been reprinted in a number of other sites and papers.
They project that sales at the Body Shop unit will grow at a rate three times the French companies by 2010 as consumers shift towards more natural and organic products. L'Oreal also bought the more organic Sanoflore last year to bolster it's position in the organic/natural market.
The implication of all this is that consumers will be more interested in the kinds of products that are in the purview of this blog.
How basil gets its zing
Researchers at the Salk Institute for Biological Studies and the University of Michigan are unlocking the aromatic secrets of Basil essential oils, as reported on Brightsurf.com. They've isolated an enzyme (Eugenol Synthase) that "takes a basic building block [lignin] that is usually employed to make wood" and instead makes Eugenol, a primary ingredient in Basil essential oil. The scientists are going beyond earlier genetic studies and getting back to chemistry--identifying the chemical mechanisms that are used by plants to make the secondary metabolites. In the study reported on (available via Open Access from PLoS), they have determined the structure of the enzyme by protein x-ray crystallography.
REFERENCE: Louie GV, Baiga TJ, Bowman ME, Koeduka T, Taylor JH, et al. (2007) Structure and Reaction Mechanism of Basil Eugenol Synthase. PLoS ONE 2(10): e993 doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0000993