April 22, 2010
Earth Day Notes and News
It’s the 40th Earth Day. We haven’t done a formal blog post today, but here are a few thoughts about the state of the world from some of the other blogs we participate in:
- Marcia blogs at The Winged Seed with her Earth Day contemplations about the state of the world in this day of global warming and the need to reduce our carbon emissions.
- Jill Richardson blogs at La Vida Locadore (another place Rob sometimes blogs) about “US Senate, Bill Gates Give the Planet a Middle Finger for Earth Day.”
- Aromatalk discusses “The Mindful Use of Essential Oils.”
Check these out as you celebrate our only planet in its time of need.
February 16, 2010
Notes & News
The authors at aromaconnection have been otherwise occupied and we apologize that it’s been rather silent here of late. We’ll be placing some major reprints of interest in the next few days. In the meantime, here are a couple of items in the news.
According to Cosmeticsdesign.com, the EPA has issued the first of its Chemical Action Plans (CAPs) that appear to strengthen the agency’s authority regarding laws that protect Americans from exposure to harmful chemicals. With this move, the EPA appears to have a new focus on phthalates and is, of course, challenged by the American Chemistry Council (ACC). The complete EPA Phthalates Action Plan can be read here. In addition to being used as a chemical ingredient to soften vinyl plastics, Diethyl phthalates (DEP) are used as a dispersing agent for reed diffusers, a popular method of adding fragrance to the household environment. Most natural products companies avoid use of DEP and you will find cautions for its use from aromatherapy companies who choose to not use synthetic chemicals. The EPA has previously established the Endocrine Disruptor Screening Program beginning in 2009, with the Notice of Tier 1 Screening of the first 67 chemicals to be evaluated (order issuance for Diethyl phthalate Jan 2010). We will be watching the evaluations and update EPA resolutions as they come about.
Robert Tisserand has launched a new website which includes his I’m Just Saying blog which is a welcome new addition to internet discussions surrounding aromatherapy and the use of essential oils.
March 25, 2009
Notes and News
- March 20 Botany Photo of the Day: Mentha ×piperita is an electron micrograph of mint that shows the essential oil droplets and glands on the surface of the leaf.
- Perfumer&Flavorist has a short note about “fair trade” sourcing of benzoin (Styrax tonkinensis) by the Swiss firm Givaudan, who have partnered with Agroforex from Spain and local villages in Laos to promote sustainable production and diversification.
- P&F also reports that Earthoil India has received “Fair for Life” accreditation for its Indian mint growing operation. From the Earthoil media center, they have also received certification for their African grower group at the foothills of Mt. Kenya.
February 19, 2009
Notes and News
- According to several Turkish newspapers are reporting that an Explosion at perfume shop injures 16 in Eski_ehir (in the central Anatolian part of Turkey. An investigation is underway, but apparently there was no gas connection to the shop, so it is possible it had something to do with perfume making.
- Cosmeticsdesign has a feature “Cosmetics Compact” that has an audio news component. This week they are featuring news about essential oils and their ability to turn into allergens upon contact with the skin. For more information on that topic, see Tony Burfield’s blog from earlier this month, in which he questions these findings and points out that there is conflicting research.
- ScienceBooksChemistry reviews The Merck Index: An Encyclopedia of Chemicals, Drugs and Biologicals, which contains information about safety and toxicity and lots of other things, of interest to us are biologicals and natural products; plants and traditional medicines; nutraceuticals and cosmeceuticals; agriculturals, pesticides and herbicides; Organic chemicals used in research; and Food additives and supplements. Over 2500 pages in the book, and now includes a CD-ROM with additional information and a searchable database.
- The Daily Green is reporting that Colony Collapse Disorder is showing up again in East coast bee hives. While you’re reading the article, scroll down to the bottom of the screen and read some of the (alarming to me) related articles. If this news doesn’t concern you, then remember that many aromatic plants are pollinated by bees, not to mention food plants.
February 09, 2009
We’re now on Facebook and Twitter
the aromaconnection blog is now on Facebook and Twitter. If you are set up for either of these Web 2.0 Social Networking tools, you can now support the blog and get updates whenever a new post is made.
To follow us on Twitter, search for aromaconnection, or you can go to our page from the linkbar on the right sidebar of this blog. Just scroll down until you find Our Twitter Feed and click on Follow us on Twitter. When you get to our Twitter page, click on Follow to follow us. You’ll get an update whenever a new post is made, or you can see the previous posts, each listed with a link to the page.
On facebook search for “the aromaconnection blog” Group. We currently have 28 members. We have a Discussion Board with the current topic “Blogroll” where I have put out a call for suggestions for sites to be added to our blogroll and Links List. If you have any suggestions, you can respond there. You will need to be a facebook member to be able to participate, but it’s easy to join. One warning if you are not already a member—it can be addicting.
I haven’t figured out how to get automatic blog updates on facebook yet, but I think there is a way.
August 20, 2008
Notes and News
- The online Perfumer&Flavorist features a visit to Shady Lane Farms, a mint farm in Indiana, complete with a photo album that includes harvesting and distillation.
- HerbalGram #79 (August-October 2008) features Valerian as its Herbal Profile. It also includes a short article on the NPA Natural Seal program, a Research Review on the efficacy of South African Geranium (Pelargoinium sidoides) in the treatment of acute bronchitis, and a feature article on the African fixed oil Marula (Sclerocarya birrea) that may have some value for personal care products.
- According to Natural Products Insider, an Oregano Manufacturer has paid $2.5 million to settle an FTC case for claims that its oregano oil and capsules could kill germs. Airborne settled a similar case that it did not have adequate evidence to support its advertising claims.
- Botany Photo of the Day featured Sitka Valerian on August 8, with links to pollinator information.
- 1000fragrances blogs about the invention of "a device for obtaining perfume from living plants"--160 years ago.
July 22, 2008
Notes and News
- Organic Monitor reports that there is an increase in the acreage of organic citrus groves in Florida. They focus on juice, but this should lead to better availability of organic citrus oils.
- The C.A.M. Report has resurrected the Lavender/Tea Tree Gynecomastia issue again, by reposting an old post from 2007 without updating it to include information about challenges to the original research.
- In the same post the C.A.M. report mentioned (without citation) a report that in 2005 essential oils were linked to 7,282 reports to poison control centers. UPDATE: JR forwarded the citation in a comment. He reported on this in the C.A.M. Report here. The article cited was here. The original source (PDF) of the data was the 2005 report of the American Association of Poison Control Centers.
- A new blog on food and local agriculture has been added to our Agriculture Horticulture link roll: La Vida Locavore. Worth checking out if you like food.
April 09, 2008
Aromatherapy Thymes Notable Launch
There are many health and medicine magazines jockeying for a position on today’s newsstands, but few give readers the type of information that Aroma Therapy provides which is why it has made it on the list of top launches for 2007.
Mr. Magazine has interviewed Patricia Carol Brooks, the Editorial Director, about the process of creating the magazine. She found her two biggest challenges to be "maintaining the integrity of the essential oil trade through informative articles and staying in contact with essential oil distillers in the U.S and abroad and coordinating the distribution channels for our market." By 2011 she expects the magazine to be "recognized worldwide as a reliable reference for aromatherapy and a publication that brought the distilling, trade, sell and distribution of essential oils to forefront."
There were a total of 715 new magazines launched in 2007, so this actually a fairly significant honor.
The blog link for the interviews is here. (The link above is to their web page, which is slightly abridged.)
April 04, 2008
Notes and News
- P&F has gleaned statistics from Datamonitor on the growth of the Fair Trade market, stating that "ethical consumerism will increasingly come to the fore as people shop for products they feel akin to politically, ethically and aesthetically." Aromatic extracts such as essential oils, CO2's and absolutes are not even on the radar screen with the regulators such as Transfair and flo-cert. My report on Cote d'Ivoire cacao production revealed that determining abuses will not be an easy job. The P&F article predicts a 15.7% growth through 2012 for the countries covered, concluding that "transparency and trust will become increasingly important currency in the emerging 'green' marketplace."
- Insect repellent products made with Nepeta cataria should carry a warning to caution people not to use when hiking in areas where Cougars, Lynx, Bobcats or other large cats are present. All cats (even those big guys) are attracted to catnip, and forest rangers have begun using it to attract Cougars for tagging and research. All cats will have a physiological reaction to the chemical compound nepetalactone in catnip which has been found to induce a psychosexual response in both male and female cats. One might say that catnip has an aphrodisiac effect, however some cats can be very possessive of their catnip, and some cats have been aggressive after use. We highly recommend that product manufacturers alert their customers of this potential danger.
- As reported by Jennifer Minigh, PhD, in ABC's (American Botanical Society) Herbclip, a recent double-blind, randomized and placebo-controlled trial published in BJOG (British Journal of Obstetrics and Gynecology 2008) shows that saffron Crocus sativus L. looks promising for treating PMS (premenstrual syndrome). Using the dried stigma encapsulated, saffron was effective in treating mild to moderate depression via serotonergic mechanisms. This is likely the first study of saffron's effects on PMS, with 50 women participating ages 24-50 and comparisons to other studies are therefore probably not possible.
- An upcoming Sandalwood Conference to be held in Kununurra, WA promises to "Revolutionize the Global Indian Sandalwood Supply." Rob blogged about this briefly when news of the crop development and establishment of a production plant in Kununurra came out in December. This news is creating new excitement, as expressed by Georges Ferrando, from Albert Vieille, who says with a processing plant due to be built in Kununurra next year, the region will become a world leader within five years. "India is number one in supplying sandalwood oil, but I think very, very quickly, Kununurra will become the supplier number one in the world". The growers are expecting the first harvest in 2014. The conference will present comparisons of plantation-grown Santalum album to that grown in the wild, an overview of the international fragrance market, the uses of naturals in fragrance, setting standards for a reliable supply, as well as cover issues of indigenous participation and environmental responsibilities. In addition to featured presentations, there will be round table discussions and plantation tours.
Posted by Marcia on April 4, 2008 in Aromatherapy, Ecological/Cultural Sustainability, Events, Notes and News, Oil Crops, Research, Safety/Toxicity, Trade Issues | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack
March 31, 2008
Botany Photo of the Day: Laurus nobilis
Laurus nobilis is the featured species at Botany Photo of the Day with information provided by Connor Fitzpatrick from the Global Facilitation Unit for underutilized species. They are doing a series on underutilized plants. Another species featured in this series is Sea buckthorn berry.