What is Aromatic Medicine?
Aromatic Medicine is the internal dosing of volatile plant extracts. Extracts used in aromatic medicine include:
steam- and hydro-distilled essential oils,
expressed/cold-pressed essential oils,
carbon dioxide extracted volatiles (CO2 extracts),
and deterpenated/rectified essential oils.
Dose Forms in Aromatic Medicine
Respiratory tract – an emulsified solution dosed via a nebulizer according to the constitution and age of the client; an emulsified nasal spray/wash; an aromatic suppository.
Gastrointestinal tract – milligram dosage according to the weight of the client and chemistry of the active ingredients employed and dosed via enteric-coated capsules, aperitifs and digestifs, emulsified gargles, liquid syrups, or aromatic suppositories.
Urogenital tract – milligram dosage according to weight of the client and chemistry of the active ingredients employed and dosed via aromatic suppositories or pessaries.
Should I try Aromatic Medicine?
Aromatic medicine seems to particularly shine in the area of supporting the body during an acute or chronic infectious disease state. Examples of this include influenza, hospital superbugs, respiratory infections, gastrointestinal infections, and Lyme disease.
Is it safe?
Safety and efficacy should always be at the forefront of any aromatic intervention, be it inhaled, topical, internal, or oral. … There are risks associated with oral dosing: mucousal lining damage, internal organ stress, stomach and esophageal damage, phototoxic reactions (worse with oral dosing than topical), and immune system stress (sensitization, triggering an autoimmune condition, etc). So if adding a drop to a glass of water isn’t safe how is adding a drop to a gel cap and swallowing it safe?
The only way for aromatic medicine to be safe is to have a firm grasp on dosing, chemistry, and pharmacology of these concentrated ingredients. We know that essential oils can safely be used to flavor beverages and foods when they have been appropriately emulsified (remember that oil and water don’t mix!), and used in accordance with flavoring doses. Oftentimes this means an essential oil needs to be rectified for it to be non-irritating to the mucous membranes in the mouth, throat, and stomach.
Dosing, chemistry, and pharmacology go hand-in-hand in a treatment plan … (Dosing is) based on weight and constitution of the individual – very different dosing and dose forms for a 190 pound adult with a strong constitution versus a frail 110 pound senior citizen. Then we further calibrate the dose according to the chemistry of the aromatics we’ve selected. After that we further calibrate based on the dose form we wish to employ. So each capsule, suppository, nebulizer dose provides the same dose of aromatics.
This post is excerpted with permission from the Barefoot Dragonfly blog by Amy Kreydin.