The conventional view to get to know an essential oil is to recognize the botanical name of the plant from which the oil is distilled and secondly to have an idea about the chemical profile. Is the oil dominated by esters, or maybe by alcohols, etc? In our exploration of Asian oils we also integrate Biology, the recognition that organisms develop complex properties as they evolve into higher and higher forms of organization. And we integrate the cultural, or philosophical dimension of climate. Following is a collection of common oils from Asia, which are relatively well known in aromatherapy. However, they also represent the Asian, the Monsoon perspective. Let’s see: We have already realized the global nature of secondary metabolites. Plants arose, apparently independent from each other, in different parts of our planet. Nonetheless many of the secondary metabolites are distributed all over the world. A most obvious example is linalool, which is found in essential oils from every continent.
So let us first examine
Essential oils with high linalool levels are valued all over the world. Coriander would be the European (pastoral) version of such an oil. Linalool, though present at around 60%, is balanced with terpenes, terpene alcohols and the like. Rosewood would be the South American standout of a an oil with very high linalool content.
The Asian Ho is the distillate from the leaves of the utterly versatile Cinnamomum camphora tree. With the way global business is going and with China becoming the hub of the aromatrades Ho is now, besides Indian Basil oil, the global source for isolated natural linalool. For our purposes within the Asian aromatherapy perspective it is a classic. It is readily available, it is very inexpensive and it has most amazing healing properties. It is an uncanny representation of the TCM or Daoist adage that the best medicines are the least expensive.(Footnote about financing the disease)
The oil is strongly anti-infectious, anti-bacterial, antiviral and very powerfully antifungal. It is a general tonic and stimulant.
This oil is the classic Camphor, also from the Cinnamomum camphora tree. European or pastoral climate does not really produce an oil that is so strongly dominated by Camphor. European and pastoral climates have oils dominated by Thujone, such as Sage or Thuja. The very high Camphor content seems to be an Asian/Monsoon quality.
The oil is a powerful anti-rhumatism agent and it ameliorates contusions and neuralgia.
Litsea citrata is a well known Citral dominated essential oil. In French style aromatherapy which categorizes oils according to their dominant component, we know this type of oil. Mostly in the form of Lemongrass. However Lemongrass is of course also from Southern Asia. It appears that these ‘full strength Citral oils’ such as Lemongrass and Litsea represent Monsoon climate. The European Citral oils, Lemon Verbena and Melissa contain a broad variety of components that balance/ameliorate the Citral. The pastoral Melissa and Lemon Verbena also have a much lesser oil yield when distilled and hence tend to be quite expensive. The Monsoon style Lemongrass and Litsea are relatively inexpensive. They give the aromatherapist the opportunity to soften these oils through proper blending and make their healing available to everyone, regardless of budget.
Litsea citrata is calming and highly sedative and anti-inflammative when properly blended or diluted. It works well for nervous depression and viral neuritis. It is also useful for enterocolitis.
Benzoin can be prepared in many different ways. The one on offer here is the classic resinoid (footnote) from Laos. The composition of this resinoid does not really have a pastoral/European counterpart. Benzoin is a straight forward manifestation of the Monsoon character in the plant world. The chemistry that makes it so unique is a broad variety of benzoic acid esters.
The resinoid is a powerful respiratory (footnot suppositories) antispetic and tissue regenerator. It is used for many difficult skin issues such as acne, eczema, psoriasis and ulcers.
Asian Standards Collection: $19.50