Strawberry Gum

Strawberry Gum – Eucalyptus olida

The air was a wash with the distinctive strawberry aroma (methyl cinnamate) of this species as I stepped out of my car when I went in search of it recently.

Endemic to the northern tablelands of New South Wales, Australia, Strawberry Gum is a medium-sized tree to 20 metres (65 ft). The bark is fibrous on mature trees. Flowers are cream coloured and are followed by small woody capsules. The juvenile leaves are ovate (7 cm long) and dull green. Adult leaves are lanceolate and glossy green (to 17 cm).

The highly aromatic leaves are used in the native cuisine industry “bush food” as a dried spice, particularly with fruit and in beverages, such as herbal teas.

The extracted oil being 98% pure methyl cinnamate will crystalise upon cooling and needs to be diluted for topical or perfumery use to prevent solidifcation and to tame down the extremely heady and somewhat overpowering aroma. The hydrosol however is soft, fruity & far more agreeable.

Plantation grown material has replaced wild harvested for the food trade and as new plantations come on line we should expect to see this aromatic more readily available.



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AROMATIC MEDICINE International Courses
– Integrated Advanced Essential Oil Therapeutics for Common Clinical Conditions

8-day in-class International Advanced Diploma Course with Mark Webb BSc, MASCC (Australia)

The course is jointly hosted by the Institute of Traditional Herbal Medicine and Aromatherapy (ITHMA), London and the Heal Center, Atlanta, and the Advanced Diploma is a jointly-issued international qualification.

Since its advent as a modern therapeutic intervention – originated a century ago by René-Maurice Gattefossé – aromatherapy has evolved to embrace several overlapping approaches to the remedial use of essential oils. Each approach developed within a specific cultural context and stressed different methods of essential oil application.

In France, an emphasis on the oral and rectal use of essential oils established aromatherapy as a form of médecines douces (natural medicine), the practice of which was pioneered by Dr Jean Valnet; while in Britain, the traditional use of volatile extracts by herbalists re-emerged in the form of their predominantly dermal and respiratory use by students of Austrian-born nurse Marguerite Maury, paving the way for holistic aromatherapy.

These approaches have interwoven and spread beyond France and Britain to the extent that it is perhaps no longer so relevant to speak of a ‘French School’ or ‘British School’ as such — not least because different styles of essential oil practice are distinguished today by the various contexts in which they are carried out: in the natural health centre, herbal practice, pharmacy, hospital, hospice, health & beauty clinic, and spa — with each setting emphasizing methods of application appropriate for that context.

AROMATIC MEDICINE: Integrated Advanced Essential Oil Therapeutics for Common Clinical Conditions offers those working in any of these different contexts the chance to extend and develop their essential oil formulating skills through a course delivered by one of the world’s leading experts in aromatic medicine: biochemist, plant biologist and aromatherapy author Mark Webb. Through this groundbreaking Advanced Diploma Course, Mark instructs participants in an integrated 21st century model of clinical aromatherapy — a model in which the full range of essential oil dose forms and application methods are presented according to an escalating structure from low dose up to and including higher concentration topical and internal dose forms.

Addressing the chemistry and pharmacology of essential oils in terms of their holistic and cosmetic as well as advanced clinical applications, Mark provides participants with the tools to both expand and deepen their professional practice — to make it both scientifically more precise and clinically broader and more integrated.


Module I (Days 1 & 2): Aromatic Chemistry, Pharmacology and Toxicology

Module II (Days 3 & 4): Internal and External Dose Forms – Galenic Preparations and Cosmoceutical Formulation

Module III (Days 5 & 6): Aromatic Toolkit – Essential Oils and Expressed Oils, CO2 Extracts, Absolutes and Hydrosols

Module IV (Days 7 & 8): Aromatic Medicine for Common Clinical Conditions

Atlanta Course – FULL PROGRAM & Registration details: MODULES I – IV
London Course – FULL PROGRAM & Registration details: MODULES I – IV

Essential Oil Safety 2nd Ed.

eo-safety By Robert Tisserand and Rodney Young PhD

It has been 18 years since the original edition of “Essential Oil Safety” was published in 1995. In that time the world of essential oils has changed rapidly, this work reflecting those changes in a highly critical and comprehensive manner.

When I first opened the second edition and browsed the contents, there was only one word that came to mind – ‘WOW’! As a lecturer in Aromatic Medicine and a formulator, the chemistry of essential oils is an integral part of my day-to-day working life. This work has become my go-to reference for toxicity data, drug interactions, regulatory body recommendations and so much more.

The meticulous level of detail that both authors have achieved during their 12 year rewrite is easily seen when browsing the essential oil profiles which have been expanded from 95 to 400 (including many newer essential oils such as Fragonia and Honey Myrtle). Each profile now includes detailed constituent chemistry data, safety hazard data from various sources including the EU and IFRA, regulatory guidelines for safe and appropriate usage, organ specific and systemic effects plus general comments. The inclusion of chemotypes of commonly used species, such as Niaouli, Rosemary and Thyme, is a useful feature for both formulators and therapists alike.

The new organ system specific chapters are a goldmine of information for therapists wishing to gain a deeper understanding of the interaction of aromatic compounds with the human organism. Sensible, balanced information is given in a highly readable format about some fairly heavy subject matter. This clear, easy-to-read style of information delivery is a testament to the authors and editors commitment to the target audience making this an ideal addition to course textbook lists.

When it comes to the chemical constituent profiles, these too have been expanded in a similarly detailed manner. Natural sources of each constituent >1% are listed facilitating easy substitutions during formulating. Pharmacokinetic, dermal and oral LD50 data along with the neurotoxicity and mutagenicity/genotoxicity data make this section extremely important to pharmaceutical, perfumery and cosmetic formulators.

For food and beverage scientists this work is of equal importance as it covers the regulatory guidelines for both essential oils and isolated constituents, the suggested oral doses and any known adverse side effects.

One would expect this new, hugely expanded 2nd edition to have a similarly expanded price tag, but surprisingly the new edition is currently being offered by most book sellers for less than its predecessor.

This work is a must-have reference for anyone working with essential oils or their constituents regardless of profession or level of knowledge. If you only purchase one new referenced text this year, spend your money wisely and grab this long awaited and much-needed reference work.

This book review appears in the International Journal of Professional Holistic Aromatherapy Volume 2 Issue 3 (December 2013)


Recently I wrote an article upon Fragonia – one of the newer Australian Oils, which has been receiving a large amount of interest in the wider Aromatherclose upapy communitee.

Ive uploaded a copy of the complete article as published in the IJPHA summer edition 2013 for those wanting to see the full story of this rather interesting Aussie oil.

Fragonia IJPHA Article

Aromatic Medicine – An Australian Perspective


NHAA Conference, Melbourne Australia 12th April 2013

This presentation will focus upon the therapeutic uses and applications of Australian aromatic plants within aromatic medicine.  A brief history of research, chemistry and clinical applications will then be followed by a discussion upon formulating and dosage strategies with examples. This short lecture will hopefully inspire attendees to look more closely at the unique aromatic flora of the Great Southern Land.