AROMATHERAPY VHT104

Course CodeVHT104
Fee CodeS2
Duration (approx)100 hours
QualificationStatement of Attainment

Learn how Fragrances from the garden can help your Health

 

  • Learn to identify lots of different aromatherapy plants
  • Understand how oils are extracted and stored in various products for therapeutic uses
  • Learn about the different categories of oils, their characteristics, and the dangers associated with misuse of some.
  • Lay a foundation for growing, harvesting, processing and properly using aromatherapy oils

 

Postharvest Handling of Herbs

There has been a considerable rise in the availability of fresh and packaged herbs available to the general public. A number of factors need to be considered to optimise the post harvest handling to extend shelf life. Although much research has been done for fruit and vegetables, little has been done for herbs. The following information comes from research specific to herbs (basil, coriander, mint, rosemary, thyme, small and large leaved oregano, parsley, sage, marjoram and summer savory) and other leafy vegetables.

Even though aromatherapy relies more on fresh herbs which are used in the distillation process, it is still important to understand methods of post harvest used for herbs. The following information is based on culinary herbs.

To define aromatherapy and its history and to understand how aromatherapy works, and the basic chemistry behind it

Most people consider Aromatherapy to be the use of aromatic oils, primarily in an oil burner, for the relief of general complaints, such as stress and insomnia. Aromatherapy, however, is much more. A trained Aromatherapist can provide relief and treatment for a wide range of specific ailments, as well as treatment for balancing and restoring emotional well being, through the proper use of massage and essential oils.

Essential oils are the backbone of Aromatherapy. Their effectiveness is dependant on their safe and proper use, as well as on the quality of the oil used. They work in a much more subtle way than many commercially prepared products and in many situations are more suitable for preventative treatment rather than cure.

Origins of Aromatherapy

While the use of herbs for medicinal purposes has been around for as long as man has walked the earth, Aromatherapy, in its modern form, is relatively new. Prior to the creation of synthetic medicines, doctors and laymen alike depended on the healing qualities of plants and their by-products for treating all types of wounds and illness. Among these plant products where pure essential oils, extracted from leaves, flowers, stems and roots of specific types of plants. In the early 1900's the word Aromatherapy was coined by a French doctor by the name of Gattefosse.

During World War 1, Gattefosse was experimenting with distilled oil from plants, in a search for readily available medicines that could be used in the trenches during the war. While experimenting, he burnt his hand badly and plunged it into the closest liquid at hand, which was a vat of pure Lavender oil. To his surprise, he noticed that the oil not only took the sting out of the burn, but that the burn healed more quickly and with little scarring, than if he had treated the burn with cold water. This event marked the birth of modern Aromatherapy.

Aromatherapy is a complementary treatment. It is not meant to replace modern medicine and the many life saving advances that have been made over the years. However, as people try to find more natural ways of dealing with illness, daily stresses and long term complaints, aromatherapy becomes a viable alternative to the use of synthetic medicines.

 

 

Lesson Structure

  1. Plant Identification
    • Importance of Correct Plant Identification
    • Plant Name Changes
    • Common Names
    • Scientific Names
    • Levels of Classification in Plant Taxonomic System
    • Plant Families
    • Pronunciation of Plant Names
    • Introduction to Chemistry of Herb Plants
    • Parts of a Compound; Biochemical Groups, Chemical Names
    • What is an Acid or Base
    • Alkaloids
    • Tannins
  2. Introduction to Aromatherapy
    • Origins of Aromatherapy
    • Top Notes, Middle Notes
    • Aromatherapy Consultations
    • Natural Chemicals in Plants
    • Saponins; Phenolglycosides; Anthraglycosides; Flavonoids; Mustard Oils; Polysaccharides; Prussic Acid; Glycosides; Coumarin; Essential Minerals, etc
    • Resources
  3. Essential Oils
    • Introduction
    • Benzoin
    • Bergamot
    • Cedar Wood
    • Chamomile
    • Clary Sage
    • Eucalyptus
    • Frankincense
    • Geranium
    • Juniper
    • Lemon
    • Lavender
    • Marjoram
    • Orange
    • Peppermint
    • Rose Otto
    • Rosemary
    • Sandalwood
    • Tea Tree
    • Thyme
    • Ylang Ylang
    • Australian Bush Flower Remedies
  4. Safe Use of Essential Oils
    • How Essential Oils Work
    • Inhalation
    • Absorption
    • Quantities to Use: Rcommended rate, oil type, smell
    • Blending Oils
    • Children
    • During Pregnancy
    • For Animals
  5. Carriers
    • Using Carriers
    • Sweet Almond Oil
    • Apricot Kernal Oil
    • Avocado Oil
    • Canola Oil
    • Burners
    • Inhalation
    • Spray, Basin, Hands, Bath
    • Cariier Oils, Creames and Lotions
  6. Growing and Harvesting Herbs for Essential Oil
    • Herb Cultivation
    • Harvesting different plant parts
    • Harvesting different types of Herbs
    • Expected Yeilds for Different Herbs
    • Harvesting for Essential Oils; Tea Tree, Lavender
    • Post Harvest Handling of Herbs; temperature, moisture loss, physical damage ethylene, pathogens
    • Post Harvest Preservation: Fresh, Modified Atmosphere Packaging
  7. Methods of Extraction
    • Introduction
    • Water Distilation
    • Steam Distilation
    • Maceration
    • Effleurage
    • Expression
    • Fixatives
    • Herbal Preparations
    • Preparing Teas, Rinses and Baths
    • Preparations using different herbs
    • Decoction
  8. Hazardous Herbs and Oils
    • Introduction
    • Carcinogens
    • Photosensitisers
    • Allergens
    • Hormone Like Affects
    • Teratogens
    • Cellular Respiratory Inhibitors
    • Cathartics
    • Abortifacients and Irritants
    • Alkaloids; types
    • Toxic Amino Acids
    • Glycocides
    • Terpenes
    • Plant Acids
    • Poly-ynes
    • Furanocoumarins
    • Proteins

What You Will Do

  • Give the scientific names (genus, species and variety names) of ten different plants from which essential oils are derived.
  • Research an essential oil of your choice. Find out as much as you can about the oil including: ‚ó¶Conditions that it is suitable for
    • What plant it is sourced from and where it grows naturally
    • How it is extracted
    • Where it is available commercially
  • Suggest 3 different blends that can be used for treating a head cold.
  • List a range of oils that would be considered safe to use for children.
  • List a range of types of vegetable oils appropriate for use in massage and indicate what types of skin the oils are good for.
  • Explain why some herbs tend to be collected in the morning, some before flowering, some during flowering, and others at various times of the year.
  • Submit your detailed costing for processing herb materials to produce essential oils.
  • Discuss which essential oils may not be safe for use during pregnancy.

Aromatherapy is part health science, part botany and part chemistry.

All of the essential oils that are used for aromatherapy are derived from plants, hence it is important to have a good knowledge of plant taxonomy; if you are to be sure that you are using the correct plants for a particular job.
 
With experience, a knowledge of plant identification can help you to identify particular characteristics of an essential oil, by identifying its family and genus. Plants that are closely related to each other do not just look alike, but they also share similar smells, similar chemical components, and often similar aromatherapy uses.
 
Plant chemistry can be complex as almost several hundred different chemicals may contribute to just one characteristic of a plant such as its taste or smell.  This is not a chemistry course, but out of necessity, it does require a very basic appreciation of chemistry. Understanding the chemistry of herbs well involves a great deal of study; far more than what can be dealt with here. If you already have a good grasp of chemistry though; this can help.
 
Most people consider Aromatherapy to be the use of aromatic oils, primarily in an oil burner, for the relief of general complaints, such as stress and insomnia. Aromatherapy, however, is much more.
 
A trained Aromatherapist can provide relief and treatment for a wide range of specific ailments, as well as treatment for balancing and restoring emotional well being, through the proper use of massage and essential oils. 
Aromatherapy can be described as “the use of pure essential oils to seek to influence, to change or modify the mind, body, spirit, physiology or mood”. Essential oils are the backbone of Aromatherapy. Their effectiveness is dependent on their safe and proper use, as well as on the quality of the oil used. They often work in a much more subtle way than many commercially prepared products and in many situations are more suitable for preventative treatment rather than cure.
 
 

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