I’m currently studying the monographs of 24 essential oils, as I work through Foundations of Aromatherapy, one of two courses needed for aromatherapy certification through The School for Aromatic Studies. In general, a monograph is a written account of single thing (Merriam-Webster). The written account of a single essential oil can range in length from a few pages to several, depending on whose account and which essential oil.

Disclosures and Disclaimers

The monographs in Foundations of Aromatherapy are quite thorough, containing the following information for each essential oil: common and Latin name, botany and history, extraction, blending, safety, chemical composition, therapeutic actions, keywords, and core therapeutic applications. Each monograph also contains research references.

For aromatherapy purposes, knowledge of the therapeutic actions and applications of an essential oil is key to knowing what type of impact the essential oil may have an individual’s physical, emotional, mental and spiritual health, as well as what other essential oils might be blended with the oil to produce wanted outcomes.

Central to the therapeutic actions and core applications of an essential oil is the chemical composition of an essential oil. The chemical composition is what gives the essential oil its therapeutic value. For example, it’s what makes Lavender, Roman Chamomile and Clary Sage essential oils calming, either by themselves or blended together.

I’ve always had a bit of an issue with anything labeled as “chemical free,” which I usually see in relation to items made with essential oils. It’s a credibility issue. How could anything be chemical free and exist as a tangible thing? It’s basic biology and chemistry, which is what aromatherapy study is all about. I see in my mind’s eye that gigantic Periodic Table of Elements on the wall of  my high school chemistry class, some symbols of which are forever seared in my brain. I’m sure the intent behind chemical free is good, but perhaps a better way to describe such an item might be something like “made will natural chemicals.” Feel free to comment with other suggestions.

While studying essential oil monographs, I also discovered that there are drug monographs, which Mosby’s Medical Dictionary defines as “a statement that specifies the kinds and amounts of ingredients a drug or class of drugs may contain, the directions for the drug’s use, the conditions in which it may be used , and the contraindications to its use.”

If you’re interested, search for “essential oil monographs” and note how monographs for the same essential oils can vary. You might learn something new about your favorite essential oil and come up with some new blends.

As mentioned previously in the Oils & Spoils Certifiable series, I’ve started a Facebook group for anyone who clicks on the following links to enroll in the Foundations course or other aromatherapy certification courses at The School for Aromatic Studies. We provide group motivation and support.

 

Until next time, extra credit if you can guess the song parodied here:  Monograph/I don’t want your monograph/I don’t need your monograph/All I got is a monograph…

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