In the case of Aroma-psychology, we are standing on the threshold of a mew era and there is no reason not to take the natural route. From a worldwide supply and demand point of view, on might say that in all the products, which now use fragrances, were to switch to naturals, there wouldn't be enough space on the planet to grow them.
The answer to this may be in biotechnology, which the perfumery and cosmetics house, Estee lauder, are looking into as a way of producing rose and jasmine oil - which are notoriously expensive. The method their research and development department is exploring involves isolating the oil producing cells in the flower petals and culturing them in a soup of nutrients. If this method works, it may be a good thing in that it will provide a source of 'rose' and 'jasmine' which can be used in perfumery.
However, these would not be substances which I or my collegues would use for traditional aromatherapy. Whatever science may tell us, we believe that real essential oils can only be produced by chlorophyll-bearing plants which absorb the sun's rays and synthesize organic compounds. We prefer bio-dynamics over bio-technology. However, for fragrancing alone, the new bio-technology may provide a solution to the supply problems.
From the future of the planet point of view, plants are already being explored as a means of helping the ozone layer. Much international interest is being taken in Veronia galamensis, from Compositae family (which includes chamomile and Helicrysum) because its oil can be used in paint manufacture and reduce the pollutants in the atmosphere. Because of its low viscosity, Vernonia can be used as a solvent which, uniquely, actually becomes part of the dry paint surface and does not evaporate to pollute the air.
In America and Germany, according to a report in Herbalgram, 'research is underway in university and industry laboratories on its use for lubricants and lubricant additives, adhesives, and epoxy resins and in the synthesis of dilbasic acids currently obtained from petroleum and used in the manufacture of industrial nylons.
As a cash-crop for the Third World Vernonia has the distinctive advantage of being able to grow in as little as eight inches of annual rainfall and is distasteful to animals. As a benefit for the whole world, consider the fact that in the Los Angeles basin alone 22 tons of volatile organic compound emissions from paints and varnishes rise to deplete the ozone layer each day. any reduction in that has to be a blessing.
Citrus oils, meanwhile, are good alternatives for petrochemicals used in paints, household cleaners and solvents used to clean computer chips. This is good news for the twenty per cent of people who suffer headaches caused by the common solvent, trichloroethylene.
The human mind was not designed to inhale the plethora of man-made chemicals and we are only just beginning to understand what effects they are having on us. In the year 2020, children may not know what it feels like to walk, exhilarated, through a pine forest, and they may associate the aroma of pine with synthetic cleaning fluids. Already olfactory researchers are having difficulty finding people who make natural associations with aroma. nature is in danger of being lost!.
Reference: The Fragrant Mind: Valerie A Worwood
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