A trailblazer in the medical aromatherapy movement and advocate of using therapeutic-grade essential oils for integrative medicine is Elizabeth Jones, Founder of Elizabeth Van Buren, Inc. This is an aromatherapy company that has an excellent reputation in the United States and has been providing aromatherapists, nurses, hospitals, massage schools, hospices, spas and estheticians with pure and therapeutic-grade essential oils since 1983.
What classifies an essential as “pure” or “therapeutic-grade”?
A pure essential oil is one that is extracted from botanical plants and nothing is added or taken away. The use of genuine essential oils is crucial to the success of any aromatherapy treatment specifically as it relates to having a therapeutic and medicinal effect on the body. Using essential oils that are adulterated with synthetic substances, such as non-fragrant solvents or synthetic fragrance materials for example, can have adverse effects that can, among other things, compromise the immune system, cause hormonal imbalances and lead to long-term complications.
The following is an excerpt from Larry Jones, Co-owner of Elizabeth Van Buren and Chemist of Spectrix Labs in Santa Cruz, as to how essential oil purity is acquired:
Scientific analysis, preferably GC/MS (Gas Chromatography / Mass Spectrometry), of the essential oil directly before its final use is the ideal way to insure purity and integrity. At Elizabeth Van Buren, we analyze every batch of our essential oils, and use analysis to constantly upgrade our oil sources. This assures that no matter which Elizabeth Van Buren essential oil you purchase, it is going to be pure and of the highest quality.
Van Buren founded the College of Botanical Healing Arts (COBHA) in 1997. She has served as director and primary instructor since the beginning of its inception. What sets COBHA apart from other aromatherapy courses, is that it offers a comprehensive 390-hour program and COBHA is the only aromatherapy college in California that is certified by the California Bureau for Private Postsecondary and Vocational Education and is the only 300+ hour certification aromatherapy program in the United States.
The future of aromatherapy
The movement towards medical aromatherapy has been fostered by Elizabeth Van Buren’s pioneering efforts through her college (COBHA) and her Essential Oil company that bears her name. In her 30 years of aromatherapy education as a leading educator, healer and formulator, she has provided many opportunities in the field of medicine for nurses and for holistic therapists to use aromatherapy in a medical or hospital setting. The time will come in the not too distant future when it will be just as normal to hear of going in for a medical aromatherapy treatment or essential oil therapy just as a visit to the doctor is.
The future of aromatherapy is looking brighter with a heightened sense of excitement with so much more to come. Stay tuned for part 3 – the final discussion on medical aromatherapy and its use in hospices.
Through this Blog, The Wellness Zen Zone, Kathleen focuses on the metaphysical forces of life helping you tap into all holistic and spiritual self-help disciplines and tools. She incorporates the power of positive thinking meditations, affirmations and holistic therapies such as aromatherapy, acupressure, reflexology and breath work to reinforce healing. Kathleen believes that every thought you think forms the basis of your future and her philosophy is:
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