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Essential oils I've Known and Loved - add yours

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Here's an interesting paper and some research I compiled:
 

Essential Oils and Their Constituents: An Alternative Source for Novel Antidepressants

Calamus oil: β-asarone produces an antidepressant effect, increases TH and could promote expression of GDNF, BDNF, and CNTF genes. β-Asarone functions as a neuroprotective effect in both in vivo and in vitro models of PD.

α-asarone or β-asarone potentiated the NGF-induced neuronal differentiation.
 

The antidepressant-like effect of α-asarone could be mediated through both noradrenergic (α1 and α2 adrenoceptors) and serotonergic (particularly, 5-HT1A receptors) systems. α-asarone effectively modulates microglial morphological dynamics, this effect of α-asarone may functionally relate to its influence on neurogenesis. α-asarone improved m1 mAChR expression and ACh levels, and attenuated the increased AChE activity in a mouse model of FXS.
 

β-asarone antagonised Aβ neurotoxicity in vivo and improved the learning and memory ability. β-asarone might be effective for the treatment of AD
 

Chamomile - anxiolytic: Bisabolol (α-(-)-bisabolol) is a sesquiterpene which is a part of the essential oil of a variety of plants, but its common source is German chamomile. It is a potent GABAAR modulator at the BZD site - the anxiolytic-like activity of bisabolol occurs via the GABAergic but not serotonergic transmission
 

Copaiba oil: Anti-inflammatory, analgesic, anti-addictive, antidepressant etc. ~50% β-caryophyllene. CB2 agonist, PPARγ modulator. Regulates μ opioid receptors increasing analgesic effects, alters expression of 5-HT2ARs, activates TrkA receptors mimicking NGF exerting antidepressant effects.
 

Frankincense: Contains significant quantities of α-pinine which is anxiolytic via GABAA BZD site modulation, antiinflammatory (PGE2) and memory enhancing via AChE. Also in rosemary EO. Also contains the psychoactive incensole acetate which is a potent TRPV3 agonist that causes anxiolytic-like and antidepressive-like effects.
 

Jasmine: Contains methyl jasmonate. Antidepressant effects, established in animals, may be related to suppression of oxidative stress and release of TNFα.
 

Recently, it has been discovered to have anti-psychotic activity, suppressing pro-psychotic activity of dopaminergics and NMDA antagonists: MJ demonstrated antipsychotic-like property via mechanism related to its antioxidant property and interference with dopaminergic neurotransmission
 

It has strong anti-neuroinflammatory activity and suppresses memory dysfunction in mice. MJ also suppressed the expression of COX2, iNOS and NFκB. It has anti-amyloidogenesis-like effects.
 

Lavender - contains linalool and linalyl acetate etc: Anti-convulsant, analgesic, potent anxiolytic. VDCC blocker, GABAA modulator, DAergic, glutamate/ NMDAR modulator, 5-HT modulator (particularly altering 5-HT1AR binding). 80mg orally as efficacious as lorazepam and paroxetine for GAD. (-)-linalool to stimulates opioidergic, cholinergic M2 and dopaminergic D2 systems, as well as interacts with potassium ion (K+)-channels. The effects of (-)-linalool on pain responses are mediated, at least in part, by the activity of adenosine A1 and A2A receptors and by the reduction of nitric oxide (NO) production/release, probably through mechanisms involving opioidergic, cholinergic and/or glutamatergic systems. Reverses the effects of stress at the transcriptional level on inhalation, increasing things like oxytocin.


Lemon - limonene reversed increased immobility time in the FST induced by neuropathic pain in rats. The putative mechanism by which lemon oil produces antidepressant-like effects seems to be mediated by 5-HT and dopamine neurotransmission. The pretreatment with buspirone (5-HT1A partial agonist), DOI (5-HT2A receptor agonist), miaserin (5-HT2A/C receptor agonist), apomorphin (nonselective dopamine receptor agonist) and haloperidol (nonselective dopamine receptor antagonist), blocked the antidepressant effects of lemon oil. Moreover, the acute inhalation of this oil significantly increased dopamine contents in the hippocampus and 5-HT in the prefrontal cortex and hippocampus. As commented before, dopamine and 5-HT are intrinsically involved in the modulation of mood states, and hippocampus and prefrontal cortex are the main stages of this action. Thus, the antidepressant-like effects of Citrus limon oil might be mediated by limonene. Indeed, modulation of 5-HT and dopamine neurotransmission in brain areas highly involved with mood states could be on the basis of the antidepressant effects of lemon oil. Limonene also seems to have effects on adenosine receptors.
 

Oregano - contains carvacrol - antidepressant and antiinflammatory/ PPARα/γ dual agonist, TRPV3 agonist, modulates DA and 5-HT, decreases COX expression
 

Patchouli: Antidepressant. This aroma oil exposure may modulate the blood platelet serotonergic regulation through MAOA depending on the dose, duration, and conditions of exposure. Patchouli alcohol exerts antidepressant effects orally.
 

Piper: Piper species are considered to play a role in alleviating neuronal ailments that are associated with inhibition of acetylcholinesterase (AChE). Sesquiterpenes and phenylpropanoids were found to be rich in these EOs, of which asaricin, caryophyllene, caryophyllene oxide, isospathulenol, (+)-spathulenol, and β-bisabolene are the major constituents. The EOs from the leaves and stems of Piper austrosinense, P. puberulum, P. flaviflorum, P. betle, and P. hispidimervium showed strong AChE inhibitory activity with IC50 values in the range of 1.51 to 13.9 mg/mL. A thin-layer chromatography (TLC) bioautography assay was employed to identify active compound(s) in the most active EO from P. hispidimervium. The active compound was isolated and identified as asaricin, which gave an IC50 value of 0.44 ± 0.02 mg/mL against AChE, comparable to galantamine with an IC50 0.15 ± 0.01 mg/mL.
 

Spearmint (Mentha spicata) and caraway (Carum carvi) essential oils - sodium channel antimanics: Contain (R)-(-)-carvone and (S)-(+)-carvone which prevent mania in animal models. (S)-(+)-carvone decreased spontaneous locomotor activity in sleep deprivation experiment, indicating a sedative effect while (R)-(-)-carvone is not sedating


Some Australian Natives I love:

 

 

 

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This is great info.... Ive been experimenting with essentials and altered states a little... Frankincense and Clove are two of my favorite.... Lemon myrtle and Orange are incredible also....  :D

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Awesome information!

I plan on distilling some in the hopefully near future! 

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How would you best apply calamus oil? Is it a skin irritant? Would you have to mix it with a little carrier jojoba/olive/etc oil and then apply to somewhere blood is close to the surface say like the inside of the elbows a la nutmeg/mace oil?

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It's a risky one. Personally I love a few drops in soy milk but I'm taking an informed risk

 

Love Acorus spiced soy milk acutely. A few drops in the milk. Tasty and 'grounding/centreing'. As it's rich in asarones, it should only be seen as a short term addition and a low dose thing, just wanted to connect and appreciate the essence of the plant. Longer term it's potentially carcinogenic [https://examine.com/supplements/acorus-calamus/]. Calamus is used as a symbol of love, lust, and affection. For acute ingestion, β-asarone and Acorus calamus appear to be quite beneficial and protective. Over the long term, it is potentially carcinogenic and causes organ damage. Remember it shouldn't be used therapeutically and is sometimes sensitising...
 

"I probably know calamus more deeply than any other plant I’ve worked with, yet in spite of that (or perhaps because of it…) I find it most difficult to capture what I know of it in a way that adequately conveys its essential nature; its medicine. Perhaps this is because calamus is not a plant that facilitates “capturing” on any level, but rather teaches us to yield to the flow of things and let go of our needs for stark outlines and delineations. Still, this plant has clearly offered itself to me not only to learn from, but to share, and so that I’ll try to do here…
 

...some words to describe the effect of Sweet Flag: Calming. Centering. Perspective. Joyce Wardwell once used the word “Resolution”… that’s a good one. It’s tempting to say that it instills “focus”, but focus isn’t quite the right word. “Focus” implies fixing the perception on a certain aspect of something, and Sweet Flag tends to open one’s awareness so that they’re able to take in what’s going on around them (or within them) with great clarity, without singling out any one aspect. So perhaps saying it instills clarity of perception is more accurate. I like to use borrow the concept of "depth of field" from photography... a narrow depth of field implies a narrower range of focus; broad depth of field a broader, more inclusive focus... this isn't meant to imply a purely or predominantly visual effect; I think of calamus as increasing one's perceptual depth of field.
 

Sweet flag also seems to put your energy into balance, and get you energetically resonating as a whole. I like to say it "unscatters" energy. For this reason it excels as a treatment for panic and anxiety attacks, not only for full-fledged episodes, but for the "little daily anxiety attacks" that most of us can relate to. It is especially good when an intense/traumatic situation occurs, and you handle it excellently, but after its over you're all strung out and a nervous basketcase. I find it works best when a bit is chewed as soon as the onset of an attack is perceived... often I've heard that once the attack starts, it's not that it doesn't work as well, but that it's hard to remember to use it. Again, I think of that shuddering bitter quality; I visualize the shudder as the "freaking out" person getting a good shake: "Get a hold of yourself! Come back here, into your body!".
 

(Incidentally, I feel this affect on anxiety is the reason why it was used for quitting smoking: not just because it causes a "distaste for Tobacco" (it has been smoked with Tobacco for treating headaches; although I personally don't think the two blend together that well... like chocolate and tomatoes, if you had one, would you really want the other?). The intense anxiety associated with "Nicotine fixes" is very much like the anxiety picture that Sweet Flag is good for. However, it should not be assumed to be a magic bullet for the Tobacco habit, but rather an effective tool to supplement and enhance determination and will power. Quitting smoking requires… well, a long write up of its own.)
 

I've used the plant quite a bit with people suffering from trauma, including post traumatic stress disorder, chewed to push away the flashbacks, quell the panic, and return to the present moment. Feelings of dizziness, nervous queasy stomach, "leaving the body", panic, looks like a scared animal in the headlights, doesn't know which way to go, frozen by fear, wants to run, but which way?, disassociated... all these are good indications. Have the person chew on Calamus and breathe deeply, fully and slowly and often the anxiety and panic will fade. It's an another option to consider alongside excellent remedies such as anemone, or indian pipe.
 

In Ayurvedic medicine, calamus is called vacha, which means "to speak"... not only a restorer of the voice in a strictly auditory manner, it is said to connect the heart to the voice, to allow people to speak clearly, to speak truth. One client with PTSD would chew on it before or bring it with her to therapy sessions, as she felt it helped her let out things she felt she was holding in, fearing to speak aloud, to have "out there". Herbalist and Naturopath Anne Hill offers some eloquent insights: "Intuitively and thru some playing around with calamus I have come to regard it as an herb for when people are in stuck mental states, like spiritual emergence type of situations where a layer of fear becomes prominent and inflamed almost and is ready to unfurl itself and fall away so that the person can move to another working level. I think calamus helps by thinning the veil between ego and spirit as well as spirit and Universe (or ____________ please insert deity name of choice here). When one has a glimpse or feeling of universal love, that fear can be more easily released... My understanding of being in fear is that it is so all inclusive that it barricades itself in so that no new or different perspectives or information can be obtained to help one move outside of that fear."
 

K.P. Khalsa tells a very moving story in a presentation he offered on herbal remedies for autism (that link goes to a recorded presentation; calamus is discussed at 45:45) that illustrates the immense potential of vacha: "I was talking to someone the other day whose child [is] 16... he's been essentially nonverbal his entire life. He's said a couple of things here and there, but really he doesn't communicate verbally. She was telling me that recently they were sitting in their living room watching TV and mom and dad were sitting on the sofa behind the child... he was sitting a few feet from the TV on the floor watching his favorite TV show... and he'd never said a word to them in their entire life. He had started taking calamus from their therapist about 2 weeks previously, and in the middle of his favorite TV show, he turned around, looked at both of them on the couch, and said "Mom and dad, I love you."

http://www.herbcraft.org/calamus.html

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