Based on their distinguishing qualities, each of the 12 chemical families can be divided into 12 Archetypes and their characteristic Elemental Powers.
These 12 archetypes, and their chemical families, tell us about the therapeutic properties, actions and effects of essential oils.
You can select essential oils to use alone, or in a formulation, to promote healing for specific conditions, based on their specific archetype and therapeutic chemical properties, actions and effects.
PLEASE NOTE: Depending upon the percentage(s) of a chemical component that comprises an oil, it can be classed in more than one chemical family.
Monoterpenes (are -terpenes). Check out last week’s blog, Aromatherapy Archetypes - 12 Natural Healers - The Male Athlete, to find out about monoterpenes and essential oils in this class of chemical compounds.
An alcohol added to a monoterpene chain is a monoterpene alcohol and often called a monoterpenol.
The same is true when adding an -OH (alcohol) group to a sesquiterpene. The family is called a sesquiterpenol.
Adding an additional oxidation pathway, such as with monoterpenols and sesquiterpenols, can lead to more synergistic effects.
Enhanced synergistic effects is a very important quality for an oil to have, as it boosts the effect of a single oil in its action, especially when in combination with other essential oils, botanical plants and extracts, or even when used with pharmaceutical agents.
Monoterpenol (subclass of Alcohols) - Archetype: The Female Athlete
Feminine (Yin character), promotes strength, stability, courage, endurance, stamina and agility.
Essential oils rich in monoterpenols strengthen the immune system and are great for skin care. They promote emotional balance and calm nervous energy, anxiety and stress.
Monoterpenols are found in most essential oils. They have potent anti-infectious, antibacterial, antiviral properties and are generally nontoxic.
The most common monoterpenols in plants are:
Linalool - found in Rosewood (ICUN Red List Endangered Species) essential oil is very high in natural linalool at 82%-99. Linalool is also present in large amounts in Ho wood, Ho leaf, Coriander seed, Neroli, Basil (chemotype linalool), and Spike Lavender essential oils. Linalool contributes to the plants characteristic flavor and powerful floral scent.
A research study on, Linalool, a plant-derived monoterpene alcohol, published in PubMed, suggests that Linalool (LIN) may help in the management of breast cancer, especially in multiple drug resistant (MDR) tumors. The study noted that, "a significant synergism was observed."
Nerol - found in Neroli, Lemongrass and Melissa. Nerol gives the plant a sweet, fresh aroma. A study showed that Nerol (NEL) has great potential as an eco-friendly antifungal agent for food preservation.
Menthol - found in mint plants like Peppermint and Spearmint. It gives the plant a fresh, sweet, minty and cooling scent. Menthol relaxes intestinal muscles and prevents spasms.
A study on the effects of Menthol as an abortive treatment for migraine concluded that, "Menthol solution can be an efficacious, safe and tolerable therapeutic option for the abortive treatment of migraine."
Geraniol - found primarily in Lemongrass, rose oil, palmarosa and geraniums. It gives the plant a sweet rosy aroma. Commonly used in perfumes. A comprehensive research study on geraniol concluded that, "Geraniol represents a valuable asset against colitis alone or in combination with the conventional anti-colitic therapies," among other conditions studied. This study showed results from traditional medical treatment interventions were enhanced when combined with geraniol.
Monoterpenol Actions & Effects:
Anti-infectious - controls infection.
Anti-viral - prevents, inhibits virus.
Anti-bacterial - prevents, inhibits bacteria.
Anti-fungal - prevents, inhibits fungal growth.
Analgesic - pain reliever.
Anti-inflammatory - reduces inflammation.
Immuno-stimulant - stimulates immune response, increases immune function.
Cicatrizant - skin and wound healing.
Carminative - prevents and treats gas in the intestines.
Regulator - stabilize and balance, especially mood and the emotions.
Essential Oils in this Class (partial list)
Preferred distillation method, part of plant used, and some best locations for production.
BASIL SWEET - (Ocimum basilicum), steam distilled leaf, Egypt.
PETITGRAIN - (Citrus aurantium), steam distilled leaf, Italy.
LAVENDER - (Lavandula angustifolia), steam distilled flowers (high altitude), Bulgaria & France.
PEPPERMINT - (Mentha x piperita), steam distilled flowers and leaf, USA.
SPKIE LAVENDER - (Lavandula latifolia), steam distilled flower, France & Spain.
TEA TREE - (Melaleuca alternifolia), steam distilled leaf, Australia.
LEMONGRASS - (Cymbopogon citratus), hydrodiffused gass, Haiti & India.
MARJORAM, SWEET - (Origanum majorana), steam distilled flower/leaf, Egypt.
PALMAROSA - (Cymbopogon martinii), steam distilled grass/herb, Nepal.
ROSE OTTO (Rosa x damascena), steam distilled flowers, Turkey & Bulgaria.
GERANIUM - (Pelargonium roseum & P. graveolens), steam distilled leaf, Reunion Islands, Madagascar & Albania.
CLARY SAGE - (Salvia sclarea), hydrodiffusion flowers, USA.
NEROLI (TRUE) - (Citrus aurantium L. ssp. amara), steam distilled blossoms, Tunisia.
CAUTIONS: Can irritate the skin. Menthol containing essential oils like Peppermint should be avoided with children under 10 years of age. Check each individual oil for specific cautions.