Herbalist Tim Blakely Talks about Essential Oils

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May 2, 2011

Herbalist Tim Blakely Talks about Essential Oils

Essential Oils, Aromatherapy, Herbs and Chinese Medicine

Sharon Kleyne Hour - Power of Water interviews herbalist Tim Blakely about the medicinal benefits of essential oils.

Tim Blakely is an herbalist, aromatherapist, author and educator who lives in Maui Hawaii.

Book: BLAKELY, T., Medicinal Herbs in the Garden, Field and Marketplace, San Juan Naturals, 1998.

Sharon Kleyne, host of the Sharon Kleyne Hour - Power of Water, talked with herbalist Tim Blakely on May 2, 2011. The topic was essential oils, which have numerous health and nutrition benefits and are widely used in alternative medicine, aromatherapy, Chinese medicine and homeopathic medicine. They are also widely used as fragrances.

Tim Blakely has been involved with the herb and aromatherapy business for 30 years. He was a founder of the California School of Herbal Studies, creator of the Frontier Herb Co-op Botanical Garden, land manager and educator for Herb Pharm in Williams, Oregon, and founding manager of the National Center for the Preservation of Medicinal Herbs.

Mr. Blakely told Mrs. Kleyne that he has a special interest in discovering the therapeutic benefits of essential oils. His company markets many essential oil products worldwide and also searches for new essential oils that may have health benefits.

According to Tim Blakely, there are about 100 common essential oils ("essential" meaning "fragrant") with known medicinal benefits. They are taken from various parts of the plant (bark, wood, leaves, roots and most commonly, the flowers). Essential oils may provide natural alternatives to some medications. Essential oils are utilized either by topical application on the skin as a lotion for dermal absorption (often compounded with other substances), inhaled as an aroma, or gargled with water.

With the expanded interest in herbs and medicinal plants that are mostly obtained from the wild, there is a great need to cultivate them so they do not become threatened. There is a similar situation with the annual morel mushroom forage in southern Oregon, which is tightly controlled and requires permits both for picking and for buying from pickers. Should the demand and pressure becomes great enough, the government may have to limit morels and essential oil plants the way they do game and fish.

Non-oil plant extracts are made by grinding up the plant or plant part, mixing it with alcohol and water, and straining. Essential oils are made by distillation, using water turned to steam and run through cooling and collecting coils.

Blakely's favorite is lavender oil. He loves the smell and says it's very calming and helps him sleep.

Sharon asked about Bach Flower Tinctures. Blakely described it as "homeopathy with flowers," in which a minuscule amount of the flower is mixed with a lot of carrier. They still can be found in some health food stores.

Blakely noted that with most essential oils the dilution is pretty great, including lavender and sandalwood. Lavender oil comes 90% diluted, or 300 drops to a bottle. If you dilute it another 90%, you can get 3,000 drops out of a bottle and derive about the same benefit.

Common essential oils: Rose oil, eucalyptus oil, lavender oil, grapefruit oil, tea tree oil, lemon oil, rosemary oil, doterra oil, coconut oil, almond oil, verbena oil, sandalwood oil, oil of clove and peppermint oil.

Tim Blakely's website: The website contains an extensive list of tapes on herbs and herb farming by Tim Blakely.

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