Monday, January 05, 2009

Cajuput: Oil of the Month

Cajuput, Melaleuca leucadendron, is distilled from the leaves of the cajuput tree, and is known for its highly aromatic aroma. Full of stimulating properties, the aroma is similar to camphor or rosemary; the taste is bitter.

Traces of copper may be found in the oil, if it has a greenish tint. The oil should be stored in a colored bottle out of direct sunlight.

Therapeutic actions of cajuput include: antispasmodic, diaphoretic, stimulant, antiseptic, and anthelmintic. When diluted, according to the Recommended Daily Dose, and taken internally, the oil has a warming sensation, which can increase the pulse and perspiration. When applied externally, the oil is a stimulant and has a mild counter-irritant property. It is suggested that the oil be diluted in olive or similar base oil in a 1-part cajuput to 2-part oil ratio.

Cajuput is January’s featured essential oil for ACHS’s Oil of the Month Club. As member, each month you will receive 5 ml of the featured oil and an informational insert, as well as formulas and tips for healthy living. Oil of the Month is available through the Apothecary Shoppe at:

More hospitals offering CAM programs

Hospitals across the nation are responding to patient demand and integrating complementary and alternative medicine (CAM) services with the conventional services they normally provide, according to the results of a new survey released [September 15, 2008] by Health Forum, a subsidiary of the American Hospital Association (AHA). The survey shows that more than 37 percent of responding hospitals indicated they offer one or more CAM therapies, up from 26.5 percent in 2005. Additionally, hospitals in the southern Atlantic states led the nation in offering CAM services to the patients they serve, followed by east north central states and those in the middle Atlantic.

CAM is not based solely on traditional western allopathic medical teachings, and can include acupuncture, chiropractic, homeopathy, diet and lifestyle changes, herbal medicine, massage therapy and more. CAM services also reflect hospitals' desire to treat the whole person-body, mind, and spirit.

"Complementary and alternative medicine has shown great promise in supporting and stimulating healing," said AHA President and CEO Rich Umbdenstock. "It's one of the many tools hospitals look to as they continue to create optimal healing environments for the patients they serve."

According to the survey, 84 percent of hospitals indicated patient demand as the primary rationale in offering CAM services and 67 percent of survey respondents stated clinical effectiveness as their top reason.

"Today's patients have better access to health information and are demanding more personalized care," said study author Sita Ananth. "The survey results reinforce the fact that patients want the best that both traditional and alternative medicine can offer."

Other survey results include:

* Massage therapy is in the top two services provided in both outpatient and inpatient settings;
* The majority of hospitals that offered CAM were urban hospitals (72 percent) and were medium-sized (100-299 beds); and
* Most CAM services are not reimbursable by insurance and are paid for out-of-pocket by patients.

The third biannual survey was mailed in November 2007 to 6,439 U.S. hospitals. The report is available online at or by calling (800) 242-2626.

© 2008 American Hospital Association: