Thursday, February 25, 2010

Essential Oil of Vitex May Help with Symptoms of PMS and Menopause

ACHS President Dorene Petersen harvests vitex berries for essential oil distillation in the American College of Healthcare Sciences Botanical Teaching Garden on February 17, 2010

Vitex Vitex agnus-castus, also called chaste tree and monk's pepper, is from the family Verbenaceae. A perennial, deciduous shrub, vitex grows to about 6-18 feet high and can spread to about 15 feet. The leaves are dark green, the flowers are small and lilac, and the berries are red-black with a spicy, aromatic flavor and aroma.

Historically, vitex is said to have been chewed by monks to help preserve their celibacy. There are also reports mentioning its use in Greek rituals, as well as the practice of carrying twigs for protection against dangers and to signify chastity.

Vitex essential oil is a pale to dark-yellow color and has a strong aroma, but is not traditionally used in perfumery. The fruit, or berries, are used to produce the oil, which includes the active constituents limonene, 1,8-cineol, pinene, carophyllene, and sabinene.

Therapeutically, vitex essential oil is thought to have hormonal effects, such as support for the relief of common menopausal symptoms[1] and PMS[2], and may have antibacterial and antifungal effects.

>> To learn more about the medicinal benefits of vitex, check out this free education video from the American College of Healthcare Sciences with College President Dorene Petersen:

Sign up to follow ACHS on YouTube, ACHStv, to receive automatic updates the moment new videos are posted:

>> For your vitex essential oil, stop by the Apothecary Shoppe:

[1] Lucks, B. 2003. Vitex agnus castus essential oil and menopausal balance: a research update. Complementary Therapies in Nursing and Midwifery Vol 9, Issue 3 148-154.
[2] 2009. The premenstrual syndrome: effectiveness of Vitex agnus castus.
Med Monatsschr Pharm. May; 32(5): 186-91.

Monday, February 15, 2010

Alliance of International Aromatherapists (AIA) is Looking for Presenters

The Alliance of International Aromatherapists (AIA) is looking for qualified aromatherapists who want to present at a future AIA event and/or teleconference.

If you would like to present, or know someone who may be interested in giving a presentation or leading a workshop for AIA, you can download an application here:

Length and topics of consideration are yet to be determined. To email your application, download the form, and then click the Submit by Email button located on the top right. Or, you can save the form and email it to To mail the form, use the address printed on the form, and to fax, send to (303) 979-7135.

For more information, contact AIA at:

Tuesday, February 09, 2010

Aromatherapy Insight Cards: A Practical Tool for Everyday Health

Have you tried these Aromatherapy Insight Cards before? If not, you may want to. Not only do these cards and accompanying text provide great background information about essential oils, they also provide an interactive, hands-on tool to start incorporating essential oils into your everyday health and wellness routine.

As the book jacket outlines, "we need to rebalance our lives and regain all that we are searching for. [...] The Aromatherapy Insight Cards are a practical tool to help you tap into your intuition, develop your emotional awareness, and increase your knowledge base as you learn the subtle uses for aromatherapy."

For more information on this text by Jennifer Jefferies, ND, check it out on the Apothecary Shoppe website:

Here's the oil we selected for today, Tuesday, February 9, 2010: Cinnamon, Cinnamomum seylanicum. According to the text, cinnamon is a tool to help you "regain that passion for life." It has the physical benefit of "a valuable antiseptic and it warms, giving relief to arthritic aches and pains. It also alleviates coughs and colds, nervous tension and exhaustion."

Jefferies, Jennifer ND. Aromatherapy Insight Cards. Living Energy: Australia. 2005.