Exploring the Mystery of Aromatherapy Through Biotechnology

Aromatherapy originated in Ancient Egypt. About a hundred years ago, a pharmacist from France used an innovative method which led to a breakthrough in aromatherapy techniques. In recent years, under the strong promotion by Sathelyne Group, Bel'Air aromatherapy came into being to benefit many consumers.

For centuries, people have experienced and have come to recognise that essential oils have many benefits. Essential oils can help to combat bacteria and other diseases, repel mosquitoes, prevent tooth decay, fight oxidisation, inflammation and even enhance the immune system, calm nerves, etc.

But with so many types of essential oils around, which essential oils will benefit you? Which are the safest? These are questions that researchers are still unable to answer exactly.

Since 2002 when Bel'Air set up our factory in France, there has been interest in testing the safety and effectiveness of our essential oils. With these concerns in mind, Bel'Air worked closely with professor Tsai from Taiwan National Yang Ming University in setting up our very own Bel'Air Bio-tech Research Centre. Professor Tsai Ying Chieh is head of Taiwan National Yang Ming Biotechnology Department and head of Taiwan National Yang Ming University Medical Science Department. He expressed that his interest in aromatherapy research is enhanced by the fact that research and academic publications in this field are scarce. The Bel'Air Bio-tech Research Centre hopes to strengthen the foundation of botanic essential oil research and further the investigation of essential oils and their various properties, effects and benefits. Professor Tsai also hopes to share knowledge with international institutions and publish academic papers. At the same time, he aims to educate the public on aromatherapy.

The Effects of Essential Oils on Micro-organisms Present in the Air

Between August 2000 and September 2002, Bel'Air Bio-tech Research Centre carried out a research program to determine whether Green tea essential oil, Ginseng essential oil, Eucalyptus essential oil and Lavender essential oil have an influence on the amount of micro-organism (mold, yeast, fungus, bacteria) in the air. The researchers conducted tests on Green Tea essential oil, Ginseng essential oil, Eucalyptus essential oil and Lavender essential oil. They burned these 4 types of essential oils in a sealed room, and recorded readings at different time intervals. Readings were taken at the beginning of experiment (0 min), during the experiment (30, 50, 70, 90 mins) and after the experiment (30, 60, 90,120,150,180,210 mins). The experiment was repeated several times based on a sample of 500 litres of air. The experiment results proved that:

Green Tea has 90% effectiveness in killing bacteria; and 61% effectiveness in killing fungus. Ginseng has 90% effectiveness in killing bacteria; and 62% effectiveness in killing fungus. Eucalyptus has 52% and 48% effectiveness respectively, as pertaining to the items above. Lavender has 66% and 71% effectiveness respectively, as pertaining to the items above. Professor Tsai expressed excitement and interest in such results, because the experiment proved that Sathelyne Bel'Air's aromatherapy products indeed could combat micro-organism in the air, thus purifying the air. He also said that although the effectiveness figures for fungus seem low, but that is desirable because this would mean that it would not be harmful to the body.

After obtaining such positive and encouraging results, Bel'Air has worked even harder to carry out the 2nd experiment. This program made detailed analysis and records of the chemical compositions of these 5 essential oils, and tests were done to determine their chemical and biological safety.

Professor Tsai carefully selected Ginseng, Green Tea, Green Bamboo, Lotus and Eucalyptus as the 5 essential oils for the experiment. The reason for such a selection was because the 1st four essential oils are plants from the East, of which not enough researches had been carried out in the West. The selection of Eucalyptus was to act as a test reference for the other 4.

Chemical and Biological Safety Experiment

The 2nd experiment went through the following steps:

Using GC-MS to analyse the chemical composition of these 5 essential oils. Based on their individual chemical compositions, analysis was done to determine the safety for use of essential oils. Using GC_MS to determine the after effects of these essential oils, whether any by-products or toxins were produced in the combustion process. Using Ames test to test the before and after changes of these essential oils.

Using skin cells, fat cells and HepG2cancer cells to determine essential oils effects.

Find out what effects these essential oils have in combating bacteria and killing micro-organism such as mold, yeast and fungus (MIC). The 2nd experiment results proved that these essential oils have compositions that are mild, low in toxins, do not irritate skin and have low light-sensitivity. The Ames test also proved that these essential oils do no go through major changes before and after the combustion process. What is more encouraging is that before the test, these essential oils already contained beneficial compositions, but after the test, these beneficial compositions diffused into the air and these are what the body needs exactly. Moreover, the body does not easily absorb these compositions in our daily activities.

These experiments carried out by Bel'Air and Yang Ming University have achieved positive results, and we hope that in future, there will be more of such experiments to make the benefits known to consumers.

The Aims of Bio-technology in the Medical Applications of Aromatherapy

1. To determine the plant essences and their scientific applications, their methods of production and their

relevance for health therapy and health maintenance.

2. To establish the concepts and the operational models.

3. To bring aromatherapy into the realm of medical treatments.

4. To employ modern methods of making new medicinal products in setting up aromatherapy processes, so as to develop aromatic medical science.

Nur Syahid, a Natural Aromatherapist, specializes in Bio-Tech Aromatherapy including oxygen therapy, ozone therapy, health aromatherapy. Comments, Share and more info E-mail to : [email protected]

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