Report on the online working group animal aromatherapy from 15.05.2020
May 22, 2020 By Sabine Möbius
On 15.05.2020 it was time again: the next online working group for aromatherapy in animals was scheduled. This time we dealt with the topic of sustainability in animal aromatherapy and, appropriately, took a closer look at frankincense and its three best-known species: sacra, carterii and serrata.
At the beginning, we compiled which raw materials are already endangered and why actually. That was quite exciting and the existing knowledge about this was already very large. Sustainability is not only about raw materials that are already in short supply, but also about what is needed for distillation and how much of it. Does it always have to be exotic oils, or can’t we get very far with local things? And would hydrolates be an alternative, since they are produced during distillation anyway and are also available in larger quantities than the oils?
Especially with regard to native herbs, one part of aromatherapy is ahead of the rest: incense. Usually treated rather stepmotherly in aromatherapy, it can really excel here. The smoking with domestic herbs is already very widespread and the desire for the knowledge about it is great.
On the subject of incense, things became more concrete and I was able to report on conversations with incense dealers. By the way, there are not only clear differences in terms of smell between the Arabian/African frankincense and the Indian (Boswellia serrata). A look at the analysis of the ingredients also shows: the Boswellia serrata has significantly less alpha-pinene and limonene on board than its relatives from the African continent.
So, through dealers who now specialize in incense from sustainable collections and can guarantee this, incense could slowly be used again with a clear conscience. Slowly – after all, even with sustainable collection, it still comes from wild collection and also frankincense is very demanding and does not grow like weeds. In addition, incense dealers often support local social projects, such as schools, orphanages, etc., with the proceeds from their sales.
And this is not unimportant: aromatherapy has long since overtaken the perfume industry in terms of demand and use of essential oils. So it is far from being a small “niche market” anymore. However, this also challenges us as users to be careful with the products and to look as best as possible where we get them from and whether sustainability is really being considered or not.
The next online working group will take place on 18.09.2020. The topic is yet to be announced.