Today we are going to discuss some heavy stuff. So I want to make it simple, but just keep in mind that you need to focus a little bit so that you don't have to go over it a number of times. But then again going over something a number of times isn't really all that bad.
The motivation for this discussion is because I have to make a very critical decision concerning an essential oil and it's placement in my Brain Balancing Program. In this case it has to fit in the Nitrogen slot in the level 3 polarity matrix. Keep in mind that Nitrogen is a very critical element in all aspects of life. In our bodies, Nitrogen accounts for about 3.5% of our body weight. So for me I am packing around a little over 8 pounds of Nitrogen. That is weight I really am not too sure that I want to loose a lot of. A little bit, maybe, but not much. lol. But beyond that, the air we breathe, we always say, I need Oxygen, I need Oxygen.... well the air we breathe is only about 20% Oxygen. We should say, I need Nitrogen.. I need Nitrogen. Nitrogen in the air we breathe consists of around 78% of the weight of the air we breathe. Other elements fill in the rest of the space. However, when we move to more specifics, it is hard to determine just how much might be say.. in the brain. Here is why it is so hard, every single cell in the body needs and uses Nitrogen for normal functioning. The amounts used and found in cells will vary with fatty cells usually accumulating more than the other types of cells. So lets just say, a lot, but within that 3.5% of body weight range somewhere.
When it comes to plants, the Nitrogen range can make huge differences in the out come of the plant. Now that I have danced around things here, lets get down to the grind stone, so to speak. As i was trying to make a determination of which plant was going to contribute the best Nitrogen source to my matrix, I accidentally ran across some studies that had been done. I already knew most of this stuff, (I say most, but not all, we can always learn new stuff, every day), but I had no documentation to work with in coming right out and saying it and backing it up. I do now, so here goes.
In Aromatic plants, the Biosynthesis of of the constituents will occur along different metabolic pathways. So with that in mind, there isn't a standard stimulus/response episode that takes place with standard outcomes. This I will show as we go along. As mentioned, Nitrogen plays a huge role in the outcome and the other mineral/nutrient is Potassium. Then when these two interact, a lot of changes can take place, and does take place. However, there are some general rules that are somewhat consistent. As a general rule, as the rate of applied Nitrogen rises, it causes an increase in oil content and yield in most plants, but not all plants. In plants that are known for their specific constituents, such as with Basil, it will increase the Menthyl Chavicol and lower the Linalool concentration in the oil. Where as the Potassium will tend to increase overall content of the constituents and the percentages of 1,8-Cineole, Linalool, and Eugenol. in the essential oil from the Basil plant. So translation; The Basil that is the CT of Linalool will be reflective of a higher, usually applied, Potassium content to the plant and a lower, usually applied, Nitrogen content of the donor plant. Where as the Basil, Menthyl Chavicol CT will be reflective of a higher Nitrogen content and a lower Potassium content of the donor plant.
Overall, the interaction of the two nutrients with the Basil plant will produce a varied yield and chemical composition. So when you go to use the essential oil from a Basil plant, (this stuff is important to know), but every bit as important to know is what the person needs that you are using the specific type of Basil oil for on that person. That determines the oil selection best suited for the end purpose. There are a wide range of other nutrients that will also interact with the Potassium and Nitrogen as well that will influence the outcome, but mostly just the levels and some relationships of constituents of these two types of Basil essential oils. But for now lets just keep our focus with these two primary nutrients as they give a good example of extreme outcomes.
Now we are going to move onto another influence factor of essential oil donor plants and that is Salt. As a general rule, the Salt concentrations of the soil and thus the donor plant will influence the plant to have a higher oil content overall and will heavily influence the composition of the oil from the donor plant. A lot of this type of stuff is hard to teach someone, as it is just one of those learned things. Kind of like the question of; What does Salt taste like? Hard to describe, but the answer is very well known by you. Right?
But since we are on Basil, we will look at the heavy metals aspect, at least kind of lightly. In several studies that have been done, the researchers showed that the Linalool level decreased and Menthyl Chavicol increased when under the influence of Chromium, Cadium and Lead, applications. But BOTH, the Menthyl Chavicol and Linalool levels dropped when Nickel was added to the mix. When they run the same plant applied fertilizer application experiments on Peppermint, nothing changed with the Peppermint plant and the essential oil yield and component composition from the plant.
When it comes to heavy metals, like Cadium, Lead, Copper and such, these researchers discovered, do not move from the tissues of the plants during the steam distillation process. So if these heavy metals don't leave the plant tissues during the steam distillation, then what does that mean to all of these claims to purity that many of these big essential oil companies makes? Especially when they make the claim and take credit for the purity when the purity aspect, at leas as it applies in this sense, is done by the Laws of Nature? So in this sense, a particular item might be in the soil, it might be in the plant, but it isn't in the oil. Along these lines, what it tells us is that many of these "bad" chemicals don't come over in the steam distillation, not because of molecular weight but rather they are basically stuck in the plant tissue. So as this aspect is looked at, we see some serious dangers and concerns arise from using the Herbal form of the donor plant as that is where the "bad" chemicals are hanging out at and not in the steam distilled essential oil. Now if we were to consider the C02 extracted plants and in some cases the cold pressed/expelled oils, we see a different picture. In the C02 extraction stuff, everything and I mean everything comes over. That can be good or that can be bad. Much the same with the pressed/expelled oils. By extension this is where the plant eaters must be much more than casually aware of what has gone on with their consumable plant material. Bad chemicals can, at least in theory, be stuck in the plant tissue they are consuming. Comically speaking, I have been known to appear to have a "Deer in the headlight look" when people are lecturing me about essential oil quality and the presence of "bad" components in the essential oils, of course theirs don't have them (Yes, they do not have them, that is true, of course no one's oils have them, as long as they are natural and haven't been adulterated). Yet they are setting there eating food that is laden-ed with bad chemicals, yet they think nothing of the stuff being in the tissues. But at last, not all is lost, there are some minerals that can deal with that issue. One quickly comes to my mind, and I am sorry, but that will come in a discussion at another time.
When it comes to essential oil quality, most, if not all of the "messing" with the oil, is usually done after the oil has been extracted. Nature will always live up to it's responsibility but most of the time people don't do or rather what they do, is not the responsible thing to do.
I hope this example of using Bail essential oil and the different fertilizing rates and types of fertilizers used can and does influence basically the CT outcome of the essential oil. Now when it comes to the Wild Crafting aspect, I hope that you can see that it can be very problematic in making the determinations of the chemical makeup and the consistency of the chemical makeup as you move from plant to plant and over a large area. Makes it very problematic to stay consistent.That is why I usually don't get overly excited about "Wild Crafted" essential oils unless I know the conditions and quite a few details, such as with the Artisan distillers we work with and I know of the situation of the soil where the donor plants are sourced. I seriously doubt that any of you can count high enough to account for how many times I have been told by essential oil Guru people that minerals and essential oils have no connection. OOKKAAAYY.
Anyway, I hope you enjoyed this little discussion about Basil essential oil. Yes, I have used this information, mostly to confirm a decision, as to what Basil oil In need to use for the purpose I am needing it for in the Brain Balancing Blend. BTW, the Menthyl Chavicol content of the chosen oil is almost 85%, that is some "good stuff". Likely burn the hair out of a person's nose. lol. Aside from that, I feel that Basil Essential Oil is a very under utilized essential oil. Overall, people are missing the boat in not looking seriously at Basil EO and what it can offer.
End of Discussion. KK