French Aromatherapy, Medicinal Herbalism & Mushrooms Certification Workshop

(40 hours: tuition to be determine later: This workshop is both a two weekend workshop and will be later an online course that will last as much as needed. (1) For motivated groups, it may be possible to distill or condense this workshop to a 3 hours power point presentation with live demonstration)
“This concept, that a whole or partially purified extract of a plant offers advantages over a single isolated ingredient, also underpins the philosophy of herbal medicine” Phytomedicine. 2001 Sep;8(5):401-9.
The US National Library of Medicine Data bank presently indexed over 60,000 published peer reviewed studies on medicinal plants, over 9,000 on medicinal mushrooms and over 900 in aromatherapy, all of which have been referenced in the mainstream scientific litterature as having therapeutic value. The preponderance of the evidence is therefore in favor of using natural substances (molecules) from plants, essential oils and mushrooms as both primary and adjunctive healing modalities and all the more so that when they are synergistically combined, they often are clinically superior to the “one pathway” patented synthetic drug approach, (i.e. the “one pill for one ill” practice) if only because biology works via dynamic synergy, via a symphony of multiple biochemical interactions and signaling pathways (2) while allopathic  synthetic one pathway drugs are laden with side (toxic) effects, many of which lead to expensive and lethal complications, including, but not limited to automatic nervous system dysfunction which impacts so much of mammalian function.
In France, 48 percent of the French use aromatherapy, herbal supplementation and homeopathy for children’s cancer (3) and over 50 percent of the French have recourse to wine, mushrooms, spa medicine, homeopathy and acupuncture, the last three therapies of which have been recognized and reimbursed by the French State since the 1940s. French Aromatherapy has been perfected over many decades and French medical doctors often prescribed them (4).
Just about most diseases responds in some beneficially way to aromatherapy, phytotherapy (herbalism) and mushroom therapy,  from peppermint, tea tree and cinnamum oil regarding MRSA infections, to  cannabis essential oils for food-borne pathogens, patchouli essential oil for skin photo aging, (which also decreases the sympathetic system’s fight or flight stress response), rosemary essential oil in alopecia, valerian and lavander for insomnia, camomille for anxiety, the blend  lavender, marjoram, eucalyptus, rosemary, and peppermint blended in proportions of 2:1:2:1:1 for arthritic pain and depression,  rosemary and lemon essential oils in the morning, and lavender and orange in the evening helps Alzheimer diseased patients, the cardio-protective terminalia arjuna bark extract helps with the thyroid hormones,  helichrysum lowers mental fatigue and burnout, the polysaccharide peptide (PSP) isolated from the mycelia of Chinese Medicinal fungus Coriolus versicolor has anti-cancer properties, black pepper’s peperine can inhibit osteosarcoma, oregano and frankincense essential oil are allies in the cancer challenge,  passion fruit is good for diabetes (as is cinnamon), shitake mushrooms essential oil against platelet aggregation, ayahuasca  for recurrent depression, clary sage oil to reduce stress cortisol levels, reishi mushroom (gonaderma) benefits many areas, from heart problems to telomerase activity, the immune system and malignancy, to thyme and oregano for phyto-progestins enhancement, white willow bark  aids head-aches, the combo made from lavender, ylang ylang, and bergamot benefits high blood pressure, different analgesic rich essential oils mitigates cramps like  primary dysmenorrhea (5),  lavander as a stand alone for migraines and both myrrh and frankincense for anti-cancer activities, astralagus extracts for longevity and more.
Top: Passion flower
General introduction to phytotherapy (herbalism),  aromatherapy and mycology. Discussion of the benefits of developing an expanding toolbox for aromatherapy in conjunction with herbalism and mycology.  A few basics in  Anatomy and Physiology (general overview of the digestion, the gut, of the gusto-olfactory system as well as the central nervous system including the limbic subsystem, the emunctory organs, the lymph and immune systems).
1.0. The basics of botany, taxonomy and organic chemistry
1.1.  The most important 20 medicinal  plants (in the form of leaves, flowers, roots and tree barks).
1.2. Where to find them in the wild.
1.3. How to grow them.
1.4.  The most dangerous plants to avoid.
1.5. Interactions with other herbs, supplements and drugs.
1.6. Delivery tools: from fresh plants, tinctures, vegan capsules, spices to tablets. Advantages and inconveniences.

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2.  History, including the Bible oils. Four French pioneers. Production, distillation and quality. Multiple absorption and activation pathways: emotional (limbic) brain via the olfactory receptors; cellular via the skin, the gut and digestive tract via oral delivery, bloodstream and brain via deep breathing and ways to enhance the aromatic effects.
2.1.  Profiles of the most important 20 herbal essential oils and their health properties: Tea Tree (Melaleuca alternifolia), Bergamot (Citrus bergamia), Geranium, (Rose Pelargonium x asperum), Lemongrass (Cymbopogon citratus), Rosemary (Rosmarinus officinalis), Lavender (Lavandula angustifolia), Eucalyptus (Eucalyptus globulus), Clary sage (Salvia sclarea), Peppermint (Mentha x piperita), Tangerine (Citrus reticulata), Frankincense Boswellia, (carterii syn. thurifera), Fennel (Foeniculum vulgare) and others like cloves, cinnamum (useful for blood sugar control), citrus (great for mood elevation), patchouli (wound healing), ginger (gut health) ylang ylang, jasmine, myrrh, helichrysme, cloves, oregano, cedar wood (for the focus), neroli, vetiver (nice with hot baths) sandelwood (good for a testosterone boosting) and thyme (indicated for thyroid and hormonal balancing thanks to its  photo-progesterons etc. There are more than 90 essential oils, and each has its own health benefits. Most essential oil blend well with  other essential oils in terms of function and odor, which allows herbalists and aromatherapists to prepare a vast repertoire of aromatic essential oil combinations. For a more complete list of essential oils, please click here.
2.2 Carrier oils (These carrier oils are necessary for most essential oils in order to spread the essential oils and avoid negative skin reaction. The aromatherapy is then rubbed on the body. Oils like lavendar and yang ylang can be applied undiluted, but an allergic test should be done first).
2.3. Delivery tools: topical, breathing (inhalation), balneotherapy (baths), teas, food, via I.V..  Advantages and inconveniences.
2.4. Essential oil chemistry: Exploring the chemical families of essential oils and applying this knowledge to the application of specific essential oils for specific conditions:
2.5. Mechanisms of action: The question of the blood brain barrier.  From being anesthetic, analgesic, antioxidant, antiseptic, carminative, relaxant, rubefacient, stimulant, tonic, anti-spasmodic, depurative, diaphoretic, digestive, diuretic, hepatic, emenagogue, expectorant, febrifuge, nervine,  stomachic and more. See List.
2.6. Internal & External Uses: How, Why, When, At What Dosage, For How Long, etc.  We will study many essential oils, their therapeutic benefits and when they are indicated for internal and external applications.
2.7. Hydrosols: In this section, we will explore a variety of hydrosols and discuss the ways in which hydrosols may be used internally.
2.8. Formulating Aromatic Remedies for Internal Use. In this section, we will focus on how to formulate a variety of aromatic remedies for internal use as well as the dosage and time framework for different applications. 2.3. Combinations of essential oils (making blends) with plants and other holistic techniques.
Section One: Essential Oils and formulas that help with the following tissues and functions
The Respiratory System
The Olfactory System
The Integumentary System
The Cardio-vascular System
The Reproductive System
The Musculoskeletal System
The Lymphatic/Immune System
The Endocrine and Nervous System
The immune and gut systems
The Digestive and urinary Systems
Section Two: Essential Oils and formulas for the following health problems. This section will be accompagnied with a power-point presentation that will show the supporting science regarding the benefits of essential oils and diseases.
Alopecia areata (hair loss), skin issues and cardio-vasular problems.
Agitation,  anxiety, stress and dementia-like challenges.
Menstrual, menopausal, pregnancy and child-birth issues.
Constipation, leaky gut and other digestive problems.
Insomnia, depression, blood sugar issues and chronic inflammation.
Pain, muscle soreness, joint arthritis, migraines, auto-immune diseases and cancer research.
2.9: Safety, contraindications, interactions with a word on the  pharmacokinetics and Pharmacodynamics of Essential Oils.
2.10: Aromatic Medicine Making : making capsules, medicine balls, aromatic tinctures, honey based preparations, smell good cologne, sanitizers, toothpastes, deodorants, shampoos, cleaning material, “oil pulling” and oral hygiene. Uses in the kitchen, on the farm, in the car and while traveling.  Review of Good Manufacturing Practices for making aromatic medicine.
2.11. Massaging for lymphatic drainage and immune-stimulation with essential oils (self-massage and with a massage practitioner).
2.12. Key reflexology areas for massaging.
Top: Golden Chanterelles, rich in vitamin D, B-12 and much more
3.0.  The basics in mycology.
3.1. The most important mushrooms for health restoration: Ground and tree Mushrooms.
3.2. Mushrooms’ key molecules and mechanisms of action, from polysaccharides, to beta glucans and more.
3.3. Preparations in order to extract key molecules.
3.4. How to find and pick mushrooms. How to use them with foods and wine.
3.5  Using plants’ and mushrooms’ symbiosis with the bacterial world for microbiome (intestinal flora) repopulation and diversity enhancement.
4.0. Legal and ethical issues : Regulations. Case law studies. Jurisprudence.
For Traditional Chinese and Tibetan medicine, essential oils are medicine for the Shen, the spiritual essence that resides in the heart and governs consciousness. Essential oils have been used for therapeutic purposes for nearly 6,000 years. The ancient Chinese, Indians, Egyptians, Greeks, Romans and Perse like Avicenna used them for health reasons as well as for perfumes. Essential oils were also commonly used for spiritual, therapeutic, hygienic, and ritualistic purposes.
In the modern era, it was René-Maurice Gattefossé, a French chemist, who discovered the underlying mechanisms of action to aromatherapy. When he applied lavender oil to a burn on his hand caused by an explosion in his laboratory, he was surprised at the healing effects of this oil. He then started to analyze the chemical properties of essential oils and how they were used to treat burns, skin infections, gangrene, and wounds in soldiers during World War I. In 1928, Gattefossé founded the science of aromatherapy. By the 1950s massage therapists, beauticians, nurses, physiotherapists, doctors, and other health care providers began using aromatherapy, notably in Europe. Dr Valnet was instrumental in this area. Aromatherapy did not become popular in the United States until the 1980s.
The science of mushroom and plants also have roots in ancient times. Today, with so many students and scientists publishing online and elswhere, producing so many disserations, treaties and studies on these therapies, we are blessed to know so much about how these plants and fungi work and what they are good for, to such an extent that these three fields we examine in this workshop may eventually be able to supplant patented synthetic drugs to a large extent, given the preponderance of the evidence that shows quite clearly that botanicals and natural substances work on multiple pathways synergistically, thereby producing less side or toxic effects than the “one pathway” synthetic prescription medication.
As a consequence, even if these “thousands-years-old” “alternative” medicines are not recognized as medicine by the “less-than-one-hundred” years old allopathic mainstream “science” system, there exists enough university, preclinical trials, anecdotal, case and prospective and epidemiological studies to  show both the clinically superiority and the mechanisms of action of these holistic approachs. (6)
Instructor: Pr. Joubert. Biogerontologist, Naturopath and Ecocert-certified organic farmer and superfood chocolate truffles producer.
10 hours: Date and place to be determined.  Price: To be determined,  with brochure and power point presentations.
To learn on a one to one basis how to optimize essential oils, herbs and mushroom for one’s peak performance, consider scheduling a coaching session via this link.
Top: Oregano, on of the best ani-microbials and digestive enhancers. The European retreat center is surrounded by this and many other wild herbs and mushrooms
Phytotherapy, mycology and aromatherapy workshops are also offered at the Pyrénean Center. The Center thrives in the middle of a mountainous nich, rich in mushrooms and medicinal plants from which we can harvest wild medicinal plants, from lemon grass, oregano to St John’s wort, rosemary, lemon grass and thyme. For the fitness retreats, when we come back from the waterfall meditations, we pick fresh flowers, stems, leaves and roots  according to season and moon cycle  (for optimal strength) and infuse them as teas or place them in blenders  for smoothies.
(1).  For the in situ certification, is we get at least ten people, we can organize a four days workshop. For the online certification course, this will include text, audio recordings, and video content. The course will open at a latter date. Please contact us for all inquiry. You will have lifetime access to the course and the student will be able to watch and re-watch all video content at any time. It is a self-paced program, so the student can take as much time as needed to complete the course. To complete the course and receive your certificate, the student will need to complete either 10 case studies or an 15 pages paper on a specific essential oil, herbalism and mycology  subject related to the internal use of essential oils, toxicology, medicinal plants, mushrooms etc. The final exam will be an open book one.
(2). Reason commands to add that there can be exceptions where synthetic one-way pathways can be momentarily upregulated pending the holistic correction of the imbalance or energy blockage. But from the viewpoint of holistic medicine, this approach should be more adjunctive than primary, even if the rationale based on “therapeutic dose” is valid (ie, frequently, both natural and synthetic molecules can reach the triggering “therapeutic threshold”).  In this perspective, essential oils used in aromatherapy are an ensemble of many natural molecules, though a little differently compared to herbs and mushroom because the distillation used in aromatherapy recovers the lighter phytomolecules and discards the bigger macro-molecules. However, since herbs, volatile essential oils and mushrooms are all embedded within a constellation of many molecules and pathways, they still tend to be more effective and safer than pharmaceutical drugs whose central hallmark is their “side” or toxic effects, given their synthetic one-pathway focus.  These natural substances can also be extracted for a bigger therapeutic “bang”. In this realm, the National Association of Holistic Aromatherapy defines aromatherapy as “the art and science of utilizing naturally extracted aromatic essences from plants to balance, harmonize and promote the health of body, mind and spirit.” Thus, aromatherapy uses essential oils which can be extracted from flowers, seeds, barks, herbs, and roots from a natural organic state devoid of competiting synthetic pesticides. Another definition for Aromatherapy is the therapeutic use of essential oils (also known as volatile oils) from plants (flowers, herbs, or trees) for the improvement of physical, emotional, and spiritual well-being. Essential oils are volatile liquid substances extracted from aromatic plant material by steam distillation or mechanical expression; oils produced with the aid of chemical solvents are not considered true essential oils as these may even be dangerous.
(3)   See Bull Cancer. 2015 Oct;102(10):854-62. Source 
(4). In France, and much of Western Europe aromatherapy is incorporated into mainstream medicine as an antiseptic, antiviral, antifungal and antibacterial, much more so than in the UK, USA or Canada. In fact, there are some essential oils that are regulated as prescription drugs in France, and can only be administered (or prescribed) by a doctor. Contrarily to the US physicians, French physicians use the aromatogram to help them determine which essential oil to use. The doctor will first culture a sample of infected tissue or secretion, and then grow the culture in petri dishes which are supplied with agar; each petri dish is inoculated with a different essential oil to decide which have the best activity against the targeted strain of microorganism. The best activity is the one that inhibits growth of the target microorganism. It is conceivable that this same technique could be applied to cancer cells lines.
Dioscorides described the healing properties of many essential oils in his De Materia Medica, written in the first century.  Distilled essential oils have been employed as medicines since the invention of distillation in the eleventh century, when Avicenna isolated essential oils using steam distillation. In 1937, the word first appeared in print in a French book on the subject: Aromathérapie: Les Huiles Essentielles, Hormones Végétales by René-Maurice Gattefossé, a chemist. An English version was published in only in 1993.  In 1910, Gattefossé burned a hand very badly and later claimed he treated it effectively with lavender oil. Since, the French surgeon, Jean Valnet, pioneered the medicinal uses of essential oils, which he used as antiseptics in the treatment of wounded soldiers during World War II. In France, Mésségué, Lautier and Passebecq were staunch followers and teachers of this “médecine douce”.
(5). Essential oils blended with lavender (Lavandula officinalis), clary sage (Salvia sclarea) and marjoram (Origanum majorana) in a 2:1:1 ratio was diluted in unscented cream at 3% concentration for the essential oil group. All outpatients used the cream daily to massage their lower abdomen from the end of the last menstruation continuing to the beginning of the next menstruation. J Obstet Gynaecol Res. 2012 May;38(5):817-22
(6). Although there are many types of mechanisms of action that explain why medicinal plants and mushrooms are generally safe and efficient, for aromatherapy, the mechanisms of action are not as complex, two are distinguished. Insofar as aromatic inhalation is  concerned,  the binding of the essential oil’s chemical components  targets the receptors in the olfactory bulb, impacting the brain’s emotional center, the limbic system (ie, especially the amygdala and hippocampus). When one breathes in essential oil molecules, different parts of the brain are stimulated, thereby influences physical, emotional, and mental health and wellbeing. Scientists  have shown that lavender stimulates the activity of brain cells in the amygdala similar to the way some sedative medications work. On the other hand, topical applications of aromatic oils are more direct, they exert their antibacterial, anti-fungus, anti-inflammatory, immune boosting and analgesic effects directly into the bloodstream from the skin where they can activate thermal receptors.  Functional imaging studies in humans support the influence of odors on the limbic system and its emotional pathways. Essential oils have many constituents, including phytoncides and other natural volatile organic compounds (VOCs), all of which  work differently. We will examine all of this in detail during the workshop.

ylang ylang

TOP: Ylang ylang flowers
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