By Hwaa Irfan
Native to South-West Australia, a profusion of tiny white flowers reminiscent of the buttercup belies a woody shrub that is a member of the Myrtaceae family of the plant kingdom has been used by the indigenous Australians long before being introduced to the West as an analgesic and its properties as an expectorant. In fact, fragonia is pretty new to aromatherapy; so much of its potential is yet to be discovered in the Western world.
With preference for acidic peat sand where plenty of water is nearby, Agonis fragrans grows up to 2.5 metres the erect branches straggle outwards covered in thick rigid leaves that are small like the flowers produced. The 5-petaled white flowers bloom from January – May. The small flowers have a pink centre, which under the “Doctrine of Signatures” is indicative of its therapeutic value on the emotional level.
The essential oil is extracted through steam distillation of the twigs. It is the only essential oil that is patented, the holders of the patent being the Paperback Company; however how this affects indigenous rights is not too clear, but what is clear is the lack of ethics behind patenting what nature provides. When buying look for an almost colorless – pale yellow oil with a fragrant combination of citrus, cinnamon with a camphoraceous undertone. The bottle should be of dark glass, and kept in a cool place.
The bioactive composition varies depending on where the plant extracted from grows. As a trade- marked essential oil the composition has been extensively explored. Some of the bioactive constituents of Fragonia essential oil are:
- Methyl cinnamate
- Methyl geranate
Argonis fragrana has been reported to have an unusual balance of ⅓ monterpenes, ⅓ monopenols, and ⅓ oxides. A-pinene acts as an anti-inflammatory, limonene has anticancerous, antiseptic, expectorant, antifungal, sedative and antiviral properties. The oxide 1,8-cineole is active against bronchitis, acts well as an anti-catarrhal, antiseptic, stimulant (central nervous system), expectorant, and as an anti-inflammatory. The oxides present increases skin uptake of the oil. Linalool is effective as an antiseptic, antibacterial, antifungal, as a sedative, spasmolytic, and as an antiviral.
Laboratory tests at the School of Biomedical & Chemical Sciences at the University of Western Australia have found Fragonia essential oil to be effective in its antimicrobial properties against Candida albicans, the bacteria staphylococcus aurous, staphylococcus epidermidis and E. Coli killing any microbial activity within 30 seconds.
Tests as the School of Paediatrics and Child Health, University of Western Australia, found the oil to be effective as an anti-inflammatory in cases of tissue injury and infection.
1,8-cineole, limonene, and a-terpeneol are effective expectorants, and geraniol is proven to be an effective antiseptic, anticancerous, antifungal, and a sedative.
Fragona essential oil has an uplifting aroma, which is important in vapour therapy for clearing the head, and easing the mind. Some of the therapeutic properties identified so far are as a:
- Tonic (immune system, Central Nervous System, 4th chakra, hara)
For glossary see It All Makes Good Scents!
Dr. Penoel in his work with Fragonia found through his patients in Australia that this essential oil has a “the unique power of harmonisation and rebalancing.” As one of his patients described it:
“… thanks to the use of Fragonia, I was able to create the conditions of peace and harmony within myself, through the process of opening my heart and letting go of the accumulated negativity over the years. Fragonia cannot replace my psychotherapy sessions, but, for me, it triggered and accelerated an important phase of my healing adventure, by removing inner obstacles to my change and progress”.
Australian aromatherapist Karen Wallwork has found:
“It is a regulator/balancer, working for stalled, stuck, congestive, interrupted conditions – whether it be blood, mucous etc”.
None yet indicated.
The oil can only be used for external use, and when used it should be diluted by means of Carrier Oils like Sweet Almond Oil. Drops of no more than 5 should be used for:
General – Light sports injuries (tissue injury and infection)
Gender – Tender breasts, hormonal imbalance,
Mind – Depression, emotional blocks, fatigue, tension, insomnia,
Respiratory – Chronic sinus, tonsillitis, upper respiratory tract infections
Reproductive – Dysmenorrhea,
Skin – Irritated/tired skin
Systemic – Low vitality, jet lag, weak immune system
- Mouthwash-gargle – Sore throat
- Vapor therapy – Upper respiratory problems, for facing emotional blockages, depression, to calm the mind, to get rid of airborne germs
- Neat – At the top of the spine-base of skull to release emotional blockages
- Massage oil – With friction along the spine releases emotional blockages
- Topical – Added to a cream/lotion relieves muscular pains, and pains in the joints. Applied to the chest breaks up mucus. A couple of drops on the lymphatic nodes: armpits, groins, side of neck supports the immune system
- Bath – 5 drops added before filling the bath, helps to calm the mind, ease upper respiratory tract infections, stimulate the immune system, lubricate the skin
Day, P. “Our Journey with Australian Essential Oils: Part 1.” http://www.allthingshealing.com/Aromatherapy/Our-Journey-with-Australian-Essential-Oils-Part-1/5986
Robinson, C.J. « A New Essential Oil : Agonis Fragrans.” RIRDC Publication No 06/090
Todd, D. “Fragonia™ Oil.” Material Safety Data Sheet (MSDS) http://www.essentialoilsdirect.co.uk/fragonia-agonis_fragrans-essential_oil.html?PHPSESSID=76