All posts by Kjell H Kjellevold

How do plants make essential oils?

Essential oils are complex mixtures of volatile compounds and isolated by physical means only (pressing and distillation) from whole plant or part of a plant. There are almost uncountable number of single substances and a tremendous variation in the composition of essential oils. Many of these volatile oils have diverse ecological (the scientific analysis and study of interactions among organisms and their environment) functions.

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Why essential oils?

Essential oils can play a role in your life through many applications. Essential oils are the volatile, aromatic, non-water soluble liquids obtained by steam or water distillation of plant parts. Most essential oils are primarily composed of terpenes and their oxygenated derivatives.  Different parts of the plants can be used to obtain essential oils, including the flowers, leaves, seeds, roots, stems, bark, wood, etc. An essential oil may contain up to several hundred chemical compounds and this complex mixture of compounds gives the oil its characteristic fragrance and flavor.

The chemistry of essential oils is influenced by the local geography and weather conditions, as well as the season and time of day when the plants are harvested, how they are processed, and how they are packaged and stored. Each plant is unique in its chemistry so essential oils are never exactly the same-this is different from pharmaceutical drugs that are synthetically reproduced to be identical every time.

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Is Anemia A Running Epidemic? Iron deficiency?


  • The most difficult issue is to know whether someone is iron deficient or not. Anemic persons will usually have noticeable symptoms. There are of course individual variations. What is considered as a normal value for one person can be insuficient for another.
  • Athletes should have a ferritin level above 30 and a lower level of Hgb: 15.7 or higher for males and 14.0 or higher for females.
  • The optimum time period for athletes to take iron supplementation, especially when they train multiple times a day, seems to be limited. The best time being in the morning, after a night´s rest.
  • Low-dose iron supplementation (40-60 mg) on alternative days seems to increase iron absorption.
  • It is important to remember that iron is toxic and governed by absorption. The more you take in the more you are at risk.

I strongly advice that you check with your physician if you think your dietary intake of iron is inadequate and are considering iron supplementation.


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Frankincense gum resins

Frankincense, an oily gum resin from the tree Boswellia sacra and related species, is named in the Bible as one the three gifts given to the baby Jesus by the ‘Three Wise Men’. It has been used for thousands of years in many different cultures. The name ‘frankincense’ is derived from the Old French ‘franc encens’, meaning pure incense or, more literally, free lighting.

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