Bergapten: has photosensitising properties and is often used in
conjunction with solar radiation to treat psoriasis. Bergapten causes
photosensitivity which is frequently used therapeutically against skin
conditions like psoriasis and vitiligo where the patient is exposed to the sun as part of the
Use of bergapten on normal skin will also cause photosensitivity so exposure
to solar radiation (the sun) must be avoided while using medications that
contain this constituent.
Bergapten is a
Although it is generally held of all Furanocoumarins that
they may be carcinogenic during exposure to the sun or other sources of UV light
Bergapten is frequently mentioned as a potential photo carcinogenic, so please
consult your medical practitioner before using substances that contain
Furanocoumarins: Furanocoumarins have sun- or
photosensitizing properties and are often used for the treatment of skin
conditions sometimes with controlled exposure to the sun.
Other effects of Furanocoumarins reportedly are: hypotensive activity,
antiasmatic and antispasmodic.
Furanocoumarins are potentially photo-carcinogenic and may promote a cancer that
is initiated by interference with the skins natural ability to protect
underlying cells against the carcinogenic effect of harmful ultra violet
Furanocoumarins are Coumarins with a furan ring
Coumarins: Coumarins are lactones of hydroxycinnamic
acids. Coumarins are lactones. There are many variations of coumarins: Furanocoumarins found in Angelica have a
spasmolitic effect but must be used with caution as they have a strong
phototoxic effect as has many of the Furanocoumarins (Warfarin a blood thinning
drug but also virulent rat poison, is a coumarin derivative). In general
coumarins have antifungal, hypotensive, anticoagulant and antimicrobial properties.
Many of the Coumarins are phototoxic and skin sensitising.
Lactones: A lactone is an Ester that's
functional group has become part of a ring structure with carbon atoms.
Lactones are widely present in the plant kingdom and many are expectorants and
Linanool: Linalool one of the terpene alcohols is widely
distributed in the plant kingdom. Linalool has strong effects on the nervous
system and is therefore widely used by aroma therapists and herbologists as a
sedative, spasmolytic and local anaesthetic. It is also used against many skin
complaints, mostly in the form of tea tree oil.
Terpineol: A Monoterpenol that is a major
component of pine oils but also present in smaller quantities in other essential
Terpineol is antibacterial and antiviral, an immune system stimulant, a good
general tonic. In Essential Oils it is warming and uplifting.
Sesquiterpenes: When sesquiterpenes occur in essential oils it
is mostly in combination with monoterpenes. Sesquiterpenes have a higher melting
point than monoterpenes.
Sesquiterpenes are anaesthetic, antifungal,
antiseptic and antibacterial.
Nerol: A terpene alcohol.
Terpene Alcohol: Valued for their fragrance,
gentle reaction on the skin and membranes and healing properties Terpene
Alcohols have earned the name of "Friendly Molecules". Alcohols are amongst the
strongest antimicrobial compounds in essential oils but lack the irritant
properties of other antimicrobial constituents like phenols.
Linalyl Acetate: An Ester (see below) Linalyl Acetate is the
primary constituent, along with Linalool in Lavender oil, although small amounts
are found in other plants.
Esters: Mainly found in small amounts in flowers, Esters are
responsible for the characteristic fragrances of the flowers and volatile oils.
are mostly sedative and antispasmodic and generally non-irritant and mild,
although some, like Methyl Salicylate, found in wintergreen, are more irritant.
Limonene: Limonene has been studied for the anti-tumour effect
noticed in mice. Herbalists often prescribe herbs with this constituent as an
antioxidant and cancer or tumour inhibitor although there is evidence that these
properties are volatile and may be lost as a result of processing of the herb.
Limonene also has antiviral properties.
Pinene: Commonly found in Oil of Turpentine extracted from Pinus
specie trees, pinene (alpha-pinene and beta-pinene) is also widely distributed
in other plants. It is used for Rheumatism as a liniment but is best known by
Aromatherapists and a tonic of the mucus membranes of the respiratory system.
Pinene is also important for its pleasant fragrance and is believed to have
diuretic properties by many.