460

I am very happy to say that we’ve now got fragonia essential oil back in stock. It is one of my favourite essential oils and seems to be ideally suited to the spring of 2021 with its lovely bright-citrusy aroma and its excellent immune-stimulant and naturally purifying qualities.

There is quite a story behind this essential oil because a couple of years ago great swathes of the plantations where it is grown in western Australia for the production of the essential oils were burnt down by the wildfires raging there. This meant that the essential oil became largely unavailable for a few years while the plantations were re-established and the stock of fragonia essential oil replenished. Fragonia is quite an unusual oil as it was only brought to the forefront at the turn-of-the-century by a husband-and-wife team who heard about the indigenous Australian plant and began to explore its potential therapeutic uses. Having selected a superior genius they established a small plantation of the shrubs on their own property in South-western Australia: this was the origin of the commercial plantations that produce the specific chemotype of Adonis Fragrans used in aromatherapy today.

Fragonia (Agonis Fragrans) belongs to the Myrtaceae family: a large family of aromatic plants with over 3000 species. It is one of the most important families from an aromatherapy perspective, as it includes not only members of the Agonis genus but also hundreds of aromatic plants from the Eucalyptus, Melaleuca, Myrtus and Pimenta species. The name Agonis is derived from the Greek ‘agon’ meaning ‘a gathering’ in reference to the many clusters of tiny white flowers that adorn its branches. The wild species is native to the western coast of Australia where it can be found growing near the coast as a small shrub reaching about 2.5 metres high with narrow, silvery-green leaves which emit a characteristic fresh-penetrating aroma when crushed. The essential oil is produced by steam distillation from the stems twigs and leaves with a scent somewhat similar to tea tree with a medicinal top note - but this is mixed with a lovely lemony-balsamic and slightly spicy undertone - so it has much more pleasing fragrance than tea tree.

One synonym for Agonis fragrans is ‘coarse tea tree’ as it shares many of the medicinal characteristics of tea tree oil. In a series of tests at the University of a Western Australia, fragonia essential oil was shown to have significant bactericidal, anti-septic, anti-inflammatory and antimicrobial activity. However, unlike tea tree, fragonia is non-irritant and non-sensitising so it is a milder oil when applied to the skin than tea tree, as well as being safe for children.

In the context of skincare, fragonia is especially good for those with acne, oily or blemished skin and for those who have skin which is prone to a sporadic flare up of spots as it has a purifying and antiseptic effect on the skin. In first aid, fragonia essential oil is good for the treatment of everyday cuts, bites stings and is one of the few oils that can be applied neat in small amounts. In terms of a regular skincare routine, our fragonia flower water, which is completely unique to Aqua Oleum, is very valuable especially for oily or blemished complexions when used as a toner /cleanser and as a purifying sanitizer on a daily basis.

The floral water and essential oil also make lovely room fresheners having an uplifting, revitalising and antidepressant effect. It is especially valuable at this time to boost and support the immune system and to help prevent the spread of viral air-borne infections within the home or office. Used in room diffusers, it is also beneficial for overcoming all kinds of respiratory conditions such bronchitis, coughs, colds, flu and in some individuals it can help deal with bouts of asthma and hay fever. In addition, the oil or spray make fantastic natural and fresh-smelling disinfectants for use around the home: eg when doing the laundry or for cleaning and wiping down surfaces. It also makes a brilliant yoga mat spray! When used in massage or body blends the oil is good for conditions such as aching joints or muscles and generally as a tonic and restorative support for the whole nervous and immune system.