Thursday 6 February 2020

Novel Coronavirus Aromatherapy Guide

Coronavirus is spread by close contacts sneezing and coughing. There is no vaccine. Symptoms include laboured breathing. Precautions include wearing a face mask and good hand hygiene. So far the mortality rate appears some 3%

Coronavirus is now with us and in the public eye.  Ships and whole cities are in quarantine.  The virus is contagious and transmitted in the same way as colds and flu.  People are becoming ill with respiratory shortness of breath and dying including some of the medical staff who treat them.

As to which essential oils I look past the articles claiming essential oils are all conquering or a waste of time.  There is plenty of scientific research on PubMed and in the aromatherapy literature demonstrating essential oils have anti viral and anti biotic properties. Literally scientists can watch the bugs die and we should not doubt the evidence of their eyes.

I am exposed to viruses all the time.  We all are.  But the show must go on. 

Personally in the last seven days I have sung Brahms, Beethoven, Vivaldi, Mozart, Orff and Haydn.  This may seem a strange way to start an article on Essential Oils and Coronavirus but bear with me.  

The point is in our daily lives we are in close contact with many others. Personally I have sung in the presence of hundreds of other people in just the course of last week.  During the day I work in a busy office.  Papers and people come in and out.  Were some people I met at work or play sneezing or coughing? Of course they were. Could someone have sneezed around those papers in the last day leaving bacteria or viruses on those papers? Of course. 

Part of the way I manage the risk of this exposure is by taking vitamins particularly Vitamin C.  Also having a positive mission in life helps minimise the risk.  For example usually doctors who treat patients do not themselves tend to succumb to disease.  It’s a measure of the seriousness of the matter that the doctor Li Wen Liang who alerted the world to the issue of Coronavirus has died.  

Clearly prevention is better than a cure.  I shower daily and wash my hands.  Daily hygiene routines help me stay free from microscopic pathogens.  I eat a varied diet to maintain a healthy immune system and I exercise.  Not as much as I should but I exercise. 

Part of the way I manage the risk of this exposure turning into an infection for others is being responsible. If I have an active cough or a sneeze I stay at home and work in bed until I feel better.  Not everyone is able to do this of course.  

We all depend on people showing up even with a cough or sneezing.  For example the soprano soloist on Saturday sang bravely and beautifully even with an evident cough in rehearsal.  It is even more imperative at work to carry on and ride public transport.  People depend on us and we depend on them.  I don’t tend to wear a facemask when I go out but clearly that is a habit we may all have to get into.

I keep myself informed.  A starting point is Wikipedia online.  
I have qualifications in science so the strange looking words don’t confuse me I know what I am looking for.  I quickly see there is presently no vaccine. So for the time being the matter is serious and deserves our attention. As ever prevention is more important than a cure.  

Besides coughing and sneezing the symptoms include a shortness of breath. I see that the virus is transmitted in the same way as colds and flu by respiratory droplets.  I would most likely breathe in the virus to become infected.

Do I diffuse essential oils with an atomiser in the home and at work? Yes I do. A room spray adds water droplets to the atmosphere and that seems a bad idea.  In fact running a dehumidifier seems a sensible precaution. The oils are volatile and will diffuse in the air themselves or with the aid of an atomiser.

As to which essential oils I look past the articles claiming essential oils are all conquering or a waste of time.  There is plenty of scientific research on PubMed and in the aromatherapy literature demonstrating essential oils have anti viral and anti biotic properties. Literally scientists can watch the bugs die and we should not doubt the evidence of their eyes.

So which essential oils do I use? Lavender, Tea Tree, Eucalyptus oils and Lemon. You only need a few drops at a time so the bottles which are inexpensive will last a long time.  Do read the precautions on the bottle label and if placing on the skin dilute with oil like olive or sunflower oil.  A particular cautionary note I would add is to only use fresh and genuine essential oils.

Peter Ian Brealey


Friday 5 August 2016

The Shirley Price story

In its skincare manufacture and formulation Shirley Price Aromatherapy Limited upholds the highest global standards both of safety and botanical innovation.  

The Shirley Price story began in Hinckley UK in 1974 Shirley became interested in aromatherapy in order to treat herself and own mother who had arthritis. After many training courses, including some abroad, Shirley set up as an aromatherapist, blending and creating her own skincare creams for customers in her busy hairdressing and beauty salon. Shirley Price Aromatherapy Limited started supplying essential oils and blends.  Shirley went on to open the Shirley Price International College of Aromatherapy in 1978 and worked teaching and lecturing increasingly all over the world becoming a trusted name in both aromatherapy teaching and the supply of essential oils and aromatherapy products. 

In the 1980s and 1990s aromatherapy training was followed by over 6000 students who are proud holders of the SPICA qualification in aromatherapy.  Skincare regimes incorporating essential oils for radiant health and wellbeing are now part of daily global life and we at Shirley Price Aromatherapy are proud to continue this tradition.

Aromatherapy principally means a massage treatment using ready blended oils applied to the whole body or feet.   Shirley was the first tutor to teach students how to mix and blend their own recipes sooner than using ready blended oils. This was a huge step forward and from this grew the philosophy of treating each client as an individual.  Shirley and Len Price did much to put aromatherapy on a professional footing.  Founder members of IFPA, IFA and the Aromatherapy Trades Council Shirley worked hard to ensure the best in aromatherapy training and essential oils were available for therapeutic effect.  Aromatherapy came to be seen as a key element in training for a career in complimentary therapies which draw heavily on global traditions of traditional care and wellbeing for healing.

While medicine treats conditions of illness Aromatherapy is aimed both at prevention - stimulating the circulation and immune system and where there is illness or age related conditions aromatherapy is aimed at symptom relief - such as pain relief, increased confidence and robustness, at stress and depressed mood.  

Aromatherapy is not medicine though of course much in the pharmacy which is free of harmful side effects is plant derived or based.  If you are ill you should see a doctor! 

Above all by incorporating regular knowledgeable use of essential oils into our daily lives we can live longer happier lives.  The leading aromatherapist educators like Shirley Price, Mojay and Tisserand and others are living examples of the effectiveness of their doctrines!

Authorship.  Starting with Practical Aromatherapy Shirley has published many books on aromatherapy, including The Aromatherapy Workbook, Aromatherapy for the Emotions and Aromatherapy for Health Professionals.  In 1999 Shirley and Len Price retired updating their internationally acclaimed textbooks and supporting their daughter Penny Price's business.  

Today the Company continues to supply aromatherapy training in massage and blending essential oils for individual effect.  The Aromatherapy Products bearing the Shirley Price name are supplied through over 40 correspondent aromatherapy and beauty colleges worldwide and via the 6000 alumni of the Shirley Price International College of Aromatherapy.  The close relationship of the company with the highest standards of training continues.  

The principal of the College today (pictured right) is Joon Wong an independent Cidesco examiner and IFPA trustee. Our correspondent links with global tutors like Jan Benham, Jane Harrison, Sarah Gelzer, Joon Wong, Rayleen and the Nordblom family in Europe, the Americas, Asia and China ensures a well qualified knowledgeable and caring Shirley Price distributor and trainer - expert in the use of essential oils is never far away. 

Saturday 17 October 2015

Oil Methods of Extraction revisited

The overwhelming majority of essential oils are volatile and so steam distilled even the Citrus. Cold pressing of Citrus Bergamot Oil produces the oil most commonly used in aromatherapy and perfume . The edible carrier oils used in massage are cold pressed.

The method of extraction depends greatly on the quantity of the oil in the plant, how it is stored and the extent to which it is volatile.
For example: 

In many edible oils (sunflower, olive, almond, canola etc) the oil is not volatile and is present in the seed or fruit at up to 40% by weight which makes it suited to pressing. 

Essential oils are present at much lower concentrations (eg Tea Tree Oil is only around 1% of the harvested biomass).  Most EO's are volatile making them ideal for steam extraction. 

It would be impractical (actually impossible) to extract TTO by pressing and uneconomical to use solvent extraction.  While CO2 extraction is possible in TTO the chemical profile in the resulting oil differs from standard profiles obtained by steam extraction and CO2 extraction is again uneconomical given the volume of biomass (leaf material) needed to produce a Kg of the oil. 

The extraction method is also driven by the ultimate usefulness of the oil .  Tea Tree oil is a useful antiseptic while Rose Oil gives us something very precious indeed!

The method of extraction used is therefore usually tailored to the characteristics of the source material and based on economical considerations for practical, efficient extraction and end use rather than quality per se. 

CO2 extracts present specific characteristics, quite different to essential oils (composition, taste or smell, etc.). CO2 extracts have found their own market in food uses, but quite a few in cosmetic and perfume uses.

The way to extract essential oils depends primarily on the physical characteristics of the raw materials to extract, but also on the chemical characteristics of the extract and finally the traditional methods. For the same plant, the composition of the extract will be different by disltillation time.  

Cold pressing is used for citrus as well as Carrier oils, but there is much Steam Distillation of Citrus with different qualities obtained. Steam distillation is generally used for roots flowers or leaves with an good concentration of oils and a physical facility to extract it by water steam, but a lot of other flowers give bad results with steam distillation and need other stronger solvents to obtain an extract (concrete). 

"Purity" in the sense of capturing the useful minor components depends also on the traditional vs modern handling and diligence of preparation of the biomass as well as the method of extraction. The whole Organic vs Pure debate turns on this. Organic methods are thought and do seem to yield a more "energetic" and useful oil for aromatherapy purposes apart from the issue of treatment residues.

Again while Lemon oil may be steam distilled without much loss of "purity" given its usefulness and composition the more precious Bergamot oil commonly used in aromatherapy and perfume tends to be cold pressed using traditional methods by the main producers so as to capture the useful components present in more minor proportions in the oil. A longer (and more expensive) distillation can be another factor in producing a "purer" oil for example in frankincense.

Yes CO2 or solvent extraction is the most accurate representation of the oil in the biomass and useful where the characteristic desired is obvious. There is obvious no need to improve on the smell of the rose or jasmine and the producer would not find a market for anything but. However some of the most useful components for aromatherapy and perfumery can be the product of the steam distillation process itself rather than found naturally in the plant for example the anti inflammatories in the chamomiles. A "purer" oil in this sense would not satisfy the purists.

Monday 27 October 2014

Shirley Price Aromatherapy Syllabus - Aromatherapy, Massage, A&P

Shirley Price Aromatherapy Syllabus

Shirley Price Therapeutic Massage Syllabus

Shirley Price Aromatherapy A&P Syllabus

Saturday 19 July 2014

Shirley Price Aromatherapy Course dates and times

Please see below new course dates!

Contact:  Rosie Brandrick, College Secretary T: 01455 615466
Shirley Price Aromatherapy Ltd, 8 Hawley Road, Hinckley, Leicestershire LE10 0PR
2014 Aromatherapy Training Guide


Aromatherapy Module 3 Dec 1st to 5th 10am - 4pm

The SPICA Aromatherapy Diploma proceeds over 10 months and is led by Jan Benham FFHT MIFPA and Sue Jenkins BSc MIFPA

Aromatherapy Diploma Application Form

Link to syllabus

Also a distance learning course and course materials pack is available.  
Nov 24th - Introduction to Aromatherapy 11am - 4pm
Nov 25th - The creamy craft of cosmetic making 11am - 4pm

Nov 26th -  How to Make Mineral Makeup 11am - 4pm

Nov 27th 

Nov 26th -  How to Make Mineral Makeup 11am - 4pm
Nov 27th How to make natural makeup 
Dec 1st to 2nd - Holistic Skin Care 10am - 4pm
Besides the famous aromatherapy college Shirley Price Aromatherapy is a certified organic manufacturer and handler of essential oils and aromatherapy products.

Take a workshop.  Workshops are IFPA/FHT ACCREDITED CPD


Nov 29th- Perfume Making 11am - 4pm


Cosmetic Making Diploma course Nov 24th to 29th

Nov 28thThe Art of Soap Making 11am - 4pm / Shampoo and bath bomb making 4.30pm to 6.30pm

The Shirley Price Aromatherapy Practitioner Diploma Course is fully accredited with the IFPA (International Federation of Professional Aromatherapists). The IFPA which was co-founded by Shirley Price is committed to excellence in education and you can be assured that we meet exacting standards to provide you with a worldwide internationally recognised qualification.  Students may register with IFPA as students and  take out IFPA recognised student practitioner insurance to cover case studies.

Shirley Price Aromatherapy is based in Hinckley Leicestershire and has been training students for a career in aromatherapy for 40 years.

The Clinical Aromatherapy Diploma Course consists of five inhouse modules over 25 days. For in house and Distance learning is completed over a minimum period of 9 months. A qualification in Anatomy & Physiology is required. Please ask us for clarification of this if you think you hold a relevant certificate. The IFPA also recommend an up to date certificate in First Aid but it is not complusory. For more information about IFPA please click on the link http://ifparoma.or
All organic products are approved by Shirley Price Aromatherapy was also a founder member of the Aromatherapy Trade Council

You will study around 55 essential oils, Carriers and Hydrolats, learn how to mix and blend for individual needs into synergies, bases and various methods of application using a detailed Client Consultation. The course includes 2 levels of Aromatherapy Massage including full body massage, a facial, Foot Reflex Treatment and a Seated Neck and Back massage 

The course is national occupational standards Level 3/4. If you hold a lower qualification and would like to upgrade to IFPA membership then we can help you. We assess what you need to learn and recommend how much more study you need to take. This is assessed on an individual basis. Usually a course of a weeks study is sufficient to prepare the student for the independant examination.

When studying with us you will be entitled to a trade account on all products manufactured by Shirley Price Aromatherapy. Post study we have a Gathering and Sharing Group which aims to help you to continue to develop your own knowledge and join a network of Practitioners. 

Shirley Price Aromatherapy also offers a quarterly program of CPD day courses led by Jan Benham FFHT MIFPA at the factory training rooms in Hinckley LE10 0PR

We are easy to find opposite Hinckley Railway station

Shirley price Aromatherapy also offers an attractive distance learning course. Successful completion of the course and examination qualifies students to apply for IFPA membership by distance learning.  As this course lacks the practical massage training of the in-house program it does not qualify the student for massage insurance.

Tuesday 15 July 2014


Established for over 40 years Shirley Price Aromatherapy
has gained an enviable reputation for the quality of its products
and the importance placed on customer service and training
48 essential oil kit
Single essential oils Pure ORG
Aromatherapy Diploma Certificate class
Distance Learning
All products online
2014 Customer Pricelist
Full product Guide
Botanical skincare guide
Which Shirley Price Botanical Skincare Product is right for you?

Shirley Price Aromatherapy Ltd
8 Hawley Road, Hinckley,
Leicestershire LE10 0PR
T: 01455 615466
New?  Shirley Price A-Z
Aromatherapy Diploma Details
Workshop dates
Workshop details
ITEC Diploma kit contents

Image lightbox
Image lightbox