Botanica 2020 course package

Learn with Joy Bowles and Petra Ratajc, and get two bonus classes

Did you find the talks of Dr. Joy Bowles and Dr. Petra Ratajc as inspiring as we did? And would you like to learn more from them? 

The Tisserand Institute brings you a unique Botanica 2020 package of our Beyond the Bottle and  Aromatic Chemistry certification courses, plus two single classes for free! 

Sign up during the Botanica weekend and get Oxidation and Shelf Life and Essential Calculation as a bonus. 


What's in the package?


Beyond the Bottle, with Petra Ratajc, PhD

This four-part online certification course is a deep dive into how essential oils are made from the soil up. In this groundbreaking course, you’ll no longer be at the mercy of marketing that may not be accurate, or doesn’t address what you really need to know. Instead, you’ll learn about analyzing essential oils by decoding their growing conditions and plant biology, as well as their composition.

Start date: October 6, 2020

Aromatic Chemistry, with Joy Bowles, PhD

Seven weeks exploring all you need to know about chemical structures, nomenclature, and analysis of essential oils. It delves into the relationships between chemical families, and the chemical changes that typically occur over the lifecycle of the whole essential oil – from the plant material to body metabolism after application.  With her signature enthusiasm, Dr. Joy will demystify the molecular makeup of essential oils so you can make better therapeutic decisions and more accurate safety assessments.

Start date: November 10, 2020


What You Get in Each Course?

Access to 60-minute pre-recorded lessons through our learning portal in addition to the original Q&A sessions.

Live Q&A sessions with the tutors to deal with any questions you may have.

Extensive downloadable handouts and course notes with links to additional research and resources.

Access to our private online forum to ask questions and interact with the tutors, the TI team, and classmates.

Ongoing access to lessons and learning materials for eight weeks after course completion.

Plus You'll Get


Oxidation and Shelf-life

This single class delves into the issues of oxidation and the proper storage of essential oils. Robert Tisserand explains how to best protect your oils from oxidation, what to do once they have oxidized, and how oxidation impacts safety. Included is a printable handout with the shelf lives of most commonly used essential oils.

Essential Calculation

You love essential oils, and you got hooked into aromatherapy – but nobody told you there will be math. And looking at all the ratios, percentages, milliliters, ounces, drops, maximum dilutions and charts can seem daunting. But it doesn’t have to be! Join Hana Tisserand as she guides you through calculations and conversions with ease, giving you simple tools and making sure you get it, so you will never again have to ask: “How many drops is that?”

Dr. Petra Ratajc, PhD

Biologist | Researcher | Educator

Petra refers to herself as an ‘aromatic plants enthusiast’ and has a post-graduate degree in Biological and Biotechnical Sciences from the University of Ljubljana. Her PhD extends from fieldwork to molecular research in the quality, safety and efficacy of aromatic herbs and their essential oils.

Petra specializes in medicinal and aromatic plants, secondary plant metabolites, pharmacognosy and pharmacology specifically focused on plant volatile constituents. Visit her myth-busting plant biology blog, The PhytoVolatilome.

Dr. Joy Bowles; PhD, BSc Hons

Educator | Research Expert |  International Speaker

In 1991, Dr. Joy Bowles wrote the first course in essential oil chemistry in Australia. Her book The Chemistry of Aromatherapeutic Oils, published in 2003, is a standard text for aromatherapy courses around the world. This work moves step-by-step at the molecular level through 89 essential oils, along with techniques for applying the benefits of aromatherapy to the various body systems.

For her PhD, awarded in 2007, Dr. Joy investigated the effects of essential oils on cognitive function in dementia. After several years in primary healthcare, she’s returned to the field of essential oil chemistry, training practitioners on the evidence-based therapeutic effects of essential oils. Helping people understand the chemistry and pharmacology of essential oils is one of her life’s passions.

Course Breakdown – Beyond the Bottle

Lesson 1 - The Plant
  • What is an essential oil? Defining it in scientific terms
  • How plants make essential oils – the biosynthetic paths of specific compounds
  • Why plants make essential oils – the functions of volatiles in plants
  • Detailed overview of botanical families that produce essential oils
  • Demystifying botanical names and why they are crucial vs. common names
Lesson 2 - The Grower
  • How cultivation and growing conditions (environmental factors, age of plant, pollinators and microbes) influence essential oil composition
  • Understanding chemotypes, and how they are determined
  • Wildcrafting vs. cultivation – the pros and cons
  • Conventional vs. organic cultivation: standards, certifications and sustainability
  • Proper times of year and optimal plant development phases for harvestingl
Lesson 3 - The Extraction
  • How different methods of extraction can mean different properties, even from the same plant
  • Compositional comparisons: essential oils, hydrosols, absolutes, C02 extracts
  • Steam-distilled oils, expressed oils and hydrosols/hydrolats
  • Solvent-extracted absolutes, concretes and flower waxes
  • C02 extracts, oleoresins and other resinoids (gums and balsams)
  • Essential oils vs. water extracts, alcohol tinctures and oil macerations
Lesson 4 - The Product
  • Why a ‘pure’ oil is not necessarily a ‘quality’ oil
  • Types of adulteration and manipulation, and their consequences
  • Hydrosols/hydrolats and contamination
  • What Gas Chromatography-Mass Spectrometry (GC-MS) can tell us, and how to read a GC-MS report
  • The pros and cons of essential oil standardization
  • How to evaluate an essential oil in terms of quality, composition and price, and how to prolong shelf life

Course Breakdown – Aromatic Chemistry


Recorded Lessons

Lesson 1 - Atoms & Molecules
  • What chemistry helps us to explain
  • Types of atoms found in essential oils
  • The bonding capacity of hydrogen, carbon, and oxygen atoms
  • Why most atoms form bonds to make molecules, and examples of molecular bonds
  • Using symbols to represent atoms and molecules, including simple carbon-based molecules
Lesson 2 - Essential Oil Molecules
  • Types of molecules found in essential oils
  • Molecular features that impact therapeutic properties
  • Overview of essential oil chemical families and their biological effects
  • The clinical significance of relationships between essential oil chemical families, such as alcohols and esters, phenols and phenyl-methyl ethers, and more
Lesson 3 - Important Constituents
  • The therapeutic properties of five key constituents: Limonene, Linalool, Terpinen-4-ol, 1,8-cineole, and Beta-caryophyllene
  • Summary of essential oils where these key constituents are typically found
  • Comparison of the therapeutic activities of these essential oils in relation to the proportion of their active constituents


Live Lessons

Lesson 1 - Chemical Structure & Analysis
  • GC-MS analysis and examples of whole essential oils and their constituents
  • Acids, lactones, furans, furanocoumarins, diterpenes, diketones, peroxides and sulfur compounds
  • Differences in composition of steam-distilled essential oils, solvent-extracted absolutes, super- and sub-critical C02 extracts
  • Effects of constituent concentration on essential oil properties
  • Constituent profiles: bergapten and coumarin
Lesson 2 - Chemical Relationships
  • Chemical names that sound similar but have different endings
  • Close relationships that are not obvious from their common names, such as limonene and perillyl alcohol
  • Why isomers matter, and molecules that have (and don’t have) optical isomers
  • Constituent profiles: carvone isomers, carvacrol, and thymol
Lesson 3 - Chemical Changes
  • Overview of chemical changes that occur over the lifecycle of an essential oil: within the plant, on distillation, through storage, and on application to the body
  • Explanation of degradation and catalysis
  • Processes involved in chemical changes, including hydrolysis, reduction, and oxidation
  • Constituent profiles: menthol, citral, and citronellal
Lesson 4 - Chemical Messages
  • Molecular features that might influence biological effect
  • Synergy versus antagonism, and the challenges of predicting effect
  • The risks of extrapolation from constituent to whole essential oil, and the need for good clinical studies
  • Constituent profiles: eugenol and methyl salicylate

When You Complete the Courses

Each course comes with a separate Certificate of Completion, based on you passing assessments along the way. Your certificate – issued by the leaders of evidence-based instruction – demonstrates your knowledge of the areas of expertise covered in the courses. 


The Tisserand Institute is a NAHA approved Continuing Education Provider, with other organizations accepting our credits with supplemental documentation. We are happy to assist you in order to make sure your continuing education counts. 


What previous students say about our classes:

This course was so complete and easy to follow. I loved the live webinars with Lisa and Robert (Lesson 2) and appreciated the structured classroom, as I have discovered that I do best in this type of setting. Also, thank you so much to Hana for her support, input and knowledge for each lesson! ~ Darlene Sekijima
I so enjoyed Lise’s personality and the banter between Hana and Lise. I have a very high stress life, and many times Lise, and Lise and Hana put a smile on my face or made me chuckle when I needed it most. Better than CBD! ~ Sheila McKenna
I appreciated the passion that was put into the course. I stumbled across this by chance and I am so thankful I did. This has expanded my passion and knowledge about formulations. It has enhanced my learning about essential oils. I just want to thank you for offering this course and all that you do. I feel so confident having your institute as my education platform. I am a beginner but feel confident with your amazing education that it wont be long before I am a pro!! ~ Penny Ferguson
The personalized attention and friendly feel. Sometimes you feel like instructors are holding back their best secrets or knowledge. But I didn’t feel like that with either Lise or Robert. Lise was delightful. I felt like I could just pull up a chair with a cup of tea and we could talk formulations! Also being able to learn about blending from Robert was an incredible treat! I would love to have a larger course about that!! ~ Kristi Maxwell
I loved the way the information was organized and the depth of information. I can do some real formulating now- like a pro! I also just love the “freshness” of Lisa and Hana, and the calmness of Robert. What a great team! I also SO appreciate the ongoing feeling that I am dealing with experts when dealing with Tisserand Institute. Thank you! ~ Tina Hammer
I really liked that we had the options to view live or on our own time. This was amazing as my schedule is very volatile and I wasn’t able to be there at the scheduled time as I thought I would. I really like Lisa and thought she was a fun and engaging teacher. I like the video format as well, so that I am engaged visually and can listen, because if it’s just one or the other I find I get distracted too easily. I also liked that some basic formulas were provided to get beginners started with the types of formulas that they are not familiar with. ~ Michaela
Friendly and fun, very well explained. Loved the course – thank you ~ Lilly Zoch
I thoroughly enjoyed this class! Felt like I was right in the same room and also appreciated the candor and humor. There was so much valuable information given by both Lise and Robert.
Not one thing – EVERYTHING! with all my TI courses. Quality of course content, facilitators, teachers and their knowledge, teaching platform – everything! ~ Niki Klelin
The dynamic between Lise and Hana was wonderful — it caused this course to be fun, interactive and so engaging. I’d subscribe to their podcast, if they had one. ~ Rhonda M
I notice I have been mulling things over a lot from this course and that more has gone in than I thought. I’m having my own distilled understandings arriving – which is proof of quality education. Overall i think it was a very good course and that your online platform is superb – as good as any I have used. ~ Nigel Sutton

This is a rare opportunity to study with the world’s leading experts on essential oils – don’t miss this chance! 

Ready to get started?


Will there be notes for me to review?
Yes. Each lesson comes with printable handouts of the slides used in the lesson, and additional lesson notes. These are sent to you before each lesson and are for you to keep and refer to at any time.
I am a certified aromatherapist. Will I learn anything new?
Many of our students have commented that our courses helped them grasp what they learned elsewhere in more detail, or complemented their previous education. Some of our students are lifelong learners, and some are teachers.
I am new to essential oils. Is this course for me?
We will let one of our previous students answer this one:

“The information presented is appropriate for all levels, and although I am just beginning my aromatherapy journey it all makes sense.”

Will there be assessments or exams? What kind?

Each weekly lesson is followed by a multiple choice quiz, and there is a summary test at the end of each course. Passing both the weekly quizzes and the final tests is a requirement for certification.

You will be given enough time to prepare for the test as well as three attempts to pass. 

Will I be able to ask questions?

Absolutely! In addition to the live Q&A sessions, you can post your questions in the dedicated student forums where the tutor and the TI team will address them. 

What if I cannot participate on a live session?

All of our live sessions are recorded and are posted on the learning platform within 24 hours so you can watch them, or rewatch as needed during the course. 

How long will I have access to the recordings?

You will have access to all the videos for at least four weeks after the last lesson (see course description for clarification as this changes for individual courses). All the printable materials (notes, handouts, charts, etc.) are of course yours to keep for reference forever.

Do you offer continuing education credits?

Because we have students from all over the world and of many professions we are not able to offer credits for specific organizations – there are simply too many. However, we issue a confirmation of CE hours gained on the course that you can apply with your professional organization and will be happy to assist with any additional documentation.

At the moment, we are an Approved Continuing Education Provider with NAHA. 

What if I fall behind or cannot attend classes?
We have found that running classes on specific dates works best to help you finish a program. You join a class of students, and learn along with them. Many students help each other with queries, and of course our tutors are there too. That said, if you miss a few classes you should be still able to comfortably jump right back in and if you do fall behind you can request extra time. Of course this cannot be indefinite, but we do our best to help you get your certificate.