Tisserand Institute Contributors

Tisserand Institute Contributors


Rachel Andorfer

Rachel, originally trained in Biophysics (BS, Clemson University) and Bioengineering (MS, Clemson University), came to essential oils through a chance reading of a paper about lavender oil and anxiety. After falling in love with natural medicine, she has combined her love of science and essential oils to create The Essential Girl. Through her blog and online courses, she educates people about the science of essential oils on a fundamental level, because she believes you shouldn’t have to be a PhD to understand essential oils.

A Beginner’s Guide to Essential Oils Part 1: Essential Oils Extraction

A Beginner’s Guide to Essential Oils Part 2: How to Use Essential Oils


Kelly Ablard

Kelly Ablard holds a PhD in Chemical Ecology, an MSc in Primate Conservation, a BSc in Zoology, and is a certified and registered essential oil therapist. Her research interests are in chemical communication, traditional aromatic plant medicine, and clinical aromatherapy. She is dedicated to the global education, research, and sustainable management of aromatic medicinal plants, and to teaching about essential oil-bearing plants and their relationship with the animal kingdom. She is the founder of the Airmid Institute, and is on the Board of the British Columbia Alliance of Aromatherapy, a Director for the United Plant Savers, and is an aromatherapy practitioner, teacher and consultant.

Aromatherapy and Traditional Aromatic Plant Medicine in Peru
May 28th, 2016
Lemongrass decoction being prepared: Pucallpa, Peru. © Kelly Ablard This study was the first of its kind carried out in Peru to identify and understand the use of aromatic plant medicine (APM) as a form of traditional medicine from the viewpoint of Aromatherapy as practiced in North America…

Essential Oils of Citrus Prevent Infection in Plants and Animals
March 7th, 2015
Not all microbes cause disease, in fact most of them don’t, but those that do are called “pathogenic”, meaning disease-causing. Pathogenic micro-organisms (PMs), in the form of bacteria and fungi, have plagued modern humans for 200,000 years. Bacteria, nearly as old as the Earth itself, were a dominant life form about…


Kristina Bauer

Kristina Bauer, also known as the Untamed Alchemist, is an inspired aromatherapist, passionate herbalist, writer, and educator with over 25 years of experience working with essential oils and herbs. She maintains a well-received aromatherapy and herbal blog, The Untamed Alchemist  and offers small-batch aromatic products, product consultations, and workshops through her business, Untamed Alchemy  Kristina is currently co-executive producing a feature-length documentary about aromatherapy titled Uncommon Scents.

Essential Oils and the “Detox” Theory
June 18th, 2015
Globally, aromatherapy is becoming increasingly popular. As the number of essential oil users continues to grow, and as recommendations for undiluted use increase, so exposure increases. As Robert Tisserand notes, “The number of incidents of an adverse reaction to an essential oil depends on: • It’s inherent toxicity • The number of…


Shannon Becker, PhD

Shannon Becker earned her PhD in Comparative Biomedical Sciences, concentrating in Cell Biology. She has over 14 years of experience in academic research, exploring topics such as the genetic relationship of chromosome rearrangements in cancer and evolution, the Wnt pathway, comparative genome analysis, and genomic changes in canine and human cancers. In recent years, she became a certified aromatherapist, and is continuing her aromatic medicine training. Shannon is the owner of Petrichor Apothecary, which specializes in evidence-based aromatherapeutics and natural products.

Essential oils to help prevent the spread of flu
May 22nd, 2017
Essential oils and aromatic compounds act against influenza viruses. Read on for a fascinating journey into the life cycle of a virus, with some practical, science-based tips on how to prevent flu from spreading in your home.

Do we really need to be worried about “cleaning” our receptors?
May 22nd, 2017
In order for the cells that make up an organism such as you to work in harmony, they must be able to communicate and collect information about their environment. The idea that our cell receptors—cellular signal receivers—may be blocked and unable to function normally is a current theme in food blogging, health guru lectures, and essential oil sales hype…

Can essential oils repair DNA? (the short answer is “no”)
January 26th, 2017
In his book Healing Oils of the Bible, David Stewart makes claims about disease and cancer, and the ability to treat them using essential oils containing monoterpenes and sesquiterpenes. He states that monoterpenes “reprogram the cells with correct information so they may function properly”. He further states that sesquiterpenes “deprogram or…https://tisserandinstitute.org/wp-content/uploads/2017/12/ellie.jpg

Lauren Bridges

A token from her first academic love, Lauren holds a B.A. in Anthropology. She went on to study aromatherapy under the instruction of Sylla Sheppard-Hanger, LMT through the Atlantic Institute of Aromatherapy and then furthered her education by completing an Advanced Diploma in Aromatic Medicine under Mark Webb, BSc, MASCC. Her fervent desire for research and a fair representation of the field she has come to love inspired the creation of The Aromapologist, and Indigo Aromatic Services was founded in April, 2017. Lauren is currently focused on helping parents develop an understanding of the application of essential oils with children and their families. She is dedicated particularly to helping parents of children with Cerebral Palsy learn how to safely and effectively utilize essential oils for their unique circumstances. You will find her works at  www.aromapologist.com and www.indigoaromaticservices.com

Risk vs. benefit: using potent antimicrobial essential oils with children
December 29th, 2017
We live in a world of quick fixes and proclaimed miracle cures, and essential oils have not escaped the proclivity people have in identifying the next magic bullet. Today, as we face issues like increased resistance in bacteria to antibiotics, the therapeutic application of aromatics offers hope to an area where the lack of a solution would mean an unwelcome reminder of much darker days…


Christine Carson

Christine has a PhD in Microbiology and has been investigating the biological effects of natural products, including Melaleuca alternifolia (tea tree) essential oil, for over 20 years. She has published over 50 papers in the field and is interested in the antimicrobial, anti-inflammatory and other potentially useful medicinal properties of natural products, particularly plant-derived compounds, as well as the safety and toxicity associated with their use. More recently, she has joined a group working to address the growing problem of antimicrobial resistance. She is a Research Associate at the University of Western Australia and a Research Scholar at Edith Cowan University.

Tea Tree Oil is not Losing its Bug-Killing Punch
March 13th, 2015
An experienced group of US-based researchers (Cuaron et al. 2014) have recently published a paper with the title “The Isolation of Staphylococcus aureus Tea Tree Oil-Reduced Susceptibility Mutants” in the journal Phytotherapy Research (impact factor 2.068). The abstract is available here. As the title says, they have managed to isolate bacteria…


Raphael d’Angelo MD

Raphael graduated in 1976 from the University Of Oklahoma College of Medicine after which he served seven years in the US Air Force Medical Corp. On return to civilian practice Dr d’Angelo spent ten years in rural Oklahoma caring for the local population including many families of the Creek and Cherokee Indian heritage. He is board certified in family medicine and holistic medicine, is a graduate of the ACHS aromatherapy program and is currently in the practice of integrative medicine. Dr d’Angelo has a passion for research on the antimicrobial effects of essential oils. He has lectured throughout the USA and teaches with passion clinical aromatherapy to doctors, nurses, aromatherapists and other health professionals.

AromaTab™ – A Novel Essential Oil Tablet
March 13th, 2015
Background The human immune system must deal with a host of microbial and infectious agents throughout a person’s life. Such challenges come from viruses, bacteria, fungi, parasites and those organisms that do not easily fit such well-defined categories. The drawback to a conventional approach is that antibiotics do not address most…


Robyn Frank

Robyn Frank completed her Diploma of Aromatherapy in 1996. After working in private practice she went on to specialise in aged care, improving the quality of life of residents in nursing homes in Melbourne. Robyn is a former lecturer of the Australian College of Natural Medicine (now Endeavour College of Natural Health) where she was awarded an Academic Blue Award for Excellence. In recent years she worked as a lecturer and online facilitator for the Australian Institute of Applied Sciences. (Bio photo by: Breeana Dunbar Photography)

Bergamot: an identity crisis
November, 29 2017
Bergamot is one of many essential oils extracted from the outer peel of citrus fruit. It differs from other citrus oils by its chemical composition, and different therapeutic guidelines and safety precautions apply to it. This is especially true for safety limits to prevent phototoxic reactions due to the bergapten content of Bergamot oil (unless it is bergapten-free). It is therefore imperative to correctly distinguish Bergamot oil from that of other citruses. However, there is currently no consensus on what actually is the correct botanical name for Bergamot.


Cristina Howell

Cristina Howell was raised on the Mississippi Gulf Coast but has called Dallas-Fort Worth home since she was 18. She is a wife, homeschooling mom of 3, wellness educator and certified doula/childbirth educator. She is active in organic/local food co-ops for the past 6 years and a “Gold” Young Living member. Natural medicine has been her passion the past 12 years, enjoying reading, taking classes and attending seminars related to aromatherapy, energy modalities, nutrition and almost anything in the realm of natural medicine. She loves art, writing, music, good food and enjoying the simple pleasures of life with family and friends.

No One Can Hear You When You’re Mean
June 20th, 2015
by Cristina Howell with thanks to Kandace Knudson, PhD for her input My name is Cristina but I am also called Crissi, Cris, Mom, Cricket, and quite possibly other names I am content to remain uninformed of. I am a wife, mother, daughter, sister, friend, doula, wellness and childbirth educator, Young Living member and natural medicine enthusiast…


Deborah Kallevig

Deborah is the Head Mixtress at Unfussed Body & Beauty,  and you can reach her here: unfussed@gmail.com.

Deborah says: “Like so many others in the skincare business, I caught the formulating fever well after my first career path was set. As a former EMT and Respiratory Therapist, as well as a skilled home cook, I found that trading in my scrubs and apron for a lab coat was easier that I expected. I built on my experience with herb craft, college science & math, and advanced baking and kitchen skills as I delved into cosmetic formulating. I buckled down to learn everything I could about the skincare industry, including the regulations, concepts, ingredients and lab techniques. My self-directed learning is ongoing, through research, participation in various groups, classes and workshops, and with constant trial and error formulating. I feel empowered to create body and beauty products that are carefully considered, elegantly made and effective in their simplicity. I love making stuff!”

Bath Safety: How to Use Essential Oils in the Bath
An aromatherapy bath can be a very relaxing and therapeutic experience, and it is one of the most popular ways to use essential oils. However, it can very easily turn unpleasant if you don’t follow one simple rule – disperse! Essential oils are not water-soluble, and so pouring them directly into a bath will result in a film of undiluted essential oils sitting on top, waiting patiently for your tender flesh to enter the water. Because the oils are warmed up by the water, and also cannot evaporate, they often sting like crazy.


Ginger L. Moore

For nearly 30 years, Ginger L. Moore has had a keen interest in holistic health and natural beauty. She began a journey of exploration, self-study and the practical applications of complementary therapies and natural cosmetic formulation in the 1980’s. Today, she is the founder/owner and professional formulator at Neos Skin Care™, where she hand produces premium products, teaches and consults. Ginger continues to expand her educational horizons with courses and study in aromatherapy, aromatic medicine, herbalism and product formulation. If you wish to learn more about her, you can visit her professional Facebook page or neosskincare.com.

Effective use of alcohol for aromatic blending

Essential oil safety is a huge part of what the Tisserand Institute is about, and since many in the aromatherapy community regularly make personal and home care products with them, I’ve been asked to talk about how drinkable grain alcohol (ethanol) can be simply and safely used at home in products such as body or room sprays to: Eliminate microbial contamination (act as a preservative) and/or Properly dissolve the essential oils for safe use. I will address these and a few basics of formulation with water bases in a form of a Q&A, guiding you through the creation of a water-based spray, one of the most commonly made DIY products.


Sue Pace

Sue Pace is a Registered Nurse, Paramedic, and a Certified and Registered Aromatherapist. She holds certifications from Aromahead Institute, RJ Buckle’s Certified Clinical Aromatherapy Practitioner program, and Mark Webb’s Advanced Diploma in Aromatic Medicine Studies. She serves on the Clinical Committee of the Alliance of International Aromatherapists and is also a co-founder of AromaBridge, a new educational venture. (visit at https://aromabridge.wordpress.com/)

Sue says: “People are tired of being looked at as a series of diagnoses or conditions that need treatment; patients benefit from being addressed as a whole person when forming a care plan. Aromatherapy is a wonderful adjunct in promoting mental and physical health.”

Addicted from Birth
July 25th, 2017
A newborn baby girl lies swaddled in a receiving blanket in her isolette. While she has ten fingers and ten toes, rosebud lips, and a great shock of dark hair, this baby somehow doesn’t look or act ’right’. Weighing only 6 lbs (2722 g) at birth, her muscles tremble and twitch…


Alexis St-Gelais

Alexis St-Gelais is the Scientific Director at Laboratoire PhytoChemia in Canada. While completing his master degree in natural products chemistry, Alexis launched Laboratoire PhytoChemia, with his colleagues Laurie Caron and Hubert Marceau, in 2013. The laboratory has since then become one of the North American references in the field of essential oils analysis. In addition to supervising the routine analytical procedures and building up the internal databases, Alexis contributes to furthering scientific knowledge by publishing peer-reviewed papers in the field of oils analysis and regularly contributes to PhytoChemia’s blog to popularize his work. He is also currently pursuing doctoral studies on natural-inspired molecules targeting cancer cells in culture.

The highs and lows of GC-MS in essential oil analysis
August 14th, 2017
Anyone seeking information about essential oil quality soon learns about the existence of gas chromatography (GC) testing. Quite often GC and GC-MS (gas chromatography / mass spectrometry), are discussed as if they were synonymous. This is not the case, as GC and MS are two separate pieces of equipment, each with its…


Hana Tisserand

Hana is the COO of the Tisserand Institute. She supervises our staff of seven, manages our teaching platform, organizes training courses, hosts webinars, commissions blog posts, oversees the creation of infographics and social media content, and writes our newsletters. Somehow, she also finds time to write her own blog posts and she is our go-to IT person. Being raised in a family of doctors and nurses has given her an underlying interest in the workings of the human body, which later manifested in her specialization in medical translation.

Hana is a Czech citizen with 7 years of experience in translation and interpreting, her other languages being French and English. Working as an interpreter for politicians, authors, educators and medical professionals has given her a valuable perspective on how to effectively communicate information and avoid dispute. Hana has been working with Robert Tisserand for four years, and has a unique perspective on how information about essential oils is sourced, processed and communicated.

Grasse Phyt’Arom 2017 – what we learned in France about French aromatherapy
October 25th, 2017
Twenty-two speakers shared the stage for two days of lectures and workshops, and Robert Tisserand and I attended. Read on to find what we learned about French aromatherapy…

Showcasing the powers of aromatherapy (IFPA London 2017)
September 11th, 2017
The first weekend of September usually means preparations for a new school year. This year it was also an opportunity for aromatherapists to gather at Regent’s University in London for the annual conference of the International Federation of Professional Aromatherapists. Here are some highlights from the conference…

Book review – The Aromatherapy Beauty Guide
August 2nd, 2017
Danielle Sade, BSc, CAHP, has over 30 years of experience in the field of aromatherapy and skincare; she owns and runs a successful school in Canada and is a past president of the Canadian Federation of Aromatherapy. Not only is she passionate about her subject, she is also very methodical and she…


Robert Tisserand

Robert is an international speaker, educator and consultant. Since 2010 he has inspired live audiences in the UK, USA, Canada, Australia, Brazil, Czech Republic, China, Hong Kong, Taiwan, Korea, & Japan. He tracks all the published essential oil research and collaborates with doctors, herbalists and pharmacologists, integrating scientific data with holistic principles. He is familiar with the foundations of oriental medicine, and Western herbal and naturopathic traditions, with their emphasis on cleansing, protecting, strengthening immune function and aiding natural healing processes. Robert has 40 years of experience in essential oil blending and aromatherapy product development. He is a co-author of the 780 page book Essential Oil Safety, 2nd Edition.

Santalum album oil rejuvenated
June 22nd, 2017
Part one: history, meeting sustainability challenges, quality control and psychodermatology by Robert Tisserand Sandalwood flowers, image: Wikimedia Commons Sustainability is now a major challenge for many essential oil-bearing crops, and the growth of aromatherapy has exacerbated the problem. This especially applies to wild grown plants such as Santalum album. This is a…

Climate Change News: Essential Oils Cool Planet
June 21st, 2017
It now appears that the world would have warmed more than it has were it not for the aromatic cocktail of chemicals emitted by plants. It turns out that this can change the weather – and anything that changes the weather day after day and year after year…

Peppermint and breastfeeding – results of poll
December 7th, 2016
Can peppermint oil reduce milk supply if you’re breastfeeding? In the past my answer to this question was always that I didn’t know, and that there was no research on this. Nor could I imagine why peppermint oil would have such an effect, though I’m always open to learning something new…

Why safety is important
November 22nd, 2016
One of the most poisonous plants, Atropa belladonna Although essential oils are natural substances, “natural” and “safe” have never been synonymous. Nature is replete with poisonous plants (deadly nightshade, wolf’s bane, foxglove, suicide tree, etc.) not to mention spiders, snakes, scorpions etc. Natural bitter almond oil even contains cyanide, though it…

Frankincense Oil and Cancer in Perspective
January 15th, 2016
If you wanted something to keep you awake, and I offered you a choice of caffeinated coffee or decaffeinated coffee, which would you choose? It’s not a trick question. And if you wanted something to treat cancer, and I offered you a choice of frankincense A that contains 50% of an antitumoral

New Survey Reveals Dangers of Not Diluting Essential Oils
November 12th, 2015
The importance of dilution before applying essential oils topically is being increasingly recognized by both consumers and corporations, and yet “dilute before use” or similar is insufficient safety advice for some essential oils. Diluting cinnamon bark oil to 20% for example, may not protect you if it needs to be diluted to…

Citrus Oils and Breast Health
August 10th, 2015
by Robert Tisserand, with thanks to Christine Carson PhD and Linda Halcon PhD for their input. In the United States, breast cancer is the most common cancer in women, and it is the second most common cause of death from any cancer. According to the National Cancer Institute 12.3% of women will be diagnosed with…

Resistance is Futile
March 14th, 2015
The single chemical approach Since I became involved in aromatherapy 45 years ago, the dynamic between conventional medicine and aromatherapy has changed. Some of the weaknesses of conventional medicine (a $400 billion industry in the USA, and worth $1 trillion globally in 2014) have become more apparent, while at the same time…


Tisserand Institute

The safe use of Essential Oils could contribute powerfully to the health and well-being of our planet, and every individual. Our goal, therefore, is to inform the world and educate dedicated people about the benefits of essential oils, and their safe usage, based on genuine evidence, scientific data, and credible research. The Tisserand Institute synthesizes and translates new research and scientific findings into comprehensive and meaningful educational material on the benefits of Essential Oils.

Geranium oil – history and cultivation
February 21st, 2017
Geranium is one of the most popular essential oils, both because of its many therapeutic properties (antibacterial, anticandida, anti-inflammatory, anxiolytic..) and its pleasant fragrance. The International Trade Center’s monthly Market Insider publication features a regular review of essential oil-bearing crops. In July 2015 the focus was on geranium, the cultivation of…

Uncommon Documentary
January 15th, 2016
You may remember Kristina Bauer as the author of Essential Oils and the Detox Theory, published last year on the Tisserand Institute website, or you may know her as the Untamed Alchemist, an aromatherapy blogger and author. What you may not know is that the last year, she partnered with Angela Jensen Ehmke, an aromatherapist…

Kelly Ablard
September 25th, 2015
We are very proud of the accomplished professionals and educators that constitute the Tisserand Institute Advisory Board! They are not only knowledgeable; they are also actively involved in notable ventures. Here’s what Kelly Ablard has been up to lately. Kelly Ablard, a member of our Advisory Board, is both a well-rounded aromatherapist…

Linda Halcón
August 10th, 2015
We are very proud of the accomplished professionals and educators that constitute the Tisserand Institute Advisory Board! They are not only knowledgeable; they are also actively involved in notable ventures. Here’s what Linda Halcón has been up to lately. Linda is Associate Professor Emerita, School of Nursing, and faculty member of the Center for Spirituality…

Infographic: Essential Oils as Antimicrobials
March 12th, 2015
3,565 years of known history on one timeline, starting with the use of myrrh as a wound salve in ancient Egypt in 1550BC. Special thanks to Christine Carson, PhD for her input Download printable PDF…