Oils4life is committed to playing its role to reduce its impact on the globe. We have a set out a simple Environmental Policy which reflects the scale and complexity of our business.
Environmental Policy Statement
Our Goals are simply stated:
“In everything we do we will seek to minimise our impact on the environment”
The Directors of Oils4life will encourage staff to come forward with ideas of how we can reduce our impact on the environment
Staff are encouraged to come forward with ideas on how our environmental impact can be reduced
We will play our part in reducing our impact on the environment by:
We will encourage our customers to play their part in reducing their impact on the environment by:
Providing tips and information to our customers on how to recycle oils and packaging
Rachael & Dale (Farrow)
On behalf of Oils4life Limited
Conservation amd Sustainability
Conservation boils down to preservation and protection.
Many countries which rely on plants as their primary medicine, supply them in some form to other countries as a way for them to secure some economic stability. This puts a high demand on these plants as their oils are utilized worldwide for many different things. For example, they are used in soap, cosmetics, solvents, toothpaste, shoe polish, printing ink, gum, soft drinks, tobacco, candy, ice cream, labs as a reagent, agriculture practices, and as medicine (Shiva and Lehri, 2002). In addition to their oils, these plants are also facing threats of climate change, the timber industry, overgrazing, overharvesting without replanting, pests, disease, and fire. Consequently, the high demand on a global scale coupled with numerous threats puts these plants at a risk of extinction. Plants that are facing a higher risk of global extinction are considered threatened species. Threatened species are broken down into three statuses by the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN): Critically Endangered, Endangered, and Vulnerable.
Further information can be found by visiting the IUCN.
There are 8 essential oil-bearing plants that are listed as critically endangered. Species below in bold text are chiefly threatened for their medicinal oil. Countries where they are threatened are also noted.
There are 7 essential oil/extract-bearing plants that are listed as endangered. Species below in bold text are chiefly threatened for their medicinal oil. Countries where they are threatened are also noted.
Juniper berry (Juniperus communis): Albania; Belgium
Rosewood (Aniba rosaeodora): Peru; Brazil; Colombia; Ecuador; French Guiana; Guyana; Suriname; Venezuela
Atlas cedarwood (Cedrus atlantica): Algeria; Morocco
Bay laurel (Laurus nobilis): Albania; Slovenia
Araucaria [a.k.a. callitropsis; faux santal] (Neocallitropsis pancheri): New Caledonia
Rosewood [English] (Dalbergia abrahamii): Madagascar
Taiwan cypress (Chamaecyparis formosensis)
Special note: Dorado Azul (Hyptis suaveolens) native to Ecuador has not yet received a status by the IUCN; however, H. argutifolia, H. diversifolia, H. florida, and H. pseudoglauca, all native to Ecuador, have recently been classified as either Critically Endangered or Endangered (IUCN, 2018). Consequently, it is likely that H. suaveolens is also threatened. Until this plant has been assessed, or there is evidence in place its oil has been ethically sourced, I’d recommend avoiding its purchase or use.
There are 7 essential and carrier oil-bearing plants that are listed as vulnerable. Species below in bold text are chiefly threatened for their medicinal oil. Countries where they are threatened are also noted.
Olive (Olea europaea): Tunisia
Sandalwood (Santalum album): China; India; Indonesia; Philippines; and in Timor Leste, sandalwood is recognized as critically endangered.
Sweet almond (Prunus amygdalus): Pakistan
Spanish cedar (Cedrela odorata): Antigua and Barbuda; Argentina; Barbados; Belize; Bolivia, Plurinational States of; Brazil; Cayman Islands; Colombia; Costa Rica; Cuba; Dominica; Dominican Republic; Ecuador; El Salvador; French Guiana; Grenada; Guadeloupe; Guatemala; Guyana; Haiti; Honduras; Jamaica; Mexico (Quintana Roo); Montserrat; Nicaragua; Panama; Peru; Saint Kitts and Nevis; Saint Lucia; Suriname; Venezuela, Bolivarian Republic of
Elemi (Canarium luzonicum): Philippines
Sassafras (Ocotea pretiosa): Brazil; Argentina; Paraguay
Siam wood (Fokienia hodginsii): China; Laos; Vietnam
FACT: Currently there are at least 30,000 plant species that cannot be traded without a CITES permit (CITES, 2018).
The Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora (CITES) is an international agreement between governments. Its aim is to ensure that international trade (export/import) in specimens of wild animals, plants and plant parts (e.g. medicinal oil) does not threaten their survival. In some cases, threatened species also cannot be traded without a CITES permit (e.g. Rosewood (A. rosaeodora) and Agarwood (A. malaccensis; A. rostrata)).
There are 7 essential oil/extract-bearing plants that requite CITES permits. Countries where they are threatened are also noted.
Guaiac wood [a.k.a. Palo santo*] (Bulnesia sarmientoi): South America *Often times there is confusion between Guaiac wood also known as Palo santo and Palo Santo (Bursera graveolens). The latter is listed by the Global Forest Resources Assessment (2005) as critically endangered.
Rosewood (Aniba rosaeodora)
Agarwood (Gyrinops spp. and Aquilaria spp.)
African sandalwood (Osyris lanceolata)
Himalayan spikenard (N. grandiflora a.k.a. N. jatamansi): Nepal; China; India
Indian rosewood (Dalbergia darienensis): India
And then there are those essential and carrier oil-bearing plants that can be traded without a permit, but are close to being classified as a threatened species if not for ongoing taxon-specific conservation programs. These species are classified as Near Threatened (IUCN, 2018).
There are 8 essential oil-bearing plants that are listed as near threatened. The species below in bold text is chiefly threatened for its medicinal oil. Countries where they are threatened are also noted.
Spruce hemlock (Tsuga canadensis): USA; Canada
Fir needle (Himalayan) (Abies spectabilis): China; Nepal; Pakistan
Port Orford cedarwood (Rose of cedar) (Chamaecyparis lawsoniana): USA
Karamaryanian thyme (Thymus karamarianicus): Azerbaijan
Frankincense (Boswellia sacra): Oman; Somalia; Yemen. This species is classified as near/threatened/lower concern, but was elevated to near threatened until data on its numbers in the wild are updated – current numbers reflect data from 1998.
Muhuhu (Brachylaena huillensis): Angola; Kenya; Mozambique; South Africa; Tanzania; Uganda; Zimbabwe
Opopanax (Commiphora guidotti): Ethiopia; Kenya; Somalia
Hinoki cypress (Chamaecyparis obtusa var. obtusa): Japan (Honshu, Kyushu, Shikoku)
There are a minimum of 13 essential and carrier oil-bearing plants that are listed as least concern.
Roman chamomile (Chamaemelum nobile)
Cypress (Cupressus sempervirens)
Grapeseed (Vitis vinifera)
Virginian cedarwood (Juniperus virginiana)
Yarrow (Achillea millefolium)
Cornmint (Mentha arvensis)
Hazelnut (Corylus avellana)
Arnica (Arnica montana)
Birch (Sweet) (Betula lenta)
Calamus (Acorus calamus)
Himalayan cedarwood (Cedrus deodara)
Copaiba (Copaifera langsdorffii)
Frankincense (Boswellia sacra): Please see note on Frankincense in the list of Near Threatened species.
So what can you do to help conserve essential and carrier oil-bearing plants while improving your overall well-being?
We can all do our bit to reduce our impact on the environment.
And finally, it’s important to buy and implement oils from aromatic medicinal plants that are not listed as threatened or near threatened, but rather have a status of Least Concern (IUCN, 2018). Species that are categorized as least concern have a very low risk of extinction. If you find that you can’t stay away from oils that come from threatened or near threatened plant species, then keep their use to a minimum. You can also explore alternative oils with similar chemical profiles. For example, people are starting to use Ho wood (Cinnamomum camphora) leaf ct. linalol, or coriander oil (Coriandrum sativum) in lieu of rosewood (A. rosaeodora) oil.