AromaPharmacokinetics: Full Course

AromaPharmacokinetics: Full Course

250 learners taking this course

Course Topic: Aromatherapy
4 Presentations | 6 hours 15 mins
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This is the FIRST-EVER official online course on the pharmacokinetics of essential oils!



In this 4-part 6.25 hours course, we will explore the pharmacokinetics of aromatherapy — how the body interacts with essential oil components and how these compounds are metabolized and excreted from the body. The course is broken up by the pharmacokinetics mnemonic ADME, standing for Absorption, Distribution, Metabolism, and Excretion (keep that fun fact in the back of your mind for the first quiz question! *wink, wink*). Each of these letters represents an important aspect of pharmacokinetics. This course will also differentiate pharmacokinetics and pharmacodynamics.

Pharmacokinetics is not just a fancy term, irrelevant to aromatic practice; it is a vital aspect of aromatherapy and can enable practitioners to maximize the effects of their treatments. Not to mention, it’s just plain nerdy and exciting!

For instance: did you know that carvacrol, a key compound in essential oils such as oregano (Origanum vulgare), is excreted rapidly in the urine making it strongly indicated for urinary tract infections? Did you know that thymol, found in essential oils such as thyme (Thymus vulgaris), is metabolized in a way that increases its concentration in the lungs, making it exceptionally potent for lower respiratory tract infections?

Pharmacokinetics is of crucial importance to those seeking to fully understand the therapeutic dynamics of essential oils. Its implications for aromatic practice make it a compelling and vastly interesting topic. Studying the science of pharmacokinetics and aromatherapy deeply allows us to be the best, most informed practitioners and raise the bar of the profession!

This research-based and evidence-based course focuses on drug delivery and pharmacokinetics, especially as it applies to essential oil therapies. We will explore the various essential oil delivery methods including the oral, rectal, vaginal, olfactory, inhalation, nebulizer, and intranasal routes of administration, as well as relevant general dosing for each method of application.


This course will answer these questions:

  • Do essential oils cross the blood-brain barrier?
  • How much of an essential oil applied from a topical application is actually absorbed systemically?
  • How are essential oils distributed throughout the body?
  • How does the body eliminate essential oils from the body?
  • How can understanding pharmacokinetics of essential oils actually help us clinically?
  • Why do drug-oil interactions and contraindications occur? And how can we avoid them?
  • Can essential oils applied topically reach toxic levels in the blood?
  • How do essential oils cause skin sensitization reactions?
  • …and many more…

Learning Objectives

  • Understand the difference between pharmacodynamics and pharmacokinetics
  • Understand drug delivery and pharmacokinetics, especially as it applies to aromatherapy
  • Understand the acronym ADME
  • Understand how essential oils are absorbed, distributed, metabolized, and eliminated
  • Appreciate the degree of first-pass metabolism with differing routes of administration
  • Overview the different phases of detoxification and differentiate between toxification and detoxification
  • Differentiate zero-order vs. first-order kinetics of elimination
  • Be able to understand how drug-oil interactions can occur, locate resources to identify such interactions, and appreciate how to avoid such interactions.
  • Understand the advantages and disadvantages of the various delivery forms – and best practices
  • Demonstrate specific examples of practical pharmacokinetics with clinical and therapeutic relevance
  • Differentiate the relative toxicity of essential oil components
  • Review briefly the chemical structures for select components
  • Understand the mechanisms behind skin sensitization reactions that can occur with essential oil components, and how to minimize such reactions
  • Define a pro-drug; and identify conventional and natural medicinal agents that are pro-drugs
  • Highlight the clinical importance of pharmacokinetics of essential oils with examples like thyme, wintergreen, and oregano
  • Discuss safety measures and therapeutic actions pertinent to clinical practice

Course Overview and Schedule

  • Lesson 1 | Introduction to AromaPharmacokinetics (2.5 hours)
    • Introduction to Pharmacokinetics
    • Mnemonic: ADME
    • Routes of Administration
    • First-Pass Effect
    • Blood-Brain Barrier
  • Lesson 2 | Transdermal Absorption (1 hour)
    • Review of Skin anatomy and physiology
    • Factors Affecting Transdermal Absorption
      • Hydro-base vs oil-based topical applications
      • Application site
      • Absorption duration
      • Penetration enhancement
  • Lesson 3 | Distribution, Metabolism, Excretion (1.5 hours)
    • Distribution
      • Carrier proteins
      • Drug targets
    • Metabolism
      • Phase I and Phase II metabolism
      • Contraindications / Interactions
      • Toxification vs detoxification
    • Excretion
      • Therapeutic Window
      • Therapeutic Index
      • Half-Life and Elimination Kinetics
  • Lesson 4 | Misc. Essential Oil Applications (1.25 hours)
    • Skin Sensitization
    • Limonene
    • Perrilyl Alcohol
    • Thymol
    • Carvacrol
    • Methyl Salicylate and pro-drug

**Special Offer**
Sign-Up for FREE AromaChemistry Fun Facts!

Learning is so much more fun with fun facts! Dr. Tim will share with you some of his favorite, juicy AromaChemistry nuggets with you via email! Sign-up for his newsletter below and you’ll some fun facts to your inbox over the next 2 weeks!

Continuing Education - Direct Approval

This course has not yet received continuing education via direct approval! But stay tuned! - our team of hustling CE application fairies are on the job!

Continuing Education - Assumed Approval

This course has not yet received continuing education via assumed approval! But stay tuned! - our team of hustling CE application fairies are on the job!

CE Approval

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*Assumed Pre-Approval via Reciprocity. Practitioner is responsible for verifying requirements with their specific licensing board. Read more about CE Pre-Approval via Reciprocity in our FAQs.
This course has not yet been approved for continuing education.

But stay tuned
Our team of hustling CE application fairies are on the job! (And yes, of course, pixie dust is most certainly involved!)
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