Meet aromatic medicine visionary: Dr. Daniel Pénoël
Dr Pénoël is a French man on a mission. For the last 50 years, he’s been fighting for the recognition of aromatherapy in the medical world. He may have a traditional Doctorate, but he believes that there are so many alternative ways that we can heal ourselves - and essential oils are one of them.
Read on to discover how Dr Pénoël’s exploration of essential oils has been instrumental in his drive to change the way the world views medicine.
Where traditional medicine and aromatherapy meet
Dr Daniel Pénoël has practised medicine for half a century. The combination of natural medicine and essential oils have had a huge impact on the way he works and thinks.
“My first attraction to the world of essential oils was when I was 19 years old and studying naturopathy,” says the doctor. “I was fascinated by essential oils’ unique power and their natural ability to help the body with its healing tasks.
At the beginning of the 1980s, I started using essential oils during patient consults for acute or chronic conditions and the results were astonishing.”
Different schools of thought
In the world of aromatherapy, Dr Pénoël mentions three typical schools of thought. The first is the British, which teaches the dilution of essential oils, often through massage for relaxation. Next is German, which relies on the aroma of the oils rather than direct application. And thirdly, there is the French way, which treats essential oils as a valid form of medicine, often used internally.*
French doctors trained in aromatic medicine will often prescribe essential oils over antibiotics. Dr Pénoël references many cases where essential oils can be more effective than antibiotics.
Dr Pénoël shed some light on his strategy for fighting an infection using essential oils. He begins by administering "stronger" oils that are in higher concentration. These stronger oils with higher levels of phenols are very aggressive against both viral and bacterial infections. However, because of the potential irritation that phenols can pose to the gut, after a week's use, Dr. Pénoël then "ramps down" the strong oils and increases the proportion of other less-irritating oils.
The everyday oil for everyone
Dr. Pènoël’s advice for anyone interested in creating an Essential Oil Emergency Kit should first of all include peppermint oil. Why? The primary problem we find in emergencies is pain. We need to find a compound that has the ability to minimise pain. Menthol, contained in peppermint essential oil, can do that. Use just a few drops, and the pain will go away almost immediately. This is because peppermint has a cooling action, so it blocks the pain transmitters. “How quickly it works is a great example of the holistic power of aromatherapy! It provides instant results in many situations...” So add peppermint oil to your emergency kit, and don’t forget to add the second most important oil: a carrier oil.
A life’s work full of inspiration
Dr Pénoël has dedicated his life to the study of essential oils and their positive effects. His willingness to share what he’s learned is exciting for everyone interested in this field.
While Dr Pénoël often advises his patients to take essential oils internally, against the advice of English aromatherapy, his hopes for the future are high. He hopes that the more casual English approach to using essential oils and the more formal, medical one in France will merge. He feels that this is the best way for us to uncover the real potential of aromatic plants and their oils.
Advice from the doctor
The good doctor had some words of wisdom to share:
- Don’t underestimate the importance of a good carrier oil.
- Use four drops of carrier oil on a cotton pad to rinse out your eye if it comes into contact with essential oil.
- Learn the safety guidelines for working with essential oils and stick to them.
- Be careful of over- and/or underestimating the strength of essential oils.
Connecting with Dr Daniel Pénoël
You can explore Dr Pénoël’s work at OSMOBIOSE, where you’ll find resources regarding e-training and masterclasses along with teaching materials in English and French. He adds, “Some resources are free, like the one on Functional Group Theory and Essential Oils, which I think anyone involved in essential oils should read.”
Dr Pénoël’s daughter also runs a YouTube channel which features podcasts by her father.
Inspired by the doctor?
If Dr Pénoël has inspired you to give essential oils a try, take a look at the variety of high-quality diffusers and 100% organic essential oils available at Volant to get started. With a quality guarantee, it’s the perfect place for anyone interested in alternative health practices.
*Disclaimer: Please note that Volant does not endorse the internal use of essential oils unless prescribed by a medical doctor.