Essential oils: training day for the bachelor degree in Herbal Sciences and Technologies

Essential oils have been the protagonists of the “Fourth day on medicinal plants – Essential oils: from the plant to the herbalist’s shop” promoted by the Presidency (prof. Fiorella Menghetti), Vice Presidency (prof. Francesca Calabrese) and by the Steering Committee of bachelor degree course in Herbal Sciences and Technologies (STE), which took place at the Department of Pharmaceutical Sciences on November 27th.

The speakers – teachers of the degree course, a herbalist and a Swiss geriatrician – led around a hundred future herbalist technicians along an ideal path that started from the synthesis of the volatile compounds that will form the essences and the description of the specific structures of aromatic plants . The reasons why plants produce them were then outlined, the methods with which the essential oils are extracted and those for the subsequent phytochemical analysis, their biological activities, ending with the use made by man in the health sector.

Once the reports were concluded – which aroused great interest and the request for future insights, in particular regarding health applications – students took part in an olfactory sensorial experience, during which they ‘challenged’ each other to smell and recognize a series of essential oils, from those of lavender and tea tree, to those of rosemary, sweet orange, sandalwood and lemon balm. After three elimination olfactory tests, Sofia Colla, enrolled in the second year of STE, recognized all the fragrances and received a volume dedicated to essential oils as a prize from Professor Meneghetti.

The Training Day is a consolidated initiative for the STE course, which in the past three editions has been dedicated to Matricaria chamomilla, Cannabis sativa and Olea europaea.

The poster of the event, which saw the involvement of the Pharmacognosy Laboratory with prof. Enrico Sangiovanni and Dr. Marco Angarano.
A moment of the Training day dedicated to essential oils