Taxonomy Taxandria fragrans (Wheeler and Marchant, 2007) was first described botanically in 2001 under the species name of Agonis fragrans(Wheeler et al, 2001). Prior to this it was known under the common names of Fragrant Agonis, Coarse Agonis and Coarse Tea Tree.
Trademark FragoniaTM is the trademarked name used to define essential oil and hydrosol products produced from selected plantation-grown material of this species by the Paperbark Company of Harvey, Western Australia.
Chemistry The essential oil chemistry of Taxandria fragrans can vary greatly across the known distribution range (Lowe et al, 2007). Fragonia TM oil however is produced from selected cultivar material and has the following constituents (Day and Day, 2008)
Therapeutic uses There has been one published study into the antimicrobial and anti-inflammatory activities of Taxandria fragrans oil in vitro (Hammer et al, 2008). The researcher showed that Taxandria fragrans oil was comparable to Tea Tree (Melaleuca alternifolia) in its antimicrobial activity, when tested against a standard panel of test organisms (Hammer et al, 2008).
In vitro immunological work has shown Taxandria fragrans oil to reduce the production of a range of pro-inflammatory cytokines TNFα, IL-6, IL-10, IFNγ and IL-13 by PHA-stimulated mononuclear cells.
The researchers went on to state, “The finding that T. fragrans oil inhibits the secretion of IFN-γ could support the possibility of anti-inflammatory properties in vivo. Systemic mononuclear cells do traffic to the periphery so it is plausible that T. fragrans oil used on the skin may have anti-inflammatory effects. However, more studies are required to test this (Hammer et al, 2008).”
Aromatherapists and other remedial practitioners have since used FragoniaTM oil within clinical practise, shown it to be effective and proven its antimicrobial, anti-inflammatory and analgesic properties (Day and Day, 2008).
While there has been some clinical evaluation of FragoniaTM carried out for physical conditions as mentioned above, aromatherapy practitioners have chosen to focus upon the psycho-emotional/spiritual aspects and uses of this oil.
FragoniaTM has grown in popularity over the past 10 years and use by therapists around the world who have added this uniquely Australian oil to their therapeutic palettes. Anecdotal and clinical case studies are pointing the way to further scientific testing and research which needs to be done to allow FragoniaTM to be used in the wider community in pharmaceutical, cosmeceutical and personal care products.
by Mark Webb, BSc, MASCC
Image: DownUnder Enterprises
Read this article in its entirety in the Summer 2013 issue of the International Journal of Professional Holistic Aromatherapy (IJPHA-Vol. 2, Issue 1). Visit http://www.ijpha.com to subscribe.
Disclaimer The editor/publisher does not accept responsibility for the opinions, advice, and recommendations of its contributors. Furthermore, the IJPHA accepts no responsibility for any incident or injury to persons or property resulting from the use of any method, products, instructions or ideas contained within this publication.