Essential oils are bound to surface in conversation sooner or later. Especially when you’re talking to your friends about healthy living. This article is a quick overview to explain what essential oils are, how’s it made and some additional information for interest sake!.
1) What are essential oils?
Essential oils are concentrated liquids that contain microscopic particles of aromatic compounds found in plants. These plant aromatics, required for health and reproduction, provide scent and taste to the plant. Essential oils range in color from clear to pale yellow or deep amber. They can be very pungent with a strong odor reminiscent of the plant they were derived from; pleasant-smelling (sweet-smelling); spicy, sharp, tangy (acidic smelling); earthy; woodsy; herbaceous; floral; fruity; or smoky. Oils may also have medicinal qualities based on their traditional uses like cbd oil.
2) How are essential oils made?
To produce essential oil, the plant material is put through a process called steam distillation. During this process, the natural liquid (containing water and oil) in the plants are heated to high temperatures (over 200 degrees Fahrenheit), which produces vapor. The vapor travels up a pipe and into another container, where it condenses back into liquid form after contact with cooler surfaces. This condensation of vapor becomes essential oils mixed with distilled water.
3) Do essential oils have any other uses besides aromatherapy?
Yes! Essential oils have been used for thousands of years as medicine throughout the world. Some common examples include oral hygiene, aromatized wine production, perfumes, detergents, soaps/ cleansers, skincare, and insecticides. The most common essential oil used for medicinal purposes is tea tree oil, which has been shown to have antibacterial properties.
4) How is aromatherapy different from alternative medicine?
Alternative medicine is a term used to describe medical therapies that are not supported by evidence from well-designed studies. Aromatherapy supports the use of therapeutic-grade essential oils as part of integrative medicine (a combination of conventional and alternative or complementary medicines). Aromatherapists believe that processing and diluting oils before applying them appropriately will ensure their safe usage; many even recommend performing an allergy patch test on yourself before beginning treatment with any new essential oil. When using only pure, therapeutic-grade essential oils, there are no dangerous side effects.
5) How is aromatherapy different from perfumery?
Perfume is a mixture of fragrant essential oils and aroma compounds with alcohol or water as the base, created for its scent to be smelled on the skin. Since perfume is diluted, it cannot carry out any therapeutic benefits. If you find an oil labeled “perfume,” this denotes that it has been diluted for more appeal than just smelling the pure oil.
6) Are essential oils safe for everyone to use?
No! Essential oils should not be used during pregnancy unless prescribed by your doctor. Also, some individuals may be more sensitive to essential oils than others. It is recommended that you always perform a patch test by applying a diluted amount of oil on a small area of skin, such as the bottom of your foot, before using it topically. If irritation occurs shortly after application, do not use this oil again until consulting with a healthcare professional.
7) How should I store my essential oils?
Essential oils should be stored in dark bottles (preferably amber-colored) and kept at room temperature away from direct sunlight; however, some do prefer keeping their oils in storage units specifically built for essential oils because heat may cause the oil’s properties to break down over time, never leave an essential oil bottle in a hot car or near a heat source.
There you have it!
Just remember, this article is purely informational. If you are unsure or need more specific information please contact your health practitioner or medical doctor for guidance.