great articles: Essential Oils Background and Uses
Essential Oils Background and Uses
Essential oils are a concentrated liquid containing aroma compounds of plants. An oil is "essential" in the sense that it contains the fragrance of the plant that it is taken from.
Essential oils are extracted by distillation, by using steam. Other processes include expression or solvent extraction. They are used in perfumes, cosmetics, and soaps, for flavoring food and drink, and for adding scents to incense and cleaning products. revive essential oils
These oils have been used medicinally throughout history. Medical applications proposed by those who sell medicinal oils range from skin treatments to treatments of cancer and are often based on historical accounts for uses of essential oils for these purposes. Claims for the use of medical treatments, and treatment of cancers in particular, are now subject to regulation.
As the use of essential oils has declined in modern medicine, one must use older textbooks for much of the information on their use. Interest in essential oils has revived in recent decades with the popularity of aromatherapy, an alternative medicine that claims that these oils and other aromatic compounds have curing effects. Oils are diluted in a carrier oil and used in massage, diffused in the air by a nebulizer, heated over a candle flame, or burned as incense.
Today, most common essential oils - such as lavender, peppermint, and eucalyptus - are distilled. Raw plant material, consisting of the flowers, leaves, wood, bark, roots, seeds, or peel, is placed in an alembic (distillation apparatus) over water. As the water is heated, the steam passes through the plant material, vaporizing the compounds. The vapors then flow through a coil, where they condense back to liquid, which is then collected in the receiving vessel.
Most oils are distilled in a single process. The recondensed water is known as a hydrosol, hydrolat, herbal distillate or plant water essence, usually sold as another fragrant product. Popular hydrosols are rose water, lavender water, lemon balm, clary sage and orange blossom water. The use of herbal distillates in cosmetics is increasing. Some plant hydrosols have unpleasant smells and are therefore not sold.
The best known essential oil worldwide might be eucalyptus oil, produced from the leaves of Eucalyptus globulus. Steam distilled eucalyptus oil is used all throughout Asia, Africa, Latin America and South America as a primary cleaning/disinfecting agent being added to soaped mop and countertop cleaning solutions; it also possesses insect and limited vermin control properties. However, there are hundreds of species of eucalyptus, and perhaps some dozens are used to various extents as sources of essential oils. Not only do the products of different species differ greatly in characteristics and effects, but also the products of the very same tree can vary immensely.
The therapeutic effects of essential oil's when combined with the powers of touch, revives the anatomy and furthers overall well-being. When using essential oil for the purpose of massage, it is advisable that it be diluted with carrier oil. It is too strong to be used by itself. Different proportions need to be devised for people of different ages, skin types, etc. For children, the advisable content of essential oils per ounce is 6 drops. When shopping for massage oil, a person will see a large collection of ready made aromatherapy massage oils & lotions. These may be purchased from reputable vendors after checking the contents well.