Essential Oils, Facts That You Should Know

Aromatherapy is major component of alternative medicine which has fast popularity in the world today. The major reason for its success being the effectiveness of Essential Oils. Now, the question to be asked is, what exactly are these aromatic oils? To answer this question one needs to know a few vital facts. So, here is then presenting key information about these aroma filled oils that will hopefully help you understand their true value better.

Essential oils
Essential oils bottles

a. What is Essential Oils, and why was this term coined?

‘Fatty Acids’ are the main component of this type of oils, and which also comprise of a strong aroma. Furthermore, they are considered to be ‘volataile’, and also generally appear to be ‘greasy’. In terms of the term ‘essential oil’, it was derived from the term ‘quintessential oil’ which was based on Aristotle’s concept which states the ‘4 basic elements of life’ as fire, air, earth, and water. In addition, the fifth element (quintessence) according to this theory was said to be the ‘spirit’. In other words, the distillation of oil from the plant was like removing the spirit i.e. quintessence from a living organism.

b. What parts of a plant/tree are used to extract Essential Oils?

‘Bark, roots, stems, leaves, flowers, and blossoms’ are mainly used to extract these aromatic oils.

c. The methods/techniques used to extract Essential Oils:

There are a number of methods used to extract Essential Oils from plant/trees. They are as follows:

  1. Solvent Extraction.
  2. Maceration.
  3. Cold Press Extraction.
  4. Water and Steam Distillation.
  5. CO2 Extraction.
  6. Enfleurage.

d. The insolubility of Essential Oils with water:

‘Insoluble’ is the ideal word to define the relationship shared by these oils and water. It is for this reason that when an attempt is made to dilute an aromatic oil with water, they do not mix. In fact, adding water only increases the strength of the oil. The dilution of these aroma filled oil can only be done using a component known as ‘carrier oil’. e.g. Fractionated coconut oil.

e. How to use  Essential Oils: 

There are number ways available to use these aromatic oils. They are as follows:

  1. Directly apply on skin.
  2. Inhale the content.
  3. Steam inhalation method.
  4. Use a gadget known as ‘Essential Oil Diffuser’.
  5. Via an aromatherapy massage.
  6. Use it while having a bath.

f. The effect of Essential Oils on Children and Pregnant Women:

‘Lots of care’ must be taken while using these aromatic on infants as well as small kids. One should also ensure that the oil is diluted before using it on a child. However, ideally the use of these oils must be completely avoided with regards to any child or baby. Additionally, pregnant women must also avoid these oils even though there are a few available in the market that are safe for application.

Thus listed above are all key facts about Essential Oils that you need to know.

Image Credits: Pixabay and Public Domain Pictures





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