Essential oils have been used for centuries by different cultures across the globe and are renowned for their incredible benefits. They are made up of volatile aromatic compounds that occur naturally in certain parts of the plant like flower, stem, bark and seeds. It is due to the presence of these aromatic compounds that the plants possess a distinctive smell. They also offer several other advantages to the plant and play a vital role in pollination. Besides the benefits provided to plants, the essential oils extracted are popularly used in aromatherapy, cosmetics, personal care and cleaning products. The aromatic compounds in essential oils have the tendency to change their state from solid or liquid to gas at room temperature. It is this property that allows the compounds to move through the air and enrich it with a beautiful and strong aroma. This characteristic makes essential oils ideal to be used for aromatherapy.
Choosing the right essential oil:
Each essential oil offers certain benefits. However, with the variety of essential oils available, it is often difficult to choose the right essential oil. A number of factors like purity, grade, and purpose of use need to be considered before choosing the right essential oil.
In this article, we intend to make the process of selection easy for you by providing thorough detail of essential oils. This guide will enable you to make an informed decision while buying essential oils.
Identifying pure essential oils from sub-standard oils:
The high popularity of essential oils has resulted in the presence of a wide range of products, some of which are of an inferior quality. In fact, they may contain very little or none of the natural ingredients. This makes it necessary to have an understanding of the genuineness of essential oils.
Gauging the purity of essential oils is an extremely difficult task since the smell or appearance alone cannot indicate the quality. You may come across different versions of the same oil and this further makes the process of selection difficult. In this context, it is important to know what each of the essential oil means. Fragrance oils, perfume oil and aromatherapy oils are not pure essential oils. They may include certain vegetable oils too in their composition.
Test to determine the purity of essential oils:
We bring to you an easy test that, although is not always fool-proof but is a good starting point for further tests, can help you to understand the purity of an essential oil. Add a drop of the oil to a piece of paper and allow it to dry. If the oil leaves behind a stain, it indicates that there is some likelihood that it contains vegetable oils.
In many cases, the process of dilution may not hamper the effectiveness of the oil. For certain purposes, essential oils are diluted with carrier oils. However, while making a purchase, it is important to be aware of the quality of the product that you buy.
Methods of extracting essential oils:
Essential oils are extracted from plant constituents. In fact, they can be considered as the liquefied version of the plant’s components that possess amazing benefits. Listed below are some of the extraction methods that are widely employed to derive essential oils.
Cold pressed method:
This method of extraction can be successfully employed for plant materials that easily release aromatic compounds. This technique has been used for centuries and is widely used to derive citrus oils from the rind of the fruit. The manual technique involves using a sponge to press the fruit. The sponge is later pressed to obtain the oil. With the advancement in technology, mechanized processes are now used to extract oil.
The oil extracted by this method possesses a refreshing fragrance and is light in colour. They have the original fragrance like that of the plant constituents, as the process of extraction does not involve the application of heat. It is for this reason that cold pressed oils are considered as the most superior of all the essential oils. However, the method can be used only to extract certain types of oils.
Steam distilled method:
This method of extraction involves the use of a closed container in which the raw extracts are subjected to steam. The volatile compounds are vaporized and move to a condensation chamber. They transform into liquid along with the water vapour but form separate layers. Since most essential oils have a lesser weight than water they form the upper layer.
Essential oils that are derived from the roots, bark, flowers and leaves are extracted by this method. Even though the raw extracts are heated, the volatile compounds are not exposed to their individual boiling points. This enables them to retain their original properties. The method of extraction is therefore believed to be the next best after the cold compression technique.
This method of extraction uses a chemical process that involves the use of a solvent to bind with the volatile oils. Following this, the solvent is separated from the mixture. Alcohol is widely used as the solvent in this extraction process since it is widely available. Moreover, it evaporates easily leaving behind the oil.
The modern method of solvent extraction makes use of several other compounds like hexane, propane and acetone. However, there is a possibility that these solvents may leave behind toxic residues and hamper the natural quality of the oils. For this reason, oil derived from this method is not used for therapeutic purpose.
Synthetic Fragrance oils:
The synthetic version of some essential oils is also available and must be used for appropriate applications only . Such synthetic oils are artificially synthesized and the process involves combining with artificial substances including coal tar. Even though the chemical make-up of such oils is identical, they may not possess the same therapeutic effect as pure essential oils. The synthetic versions of essential oils may even contain the same aroma, but the constituents may not contain the natural properties of pure essential oils. Before choosing an essential oil, make sure to check if it is pure.
Tips to buy the right essential oil for a specific purpose:
Even though a wide variety of essential oils are available, a specific therapeutic grade does not exist. This implies that if you are looking for essential oils for therapeutic use, you need to make sure that the oil is of a superior quality. To make the process of buying easy for you, we bring to you the following guide. Make sure to consider the following elements before choosing an essential oil.
Purity is the most vital factor that can enable you to derive the maximum benefit from your essential oil. When buying an essential oil, make sure that it is not the synthetic version. You may also come across essential oil blends by reliable brands. If you require the oil for a specific purpose and the blends serve your need, it is a good idea to go with it. Buying a pure blend can save you from the task of buying a variety of oils and mixing them to create a blend.
However, it is impossible to ascertain the exact ingredients and proportion of the blend. Moreover, a blend that may work for someone, may not necessarily work for you. Therefore, the best course to follow is to pick a pure essential oil and check if the oil works for you without any reaction. This practice will help you to exactly figure out the oils that are most beneficial for your purpose.
While picking up an essential oil for therapeutic use, make sure to check if it is the organic version. Essential oils contain highly concentrated compounds and the presence of even a small trace of chemical residue can damage the effectiveness of the oil. The best choice will be to go for oils that are derived from organically grown crops with certifications.
Again, in certain instances, essential oils may be extracted from wild plants. In these cases, the certifications may not be available but the purity and effectiveness of the oil will definitely be higher. Such versions are absolutely safe to buy if they are from a reliable source that you can trust.
Different versions of the same oil may be available and it is necessary to be informed about what they actually stand for before making a purchase.
Oil from plants with the same name:
Oils from plants of the same genus but different species:
There are different species of plants and the oil extracted from each varies. This is especially true for citrus family plants. Orange oil can be obtained from various types of oranges. To ensure that you pick the right oil, again, check the botanical name before purchasing the oil.
Oils derived from various parts of the same plant:
Essential oils are obtained from different parts of plants and the oil derived may vary widely. This can often be confusing. The oil from fresh ginger is different from the one obtained from the dry ginger. They vary both in terms of fragrance and application. Similarly, oil is extracted both from the bark and leaves of the Cinnamon tree and possesses different characteristics.
Another vital factor to consider before making a purchase is the reliability of the producing company. Make sure that you go for brands that are renowned for offering superior quality and pure oils. Avoid companies that sell all types of oils at flat rates. Do not compromise on quality to get a good deal.
Popular essential oils:
Essential oils possess unique characteristics and can be effectively used to avail a range of benefits. However, there are certain properties that are common to some oils. In fact, some of the essential oils offer a wide-range range of benefits and this makes them a must-have in your essential oil collection.
If you are eager to add essential oils to your daily routine, you can begin with the popular ones that provide a myriad of benefits. They can be used to deal with problems faced on a daily basis. We bring to you a list of the seven most popular oils that are less expensive and yet offer incredible benefits.
With its distinct fragrance and calming properties, this oil is essential to your collection. It is extracted from the fresh blooms of the lavender flower and the mild nature makes it ideal to be used on sensitive skin. It can be used to make the skin feel fresher and smoother.It also offers several benefits for the hair.
This oil contains a high percentage of menthol that is responsible for its strong smell. The oil is widely used in cosmetics and the minty aroma makes it perfect for diffusers. The oil works to relax the body and mind by creating an uplifting mood. Peppermint oil is also used for various household applications.
The oil is obtained from the rinds of the lemon fruit and has a citrusy, invigorating fragrance. The nourishing properties make this oil ideal for the skin. The oil also possesses cleansing properties and can be effectively used on greasy surfaces. The refreshing properties make it perfect for use on oily skin. Furthermore, when used in diffusers, the fragrance can create an uplifting ambience.
The essential oil has a rejuvenating woody fragrance and is popular for its amazing benefits. Even though it belongs to the mint family, rosemary has the appearance of conifers. The oil can be used to moisturise and revitalise dry hair. It can also be used to clarify the skin and unravel its natural glow. When used on the hair, the oil helps to nurture and make the hair appear healthier.
5. Tea Tree:
The oil is primarily employed for topical applications as it has certain toxic properties. With its skin enhancing properties, the oil can impart a healthy-looking glow to the skin. The oil can be diluted with carrier oils for nourishing the hair and skin. When combined with warm water, it offers the perfect remedy to relax the feet.
6. Sweet Orange:
The oil is obtained by the cold-press method from the peel of oranges. The revitalising properties of the oil make it ideal for the skin and hair. The oil can be used in soaps, shower gels and other household applications. It can also be used to remove odour from a space and enrich it with an invigorating fragrance.
The oil is distilled from the bark and leaves of the eucalyptus tree. It has a distinct smell and is renowned for its benefits for the skin. The oil can also be used for various household applications. With its earthy fragrance, the oil has a relaxing effect.
You can begin with the above-mentioned essential oils to get an idea of the ones that best work for you. You can gradually add chamomile, cedarwood and sandalwood to your collection. Experience the amazing benefits of essential oils for your skin and hair today!
If you are looking for a reliable source to buy essential oils, N-essentials brings to you the best. We offer a wide range of pure, natural and/or organic cosmetics and essential oils. In case you are looking for more information about essential oils, feel free to call us today. Alternatively, you can also email us at firstname.lastname@example.org. N-essentials is your one-stop destination for top-quality essential oils that are fit for purpose.