by Marina Hutchison
What exactly is an “essential oil” , you ask? A pure essential oil is a highly concentrated and volatile plant extract. The word “essential” stems from the word “essence” which is the fragrance of the plant. Makes sense, right? Typically, the most aromatic part of the plant is where the oil would be extracted, which also makes sense. For example, lavender goes through a gentle process called “ steam stripping ” which passes steam around and through the dried tops of the plant in a still.
How do they separate the oil from the water? The oil is less dense and so it floats to the top; something you might notice if you’re an avid diffuser user. It is important to be aware, not all oils are 2 created equal! If the label does not say “essential” , it is not a pure essential oil and should not be treated as such. Also, check the price! Isn’t that always a tell-tale sign of quality? Long story short, you don’t want any additives or extra chemicals in your oils. Some of the best products come from companies like Young Living and doTerra but do your research anyway, it’s an investment in your health and well-being! Some links will be provided for your perusal.
Let’s go back to when I talked about essential oils being “ volatile.” That sounded a little ominous, it’s not. Simply put, essential oils are not true oils. “Fixed” oils, such as olive or flaxseed oil are much heavier and their molecules don’t vaporize the same. The “ volatile” nature of essential oils is their rapid dissipation into the air. Hence, diluting them with a fixed oil helps the fragrance to linger and additionally improves absorption by the body. Yay science! Fixed oils or fractionated oils with mild or no fragrance are ideal for diluting such as sweet almond, jojoba, avocado and coconut oils. Almost all oil blends will need to be diluted or come diluted already, ready to use such as combinations blended specifically for things like focus, congestion, digestion and allergies, to name a few.
Is there anything in particular you’d like to see regarding this essential essential oil? Recipes for self 4 care products or food? How to blend it with other oils or how to make your own specific blends? Let us know and we’ll do our best to provide those resources for you!
*As with any new product, there may be potential for allergic reaction or skin irritation. Test a small area of skin before using on a large scale.