Essential Oils Defined
|They DON'T Want You To Know About|
"Essential oils are one of the great untapped resources of the world.
The concentrated essences of various flowers, fruits, herbs, and plants have been used for
centuries all over the world, but in modern times we have forgotten the power of these
ancient medicines of the earth, preferring instead to use the products of perfume and
chemical companies which imitate the natural fragrances and medicinal and cleansing
properties of essential oils. Because the essential oils are so sweet-smelling, many
people suppose their value is essentially one of charm and fragrance - but this is a
mistake. Modern scientific research has proven that essential oils are potent, with
remarkable medicinal properties. These substances are very complex is their
molecular structure, and very powerful. The essential oil of oregano, for example,
is twenty-six times more powerful as an antiseptic than phenol, which is the active
ingredient in many commercial cleansing materials.
I have learned a lot since I started using essential oils in my home and for my family. I would like to share a little of what I have learned.
Essential oils act much like our blood. They protect the plant from infections caused by bacteria and viruses, they cleanse the plant and bring oxyen and nutrients to the plant's cells.
An essential oil is much stronger than the plant it comes from. It takes many pounds of the whole plant for one ounce of essential oil. They are extracted from the plants and are highly concentrated --a little goes a long way.
They are not like vegetable oils. They evaporate, and do not feel greasy, and they will not clog the pores of your skin.
Essential oils have many uses -- aromatic, medicinal, and theraputic.
The history of essential oils goes back to ancient times.
Modern knowledge of essential oils has been a process of rediscovery, since much of the knowledge was lost through the centuries. Rene-Maurice Gattefosse, Ph.D. was one of the first modern-day scientists to research the healing properties of essential oils. There is a famous story of him burning his hands very seriously in a lab explosion and using lavender oil to heal it. He tells about it in his book Aromatherapy. He was already researching essential oils and studying them when the accident occurred. In his book he tells of a laboratory explosion in July 1910. He was aflame and covered in burning substances, so he rolled on a grassy lawn to put out the flames. Afterward he notes, "both my hands were covered with rapidly developing gas gangrene." According to him, "just one rinse with lavender essence stopped 'the gasification of the tissue'. This treatment was followed by profuse sweating , and healing began the next day."
Dr. Gattefosse shared his studies with Dr. Jean Valnet, who began using theraputic-grade essential oils on patients with battlefield injuries, after his supply of antibiotics were gone. He had much success with them, and was able to save many soldiers. He in turn taught the use of essential oils to his students. Two of them, Dr. Jean Claude Lapraz and Dr. Paul Belaiche, expanded his work. They found that essential oils have antibacterial, antifungal, antiviral, and antiseptic properties, and that the oils are powerful at oxygenating and carrying nutrients into cells.
There are basically 3 types of essential oils. Steam Distilled Oils, Expressed Oils, and Solvent Extracted Absolutes.
Steam Distilled Oils These are the true essential oils. The oils are distilled from various parts of the plant as they are heated. This is the oldest and most traditional method of extracting oils from plants. In the process used by the manufacturer of the oils we sell, steam is passed through the plants in a special cooking chamber, and the oils are carried with the steam and condensed in another chamber. The oils are then separated from the water. Care must be taken to not overheat the oils which can burn them and release unwanted by-products. The oils we sell are organic and distilled in special stainless steel alloy chambers (to reduce the possibility of the steam reacting with metal such as aluminum or copper) using a proprietary low-pressure, low-temperature process, which does not destroy the oil properties.
Expressed Oils These oils are pressed from the rinds of fruits. They are not technically essential oils, although they still have many theraputic properties. Care must be taken to use only organic crops, because pesticides can become highly concentrated in these oils. Some examples of expressed oils would be grapefruit, lemon, orange, tangerine, bergamot, mandarin and citrus hystrix oils. The oils we sell are cold pressed and organic.
Solvent Extracted Absolutes These oils are technically essences. Because the oils are volatile and water soluable, they would not survive distillation. The plant must firls be distilled using a hydrocarbon solvent, like hexane, to make a solid waxy residue called a concrete. This concrete is then distilled using pure grain alcohol to produce the absolute. This method is mostly used for botanicals whose fragrance and theraputic properties can only be unlocked using solvents. Examples of solvent extracted absolutes would be jasmine and neroli.
Not every oil has all of these properties. Consult individual oils for the properties they contain.
antibacterial antifungal antiseptic antiviral
Keep all essential oils out of the reach of children.
Essential oils, whether steam distilled, expressed or absolutes are very strong. They need to be used sparingly --a little goes a long way-- and you should always consult a reliable reference when using them. The axiom more is better DOES NOT apply to essential oils in general.
That being said, essential oils are safe if used correctly. Know the oils you are using and what their recommended uses are.
For further cautionary information,
* These statements have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. These products are not intended to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent any disease. This information is provided for education only. We cannot dispense medical or health advice. Please consult your health care professional
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