Essential Oils

 

What are essential oils?

Essential oils are the concentrated essence extracted from plants .Essential oils are produced from botanical matters and are not the same as synthetic fragrant oils. Though synthetic oils may smell the same as their biological counterparts they do not possess the chemical structure or therapeutic

properties of essential oils. Extraction of essential oils
Essential oils are extracted from plants through–
Steam distillation: The plant materials are put in a distillation apparatus over water and heated. The steam releases the volatile compounds in the plants in the form of vapor which is then collected and condensed. The oil and water are then separated.

  • Pressing: Some essential oils are extracted by pressing manually or are cold-pressed.
  • Solvent extraction

Modes of applying essential oils

There are various modes of using aromatherapy oils-

  • Direct inhaling
  • Through massages and compresses
  • Use in baths
  • Use in skin-care
  • As air fresheners and disinfectants
  • Use as candles, oil-burners and potpourri.
  • Properties of essential oils

Essential oils usually have the following properties:

  • Antiviral
  • Antibacterial
  • Anti-fungal
  • Pain-reliving
  • Anti-inflammatory
  • Anti-spasmodic
  • Anti-oxidant
  • Enlivening

Category of essential oils

Essential oils are also categorized according to the characteristics of their scents into:

  • Top note oil-Are light and fast-evaporating.
  • Middle note oil-Have balancing effect and have warm and soft smells.
  • Base note oil-Have heavy and solid fragrances