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What are natural essential oils.

Pure Essential OilsPure and natural essential oils are highly concentrated substances extracted from various parts of aromatic plants and trees. The aromatic substances from parts such as petals, leaves, roots, barks, fruits, peels, or the whole plant are usually captured by the steam distillation extraction method. The essence extracted from these parts is highly volatile and will evaporate quickly if left in the open air.

The chemistry components of pure essential oils are very complex. Most consist of hundreds of components, such as terpenes, alcohols, aldehydes, and esters. For this reason, a single oil can help with a wide variety of disorders. For instance, lavender is endowed with antiseptic, anti-bacterial, antibiotic, anti-depressant, analgesic, decongestant and sedative properties, while geranium consists of geranic acid, geraniol, citronellol, linalool, myrtenol, terpineoll, citral, methone, eugenol and sabinene that offer the benefits of analgesic, anticoagulant, antidepressant, antiseptic, astringent, cicatrisant, cytophylatic and insecticide.

Moreover, due to their tiny molecular structure, essential oils applied to the skin can be absorbed into the bloodstream. They also reach the blood as a result of the aromatic molecules being inhaled. In the lungs, they pass through the tiny air sacs to the surrounding blood capillaries by the process of diffusion. Once in the bloodstream, the aromatic molecules interact with the body's chemistry. Quite apart from their medicinal properties, just smelling an essential oil can uplift the spirits and make you feel better. This is because the sense of smell is an interrelated aspect of an area of the brain that is primarily concerned with emotion and memory. Indeed, this influence of aroma on the psyche has led some aromatherapists to practice what is now called "psycho-aromatherapy," whereby oils are used solely as mood-enhancing substances.

The production of essential oils can be variable as plants are sensitive to weather and soil conditions. Their yield and quality varies from year to year and also depend on the place of growth and cultivation and the time of harvesting. Certain plants, such as jasmine blossom, are picked at night, while ylang-ylang is harvested in the morning for the strongest scent and the highest yield.

Some examples of natural essential oils include:

  • Lavender oil is known for its calming and relaxing properties. It is often used to help with sleep and to reduce stress and anxiety. The important components of this oil are Linalyl Acetate, Linalool with limit amount of 1,8 Cineole and Camphor.

  • Peppermint oil has a refreshing and invigorating scent. It is often used to help with respiratory issues, such as sinus congestion, and to alleviate headaches. The important components of this oil are Menthol and Menthofuran.

  • Tea tree oil has antiseptic and anti-inflammatory properties. It is often used to help with skin conditions, such as acne and eczema, and to help with fungal and bacterial infections. The major components of this oil are Terpinen-4-ol and y-Terpinene.

  • Eucalyptus oil has a fresh and medicinal scent. It is often used to help with respiratory issues, such as coughs, colds, and asthma, and to help with muscle and joint pain. The major component of this oil is 1,8 Cineole.

  • Lemon oil has a fresh and invigorating scent. It is often used to help with focus and concentration, as well as to help with cleaning and deodorizing. The major component of this oil is Limonene.

These are just a few examples of natural essential oils. There are many other types of oils available such as Geranium, Orange, Rosemary, Sandalwood and Ylang Ylang with their own unique properties and uses.

Extraction methods.

Steam DistillationDistillation: The distillation process involve heating the plant material until a vapour is formed, then cooling the vapour until it becomes liquid. In water distillation, the plant material is covered in water and heated in a vacuum-sealed container. This method is slower and sometimes inferior to steam distillation, because certain delicate components of essential oils are damaged by exposure to heat. The more efficient steam distillation uses steam under pressure to swiftly extract the essential oil. It is the most common method of extraction. Plant material is heated by steam in a still, and the volatile parts present in the plant evaporate into the steam. These vapours are carried along a closed outlet, and are cooled and condensed by being passed through a cold water jacket. The resulting water is collected in a flask and the essential oil floats on the surface. Floral water is a by-product from this process.

Oils that are extracted by this method: Chamomile, Rose Otto, Neroli, Lemongrass, Peppermint, Geranium, Immortelle, etc.

Solvent Extraction: Using this extraction method, the plant material is placed in a drum with a volatile solvent such as petroleum ether, hexane and benzene as a mean for capturing the essences of certain plant and resins. The solution is filtered off and concentrated by distillation, leaving behind either a "concrete", a combination of wax and essential oil, or a "resinoid", a substance containing resin. A second process of solvent extraction using pure alcohol recovers most of the oil. The alcohol is then evaporated, leaving a solution called "absolute".

Oils that are extracted by this method: Jasmine, White & Pink Lotus, Tuberose, Champaca, Frangipani, etc.

Expression: The oils of citrus fruits such as Lime, Bergamot and Lemon are much easier to obtain. The essence is found in such profusion that it sprays the surrounding air when the fruit is peeled. The highest quality citrus essences are captured by a simple process known as expression. Although this was once carried out by hand, machines using centrifugal force are now used instead. Since no heat is employed in this process, the aroma and chemical structure of expressed oils is almost identical to that contained within the skin of the fruit. Unlike distilled oils, expressed essences also contain non-volatile substances such as waxes. The drawback with expressed oils is their relatively short shelf-life. Even though producers usually add tiny amount of preservative at source, the oils will still deteriorate within six to nine months, whereas most distilled essences will keep for upwards of two years.

Oils that are extracted by this method: Lemon, Lime, Orange, Kaffir Lime

Carbondioxide Supercritical: This process was hailed as revolutionary when it was introduced. Although a potentially excellent method of extraction, producing oils whose aromas are closer to those of the living plant, the apparatus required for this operation is not only massive, but also extremely costly. The extraction method uses carbon dioxide gas at very high pressure to dissolve essential oil from a wide range of plant material. When the pressure is allowed to fall, the oils form a mist and can be collected. The resultant oils are free of the potentially harmful residues associated with solvent extraction, but there are those who argue that carbon dioxide is an acidic gas and therefore detrimental to the chemical structure of essential oils.

Phytonic Process: This phytonic process was recently developed by British microbiologist Dr. Peter Wilde in collaboration with the multinational chemical company. Proponents of phytonics technology believe that it heralds the biggest breakthrough in aromatic oil extraction since the discovery of distillation. The process has been developed around a family of new solvents collectively known as phytosols, whose unique character ensures that the aromatic oils of plants can be captured at room temperature. This means that the exceptionally fragile, heat-sensitive components of an aromatic oil are not lost, or radically altered, in the extraction process.

The properties of essential oils.

While each essential oil has its own unique properties, many also share some common therapeutic actions. All plant essences are antiseptic to a greater or lesser degree. Some oils, such as garlic and tea tree, have powerful antiviral properties. Many essences, notably rosemary and juniper, are also antirheumatic. When rubbed into the skin, they stimulate blood and lymphatic circulation and increase oxygen to the painful areas, which in turn aids the elimination of tissue waste that contributes to the pain of arthritic and rheumatic complaints.

Pure Essential OilsThere are many uses for essential oils in medical aromatherapy, such as treating hormonal imbalances. A major area of influence is the effect of essential oils on the female reproductive system. Essences such as chamomile, cypress, and rose are cited as especially helpful in regulating the menstrual cycle. For the aromatherapy of the central nervous system, aromatherapists believe that enough essential oil is absorbed through the skin and into the systemic circulation to exert a pharmacological action. However, inhalation of the aromatic molecules is another significant pathway. It has been found that essential oils reach the bloodstream more quickly via inhalation than by oral administration.

An essence may also have the ability to exert seemingly paradoxical actions. A person suffering from exhaustion as a result of hyper-anxiety, for example, can be both calmed and stimulated by sniffing peppermint essential oil. This may be easier to understand if we consider a common response to the oil. Its piercing aroma gives an initial charge which clears the head and awakens the senses. This feeling gradually gives way to an expansive sensation which may also be perceived as a sense of quietude.

What is the most well-known natural essential oil?


  1. Lavender (Lavandula angustifolia) - known for its calming and relaxing properties, it is often used to promote sleep and reduce stress and anxiety. It also has anti-inflammatory properties that can help alleviate skin irritations and minor burns, as well as a pain reliever.

  2. Peppermint (Mentha piperita) - known for its refreshing and invigorating properties, it is often used to improve respiratory function, relieve headaches and reduce muscle pain. It also has a cooling effect that can help soothe skin irritations, and can be used as an insect repellent.

  3. Eucalyptus (Eucalyptus globulus) - known for its medicinal properties, it is often used to relieve respiratory congestion, improve mental clarity and reduce inflammation. It also has antiseptic properties, making it useful for cleaning and wound care.

  4. Tea Tree (Melaleuca alternifolia) - known for its antiseptic and anti-inflammatory properties, it is often used to improve skin health and fight off infections. It is also effective for fighting against lice, dandruff, and bad odors.

  5. Lemon (Citrus limon) - known for its clean, fresh scent, it is often used to boost the immune system, improve mood and as a natural cleaning agent. It also has astringent properties that can help to tone and brighten the skin, and can help to reduce the appearance of scars and age spots.

  6. Rosemary (Rosmarinus officinalis) - known for its stimulating properties, it is often used to improve memory and concentration, and to relieve muscle pain and stiffness. It also has antimicrobial properties, making it useful for disinfecting and deodorizing.

  7. Orange (Citrus sinensis) - known for its sweet, refreshing scent, it is often used to improve mood and reduce stress and anxiety. It also has a toning effect on the skin, making it useful for reducing the appearance of wrinkles and age spots.

  8. Bergamot (Citrus bergamia) - known for its calming properties, it is often used to improve mood and reduce stress and anxiety. It also has a balancing effect on the skin, making it useful for treating oily and acne-prone skin.

  9. Frankincense (Boswellia carterii) - known for its grounding properties, it is often used to improve focus, reduce anxiety and improve overall sense of well-being. It also has anti-inflammatory properties that can help to soothe skin irritations and reduce the appearance of scars and age spots.

  10. Lemongrass (Cymbopogon citratus) - known for its refreshing and energizing properties, it is often used to improve mental clarity, reduce stress and improve overall sense of well-being. It also has insect repellent properties and can help to reduce muscle and joint pain.

Why some essential oils are so cheap?

Essential oils can be inexpensive for a variety of reasons. Some oils, like Lemon and Peppermint, are made from plants that are widely available and easy to grow and harvest, which makes them relatively easy to produce and leads to a lower cost. Other oils like Eucalyptus and Citronella are made from plants that can be grown in many regions, this makes it easy to produce and leading to a lower cost. Other oils such as Cedarwood, Lemongrass, Rosemary, and Wintergreen oil are made from plants that are widely cultivated and easy to grow, this also makes them relatively easy to produce and leads to a lower cost. In addition, some oils may be cheaper due to the large production of the oil, high yields of the plant, or lower processing costs.

Why some essential oils are so expensive?

The cost of essential oils can vary depending on several factors, including the plant's rarity, the method of extraction, and the location of the plant and production facility. Some of the most expensive essential oils include:

  1. Saffron (Crocus sativus) - Saffron is one of the most expensive spices in the world and is also used to produce a high-quality essential oil. Saffron's high cost is due to the labor-intensive process of harvesting the flowers and the low yield of the oil.

  2. Rose (Rosa damascena) - Rose oil is obtained from the petals of the damask rose and takes over 60,000 roses to make just one ounce of oil. This high cost is due to the large amount of plant material required to produce a small amount of oil.

  3. Sandalwood (Santalum album) - Sandalwood oil is obtained from the heartwood of the sandalwood tree and is known for its grounding and calming properties. The high cost of sandalwood oil is due to the slow growth rate of the trees and the long time it takes for the heartwood to develop.

  4. Neroli (Citrus Aurantium) - Neroli oil is obtained from the flowers of the bitter orange tree, it takes about 1000 pounds of flowers to make one pound of oil. This high cost is due to the large amount of plant material required.

  5. Jasmine (Jasminum officinale) - Jasmine oil is extracted from the flowers of the jasmine plant, it takes around 8 million jasmine flowers to produce 1 kg of oil. This high cost is due to the large amount of plant material required.

It is important to note that an essential oil's price does not always reflect its quality, and some inexpensive oils can be just as effective as more expensive ones. For example, calming and relaxing properties of Lavender are just as good as Rose or Jasmine.

What different between natural essential oil and synthetic fragrance?

Origin: Natural essential oils are derived from plants, flowers, roots, and other natural sources through a process of distillation or expression. This process captures the natural aroma and beneficial compounds of the plant. On the other hand, synthetic fragrances are artificially created using chemical compounds that mimic the scent of natural materials. These compounds are often derived from petroleum and other non-renewable sources.

Composition: Natural essential oils are composed of complex mixtures of natural compounds found in the plant, such as terpenes, esters, and alcohols. These compounds work together to create the unique aroma and therapeutic benefits of the oil. Synthetic fragrances, on the other hand, are typically made up of a few synthetic ingredients, which are chosen to mimic the scent of natural materials.

Quality: Natural essential oils are considered to be of higher quality than synthetic fragrances, as they retain the natural properties and benefits of the plant. These oils are unadulterated, chemical-free and retain the therapeutic benefits of the plant. In contrast, synthetic fragrances are often formulated to provide the desired scent, but they do not retain the therapeutic benefits of natural essential oils.

Safety: Natural essential oils should be used with caution and under the guidance of a professional, as they are highly concentrated plant extracts and can be toxic if not used properly. Synthetic fragrances are considered to be generally safe for use, but some people may have allergies or sensitivities to certain synthetic ingredients. In addition, synthetic fragrances may contain harmful chemicals that can be harmful to human health.

Price: Natural essential oils are generally more expensive than synthetic fragrances, due to the rarity of the plant sources, the method of extraction, and the location of the plant and production facility. Some essential oils such as Saffron, Rose, Sandalwood, Neroli and Jasmine are considered to be the most expensive due to the large amount of plant material required to produce a small amount of oil, or the difficult and labor-intensive process of harvesting.

Buying pure essential oils.

It is vital to obtain only the purest aromatherapy-grade essential oils. Most aromatherapists buy their oils from specialist mail-order suppliers. The advantages offered by mail-order suppliers include a wider range of oils and lower prices on larger quantities. However, if you are new to aromatherapy, it may be best to buy your oils from a health shop or other retail outlet specializing in natural remedies, and contact the online shop when you're familiar with the essential oils. This gives you the opportunity to smell the essences before buying.

Every time before purchasing essential oil, buyers must carefully check that the seller notes "100% pure essential oil," not some kind of oil labeled with "aromatherapy oil" or "aroma," which often means it is a mixture of about 2-5% essential oil diluted in a carrier oil such as sweet almond or jojoba oil. For instance, a 10 ml bottle of diluted oil is barely enough for 3-5 times face and neck massage or only a single time of whole body massage, whereas 10 ml of pure essential oil, once correctly diluted, is enough for over 200-500 face and neck massages or over 100 times of whole body massage. Moreover, the pure essential oil in a 10ml bottle can be used in steam inhalation or dropped into the bath for almost 100 times and offers the perfect aroma to the user. Whereas diluted aromatherapy oil is not good enough to use in steam inhalation or even dropped in the bath for relaxing & calming aromatherapy.


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