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Tuesday, December 31, 2013

Introduction to Essential Oils



A lot of people along my path have asked me questions about essential oils.  I use them to make homemade bath salts, body lotions, shower gels, body scrubs, lip gloss, and I have even made some remedies for healing, headaches & numbness of the extremities. I made these for myself mainly and some family & friends along the way as well.  

I first was introduced to essential oils by accident or luck.  In this case I will go with luck of stumbling upon it.  I was at a bookstore with my best friend Monica.  We were both still in high school I think so I must have been between 16 - 18 years old.  While at the bookstore they were having a presentation/introduction to essential oils.  I heard someone mention migraines and being someone who has had them I started listening in on the discussion.  I was hearing about Lavender oil being a good headache cure for a lot of people.  This lead me to where I am today & all of the wonderful things that I can make.



Here is my final product for the bath salts I made.  This was for my boss who suffers with migraines.  She has a very stressful & time consuming job so when she has time to herself I thought she might like a nice relaxing bath. 

This blend of lavender and eucalyptus oil is perfect for her.  Both these oils help with mood balancing, headache relief, stress relief, healing, and the little aches and pains of everyday living.  I added grape seed oil & vitamin E oil which are both very good for your skin.

If you would like my recipe for the salt mixture please comment & I will give you the recipe.


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INTRODUCTION TO ESSENTIAL OILS

Essential Oil Basics

Essential oils are the highly concentrated, volatile, aromatic essences of plants. Essential oils contain hundreds of organic constituents, including hormones, vitamins and other natural elements that work on many levels. They are 75 to 100 times more concentrated than the oils in dried herbs.
All the countries of the world provide essential oils, making aromatherapy a truly global therapy. 


Not all Oils are Created Equal

Some plants, like rose and jasmine, contain very little essential oil. Their important aromatic properties are extracted using a chemical solvent. The end product, known as an absolute, contains essential oil along with other plant constituents. Though not a true essential oil, absolutes are commonly used for fragrancing cosmetic products like fine perfumes.

Aromatherapy practitioners need pure essential oils of the highest quality. Important criteria to consider when selecting essential oils include the following: 100% pure and natural, country of origin, growing season, extraction method (e.g., distillation, expression), plant part used and the reputation of the company providing the oils.


Gems of Nature

Pure essential oils, like precious jewelry or fine wine, are gems of nature -- the quintessential life force of aromatic plants, sometimes called the "soul" of the plant. People who truly appreciate the qualities of pure essential oils consider each drop a precious jewel to be savored, enjoyed and protected.
Essential oils absorb into the fluid surrounding the cells beneath the skin's surface for a variety of effects including deep cleansing, nourishing, rejuvenating and balancing. Essential oils also diffuse into the air to provide olfactory benefits.



Extraction of Essential Oils

To extract essential oils in the most effective manner while preserving their therapeutic benefits, they are either distilled or expressed. The two methods are briefly explained below.


Distillation

Pure essential oils are most commonly extracted from plants through the process of steam distillation. In this process, steam is introduced into a distillation chamber which contains the plant material. The steam breaks down the plant tissue, causing it to release its essential oil in a vaporized form. The vaporized essences, along with the steam and other substances, pass into a pipe through cooling tanks. The vapors return to liquid form and are separated from the water and captured as pure essential plant oil.


Expression

Expression, also known as cold pressing, is done exclusively with citrus oils. In this method, the oil-containing outer layer of the fruit is pressed and filtered to yield pure essential oil It takes 50 pounds of eucalyptus, 150 pounds of lavender, 500 pounds of rosemary, 1,000 pounds of jasmine and over 2,000 pounds of rose to make a single pound of essential oil! The price of each essential oil is directly related to the amount of plant material needed for distillation.


Here are a couple links to help you along the way find the perfect home remedies for what you maybe looking for:





















You can find essential oils for sale through Amazon, your local vitamin store, and Whole Foods has a large selection to choose from.  Just remember to do your research to stay safe when dealing with essential oils.  A lot of these oils can cause skin irritation if used alone and applied directly to the skin.  You need to learn about carrier oils & which oils are safe alone.  There are several more website to find information on essential oils and there uses.  There are also several home recipes for anything you could want to make.

Have Fun and Be Safe.