Essential Oils

There are many wonderful uses for essential oils to improving and supporting our health

For over 2000 years essential oils have been used for their powerful healing abilities,  75-100 times more concentrated than dried herbs and flowers carry the same properties as dried herbs; anti-viral, anti-septic, anti-fungal… Even though they are called oils, essential oils are not oil but a liquid extract of the plants essences through distillation, condensations forms by rushing steam through plants; from blossoms, fruit, leaf, steam, bark, wood, flowers, and resins. The fluids are volatile, non-oily essences with molecules so small they can penetrate the skin. Essential oils influence our endocrine system because they have volatile molecules which work through hormone-like chemicals to produce their sensations on our emotions and body. Essential oils are known to provide us with focus and groundedness, a feeling of peace and clam and why they have been used for thousands of years and still are in spiritual practices.  

Because the oil is very concentrated only drops are used in a diffuser for Aromatherapy or in carrier oils for external use or in food to enhance flavor. The most common uses for essential oils are using them in a:  

  • Diffuser – do not buy one which heats with a candle, it gets too hot and has a negative effect on the essence.
  • Carrier oil
  • Hydrosol  

OR in:  

  • Haircare Products
  • Personal hygiene Products

It is important to know what we smell or put on our skin affects our health. We have seen an increase of skin cancer and other forms of cancers from excess use of chemicals all affecting the immune system; it does not matter if we ingest and/or inhale toxic substances; it affects the immune system! Smell goes through the olfactory system which transmits the aroma (good or bad) to the hypothalamus, part of endocrine system. Good smells influence other glands by supporting metabolism, insulin production, stress levels, sex drive, body temperature and appetite and our mood, feeling, memories, motivation and creativity. Did you know the word Aromatherapy was invented in 1937 by Rene-Maurice Gattefosse a French chemist? He discovered that diffusing therapeutic grade essential oils has a positive effect our health.  

If you are struggling with health issues and are interested in using essential oils internally it would best to contact a Clinical Aromatherapists, they are trained for internal use, remember essential oils are extremely concentrated.  

Most oils are blended into a carrier oil when apply to the skin, but there are a few which can be applied directly on the skin these oils are called ‘neat’. Here is a list  

Carrot seed Copaiba/Copal Jasmine Neroli Spikenard  
Celery seed Davana Lavender Patchouli Tansy  
Cedarwood Elemi Manuka Petigrain Tansy, Blue  
Chamomile, German Fennel Melaleuca Rose Valerian root  
Chamomile, Roman Galbanum Melissa Rosewood Yarrow  
Citrus Helichrysum Myrrh Sandalwood Ylang Ylang  

If you know you’re sensitive, it is always best to do a path test before apply an essential oil directly on your skin.  

Patch test: place a small amount on the wrist and wait 24 hours to see if you have a reaction.  

When using essential oils the quality matters to your health and the health of those who are around them; children and animal friends. The only essential oils you should purchase are to be extracted and the methods of extraction are:  

  • Steam distillation is the most common method. The plants are placed in a vat and water beneath it is heated; the water and essence goes through a condenser where they cool and separate. The oil is collected, and the water is used as hydrosol. The most common hydrosols or floral water on the market are lavender, rose and orange blossom.  
  • Expression or cold press is used to extract fruit oils. The peel of the fruit is pressed between two pieces of wood, one which has a sponge. The sponge is then wrung to collect the oil.  

Avoid essential oils extracted in solvents. Solvent extraction is done by using a chemical solvent such as hexane or ether, immersing the plant into solvent and heating it at a low temperature until the solvent evaporates, leaving the essential oil and can be harmful over time.  

When purchasing pure essential oils, note that price will vary depending on the plant. Oils such as Jasmine, Rose, German Chamomile, Roman Chamomile, True Melissa, Neroli and Sandalwood are precious oils. A high quality oils USD cost – Rose-5ml $300 Jasmine-5ml $131, Neroli-5ml $176 and Sandlewood-5ml $167.  

  • Pure Jasmine flower oil is the most expensive essential oil you can buy. It takes 8 million flowers hand-picked before the sun becomes hot on the first day they open, to make 1 kilo of oil.  
  • Pure Rose oil is also very expensive. It takes 60,000 rose blossoms to produce one ounce of Rose oil.  
  • Sandalwood oil should be used sparingly because it takes a 30-year-old 30-foot sandalwood tree to be cut down for distillation of its oil.  

Other oils such as Lavender flowers are abundant and can easily grow and harvested to make the essential oil. 100 kilograms of lavender flower makes 3 kilos of oil. A 15 ml bottle therapeutic grade Lavender oil-15ml cost around $40  

Carrier oils also have medicinal properties and they vary in thickness. Look into the carrier oil which would best suit you for the essential oil/oils you want to add.  

Aloe vera gel or juice aloe barbadenis Rosehip oil rosa mosqueta
Avocado oil persea gratissima   Seabuckthorne oil hippophae rhamnoides
Borage oil borago officinalis   Shea butter butyrospermum parkii
Castor oil ricunus communis  St. John’s Wort hypericum perforatum
Coconut oil cocos nucifera Sweet Almond oil Prunus dulcus 
Evening Primrose oil oenothera biennis  Vegetable glycerin
Grapeseed oil vitis vinifera  Vitamin E Oil tocopherol 
Jojoba oil simmondsia chinensis Wheat germ oil tritcum vulgare
Neem oil Adirondack indica

Excellent Reference Books—

Essential Oils Desk References by Life Science Publishing – You can contact Michelle Seminoff to purchase reference book at mseminoff@gmail.com https://michelleseminoff.ca/essential-oils/  

The Fragrance Pharmacy by Valarie Ann Wormwood

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