The following content was written as a project by one of our senior instructors, Sharon Babbert, but does not necessarily reflect the opinions of our school. It is part of a six part series. Links to the other parts will be available at the bottom of this article.*
Essential oils are made from flowers, herbs and tree parts, like bark, roots, resins and petals. The cells that give a plant its fragrant smell are its “essence.” When an essence is extracted from a plant, it becomes an essential oil. It takes a lot of plant material to make essential oils. More than 200 pounds of lavender flowers are used to make just 1 pound of lavender essential oil.
Not all products made with plant essence are essential oils. True essential oils aren’t blended with other chemicals or fragrances. They are made using a specific process that doesn’t change the chemistry of the plant. Essential oils are considered volatile, which means that they evaporate quickly resulting in a strong aroma.Benefits of Essential Oils
It is impossible to say that a particular oil is a tried and true cure for any particular ailment. There are too many other factors to consider. Overall health, diet, attitude and emotions are just a few of the thousands of physical and emotional variations among people.
Essential oils at the scent level activate the limbic system and emotional centers of the brain. When applied to the skin (commonly as massage oils) they activate thermal receptors and kill microbes and fungi. Internal applications of essential oil preparations, mainly in pharmacological drugs, are generally not recommended for home use.
Properties of essential oils of the same generic (common) names are not all the same. EOs can differ widely in their chemical components and in their therapeutic actions. Their chemical makeup also depends on the method of extraction (e.g., pressed and distilled bergamot oil have different uses).
- 4 oz. salt or sugar
- 4 oz. vegetable oil
- 12-15 drops of essential oils (Peppermint is great for feet and our own Patchouli and Vanilla are amazing as a body scrub.
Stir the EOs into the vegetable oil then into the salt/sugar. Mix well and store in an airtight container away from heat and light. Do Not Refrigerate!
- What is Aromatherapy?
- Essential Oils (EOs) Are Essential to Aromatherapy
- Making Scents of Essential Oils
- Carrier Oils
- Customized Applications
- Free Radicals vs. Antioxidants
*Recipes and information and instruction contained in this article are the sole recommendations of the author. Attempt at your own risk.