Essential oils are very different from fixed oils. Fixed oils are oils from plants. Fixed oils do not evaporate in the air.
Essential oils, however, evaporate rapidly into the air and pass more quickly into the body through the skin. Essential oils use a steam distillation process called pressing or CO2 extraction.
Why are they called essential oils?
Essential amino acids are absolutely necessary to your body, but your body cannot produce them. You have to get these essential oils from the food you eat.
They are essential because we need them. But when we talk about essential oils we are talking about something different.
It actually means embodying the essence of something. They are the natural liquids that come from the very essence of plants. Essential oils are the plant’s essence. Understanding essential oils will give you the opportunity to see if they are right for you.
Essential oil is a concentrated hydrophobic liquid containing volatile (defined as “the tendency of a substance to vaporize”) aroma compounds from plants. Essential oils are also known as volatile oils, ethereal oils, aetherolea, or simply as the oil of the plant from which they were extracted, such as oil of clove.
What Are They?
Essential oils are 100 percent natural, highly concentrated plant essences. There are more than 3,000 essential oils out there, each with its own therapeutic qualities.
You name the ailment, and there’s an essential oil that could relieve it. They’re used to treat pain, muscle spasms, stiffness, depression, insomnia, asthma, congestion, hypertension, and the list goes on.
Aromatic and medicinal plants produce essential oils in the form of secondary metabolites. These essential oils can be used in diverse applications in food, perfume, and cosmetic industries.
The use of essential oils as antimicrobials and food preservative agents is of concern because of several reported side effects of synthetic oils. Essential oils have the potential to be used as a food preservative for cereals, grains, pulses, fruits, and vegetables.
What Essential Oils Should You Have?
Some multi-use essential oils you should consider keeping in your home are chamomile essential oil (for muscle and joint support), lavender essential oil (for calming mood support), niaouli essential oil and thyme essential oil (for skincare support), and cedarwood essential oil (as a natural flea and tick repellent).
Keep in mind that common household pets like dogs and cats have a stronger sense of smell than humans and may be more sensitive to essential oils used topically.
That’s why essential oils used on pets must first be diluted with a safe binding agent such as almond oil and administered based on the animal’s weight.
Are They All Good?
Not all plants produce enough essential oil to justify the commercial cost of extracting the oil. Additionally, the essential oils produced by some plants have no known therapeutic value or can even be hazardous.
As more is discovered about the safety and therapeutic benefits of particular essential oils and as consumer/B2B demand grows for particular essential oils, availability can change.
The quality of essential oils on the market varies greatly. Essential oils can be quite expensive, but a high-quality essential oil takes a large amount of plant material to produce and is highly concentrated.
Many inexpensive essential oils are available commercially, but are altered with other oils or do not pass third-party testing because of their inferior quality.
Remember, ‘essential oils’ is a blanket term that can be misleading when discussing safety and effectiveness. There are thousands of essential oils available on the market.
Additionally, the production of essential oils is not regulated by the FDA and so, therefore, they vary in purity.