The word ‘essential’ in the essential oil is rooted in ‘essence’. The essence is the basic nature of anything. Essential oil is a naturally-obtained substance as a result of distilling the basic parts of a plant like roots, bark, leaves, wood and flowers. This oil is widely used by people in different parts of the world because of its purity, natural scent, feel-good nature, and exclusive benefits. Today’s millennials are more inclined to use essential oils due to an increase in awareness, advanced production methodology and presence of several brands in the market. Another important advantage is that these oils are used in minute quantities, along with the carrier oils like coconut and olive, to last long and blend well into the skin. Also, these oils are used on both skin and hair to gain distinct benefits. The rich nutrients in each of the essential oils give a supple, smooth and calm effect to both body and mind. Commonly used in aromatherapy and external application, these are easy to use. It is worth the time and effort. Some of the common examples of essential oil include lavender, rose, peppermint, basil and cinnamon.
How is Essential Oil Extracted?
Most of the essential oils are extracted by a process called distillation. However, some other methods also include expression, solvent extraction and Florasols extraction. In a normal distillation process the parts of the plant are put in an alembic, also known as distillation apparatus, and then surrounded by water. The water is heated to steam the plant materials and vaporize the volatile extracts of the plant. The gas is condensed to pass through a coil. In the final end, the liquid is collected in a receiving vessel to be stored for future use.
In other cases where the volatile compounds of plant are too low, the solvents like hexane and supercritical carbon dioxide are added to extract the essential oil.
Nevertheless of methods, it is best tried to retain the natural composition and fragrance of the oil.
Rising Popularity of Essential Oil and its Reasons
1. Emphasis on Well-Being
Today, well-being is a general priority for both men and women. People look for various ways to feel energetic, refreshed and peaceful. Essential oils have the properties to fulfill these needs of well-being. With the presence of various flavors and types, people have a diverse choice to pick from.
2. Growing Priority For Naturally Occurring Compounds
Natural compounds are safe in most cases, unless a person is specifically allergic to a substance.
3. Soul-fulfilling Properties
The distinct aroma of each compound generates a specific serenity within. In other words, these are quite soul-fulfilling and, therefore, preferred.
People of different age groups, gender and countries have been using essential oils since long. It is certainly effective and pleasing.
Different Uses of Essential Oil
Many essential oils are known for their skin smoothing properties. The essential oils like jasmine, sandalwood, geranium, lavender and rose are good for skin. Whether the issue is pigmentation, minor rash, blemish, dark or dull skin, essential oils have ability to prevent and bring back healthy, glowing skin.
Essential oils prevent hair fall and nourishes the follicles to aid re-growth from roots. For instance the oils like Rosemary, Thyme and Ylang Ylang are often mixed with carrier oils to attain benefits. A periodic use of essential oil enables smooth, soft, long hair.
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Essential oils including peppermint, spearmint, rosemary does wonders in curing headaches. The natural properties of the oil also relieve nausea and menstrual discomforts.
You will be amazed to know that there are essential oils that can control nasal congestion, cough and cold. Pine oil works effectively against the cold virus to get rid.
Oral Health Keeper
Having issues with gums and teeth is one common problem that many face. Essential oil like clove and Frankincense can benefit in such cases. It has antimicrobial properties to offer benefits for oral health.
Rose oil works as feel-good oil with ability to stimulate the energy and sexual functions. It relieves the muscles, and purifies the blood.
Our body is prone to many infections and diseases. Common fever is one of the health issues people come across. Neroli oil, obtained from orange flowers helps control the rise in temperature and fight the bacterial infection.
Ayurveda says that ginger oil and basil oil are effective against Sinus. Their anti-viral and antiseptic properties are greatly advantageous. In addition, ginger oil also helps in controlling the gastric issues.
Having a calm and peaceful mind is the gateway to experience mindful pleasure and happiness. Essential oil like Chamomile, Vanilla and sandalwood brings a great relief to all the senses. It reduces anxiety and successfully induces peace.
Precautions while Using Essential Oil
- Hydrophobic liquids are delicate in smell and essence. However, these are high in concentrations. Excessive inhaling or over application on skin should be avoided.
- A patch test on the arm is recommended before application on different parts of the body. Many substances may/may not suit the skin, causing allergies. Therefore, direct application on larger and sensitive areas should be prevented.
- Essential oils should be kept out of children’s reach. Accidental gulping or over exposure to liquid may cause accidents.
- Consulting a doctor whenever unsure is a reasonable call.
- Pregnant women should also avoid excessive use of essential oils. It may cause unknown nauseated experience.
- Always limit the number of droplets as per given instruction when mixing two or more essential oils. An imbalance in the ratio of oils can hamper the fragrance.
Types of Essential Oil
Essential oils, also known as herbal distillates, can be divided in three types—namely Top note, Base note, Middle note. Each note is characterized based on its properties and aroma.
1. Top Note
‘Quick detection and quick fading’—that’s what this category of essential oil is like. The oil in this category is made of small molecules. When exposed to air on application, the smaller molecules are volatile to quickly escape the surface. Resultantly, the smell is strong but quickly fades away.
Some examples of Top note essential oils are Pine, Sage, Mint, Cardamom, Rosemary, Bay and Citrus oils.
These are usually characterized by a powerful, instant, strong smell. These are bright, sunny and energetic.
2. Base Note
The larger molecules of this category of essential oil stay on the applied surface for longer. This makes them mildly detectable but their presence lasts long. These are firm and fixative.
Persistence and provocativeness are rich characteristics of this range of essential oil.
Essential oils like Sandalwood, Frankincense, Spikenard and Valerian occupy this range.
3. Middle Note
Falling ideally in-between the top and base note are the middle notes. The aroma, presence and effect of these essential oils suit most people. These are emotionally stable, balancing in aroma with earthly nuance and natural, calm effect.
Some examples of essential oil falling in this range include Chamomile, Geranium, Jasmine, Cinnamon, Nutmeg and Clove Bud. These are soft aromas with better warmth and perseverance.
Most people try this range owing to the better blend and endurance.
Tips to Choose Right Essential Oil for Yourself
- Think of your nature and attitude. Is it energetic, grounded or amicable? Choose top, base or middle note essential oils, respectively.
- Think of the kind of place you stay at. Is it more humid, airy or cold? The aroma and essence of the essential oil varies a bit with respect to the season and your sweat levels.
- Prefer for a well-rounded, essential oil that is useful for multiple purposes. For instance, Rosemary is good for both skin and hair.
- Consider the health issues you often face. Consult the doctor if essential oils can play an additional role in treatment.
- Note down different allergies you have. Be careful to stay away from those essential oils.
How to Mix Different Essential Oils?
Many a times, the combination of different essential oils bring a new flavor. This is a creative experimentation that many people explore and admire. So, if you are one who’s willing to try different combinations of oil, here’s how you do it.
- Take 2 top note oils, 2 middle note oils and 1 base note oil.
- Mix in a decreasing ratio of 3 drops of top note, 2 drops of middle note and 1 drop of base note.
- Stir them well before application.
Pros of Essential Oil
- Natural, pleasurable aroma
- Cures several body ailments
- Improves blood circulation
- Ideal for gifting
- Some flavors can also be used as floor disinfectant and room-freshener
- Improves skin tone and hair condition
Cons of Essential Oil
- Might have side-effects
- Need to control the quantity of usage
From Citrus, Floral, Minty, Spicy and Musky to Camphoraceous, essential oils are diverse in aroma and variety. There even can be hundreds of more combinations of essential oils as a result of blending the oils.
Essential oils are helpful compounds gifted by nature. Created out of rich flora, these distilled oils are worth trial with due precautions in place.
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