Glass dropper with amber bottle

What Are Essential Oils?

Essential oils are those that are extracted from various parts of a plant or tree. These are pure oils that need to be diluted with other vegetable oils or coconut oil before being used for various applications. Their aroma and other characteristics have helped these oils play a huge role in various applications like beauty treatments, wellness treats, overall physical and emotional well-being, household uses, aroma therapies and various other categories.  When you are using essential oils for any of these uses, you need to be clear about the following basic concepts:

Methods of extraction

There are lots of methods in which essential oils are extracted. Steam distillation is one of the most common and authentic methods of all.  Other methods of extraction are enfleurage, expressed oils, solvent extraction, fractional distillation, carbon dioxide extraction and phytonic process. Most of these methods involve introduction of solvents or other chemicals to the oils, thereby disturbing its originality. Always opt for the ones that are naturally distilled with the help of steam treatments.

Application of essential oils

Essential oils are used in various applications today. While it is tough to mention all the departments in this article, we can list four main categories of application of these oils. These cover almost all the areas where these oils are used. The categories are aroma therapy, topical, internal and external. In the first category, these oils are used mainly for their excellent smells as room fresheners, deodorizers, perfumes and the like. In the second, they are used topically for applying on the skin in its diluted form mostly. In the third and rare category, few essential oils are consumed as part of medical treatments. The fourth category is where these oils are used for various external, household purposes like stain-removing, insect repellent, fabric conditioner and more.

Cost of essential oils

You would have noticed that essential oils (all types) are quite steeply priced. This is because some of the plants that go into making these oils are quite rare and are grown in certain countries only. Oils that are extracted from common plants are also priced in the higher range. This is because of two main factors – a) it requires a large quantity of plants to produce just one ounce of essential oil and b) the distillation and oil extraction procedures are quite complex and requires a great deal of patience for you to see the oil floating on top.

Buying the right kind of oils

With a sea of choices available for you in the market, it can get quite challenging when it comes to choosing the exact oil that is intended for your requirement. You need to have a clear understanding of the common oils, their characteristics, applications and ingredients, so that you can make a qualified judgement on your choice or choices of oils. These oils require a huge investment.  Therefore, never buy them, unless you are absolutely sure as to where and how you will be using them.  Do considerable research and buy oils that are extracted from organic or wild-crafted plants as this way, you can be sure that your oils would not be impacted by toxic fertilisers.