People have used aromatic herbs since ancient times. Plants have played a significant role in many cultures and they were used to treat different diseases while floral scents were used for the refinement of both spirit and body, to establish psychophysical balance and even to attract partners. The ancient Egyptians were real masters of massage and skin care experts. Queen Cleopatra used aromatherapy as her favorite method to take care of her body. Later, the ancient Greeks and Romans adopted these methods and used the healing properties of plants for massages, medical treatments and cosmetics. A little bit later Arabs improved the method of distillation of plant extracts and write the first recipes for the production of essential oils. Today aromatherapy is one of the most popular forms of alternative medicine.
What exactly is an essential oil?
Essential oils can be described as the essence of the power of plants and their beautiful scent is only one of their qualities. They are complex substances filled with energy and they are present in plants in very small amounts. These substances can be found in the core of every plant and that’s why they are often referred to as the soul of the plant.
How essential oils are produced?
There are actually many methods used for production of essential oils and we will mention only the most popular and most effective methods.
Distillation – This is the oldest and most common way of producing essential oils. This method uses water vapor that passes through the plant and extracts and transmits the components of essential oils. Once the mixture is cooled It results in an aromatic water and the on the surface of that water we can find essential oils.
Cold pressing – This method is usually used for producing essential oils from the peel of citrus fruits. This method is considered to be one of the most natural and most efficient methods.
Phytonic process – This is the newest method of extraction of essential oils by using special dissolvers.
Different methods can bring different results but the method of extraction is not the only factor that impacts the quality of the essential oils.
The use of essential oils
Essential oils and aromatherapy can be very helpful when it comes to healthy life and beauty care. They are most commonly used in aroma lamps and in massages. Besides that, they can be used in hot baths, inhalation (wet or dry), compresses or as an adjunct to cosmetics. Because of their strong chemical composition essential oils should always be diluted in some kind of medium (usually, sea salt, honey, vegetable oil) because they can dry out the skin.
How to check the quality of essential oils?
Natural essential oils can be easily recognized by their typical strong scent. Besides these natural oils you can also use synthetic oils but their effects are incomparable to the effects of natural essential oils. Those who are looking for high quality essential oils must look for pure oils, obtained without chemical or thermal processing.