Using essential oils, derived from the pure essence of plants is not a new concept. Even though the use of aromatherapy through oils can be traced back to prehistoric times, the actual phrase was not coated until the late 1920's. Each civilization through the years have added to the science of aroma therapy, from the Chinese to the Egyptian's, the Greek's, the Romans, and even Indian cultures all added little touch to aromatherapy.
On going research in aromatherapy continues today with more and more developments. The use of these oils are no longer limited, only to cosmetics or aromatic. But extend to aromatherapy candles as well as many different essential oils for giving a massage.
There are quite a few of the oils that actually have the therapeutic and or medicinal benefits.
Point in case; Lavender. After burning his hand, a chemist named Gattefossé put his hand in a jar of essence of lavender, and figured out that the properties gave him instant relief with no scaring in the case of a burn. There are many essences of plants that have similar medicinal properties. The Indian basil or otherwise known as the 'tulsi' plant is considered to be the elixir of life, since it is thought to bring about longevity to life. Headaches, infection and heart disease are all conditions that have been treated by plants extracts. Herbal toiletry has even found use for an essence of 'karpoora tulsa.'
When processing the plant for essential oils, almost every part of the plant will be used. The parts of the plant, such as the leaves, stems, flowers and roots are distilled through steam and water resulting in the oils being produced. The true essence of the plant are these oils. Since the oils are in pure form, it only takes a few drops of the oil to give you the same effects that the plant would give you in much greater quantities. Basically because they are so concentrated. Aromatherapy oils, although referred to as oils, do not have an oily feeling. Most essential oils are see through with the exceptions of patchouli, orange and lemongrass.
Fragrance essences which are perfume embedded and essential oils are not the same things. There is a clear distinction. Fragrance oils are artificially created as a whole where as essential oils contain the purest essence of the whole plant.
Allergies or other skin reactions may be caused by fragrance oils mainly because of the use of artificial ingredients in them, there are no allergic reactions of this kind with the use of essential oils. A person can either use aromatherapy oils by inhalation of the fragrance or putting a small diluted amount directly on the skin.
When inhaling the oil, the therapeutic effect of entering the bloodstream through the lungs has an almost instantaneous effect. Putting diluted amounts directly on your skin or body is good for absorption. When massaging these oils into your skin they need to be diluted with a carrier oil, since they are so concentrated
Carrier oils such as sweet almond oil, apricot kernel oil and grape seed oil to name a few, are good oils to use to dilute the essential oil with and massage it into the part of the body that is affected.
When purchasing oils be very careful. Almost all essential oils are easily available. Make sure that when purchasing you know the difference between the quality of the oils.
Here are some tips that may be helpful when you start looking to purchase oils:
1) Make sure that you are able to check out the oil.
2) Make sure there are no terms such as fragrance oils or nature identical oils, these ingredients are not essential oils.
3) If the bottle looks to be old, do not buy it.
It may not produce the desired medicinal effects.
4) Essential oils are normally sold in dark bottles to keep out the damaging effects of sunlight.
Do not buy these oils if they are being sold in clear bottles.
5) Avoid essential oils being sold in plastic containers, because the oils actually dissolve the plastic contaminating it.