Essential oils are oily compounds obtained by extracting the aromatic substances they produce from the plants; these oils are generally obtained by steam extraction, using large quantities of vegetables: flowers, seeds, fruits, leaves, roots. Essential oils are obtained from citrus peels simply by pressing them.
These oily substances are volatile, and concentrate most of the active ingredients present in plants. Their use should be practiced with great caution, because if used indiscriminately they can have toxic or irritating effects.
Aromatherapy is the science that deals with the use of essential oils as a cure for many health and spirit disorders.
How to prepare them
As mentioned before essential oils are extracted from plants; It is essential that the starting materials are of excellent quality, grown without the use of pesticides or insecticides, since otherwise these compounds would concentrate in the essential oil obtained. The plants used are generally very common plants, harvested in their "balsamic time" or in the period of the year when the presence of aromatic essences within the plant is greater and of better quality.
It has been seen that even the methods of cultivation affect the quality of the extracted essential oil: it is good to extract the oils from plants of the right variety, cultivated in the place of origin, which guarantees the right growing climate, and the soil with the best mixture of minerals suitable for optimal plant development.
The cost of these oils can be very high, first of all because it is necessary to use large quantities of plant material to extract a few oil droplets, and plants from distant places are also used: for example, the tea tree is a plant of Australian origin ; A good tea tree essential oil must be produced in Australia, with plants grown on that continent.
Use of oils
Essential oils are commonly used to perfume bath water, or to flavor body creams or perfumes for the environment; in this case the percentage of essence used in the final product is very low. The essences can also be used for beneficial massages, mixing the product with vegetable oil, the most used is sweet almond oil; they are also mixed with neutral creams to prepare healing ointments, to prevent or soothe the most common skin disorders.
The use of oils by aromatherapy involves the intake of essential oils by mouth, to the extent of a few drops per day; this type of use must be done only if recommended by a doctor or an aromatherapist, because the substances contained in the essences are very concentrated, and some oils can be toxic.
Since these substances generally have a fairly disgusting taste, they are consumed by mixing them with honey or sugar, or dissolving them in fruit juices or milk.
Essential oils: Other uses
Aromatherapy also uses alternative methods of internal use of essential oils; also in this case these essences are used for massages, placing them in almond oil or vegetable-based body creams, or they are used for sponging, sitz baths or baths, mixing the healing oil with water, dissolving it in a small amount of honey or neutral plant-based bath foam.
We recommend the use of well purified oils of excellent quality, obtained from plant material cultivated according to the methods of organic or biodynamic agriculture. To be preserved at their best they are placed in small dark glass bottles, to prevent the light from ruining them, in a cool, dry and not too light place; over time the composition of these substances tends to deteriorate, therefore it is advisable to buy fresh essential oils.