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What is an Essential Oil?

Essential oils are the pure essence of plant material. They are highly concentrated, odorous and highly volatile.

The most commonly method used to extract essential oils is through distillation. This technique involves steaming the plant matter until it breaks down. The byproduct of this breakdown is the plant’s fragrant oil, which is cooled, separated from the water and finally filtered into its pure essential oil.

The other method is by expression.When the essential oil is extracted via the expression method, it is actually pressed from the plant source the same way lemon juice is pressed from a lemon.

The other method used is by solvent extractions. This method is used on delicate plant material, such as flowers, and for those contaning only a small amount of essential oil.

All essential oils anti-septic in varying degrees and many of them are anti-viral or have fungicidal qualities.

Essential oils fall naturally into three groups. The most highly volatile essential oils, known as top notes in the perfume industry, are those that evaporate quickly and tend to have an uplifting ad invigorating action.

Essential oils that have a mid range of volatility are known as middle notes and act to stimulate and regulate the main body systems.

Essential oils that evaporate slowly are known as bass notes. These oils are most often used therapeutically for their calming and sedating action.


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