What is Essential Oil?
Aromatherapy Essential OIls are the essence of plants that are extracted from leaves, roots, flowers, twigs, wood - basically any part of the plant.
In some species different essential oils are extracted from different parts of the plant.
For example 3 different Essential Oils are derived from the Bitter Orange Tree (Seville/Sour Orange)
- Bitter Orange essential oil is derived from the outer peel of the orange fruit
- Petitgrain from the leaves and twigs,
- Neroli from the fragrant white flowers.
Out of the 250,000 plant species in the world, only 450 produce usable essential oils, with less than a third (about 130) usable for Aromatherapy. That's less than half of one percent!
Essential Oil Extraction
Extraction is normally done via steam distillation or cold pressing (mainly citrus oils).
it can take a large amount of plant material to make the 10ml bottle of essential oil that you are likely to be.
For instance it can take between 30-60 roses to make 1 drop of Rose Essential Oil,
Essential oils are extremely potent and a little goes a long way and they should be used carefully.
When diluting with carrier oils or creams there are maximum safe amounts that you should stick to. These will be available in an upcoming blog post.
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