The most useful essential oils you may have heard of, but it’s good to know the details about them. There is a huge variety of plants on Earth in different shapes, colors and scents. Many of them contain compounds invisible to the naked eye – they are in the root, flower or seed, bark or other part of the plant. These compounds are called essential oils. They are distinguished by their strong concentration, which makes them very powerful.
They are also known as volatile aromatic compounds and give the plant its fragrance while protecting it from harmful environmental conditions and insects, even sometimes playing a role in pollination. The chemical composition of essential oils allows them to quickly disperse into the air, and therefore the strong aroma of the plant from which they originate is easily perceived.
Since there are about 3 thousand types of essential oils widely used in people’s lives, it is difficult to know them all. However, it is good to know the most useful essential oils, how they are made, what they give the body and how to use them. How are essential oils made?
Essential oils are not the same. The purity of the oil depends on the geographical location, the method of distillation, the weather and other factors. Also, despite the care and selection of the plant, the quality of the oil can be preserved or destroyed in the distillation process. Therefore, extracting essential oil sometimes approaches an art. The precision of the distillation is of the utmost importance. The exact distillation process varies by plant.
However, all go through a specific distillation process, often using machines to separate the essential oil from the plant parts. When extracting citrus oils, for example, machines (presses) separate the essential oil from the peel of the fruit. Other times, the process is simpler, mechanical, or they are extracted using other substances – solvents.
The most commonly used methods are
- – Steam distillation
- – about 80 percent of oils are extracted this way.
The material is processed by passing through steam which releases the essential oil. Lavender, chamomile, ginger, cinnamon, black pepper, tea tree and others are most often subjected to the method.
– Cold pressing – mechanically or manually the material is crushed. Thus, the special cells in which the essential oil is located are destroyed and release the essential oil. Bergamot, tangerine, orange and other citrus fruits are most often processed by this method.
– Solvent extraction
– the oils obtained in this way are known as absolutes and are not pure essential oils because chemical components of the solvent remain.
They are then filtered to remove waste products. Delicate flowers such as neroli, rose and jasmine go through this treatment. – Extraction with carbon dioxide – a new method that uses high pressure and low temperature. It is expensive and therefore rarely used. The extraction takes place in a closed chamber and is fast and is used so that the most sensitive and volatile aromatic molecules are extracted undamaged.
Effect of essential oils and their benefits The therapeutic effect of essential oils has been known for a long time, but the whole huge palette of possibilities for their application has yet to be revealed. They have an equally strong impact on both physical and emotional health. Since ancient times, people have used essential oils to strengthen their health.
They soothe skin irritations, promote healthy digestion, maintain good oral health, and clear the respiratory tract. The emotional benefits of essential oils are no less important. With their unique chemical structures, each of them brings some kind of benefit to the user. Some are soothing and toning, others energizing and uplifting, and still others warming and relaxing. Each causes the body to go through some emotion to maintain its well-being.
The most useful essential oils It is difficult to make a ranking of the most useful essential oils, because each of them is unique for a certain need, but still there are among them those that have a multidirectional effect, therefore they can be placed in the category of the most useful. Lavender oil This oil heals all kinds of everyday ailments – old scars, burns, wounds, fear neurosis, insect bites, migraines.
It has an anti-inflammatory, analgesic and anti-infective effect. Tones the heart and relaxes the muscles. Rose oil This is a rare, valuable and expensive oil associated with the name of Bulgaria. It has an astringent and toning effect. Regenerates skin cells, removes wrinkles. It is one of the most expensive perfumes in the world. Lemon oil The best solution for nail care, but also works great for nausea, vomiting, cellulite, acne, fatigue, excess weight, indigestion, colds and flu. The Romans called lemon essential oil a cure for all pains.