Some Basic Essential Oil Facts

Extraction of Essential Oils

Essential oils are basically extracts of various different plants, fruits, flowers, bark roots or resin. There are two main ways that one this is achieved:

1) Simple expression or pressure
2) Steam, water or dry distillation

The majority of essential oils are distilled by the second process, for example lavender, myrrh, sandalwood and cinnamon. The process retains water-soluble and volatile parts of the plant whilst others are removed. The liquid is then distilled one more time in order to remove any remaining non-volatile matter.

“Absolutes are usually highly concentrated viscous liquids, but they can in some cases be solid or semi-solid (clary sage absolute). In recent years, much research h as been devoted to the extraction of essential oils and aromatic materials using liquid carbon dioxide, oils produced in this manner are of excellent odour quality and are entirely free of unwanted solvent residues or non-volatile matter.”

Massage Oils from G.Baldwin and Co.

Professional aromatherapists frequently use essential oils for massage. Essential oils are blended with a carrier or base massage oil, such as sweet almond or grapeseed oil before being applied by traditional massage techniques. The amount of essential oil used should form between 1 and 3 per cent of the blend, depending on the ailment the massage is treating. As a general rule of thumb:

Essential Oil

Base Oil

20 to 60 drops 100 ml
7 to 25 drops 25 ml
3 to 5 drops 1 tsp

The specific essential oil can be varied depending on the specific needs of the client – specific essential oils should be chosen to suit the condition the patient. Similarly the massage technique can be varied.

Massage has a large number of physiological and psychological benefits, but it is especially effective as it makes sure the oils are effectively absorbed through the skins and into the bloodstream. The physiological benefits include enhancing lymphatic drainage, stimulating the body’s natural immune system, feelings of deep relaxation, increased blood circulation, relieving the nervous system of blockages and congestion. Patients can also expect to feel deep sensations of relaxation and well-being, reducing depression and anxiety.

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