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What is an essential oil?
Essential oils are the natural by-product of plant metabolism and are considered to be the liquid immune system of the plant. They are extracted from various plant anatomies: Flower petals, stems, seeds, leaves, bark, roots, rinds, and grasses.

How are they used for aromatherapy?
Each oil is unique and has marvelous applications which are as varied as Nature herself. Essential oils can be used in a diffuser, either electric or candle-type, mixed with water to use as a spray, blended into a carrier oil for topical use, or added to soaps, lotions, and other bodycare products depending on the therapeutic properties and the desired effect.

How long do essential oils work?
Essential oils are generally most effective via inhalation or absorption through the skin and are very efficient in leaving the body through exhalation and perspiration. They are generally metabolized out of the body after four hours; therefore, there is no residue build-up or the resulting side effects that are often associated with pharmaceuticals.

How are they obtained from the plants?
There are two main methods of extraction: Steam Distillation & Expression.

steam distillation-The primary method of extraction is steam distillation whereby steam is pressurized through plant materials to diffuse and evaporate the oils, then capturing the evaporated essence until it condenses back into a liquid. This is considered to be the purest way to extract an essential oil.

expression-The only oils obtained from this method come from citrus peels because they contain high volumes of essential oil. The plant material is pressed to release the liquid substance which is then filtered for the valuable essential oil. Many vegetable oils used as "carrier" oils in aromatherapy are cold-pressed in the same manner as the citrus oils are obtained.

What is a carrier oil?
Carrier oils are nutrient-rich vegetable oils pressed from seeds and nuts that essential oils are added to in order to use them on the skin. Carrier oils can also be used when taking an aromatherapy bath to moisturize the skin and protect from over-sensitization to the essential oils.

Aromatherapy vs. traditional health care.
The term "aromatherapy" is used globally, and has been accepted and covered under socialized medicine in Europe for several decades. Essential oils are extracted from the same herbs and plants that are used to create more than 80% of modern pharmaceutical medicines. Aromatherapy, a viable alternative for natural care and preventative health maintenance, should never be substituted for treatment by a trained health care professional. Always consult a reference before deciding which oils to use in a therapeutic application.

How are essential oils stored?
Care must be exercised in the handling and storage of essential oils. Keep them in dark, air-tight, glass bottles free from exposure to heat or extreme temperature fluctuations. Store them out of the reach of children. All essential oils are concentrated and should be handled with great respect and responsibility.

Other Questions...

Where did aromatherapy come from?
There are many applications for botanical therapies originating through varied traditions from around the world. Aromatherapy is the general term used for the applications specifically derived from the essential oils themselves; however, the foundation of aromatherapy owes its origins to both the Ayurveda of India and the Spagyrics of Egypt and Arabia. Many processes are utilized in the achievement of the final "elixirs" of these traditions, but often the primary stage is the extraction of the essential oil from the rest of the plant material.

What is therapeutic grade?
Essential oils are considered to be therapeutic grade when they are distilled under low temperatures and low pressure relative to the specific plant material. If the temperature and pressure are too high it effects the constituents in the oils and reduces the therapeutic value.

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