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I have chatted recently about a few different reasons why I LOVE essential oils… I thought it might be good to write about the basics behind what makes them so AHMAYZING so that
1 – I can refer back to it in new posts and
2 – you have a better understanding about why and how Essential oils work…
So here is Part 1…. enJOY x
As a qualified Clinical Aromatherapist I am not only passionate about the power of essential oils – I believe that essential oils alone can provide us with everything we need to replenish and heal our skin, energise and calm our minds as well as nourish and fuel the fire in our soul…
You have probably all heard something about them at some point – things like Lavender can help you sleep or Orange oil is great for cleaning but the truth of the matter is that the power of these naturally found wonders are limitless.
I thought it was ‘pardon the pun’ essential that we chat a little bit more about them so you can get a bit more of an insight into what makes them so AH-MAY-ZING!
So what are Essential Oils?
Essential oils are the highly concentrated, aromatic plant essences that can be derived from just about any part of a plant including the flowers, flowering tops, leaves, stalks, fruit rinds, seeds, saps, nuts, bark, roots, resin and berries. The oils give a plant its scent and are essential to its biological processes. In some cases several different oils can be derived from just one plant. The orange tree for example, gives us Neroli from the flowers, Petitgrain from the leaves and Orange from the fruit. Each of these oils has its own distinct personality and therapeutic properties.
Holistic Aromatherapy recognises that all of the natural, biological components of essential oils work in synergy to produce their therapeutic qualities. Essential oils used in aromatherapy must be 100% pure and natural meaning that there must be no synthetic materials added to the oil. Most essential oils produced throughout the world today are used by the food flavouring, perfume and pharmaceutical industries. These essential oils are pure and natural, but have been purified by further distillation and during this process some of the minor chemical constituents are discarded.
Why are some more expensive than others?
Some essential oils are expensive to produce because of the quality of plant material required to extract the oil for example;
100 kgs of eucalyptus leaves produces approximately 10 litres of essential oil.
100 kgs of lavender flowers produces approximately 3 litres of essential oil
100 kgs of rose petals produces approximately 100 millilitres of essential oil.
Rose is one of the most expensive essential oils it takes between 30 and 40 roses to produce just one single drop of rose essential oil (OMG!) which obviously makes it prohibitively expensive for most people. This is why people manufacture synthetic versions of oils which have none of the therapeutic properties OR you can buy it from us as 3% of pure rose essential oil in a jojoba base and reap all the rewards of the properties of the heart warming oil..
How do essential oils get into the body?
Essential oils are absorbed into the limbic system of the body through the olfactory bulb and cilia at the top of the nose.
When we have the recollection of a memory based on a smell or scent this happens because of the Olfactory bulb as it is responsible for transmitting messages from our nose to our brain. For example whenever I smell jasmine I am taken back to my Oma’s house because her front stairs up to the house had a wall of jasmine flowers lining them… It is such a lovely feeling to go back there…
It can of course have the opposite effect too – Like when I smell bourbon… I think you can probably guess why I am no longer a fan of this smell but the science behind the recollection of a memory based on smell all starts here!
When you are surrounded by a scent, your nose can become saturated to the point where you can no longer consciously smell it. Its like when you apply your own perfume and after half and hour you cant smell it anymore so you put on a little more and then a little more and you end up walking around in a cloud of perfume!
With aromatherapy the same thing happens but even though you are no longer consciously aware of the aroma, it is still having an influence on you. When you use a vaporiser for example, after a while you will not consciously be aware of the smell in the room until you leave and re-enter but the oil is still working.
We notice this ALL the time at our workshop – every time someone new walks in they go crazy about how amazing it smells and the girls and I can no longer smell anything – which is a tad annoying in that case!
This is just the tip of the essential oil iceberg… we will continue with this over the next few months so that you understand what makes Bubbles tick because without essential oils – we just wouldn’t be the same!
Till next time…