A: Aromatherapy is the therapeutic use of pure essential oils to improve balance and harmony and promote the health of body, mind and spirit.
A: Essential oils are extracted from different plants, mainly through a process called steam distillation. In this process, a plant is placed in a device over heated water. As steam forms, it passes through the plant and the “essential compounds” vaporize and condense back into a liquid. Essential refers to the core or beneficial properties of the plant. It can also refer to the fact that these oils can be used in so many different ways, from facial creams to massage oils to cleaning products. They have properties that can help with fatigue, stress, nausea and acne, just to name a few. Most essential oils are clear, but some oils, such as patchouli, orange and lemongrass, are amber or yellow in color.
A: Essential oils are extracted from natural plants, roots, barks, etc. by several different methods. Perfume oils are made using a combination of essential oils and synthetic oils. Essential oils can be used in aromatherapy and massage treatments or for medicinal purposes. Meanwhile, perfume/fragrance oils are used purely for their scent. Essential oils are also a great option for individuals who are sensitive to scented body products and perfumes since they donʼt contain any chemicals.
A: Since the scientific composition of each plant differs, several methods for extracting oils have been developed. Each oil we have specifies precisely which extraction method is used for that particular oil. Below is a list of the different processes.
Steam Distillation: This is the most common method. In this process, a plant is placed in a contraption over heated water. As steam forms, it passes through the plant and the “essential compounds” vaporize and condense back into a liquid.
Hydrosols: These are the by-product of the distillation process. They contain the water-soluble constituents of the plant and retain a small amount of essential oil.
Expression/Cold Pressed: A method of extraction specific to citrus essential oils. The process involves a prodding, pricking, sticking action to release the oil.
Solvent: Used for plants that are too fragile to be distilled. Solvent extraction is the use of solvents, such as petroleum ether, methanol or ethanol, to extract the scented material from the plant. The solvent will also pull out the chlorophyll and other plant tissue, resulting in a highly colored or thick extract or product. This is then mixed with alcohol, which serves to extract the aromatic principle of the material. The final product is known as an absolute.
CO2: Oils are extracted by pressurizing carbon dioxide until it becomes a liquid. The liquid carbon dioxide acts as a solvent on the natural plant matter and the essential oil content dissolves into the liquid CO2. After the CO2 is brought back to natural pressurization, it evaporates back into gas and only the resulting oil remains.
A: At present there are no designated standards in America for grades of essential oils. In Europe, however, standards are established that outline the natural chemical profile and principal constituents of a high-quality essential oil. These standards help us differentiate between a therapeutic grade essential oil and one of inferior quality.
Food Grade: Generally cut with a food-based carrier oil.
Therapeutic Grade: Pure and undiluted essential oils suitable for all applications. Naturally grown, harvested or processed organically.
Cosmetic Grade: Suitable for most applications. Medicinal use is not recommended as they are partially steam distilled and partially formulated in the lab.
Commercial and Synthetic Grade: Not recommended for skin or aromatherapy applications. Considered safe for cleaning products, candles, incense, potpourri, etc. We do not carry any commercial grade oils at this time.
A: There will very rarely ever be a time when you will not want to dilute your essential oils prior to use. See our Dilution Guide ~ Essential Oils and keep handy for your reference.
A: Contrary to popular belief, there is no agency which provides “certification.” Some essential oil companies may use terminology like “certified pure therapeutic grade,” but itʼs purely a marketing strategy.
That being said, all our oils are independently tested by our distributors for which we receive a certificate of analysis and MSDS which authenticates that the oil is pure and unadulterated. This certificate is available upon request.
A: Never. We do not carry out any tests on animals.
A: MSDS stands for Material Safety Data Sheet. It provides detailed product information needed by material handlers and emergency workers on the physical and chemical data. This includes melting points, boiling points, flash points, reactivity, first aid instruction, toxicity, storage recommendations, disposal instructions, control measures, protective equipment instructions, and spill and leak procedures.
A: A Certificate of Analysis is the result of testing against acceptable parameters. Certificates of Analysis can look quite different from product to product, industry to industry. However, with Essential Oils, measurement quite often consists of the dominant constituent of a particular oil.
A: Most plants that produce essential oils have the natural ability to defend themselves against pests and donʼt need pesticides, however, this is not always the case. Sometimes growers will experience fungal issues and use chemicals to prevent the loss of crops. If the plant has been sprayed, the chemicals will not distill since their molecules are too large; theyʼll be left behind with the unused plant material.
A: There are many different ways essential oils can be used.....here's just a few:
Diffusers/Vaporizers: Intended for use in air purification and creation of therapeutic atmospheres within the home, office or spa environment.
Aromatic Baths: These can be detoxifying, relaxing, invigorating, emotionally uplifting and sensual. The use of oils in a bath is particularly beneficial for muscular conditions and dermatitis. Respiratory problems will benefit from inhalation of the aroma.
Body and Hair Care Products: Certain essential oils can be added to fragrance-free lotions, creams, shampoos or conditioners to increase their benefits. This is a great way to treat conditions such as eczema, psoriasis or dandruff.
Compresses: These can be either hot or cold, depending on the condition being treated. They can help with pain, swelling and inflammation. Most conditions characterized by “aches” can be treated with hot compresses, while sprains, fevers, inflammations and headaches can be treated with cold compresses.
Massage: Aids circulation, detoxification and relaxation. It can be used in either a professional or personal capacity.
Inhalation: Best for respiratory and sinus problems, headaches and cold/flu season. “Direct” refers to inhaling an oil directly from a bottle. “Direct palm” refers to sniffing or inhaling an oil directly from the palms of your hands. “Handkerchief/Cotton Ball” refers to placing 2-4 drops of an oil on the tissue or cloth and holding it in the palms of your hand and inhaling.
A: See the below list of essential oils that can aid in treating a wide range of conditions.
Eucalyptus: Expectorant, decongestant, beneficial for flu/cold season, clears the mind, energizes.
Frankincense: Strengthens the immune system, soothes inflamed skin, regenerates cells.
Geranium: Relieves nerve pain, PMS and hormonal imbalance; antimicrobial.
Lavender: Calms, helps heal wounds and insect bites, reduces anxiety. Great for children.
Lemon: Antiviral, cleans, uplifts, detoxifies.
Lemongrass: Antiviral, antimicrobial, cleanses, cleans, repels insects.
Peppermint: Eases depression, eliminates fatigue, uplifts, soothes stomach troubles, relieves gas, headaches, heartburn and indigestion.
A: See the below list of carrier oils that we carry and their specific benefits. Notice that different ones are particularly useful for certain skin types and conditions.
Almond: One of the most useful, practical and widely used oils. Soothes, softens and re- hydrates the skin in face and body care lotions and potions.
Apricot Kernel: Excellent skin moisturizer for both sensitive and prematurely aged skin.
Avocado: Highly beneficial for eczema, psoriasis and other skin conditions.
Castor: Used for acne, scar treatment and to minimize signs of aging. Treats shingles, calluses and athleteʼs foot. Wonderful hair thickener and conditioner.
Grapeseed: Quickly absorbed into the skin. Doesnʼt leave a greasy film. It has hypo-allergenic properties making it perfect for allergy prone or sensitive skin.
Jojoba: Close to the natural sebum of the skin, so it makes a perfect moisturizer for all skin types. Itʼs very effective in the treatment of psoriasis, eczema, sunburn and chapped skin.
A: We test batches of essential oils from all around the world to identify the best quality oils that result from exceptional crops and proper storing. We then purchase all of our oils from these trusted distributors with whom we've had good relationships for years. Working with these distributors allows us the opportunity to purchase larger quantities which, in turn, enables us to offer our customers the best possible prices.
A: Our essential oils are 100% pure grade. Theyʼre not cut, diluted or adulterated in any way, making them highly concentrated botanical substances. Pure essential oils are 1000 times more potent than their leafy counterparts. While weʼre not advocating ANY essential oil ingestion protocol here, we would like to clear up the confusion regarding essential oil ingestion.
Most essential oils commonly used in aromatherapy are safe to ingest in very small amounts (approximately 1-8 drops/day), depending on the oil and the userʼs medical condition. If you feel this may improve your health, we strongly urge you to do so onlyunder the guidance of a licensed aromatherapist who will help you determine the right program for you.
A: With few exceptions, steam distilled essential oils have a shelf life of at least 2 years, and even longer when stored properly. Tea Tree, Pine and Fir oils typically have a shelf life of around 12 to 18 months due to certain components in their chemical composition.
Cold pressed citrus oils have the shortest shelf life of all essential oils due to a high proportion of components called terpenes, which are more prone to oxidization, meaning that extra care should be taken to store them away from sources of heat. You can expect citrus oils to remain in good condition for 9 to 12 months, but longer if stored properly. If you normally buy them in 10 ml sizes, immediately decant them into two 5 ml bottles, to protect one bottle from oxidizing for longer.
Due to their chemical makeup, essential oils donʼt turn rancid like vegetable oils, they simply degrade gradually and their therapeutic properties become diminished. As the oil becomes ineffective, youʼll be able to notice a change in scent.
A: Here is a list of some things to do to enhance your essential oil experience.
1. Purchase and store your oils in dark glass (amber or cobalt blue) and in a cool, dark place.
2. Pay special attention to any safety information for the essential oils you use. This is even more important if you have any preexisting medical conditions or may be pregnant.
3. Research as much as you can on aromatherapy. Itʼs very easy to get started in aromatherapy, but there are safety issues you need to be fully aware of.
4. Use the patch test if youʼre unsure how your skin will react to an essential oil.Directions: Add 1-2 drops of diluted oil to your wrist or inside of elbow; cover with a Band-Aid and leave for 24 hours. If any reaction occurs, immediately remove the bandage and carefully wash the area with mild soap and water.
5. Learn to compare apples to apples when shopping the price on oils. Since many plants have different varieties, use the botanical name or “Latin name” to differentiate.
A: Here are some things to avoid to make sure your experience with essential oils is as pleasant as possible.
1. Buying essential oils with rubber and glass eyedropper tops. Essential oils are very concentrated and will turn the rubber to gum, thereby ruining the oil.
2. Mixing, blending or storing your essential oils in plastic containers. Unless youʼre heavily diluting your oils into a spray or mist bottle, the oils will erode the plastic container.
A: Most oils can safely be used in lip balms. Though in the process of licking your lips, you may ingest some essential oil, the amount is very minute. Itʼs also important to note that many essential oils are on the FDAʼs GRAS (Generally Recognized As Safe) list and are also commonly used in food. Oils that are commonly used for lip balms include: Anise, Cinnamon leaf, Lavender, Peppermint, Spearmint and Vanilla. To spice up your lip balm, you can try Cardamom, Ginger, Jasmine or Rose.
Citrus oils should be used with caution, since they may have high levels of photosensitizing coumarins. The highest are regular Bergamot, Grapefruit and Lemon. You can use ʻBergaptene Freeʼ Bergamot instead, which we sell. Sweet Orange has very low levels of Bergaptene and is safe to use topically when used in percentages less than 2%.