What is an essential oil?

Posted by Wen Dan Jiang on

Essential Oils Guide

What is an essential oil?

Essential oil is a fragrance-concentrated, volatile liquid extracted from different parts of plants. The chemical composition is quite complicated; it has many interconnected substances, such as:

  • esters,
  • ketones,
  • lactones,
  • alcohols,
  • aromatic components, etc.

Essential Oils are obtained from pleasantly smelling flowers, herbs, shrubs, or trees. In this regard, there is a huge variety of oils that differ from each other in their aroma, color, and method of preparation. At the same time, the quality of essential oils may also vary; factors such as the variety and type of plant, growing conditions, plant age, influence this condition (Nazzaro, Fratianni, Martino, Coppola, & Feo, 2013).

Some famous essential oils

Here we will discuss some famous and beneficial essential oils:

Eucalyptus

Eucalyptus is amongst the famous plants having antibacterial and antiseptic properties. This plant is well known for containing a huge amount of essential oils. It has the quality to kill microorganisms and disinfect the air. You can disinfect the room with eucalyptus essential oil using a special lamp.

Rosemary

This plant has a great smell and a considerable amount of essential oils. Because of its medical properties, this plat has been adorning in many gardens in different parts of the world. Many people plant rosemary in pots and keep at home.

You can get rosemary essential oils from any pharmacies with lots of advantages.

Geranium

Geranium has an excellent ability to clean or disinfect the air. Even laboratories have proved their antimicrobial properties. According to research, geranium destroys microorganisms on the leaves and cleans the surrounding air. It is a natural antiseptic. Pure geraniums cause allergies sometimes, but it can be an excellent remedy for stress, fatigue, and depression.

Mint

Mint at home has a wonderful smell, which creates a unique aura in the apartment. Many species of mint clears the nose, throat, and lungs, and is useful for coughing. It has anti-inflammatory and antibacterial properties, it is a great remedy for fatigue. Mint grows well both in the house and garden.

Peppermint essential oil has many health benefits. It is useful with dizziness, nausea, motion sickness, and heartburn attacks. It is amongst the few essential oils that are both affordable and reliable.

Lavender

Lavender is considered the most common essential oil that has relaxing and calming effects. Daily use of this oil can save you from panic attacks, nervous stomach, restlessness, and nervous tension.

Ylang Yang

Ylang Ylang is a popular essential oil that can treat depression, anxiety because of its calming effects. But be careful when using this essential oil because it can be irritating to the skin. If you have low blood pressure, avoid using Ylang Ylang essential oil.

Properties of essential oils

Properties depend on the type of plants, the part used, the growing conditions, and the method of production. At the same time, their composition, quality, and aroma of the oil will be different. Accordong to a study, most essential oils have similar properties, but most of them have their own exceptional qualities. (Bakkali, Averbeck, Averbeck, & Idaomar, 2008)

Slow down the aging process of oil, containing in its composition unique phytohormones, which helps to slow the aging process of a human body. Among them are oils of jasmine, rose, sandalwood, neroli, patchouli, etc.

Contribute to weight loss oils that have regulatory and burning properties.  These include oils of grapefruit, bergamot, lemon, cinnamon, and tea tree, etc.

Regulate insomnia oils with warming and calming properties. These oils include frankincense, lemon balm, rose, mint, sandalwood, cypress, bergamot, and juniper.

The antibacterial property is inherent in many essential oils. Because of this property, essential oils can affect different types of bacteria, germs, and fungi. These essential oils include thyme, oregano, cloves, basil, bergamot, lemon, grapefruit, and lemongrass, etc.

The anti-inflammatory property is also characteristic of chamomile, bergamot, yarrow, ylang-ylang, juniper, lavender, and tea tree, etc.

The anesthetic property helps to eliminate various problems: insomnia, headaches, or nervous exhaustion. The essential oil of immortelle, peppermint, jasmine, lavender, blue spruce, and others possess such properties.

Antioxidant property helps to slow the signs of aging, skin problems, lymph flow, improve blood circulation, and stimulate cellular respiration. These include oils of Siberian juniper, dahlia, fir, millennium, etc.

The use of essential oils

Use essential oils on:

For dry skin, essential oils of lavender, geranium, orange, frankincense, jasmine, sandalwood, blue tansy, marjoram, rosewood are used in combination with base oils. Base oils for dry skin: macadamia, almond, jojoba, apricot kernel, rosehips.

For oily skin, essential oils of bergamot, lemon, grapefruit, ylang-ylang, ginger, patchouli, cypress, cedar, juniper are used. Base oils for oily skin: apricot or grape seed - in combination with the above essential oils normalize the sebaceous glands.

For problematic skin, essential oils of jasmine, lavender, juniper, bergamot, tea tree, ylang-ylang, lemon, geranium, lemongrass, cloves are used. Base oils for problematic skin: jojoba, wheat germ, sweet almond.

For sensitive skin, essential oils of chamomile, tea tree, mandarin, neroli, blue tansy, ylang-ylang are suitable. Base oils for sensitive skin: apricot kernel, calendula, rice bran, babassu.

For mature skin, essential oils of lavender, immortelle, rosemary, lemon, patchouli, oregano, rose, sage, carrot are used. Base oils for mature skin: argan, jojoba, evening primrose, cocoa, grant seeds.

For dry hair, essential oils of lavender, sandalwood, orange, mandarin, chamomile, ylang-ylang, rose, myrrh, frankincense are suitable.

Hot inhalation. To implement this method, it is not necessary to purchase a special inhaler device.  Only 2-3 drops of essential oil are applied to a handkerchief, after which its aroma pairs are inhaled several times a day.

Aroma bath. Before adding essential oils to the typed bath, you must first mix them with any base oil, milk, or sea salt.  You can avoid This way if you have skin irritation and allergic reactions. 

Oil burner. The simplest and most popular aromatherapy method in the treatment of colds. Aromalapma is placed in the room in which the patient is located continuously. 

Massage. Essential oils are also used in therapeutic massage, but, like in other procedures, only previously mixed with other oils are applied to the skin.  The procedure can be performed every other day.

References

Bakkali, F., Averbeck, S., Averbeck, D., & Idaomar, M. (2008). Biological effects of essential oils – A review. Food and Chemical Toxicology, 46(2), 446-475. doi:10.1016/j.fct.2007.09.106

Nazzaro, F., Fratianni, F., Martino, L. D., Coppola, R., & Feo, V. D. (2013). Effect of Essential Oils on Pathogenic Bacteria. Pharmaceuticals, 6(12), 1451-1474. doi:10.3390/ph6121451

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