Essential oils are the products obtained from aromatic plants using a process called steam distillation. The only exception to this process is for the fruits of Citrus, which require a special methodology to extract the essence of their peels called expression-centrifugation. In practice, the terms ‘Essence’ and ‘Essential oil’ are often mistakenly interchanged. Technically, an essential oil is the essence of the plant, once it is extracted by distillation. Only some aromatic plants secrete enough oily essence to qualify for extraction; there are 250 different essential oils recognized by the Aroma-therapeutic pharmacopoeia, less than 100 of which are commonly used in the practice of Aromatherapy.

Quality Essential oils are very rare

Like most products in the market place, not all of the essential oils available in the market are of optimal quality; they may be adulterated, cut with other chemical components, grown, produced, stocked and transported in undesirable conditions or in some cases, synthetic. Furthermore, most are marketed without their full botanical names, conveying insufficient information for wise, therapeutic use.

How do we control quality?

The essential oils used in Aromatherapy must be of the highest quality: well distilled, and neither adulterated or compromised in anyway The Western commercial assertion of “100% pure and natural Essential oil” is inadequate offering no guarantee of genuineness and quality.

The only reliable label, defined and stipulated by more than 15 years of application, is the E.O.B.B.D”‘certification (Essential Oils Botanically and Biochemically Defined.) In the absence of this certification, it is crucial to learn more about essential oils so that you can ask informed questions about their quality.

Aromatherapy and self-medication: it is possible, but be cautious!

There are a variety of light health challenges that you can address yourself, with adequate knowledge of essential oils. But remember that Aromatherapy, like other healing methods, is a medical specialty; only a certified Aromatherapist is qualified to establish treatments for serious diseases and illnesses.

Also, remember that essential oils can participate in your overall well being, as ingredients of food supplements, body and beauty care, natural cleaners and air purifiers. Enjoy them in your life responsibly and healthfully!

Philippe Mailhebiau is one of the world~ leading aromatologists and formulators. He is the author of numerous books, and a member of the team of researchers establishing the E.O.B.B.D. criteria in 1988 in France. Note: as a guide for basic self-application Hippocrates recommends: The Aromatherapy Workbook by Marcel Lavabre. Call us today at 561.471.8876 to order-ask for Yvonne or Vicki!

Vol 24 Issue 2 Page 20

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