Pure, Essential And Aromatic
Aromatherapy is a mind and body healing method that uses pure essential oils. Volatile plant essences and the aromatic molecules that derive from them create these pure essential oils. The most common method of producing these pure essential oils is steam distillation. These oils are quite concentrated, unlike standard vegetable or other cooking oil. To use essential oils, therefore a person would have to dilute them considerably before applying them to the skin.
The way these oils work in the practice of aromatherapy is to affect the limbic system, part of the human brain that affects its parasympathetic nervous system. These oils result in an intense antibacterial effect as well.
Steam distillation, while standard is not the only method of creating pure oils. Hydrodistillation, for example, is a similar method but substitutes the use of water instead of steam. The steam is distilled and then put in some type of condenser which chills it. What rises to the top during this process is the oil. It is separated from the distilled water. Hydrodistillation is the earliest form of oils, although it requires carefully watching. If the still that is used for the distillation process should run dry or the contents be overheated the aromatic oil can burn, becoming useless for the oils.
The use of carbon dioxide is another method of making oils for aromatherapy. This carbon dioxide is converted from gas to liquid by its subjection to high pressure. The liquid carbon dioxide is now a safe, very inert liquid solvent. In this form, it will extract the molecules that provide the aroma of the pure essential oils. The greatest advantage of using the carbon dioxide method of creating aromatherapy oils is that there is no residue of the solvent left. What happens, instead, is that once the remaining carbon dioxide is subjected to standard pressure and lower temperature, it reverts to its gas form and eventually evaporates.
Calendula, Rose Hip and some other aromatics are created by the extraction via carbon dioxide that aren’t by steam distillation. These aromas are generally stronger and richer than the aromatic results of steam distillation. Cold pressing is another method for creating the quality essential oils needed for aromatherapy.
Orange oil spray is perhaps the most common pure essential oil created with the cold press method. It is released by zesting or scoring the fruit’s skin. These citrus oils created through cold pressing are considerably more vibrant than those produced through steam distillation.
The final choice of methods for creating aromatherapy’s pure essential oils is the use of florasols or phytols. This method of extraction uses a recently discovered gas solvent that is benign. Dr. Peter Wilde recognized the unique florasol and phytol properties around 1986. Dr. Wilde discovered the solvents could be used to extract aromatic oils from plant materials. These could be used pharmacologically, for food production, as well as the creation of armotherapy’s pure essential oils and perfume substances. Extraction is completed by lowering the florasol’s temperature, which produces clear wax-free oil that flows freely.