As we continue our discussion of essential oils and aromatherapy, it is the fragrance composition of an essential oil that determines its therapeutic nature affecting; the skin/ body systems when applied topically and our moods and emotions when inhaled through the nose.
Essential oils are antiseptic, antiviral and/or antibacterial, the degree depends on the qualities contained in the oil itself.
The aromatic essences are evaporate and are highly sensitive to both heat and light. It’s important to keep them away from direct sunlight and well lidded.
The cost of an essential oil depends on the % of oil in the plant, its availability, growing conditions, specie / variety, method of extraction etc. For example Rose essential oil is one of the most expensive essential oils, there are so few essential oil molecules in the Rose petals that a single drop of organic Rose is approximately AUD$0.50.
Other influencing factors effecting cost, quality and quantity; aromatic plants need to be picked at certain times of day to maximize the essential oil ‘yield’ (%), growing conditions – especially for certified organic plants, climate, quality of soil, season, in-climate weather can all reduce or increase the available amount of extractable oil.
Next on our discussion of aromatherapy, I’ll talk about testing and potency.