Essential Oils

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Concentrates & Absolutes: Solvent Extraction

Concentrates and Absolutes are highly concentrated aromatic materials extracted from plants. The multi-step process includes first extracting the aromatic oil from the plant material with a solvent . After the solvent is removed what is left behind is a waxy substance called a concentrate This semi-solid to solid highly fragrant material contains pigments and waxes. Due to their waxy texture, concretes are perfect for making solid perfumes. They have a somewhat delicate, yet long lasting aroma and are soluble in both carrier oil and alcohol, though often it is necessary to filter any insoluble waxes and solid material that remains.
From the concentrate the aromatic oils are then extracted and separated from the plant waxes and non-aromatic material with alcohol. After the alcohol is removed, the remaining substance is called an absolute. An absolute is the most concentrated form of natural fragrance, with an aroma close to the plant from which it came, and is highly regarded in natural perfumery. Absolutes still contain some waxes and pigments along with other constituents from the plant, but are mostly comprised of the concentrated aromatic oil. In addition, they usually contain a small percentage of alcohol remaining from the second phase of the extraction process (typically up to 2 or 3 percent).
Absolutes differ from essential oils in that Absolutes do not contain waxes, are much lighter in color or have no color, and have a lighter aroma. Essential oils are typically used in skincare and for therapeutic purposes, while absolutes are for natural perfumery.

Solvent Vs Water extraction Vs Co2 extractor

Water or Steam Distillation and extraction is the oldest method and leaves behind 40-50% of the available essential oil on the plant material.

Solvent Extraction is the best method for extracting from plant material! It can be used on the most delicate of plant materials without harming them in any way. Its boiling temperatures allow for it to easily be removed and leave no residuals when purged properly.

Co2 or Carbondioxide extractors freezer burn the plant material and ruin its flavors and aromas. Requires flavors to be added back in.

Lavender Essential Oil

What is Lavender Essential Oil ?


     Lavender Essential Oil has a wonderful sweet aroma and is usually steam distilled from Lavender plants. Most of the Lavender Essential Oils come from theangustifolias or English Lavenders which also goes by the previous name of Lavandula officinalis so sometimes it's called English Lavender Essential Oil or Essential Lavender Oil. 

     There are many uses for Lavender Essential Oil. The essential oil is widely used in everything from cosmetics and Lavender Essential Oil Skin Care to aromatherapyapplications. Lavender Absolutes are sometimes confused with essential oils. 

     There are different kinds of Lavender Essential Oil because of the differentvarieties of Lavender. You have oil from the: 
Of all the different Lavender Oils many consider Bulgarian Lavender Essential Oil the best of all. There is even certified Organic Lavender Essential Oil. 

    Lavender Essential Oil has been credited with a long list of beneficial propertiesand is the very life essence of the Lavender plant.  The essential oil is the volatile plant essence in it's purest most concentrated form. It is the very "essence" of the plant it is derived from. Volatile means vaporous in that it turns to gas quickly. This term is taken from the Latin voltare meaning to fly.   Only pure natural Lavender Essential Oil contains these beneficial volatile compounds. Synthetic Lavender perfume oils which have been created in a lab to mimic the scent don't have the same molecular structure. This means since they are not from plant essences they do not carry the same benefits of Lavender Essential Oil. 

How is Lavender Essential Oil Produced?


    Pure Lavender oil is mainly produced by steam distillation. A large amount of plant material is needed to produce essential oil. The volatile elements are extracted by steaming them out of the plant. The resulting steam then condenses with the essential oil floating on top of the liquid. 

    The essential oil is then separated from the liquid. A small amount of the Lavender Essential Oil does remain in the water and this liquid is used to make planthydrosols which should not be confused with floral waters. The distilled essential oil must be aged for several months before being sold. 

    The very best Lavender Essential Oil is made only from the flowers although growing conditions also play a role in the quality of oil produced. 


How To Use Lavender Essential Oil


    Lavender Essential Oil is one of the few oils that can be applied, in small amounts, to the skin. The oil quickly penetrates and enters the bloodstream and works its magic. Don't use Oil of Spike or Lavandin as these types have more camphorous compounds and are not as beneficial but they will work well forhousehold use throughout the home for cleaning and deodorizing. 

    Even though the term "oil" is used it is not greasy as for example cooking oil. True essential oils will not leave a greasy residue when applied to paper or a cotton pad. If it does it means that the essential oil has been cut or diluted with something else. 

    Don't believe the plant oil can get to your bloodstream? Then try this test. Take fresh garlic and rub it on the bottom of your foot. Put your sock and shoe back on and go about your daily routine. Wash your hands well after doing this. In a relatively short time you will detect a garlic odor on your breath and may even taste it. 

    Lavender Essential Oil has wonderful healing benefits such as soothing and calming skin irritations, prevents scarring and infection and even naturally repels insects. This is why you can find it in so many natural skin care products. What more could you ask for in a product than all of these qualities? 

     In China this essential oil is used as a curative for just about everything in a product called White Flower Oil. 

How To Make Lavender Essential Oil at Home?


    If you grow enough Lavender plants you may wish to purchase a unit for steam distilling of the plant material, also known as a Still or Alembic, to make distilled Lavender Essential Oil. This is the most popular method for making Lavender Essential Oil. Growing Lavender can become quite addictive and you can find yourself with a lot of plants. Purchasing home distillation equipment is the natural next step. 

     There are many smaller essential oil stills available for purchase that will work nicely for home use when making essential oil from your fresh Lavender flowers.  Buying your own Essential Oil Still is a small investment for the lifetime joy of getting to make Lavender Essential Oil. 
     Did you know that you can use moonshine stills to distill essential oils as well? The Stills sold for home alcohol distillation will often work to distill other things including water or plant material.


Where to buy Lavender Essential Oil? Sometimes it can be found where organic natural foods are sold. Things to beware include diluted or cut oils, synthetic oils or those sold in clear glass bottles. If you are new to all of this then familiarize yourself with some brand names from reputable suppliers. Buy only pure Lavender Essential Oil. 


    Essential oils are sensitive to light and heat and need to be stored away from these elements. They will most definitely not all cost the same price because some are harder than others to produce. 

     Some plants are rare and hard to grow. Truckloads of plant material are sometimes necessary to produce a small amount of Lavender Essential Oils from a specific plant species. This is why there are commercial suppliers growing Lavender

     When you use essential plant essences they are measured in drops not ounces so those little bottles will last you a while. 


    Lavender essential oil is wonderful in a aromatherapy diffuser and is my favorite of all essential oils available. Diffusing creates a relaxing and wonderful smelling environment in any area. 

Myrrh oil is another oil (the other being frankincense oil) that is well-known for its use in Christian practices. Today, myrrh is most commonly known as an essential oil valued for its many health benefits.

myrrh oilYou may have heard of myrrh from Biblical stories, as it’s one of the precious gifts (together with gold and frankincense) offered by the three wise men to the newborn Jesus. This valuable element actually has a long history of use, especially in ancient civilizations. Today, myrrh is most commonly known as an essential oil. Keep on reading to learn more about its many benefits.   

What Is Myrrh Oil?                                                                                                                                 

Myrrh oil comes from a dried resin extracted from the Commiphora myrrha tree, which belongs to the Commiphora plant genus.1 Like frankincense, myrrh comes from the Burseraceae plant family.2 Native to Northern Africa and the Middle East, particularly in Somalia, Ethiopia, Arabia, and Yemen, the tree grows up to five meters high, and can be identified by its light bark, knotted branches and small white flowers.3  The word “myrrh” comes from "murr," which means "bitter" in Arabic, probably referring to the resin’s bitter taste.

Myrrh was very popular among ancient cultures. The Chinese valued it as a medicine, while Egyptians used it for embalming their pharaohs4 as well as for their sun-worshipping rituals. In fact, myrrh was mentioned in Ebers Papyrus, one of the oldest Egyptian medical texts, dating back to 1550 BC.5 Even the Greek soldiers made use of this resin, bringing it with them to battle to stop their wounds from bleeding.6

To extract myrrh, the bark of the tree is cut, and a yellow sap comes out. This sap dries into reddish-brown, walnut-sized lumps, with a unique sweet and smoky aroma, that are then used to make myrrh oil. Myrrh oil has a golden yellow or brownish color, and a rich, smoky and balsamic aroma.7

Uses of Myrrh Oil

Both myrrh resin and myrrh oil have a long history of medicinal use, valued for their wound-healing properties. Egyptians used myrrh to treat hay fever and heal herpes.8 Myrrh oil has also been used as incense and a holy oil in religious rituals and ceremonies for over 5,000 years.9

Maintaining healthy skin is one of myrrh oil’s renowned uses, as it prevents the signs of aging and soothes cracked or chapped skin. This is why it’s commonly added to many skin care products today.10

Myrrh oil is also used for:11

  • Adding fragrance for perfumes
  • Embalming
  • Flavoring food products

Myrrh oil is also a valuable aromatherapy oil that can be used for massages, mixed in bathwater, or simply applied on the skin. You can also:

  • Use it as a mouthwash to help eliminate dental infections.
  • Put it in a cold compress to relieve sores and wounds.
  • Add it to creams and lotions to help relieve skin infections, such as athlete’s foot, ringworm, weeping eczema, bedsores, boils, carbuncles, and acne.

Composition of Myrrh Oil

There are many health-enhancing compounds in myrrh oil, such as terpenoids, a class of chemicals with anti-inflammatory and antioxidant effects.12 It also contains up to 75 percent sesquiterpenes, which are compounds that can affect certain parts of your brain, particularly your hypothalamus, pituitary, and amygdala, which control your emotions and produce many important hormones in your body.13

Other components of myrrh include alpha pinene, cadinene, dipentene, limonene, eugenol, cuminaldehyde, m-cresol, cinnamaldehyde, acetic acid, formic acid, and heerabolene.1415

Benefits of Myrrh Oil

myrrh oil benefitsMyrrh oil’s benefits can be attributed to its powerful antioxidant, antifungal, antiviral, anti-inflammatory, anti-parasitic, expectorant, and antispasmodic properties. This essential oil can help with many health conditions, such as:

  • Respiratory problems - Myrrh oil works well against coughs, colds, and sore throat. It also helps relieve congestion and expel phlegm.
  • Digestive ailments – It promotes digestive health and helps cure problems like stomach upset, diarrhea, dyspepsia, indigestion, flatulence and hemorrhoids.1617
  • Gum and mouth diseases – It helps relieve toothache, gingivitis, and mouth ulcers, and also freshens your breath. Myrrh oil is even used as a natural ingredient in mouthwashes and toothpaste.
  • Immune system health - It strengthens and activates your immune system to keep your body protected from infections.

A study conducted by Chinese researchers, published in the Journal of Medicinal Plants Research, also found that extracts made from myrrh resin may be effective against human gynecologic cancer cells.18

How to Make Myrrh Oil

Myrrh oil is traditionally steam-distilled directly from myrrh resin. The oil has a milder and more pleasant smell than the actual resin, although some formulas are a bit strong. You can try making your own myrrh oil infusion at home. Here’s what to do:19

Materials: 

Myrrh resin
Olive or any vegetable carrier oil
Glass vial
Mason jar

Procedure:

  1. Put a cup of the oil of your choice into a small saucepan, along with a quarter ounce (or seven grams) of myrrh resin to the oilSet the heat to low, and allow the mixture to sit for six hours, occasionally stirring it.
  2. Put the oil in a mason jar and put it in a place with direct sunlight, such as by a window, for up to two weeks.
  3. Filter the oil to remove any residues.
  4. Pour the myrrh oil into a glass vial.

How Does Myrrh Oil Work?

Myrrh oil works by preventing infection and putrefaction, which helps clear toxins and promote tissue repair. It also has an expectorant action that make it useful for expelling excess mucus and soothing mucus membranes, which help alleviate respiratory conditions.20 Meanwhile, its calming effects on the mind and body are mostly attributed to the chemical compounds that stimulate the pituitary gland.21

You can use myrrh oil by:

  • Diffusing or inhaling it. You can also add a few drops to hot water and inhale the steam.
  • Applying it topically. Apply it directly on your skin to get its skin rejuvenating and healing properties. You can use it undiluted or mixed with carrier oils. Myrrh oil blends well with lavender, frankincense, sandalwood, and all spice oils.22
  • Taking it internally. Myrrh oil has been approved by the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) to be used as a food additive and flavoring agent. However, I do not advise ingesting it without the supervision of a qualified health care provider.

Is Myrrh Oil Safe?

If used in moderation and correct dosage (especially when ingesting it topically), myrrh oil is generally safe for adults. However, as with other essential oils, I advise you to use this oil with caution.

Myrrh oil is not recommended for pregnant women and nursing moms, as it can induce menstruation and lead to premature labor.23 Children age six and below should also refrain from using this oil. Diabetics and other people suffering from health conditions should also consult their physician before using myrrh oil.

To make sure that myrrh oil will not have any allergic effects when applied topically, do a skin patch test on your inner arm first.

Ultimate Guide to Herbal Oils                                                                                       


Herbs not only add taste and texture to food, but are also abundant sources of antioxidants, vitamins, minerals, and unique medicinal properties. Certain herbs and spices can even help you maintain a healthy body weight, as they promote weight loss.

"Herbs" and "spices" are often used interchangeably, however there are differences between them. Herbs are obtained from the leaves of herbaceous or non-woody plants, and are used in larger amounts that spices. Spices, on the other hand, are obtained from roots, flowers, fruits, seeds, or bark, and are usually used in smaller amounts than herbs because of their higher potency and stronger flavor.

Herbs come in various forms, including dried leaves and teas. But this site focuses on herbal oils, which you can make at home or purchase at health food stores. These oils have their own set of uses and benefits, from food preparation to skin therapy and other practical uses.

Herbal oils can be taken or used in different ways, such as for cooking and topical application.

They can also be essential or infused. Essential oils require a large quantity of plant material and need to be diluted before use because they are concentrated. Infused oils, on the other hand, use only a small amount of plant material and are used full-strength. Essential oils can be used in different ways, including aromatherapy, skin massage, adding them to bathwater, using them in a compress, or burning them in a diffuser.

In general, using fresh herbs is preferred to getting processed varieties. Just as using too much of any food or health product can carry health risks, herbal oils should be used moderately, and are NOT a substitute for a nutritious, balanced diet. Pregnant women especially need to consult their physician before consuming or using these oils.

Dr. Mercola's Herbal Oil List is a directory that provides you the A-Zs of herbal oils, and their time-tested health and healing properties. Learn the safe, effective ways of using them – in your cooking, as aromatherapy stress relief after a long day at work, and even for natural disinfection and household care.

Herbal Oils

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