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What is an essential oil?
An esssential oil is a liquid and aromatic extract that is generally obtained by steam distillation from a plant or cold expression, which contains the concentrated volatile components. It represents the quintessence of the plant, in the form of a concentrate, rich in a large variety of active substances identified very precisely by chromatographic analysis.
How do we get an essential oil?
The two traditional methods of obtaining an essential oil are cold expression (for citrus zests) and steam distillation, which are suitable for most plants. It involves circulating steam water through the plant mass to release the essence contained in the small glandular pockets within the plants and then collecting them after condensation, in the form of essential oil. This process being completely natural, allows for a perfectly pure product to be obtained.
What are the 7 golden rules for the safe use of essential oils?
1) Carefully observe the dosages, precautions for use, the duration of the treatment and the route of administration: essential oils are pure potent extracts whose use must be rigorous. To do this, always keep your essential oils in its original packaging, with its leaflet to which you can refer to at any time if needed. 2) Do not replace an essential oil by another even if its name is close : for instance, true lavender and fat spike lavender have different compositions, as well as thymol thyme and linalol thyme, or ravensare and ravintsara . 3) Always wash your hands thoroughly after using an essential oil. 4) Do not heat the essential oils by placing on a dish on top of a candle or tealight cup for example. Use a diffuser that is made for the use of essential oils. 5) Observe the precautions for use. Many essential oils are prohibited during pregnancy (especially the first trimester) and during breastfeeding. In children, some of them are generally not recommended before 7 years old. If you have a history of kidney and liver problems, seizure disorders, cardiovascular disease or people with epilepsy, asthmatics and more generally if you are under a medical treatment or suffer from a long-term illness, always seek advice from your GP before use. 6) If you are under a medical treatment, pay attention to interactions with essential oils! Do not hesitate to seek advice from your pharmacist or GP. 7) An allergy may be possible, especially in fragile or sensitized subjects. We advise that you perform a skin test (pour 1 or 2 drops of essential oil in the crook of the elbow, wait 48 hours and then start again and wait 1 hour to check the absence of reaction).
Can we blend essential oils?
Yes, especially since the essential oils have been proven to be even more efficient when it is associated in synergy.
How to choose a quality essential oil?
Since 2008, the AFSSAPS (now ANSM, National Agency for Drug Safety) in France, has provided recommendations on quality criteria, to regulate the use of essential oils and allow a better control. A good essential oil usually bear the following mentions: - EOBBD (Essential Oils Botanically and Biochemically Defined) and 100% pure and natural. A guarantee of traceability, quality and strict control. - 100% pure. Namely with no addition of another essential oil, a plant oil, or any other solvent. - 100% natural. Meaning free from nasty chemicals (mineral spirits, synthetic molecules ...) - Traceability must be perfectly controlled. Systematic checks of each essential oil batch (gas chromatography) must be carried out.
What are the important things to check before buying an essential oil?
• The Latin name: which helps to avoid any confusion
• The chemotype: to avoid any mistake regarding the properties. For example, thyme has 7 main chemotypes, with different indications and uses
• Expiry date
• The batch number
• The place of production
• The route of use and dosage: specific to each oil
• Precautions for use
• Equivalence (1 ml = x drops)
How long can a bottle of essential oil be kept? Should we put it in the refrigerator?
Essential oils can be perfectly kept up to 3 to 5 years, provided you follow some strict guidelines. Protect them from air, heat and light, especially citrus essential oils (lemon, mandarin...), mastic tree or pine, which must even be kept away from halogen or light spots. At ambient temperature, in a closed cupboard- out of reach of children - it's perfect. There is no need to store them in the fridge.
Why can't we find all essential oils to be organic?
All the essential oils cannot be certified as organic because of some remote production sites, some wild plants grow in countries where there is no organic certification bodies. Purchase organic essential oils where possible.
How to store essential oils?
Essential oils should be stored away from light and heat (ideally between 3 and 30 °C). The essential oils of rose, thyme thymol or peppermint, for example, freeze in crystals at low temperature (this does not affect the quality of the essential oil which, as soon as it is at room temperature again, liquefies). It is ideal to keep them in their original packaging (with the instructions) to avoid mistakes, to keep them well closed (they are oxidizable and volatile) and upright (to prevent the oils from "gnawing"on the dropper and cap, which are plastic). With these precautions, your essential oils can be kept about 5 years (3 years for citrus essences, and 2 years for essential oils obtained from coniferous needles, such as Scots pine).
Why are some essential oils colored?
Some oils are coloured, it's normal. For example, thymol thyme essential oil can be blood red; that of bergamot, green; and that of lavender, pale yellow. Thus, the color of an essential oil may depend on the nature of the plant but also on the material in which the still is made: a copper still will give a pink wintergreen essential oil, while an aluminum still will produce a light yellow oil.
How should the essential oils be packed?
Essential oils must be packed in glass bottles (not plastic) with a dark color: it facilitates their conservation since they are altered by the sun's ultraviolet rays. For extra safety, choose vials with tamper-proof caps with a child-proof system.
What are the essential bases to use your essential oils?
There are different routes of administration: oral, cutaneous, olfactory or by atmospheric dispersion. The choice of the route of administration will depend on the problem to be treated, the different properties of the essential oil, the precautions related to its use, and the age of the user. If certain essential oils can be used pure (mostly when diffused or on skin as a local application), it is often required to be used with an essential complement: plant oil (cutaneous route), neutral tablet or edible plant oil (oral route), neutral base (for the bath and the shower). For the directions and precautions for use, please refer to the products' labels and advice of health professionals.
How can you take essential oils orally?
Although they are very useful and effective for pathologies of the digestive tract, liver and kidneys, some essential oils cannot be administered orally because of their toxicity. It is essential to consult your pharmacist or GP before absorbing essential oils orally. Advantage: the oral route allows a very precise dosage of essential oils, which it is imperative to respect the dosage and their use must remain limited. How? You should never put the essential oils directly in the mouth (they can irritate or burn the mucous membranes), but always use a support: a sugar cube, a spoonful of honey or edible vegetable oil, or a neutral tablet (very practical and recommended for people on a sugar-free diet). You can also use some essential oils when cooking. But please be careful before swallowing an essential oil, always check that it is suitable to take it orally.
Can we take essential oils by rectal and vaginal routes?
The rectal and vaginal routes are occasional and reserved for magistral preparations made in pharmacies, or on medical prescription. No essential oil should be ever intramuscularly injected, instilled in the eyes or applied pure to an irritated or sensitive area, in the ear canal or on the ano-genital areas.
What to do in case of contact of essential oils with eyes or mucous membranes?
Rinse immediately and abundantly, preferably with a vegetable oil (cooking oil or other), or, in the absence of vegetable oil, rinse with clear water. Contact a doctor or the poison control center.
What to do in case of accidental ingestion?
Immediately contact the poison control center.
What does it mean if an essential oil is phototoxic?
Some essential oils, such as lemon or sweet orange, are phototoxic. This means that they should not be used before sun exposure.
How are plant oils extracted?
Plant oils are extracted from seeds, fruit stones, or plants.
What are plant oils for?
Plant oils are essential supplements to essential oils. They allow for the optimization and reinforcement of the actions and benefits of essential oils. They are also helpful to dilute the essential oils before a massage or skin application: a point of interest as some essential oils can turn to be irritant if used pure.
What is a hydrolat?
It is an aromatic water (or floral water, when made from flowers). This is the residual water obtained after separating the product from distillation (the essential oil). It is much less concentrated in active ingredients (between 0.02% and 0.20%) than the essential oil.
Why combine a plant oil with an essential oil?
It serves as a base for essential oils, facilitating their penetration into the epidermis and limiting the risks of irritation. It softens and protects the skin.
Why do your products not always smell the same?
Our products can indeed present olfactory variations from one batch to another but always remain within the norm of the accepted variations by our quality control and by the current legislations (Afnor, European Pharmacopoeia ...). This doesn't affect their formula or the biochemical components in the essential oils. Our essential oils are 100% natural plant substances, 100% pure and unrefined. The aromatic molecules composition of essential oils depends on environmental factors such as climatic and geographical conditions (sunshine, humidity, exposure, altitude, nature of the soil ...) The essential oils used by Puressentiel are selected on criteria related to their biochemical composition and not just their olfactory note, unlike the essential oils selected by the perfume, cosmetics, laundry or food industries which, above all, are looking for a "standardized" flavor or aroma. Puressentiel aromatherapy products may not always have the same fragrance (unlike perfumes or other types of industries that can be rectified by adding or removing certain natural or synthetic molecules so that they always have the same olfactory note). Also, each of our products are made up of several essential oils blends so they can present perceptible olfactory differences but with no modification of its intrinsic properties. These olfactory variations that you can notice from one batch to another are therefore a sign of its natural property and does not alter the product. These olfactory variations are above all a guarantee of quality of a 100% pure and natural origin product.
Essential oils are powerful natural concentrates, it requires to use them with caution. The safety of the Puressentiel products has been evaluated but it is important to refer to the instructions as indicated on the packaging (i.e. targeted users, use of application, dosages).
Follow instructions carefully : the dosages, the precautions for use, the duration of usage, and the route of administration. They are extracts, their use and instructions must be strictly adhered to. To do so, always keep your essential oil in its original packaging, which you can refer to at any time.
Never inject essential oils intravenously or intramuscularly.
Ingestion: it is possible to use essential oils orally, refer to the advice of use of each essential oil. If accidentally swallowed, contact a poison control center and a doctor.
Essential oils are very rich in active ingredients and are extremely powerful. They must be handled with care and used with precaution. Do not substitute one essential oil for another even if their name is similar: true lavender and lavender aspic have different compositions, just like thymol thyme and linalool thyme, ravensare and ravintsara.
An allergy is always possible, especially in frail or sensitized individuals. Better to carry out a preliminary test first, (for instance for a skin test: Pour 1 or 2 drops of essential oil in the crook of the elbow, wait 48 hours and then start again and wait 1 hour to check the absence of reaction).
Always wash your hands thoroughly after using an essential oil.
Use only 100% natural pure essential oils and certified EOBBD (Botanically and Biochemically Defined Essential Oil)
Do not heat the essential oils (by putting a dish on a candle for example). Use a cold nebulizer, gentle heat ceramic diffuser or atomizer.
Some essential oils are to be used with caution with the sun!
Essential oils are not water soluble (do not dissolve in water). If you pour it into a bath or drink, it floats on the surface and may cause skin irritation or burns. Always dilute them beforehand (e.g. using Puressentiel Neutral Tablets, Puressentiel Puressentiel Bath & Shower Base or Beauty-Massage Oil with 7 Puressentiel plant oils)
Keep your essential oils properly closed and out of reach and sight of children. Place your bottles in a cold place and away from light.
Not recommended people/Particular cases
Follow the instructions. They should always be used with caution in people with high sensitivity: Many essential oils are prohibited during pregnancy and during breastfeeding. Some are generally not recommended before 7 or even 15 years for some essential oils. Do not use in people with allergies to any of the ingredients. In case of a history of kidney and liver problems, seizure disorders, epileptics or cardiovascular diseases, asthmatics and, in general, in case of medical treatment or any pathology requiring medical advice, approach a health specialist (doctor or pharmacist). For long-term use, consult your pharmacist. For Terpenoid-based Essential Oils (e.g. camphor, eucalyptol, menthol): do not use in children under 3 years old, do not use in people with a history of convulsive or epileptic disorders.
The information provided on our website are from reference work about aromatherapy. Data are for information purposes only, they cannot under any circumstances constitute medical information, nor incur our responsibility. This information comes from our synthesis on cosmetology and aromatherapy, they do not constitute in any case medical information, nor does it incur our responsibility. In case of doubt only your doctor will be able to advise you.
Any other questions?
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