What Are Essential Oils?
Oils have been in use from ancient times. In the market, we find all kind of oils. Fragrance is one striking feature that is sought in most of them. We also have oils that are used for medicinal purpose, as in aromatherapy. The most important ingredient used in aromatherapy is essential oils. Essential oils are oils that are concentrated and pure, extracted naturally from plants. Distillation, mostly by steam or water, is the process that is used mostly for extraction of essential oils. The essential oils are extracted from leaves, stem, roots, flowers, petals, bark of plants or any other part of plants. The essential oils are mostly colorless or pale in color. Opposing to the fact that these are termed as oils, they have a non-oily feel as they are mostly plant extracts. There are hundreds of essential oils used in aromatherapy.
As essential oils are pure concentrates, they can cause adverse effect on the skin like rashes. To prevent this, vegetable oils known as carrier oils are added to them. These carrier oils dilute the concentrated essential oils, making them effective. There is a definite measure in which they are mixed and diluted so as to keep the adverseness at bay and also to enhance its beneficial values. The most common carrier oils used are almond oil, olive oil or primrose oil. These oils are either odorless or have a fruity smell. Essential oils are often mistaken with fragrances. But they are entirely different. Essential oils are natural extracts while fragrances are artificial chemical compounds.