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Essential oils

Essential Oils and Aromatherapy

Essential Oils and Aromatherapy
Sixty thousand rose blossoms are required to produce one ounce of rose oil.

Aromatherapy is the practice of using essential oils to support balance and harmony to your body and emotions. Essential oils are concentrated essences of plant material and are chosen for their pleasing scents as well as for their individual characteristics.

Essential oils are most commonly extracted from varieties of trees, shrubs, herbs, grasses, and flowers via steam distillation. The steam containing the essential essences is cooled and the oil separated from the water and filtered to become essential oils.

It takes a great deal of work to produce tiny amounts of essential oil.
In the case of jasmine, the flowers must be picked by hand before the sun becomes hot on the first day they open, and it takes eight million hand-picked jasmine blossoms to produce 2.2 pounds of oil. 
 Two hundred twenty pounds of lavender buds will provide 7 pounds of Lavender Essential Oil.
The Bulgarian 'damask' Rose, considered to produce the finest quality Rose Absolute Bulgarian Oil, requires 60,000 rose blossoms to produce one ounce of rose oil.

Essential oils are very complex in their molecular structure, and very powerful. Aside from the pleasing aromas given to us from nature, they have many other traditional applications.

The essential oil of oregano is twenty-six times more powerful as an antiseptic than phenol, which is the active ingredient in many commercial cleansing materials.

Skin absorption is one of the most common methods of applying essential oils. A dilute blend of essential oils and carrier oils are massaged into the skin, which absorbs the active ingredient of the essential oil into the bloodstream.
 Ceramic diffusers are perfect for use in aromatherapy, or just to fill your space with a pleasant scent. Inhalation of steam containing vaporized essential oils is another very effective way to dispense essential oils.

When an essential oil is inhaled, various neurochemicals are released in the brain and the inhaler experiences a physiological change in the body, mind and spirit.  T
he effects of essential oils are both scientific and experiential. She gives the example of the calming influence in the body when lavender is inhaled, as serotonin is released from the raphe nucleus of the brain.

Essential oils are often confused with synthetic fragrance oils, which are chemical recreations of scents made primarily from coal tar. While these fragrance oils may smell identical to their botanical counterparts, they do not feature the same chemical structure and will not have the same therapeutic effects; and their use is limited to perfumery. Any fragrance that contains musk (an animal product), for example, is not pure essential oil.

Essential oils are extremely concentrated and potent. Most essential oils should be diluted before use, and most are not intended for internal use. .

Bergamot Oil

Bergamotis an aromatic oil found in the peels of the fruit of the bergamot orange, a citrus tree which flourishes in Italy.
The oil is used in essential oil preparations, skin care products, and as a food flavoring, most notably in Earl Gray tea. The flavor is floral and rich, with a faintly bitter or astringent flavor. The oil smells of fresh citrus, and is pale gold in color.
 People should be cautious when using this oil on the skin, because it tends to increase photosensitivity, and the skin may be damaged if it is exposed to excessive light.
The bergamot orange, also known as Citrus bergamia, is native to Southern Asia, but was introduced to Italy, where it flourished. 
 The peels of the oranges were dried and added to early flavored teas, and essence of bergamot was also extensively used in perfumes. The mild citrus scent and flavor are quite appealing to some consumers, leading to enduring demand for the orange.
Southern France also hosts bergamot trees, which are small and unable to cope with extremely cold weather and frosts.
 The fruit itself is intensely sour, and it is often used in jams, preserves, and other sweet dishes to counterbalance the sugar.
The true value lies in the peel, which has rich deposits of oil.
 Dried, the peels are used in some cosmetics and foods to add scent or flavor, and the peels are also pressed when fresh to extract the essential oil, which is usually sold in concentrated form. The orange peel is also sometimes sold in a candied form, along with other citrus peels.
As an essential oil, bergamot is believed to be uplifting and energizing.
 It is often included in essential oil mixtures which are designed to:
  • Reduce stress
  • Energize
  • Treat depression
 It can be included in incense, used in an essential oil diffuser, or added to baths, in moderation. The oil is also included in skin care products, and like other citrus oils, it is faintly astringent and toning. Pure oil can be harsh on the skin, and it should always be diluted before being applied.
Pure bergamot oil is readily available from many natural food stores and distributors of essential oils in both cold pressed and steam distilled varieties.
 The dried peel can be found in food specialty stores, along with candied and jellied variants.
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