- Enfleurage: One of the oldest extraction methods. It is rarely used today because it is costly and time-consuming. This method utilizes fatty acids and alcohol to “extract” the oil from the plant. The end product is called an “Enfleurage.”
- Steam Distillation: The most common and widely used process of separating an essential oil is steam distillation. Steam is passed through tightly packed plant material, causing the plant's “oil sacs” to burst, which releases its contents as a vapor. This vapor is cooled, and as it condenses, the essential oil and water separate. The oil and water are separated and filtered. The end product is called “Essential oil.”
- Hydro-distillation: This is very similar to Steam distillation, with the only real difference being that the plant material is boiled in water. This method works best for some plants, such as roses.
- Expression or Cold Pressed: Used primarily for citrus fruits where the essential oil is obtained in tiny pockets in the peel or rind. Oils extracted by cold pressing are mostly made up of monoterpenes compounds that can evaporate quickly when exposed to air. The end product is called “Essential oil.”
- CO2 Extraction: CO2s, for short–these extracts are produced by using supercritical carbon dioxide extraction methods. Carbon Dioxide can is pressurized to become a liquid, which acts as a solvent and dissolves the natural components present in the plant material. After this is completed, CO2 returns to its gaseous state, leaving behind the oil. The advantage of this process is that heat is not used, and no constituents are damaged. The two main types of Co2’s are CO2 Selects (lower pressure) and CO2 Totals (high pressure). The end product is called a “CO2”.
- Absolutes: These oils are extracted from plant material using chemical solvents such as hexane. The solvents are later removed, with only traces remaining. Absolutes give the advantage of carrying over some compounds that are too heavy in steam distillation. Absolutes tend to be more potent than steam distilled essential oils. The end product is called an “Absolute.”
- Aromatherapy Massage: The most popular way to use essential oils is through massage. Properly dilute your oil in a carrier oil as a base and begin massaging to release tension and relieve anxiety.
- Bath: Adding 6-10 drops to a warm bath can create a relaxing and therapeutic experience.
- Inhalation: Add essential oil to a diffuser of your choice. Sit back, relax, and breathe in deeply.
- How is oil stored?
- How often do you open the bottle?
- What is the chemical makeup of the oil?
For daily use, facial application, long term use, full-body application, 1% dilution rate of essential oils is recommended:
1% DILUTION: 2 DROPS OF ESSENTIAL OIL WITH 1 TABLESPOON OF CARRIER OIL
Applying essential oils directly onto the skin can cause skin irritation and
sensitivity. Dilute essential oils with carrier oils before topical application
to avoid skin sensitivity and adverse reactions.