Since aromatherapy has relied on the healing wonders of natural essential oils, the quality of the oil you use is of primary importance. This wonderful gift from nature has enhanced life and health of anyone who opted for aromatherapy. The quality of the oil you use is therefore a major determiner on whether you can gain the benefits it promises to bring.
Hence, you need to choose only therapeutic grade essential oils if you want to use it as an alternative approach to treatment. Given the demand for such oils in the market, it has led several business owners to take advantage of this demand by offering cheaper but low quality oils. Here is a brief rundown on what makes therapeutic grade essential oils different from synthetically manipulated ones and why you need to pay closer attention.
Making Therapeutic Grade Essential Oils
In order to produce quality essential oils, one has to follow a complex process. Since these natural compounds present within the oil are so delicate, any factor could contribute to the depletion of oil quality and making it less able to deliver therapeutic results. In the same manner, any slight difference in the oil ratio could either produce less of the expected results or could be too strong as to be dangerous for use.
The following steps must be taken into consideration if you want to extract only quality oils.
Quality of Plant Sources or Variety
The first and most important step towards producing quality oils is in growing quality plant varieties. Therefore, you need to choose the species of plant you use carefully. Opt only for those cultivars that have been known to product quality oils and make sure they are of good quality. If possible, you can opt for those plants grown using organic methods to ensure that it contains no chemical residues that might intervene with the oil solution and make it toxic.
Harvesting Plant Sources
Next to species selection is the harvesting method you use. There are several factors that could contribute to the depletion of the oil quality, which begins soon after harvesting. Some essential oil suppliers even opt to perform extraction methods on the actual harvest site to avoid exposure to pollution and other environmental factors that could reduce quality of the oil.
Extraction Processes Used
There are several factors that you need to closely look into to avoid depleting therapeutic value of the oil during extraction. First, avoid distilling at extremely high temperatures as the heat could result to greater oil harshness. Second, apply the proper amount of pressure as it could cause the natural beneficial chemical compounds to be destroyed. Lastly, you must also consider the length of time you take for distillation and the cooking equipments used.
Gas Chromatography Testing
This particular testing method is done to identify the essential oil components, measuring them in precise percentage. This is mostly done for an essential oil to earn ISO accreditation before they are sold in the market.
In any case that two primary compounds of an essential oil does not meet the percentage standard, it does not qualify as a Grade A type of oil. This type of testing procedure also recognizes oils that are produced through synthetic manipulation instead of being extracted from natural sources. You must therefore look at this certification as one of your main assurance when buying essential oils off the market to ensure of its quality. This testing procedure also considers different environmental factors that could affect the quality of the oil.
Lack of Essential Oil Additives
If you were to subject most essential oils commercially packaged in the market these days, you will discover that around 98 percent of the oils are synthetically manipulated. These products must never be applied for therapeutic purposes because they are too risky for one’s health. Hence, experts advise that you must always examine closely the oils you are using before applying them since it could risk greater damage. Use only pure essential oils for therapeutic application since synthetic ones could even prove toxic.
Some of the additives used in producing essential oils that could dilute its therapeutic quality or add toxicity levels include alcohol, water, or other form of diluents. In some cases, synthetic essential oils even contain chemical solvents. To ensure that the oils you are buying are free of these harmful substances, then look for the organic certification to guarantee that the product is free of harmful chemical residues and other substances.
Proper Methods of Steam Distillation
Steam distillation is one of the most popular methods of extraction of essential oils from plant materials. However, experts are worried that there are certain components of this method that could result to the reduction of the purity of the essential oil produced. Hence, proper methods of steam distillation must be observed to ensure that you have therapeutic grade essential oils and preserve most of the oil’s natural chemical compounds.
When using steam distillation to extract essential oils, make sure to use only cooking pots that are made of stainless steel. And if possible, keep the pressure and temperature of heating at a minimum to avoid destroying the natural chemical compunds present in the plant material. Extreme temperature and pressure could contribute to the depletion of delicate compounds that help produce the benefits of using essential oil. In worst cases, it could even turn those chemical compounds into intoxicating substances that cause damage to your health when used.
Rarity of Therapeutic Grade Essential Oils
To date, essential oils that are of therapeutic grade quality is considered as rare commodity. One who isn%u2019t equipped with the knowledge on identifying the quality of oils would easily think that commercially produced ones are similar to therapeutic grade oils, when in fact there is a major difference between the two.
In order to extract oils of this quality, it needs a certain level of expertise, the right substances to use, and time. Needless to say, there are no shortcuts for this procedure. This also explains why therapeutic grade essential oils are comparably a lot more expensive than its commercial counterparts.