Therapies that use the aromatic compounds found in plants have been popular for thousands of years. These aromatic compounds are known as essential oils.
These oils are extremely volatile, meaning that they can evaporate quickly at normal temperatures. They’re thin and runny and have an intense aroma. Essential oils are very potent.
Sometimes, they can even cause chemical burns if they’re applied directly to the skin. For that reason, essentials oils are always diluted before they’re used.
Carrier oils are substances that are used to dilute essential oils to mitigate any potential for skin damage and to help ensure that the scent and other beneficial properties of the essential oils will linger.
Carrier oils also spread essential oils evenly across the skin to facilitate absorption. Many carrier oils like argan oil and jojoba oil have beneficial properties of their own, particularly when it comes to refreshing and rejuvenating your skin.
How are essential oils made?
Scientists say that plants evolved their characteristic fragrances to attract specific pollinators and to protect themselves from predators and other pests.
Many essential oils have antimicrobial properties that may help protect individual plants against fungi and other microbes. Aromatic compounds are typically found in a plant’s flowers, buds stems, leaves, bark, roots, bulbs, and fruits.
In most instances, essential oils are manufactured through a distillation process. Raw plant materials containing the aromatic substances are steamed, which vapourises the volatile aromatic compounds.
When those vapors are collected and cooled, the result is essential oils. A few essential oil providers also use a mechanical extraction process known as cold pressing.
Most holistic therapy practitioners don’t consider oils that are obtained through chemical processes to be truly essential oils.
How are carrier oils made?
Carrier oils are typically made from the seeds, nuts or kernels of a plant.
These parts of the plant are rich in oils because they are intended to provide nourishment for a developing seedling before it sprouts leaves and becomes capable of photosynthesis. Carrier oils are typically packed with vitamins A, D, E and K, and other nutrients.
Many of these nutrients are heat-sensitive and might be damaged by the high temperatures required by the distillation process, so carrier oils are obtained through a cold-pressing process.
Popular essential oils
The surge in the popularity of aromatherapy in recent years has made the names of many essential oil household names.
Essential oils can also be used in massage oils, in body creams, in soaps, in candles and other products you use in your home. Each essential oil has its own unique set of properties.
|Read also: Top 10 Essential Oils That Are Blessing For Good Health And Skin|
Here are some of the most popular:
Lavender is one of the world’s most recognized scents. Lavender oil is derived from the flowers of the Mediterranean Lavender plant (Lavandula Angustifolia).
It’s traditionally used to reduce stress and to relieve headaches. It also has disinfectant properties. Dilute it with a carrier oil like coconut oil to make an effective treatment for acne and eczema.
Tea tree oil
Tea tree oil is derived from the leaves of the Melaleuca alternifolia plant that’s indigenous to Australia.
It’s an effective antibacterial. Indigenous Australians have been using the leaves of this plant for centuries to treat colds as well as a variety of dermatological issues.
When combined with carrier oils such as argan oil, coconut oil or jojoba oil, tea tree oil can be used to treat eczema, acne, cold sores and nail fungus.
When diluted with a carrier oil like olive oil, lemon oil, and orange oil can give even unfinished wood a beautiful deep burnish that prevents cracking.
Of course, it makes your house smell wonderful, too. Citrus oils also have antimicrobial properties. Combine them with aloe gels to create your own hand sanitizers.
Peppermint oil is one of the most intense essential oils available, so it’s advisable to dilute it with a carrier oil such as jojoba oil or almond oil that’s known to be soothing to the skin before you apply it topically.
The menthol in peppermint oil is a naturally occurring topical anesthetic that can soothe aching muscles. Menthol also helps clear congested airways and reduce inflammation.
Popular carrier oils
The different ratios of fatty acids, vitamins and other nutrients found in carrier oils are what give them a unique set of therapeutic properties. Here are a few of the most popular carrier oils:
Coconut oil is rich in antioxidants, and it also has antibacterial, antifungal and anti-inflammatory properties.
No other carrier oil works better to put the shine back in hair and the glow back in the skin. At room temperature, virgin coconut oil is a solid, which means it’s perfect for making your own scented skin balms and creams.
Jojoba oil is extracted from a tree that’s native to the American Southwest. The oil contains an omega-9 fatty acid that closely resembles oils secreted by human skin.
This makes it almost an ideal moisturizer. Jojoba oil is extremely absorbent, too, which makes it an excellent carrier base for the essential oil scents you love.
Argan oil is a relatively new addition to the carrier oil market. It’s extracted from the kernels of the Moroccan argan tree.
Argan oil is loaded with vitamins A and E, which are known to have a regenerative effect on the skin. Use it to reduce stretch marks and to protect your face from developing fine lines and wrinkles.
A combination of argan oil with a drop or two of tea tree oil is a very effective anti-acne treatment.
Take a DIY approach with N-essentials
You can customize your own concoctions at home by mixing and matching essential oils and carrier oils. N-essentials stocks a wide range of essential and carrier oils as well as other natural ingredients.
Visit N-essentials.com.au today and you’ll also discover fantastic product recipes to help get you started.
About The Author:
I am Alessia Martin and I have a passion for writing interesting and informative pieces. I write content for a wide range of topics and I just want to share my knowledge with the online community and learn more.