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What is an essential oil?

An essential oil is a substance that is extracted from the flowers, leaves, stems, roots, bark or seeds of a plant, usually by steam or water distillation, though carbon dioxide, hexane and fat extractions are also possible for some. It is the concentrated essence of the original medicinal plant, containing the molecular constructs of its therapeutic properties. Despite being called an oil, an essential oil is not 'oily' in consistency, its colour can vary from clear to dark brown. If exposed to air an essential oil may slowly evaporate and oxidize and lose its therapeutic value, therefore sunlight and heat are to be avoided for longevity of your essence..

What is a carrier oil?

A carrier oil is a plant oil press-extracted from the plant parts with higher fat content, often the kernels, seeds or nuts. Because of the concentrated nature of essential oils these carrier oils are used for dilution and 'carry' the desired essential oil properties safely into the skin. Carrier oils bring their own therapeutic benefits and which you choose may depend on your needs, as well as the essential oils you are planning to use. Generally speaking, carriers have a subtle aroma that does not interfere with essential oil therapy. While some carriers have a high vitamin E content that makes for a longer shelf-life, they can go rancid over time (around 18 months) and keep better at low temperatures (store in fridge when not in use). Although heat processing is common because it produces greater quantities of oil, the nutrient value of the oil can be seriously affected. For therapeutic purposes only buy cold-pressed or expeller-pressed virgin oils. Extra virgin and virgin oils offer the true quality first extractions. Beware. Unless clearly stated, any oils that are not virgin may involve solvents to extract further oil from the pulp, and this very impure process is sometimes even referred to as "cold pressed" (because no heat is involved) to allude to authentic organic process.

What exactly is an essential oil Pure Blend?

Pure Blend is the term we use at Absolute Essential for our therapeutic synergies made from a number of complementary essential oils. Combining essential oils in this way creates a greater therapeutic dynamic than the single oils alone. Pure Blends that are professionally crafted with high quality oils offer a safe, natural way to support the body through many issues of imbalance and ill-health. They can also be crafted to enhance natural balance and compliment many areas of daily life. The end result is a concentrate combination of essential oils, no dilution has taken place. This makes them ideal for diffusion and often for bath and inhalation. Or for massage with suitable dilution in a pure quality carrier oil. Pure Blends should only be used neat on the skin as per directions for each individual product.

What is the difference between Aromatherapy and Therapeutic Plant Oils?

Therapeutic Plant Oils (TPOs) are used in the practice of quality aromatherapy. The term TPO represents an important shift in standards that separates us from the loose term that aromatherapy has become, being used too broadly without any standard measures of quality or content. Even synthetic, mass-produced products can be found brandishing the word aromatherapy to cash in on an association with natural ingredients.

So, if you see the word aromatherapy or even essential oils on a product it doesn't necessarily mean the same thing as AE Therapeutic Plant oils that are 100% pure, made from integral organic processes.

The way a therapeutic oil is grown, harvested, processed and handled ensures that the medicinal value of the final essence retains the original living plant's molecular efficiency. Unlike the faster, expanding influence of high heat methods used for mass production, minimal heat and slow extraction methods for therapeutic grade oils keep the molecules small which allows them to be transported and to travel deep into body systems unhindered.

To be sure…

Look at what the company does - packaging, product selection, what they are committed to and their reputation. Is there any real knowledge of natural health care behind the products?

Examine the packaging. Therapeutic oils will be in dark glass, in a box. Droppers will give professional medicinal measures.

Plastic, clear bottles do not hold therapeutic value.

Does the supplier provide information on the country of origin, the botanical name, the plant parts, the extraction process, the growing methods?

How easy is it to obtain in-depth information about the product from the company representatives or their website?