Essential Oil eBook

Harnessing the Therapeutic Properties of Essential Oils
The Use of Essential Oils Is Ancient History

Essential oils have been used by humans almost as long as we’ve understood that some plants possess medicinal properties. Historians estimate that the use of essential oils has been a practice for at least 3000 years. Along with healing and personal care, early uses of essential oil included ritualistic and ceremonial purposes. The essential oils extracted from plants were thought by early humans to embody the life-force of the plant, which they believed made the oils powerful.

While that idea is whimsical and spiritual, today’s apothecary is practical and possess more knowledge than ever about the actual chemical properties that make up a beneficial natural remedy. Essential oils are used as household cleaners, antibiotics and perfumes as well as in a host of other everyday situations.

The ancient Egyptians are the first documented people to use essential oils, extracting the plant’s essence for medicinal purposes, purification and embalming. Archaeologists found essential oil residue in hundreds of pots when King Tut’s tomb was excavated in 1922.

Essential oil is even mentioned in the Bible; remember the three wise men who brought the newborn baby Jesus gifts of frankincense and myrrh? Those are essential oils, and they’ve come a long way in the last several millennia.
What Are Essential Oils?

Scientists believe that production of essential oils in the plants themselves serves a variety of purposes in the natural world, including acting as a defense mechanism against insects and attracting potential pollinators such as bees and butterflies. Essential oils are widely lauded for their antifungal and antibiotic properties, and this is not happenstance. Many types of plants release compounds that protect against threats from foreign organisms, including fungi. These compounds help make up a plant’s essential oil.

Essential oils are produced via distillation or extraction, methods that essentially harness the essence of a plant and transform it into a concentrate that fully realizes the medicinal property of the herb, fruit or perennial. Since plants typically have a short flowering life, essential oil extraction means that the healing benefits of plants can be harnessed year-round.
Aromatic Uses of Essential Oils

The use of essential oils via the nasal cavity is commonly referred to as aromatherapy. Certain scents can trigger a response, such as a feeling of calm or a sudden invigoration, and aromatherapy remains one of the most common uses of essential oils, which possess a very strong scent as the herb or flower is highly concentrated when distilled. The following table lists a few common essential oils and their aromatic uses.
Lavender Lavender is an innocent smell, a scent of youth and springtime. Use lavender essential oils for a soothing, calming effect.
Eucalyptus Invigorating eucalyptus, a native tree of Australia, evokes the scent of freshness. The essential oil is distilled from eucalyptus leaves.
Lemongrass Like lavender, lemongrass is used to relieve stress, and the fragrant perennial may help promote relaxation.
Patchouli Famously considered the unofficial fragrance of the hippie counterculture, smoky patchouli has roots in India. Patchouli is commonly used to relieve stress and anxiety.
Peppermint This traditional holiday scent inspires positivity and has a refreshing effect when used in aromatherapy.

Topical Uses of Essential Oils

Essential oils can be used in everything from soaps, deodorants and bug sprays to natural and homemade cleaning products. A few drops in bathwater can help promote a calm mind and relaxed muscles. Even low-end health and beauty products often contain essential oils, and consumers may want to read product labels to discern what oils are present in their store-bought shampoos and cleansers.

Citrus oil is often used as a household cleanser. To make a toxin-free, all-purpose cleaning product that is ideal for countertops and windows, mix distilled water and vinegar, and add a few drops of orange or lemon essential oil. Additional oils may be added if desired to help cut the pungent aroma of vinegar.

If a DEET-free bug spray is desired, fill a small spray bottle with equal parts witch hazel and distilled water, along with a few drops of glycerin for better skin adhesion. Recommended essential oils for an effective bug repellent include a personalized mixture of any of the following:
• Citronella
• Clove
• Eucalyptus
• Lemongrass
• Peppermint
• Rosemary
• Tea Tree
Using Essential Oils Internally

In general, ingesting essential oils is not recommended, mostly due to the varied concentration levels present in these types of oils. Since the exact concentration of an herb or plant is difficult to discern, especially by the home apothecary, many experts agree that ingestion should only be done with proper guidance from a trained expert in essential oils and their properties.

That said, several types of essential oils, including peppermint, may have antibiotic properties and have been shown to successfully treat minor infections. Because essential oils may kill bacteria in our bodies when ingested, both harmful and beneficial types of bacteria, experts recommend that those using essential oils as an antibiotic take a daily probiotic to balance the oil’s internal effects.
Extraction Methods of Essential Oils

Extracting essential oils from plants is possible via a variety of methods. Depending on the plant, particular methods may work better than others. The following table illustrates some of the common methods of essential oil extraction.
Method Extraction Procedure
CO2 Extraction In this modern method, pressurized carbon dioxide is used to extract the essential oil from plant material. This process is often touted as creating the purest form of an essential oil.
Solvent Extraction This method involves several steps. First, oil is extracted from the plant using hexane or another type of chemical solvent. The essential oil is then removed from the waxy solid concentrate left behind after the initial extraction. Perfumers often stop at the first process of solvent extraction and take advantage of the resulting solid’s highly concentrated aroma.
Steam Distillation The most common method of essential oil extraction, in steam distillation, the chemical components of the plant are separated by heating water to boiling point and passing steam through the plant, encouraging the natural oils to vaporize.
Cold Press Extraction Also known as expression, this method doesn’t involve the use of any chemicals or heat to extract oil from the plant matter. Instead, the plant is acted upon by strong mechanical pressure, essentially squeezing out the oil.

Diluted essential oils are also widely available on the natural remedies market. Coconut oil is often used as the base for these dilutions, and many essential oil users may be unsatisfied by the strength of the impure mixtures. Essential oil dilutions, however, are ideal for those who are pregnant, have sensitive skin or suffer from a medical condition that prohibits the use of full-strength essential oils.
Making Essential Oils an Integral Part of Life
The use of essential oils for medicinal purposes is an ancient practice that modern humans are still working to fully understand. People of all walks of life, from massage therapists to housekeeping and healthcare professionals, may find that the beneficial essential oils extracted from plants are indeed that: Essential.

Lisse Essentials Essential Oils Product Detail

French Lavender Essential Oil

• Scientific Name: Lavandula Angustifolia
• Oil Origin: Flowers
• Extraction: Steam Distillation
• Aroma: Floral, Fruity, Sweet
• Odor Strength: Middle
• Evaporation: Middle Note

One of the most prized essential oils in the world, French lavender has a chic and refined scent, and the oil is steam distilled from the flowers of the plant. Lavender itself is considered the mother of the modern essential oil market. In 1910, the French chemist René-Maurice Gattefossé was working in the lab at his family’s cosmetics company when he burned his hand. In pain, Gattefossé plunged his hand into the closest vat of liquid, which just happened to be lavender oil. He later noted that his burn healed quickly and there was little scarring, leading him to conclude that the essential oil must have restorative properties. The scientist brought this new-found knowledge to military hospitals during WWI.

French lavender essential oil is safe for use on children, and it has many applications. It purifies the air and is used in aromatherapy and is an integral ingredient in high-end soaps, cosmetics and perfumes.

Peppermint Essential Oil

• Scientific Name: Mentha Piperita
• Oil Origin: Herb
• Extraction: Steam Distillation
• Aroma: Strong, Sharp Minty
• Odor Strength: Middle
• Evaporation: Top Note

In America, the memorable aroma of peppermint is associated with the Christmas season, and its oil is often used to make candies and sweet peppermint sticks. The perennial herb has been used for millennia in culinary applications, but it remained a scientific mystery until recently. In the mid-1700s, renowned naturalist Carl Linnaeus initially called peppermint its own separate species, but it is now understood to be a cross between spearmint and watermint.

Crushed peppermint leaves can be brewed into a zesty herbal tea, and many toothpastes are peppermint flavored. Menthol is one of the active compounds found in peppermint oil, and it is used in cough drops and therapeutic cold relief creams.

Peppermint oil itself is used in a variety of applications, including aromatherapy, in which peppermint reportedly may lead to alertness, as well as in cosmetic uses, chewing gum and insect repellents.

Frankincense Essential Oil

• Scientific Name: Boswellia Serrata
• Oil Origin: Tree Resin
• Extraction: Steam Distillation
• Aroma: Balsmic, Spicy
• Odor Strength: Very High
• Evaporation: Middle Note

Frankincense has origins in the Arabian Peninsula, mainly in the what are now the countries of Yemen and Oman. According to the Bible, frankincense was one of the gifts bestowed upon the birth of baby Jesus, but the history of the essential oil stretches back even further, to ancient Egypt. The early Egyptians are considered the first humans to truly realize and take advantage of the healing and aromatic properties of essential oils, and they mainly used frankincense as an incense in burial rituals. The resin from the Boswellia carterii tree is steam distilled to create the essential oil.

While its thick, spicy aroma makes it ideal for use in aromatherapy, frankincense is also a natural health staple. The essential oil has antiseptic, digestive, disinfectant, anti-inflammatory and expectorant properties. Always helpful, frankincense can also be burned to keep away bugs.

Clove Bud Essential Oil

• Scientific Name: Syzygium Aromaticum
• Oil Origin: Buds
• Extraction: Steam Distillation
• Aroma: Clove Like, Spicy
• Odor Strength: Medium
• Evaporation: Middle Note

Steam distilled from the flowers of the Syzygium aromaticum, clove bud essential oil has a strong and smoky aroma. A native of southeast Asia and Indonesia, clove has been cultivated for more than 2000 years. A cornerstone of Indian cuisine, clove bud is a common ingredient in sauces and curries. While clove bud may also evoke memories of an Easter dinner, where it adds a zesty flavor to ham, the herb has many more uses besides in the kitchen.

Praised for its antiseptic properties, clove bud essential oil has antibacterial properties and aids in digestion. The essential oil is also widely used in dental applications. The diluted oil can be gargled to relieve minor tooth pain or gum irritation.

Clove bud essential oil must be diluted before topical or oral use. The oil may be added to massage oils to promote muscle relaxation and is a component in many cosmetic products.

Eucalyptus Essential Oil

• Scientific Name: Eucalyptus Globulus
• Oil Origin: Leaves, Twigs
• Extraction: Steam Distillation
• Aroma: Fresh, Penetrating, Woody, Camphoraceous
• Odor Strength: Extremely High
• Evaporation: Top Note

Many people first learn about this plant in elementary school, where eucalyptus is touted as a favorite food of koalas. This is indeed true, but the plant is so much more. Most species of eucalyptus are found in Australia, but they were introduced to the rest of the world, most notably the Americas, the Mediterranean coast of Europe and eastern Africa in the 1800s. The first modern recording of eucalyptus occurred in about 1777, when naturalist David Nelson brought a sample from Australia to a London Museum.

Steam distilled from the plant’s leaves, eucalyptus essential oil has a crisp, invigorating aroma and is considered an invaluable essential oil in many industries. The natural disinfectant can also be used as an insecticide, and it makes a wonderful addition to soaps and cosmetics.

Eucalyptus essential oil has many health care applications as well. It supports the respiratory system and may relieve joint and muscle pain.

Juniper Berry Essential Oil

• Scientific Name: Juniperus Communis
• Oil Origin: Berries
• Extraction: Steam Distillation
• Aroma: Fresh, Piney, Fruity
• Odor Strength: Medium
• Evaporation: Middle

Juniper berry’s pungent aroma is unmistakable. Even walking by the small perennial evergreen, one can catch a hint of juniper on the surrounding air. Common Juniper is found all over the world, from the mountains of northern New Mexico to western Europe, where it is said to have originated. A favorite aroma of the ancient Egyptians, juniper berry is also considered the symbol of Asherah, a fertility goddess in ancient Mesopotamia. The alcoholic beverage gin gets its distinct flavor from distilled juniper berries, and the berries have a naturally bitter taste.

Juniper berry essential oil is steam distilled from the shrub’s ripe berries, which grow in clusters and are easily identifiable from both their scent and blue hue. Juniper berry oil can relieve indigestion and constipation and is sometimes used topically by veterinarians to treat animal wounds.

Lemon Essential Oil

• Scientific Name: Citrus Limonum
• Oil Origin: Fruit Peel
• Extraction: Cold Pressed
• Aroma: Fresh, Citrus, Bright
• Odor Strength: Very High
• Evaporation: Top Note

The crisp, lively scent of lemon is popular and well-known, and the sour citrus fruit is used in many types of cuisine, from marinades to desserts. Although lemon trees are found around the world, their true origin remains a mystery. The first documented use of lemon may have been in the Middle East about 2000 years ago, and they were brought to the New World in the late 1400s, where the evergreen thrived in the tropical climate of the Caribbean.

Lemon essential oil is inexpensive due to the ubiquitous nature of its origin plant. Its low cost and versatility makes lemon one of the world’s most popular essential oils.

The citrus oil is used in a verity of applications and can be added to household cleaners to remove grease or sanitize countertops and other household surfaces. With its revitalizing and refreshing aroma, lemon oil is common in aromatherapy and can be applied topically to help balance oily skin and soothe calluses.

Lemongrass Essential Oil

• Scientific Name: Cymbopogon Flexuosus
• Oil Origin: Grass
• Extraction: Steam Distillation
• Aroma: Fresh Lemon-Like
• Odor Strength: Middle
• Evaporation: Top Note

A fragrant green herb that resembles wild onion, lemongrass is a major component in Thai cuisine. The perennial grass thrives in tropical climates throughout the eastern hemisphere, and in culinary applications, the grass is dried and then crushed or chopped up and used fresh. The plant’s common name, lemongrass, is an apt moniker due to its smell, which greatly resembles that of lemon. The scents are so similar that lemongrass is often used to add lemon flavor in herbal teas.

When distilled into an essential oil, the versatile herb, a close relative of citronella, is used in a variety of applications, from aromatherapy to cosmetics and health care. Diluted lemongrass essential oil can be inhaled or applied directly to the skin to help relieve muscle and abdominal pain, and lemongrass essential oil is a common component in many soaps, giving the cleanser an invigorating scent.

Lime Essential Oils

• Scientific Name: Citrus Aurantifolia
• Oil Origin: Lime Peel
• Extraction: Cold Pressed
• Aroma: Lime Like, Strong, Citrus
• Odor Strength: Strong
• Evaporation: Top Note

A native of Persia and the Middle East, lime is closely related to the lemon, but the fruit is less sour. Today, Mexico is one of the top producers of Citrus latifolia trees, and the flavorful fruit is a common component in Central and South American cuisine. The fruit tree’s original name, lima, is an Arabic word that carried over to the Spanish language. The capital of Peru is Lima, and the country’s national dish is cebiche, chilled seafood flavored with onion, pepper and lime juice.

Known for its restorative properties, the zesty essential oil of the lime was likely first used in Malaysia, and it naturally boosts the immune system. Lime essential oil is commonly produced via cold press, a water-less technique, and the essential oil has many applications. When used in aromatherapy, it is said to relieve stress and anxiety, and lime essential oil is also a component of many household cleaning products.

Orange Essential Oil

• Scientific Name: Citrus Sinensis
• Oil Origin: Peel of Orange
• Extraction: Cold Pressed
• Aroma: Citrus, Sweet, Orange Like
• Odor Strength: Medium
• Evaporation: Top Note

The base of one of the most famous morning beverages in the world, orange has an uplifting, stimulating aroma and is a powerful antioxidant. The orange tree has a history of cultivation that spans much of human history and, with hundreds of varieties, is today grown on every continent except Antarctica. Also a color in common vernacular, the hue was named for the tree, and the word “orange” is likely Sanskrit in origin.

Like most citrus fruits, orange essential oil is most often extracted via cold pressing. It is commonly used in environmentally friendly household cleaners and easily removes grease. Orange essential oil is also a common culinary ingredient, used to flavor cakes, chocolate and other confections. Inexpensive and easy to obtain, orange essential oil is also used in aromatherapy, various cosmetics and candle-making, and acts as a diuretic.

Grapefruit Pink Essential Oil

• Scientific Name: Citrus Paradisi
• Oil Origin: Fruit
• Extraction: Cold Pressed
• Aroma: Fresh, Citrus Bright
• Odor Strength: Very High
• Evaporation: Top Note

Known for its fresh scent, the grapefruit is one of the youngest in the citrus fruit family. Considered a hybrid of the sweet orange and the pummel, the grapefruit originated in South America. The U.S. state of Texas is one of the world’s biggest producers of grapefruit. In a symbolic historic touch, the grapefruit, with its uplifting aroma, and the industry it created helped bolster the Texas economy through the Great Depression. Texas is famous for its “Ruby Red” variety, considered one of the sweetest of the typically bitter fruit.

Properties of grapefruit essential oil, which has a pleasant, invigorating aroma, include restorative, digestive and antiseptic. The oil also acts as a diuretic, anti-depressant and astringent, and it is commonly used in cosmetics as well as the food and beverage industry.

Rosemary Essential Oil

• Scientific Name: Rosmarinus Officinalis
• Oil Origin: Herb
• Extraction: Steam Distillation
• Aroma: Fresh, Woody, Herbal
• Odor Strength: High
• Evaporation: Middle Note

This perennial herb calls the shores of the Mediterranean its home, and the shrub now grows wild across the globe. Primarily used for decorative and culinary purposes, rosemary is known in Greek mythology as the plant that swathed the goddess Aphrodite when she was born from the sea. An English girl’s name, the moniker rosemary has Latin roots and means “rose of the sea.” The plant’s flowers vary in color, from white to blue and purple. Rosemary is simple to grow and does not need much water to thrive, making it a popular plant in dry climates.

Rosemary essential oil has been used for millennia is a common ingredient in many perfumes and cosmetics due to its stimulating floral aroma. The essential oil may stimulate hair growth and should be diluted prior to oral or topical use.

Tea Tree Essential Oil (Chinese)

• Scientific Name: Melaleuca Alternifolia
• Oil Origin: Tree, Leaves
• Extraction: Steam Distallation
• Aroma: Medicinal, Camphoraceous
• Odor Strength: Middle
• Evaporation: Top Note

The native Australian shrub Melaleuca alternifolia, commonly known as Narrow-leaved Tea Tree, among several other names, is a relative of eucalyptus, and it is the source of one of the world’s most well-known essential oils. Narrow-leaved Tea Tree is found in abundance along the eastern coastal regions and has been used for medicinal purposes for centuries by native tribes, especially the Bundjalung peoples. Early European settlers observed the Bundjalung making a tea tree leaf and water paste, and applying the mixture over wounds as a poultice. The wound healed quickly with minimal scarring, and this observation led to the widespread use of the leaves and oil.

Tea tree oil today is used in a variety of dermatological applications. It may treat common skin conditions such as dandruff, psoriasis and lice, and the oil can also be used topically as an insect repellent.

Tea tree oil should not be ingested, but it is a common topical essential oil. This antimicrobial oil should be kept away from air and direct sunlight.

Ylang Ylang (Indonesia)

Scientific name : Cananga Odorata
Oil origin : Flowers
Extraction : Steam distillation
Aroma : Sweet, heavy, exotic
Odor strength: High
Evaporation : Middle to base note

With its exotic name, it should come as no surprise that ylang ylang essential oil is one of the most prized scents in the world. Distilled from the lovely, vibrant yellow flowers of the Indonesian cananga tree, ylang ylang essential oil has an understated flowery aroma and is often used in the perfume and cosmetics industries, as it has through much of history. Ylang ylang essential oil is said to have an aroma similar to that of jasmine, and anthropologist Margaret Mead noted that the Samoan natives she studied during the research of her book Coming of Age in Samoa considered the sent an aphrodisiac.

Ylang ylang is a sultry scent that is also relaxing. It is widely touted as a restorative hair tonic. Ylang ylang essential oil boasts antiseptic properties and can act as an anti-depressant when used in aromatherapy applications.

Disclaimer:
The above statements have not been evaluated by the FDA This information is for educational purposes only, it is not intended to treat, cure, prevent or, diagnose any disease or condition. Nor is it intended to prescribe in any way. This information is for educational purposes only and may not be complete, nor may its data be accurate.

Safety precautions:
As with all essential oils, never use them undiluted. Do not take internally unless working with a qualified and expert practitioner. Keep away from children. If applying an essential oil to your skin always perform a small patch test to an insensitive part of the body (after you have properly diluted the oil in an appropriate carrier.

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