Essential oils are also referred to as volatile oils. In the botanical world, it is a commonly known fact that many plants are rich in essential oils while many produce trace amounts of volatile oils. These oils are different from fatty oils. Volatility refers to the tendency of these oils to evaporate. This makes them easily diffusible in the air. Most essential oils are associated with an aromatic odor. The volatility ensures that the fragrance spreads quickly.
Effectiveness of Essential Oils
The biggest reason why essential oils are revered for their purity is that the extraction method does not cause any changes in composition of natural ingredients that render the therapeutic and fragrant properties to the extracted compounds. Essential oils are slightly difficult to decipher from a manufacturing perspective because of a very complex chemical formulation that contains Oxygenated Oils and Terpenes.
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Getting Rid of Misconceptions about Essential Oils
Essential oils are not an energy reserve as misinterpreted by some folks. In fact, these oils are not critical for the survival or overall health of the plant. They don't make a drastic difference to the physiological existence of botanicals. Most types of essential oils are the result of metabolic processes in the plant that yield some byproducts. From the viewpoint of perfume-makers, every type of volatile oil has a characteristic flavor. This contributes to the overall aroma of essential oils. The volatility might play a role in attracting animals due to their sweet fragrance. The same applies to their use in perfume industry. When used in the proper blend, the odors have a soulful affect. The therapeutic uses come from the fact that many of these oils carry anti-bacteria and pest-repellant properties.
Please note that a very small quantity of volatile oil is extracted from every plant. Even in their maximum concentration, volatile oils account for just about 2% of the organic extracts of a plant. This could be found in nearly any part of the plant, from the flowers (rose oil) and leaves to the roots (ginger oil), fruits and bark (like Agarwood). The amount of essential oil extracted is also affected by the chemical stability of the oil.
If you recall, we have already discussed the three, principal methods of essential oil extraction—solvents, expression, and distillation. Click Here to read this discussion…