When we talk about the medicinal or cosmetic use of essential oils, the quality of the products used is very decisive in terms of effectiveness. Poor quality oil may prove inert in the desired action or contain allergenic substances that may cause adverse reactions.
It is therefore important to ensure certain basic criteria in order to ensure good results and to reduce the risk of possible reactions or allergies:The method of cultivation or harvesting:
wild or organic?
The method of cultivation and organic certification allows us to ensure the absence of pesticides or herbicides that could present toxicity to the body and thus harm the therapeutic action. These chemicals can even cause allergic reactions in some people and trigger other health problems.
The purity :
100% pure essential oil, without additives.
The presence of other ingredients may decrease the effectiveness of the product and impair its therapeutic action. It is certain that it also reduces the cost of the product which is often to the advantage of the manufacturer and not the customer. The risk is to confuse the products and to use a 100% pure product in the same way as a low concentration product. The risks are major and can even be very damaging to the body.
without chemical solvent
The mode of extraction can be decisive in the choice of the mode of use. CO 2 -extracted absolutes, for example, are not recommended for internal use. They will be reserved for external use: diffusion, cutaneous application, etc. Some solvents are to be avoided completely when it comes to therapeutic use, such as hexane extraction.
Absolute is an extract obtained by extraction using a solvent (CO 2 , ethanol, hexane, etc.) from a concrete, a resinoid or a foam. The extract is then distilled or filtered in order to keep only the essence, the absolute, mainly used in perfumery. These are soluble in vegetable oil and will be reserved for external use only due to the presence of a chemical solvent.
Oleoresin is a tree exudate (gum or resin), usually conifers. Some oleoresins are obtained by macerating plant material in alcohol to dissolve the resin present in the material (eg vanilla extract, balsam poplar, benzoin). Its composition remains on an alcohol base and will then be miscible with water, and not with vegetable oil.
For the therapeutic use of essential oils, it is more often a question of hydrodistillation, which uses water as a solvent.