Is there a difference between a perfume, a fragrance, a carrier oil, a massage oil, or essential oils? And what is Aromatherapy?
Types of Oils
Aromatherapy – is not an oil, but it is often referred to because it often uses essential oils as well as other things. (Aroma) (therapy) is the therapeutic use of aromatic plant extracts and oils – including essential oils. They are usually used in baths or massage for psychological and physical well-being. Holistic aromatherapy does not include the use of fragrance oils or unnatural products.
Aromatic Oil – refers to a broad range of plant oils, including essential oils, that are used in aromatherapy. Sometimes it is used, incorrectly, to describe a perfume oil.
Carrier or Base Oils – are vegetable, nut or seed oils, which have to be used to dilute essential oils (which are very concentrated). Carrier oils can also be used by themselves and have some therapeutic properties and present a good source of skin nutrients and energy.
Fragrance – is an attractive scent, from the Latin “fragrare” (to smell). Fragrance oils are usually a combination of essential oils – with added chemicals and other oils.
Massage Oil – is a mix of essential oils and carrier oils, which should be used for external purpose. Sometimes, only a carrier oil might be used for a massage because of its skin nourishing and therapeutic qualities.
Perfumes – consist of a man-made mixture of aromatic chemicals and essential oils. Up until the nineteenth century all perfumes were composed of natural aromatic oils. Perfumes usually have an alcoholic base and up to 30% concentration of Fragrances. Modern perfumes are almost always synthetic and may contain up to 300 different elements in its blend. At the present time, “natural pure perfumes” are very rare and expensive since they contains no synthetic ingredients.
Perfume Oils – are usually artificially created fragrances, or may mix chemicals and synthetic ingredients with natural ingredients. They don’t offer the therapeutic benefits that essential oils offer.
Definition of Essential Oils
An essential oil is a liquid that is generally distilled (most frequently by steam or water) from the leaves, stems, flowers, bark, roots, or other elements of a plant. Essential oils, contrary to the use of the word “oil” are not really oily-feeling at all. Most essential oils are clear, but some oils such as patchouli, orange and lemongrass are amber or yellow in color.
They are rich in chemicals like phenols, monoterpenes, and ketones. These plant chemicals are called plant “essences” referring to the fact that they carry some of the plant’s natural ability to resist bacteria and other attacks. (These are the same chemical molecules that have been isolated or synthesized by the pharmaceutical industry to make drugs.) Phenols are especially potent against bacteria and some viruses. This makes essential oils, such as oregano, eucalyptus, cinnamon, clove, and thyme, famous for fighting germs and supporting the immune system. They can also produce desirable mood influences on humans. When these are pure, non-corrupted oils, they are called “therapeutic grade” essential oils.
Since the 1930’s, researchers around the world have been documenting the powerful anti-microbial, anti-bacterial, anti-fungal, anti-viral, and anti-parasitic effects of therapeutic grade (pure, ingestible) essential oils. These can be inhaled or ingested (with caution), or applied topically. Even when diluted, essential oils kill bacteria that antibiotics do not. Essential oils are especially valuable as antiseptics because their aggression toward microbial germs in matched by their total harmlessness toward tissue!
The quality of essential oils from one vendor to another can vary drastically where ever you buy them. Although they may be essential oils, they do not all have the same therapeutic ability. In addition, the price charged is not necessarily an indication of the quality of the vendor’s oils. There are:
1. CO2 extracts and absolutes which are distilled in different manners.
2. Poor quality oils that have been distilled from poor crops, been handled improperly, are old, etc.
3. Adulterated oils that have chemicals or other oils added to them. These can cause harmful side effects, or at best, provide only minimal therapeutic benefit of good quality oils.
Buyer Beware: The United States does not regulate the use of the word “aromatherapy” on product packaging, labeling or in product advertising, so any product can be marketed as a product suitable for aromatherapy. Unfortunately, many sellers of so-called aromatherapy products just use the term aromatherapy to sell their pleasant-smelling product and sometimes even go so far as to “hype” unfounded claims. It’s important to look at the ingredient label when seeking true aromatherapy products.
Also, use caution with marketing claims that state a product is “Made With Essential Oils” or “Made With Natural Ingredients”. Claims like these do not state that the product is only made with the ingredient(s) specified. Such products may contain heavy proportions of synthetic fragrance oils and only contain a minute quantity of essential oil to simply be able to profess the “Made With Essential Oils” claim.
We have made considerable effort to assure that our Ultimate MRSA Defense Products are made of anti-bacterial essential oils, herbs and nutrients of the highest quality. In addition, they contain a blend of essential oils that complement each other. The result is pure essential oil products without pharmaceutical drug side effects.
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