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What is Essential Oil and why is it good for you?


holding out a small essential oil bottle

 

 

 

Have you ever wondered what exactly are essential oils? Well, they are extracts of herbs and plants aka their “essence”.

For example, it takes 60 roses to make a single drop of rose essential oil. Can you imagine filling your home with 60 roses? What a scent! But that means it’s more potent than using a single whole plant.

These oils come from different parts of the plant. It can be from flowering tops, leaves or seeds. This gives every essence its own unique characteristics and properties. There's too much to cover here. 

So, we will go through a little in this post and some more in the future. Do sign up for our newsletter to not miss them!

How do we get essential oils?
Scientist pipetting oil

There are different ways to extract essential oils. The most common is through steam distillation.

Steam ruptures the oil membranes in the plant and releases the essential oil. The steam carries these essential oils to a condenser. It will reliquify and the lighter essential oil floats on top.

The water and oil separate. And we get both the hydrosol (the water part) and essential oil.

Why should we use essential oils?

These magical oils have the ability to improve our state of mind and ease various conditions. With their fragrance, we can feel more relaxed or stimulated.

It also promotes healing when we apply them to our skin. Of course, with safety precautions taken into consideration.

You might feel overwhelmed with how much there is to know about essential oils. Especially if you're just starting out. We felt the same way too. So how about we show you the 3 most popular oils and their uses, to get you started. Sounds good? Get ready for some fancy science 👩🏻‍🔬

 

1. Lavender
stalks of lavender

Our first oil is lavender. For over 2500 years, the medicinal and religious uses of lavender have been documented, from ancient texts through modern times [1]. Here are some of its beneficial uses.

Antioxidant capabilities
With any healing treatment, antioxidants help in cellular damage and immune inhibition caused by toxins and pollutants.

In 2012, chinese researchers observed that lavender essential oil would upregulate all 3 major antioxidant enzyme levels in mice within the first day of treatment [2].

Antimicrobial agent
Combination of 2 or more essential oils prove to combine the benefits of both. As such, synergistic blends are often recommended.

Scientists from the university of Witwatersrand, South Africa, tested 45 blends for antimicrobial protection and discovered that synergistic blend produced the greatest result. Lavender-cinnamon leaf and lavender-orange blends were the most powerful [3].

Skin soother
Lavender is also highly effective in treating sunburns, dry skin, minor scrapes and cuts. Even some immediate hypersensitivity allergic reactions may be mitigated with lavender [4].

 

2. Peppermint
sprig of peppermint

Our second oil is peppermint. The following are more common uses of this.

Antibacterial properties
Peppermint has antibacterial properties which provides a wide array of healing solutions. It has also been proven to provide a potential solution to antibiotic-resistant infections [5].

Repel mosquitoes
Peppermint oil has been found to repel mosquitoes that harbor malaria and filarial and yellow fever for up to 3 hours after application [6].

Relief of muscle aches
Well known for its analgesic properties as well as antispasmodic properties for those with tight muscles [7].

 

3. Eucalyptus
sprig of eucalyptus

Our third and final oil is eucalyptus which is used copiously by Australian aborigines for most diseases in their villages. Eucalyptus is antibacterial, antispasmodic, and antiviral.

Research from VIT University in India showed (real-time) that when staphylococcus aureus came into contact with eucalyptus oil, the deadly bacteria completely lost viability within just 15 minutes of interaction [8].

 

 

Are therapeutic grade essential oil the best there is?

You might have seen “100% pure, therapeutic grade” essential oils but are they the best? Why is 100% pure important? And what exactly is therapeutic grade? We help you answer these questions below.

100% pure essential oil means that these oils are unadulterated. Cheap essential oils can be enticing and often too good to be true. Chances are it may not be pure!

This could mean that the essential oil was mixed with or diluted down to with a carrier oil. In which, you would be getting lesser essential oils. So, it may not work as how you would want it to.

company give own essential oil therapeutic grade

Therapeutic grade oils are a label made by the company for marketing purposes. They have their own standard of what makes up an essential oil to be considered “therapeutic grade”.

But, there is no regulatory body that provides a consensus on the standard of therapeutic grade. As such, it is up to the company to label on their own will. Just know, that “therapeutic grade” doesn't mean anything [9].

Calla Me doesn't claim to use "therapeutic grade "essential oils. But, we do use organic essential oils. And if you're unsure what is organic or how is it different from all-natural, you can read all about it here.

Calla Me doesn't use 100% pure essential oil either. Now you're thinking "Wait, what?" Well, its important to dilute our oils for topical application. We explained more here for you to know when you should not use 100% pure oils and why. 

 

 

 

Disclaimer
The article written represents the writers' opinions based on their findings. It is not meant to be expert/medical advice. Users are solely responsible for fully understanding the safety and risks of essential oils. 

[1] - Zielinski, E. (2018). The Healing Power of Essential Oils: Soothe Inflammation, Boost Mood, Prevent Autoimmunity, and Feel Great in Every Way. Harmony.

[2] - Wang, D., Yuan, X., Liu, T., Liu, L., Hu, Y., Wang, Z., & Zheng, Q. (2012). Neuroprotective activity of lavender oil on transient focal cerebral ischemia in mice. Molecules, 17(8), 9803-9817.

[3] - de Rapper, S., Kamatou, G., Viljoen, A., & van Vuuren, S. (2013). The in vitro antimicrobial activity of Lavandula angustifolia essential oil in combination with other aroma-therapeutic oils. Evidence-Based Complementary and Alternative Medicine, 2013.

[4] - Altaei, D. T. (2012). Topical lavender oil for the treatment of recurrent aphthous ulceration. American journal of dentistry, 25(1), 39.

[5] - Yap, P. S. X., Lim, S. H. E., Hu, C. P., & Yiap, B. C. (2013). Combination of essential oils and antibiotics reduce antibiotic resistance in plasmid-conferred multidrug resistant bacteria. Phytomedicine, 20(8-9), 710-713.

[6] - Maia, M. F., & Moore, S. J. (2011). Plant-based insect repellents: a review of their efficacy, development and testing. Malaria journal, 10(S1), S11.

[7] - Ali, B., Al-Wabel, N. A., Shams, S., Ahamad, A., Khan, S. A., & Anwar, F. (2015). Essential oils used in aromatherapy: A systemic review. Asian Pacific Journal of Tropical Biomedicine, 5(8), 601-611.

[8] - Sugumar, S., Ghosh, V., Nirmala, M. J., Mukherjee, A., & Chandrasekaran, N. (2014). Ultrasonic emulsification of eucalyptus oil nanoemulsion: antibacterial activity against Staphylococcus aureus and wound healing activity in Wistar rats. Ultrasonics sonochemistry, 21(3), 1044-1049.

[9] - Essential Oils FAQ | Plant Therapy. (2020). Plant Therapy. From <https://www.planttherapy.com/faqs>