Essential oil is the volatile part of leaves, roots, cortex, seeds and fruits of various flowers, plants and trees. Aromatherapists consider the essential oils as the powerful soul of plants, because they come from the vital parts of agrarian plants, herbs and scented flowers and thus they have unique therapeutic properties.
The plants, in order to conserve their most volatile substances, should be picked at a specific hour of the day and in a specific season of the year. The essential oils are produced with special techniques of infusion, expression and distillation and are excreted from special glands and pores of the plants. In general, the lower the distillation temperature and pressure the better the essential oils. They are usually colourless and should be stored in a cool, dry place tightly stoppered in glass containers.
Being liquid, essential oils are often adulterated with cheaper substances such as synthetic ingredients, alcohols and vegetable oils. Inexperienced users cannot detect the difference because they cannot test the quality of the oil by themselves. The best thing an inexperienced user can do is to seek for a reliable supplier. The most trustworthy suppliers are the ones who deal mainly with aromatherapy essential oils designated only for therapeutic use and not for cosmetics.
Nowadays, aromatherapy essential oils are used for inhalations, massage, compresses, cosmetics, candles, bathing, spraying, etc. Many alternative therapists consider essential oils as the best way to look and feel well, to enjoy great health and vitality and to reduce stress.
The essential oils can be used separately or in combination and before applied must be diluted with water or vegetable oil such as almond, walnut, laurel and sesame oil. Moreover, people suffering from allergies, high blood pressure, epilepsy, etc. and women during pregnancy should consult an aromatherapist before using any essential oil.