What are essential oils?

Tuesday, March 7th, 2023.    Author: Liza Docken

Essential oils are volatile oils extracted from plants that contain unique and specific constituents. These constituents speak to their therapeutic and aromatic qualities. But how do we get essential oils from plant to bottle?
The most common form of essential oil extraction is through steam distillation. Water is heated until it begins to steam. That steam is then carried through a pipe to a chamber where plant material, such as flowers, leaves, bark, or resin has been placed and compacted for maximum steam/plant interaction. As the steam moves through the plant material it extracts the essential oils that live within the plant.
The steam carries the volatile oils into the next chamber, called a condenser, where the steam is cooled and run through a series of coils, returning the steam to liquid. That liquid then ends up in the final chamber where the essential oils, due to their hydrophobic nature, float to the surface and are syphoned off and poured into essential oil bottles.
What happens to all the water that is left over after the steam distillation process? I am so glad you asked! That water is what is known as hydrosol, or hydrolat, and is water that has moved through plant material, collecting the water-soluble constituents that offer many benefits of the same benefits as Essential Oils.
Look for our next blog entry about Hydrosols later this month.
Essential oils can also be described as incredibly concentrated plant medicine. With Lavender (Lavandula angustifolia) as an example, it takes 2,000 pounds of plant material to make just a gallon of essential oil. Consider a field of lavender and the amount of landmass required to create such a small amount of essential oil. It is the impetus of Pranarōm’s dedication to certified organic essential oils.
Essential oils have the ability to impact us both physically and emotionally, giving EOs a broad reach in the health and wellness industry. Known primarily for their aromatic qualities, essential oils used in an ultrasonic diffuser offer many ways to transform the atmosphere, from clearing the air to uplifting your mood. The diffuser breaks down the molecule size of the aromatic oil for better dispersal and more lasting scent.
These aromatic power-houses also work wonderfully for cleaning, DIY personal products, and as additives to liquid soaps, lotions, and shampoos. Essential oils should be used in dilution when applied to the skin, making any of these applications an ideal way to use essential oils in your everyday routine/life. Just a few drops in your liquid hand soap can up the wow factor on scent and cleansing abilities. Visit Pranarōm.us to see the many single notes, wellness blends, and diffusion blends available.