Essential Oil Profile: Atlas Cedarwood

Essential Oil Profile: Atlas Cedarwood

Thursday, May 4th, 2023 | Article by: Liza Docken

Atlas Cedarwood organic essential oil comes from large trees, towering over 1,000ft, that are native to Morocco and Algeria. Unlike other coniferous oils that are sourced from the needles of the tree, like Douglas Fir or Scotch Pine, Atlas Cedarwood is steam distilled from the wood of this tree.

Named for the Atlas Mountains where these trees grow, Atlas Cedarwood Cedrus atlantica is not to be confused with Texas Cedarwood Juniperus mexicana, Himalayan Cedarwood Cedrus deodara, Virginian Cedarwood Juniperus virginiana or White Cedar Thuja occidentalis. Each oil has its own smell, use, and safety considerations. For the sake of this post, I’ll be discussing Cedrus Atlantica, the only Cedarwood that Pranarōm currently offers. Being clear on what type of Cedarwood you have is crucial for using the oil in blends for topical use or for diffusion.

This lovely oil comes from the Pinaceae family, and consists of beta-, alpha-, and gamma-himachalene, gamma-atlantone, and delta-cadinene amongst a total of 120 constituents. Like any of our essential oils at Pranarōm, you can call our customer care number and request the Certificate of Analysis on any batch of essential oils – all we need is the lot number on your carton box. Our primary goal at Pranarōm is offering the best quality, organic essential oils with transparency and traceability.

Physiologically, Atlas Cedarwood supports the body’s circulatory system and cognitive function. The oil is commonly used in blends to support the body in cases of cellulite, circulatory stasis, bruises, and cognitive function. It also has a soothing and softening effect to the emotions, and is known to be gentle on the skin, which is why it is included in Pranarōm’s Calm Moisture Treatment Oil in the Plant Beautiful Organic Skincare line. Likewise, in the Beard Oil Wellness Blend, Atlas Cedarwood provides a soothing aroma while soothing the skin under facial hair.

Diffuse Atlas Cedarwood to enhance meditative relaxation, intuitive work, or to help ease irritability after a rough day at work. 4-5 drops in an ultrasonic diffuser is all you need to relax and unwind.

With a warm, rich, woody and honey-like aroma, Atlas Cedarwood can blend easily with most essential oils. Some favorites are: Black Spruce, Clary Sage, Frankincense, Helichrysum, Lavender, Myrrh, Patchouli, Peppermint, Rosemary ct cinole and ct verbenone, Tea Tree, and Vetiver. When treating a bruise, Atlas Cedarwood can be very helpful to shorten the duration of a bruise’s appearance. Blend with Helichrysum for an even more effective support blend.

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Virgin Plant Oil Profile: Black Cumin
How Essential Oils Are Made

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Virgin Plant Oil Profile: Black Cumin

Thursday, April 27th, 2023 | Article by: Liza Docken Also known as black seed, Nigella sativa’s well-loved oil is most commonly known for its internal usage. When used topically, however, it offers a treasure trove of skincare and haircare benefits. Cold pressed from the first pressing of Nigella sativa seeds, our Black Cumin Virgin Plant Oil is light yellow to light green in color and has a smell very reminiscent of the cumin seeds (Cuminum cyminum) we are perhaps more familiar with here in the United States. Nigella sativa is native to Southern Europe, North Africa, and Southwest Asia. Today this plant is cultivated in many areas, including the Middle Eastern Mediterranean region, India, Pakistan, Syria, Turkey, and Saudi Arabia. The mention and presence of black cumin seed has deep roots in history. Seeds were found in Tutankhamen’s tomb, were mentioned in the Old Testament, and praised by the Prophet Muhammad as being able to “cure everything but death.” Additionally, the Persian Muslim physician and philosopher Avicenna recommended black cumin seeds to promote energy and aid in recovery from fatigue in his book The Cannon of Medicine c.1025 AD. Modern era enthusiasts point to black cumin’s thymoquinone as one major reason for this oil’s ability to do so much. Comprised primarily of oleic and linoleic acid, these fatty acids, with thymoquinone, lend themselves to black cumin’s ability to support the body’s management of inflammation and offer antioxidant qualities. The therapeutic actions most commonly associated with black cumin oil are antimicrobial, anti-inflammatory, antioxidant, emollient, skin penetration enhancer, and hyperpigmentation reduction Many sources suggest black cumin VPO as an option for those with blemish-prone skin, due to the antimicrobial nature of this oil. At Pranarōm, we include black cumin in our Clear Treatment Moisture Oil, a part of our Organic Plant Beautiful Skincare line. Light hair loss is another symptom that black cumin VPO can support through its calming abilities, which keep the scalp healthy and functioning well. Our Strong Roots Hair Oil includes this VPO, in conjunction with Rosemary and Lavender essential oils, to support follicle function and scalp health. Pro Tip: For dry hair, between washes, spray ends of the hair with hydrosol of choice. Then place on drop of Black Cumin Virgin Plant oil in the palm, rub hands together to warm the oil, and run through the still-damp end of the hair to nourish and smooth the hair strands. This will protect the hair from drying out further before your next wash.

How Essential Oils Are Made

Thursday, June 15th, 2023 | Article by: Liza Docken Distillation: the transformation of plant material, using water, to create essential oils. The most common method of essential oil extraction is through steam distillation. Water is heated by fire to create steam. The steam then moves through a pipe into the next chamber where plant material has been tightly packed. As the steam moves through the plant material’s cells and membranes, it pulls the essential oils out and carries them into the condenser. Here the steam is cooled to return it to water, which fills into the final chamber. Because the essential oils are hydrophobic, they separate and float to the surface. After removing the essential oils, what is left over is called Hydrosol. Hydro (water) + sol (solution). Hydrosol is the co-product of distillation, a gentler aromatherapy product that is much, much less concentrated and contains the water-soluble constituents of a plant. This makes hydrosol far more user-friendly for the novice and for everyday use, especially with pets and children under 3. When it comes to more delicate materials, like some flowers whose petals have thinner membranes, the heat of steam distillation is too intense and can damage the plant material before the essential oil can been extracted. While similar to steam distillation in that water is being heated, hydro distillation is a process of placing plant material directly into the water that is being heated, rather than in a separate chamber as with steam distillation. This secondary method allows for lower temperatures, ensuring the precious plant material can remain intact until its oils have been properly extracted. This method is also used for materials that benefit from longer distillation times due to sustained heat exposure, like resins. When asking the question, “How is essential oil made?” there is yet another answer: expeller pressing. Some plant material yields a better quantity of oil while maintaining quality when pressed rather than distilled. A common example of this is the peels of citrus fruit (lemons, grapefruit, oranges, etc.). This method can be done with whole peels, pressing them after being warmed to ensure the plant material releases as much of the essential oil as possible. Alternatively, this method can be done after zesting the citrus peels over a natural sponge, which is then pressed to extract the essential oil. Why are essential oils called ‘essential?’ Essential speaks to the nature of the work the oils do in the plant. Essential oils act much like an immune system for the plant. Essential oils function to ward of microbes (bacteria, virus, fungus, etc.), pests (insects), and invasive species. They also function as attractants to entice butterflies, bees, and birds, all of which act as pollinators and ensure the plant’s continued survival. These oils are essential to the life and longevity of the plant and could also be described as the life force of the plant. These functions can benefit humans in much the same way. Whether you’re wanting to support your immune system, keep insects away, or simply wear an enticing aromatic scent, essential oils are there to help. It’s important to note that in order to harness these life-supporting benefits that essential oils can offer, the essential oils must be plant based essential oils. As the popularity of essential oils and aromatherapy grows, there are many brands offering ‘essential oils’ that have been synthesized in a lab or have had synthetic fragrances mixed in with plant oils. This changes their safety indications, uses, and therapeutic value. Pharmaceutical Grade Essential Oils When someone is looking for phytotherapy or plant based organic essential oils, they need to be sure they’re sourcing their oils from a reputable company who can back up claims of natural, organic, and therapeutic in the way Pranarōm can. At Pranarōm, every batch of essential oil is tested for quality assurance. Not only is the specific type of oil confirmed, Pranarōm’s multi-faceted approach to testing also results in what is called a Certificate of Analysis. This certificate lists the constituents, or chemical compounds contained in that specific essential oil. And this is where the conversation around pharmaceutical grade essential oils can begin. For a company like Pranarōm whose oils are often prescribed by doctors and pharmacists in the European market, quality and constituent assurance are a must. Each of these individual compounds has its own therapeutic function, and in combination with the plants’ other naturally occurring constituents, creates what can be called an entourage effect, meaning each of the constituents speaks to and supports the other. This offers a full spectrum of health support to help bring the body back into balance. For a company like Pranarōm whose oils are often prescribed by doctors and pharmacists in the European market, quality and constituent assurance are a must. Each of these individual compounds has its own therapeutic function, and in combination with the plants’ other naturally occurring constituents, creates what can be called an entourage effect, meaning each of the constituents speaks to and supports the other. This offers a full spectrum of health support to help bring the body back into balance. In addition to constituents, essential oils also have characteristics. The characteristics of essential oils change based on the plant they are taken from and where they are grown. Each oil has its unique profile of characteristics, including scent, color, texture, and chemical composition. These are some of the distinguishing features that aromatherapists and pharmacists consider when helping a client with their specific health needs. While the markets for essential oils and aromatherapy differ greatly between Europe (pharmaceutical) and the United States (alternative health), the end goal is the same: to support the health of the client. In Europe, an essential oil’s nutritional value is considered when suggesting or prescribing an oil. This is another way of speaking to the constituent profile of an oil. Here in the US, people are more likely to focus on the aroma of an oil and how it might blend with other oils. Both offer a valid approach to supporting health and wellbeing, but care should be taken when using oils for their therapeutic values. Buying from a company like Pranarōm, based on Scientific or French Medical Aromatherapy, is an important first step. Working with a health professional, such as an aromatherapist with explicit constituent training, is a must. How an essential oil is made is an important question that leads to many other interests and concerns when it comes to utilizing phyto-therapy, i.e. plant therapy. Extracting these plant therapy organic essential oils with care and attention to detail is key. While there are many methods to extraction, buying from a company like Pranarōm, who understands not only the plant’s characteristics, but also appropriate extraction methods based on those characteristics, is the best way to ensure quality and consistency. Shop Essential Oils