Essential Oils - Frequently Asked Questions

Essential Oils - Frequently Asked Questions

Essential Oils - Frequently Asked Questions

For most oils, refrigeration is not necessary but can't hurt. Blue oils should be refrigerated to slow the oxidation process. Chamazulene is what causes the blue color and, when it oxidizes, it will cause the oil to become green. When this happens, it doesn't mean the oil is necessarily bad, but just a sign that some of the chamazulene has reacted with air. Extend the life of citrus oils by refrigeration. When limonene oxide forms in a citrus oil, it will cause a foul odor.
EVERY essential oil will freeze if you get the temperature low enough. Every oil has a different freezing point. When the temperature is reduced it's not uncommon to see solid components start to fall out of solution if their concentrations are past the saturation limit of any given temperature. Freezing is not a good idea as some components will not go back to liquid form at room temperature causing the percentage of the oil components to change.
Most essential oils are photochemically inactive in visible light but do have some reactivity to ultraviolet light.  UV light with high enough energy can cause photochemical reactions in most organic molecules, but is absorbed (not transmitted) by normal glass, regardless of colour. Most of the time it really makes little difference if the oils are in coloured glass. There are a few exceptions, as with the chamazulene-containing oils (blue chamomile, blue yarrow, blue tansy, etc.)

The biggest enemies of essential oils are heat and oxygen. Citrus oils and the chamazulene-containing oils are more susceptible to thermal degradation and should be kept in the fridge. Keep all essential oil airspace to a minimum. Once the oil container is half full, then its time to transfer the oil to a smaller bottle. This will significantly extend the useful life of the oil. Keep the airspace to a minimum and the temperature at 75ºF or below (even lower in the case of citrus and other oils more susceptible to thermal decomposition). This way, you can keep the oils smelling nicer for longer periods as well as extend their effectiveness.Most essential oils are steam-distilled. The only oils that are are not produced by steam distillation are the citrus oils, which are cold pressed from the citrus peel. If it’s been done properly, there will not be any oil left in the peel for a second pressing. The same goes for the steam distillation process. The only essential oil that is produced by more than one distillation is Ylang Ylang. Ylang Ylang oil is a different quality at the end of the run than at the beginning. This is why there are the different grades, like extra, I, II, III
and complete. Aside from Ylang Ylang, most all essential oil distillations are collected in one combined lot. Anyone who states that “my oils only come from the FIRST distillation” doesn’t understand essential oils.
The truth is that, while the oil may last in the sense that it “exists” for a long time, there is no question that most
oils, pure or otherwise, will eventually go bad due to oxidation reactions. However some oils, such as sandalwood, vetiver,
patchouli, etc., actually get better with age - at least to a certain point.
The truth is that putting the above disclaimers on bottles doesn't indicate anything about the quality of the oil… I know of many companies who put this on their bottles purely for legal protection reasons... This has nothing to do with purity or quality.. with more and more people doing crazy things with the oils, companies have to protect themselves from uneducated consumers who could potentially abuse the product.
NO! most plants do not contain essential oils, yet they live.
NO! They can penetrate cell walls, but there is no evidence that they carry nutrients with them. This is no scientific research documenting this.
No. The doctor accredited for having wrote the oxygenating paper has NEVER published such a study or paper demonstrating this. It is a clear misunderstanding of essential oils.
A controversial subject, do your research before attempting this. Check sites such as NAHA, Essential oil University Facebook page, and Robert Tisserand. These are established, well-respected essential oil info sites.
No!!
15-20 drops of essential oil / 30mL of carrier oil is a general recommendation. Use fewer drops of essential oil if the mixture is to be used on elderly, children, and people with sensitive skin. Do not use on babies unless you have checked with a physician. Citrus oils and spicy oils can irritate skin and should be mixed 5-7 drops / 30mL carrier oil.
Let’s imagine you rub poison ivy on your skin and you get a really bad rash. Is that just your body detoxing? Of course not... if you get a rash or burn from putting something on your skin it's because it's irritating your skin. A rash or burn from an essential oil is basically your skin telling you to STOP. This is why you should always do a patch test on a small area of skin and wait a while to see what happens.
There are many companies in the world producing pure essential oils. There are a lot of companies out there selling essential oils. However, most of them have no ability (or in many cases no desire) to do the necessary quality control to verify what they are getting from their supplier before they pass it on to their customers. Additionally, pure does not necessary equate with good quality. A "pure" oil can be distilled incorrectly or could have been obtained from a particular variety of plant species that was not ideal. Furthermore, with regards to "therapeutic grade," we need to be diligent at discerning what the claim really means. There seems to be a misconception that there is some kind of independent body that certifies oils as therapeutic grade, but to this date there is no such body, at least not one that is widely recognized.

Does this mean there is no such thing is therapeutic grade? No, but just realize that any therapeutic grade standard out there right now is an internally derived company standard... In the end, for most people who don’t have access to the proper testing equipment, it all boils down to who do you trust to give you the pure oil. If the leader of a company has demonstrated questionable ethics in general, then its probably not a company whose “therapeutic grade” standard would really carry much weight and should  not be taken seriously by an educated essential oils consumer.
Our bodies generally tell us when we need something or should stay away from something, especially when it has to do with things that can harm us. We can be conditioned to like things that are not good for us (like fast food). But when our bodies are telling us to stay away from something we should generally listen. However, we should also remember that sometimes we might not like an oil initially just because it's something we haven't smelled before. Some oils, like wine or beer are an acquired taste... But there is nothing to be lost by listening to our bodies when it tells us to stay away from something. Give it time and you may eventually grow to like it. However, if you have a permanent adverse reaction to an oil, don't force it.


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