What is essential oil?
Essential oil is the liquid distilled (usually by steam or water) from various plant components - leaves, stems, flowers, bark or root. Essential oils do not normally feel “oily” at all, and most of them are clear, although some oils (such as patchouli, lemongrass and orange) are yellow to amber in colour.
A pure essential oil is an extreme concentration of the essence of its plant of origin, and a good guideline to the use of aromatherapy essential oils is to remember that “less is more”, i.e. they are extremely potent and a tiny amount can have a strong effect.
It is also worth noting that essential oils are completely different from perfume or fragrance oils. Perfume oils are produced from artificially created scents and can be used purely as fragrances; they have no claim to the therapeutic benefits offered by essential oils. Through the uniqueness of its aroma and chemical composition, each essential oil can affect our physical, emotional and psychological condition.
The most common methods of use include:
- dilution in water (e.g. in the bath);
- dilution in a carrier oil (commonly Grapeseed or Sweet Almond), then applied via massage for absorption into the skin;
- dilution in hot water, then used for steam inhalation, breathing in the vapours to facilitate absorption into the bloodstream (e.g. using Eucalyptus oil for a cold);
- or you can place a few drops in water in an oil burner, add to a diffuser, sprinkle a few drops into your refuse bin, laundry, drains, vacuum filter, or place in a drawer on a tissue;
- as an insect repellent (e.g. citronella, lavender or peppermint).
However, always be aware of the restrictions and warnings that may apply to the use of particular oils. It is essential to have to hand a reliable reference book, or even access to a practising aromatherapist.
When you are looking to buy essential oils, you will naturally be considering both quality and price. Obviously the price can vary quite substantially, depending on the country of origin, its rarity, the distiller’s production standards, and the volume of plants required to produce one small bottle.
At Clouds we endeavour to source only the best quality oils, we stock as wide a range as possible, and depending on global availability (and price), we can usually source specific oils within a few days.
PLEASE NOTE THAT DUE TO TRANSPORT AND MAILING REGULATIONS WE CANNOT SEND OIL-BASED PRODUCTS FROM THE UK TO INTERNATIONAL DESTINATIONS