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Aromatherapy - Top Tips For Buying Essential Oils

Dec 18, 2007
Essential oils are highly concentrate liquids that are extracted from various plants. They contain aromatic compounds and are used therapeutically for aromatherapy applications such as inhalation, massage and bath. They can be taken from different parts of the plants including leaves, stem, seeds, flowers, bark, roots and fruit. They also require special handling and storage.

These tips will provide you with information on buying and storing your essential oils.

Buying Your Essential Oils

* Always buy from a reputable source. Some unscrupulous vendors will cut or dilute essential oils compromising their integrity and effectiveness. You should only use pure, natural essential oils for health and wellness purposes.

* Do not purchase essential oils that are stored in clear or plastic containers, or bottles with rubber stops or seals. Essential oils degrade materials like plastic and rubber and light will damage them.

* Do not confuse fragrance oils, perfume oils and synthetic oils with essential oils. There is not substitute, especially when you are using them for health and wellness purposes. Additionally, some synthetic oils can cause adverse reactions in some people.

* Watch for synthetic essential oils. Oils such as strawberry, cucumber, rain, carnation and lilac are always synthetic. If they are in the vendor's stock it may be an indication that the rest of the inventory is synthetic as well.

* Make sure that your essential oils pass the purity test. Place a drop of essential oil on a piece of paper. Ideally, it will evaporate quickly, leaving no oily mark behind. If there is an oily mark left, it is an indication that the oil has been cut with vegetable oil.

* Give your essential oils the sniff test. Take a good whiff. Pure essential oils will give out a full, round scent that is rather strong. A little bit will go a long way. Diluted versions are not as strong.

Storing Your Essential Oils

* Store essential oils in a cool, dark, dry place, away from heat, light and moisture. They should be sold in dark glass containers and should be stored in them as well. Light, heat and moisture will degrade the oils altering their effectiveness. Bottles should be closed tightly when they are not in use and do not touch the inside of the lid or the reducer top when you use the oils. Your own oils from your skin can affect the essential oils and cause them to lose their effectiveness.

* Oils that are old should not be used for health and wellness purposes. Pay attention to the shelf life of essential oils. Some oils will break down and change over time which can be a few months for some oils and years for others. Some old oils, however, can still be used for fragrance purposes like in potpourri.

* Some oils such as Citrus varieties are prone to oxidisation, so you should store them in a cool place, preferably refrigerated if you have the space. However, you must make sure the refrigerator settings are not set too low, temperatures around five or ten degrees celsius are fine.

* If you store your carrier oils in this way during the summer it is worthwhile taking them out of the fridge twelve hours before you need to use them, so it gives them a reasonable amount of time to adjust to room temperature. You may find some carrier oils have small fatty particles forming, but a simple shake of the bottle will help them dissolve again as the oils warms up.

* Having space in your fridge for your essential oils may be a luxury for many of us, so a good alternative is to invest in a storage box. It does not need to be anything fancy, just a dedicated box that helps keep all of your oils together and away from ambient temperature changes.
About the Author
Duncan Bain is the owner of Natural Touch Aromatherapy that sells 100% pure essential oils. The widest range of aromatherapy oils for worlwide shipping.
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