France was having a networking dinner with entrepreneurs of different horizons a few days ago and when it was her turn to introduce our business (our passion), some of the attendees jumped on the opportunity to ask which essential oil should be used for acne, wellbeing, eczema or against fine lines and wrinkles. So we thought we would share 10 FAQ about Essential Oils.
1-What “Essential Oils” means:
Essential oil are called like this because they come from the extraction of “essences” produced by the plant to protect themselves against any pathogen, germs, insects, parasites. Basically, it is the immune system of plants.
2-How many compounds in each essential oil:
Most essential oils are produced by steam distillation and at the end of the process, the water must be seperated from the essence. The essence (oil) naturally floats on top of the water thanks to the difference in density of the two liquids (weight). Essential oils float, just as other oils do.
The are anywhere from 3 to 350 compounds or more in essential oils depending on the type.
It is also very important to underline that there is a natural synergy between different essential oils (the positive interactions between the different compounds). Some essential oils contain very powerful healing compounds that work together to create a powerful synergy which, depending on the plant, offers a range of positive healing effects. This is why essential oils are USUALLY well tolerated when used as extracted ( and not by extracting one single chemical out of its well balanced natural synergy).
3-Are essential oils safe to use:
Essential oils are powerful natural substances. If used properly, yes, essential oils are safe and have less side effects than synthetic chemicals. However, using essential oils for your wellbeing/beauty requires some knowledge, advice and supervision by an essential oil specialist (pharmacist, chemist or physician specialised in this field)
4-Are essential oils edible:
Yes, some essential oils are edible, in fact, over 90% of essential oils produced are sold to the food industry as flavours or preservatives. Some essential oils such as lemon, orange, tea tree are very often used internally (always requiring the supervision of a professional). Some stronger essential oils are sold under the form of gel caps in herbalist pharmacies. Oregano essential oil for exemple is sold to help digestive ailments and it has been proven by many validated studies that this essential oil offers powerful antibiotic properties without killing the entire “good” digestive microbiota. Good for the gut!
5-Are essential oils patented or patentable
No: plants and plants material cannot be patented.
Nature can not be patented, the process of producing or extracting some substances out of the whole essential oil make it a big tentation for the pharmacological labs. Though we insist on the fact that isolating one compound presents the risk of loosing the benefit of the entire synergy.
6-Do essential oils always have the same composition for the same plant:
No, according to the ecoregion, climat, soils, sun, amount of rain, fauna, local insects & plants will use their local ressources and therefore adapt and protect themselves producing their own essence/immunity and protection locally. We might compare essential oils to wines. According to the plant’s variety and all the elements named above: we can obtain an exceptional wine, a table wine or a vinegar. Each step is important in the essential oil production.
7- Where can we find food grade and medical grade essential oils:
Nowhere and everywhere. It is impossible to have such labels as essential oils are plant based and cannot technically get a grade of any kind (please note that the quality of the composition is verified and tested in labs by aromatherapists and the results are called a Safety data sheets/ all our essential oils have been selected with these SDS’s but be mindful when buying EO online).
8-Why are essential oils effective on our health, wellbeing and beauty.
Now that we have the above answers, we understand that essential oils contain hundreds of compounds that are useful to our health, wellbeing and beauty. Essential oils, depending on the variety, are anti oxidant, relaxant, stimulant, mucolytic, pain relieving, anti-bacterial , antiviral, lymphatic draining & antifungal.
9- Can we use essential oils during pregnancy:
yes BUT, not all essential oils can be used during this magical time. Some will not be appropriate during the first trimester, others will be ok under supervisions. If an essential oil during pregnancy is said to be safe by a professional, you can relax, it will be way safer then many of the synthetic fragrances or carcinogenic compounds present in many skincare products.
10-Can we use essential oils on babies:
Same answer as above. Many restrictions and other dilutions are required, some will be totally forbidden. As above, if used under supervision, it is much safer then using some usual baby products. Always ask a reputable and licensed aromatherapist before using.
Without naming any brands, some baby shampoos have recently been proved to contain carcinogenic (yes, substances causing cancer), and they have been on the market for 30 years or more. Some baby wipes also contain PEG, which, especially on tender baby skin, penetrates the bloodstream very easily and bio accumulates in the body.
There is so much to learn about Essential Oils, their benefits and the science behind it. So if you have any questions, please let us know and we will be happy to help!