What is an essential oil?

The European Pharmacopoeia Commission defines it as follows:

“Fragrant product, generally of complex composition, obtained from a botanically defined raw material, either by steam stripping, or by dry distillation, or by a mechanical process without heating. The essential oil is most often separated from the aqueous phase by a physical process that does not result in a significant change in its composition “.

Only pure and natural essential oils, not dissected, not rectified, not modified, meeting this definition, enter the composition of our Kaliom Aromayurvedics treatments.

The essential oil is a real plant energy.

The plant can produce its own energy through organic chemistry using light, this is the mechanism of photosynthesis.

According to the botanical families, this energy will produce cells secreting aromatic molecules in different parts of the plant, such as flowers, flowering tops, leaves, fruits, needles, wood, bark, rhizomes, roots.

The quality of an essential oil will depend on several factors, such as the production conditions of the plant, the quality of the soil, the environment, the methods of picking or harvesting, drying, transport, storage, and the extraction methods.

Depending on the production organs of the essence pockets, different extraction methods are suitable, the best known being hydrodistillation, steam distillation.

The cold extraction can be used, especially for essences of zest.

For flowers that cannot withstand high heat, natural processes such as enfleurage and maceration are used.

A cold extraction with CO₂ carbon dioxide is also possible, for certain plant materials.

Finally, for some flowers, chemical processes with volatile solvents such as hexane can be used. The essences obtained in these cases no longer fall into the category of essential oils, they are absolutes.

What is an essential oil used for?

Essential oils can be inhaled, applied to the skin, or ingested. Each use depends on the chemotype of the oil, i.e. its major biochemical component.

Most essential oils contain a wide variety of aromatic components.

They are often used to flavor foods. They are also used in cosmetics, in medicines, in biocide products and in perfumes.

When used for their therapeutic effects, they are considered traditional herbal medicines.

Essential oils help the flow of information through the body’s cells. It is an energy carrier that transmits a vibrational message. They maintain the cohesion of the cellular system by acting on the immune system.

To avoid any risk of confusion, it is imperative that you know the chemotype of the oil you are about to use. Especially for essential oils of the same botanical genus, but covering different species and varieties, such as thyme, rosemary, eucalyptus, lavender, and many others. This also helps prevent possible harmfulness, such as irritation, allergies, poisoning.

Essential oils can irritate the skin, eyes and mucous membranes and cause allergic skin reactions.

It is important to take the advice of your aromatherapist or any other qualified healthcare professional before using an essential oil for self-medication.

Essential oils should be kept out of the reach of children.

If accidentally swallowed, do not induce vomiting, call a poison control center or doctor.

Nestor Caffa

Founder of KALIOM

Sources : AFSSAPS (Agence française de sécurité sanitaire des produits de santé). Regulatory context for essential oils. Council of Europe recommandations. European Pharmacopeia Européenne. SWISSMEDIC.