Essential oil is a concentrated liquid that contains volatile aromatic compounds from herbs and plants. They are also known as volatile oils, ethereal oils, aetherola or oil from the plants. They are basically extracted from plants and concentrated in oil form. They are called essential because they contain the essence of plants and flowers, or their essential fragrance.
They are made through the process of distillation, and with the use of steam. Perfumes, cosmetics, soaps and other beauty products contain essential oils as their main component.
Use of essential oils
Essential oils have been used since ancient times. Long time ago, people have recognized their benefits and used it in many different ways to relieve their troubles or simply to enjoy their scent. They are antioxidant, antimicrobial and anti-inflammatory effects.
One of their common uses is in cleaning. You can make your house perfectly clean and smelling beautiful. Put in a few drops of any type essential oil, in warm water and spray everywhere from counters to couches, where you want to clean.
Another use is to scare away mosquitos, and keep them away as well. You can combine them with lemongrass oil, eucalyptus oil, citronella oil and teaspoon of coconut oil. This way you will get a natural bug spray or you can rub it on your skin if you have bug bites.
To clean extremely dirty clothes use a mixture of essential oils (tea tree and lemon essential oil) with warm water and baking soda and get those grass, or vine stains right away. Essential oils can also be used as peppermint patties, air fresheners, in a vacuum cleaner or as a homemade sunscreen.
As far as your health, you can use essential oils for reducing anxiety, especially lavender oil that you can put around your home, and make it a relaxing oasis for you to enjoy. Cedarwood or lavender oil can be used as a massage therapy, and lavender oil with Epsom salts and sea salt can be used as a detox bath.
Some other beneficial uses are homemade shampoo, acne face wash, homemade deodorant, sugar scrub, homemade tooth paste, body spray and many other.
Storing essential oils
Since they are so beneficial to us, it is important how to keep them stored safely, and get the best of them. We carry them with us quite often so there are few things you should know in that case.
There are a lot of storage options you can find, meant only for storing essential oils. There are also special kits, that serve only this purpose, so if you are in doubt just do a little bit of research.
Heat is not good for essential oils. Also prolonged exposure to sunlight and extreme heat can hurt the chemical composition of the oil and lower his efficiency. So, you should avoid keeping it in the car, near windows, or next to any heat source for a long time.
When using it in cooking it is better to use it when the meal is prepared, and not directly to a hot saucepan. When you make your own essential oils you should know the right way to do it. Use only amber color bottles to protect oils from ultraviolent light and also blends like citrus oils can dissolve plastic. So, don’t use plastic bottles at all. Caps should prevent oxidation, so most screw on caps that don’t have a plug-in stoppers can’t be used for this purpose.
They should be stored in a dark place, without direct exposure to sunlight. So, bathrooms are a great idea as well as bedroom shelves. Always check the temperature of the bedroom or bathroom, because you don’t want a to store them in a too light place.
Avoid putting them in closed closets because you can’t regulate the temperature that way. Other way to store them is in a refrigerator. This is actually an ideal place to store them. Temperature should be from 41 to 50 degrees Fahrenheit.
Freezer, on the other hand, is not a great idea. It can damage the oil and lower it’s beneficial qualities. You can also invest in an aromatic oil storage box, if essential oils are a big part of your everyday routines. Always check the caps so you are sure that are won’t come in, while they are stored.
So, the main guideline to storing essential oils is to keep them away from heat sources and direct sunlight.
Also, oxidation can to a very big damage so, keep your caps tightly sealed. Since they are so helpful and they can find their use in many different ways, storing them should be very important. To get the best of their beneficial components, inform yourself before starting your own collection of essential oils or at least follow these simple rules.