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Essential oils are compounds extracted from plants. The oils capture the plant’s scent and flavor, or “essence.”
Unique aromatic compounds give each essential oil its characteristic essence.
Essential oils are obtained through distillation (via steam and/or water) or mechanical methods, such as cold pressing.
Once the aromatic chemicals have been extracted, they are combined with a carrier oil to create a product that’s ready for use.
The way the oils are made is important, as essential oils obtained through chemical processes are not considered true essential oils.
This point is essential - if the oil has gone through a chemical process - it’s less effective. And it’s the cheaper oils that go through this process. And I would suggest avoid these cheaper, essential oils.
You see the word “fragrance”
If a label outright says “fragrance oil” and there’s no Latin name present, it’s not an essential oil.
There’s no Latin name
Again, if it doesn’t list the Latin name as well as the common name, don’t buy it. It’s likely a mix of synthetic perfumed “fragrance oil.” It might contain some essential oil, but who really knows?
For example, a label shouldn’t just say “lavender,” it should specify which of the many species of lavender the it was extracted from. Lavandula angustifolia is very different from Lavandula latifolia, for example.
Look for essential oils sold in dark glass bottles that are clearly labeled with the Latin name, plant parts used, type of extraction, growth method, net contents, and country of origin.
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