What Is Meant by Essential Oils: Therapeutic Grade Versus Other Oils
There is a lot to know about essential oils if you’ve only recently become interested in the fad. When you were purchasing fragrance oils, you might have believed that you had found a cost-effective alternative to essential oils because they tend to be on the pricey side.
Sadly, cheaper fragrance oils are not the same as essential oils, and this article will discuss some of the most significant distinctions.
The Difference Between Essential Oils and Fragrance Oils
Essential oils are made by using steam and pressure to get the natural oils out of plants. They were first used in the Middle East more than a thousand years ago. They have many of the same health benefits as the plants they come from because they are natural plant extracts that have been concentrated.
There are several ways to define fragrance oils. Some fragrance oils are entirely synthetic. These oils are not sourced from plants, so they lack the biological advantages of essential oils, even though they could smell better and last longer, giving the impression that you are receiving more for your money.
Fragrance oils can come in a far wider range of aromas because they are not manufactured from actual plants, including artificial scents like bubblegum or bread. Others contain a mixture of “carrier” oils and essential oils.
Using Essential Oils Vs. Fragrance Oils
Many of the uses for essential oils and fragrance oils are similar, such as in aromatherapy diffusers, massage oils, and candles.
Essential oils offer a significant benefit in several of these uses. For example, in diffusers, even a fragrance oil made from essential oils needs to be mixed with more water to work.
The essential oil in the fragrance oil will be so diluted that it will not be as beneficial as using essential oils, even though the smell may be stronger and stay longer than that of essential oil. Candles also fit this description.
In the case of massage, it gets a little trickier. Because essential oils can irritate the skin if they are not mixed with other oils, they must be mixed with other oils before they can be used for massage. As mentioned above, some fragrance oils are made of essential oils diluted in other oils.
If so, using these oils for massage would be less expensive and easier than using essential oils that you might otherwise have to dilute yourself.
Some scientists believe massages with essential oils reduce anxiety and sadness, while others believe massages alone do. If so, using synthetic scented oils for a massage instead of essential oils wouldn’t matter. It would require rubbing synthetic chemicals into the skin, which some may find unattractive.
What About Ingestion?
Essential oils and fragrance oils are also very different when it comes to how they are used.
Some people who like essential oils dilute them, usually in water, so they can get the vitamins, minerals, and other things that were in the plant that made the oil.
Most likely, it is not healthy or safe to use fragrance oils made from synthetic materials. Essential oils may be healthy to consume, whereas carrier oils may not be in the case of fragrance oils created from diluted essential oils.
Make sure you use essential oils as directed on the label and only swallow them if that is what they are designed for. Although this isn’t always true, most essential oils derived from food plants are also edible.