Therapeutic Grade Essential Oils

Therapeutic Grade Essential Oils

Therapeutic Grade Essential Oils are distilled from plants and supposed to have powerful healing properties. They are used for such a wide variety of purposes from massage therapy to base ingredients for cooking. Accounting for only two percent of essential oils sold in the United States, International Standards have been developed by the French to distinguish the therapeutic grade oils from others used for fragrance.

Demand for essential oils has been increasing along with an increasing number of health conscious consumers, wanting to cope with today’s stressful lifestyles. When the products are therapeutic grade essential oils they are immune system stimulating, anti-viral, anti-infectious, anti-bacterial, anti-microbial, antiseptic, anti-tumoral and anti-fungal in nature.

Gas chromatography is the scientific method employed to differentiate the different types of Essential Oils. The process measures whether basic components of an essential oil occur in precise percentages. If two primary constituents do not meet precise percentages, the oil cannot be certified as Therapeutic Grade. Further, Gas chromatography also identifies oils that have been manipulated. Most United States labs utilize a 30 meter column, which is adequate for vitamins or minerals but may not be adequate for the chemical complexity of some essential oils, so a 50 meter column is recommended.

The Steam Distillation method affects the essential oil’s purity. For a product to be rated at the level of therapeutic grade essential oils it is a requirement to preserve many of the plant’s compounds. These oils must be distilled in stainless steel cooking chambers at lowest possible pressure and temperature.

Other factors affecting an essential oil’s purity are environmental factors such as geographical region, altitude, climate, soil, growing and harvesting methods and season. The primary components of 98 percent of all essential oils in the market are synthetic. They should not be used for therapeutic applications, and potentially carry risks. Only pure essential oils should be used for therapeutic purposes. Synthetic oils may not produce the desired therapeutic results and could possibly be toxic.

Donnie Boots is a big fan of alternative medical treatments such as acupuncture and aromatherapy. His Pure Essential Oil site has some more interesting articles on the use of essential oils in aromatherapy.

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