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Ayurveda and Different Types of Aromatic Oils

 

 

Each of our five senses provides a vehicle for healing (and also a portal for ill health). By making healthy choices regarding the use of our senses, we are providing an opportunity for optimal health.

 

Let’s talk about the sense of smell here. What aromatic oils are best? Through the  proper use of essential oils, we create an environment that will support optimal  health. 

 

“A little background can be helpful to understand the myriad of aromatic choices that are available on the store shelves. There are four basic types: Essential Oils, Hydrosols, Absolutes and Attars. 

An essential oil is a distinctive volatile oil of a plant that carries its aromatic essence. It is usually produced by steam distillation and is free of chemicals. Steam passes through the plant material in closed environment. The steam causes the volatile oils to evaporate and mix with the steam. The steam is then condensed into a liquid containing the essential oil. Some essential oils prepared in this manner include the name Otto on the label, such as Rose Otto. 

A hydrosol is prepared from the recondensed steam after the distillation process is complete. The water retains some of the aromatic qualities of the plant. Rose hydrosol is very popular and may be used as a spray mister applied to the face and body. 

An absolute is prepared from a chemical distillation process that most often uses carbon dioxide, hexane and alcohol. These are less expensive than those produced by steam distillation. As absolutes retain some chemical impurities they cost less and are considered to be inferior by aromatherapists. 

An attar is an oil that is prepared by merging the properties of an essential oil into sandalwood oil. The resulting combination is often less expensive than the essential oil. “ ~ Excerpt from “Healing Your Life, Lessons on the Path of Ayurveda,” by Dr. Marc Halpern, Founder of the California College of Ayurveda. Available at Amazon: http://amzn.to/1GP7m28 and Barnes & Noble: http://bit.ly/1PsYDUA