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10 Facts You May Not Know About Essential Oil

1. Not All Plants Or Fruits Can Produce Essential Oil

 There are more than 400,000 identified plants but less than 1% can Some fruits such as a peach may smell wonderfully sweet, and while they can produce juice, they simply do not yield essential oil. As much as we wish it was possible, you will not be able to find Apple or Strawberry essential oils. Products that are strawberry-scented are scented artificially.

2. A Lot of Plant Material Is Required to Produce Essential Oil

Enormous amounts of plants are needed to produce essential oil. It is well-known amongst aromatherapy practitioners that it takes 5 tonnes of Bulgarian roses just to produce 1 kg of essential oil. Other plants may not require such volume.

3. A Single Plant Can Produce Different Oils

Oils can be extracted from different parts of the same plant such as the flowers, bark, stems, leaves, or roots. For example, Neroli is produced from the flowering blossoms, Petitgrain is extracted from the leaves and green twigs, Bitter Orange oil is obtained from the peel of the fruit via cold expression – however, they are all from the same Bitter Orange Tree. Different parts might also yield different therapeutic properties!

4. Essential Oils are Not The Same as Fragrance Oils

Essential oils are wholly natural and their natural therapeutic benefits cannot be replicated in a laboratory. Fragrances oils on the other hand, are chemically created in a laboratory and while they can sometimes smell similar, are very different

Synthetic Fragrances 

Essential Oils

Consistent chemical make-up

Profile changes from harvest crop depending on climate, location, or growing conditions.

Readily available, and reproduced anywhere in the world

Availability is subject to crop failure or high demand, which may also affect prices. Often sourced from specific remote locations.

Can synthetically mimic any fragrance imaginable

Limited options. Many desirable plants, fruits and flowers do not produce essential oil.


5. Essential Oils Can Melt Plastic And Rubber

Essential oils are incredibly concentrated and they are so potent that most plastics or rubber will be corroded upon contact. That is why diffusers or nebulisers are typically made with natural materials such as glass, ceramic, or wood, or here's a simple test you can try out for yourself: Drip one drop of oil onto a painted surface and within seconds, paint will come away with a quick drag of your fingernail.

6. Never Ingest Essential Oils!

Not unless you have specific directions from a medical practitioner, essential oils should never be ingested. If a few drops is enough to melt paint, imagine what it could do your insides! Please use essential oils responsibly and sensibly for your health.

7. Myth: I can apply Essential Oils onto my skin 'neat' or undiluted because they are termed "therapeutic-grade" or "food-grade".

There is no governing body or grading system to classify oils as "therapeutic-grade" or "food-grade". Terms like these are often thrown around with no detailed explanation on the extraction process, chemical composition, or purity. Pure essential oils are simply, unadulterated. 
There are actually only a handful of oils that gentle enough to be used undiluted on skin, namely: LavenderChamomile, and Tea Tree. Even then, use of oil should be kept to a minimum to prevent irritation of skin and overdose.

8. Essential Oils Have Different Shelf Lives

Some oils, typically citrus oils, are photosensitive and should not be exposed to harsh light as ultraviolet light can promote free radicals. Amber or brown-coloured bottles are the best at blocking out UV light. Always keep your bottle tightly capped as exposure to oxygen can cause oxidation and shorten their shelf life. In addition, oxidised oil can be hazardous. Heat should also be avoided to prevent its volatile compounds from evaporating.

A general rule to follow:

Most citrus Oils

1 – 3 years

Floral oils, or middle notes

Up to 4 years

Patchouli, Sandalwood, Vetitver

More than 5 years

9. An Essential Oil will not smell the same even if it is from the same plant/species

Essential oils are naturally extracted from plants, the oil yield is at the mercy of Nature. A particularly cool summer may affect the harvest, and in turn, the amount of lemongrass oil produced and its scent. Similarly, the altitude, soil, weather, temperature, and growth conditions will have a strong impact on plants and yield. The exact same species of lavender grown in different countries will not smell the same after harvest. As a result, organic oils tend to have a higher variance in scent consistency compared to natural essential oils, or nature-identical oils. As a buyer, be informed so that you can get the type of oil you want.

10. Yes, You Can Be Allergic To Essential Oils
If you are allergic to the cinnamon, you are almost certainly likely to be allergic to the cinnamon essential oil. This also applies to carrier oils so people who are allergic to nuts should avoid nut-based oils such as sweet almond oil.