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Essential oils, vegetable oils and hydrolats from the herbalist's shop

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Essential oils, vegetable oils and hydrolats from the herbalist's shop

What is an essential oil?

An essential oil is a concentrated and complex liquid extract obtained by distillation by steam distillation of aromatic plants or organs of this plant (flower, leaf, wood, root, bark, fruit?). An essential oil is thus the distilled essence of the aromatic plant. It is composed of a hundred or so particularly active biochemical molecules which are the source of the essential oil's properties.

What is meant by chemotype?

The composition of an essential oil from the same plant species can vary according to the year, the period of maturity for harvesting, the soil where the plant grew... This is what we call the chemotype of the essential oilThis is a sort of identity card for the essential oil, listing the molecules it contains. These essential oils with different molecular profiles have
therefore very different properties and a very variable toxicity.

How to recognize a quality essential oil?

We understand the importance of turning to quality essential oils. The craze for aromatherapy today has created many options for the consumer on the market. To recognize a quality essential oil, it is first necessary to understand the packaging
Obtaining a therapeutic quality essential oil is a particularly delicate process because an essential oil
it is imperative that a number of quality criteria are met:

- 100% NATURAL
i.e. not denatured with synthetic molecules, chemical emulsifiers or mineral oils

- 100% PURE
i.e. free of other related essential oils, vegetable oils, alcohol, turpentine.

not amputated, not discoloured, not deterpenated, not rectified, not overoxidised, not peroxide

What are the different forms of oils in phytotherapy?

This section of theherbalism Louis is entirely devoted to plants in oil form.
You will find the essential oilsfrom the steam distillation of the fresh plant, but also the vegetable oils extracted from oleaginous plants

Aromatherapy is the use of essential oils to harmonize physical and mental health.

Essential oils are used to enhance the natural healing process. It is a natural way which is based on the activity of the biochemical molecules of essential oils.

The hydrolats are a by-product of the distillation of plants. It is water (floral water if the part of the plant distilled is a flower) containing highly diluted active principles. Hydrolats are mainly used in cosmetics and cooking, but they also have interesting properties for the minor ailments of young children

What is the difference between a virgin vegetable oil and a maceration?

A vegetable oil is said to be virgin and of first cold pressure when it has been extracted from the plant only by a mechanical pressure, without heating and without additives. Unlike the refined industrial vegetable oils which undergo chemical processes, heating and refining in order to extract 100% of the oil contained in the plant, a virgin vegetable oil of first cold pressure has not undergone any treatment altering their quality and they retain all their propertiesThey have an incomparable taste and colour. Their price is generally higher because the mechanical extraction without heating allows to collect only 80% of the oil present in the plant, against almost the totality for a refined oil.

Many plants produce vegetable oil! The best known are those ofSweet almond, d'Argan and Hazelnut but other vegetable oils are also widely used for example to treat acne problems by regulating sebum (Jojoba, Macadamia) or to promote well-being during massage (Hemp). Some vegetable oils are dedicated to specific problems such as the vegetable oil ofItalian Helichrysum useful in case of couperose or circulatory problems

A maceration (or oily macerate) is obtained by macerating a plant in a virgin vegetable oil of another plant. After filtration, we obtain an oil but which is in reality a macerate, i.e. the result of the association of a plant with a virgin oil having been used as support.

For example, a st. John's wort macerate will be made by macerating St John's wort flowers in virgin olive or sunflower oil

The oily macerates are obtained by macerating a plant in a virgin vegetable oil. The result of this maceration is then filtered. The product is often called oil, but in reality, it is a macerate whose main ingredient is the oil that served as a support. Another example isArnicawell known to parents to soothe children's bumps.