What Are Essential Oils?
Essential oil is a concentrated liquid that contains the essence, or chemical compounds, of the plant. Manufacturers use various methods to extract the plant’s essential oils, including a steam distillation process. Other extraction methods include solvent extraction or cold pressing. Some botanicals are better suited to one way or another.
After extracting the essential oils, manufacturers can add these concentrated liquids to various products, such as candles, soaps, cosmetics, cleaning products, perfumes, or even food and drinks. Essential oils are completely natural, of course. Still, many commercial products may also contain synthetic scents and aromas, so if you’re looking for naturally scented products, check the ingredients list to make sure “fragrance,” “perfume,” or “parfum” aren’t listed.
What Are the Best Uses for Essential Oils?
You can use essential oils for all sorts of uses around the home, from aromatherapy to cooking and cleaning to flavoring foods.
The noteworthy feature of essential oils is their fragrance. You can use essential oils to create sprays to naturally perfume your living space — try a single oil or a combination of oils to achieve your ideal scents. Many popular oils for achieving pleasing home fragrances, including lemon, lavender, cedarwood, eucalyptus, and sweet orange. After releasing essential oils into your room, you can freshen the entire place space within moments.
While some essential oils can be ingested, others shouldn’t be. Always be confident that any oil you use for human or pet consumption is safe. That said, there are many essential plant oils that you can use when cooking but remember — these are concentrated oils, so a little goes a long way. You should dilute them in most cases so that they don’t overpower your recipes. Great essential oils for recipes include peppermint, ginger, lavender, orange, lemon, and basil. Try a hint of cinnamon oil in your hot chocolate or coffee, or add thyme oil for a new dimension of flavour in soups or stews with a spicy element.