Here's the part II of understanding the powerful natural benefits of essential oils.
Many of us wonder why there is such a large price variance in the market when it comes to essential oils.
Its really simple - it comes down to several factors:
1. The purity of the essential oils. Pure essential oils that is extracted properly and not diluted with other "carrier oils" (I will explain this too!) tend to be more costly.
2. Essential oils come from certain varieties of trees, shrubs, herbs, grasses, roots fruits and flowers. The oil is concentrated in different parts of the plant - the leaves, bark, flowers, stalk, roots of plants. As such, the yield for various types of essential oils could be different. For instance, its takes 4 million hand-picked Jasmine blossoms to produce 1.1 lb (approx 500gms) of Jasmine essential oil! It takes 4500 lb (approx 2040kg) of rose flower heads to make just 1 lb (approx 500gms) of Rose otto essential oils. Contrast these with Lavender, as its take just 150 lbs (68kg) of Lavender to make the same amount of the essential oil.
3. It also comes down to the "how" of the entire process of extraction - In the case of Jasmine, each flower is hand-picked on the very first day it opens before the sun becomes hot. As for Sandalwood, the tree could be 30 years old and thirty feet high before its considered ready for distillation.
4. The region and conditions (soil, weather etc) under which these plants/trees are grown.
Just remember, pure essential oils will not be at "bargain-basement" prices - you pay for the quality you get. And only pure essentials oils will bring you the full benefits of its the restorative and regenerative properties. However, as they are very concentrated, they need to diluted for topical usage.
In part III of this series, I will share a simple "test" on how to tell if the essential oils are pure and how to dilute essential oils in order to use them safely.
*Carrier oils, also known as base oils are derived from vegetable, nut or seed sources or made by macerating an herb in a plant oil. They are used for diluting and dispersing concentrated essential oils which can otherwise irritate the skin.