The aromatherapy can be defined as the use of essential oils extracted from aromatic plants for health and wellness, based on the psychological, physiological and therapeutic potential they have.
Plants concentrate their “herbal energy” in the essence , which represents the life force of the plant and gives it its personality and its therapeutic and cosmetic properties. Every time we pluck the petals of a flower, a leaf, the branch of a tree or any other part of a plant, it releases a fragrance based on the essences or essential oils that the plant contains.
Each plant produces a characteristic set of essential oils, and depending on the type of plant, it stores them in a different place in the plant: root, leaves, bark, buds, flowers, fruit or seeds. Thus, for example, lemon and orange, despite being very close fruits, give off clearly different aromas, and the same citrus, such as bitter orange ( Citrus aurantium ), produces three different essential oils, with different odor and properties, that are extracted from different parts of the plant. Many plants have special structures that emit scent (glands) in the flowers to attract insects that pollinate them.
In general, essential oils are highly complex odorous organic substances of varying consistency (from very fluid to dense and viscous), volatile, non-greasy, soluble in vegetable oils, alcohol and ether, and insoluble in water (although they transfer their perfume ), and are easily affected by light, oxygen, and temperature.
Essential oils are very sensitive to oxygen and light, which easily oxidize and degrade them. Therefore, to guarantee their quality, essential oils and their preparations must be kept in optimal conditions: dark glass containers, hermetically closed and with built-in dosage systems to avoid as much as possible continuous contact with air and light, and prevent the maximum oxidation.
The qualities of essential oils depend on numerous factors, including the geographical origin of the plant, the season, the time of day, the cultivation system, the state of maturity of the plant at the time of harvest (ideal at dawn when there is still dew and the sun does not have the strength to release the aromatic substances), the extraction and conservation conditions.
The composition of a natural essential oil is much more complex than the sum of its constituents, and very difficult to copy, so its therapeutic effects are not comparable to those of synthetic essences . That is why the reproduction in the laboratory of an essence whose chemical composition is known generates a compound that is only apparently the same as the original.
Among the components of natural essential oils , synergies occur , that is, effects that complement and enhance each other, thus increasing their effectiveness. A very important factor to take into account when making cosmetic formulations.
Essential oils are used, among others, for body care, beauty and well-being , forming part of the formulation of facial creams and oils, and of products for body use (relaxing, revitalizing, anti-cellulite, draining, healing, toning massage oils , sensual, bath oils, body lotions, ointments, tonics, etc.).
When an essential oil is applied to the skin (normally diluted in a vegetable base oil), the small molecules that compose it are solubilized in contact with the fats of the epidermis and are able to pass through the outer layers of the skin and through the blood capillaries reach the cells and that are under it and exert their action.
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