Aromatherapy is therapy using essential oils derived from aromatic plants.
Aromatherapy is a type of therapy that uses essential oils for their preventive and healing qualities. This method has been used for thousands of years in China, Egypt and in ancient Greece.
Essential oils are extracted 100% naturally by simple mechanical extraction (particularly for citrus fruit) or by steam distillation of a part of the plant (flower, fruit, root, leaf, bark…). Amongst the 800,000 known plant species, only around 10% can produce an essence. The fact that they are extremely volatile and lipophilic makes them easily ‘diffusible’ through the skin and tissue, and gives excellent powers of absorption whether by way of the skin, the air or ingestion. This ability to absorb makes them highly effective.
The combination of several essential oils, selected for a specific objective, makes it possible for them to act in synergy.
These formulas combining different essential oils are called ‘blends’. These blends make it possible to benefit from the joint action of several essential oils without any risk of side effects or wrong dosage, as they are easy to use and are prepared in complete galenic and olfactive forms.
Aromatherapy is the first science of pharmacy.
In the Middle Ages, the Apothcaries (pharmacists or dispensing chemists) were called… «Aromatherii”
Aromatherapy, from prehistory to modern times:
• The use of aromatic plants dates back to prehistoric times.
• They were used in Egypt 4,000 years ago for disinfecting dwellings, embalming mummies and making cosmetics.
• Distillation of essential oils is a thousand-year-old science created around the year 1000 by Avicenne, a great Arab practitioner.
• Today’s distillation process, which was introduced into Europe by the Crusaders, has not changed considerably.
• The term “Aromatherapy” was created in France in 1931, by René Maurice Gattefossé, a chemist from Lyon.
• The scientific methods of analysis have been refined since the ‘70s in order to recognize the biochemical profile of the essential oils and to identify the molecules of the compounds (chemotype).
The aromatic essence (or essential oil) is the very essence of the plant. It contains its vital force and energy…
Their utilisation in well-being, beauty care and health care is quite remarkable…
In order to determine the identity and quality of an essential oil,the following information must be known.
- Certified botanical species (Latin name) of the plant the essential oil is extracted from
- Oil-producing part of the plant
- Vegetative state at the time of harvest
- Growing area
True Lavender = common name
Lavandula angustifolia = Latin name
Lamiaceae = Family
Flowering head = part of the plant used
France = source
- Extraction process (steam distillation, cold-pressing…)
Knowing the chemotype is indispensable when taking up aromatherapy.
This information regarding the essential oil makes it possible to define the predominant biochemically active molecule(s).
The chemotype information together with the scientific Latin name makes it possible to fully understand how the essential oils act and how they will lead to a natural, sound, effective therapy.
Illustrating the chemotype is important because the same aromatic plant, botanically defined, produces an essence that is biochemically different according to the biotope it developed in. In this manner, the type of soil, the altitude, sunshine, climatic conditions and neighbouring plants are the different elements that will have an effect on the essence produced by the plant.
French HEBBD Certification - Botanically and Biochemically Defined Essential Oil
This certification guarantees:
The precise origin of our essential oils (country, region, suppliers …)
The botanic name of the plant used (Latin name)
The oil-producing part of the plant (leaves, roots, flowers, branch…)
The biochemical specificity, which varies according to the time and location of the harvest.
The above points are validated in a detailed test report for each essential oil used in the composition of our products, including the chromatograms and analyses and thus making it possible to identify the purity of the essential oil.
These products are manufactured according to “Good Manufacturing Practices” and respect tracking and testing processes to a pharmaceutical quality.
From the essence to the essential oil
Numerous processes are used for the extraction of aromatic substances. This operation is one of the most difficult and most delicate, as its purpose is to capture the subtlest, most fragile products produced by the plant; and this must be carried out ensuring that the quality remains unaltered.
To understand the difficulties encountered during the extraction process, just keep in mind the speed with which the fragrance of a flower, even after crushing the petals of the most perfumed flower, is emitted, then changes or disappears. Once the waxy cuticle of the epidermis membranes is pierced, the essence is released and billions of molecules are dispersed.
Extraction techniques must therefore ensure that the highest quality extracts are obtained, that is, the nearest possible to the original essence.
The extraction process by cold-pressing is most certainly the simplest; but unfortunately, it is also the most limited. It entails piercing the fresh citrus rind membranes mechanically to collect the essences using diverse methods; this traditional process, called “spoon extraction”, ensures that some of the best the aromatic substances are obtained. This technique originated in Sicily and Calabria, where it is still used today, as is the case in all citrus fruit-producing countries. Here, and only here (for traditional processes), the product obtained is called an “essence”, because the plant-based product is not modified in any way by the method of extraction.
This method, known since Antiquity, was passed on by the Arabs and perfected in the area of Grasse in France, is a process that uses steam to pull the aromatic substances from the plant.
Distillation is by far the most common method, because it suits most plants.
Essential oils are insoluble in water but soluble in steam, therefore when the steam passes through the plant, it becomes loaded with oils. In a special vase, the steam, weighed down by its essences, is sent into a cooling compartment. There, the steam returns to liquid form and the oils separate, rising to the surface. They are then drained off and collected.
Other methods are also used to extract fragrances and scents:
• Supercritical fluid extraction with CO2
• Solvent extraction
Safety Instructions for Puressentiel® “ Blends” Range
Highly concentrated, essential oils should be used only in the manner indicated – Avoid contact with eyes and mucous membranes, irritated skin (except Puressentiel Cuts and Bruises, S.O.S skin, S.O.S Cold sore and Anti-sting spray), in case of irritation do not use water but rinse with a vegetable oil (cooking oil or similar) – Do not use on people with allergies without first conducting a sensitivity test
- Wash hands after contact with essential oils
– Keep out of sight and reach of children
– Do not swallow
– Never inject essential oil by intramuscular or intravenous route
- Keep inoriginal packaging and away from light, air and heat
– Not recommended for use by children under 7 years old, if pregnant or or breastfeeding (especially the first 3 months of pregnancy), those with a history of convulsive or epileptic disorders or the elderly, unless specifically stated otherwise. Seek advice from a health
- Do not spray on a heat source or delicate textiles
– Do not diffuse air sprays in the presence of children under 1 year old and wait at least 30 minutes before allowing the child in the treated room
– For skin products, avoid prolonged exposure to the sun of treated areas
– In case of accidental ingestion, contact the nearest poison control center immediately
– For external use only.
Safety instructions for individual Puressentiel® Expert essential oils
Essential oils are natural, very strong extracts from the volatile part of the plant. It is recommended to follow the instructions for use carefully for each essential oil. Attention! Not all are suitable for oral, local or external use! If in doubt, consult a health professional or a specialised reference book.
Essential oils, which are highly concentrated, must always be diluted in a neutral substance (vegetable oil, milk, gel, pure alcohol, honey…) except for diffusion in the air.
As a safety measure, do not use on children under 7 years of age, breast-feeding or pregnant women (especially in the first 3 months of pregnancy), people with prior convulsive or epileptic health problems, elderly people, people with allergies to essential oils.
Read information pertaining to each essential oil concerning specific contraindications.
In the case of eye or mucus contact, do not use water, but rinse with a vegetable oil (cooking oil or other…)
In the case of accidental ingestion, contact the anti-poison centre or emergency medical service immediately.
Never administer essential oil by intramuscular or intravenous injection.
Keep out of reach and out of sight of children.
Keep in firmly closed bottle, away from light, air and heat.
Safety instructions for Neutral oil with 7 plant oils for essential oils Puressentiel® Expert
For use mixed with essential oils: for children under the age of 7, pregnant or breastfeeding women, seek advice of a health professional - Only use essential oils that do not irritate the skin, and always follow the safety instructions for each essential oil - Do not swallow - Keep out of sight and reach of children and away from heat and light sources - External use.
Safety instructions for Neutral base bath and shower for essential oils Puressentiel® Expert
Do not use essential oils that irritate the skin. Take medical advice for children under 7 years of age and for pregnant or breast-feeding women. Do not swallow.
Keep out of reach and sight of children. Keep away from light and heat. For external use only.
Safety instructions for Neutral tablets for essential oils Puressentiel® Expert
Do not take pure essential oils orally, do not use during pregnancy or breast-feeding, or on children under the age of 7 years of age, do not exceed the recommended daily dose. Do not use essential oils when oral administering is not recommended. Keep out of sight and reach of young children. To be taken in conjunction with a balanced, varied diet. Keep away from light, heat and dampness. Excessive consumption can cause laxative effects.
Safety instructions for use range of Organic Skin Care and Massage oils Puressentiel®
Avoid all eye and mucus contact – Never use if pregnant or breastfeeding, never use Relaxing Massage Oils or Skin and Hair Care products on children under 3 years of age and Massage Oils for Muscular Exertion, Slimming and Awakening the Senses products on children under 7 years of age.
– Do not use on people with allergies without previously carrying out a skin test (apply to elbow fold
before use) – Do not swallow – External use – Keep out of reach of children – Keep in a firmly closed bottle away from light and heat.
Safety instruction for Puressentiel® ORGANICALLY Certified Deodorant
Do not use after hair removal – Not tested on animals.
Keep out of reach of children. Avoid all eye and mucus contact. Not recommended for children under 7 years of age or pregnant or breast-feeding women. Do not use on people with allergies without previously carrying out a skin test to the elbow fold. External use.
Essential oils, which are extremely diffusible (made of volatile, lipophilic liquids), can be used in 3 different ways, depending on their composition, dosage and the desired effect.
Follow medical advice – Do not administer to children under 7 years of age, to people on medication or to elderly people without medical advice. Do not use any pure essential oil without base oil. The standard method for oral use is to mix a few drops of the recommended essential oil with a base: a Puressentiel® neutral tablet, a teaspoon of honey, olive oil or on a lump of sugar. Some essential oils diluted in cooking oil, can be used when cooking as a flavouring agent.
Never apply any pure essential oil to the skin (except in exceptional circumstances for some essential oils),
- In the bath: Never use any pure essential oil in water. As it is not soluble, it will not dissolve and will remain in suspension or on the surface and can cause skin irritation. For Puressentiel® Bath dilute in a neutral base.
- For massage or beauty care: dilute the essential oil in a vegetable oil (such as Sweet Almond Oil, Jojoba, Evening Primrose Oil…) or in a fatty substance (your beauty cream, shampoo…)
• DISPERSION: by spraying the essential oil into the air.
• DIFFUSION: with the help of a diffuser using cold nebulisation (ideally the Puressentiel® diffuser) or by capillary action: tissue diffusion, clay pot diffusers, humidifiers… Never burn essential oils
• INHALATION: a few drops of essential oils (6 drops maximum) in a bowl of hot water (60° maximum). Inhale for 10 minutes. Repeat 3 times per day maximum (stay indoors immediately after inhalation).