What is Essential Oil? How it is differnt from Extract?

Essential oils have come into prominence with the spreading awareness about aromatherapy. The first memory of essential oil for an average Indian would probably be the much coveted tinted miniature bottle displayed by beauty salons, spas, aroma therapy centers and home décor stores. They has exotic names such as lemon grass, ylang ylang, tea tree etc… terms that were not in regular use at Indian households.

In the words of the experts, these essential oils had myriads of healing powers. When applied on human body, these had to be mixed with carrier oil or they could have adverse effect on the skin. Certain aroma’s were infused to purify air and make the indoors of the houses smell good. In short, a more exotic and up market cousin of the regular agarbattis and room fresheners that were used in Indian homes.

What is Essential Oil

Essential Oil – The Making

Essential oils are liquid extracts from aromatic parts of plants like flower, leaves and roots usually through steam distillation by putting them in a steam chamber where they are treated with a consistent flow of steam in controlled measure. This process finally helps in squeezing out the aromatic compound from it in the form of oil.

Taking the process forward, the squeezed out oil and the steam are them passed through a condenser which cools them down and separates the water (that comes out of the steam when it cools) and the oil. This converts the oil into a more concentrated form that is finally termed as essential oil. While most of the essential oils are produced in this manner, some citrus oils are produced by the cold press method as well.

Essential oils are used in beauty products and as infuse to purify the indoor atmosphere of the houses. They are known to sooth nerves, release stress and invigorate the user with a better energy level and uplifted temperament. Good essential oil suppliers in India are always in high demands.

The mention of exotic names on the label pulls customers with a high sense of style and aristocracy thus taking the sales figure higher for the product that uses them. A lemon grass shampoo is definitely going to get a higher ticket value and acceptance among a certain class of customers. A lavender infuse is any day more appealing than a room freshener or agarbatti of the same flavor. The look and feel of these products imparts a certain sense of style and suaveness.

Coming To Extracts and How it Differs From Essential Oils

To begin with, extracts are used for cooking. The process of producing extracts is completely different from essential oils. It is produced by steeping a particular part of plant in some kind of a liquid that include alcohol, water or any other liquid to infuse its flavours and properties into that liquid. Thereafter, it is strained to get the concentrated extract. Apart from the liquid for, extracts can also be in the powder form.

The different forms of extracts include tinctures (very widely used by homeopaths to cure diseases), infusion (includes both water and oil based), powder and glycerites (where vegetable glycerine is used to derive the plant extract. Interestingly, the tea we drink also falls under the extract variety. You can find lots essential oil manufacturer from b2b portals such as Dial4Trade

Essential oils differ from extract in its usage. To begin with they are not meant for internal use while extracts are edible. Essential oils impart a much better and profound aroma in beauty products. The amount required to derive essential oil is much larger than it is required to get the extract of the same. It is always recommended to consult a physician before using essential oils.