Starting Your Essential Oils Collection
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How do I know which essential oils are right for me? There are over 90 essential oils and each can have one or more (most times more) healing properties. Choices! Choices! That’s a huge selection to choose from.
If you are wondering “What are Essential Oils and how can I use them on my Homestead?” then click on the link for a post titled just that!
The first thing to consider when making your selection is whether or not the scent appeals to you.
Every scent might have a useful medicinal property for each of us, but only certain scents work for us. The aromas of the essential oils work to stimulate our nervous system and brain functions. If we are distracted by the side effect of a scent irritation in our body or the aroma simply does not appeal to our senses, then the essential oil probably is not a good choice. Try to sample the scent if possible especially if we are purchasing it for the first time. This can be accomplished by taking a trip to a local essential oils supplier or at the very least, to a local bath products retailer.
The next thing to consider is the effect we would like to create with our essential oils.
The oils have long been known to promote emotional balance and stability in addition to having healing properties and just plain smelling great! Wow! Experience a physical healing in your body and mind and experience a great scent at the same time. That’s two effects for the price of one!
How would we like the essential oils to benefit us?
The essential oils promote several effects such as providing an atmosphere of peace and tranquility, reducing stress, anger, anxiety, and depression. In addition, the oils are also known to promote a sense of confidence, reduce fatigue and tiredness, reduce feelings of fear and loneliness, and promote memory and concentration. There are many more effects that the use of essential oils provides! It is important to note that not all essential oils promote or reduce all emotions. Time must be taken to learn which essential oil promotes or reduces which effect.
The next thing to consider is the cost associated with the use of essential oils.
Not only does the essential oil have to be purchased, but if you are buying from a mainland supplier, shipping and handling costs should be taken into account. If you plan on combining the essential oil with a carrier media such as oils, creams, salts or soap costs should also be estimated as well.
The oils need proper storage elements. Wooden craft boxes are relatively inexpensive and are helpful in keeping your bottles in a safe manner while making the transport of those bottles easy to do. Estimate costs for items such as bottles to store your blended oils and diluted mixes. Also knowing the costs of equipment such as distillers (if you plan on making your own essential oils) or a diffuser for refreshing a room would be helpful.
There are many things to consider when selecting your oils because there are many beneficial effects that the use of the oil provides. Do some planning and know what benefits you want to receive through the use of essential oils.
Guideline for Determining Essential Oil Quality
How can I determine the quality of the essential oil I am purchasing?
A quick search on Google for essential oils suppliers will show that costs for essential oils varies and they vary a lot! How can you decide which oil to purchase? Here are a few factors to help you determine the level of quality of the oil you intend to purchase.
- Essential oils are derived from plants. They go through a process which could impact the quality of the oil being used. The plants can be grown on a farm or “wild crafting” conditions and factors such as soil condition and rainfall affect can impact the oil quality. Essential oil descriptions should also contain the country of origin since the quality of the oil can vary from country to country. The use of pesticides or other chemicals can also impact the essential oil obtained. It is important to note that pesticides may also adulterate the essential oil if it is not eliminated in the manufacturing process. Adulteration becomes important if you plan on using the essential oil for therapeutic purposes. Even if you plan on using the oils as an air freshener, the aroma contains particles that enter your blood stream via inhalation.
- Essential oils in the market place can be found in various dilutions or even marketed as perfume oils or aromatherapy oils. There are wide variations and taking the time to read the labels, product descriptions and research your product will help to safely assess the quality of the oil. Perfume oils are not the same as essential oils and they do not share the therapeutic benefits that essential oils have. Aromatherapy oils may have already been blended with other oils or chemicals. Preservatives may have been added to protect and enhance the mixture.
There is nothing wrong with purchasing diluted, pre-mixed blends or perfume oils but just beware of what you are purchasing at what price. As you price shop at various stores online, you will find that many stores claim to sell essential oils, but in actuality, they are only selling a diluted version of the oil or the perfume oil. These oils are excellent for making soaps, creams, bath salts and other beauty body products.
While there are no set standards for the shelf life of essential oils, most can be used within 1 – 2 years after opening. The oils should be stored in a dark bottle (amber glass or blue cobalt works nicely) and tightly sealed. Bottles with rubber stoppers should not be used to store the essential oil since the potency of the oil degrades the rubber and turns it into a gummy substance. The rubber can then fall into the oil thus contaminating the purity of the oil. Also, excessive exposure to the oil from the sun’s ultra violet rays, heat, or air will degrade the oil. The oils should also be stored in a cool, dark place once you have them. As I mentioned above, A wooden craft box works nicely.
Be the informed buyer.
Take the time to learn about what you are purchasing and then check if that fulfills your intended use. You will find that the quality of the essential oils can vary greatly and making sure you understand what information is being provided to you will impact your purchasing decision.
Tips on Buying Essential Oils
If you have learned a little something about essential oils, you probably want to try them. Perhaps you’ve never bought them before. You probably need a few tips on buying essential oils.
Possibly the most important thing to remember is that anyone, no matter who they are, trying to sell you essential oils, is trying to make a profit. That’s okay, as long as you get what you pay for. The problem is that some unscrupulous vendors will try to sell you substances that are not truly pure essential oils. The labeling may tell you what you’re actually dealing with. If it says “natural identical oil,” then it clearly is not the actual essential oil you are looking for. When the label tells you it is “fragrance oil,” or “perfume oil,” you can be sure that it is not one single essential oil. It is at best a mixture and at worst a chemical concoction.
The containers your essential oils are bottled in are important to consider.
Plastic containers can melt into the oil, destroying the effectiveness and sometimes the safety of the oils. Clear bottles let the light ruin good essential oils. Try to get essential oils in dark glass bottles.
One thing to look for in a vendor is good customer relations. If a seller gives you a chance to try their items before you buy, it gives you peace of mind that they are offering a quality product. When they are happy to communicate with you to answer questions and give information, it only shows that they are more reputable. You should be given information about the particular essential oils you are looking into before you buy. You should know where they are from and what distillation method was used. If you know all that, you will have an idea of what to expect the price to be.
When a vendor sells all of their essential oils for the same set price, you will know something is wrong. The oils made from more exotic plants, or plants with little oil, should cost more. Either the vendor is charging too much for some of them, or he/she is not supplying a quality product in all cases.
Essential oils used in the food and beverage, or the fragrance industry are treated differently from pure essential oils.
They usually undergo more processing. This often lessens their effect for physical or psychological healing. Ask if this is the source of the essential oils you are buying. When you are fairly well satisfied that a vendor is offering a good product along with good customer service, you will probably be ready to buy. Take it slow. Don’t buy very much on your first order. That way you can make sure this is a company you want to do business with.
Whether you buy your essential oils online or at a local aromatherapy store, you will need to exercise good judgment in making your purchases. The most important things are to get a good quality product and to deal with a company that gives good customer service.
Where to Buy Essential Oils
If you decide that you want to begin using essential oils, you might have trouble finding them. You may need a bit of help determining where to buy your essential oils. After all, you won’t find bottles of essential oils on the shelves of your grocery store or your local discount store. At least, if you do, they won’t be of good enough quality to use. If you are living in a city, or even in a health-conscious town, you might have other choices locally.
- There are stores that cater to aromatherapy practitioners who use essential oils. These store-owners will be glad to sell to people who wish to try small amounts of the oils, as well. One advantage of dealing with someone locally is that you get to sample the products or at least see the condition of the bottles before you buy. If they are covered with dust, you might suspect that the essential oils are old. They might have lost some of their potency.
- If you have no such stores near you, you will probably have to buy from a catalog or an internet company. The problem with catalogs is that it is often difficult to get good customer service from a company that deals primarily with catalog sales. However, there is often a good variety of essential oils to be found in catalogs.
- Internet companies, on the other hand, usually have staff devoted to handling customer questions and complaints. Many of these companies give detailed information on how the essential oils are used. Some companies help you to identify your particular complaints and tell you which essential oils work best for them. Furthermore, these companies often will focus on safety issues. For example, they might steer you away from essential oils that interfere with medications you are currently taking.
Local, catalog and internet companies may all try to sell you blends of essential oils. These can be very effective, but it is important to know what exactly you are getting. Internet companies are notorious for selling blends without explaining their ingredients. However, if you bother to ask the question, you can usually find out.
If you are going to the internet anyway, take the time to comparison shop.
Notice the differences in the descriptions of the essential oils. Do they claim to be therapeutic grade? Look also at the prices. Look for higher prices for more exotic essential oils. If not, something is wrong. Also, some internet and catalog vendors give different types of discounts. Some are seasonal sales. Sometimes, you can get free shipping if you order a certain amount of the essential oils. Note these price reductions and take them into account when choosing your vendor.
Buying essential oils requires some thought and study. You should never rely totally on the information given to you by a seller of essential oils. After all, they want to make money like anyone else. However, if you research carefully, you should find a good place to buy your essential oils.
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