ESSENTIAL OILS & FLORAL TONICS

S-oleos essenciais-EN

What are essential oils
Essential oils are a hydrophobic, concentrated liquid containing aromatic compounds derived from plants. They are known by other names such as volatile oils or ethereal oils or simply “... oil” preceded by the name of the plant it originates from. The term essential comes from the aroma (or essence) that the plants give these oils. Essential oils can be used for medicinal, cosmetic, pharmaceutical and cooking purposes and do not form an isolated category in any of these applications
Essential oils are commonly obtained by using steam distillation. They can also be obtained by using cold compression or extraction by using solvents, but in this case a contamination of the final oil extract may occur.  For this reason the products obtained are not called essential oils. The application of essential oils is vast. A single oil may be an integral part of a cosmetic, perfume, medication product, cooking recipe or even cleaning product.

 

 

What essential oils contain and some surprising facts

Essential oils contain among other compounds alcohols, enthrals, esters, aldehydes, keytones and phenols. An essential oil is a mixture of many of these compounds, very often over a hundred. Among all the constituent substances there is normally a large group of terpenic alcohols (bio derivatives of isoprene). Given their chemical complexity, essential oils develop a wide range of therapeutic functions. We can mention for example research done by the University of Western Australia with oil from the tea (Melaleuca alternifoliaa). Comparative studies done with this oil, with alternifolia and fluconazole in cultures from the Canadian albicans demonstrated that after the sixth generation, fluconazole loses its effectiveness, while the oil extracted from the Melaleuca keeps its fungicide activity. Or rather, essential oils, given their synergistic chemical complexity, are able to maintain their high patterns of antibiotic and antiseptic activity in the presence of pathogenic microorganisms.
They are more effective than many of the wide spectrum antibiotics, existent.

 

Some precautions to be taken when using essential oils
The precautions to be had with essential oils are due to their levels of purity. Pure essential oils should never be applied on skin since they may cause severe irritation or acute allergies. After having applied essential oils (in a diluted form) exposure to direct sunlight should be avoided (especially with oils derived from citrus fruits). Additionally, the indiscriminate use and use without specialist supervision of essential oils may lead to hepatotoxicity. The same applies to the ingestion of essential oils, which always requires medical advice. Essential oils should not be used on animals since there are reports of liver and dermic toxicity, especially in cats. The application of essential oils should always be done with the use of neutral base oil. Some examples are sweet almond oil, sunflower oil and grape seed oil. The oils should not be used by pregnant women (the ingestion of the smallest amounts such as 0,5 ml of some oils can cause miscarriage) or people who have reported episodes of epilepsy. Essential oils are flammable. When using them (such as in the production of soaps, used in SPA or similar areas) never approach heat sources and/or light sources.

 

The production quality of essential oils

The production quality of essential oils should be registered on a chromatogram, which allows for comparisons of the replication of the production of the essential oils (distillation) from batch to batch including the amount of water present in the final product. Essential oils do not have antiseptic additives since they generally have strong antimicrobial activity when in a pure state. The batches produced should always be kept in a dry and cold environment as well as out of direct sunlight.  They should only be stored in dark brown or topaz blue glass containers.

 

S-tonicos florais-EN

What are Hydrolates

Hydrolates, or floral water are distilled herbs or “essential water” which are aqueous solutions or colloidal suspensions (hydrosols) of essential oils obtained from steam distillation of aromatic plants. They are different from essential oils because the distillation process makes the essential oil and the water condense simultaneously. Depending on the type of distillation, the production of hydrolates leaves a more or less significant amount of essential oil at the surface. After removing this amount of oil and after a few days, i tis impossible to see any more oil forming in the separation phase of the water. At this point the pure hydrolate is obtained (without excessive essential oil). 

 

What do hydrolates contain?
Hydrolates contain an amount of essential oils (soluble) from aromatic plants from where they were obtained and a larger concentration of organic acids. As such ad with a PH level between 5 and 6 they can be used as facial or body tonics. The hydrolates also contain plant flavanoides and pigments, responsible for some of their final colour.

Some Precaustions to be had with the use of Hydrolates
Since the hydrolates have acidic characteristics, they have a tendency to inhibit the growth of bacteria. However, hydrolates are not sterile and their use should be considered as similar as those of other fresh products such as milk. Since the water used in the production of these originates in a boiler, they have similar characteristics as a liquid that has under gone pasteurisation.  The issues related to the contamination are raised during the collection and the packaging. These should be done as quickly as possible and stored, out of direct sunlight, in cool areas and if possible in a refrigerated environment. 

 

The most common hydrolates
The presence of hydrolates in common use in aromatherapy is very recent. The most commonly sold hydrolates are rose water and orange blossom water. Until now there has been little in the market of other hydrolates in the most part due to the low demand and added costs of transport.

 

The Production Quality of Hydrolates

The Production of hydrolates varies very significantly with the distillation techniques. The closed distillation processes, where the products obtained have no contact with air, originate higher quality hydrolates because of the reduced possibility of bacteriological contamination. The artisanal production of these types of products should consider the quality control of stocks which can be done periodically, registering parameters such as : colour change, the presence of smell, an increase in the turbidity, the presence of precipitate and the microbial counts (in this case every 90 days).

 


 

INFORMATION PREPARED FOR AROMAS DO VALADO BASED ON PRIMARY REFERENCES AND SOURCES OF INFORMATION BELIEVED TO BE RELIABLE.  A PRIMARY SOURCE OF INFORMATION IS CONSIDERED AS BEING A BOOK OR SCIENTIFIC ARTICLE WHICH HAS BEEN SUBJECT TO A REVIEW BY A SCIENTIFIC JURY OR COMMITTEE. IN THE SPECIFIC CASE OF ARTICLES CONSULTED, ONLY PUBLICATIONS SUBJECT TO PEER REVIEW WERE CONSIDERED. INFORMATION CONTAINED IN BOOKS, ARTICLES AND SITES THAT ARE NOT OFFICIAL, WHICH ARE THE OPINIONS OF INDIVIDUALS, PARTICULARLY WITH RESPECT TO THE THERAPEUTIC PROPERTIES OR APPLICATIONS OF ESSENTIAL OILS OR RELATED PRODUCTS ARE NOT CONSIDERED. ALL INFORMATION IS GIVEN IN GOOD FAITH AND TO THE BEST OF OUR KNOWLEDGE AND SCOPE. (ANY INFORMATION PROVIDED SHALL NOT BE DEEMED AS TO BE OWNED BY OR EXCLUSIVE OF BIORAH BIOSCIENCES. THE COLLECTION PROCESS, SELECTION AND PRESENTATION OF INFORMATION IS DONE WHILE TAKING INTO CONSIDERATION THE REQUESTS OF "AROMAS DE VALADO". SO THE INFORMATION SHOULD NOT BE REPRODUCED WITHOUT AUTHORIZATION.