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All essential oils are distilled from plants, and they have powerful healing properties. At the time of this original writing, only 2 percent of essential oils sold in the United States were therapeutic-grade. Thanks to Andrea Butje and others after her, that number has risen, dramatically.
Standards have been developed by the Association French Normalization Organization Regulation and adopted by the International Standards Organization to distinguish true, therapeutic-grade essential oils from inferior oils that are merely used for fragrance. True therapeutic essential oils are immune-system stimulating, anti-viral, anti-infectious, anti-bacterial, anti-microbial, antiseptic, anti-tumoral, anti-fungal, and more.
GAS CHROMATOGRAPHY AND MASS SPECTROMETRY PURITY TESTING
Gas Chromatography and Mass Spectrometry (GS/MS) analysis are the scientific method employed to differentiate imposters from the real McCoy. It measures and yields a three-dimensional analysis, allowing direct identification of essential oil constituents and percentages. If only two primary constituents do not meet precise percentages, the oil cannot be AFNOR or ISO certified, although the oil may still qualify as Grade A. GC/MS analysis can also identify oils that have been synthetically manipulated. The best testing uses a 50-meter column during GC testing. Most US labs utilize a 30-meter column, which is adequate for vitamins or minerals, but is certainly not adequate for the chemical complexity of essential oils. An oil's purity can be affected by myriad environmental factors: geographical region, altitude, climate, soil, growing conditions, harvest method, and season. Even the time of day the plant is harvested can affect the oil's purity! Producing genuine, therapeutic-grade essential oils is indeed a fine art.
GC/MS ANALYZES FOR
Synthetic fragrance materials and their isomers
Synthetic “nature identical” essential oil components
Expensive oils “cut” with inexpensive oils
PROPER STEAM DISTILLATION
The distillation method also affects an essential oil's purity, and therapeutic-grade oils mandate preserving as many of the plant's compounds as possible. Therapeutic-grade essential oils must only be distilled in stainless steel cooking chambers at lowest possible pressure and lowest possible temperature. Extremely high temperature and high pressure, or contact with chemically reactive metals such as copper or aluminum can quickly destroy delicate compounds.
The primary components of 98 percent of all essential oils in the market are synthetic. They should not be used for therapeutic applications, and they potentially carry risks. For those with chemical sensitivities or allergies to perfume, you must stay away from impure oils. Only pure essential oils should be used for therapeutic purposes. At best, synthetic oils may not produce desired therapeutic results, at worst, they could be toxic. Due to dishonesty, some oils labeled “100% pure” are NOT. Unfortunately, some low quality oils may even hide behind the “organic” badge.
If you are using essential oils for therapeutic purposes, ask the supplier what kind of testing they do to assure the purity and quality of a therapeutic grade essential oil. Find out how often their oils are tested and if you can receive (at a minimum) a GC analysis. If they won't offer you proof, reconsider who you buy from.
Essential oils used at Paula's Body Shop are 100% pure, therapeutic-grade.
Quality oils are thoroughly analyzed regularly, batch by batch to assure their purity and quality. They are free of added water, alcohol, carriers or other diluents. No chemical solvents are added during distillation, and nothing is added to the oil after distillation. These oils are wholly suitable for aromatherapy, cosmetics, cooking, and body application.
This information was graciously excerpted with permission from www.mountainroseherbs.com and from documentation provided by Elizabeth Van Buren Essential oils at www.elizabethvanburen.com. A great source of education on essential oils can be found at www.aromahead.com.
Solutions to everyday stress involve identifying where we are emotionally unhappy and then taking action to correct or curb the circumstances involved, and that means finding out what’s at the root of a given problem, before seeking solutions. I love this kind of problem-solving and happily share for those seeking similar unique yet ubiquitous solutions. Consequently, the topics here may vary within health, lifestyle, and work/business.
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The word massage denotes Paula's Fasciae Therapy (connective tissue therapy) which integrates and innovates based on: Swedish medical massage, Neuromuscular therapy, Trigger point therapy, Acupressure, Shiatsu, various vibrational therapies: Massage cupping by machine, Tok Sen, gentle Gua sha, and BioSyntonie.
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