We were so excited to introduce our Infused Oil Collection yesterday and I just wanted to spend a few minutes discussing the differences between an infused oil and essential oil before we release our next infusion, Frankincense Resin Infused Oil.
Essential oils are extracted, making these oils more potent, concentrated, and expensive. "During distillation the plant material is placed upon a grid inside a still. Once inside, the still is sealed, and, depending upon the above methods, steam or water/steam slowly breaks through the plant material to remove its volatile constituents. These volatile constituents rise upward through a connecting pipe that leads them into a condenser. The condenser cools the rising vapor back into liquid form. The liquid is then collected in a vehicle below the condenser. Since water and essential oil do not mix, the essential oil will be found on the surface of the water where it is siphoned off."*
Essential oils are highly aromatic, volatile plant oils that are used in aromatherapy. They tend to evaporate or volatilize fairly easily at moderate temperatures. It is this volatility that allows the scent to reach your olfactory system and be perceived as fragrant. Essential oils are inhaled, used in room diffusers, applied topically when properly diuted and in some instances under the proper care of a naturopath who is trained to do so, taken internally.
Infused oils are created when plant matter is soaked (or infused) within an oil base. Fresh or dried herbs are added to a carrier oil and then gently and slowly heated for an extended period of time to extract the scents, flavors and medicinal properties of the plants. Common carrier oils used are jojoba, olive oil and sweet almond oil. All have wonderful, nourishing properties of their own and when infused with the herbs, beautifully soothing.
Herbs like Arnica, Calendula and St. John's Wort are very common herbs that are infused for their pain relief, bruising, injury to muscles and assistance with inflammation. Lavender for sunburns, burns, headaches and simply worn as a light perfume for relaxation. Dandelion for it's analgesic properties. Mountain Rose Herbs shares a list of herbs that can be used for infusion as well as their theraputic properties.
Infused oils are at the heart of many healing salves, ointments, shampoos and essential oil blends.
I'm looking forward to sharing the rest of our Infused Oil Collection in the upcoming week and continuing to find the best ways to use herbs, essential oils and infused oils for my family and yours. Feel free to contact me if you have any questions regarding infused oils, essential oils or their uses.
As Always, Be Well!