An essential oil is a natural oil typically obtained by distillation or pressing and having the characteristic fragrance of the plant or other source from which it is extracted. Essential oils are considered volatile since they readily evaporate when left uncontained as they only contain the volatile organic compounds of a plant. Essential oils are often used in aromatherapy or topical therapy for evoking natural biological responses in the human body when exposed to these organic chemical compounds.
The first records of essential oil use comes from ancient India, Persia, and Egypt; and both Greece and Rome conducted extensive trade in essential oils. These ancient cultures infused the oils by placing flowers, roots, and leaves in other fatty oils. The extraction of essential oils came during the golden age of Arabian culture. Arabians were the first culture of people to distill ethyl alcohol from fermented sugar, providing a new solvent for essential oil extraction in place of the fatty oil extractions that had been used for several millennia. The knowledge of steam distillation spread to Europe during the Middle Ages, during the 11th to 13th centuries, producing two substances: the pure volatile essential oil essence of a plant and the hydrosol off-steam of the plant, which is the common method used today to produce most essential oils.
Essential oils are derived from plants, flowers, herbs, or trees as an extract. The oil bears the name of the plant form which it is derived; for example, rose oil or peppermint oil. Distillation is the most common method for isolation of essential oils, but other processes- including enfleurage (extraction by using fat), maceration, solvent extraction, and mechanical pressing-are used for certain essential oil products.
Essential oils are quite different from fragrances in that there is no official recommended usage rate (by the FDA or otherwise). We usually follow recommended usage rates from the essential oil companies themselves. All essential oil company claims are regulated by their own scientists when this article was written. Therefore, each and every essential oil company claim is their own and they are not regulated by any other party. This includes claims of “therapeutic-grade”, “medicinal”, “edible”, “scientist-approved”, etc.
The major thing one we are concerned about with essential oils are the purity levels, which is reported in each essential oil’s GC/MS reports. We only use PURE natural essential oils according to these scientific tests.
For informational purposes only, our stance is that we do not consider any essential oil to be safely edible unless specifically directed by a licensed healthcare practitioner under special supervision and circumstances.
The owner of Perma-Earth (and author of this article) is someone who has worked with essential oils for over a decade at the time of this writing. I know how to properly test essential oils myself, I have personally compared dozens of different essential oil companies, I make myself aware of their origins, and I make sure that we only use 100% pure, therapeutic-grade (non-diluted, properly extracted, responsibly sourced) essential oils in our products.
Where Do You Source Your Essential Oils?
We use essential oils in many of our products, you can shop for only essential oil products through our drop-down menu selection to narrow the scent choices to essential oils only. Alternatively, you can just as easily select “fragranced only” or “unscented only” options as well through the same method.