Essential Oils And Aromatherapy

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General characters

  • They are insoluble in water

  • Soluble in organic solvents

  • They are highly volatile

  • They do not produce greasy stain in blotting paper

  • They possess sweet aroma

Distribution

Families

  • Apiaceae

  • Asteraceae

  • Caesalpiniaceae

  • Lamiaceae

  • Lauraceae

  • Fabaceae

  • Myrtaceae

  • Rutaceae

  • Geraniaceae

  • Santalaceae

  • Verbenaceae

  • Ranunculaceae

Etc.

 The oil is extracted from various plant parts, via

  • Root  – Vetiveria zizinoides

  • Stem – Pinus longifolia

  • Leaf – Eucalyptus globus

  • Flower petals- Rosa damascene

  • Flower bud –Syzygium aromaticum

  • Bark – Cinnamomum zeylanica

  • Fruit – Cuminum cyminum

Extraction

There are three different methods of extraction

  • Solvent extraction – eg. Jasmine oil

  • Simple expression –  eg. Citrus oil

  • Steam distillation – eg. Eucalyptus oil

Uses

Essential oils are extensively used by humans from the date unknown until today for various purposes.  They are used as perfumes and recently gained much more interest in medical practice as aromatherapy. In aromatherapy the patients are made to inhale the vapours of essential oils for achieving specific therapeutic use. Some of the oils, source plant and uses in aroma therapy are listed below.

  • Ylang-ylang oil from Cannga odorata is used for treating gout and cephalgia.

  • Rosa oil from Rosa damascene is the most used perfume in the world and also used to treat eye diseases

  • Champaka oil from Michaelia champaka is used for joint diseases

  • Cedrus oil from Cedrus deodara is used as a diaphoretic in the treatment of fever

  • Eucalyptus oil from Eucalyptus globus is used in respiratory diseases

  • Mint oil from Mentha  arvenses is used for digestive disturbances

  • Jasmine oil from Jasminum sampac is used for head aches, migraine etc

  • Geranium oil is used in infections of respiratory tract

  • Cinnomomum oil is used for salivary disturbances and also as a carminative

  • Lemon grass oil is used as skin refresher

  • Lavender oil is used as tension reliever

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