with essential oils by TAOASIS

Aromatherapy has become increasingly popular in recent years. However, many people do not know what exactly essential oils are, where they come from and how to recognize good quality essential oils. We will give you an insight into the basics of aromatherapy and show you how you can use essential oils as part of natural healing.

What is Aromatherapy ?

With the help of aromatherapy, we can learn to consciously deal with the scents of nature and use them sensibly. Through the associated sensitization of our sense of smell, we also get back on the track of our own body odors and learn to accept them as part of our self – or to change them specifically, through a change in our lifestyle and diet.

Aromatherapy is an integral part of naturopathy. It considers the human being as a whole and understands illness not as a cause, but as a consequence of an often also psychological condition that is out of balance. Various naturopathic methods follow similar principles. In aromatherapy, too, the focus is always on strengthening and activating the body’s own self-healing powers. In aromatherapy, not the whole plant is used, but parts or only a part of the plant, the essence of which comes into effect in the essential oils in concentrated form. Although essential oils are only an extract from the plant, they contain the same important information and the concentrated life force of the plant. The aromatic plants from which essential oils are extracted are for the most part medicinal plants, which man has been using for centuries for various diseases due to their healing power.

What are essential oils?

Essential oils are volatile essences obtained by steam distillation, extraction or squeezing of plants or parts of plants, or they can also be produced synthetically. They evaporate quickly and without residue, unlike fatty oils, such as olive oil or almond oil.

Essential oils have a direct effect on the brain through their scent and influence a variety of psychological, emotional and physical control mechanisms of which we are usually not even aware. They are extremely versatile and are suitable not only for room scenting, but also excellent for fragrant herbal and flower baths, for inhalations and for the production of natural body and massage oils.

Ätherische Öle von TAOASIS

The extraction of the essence

Essential oils can be extracted in various ways. The extraction methods are divided into enfleurage, steam distillation, cold pressing and solvent extraction. The vast majority of aromatic plants, roots and woods are obtained by classical steam distillation, citrus fruits mostly by cold pressing of the peels and some precious flowers by solvent.

Essential oils are extracted from a wide variety of plant parts:

  • flowers like rose, jasmine etc. and the flowering herb like lavender.
  • leaves like eucalyptus or the whole herb like rosemary etc.
  • roots like nard and vetiver
  • needles and twigs like spruce, pine or fir
  • wood like rosewood and sandalwood
  • bark like cinnamon bark
  • resin from trees like frankincense and myrrh
  • fruits like anise and fennel, litsea cubeba
  • berries and berry-like juniper cones
  • vanilla beans
  • seeds like cocoa beans and nutmeg
  • fruit peels such as orange and lemon

Not all fragrances are created equal: The quality of essential oils

Surveys have shown that even many fragrance lovers can hardly distinguish the pure, natural fragrances from the synthetic and nature-identical “twins” from the laboratory. What is offered for sale on the shelves of tea stores and supermarkets are often purely synthetic or nature-identical creations from the laboratory.

Nature-identical is not natural

The word “nature-identical” is intended to give consumers the impression that the corresponding fragrance is exactly like nature – but this is not true at all. Unlike essential oils, which, as we know, have been used by our ancestors in every conceivable application and have proven their worth for thousands of years, there are no empirical long-term studies for synthetic and nature-identical cocktails. Therefore, not all fragrances are the same: only in the case of correspondingly excellent, naturally pure essential oils can one be sure that one is holding a natural product in one’s hands. But even with natural essential oils there are still great differences in quality. The quality of an essential oil is influenced by several factors, which are not always apparent to consumers when buying.

Quality factor origin & cultivation method

One factor for the quality is the origin and cultivation method of the aromatic plants from which the precious oils are extracted. Origin and cultivation method are differentiated in:

  • wild growth or wild collection
  • biodynamic cultivation (Demeter)
  • controlled organic cultivation (KbA)
  • conventional cultivation
Etikett und Qulität

Pure essential oils from wild-collected plants usually have a very high quality, as the plants have grown in their natural location. However, there are some companies that only have limited essential oils from wild-collected plants in their product range, which can be seen in the example of the Australian tea tree. Due to high demand, too much cutting has been done to the wild trees, putting the entire stock at risk.

The solution here is compatible crops – preferably based on controlled organic cultivation. Oils from Demeter and organic cultivation, due to species-appropriate and poison-free culture, are generally also very good, but still cannot set a generally valid quality standard. This is partly because the culture, the selection of the right seeds and especially the distillation is a real art, often passed from generation to generation. Nevertheless, biodynamic cultivation, like controlled organic cultivation, is an active contribution to environmental protection and a necessary investment in the future.

The tested purity is decisive

Although the origin of the plants can have a decisive influence on the quality of the essences, the origin or cultivation method is only one of very many criteria that do not allow any generally valid statements. Much more decisive for the quality of an essential oil is its purity. Since these are extremely precious oils, it is a peccadillo for many wholesalers to dilute the essences. This is even legitimate due to the lack of legal quality criteria. If a diluted lemon oil has a citral content that is too low according to the European Pharmacopoeia (EuAB), it can be replenished by adding synthetic citral without this even being noticed. Synthetic oils, which are not suitable for aromatherapy, are many times cheaper than natural essential oils.

Aromatherapy with oils from TAOASIS: fragrance can inspire

All this shows how important it is to be well informed and to focus on certified manufacturers who label their oils comprehensively and transparently and ensure purity and naturalness of the oils through their own as well as independent quality controls.

You can find out more about the quality standards at TAOASIS here.

Areas of application of aromatherapy

The areas of application of aromatherapy are as diverse as the fragrances themselves. On our topic pages, you will find a wealth of information – from the most important essential oils to their application and dosage to special topics such as aromatherapy in pregnancy.