Thursday, August 26, 2010

Essentail Oil Active Ingredients

G'morning fellow bloggers & readers!

Today I am going to give you all some info on the active ingredients found in essential oils. The active ingredients are what determines the healing properties & fragrance of a particular oil.

A single essential oil can contain several hundred different chemicals that together make up it's individual character, aroma & therapeutic action. The relative amount of each chemical in an oil can be a guide to it's effect.

Active ingredients often act in combination to increase the oil's therapeutic action or balance one another out. Citral in lemon oil, for example, is an irritant, but limonene in the same oil is a "quencher", canceling out citrals harmful actions.


Alcohols~Alcohols are very uplifting and have antiseptic and antiviral properties. They have the suffix "-ol" example being Citronellol. Cleansing oils such as Eucalyptus are high in alcohols.

Ketones~Ketones are sedative and pain-relieving. The ketones in plants such as Jasmine can help you drift off into a peaceful sleep.

Esters~Esters are soothing and anti-inflammatory. They have the suffix "-ate", example being Geranyl Acetate. Relaxing oils such as Chamomile are high in Esters.

Aldehydes~Aldehydes are cooling and calming. They tend to end "-al", example being Citronella. Aldehydes are often responsible for the strong smell of plants such as Citronella and Lavender.

Phenols~Phenols stimulate the immune and nervous systems. Phenol-rich oils such as Thyme aid healing.

Terpenes~Terpenes are a vaast family of chemicals ending in "-ene", example being Pinene. Monoterpenes are found in citrus oils such as lime and are analgesic and antiseptic. Sequisterpenes are calming and balancing.

WARNING Avoid oils that contain ketones if you are pregnant!

Phenolic ethers such as those found in Fennel are not safe for children!

Citrus oils can make you more prone to sunburn

If you have sensitive skin avoid oxides, phenols and aldehydes

If you have epilepsy or high blood pressure you should not use oils that stimulate the nervous system or circulation.

I hope you have found today's post to be interesting and informative! Next post will show you how to choose an effective oil.....see ya then chicki-poos!
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