Hey, hey, my friend!! Ready to continue our chemistry journey? We’ve talked how your oils are affected (or not affected) by heat, cold, light, air, adulteration and shelf life…now let’s talk about water…
What’s your guess? Does water affect your oils?
Are you one who likes to use your oils in your bath or shower?? Dr. Stewart tells us there is really no problem with the water changing the chemistry of the oil. He says the challenge is to add the oils to your bath so that those concentrated little drops don’t come into contact with sensitive body parts and cause unpleasant burning. He suggests combining the oil with a gel or with Epsom salts and pouring the mixture under the running faucet so the oil is dispersed throughout your bathwater, and not floating around in concentrated areas. He also said mixing aloe vera or a liquid bath soap in the tub before adding your oil also helps by emulsifying and dispersing the oils harmlessly throughout the water.
Be sure to choose your oils carefully though…Hot oils like peppermint, oregano or cinnamon could result in a "memorable" experience…be sure to use common sense… 😉
By using your oils in a hot bath or even a whirlpool, it allows your body to absorb them through your skin as well as through inhalation. Soaking in a hot tub with a few drops of eucalyptus or another oil high in 1, 8 cineole, is a good way to get relief from those symptoms of being under the weather and for breathing support. Be sure to look up that 1, 8 cineole and see what it’s secret is!!
You can also check out your Essential Oils Desk Reference for more info on how to use your oils in your bath.
So, what about diffusers? Did you snag a few more this week during that incredible sale?? I did…you can never have too many diffusers…Anyway…
Some inexpensive diffusers operate by floating the oils on a surface of water in a tray with a fan that blows through to disperse the oils into the air. Some chemical alterations may take place, but that isn’t the problem. The problem with these fan type evaporation diffusers is that the lightest compounds in the oil blow off before the heavier ones, so you never get the whole oil into the air at the same time. Some oils, like cassia and cinnamon, are denser than water, and don’t even float, so they wouldn’t work in a diffuser like this at all.
The best diffusers use atomization. Oils are forced through a pinhole by a high pressure stream of air and it then explodes into billions of droplets so tiny that they consist of only a few molecules each. The oil vapor that results contains all of the ingredients of the oil in the same balance as it was in the liquid form, so you get all of the effectiveness and benefits.
Spraying the oil at a high velocity through the nozzle also energizes the oil, raising the level of oxygen carried by the molecules and increases its frequency, so the healing potential of the oil is increased to a higher level.
Using oils on your skin alters the chemistry of the oils based on your chemistry. If you have ever smelled a perfume from a bottle and then sprayed it on, you know that firsthand. You don’t know what it is going to smell like until you apply it. The resulting smell is a chemical combination of the perfume and its reaction to the substances in and on your skin. A perfume that smells great on one person may smell yucky on another, depending on their unique chemistry.
The sweat glands of your body brings waste products to the surface which are eventually washed away when you bathe or shower. They are usually proteins or decompositional by products of proteins. Essential oil compounds can react with these substances, changing the smell, and even alter some of the constituents that pass through your skin and into your body. Since no two people have identical bodies or chemistry, oils may not have the same effects on different people.
The therapeutic effects of an oil are a combination of the chemistry of the oil and the chemistry of the person receiving the oil. This is one reason different oils work, or don’t work, for different people and the intelligent application of oils requires some experimentation on your part.
Experimenting on your own with pharmaceutical drugs would be dangerous, but playing with the oils is safe enough for anyone who simply uses a little common sense and doesn’t go to extremes.
Any local friends interested in a women’s wellness event?? Local women, businesses, health related, coming together to share what they offer? Maybe a class or two? Sample sessions? I’m considering pulling one together for Nov/Dec if there is enough interest…know anyone who might like to share what they do/offer?
Let’s talk Light and air as we continue our trek through part of Dr. David Stewart’s book, The Chemistry of Essential Oils Made Simple.
Essential oils should always be kept in opaque or dark colored transparent bottles. In ancient Egypt and Biblical times, oils were kept in alabaster boxes or jars of limestone, marble or fired ceramics, and usually sealed with a translucent or opaque layer of wax.
Today most properly packaged oils are in dark amber (brown) or dark blue glass bottles. If you should see an oil for sale, claiming to be “essential” and it is in a clear white bottle, it is either not a true essential oil, or the packager simply didn’t know any better. Sadly, whatever essential oil may have been there has been long since destroyed by light.
The tiny size of the molecules are responsible for the aroma and therapeutic value of an oil. These tiny molecules are aromatic because they are light enough to evaporate, get into the air, and enter our noses so we can smell them. Small molecules are therapeutic because they can penetrate the skin and muscle tissue, pass through the blood-brain barrier, and even through cell membranes, working right at the cellular levels and right down to your DNA.
If your oils are exposed to light for a long time, the small molecules join together to make larger molecules. These large molecules don’t easily evaporate and they have no aroma at room temp, nor can they penetrate body tissues or enter into your cells. They have no therapeutic value like those small molecules do.
Basically, light will eventually destroy an essential oil, chemically altering it into a substance that is no longer of any value aromatically or therapeutically.
But don’t worry if your bottle tops are off while if you blend one oil with another, or if you get into doing Raindrop or Neuroauricular techniques. A few minutes, or even a few hours exposure won’t substantially change the composition of your oils….we are talking about exposure to light over days, weeks and months. That will destroy an essential oil.
Now let’s talk about air and what it will do to your oils. Dr. Stewart tells us that extended exposure to air will cause an oil to oxidize – the molecules of the oil will take on extra oxygen atoms, which will change their chemistry and therapeutic actions, maybe even destroying it all together. For example, the main ingredient in all citrus oils is d-limonene – it has a very faint fragrance of “citrus”, like orange or lime…it is not strong. But when limonene is exposed to air for a long period of time, what doesn’t evaporate can oxidize into another compound called limonene oxide which smells like turpentine… D-limonene is thought to be a cancer fighter (I have hinted before that you are given hints to research when you read the descriptions of the oils!!) but the benefits of limonene oxide are dubious and unknown and certainly not the same as d-limonene.
Most essential oil bottles have airtight caps along with non-reactive plastic or Teflon dropper caps that make it extremely difficult for any air to circulate into and out of the bottle even when the caps are off – even for an extended period of time like overnight.
That “under the weather season” is fast approaching, too. What are you doing to stay above that wellness line?? Ready for something different?? Ever tried elderberry syrup? How about a foot detox?? Or a Raindrop session? All incredible body support at the cellular level for so many things beyond immune support…Booking here at my house, at a local salon and I can even come to you. You will be amazed at your energy level, how much better you sleep, that brain fog might dissipate, hormones may balance out…overall body support is always the answer, my friend. What’s holding you back from feeling your best?? Message me and let’s get your session booked.