What Makes Our Oils Special?
The integrity of an essential oil is determined by the botanical from which it was derived, proper harvest, and gentle extraction methods to bring the finished products to life. At NOW® Solutions, we utilize exceptional raw materials from growers who share our passion for quality from start-to-finish. This constant attention to detail ultimately allows NOW® Solutions to bring you essential oils that are pure and unsurpassed in quality and purity.
We currently offer over 80 essential oils in a wide array of sizes and varieties, including full one-ounce liquids, twin packs, and more economical larger 4, 8, and 16 ounce sizes for certain varieties. Our oils are tested using Fourier Transform Infrared Spectroscopy (FTIR) and Gas Chromatography (GC) to ensure the highest retention of active aromatherapeutic constituents.
Before an essential oil becomes an essential oil, it must first be extracted from its original botanical. To accomplish this, one of three specialized extraction methods are used. Extraction is a critical step in the essential oil manufacturing process, and must be performed at just the right time, depending on the plant and oil in question. Proper extraction will yield the strongest concentration of active compounds, while incorrect or incomplete extraction efforts may significantly affect the finished oil’s potency.
Distillation, Water or Steam
With distillation, essential oils are converted into vapor and then condensed into liquid form where they can be bottled for your enjoyment. It is a popular, natural and precise way to gently extract essential oils without damaging the botanical.
Cold press extraction is used primarily for citrus extracts, such as orange, lemon, lime, bergamot and tangerine. It involves carefully applying a cold “press” to the botanical to extract the highest concentration of volatile oils.
Fragile botanicals such as Rose and Jasmine have a difficult time surviving the distillation process. Solvent extraction method is used most commonly when working with Essential Oil blends, such as absolutes from Rose and Jasmine. Sometimes solvents are necessary to coax the essential oils out of the botanical material, and we ensure that these are removed to ensure safety.
USING ESSENTIAL OILS
Essential oils offer boundless versatility and can be used in a number of ways to enrich the quality of life. From aromatherapy and massage, to personal care and household applications, they can serve as wonderful additions to any home or lifestyle. Essential oils are intended for aromatherapeutic, and in some cases, external use. They should be kept away from direct sunlight and used with caution at all times.
Diffusion—Diffusion provides continuous distribution of the oil’s scents and active constituents, making it easy to absorb them within the body. The nerve fibers of the olfactory cavity do not pass through the brain’s switching station, and are therefore immediately recognized by the limbic system. Diffusion is an effective and non-invasive way to reap the benefits of essential oils.
Skin Applications—Certain oils can be applied to the skin, though it is very important to use caution when doing so. 100% essential oils are highly concentrated and may need to be diluted for safe, topical use. Carrier oils, such as grape seed and jojoba, are two of the most popular carrier oils and are ideal for diluting. For more information on topical applications, we suggest consulting an aromatherapist or a credible aromatherapy book such as the one listed below.
Bath—Adding just a few drops of Lavender, Chamomile, Eucalyptus or other essential oils to a warm bath is a wonderful way to unwind after a long, stressful day. As with all highly concentrated essential oils, be cautious when allowing any essential oil to come into contact with the skin, as some may cause skin irritation or discomfort. They can make your tub slippery too, so watch your step.
Cosmetics—Some essential oils can be complementary to your favorite cosmetic and personal care products. These include soaps and body wash, shampoos and conditioners, moisturizing lotions and creams, and many others. Always make sure that the oil you’re working with is appropriate, or diluted appropriately, for topical use.
Using essential oils properly requires the right mix of knowledge and responsibility. Since most are highly concentrated, it is very important to use caution before allowing an oil to come into contact with the skin to avoid irritation. Never consume or apply any essential oil directly on the skin without first learning whether or not the oil in question is appropriate, and if so, how to do it safely. For more information on using essential oils, we recommend consulting a credible book or reference guide, such as Aromatherapy for Everyone by PJ Pierson and Mary Shipley.