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Sep 10, 2012

Aromatherapy Mini Course-Absolutes and Hydrosols



Absolutes?
Absolutes are very similar to essential oils. They are highly aromatic liquids, which have been extracted from plant material. However, the difference between essential oils and absolutes is that absolutes are extracted using a very complex method. It does require the use of chemical solvents that will later be removed during the final stages of production.
Absolutes tend to be more highly concentrated than their counterparts the essential oils are. This is why it is important to use essentialhealing oils in your own treatment, if you are using aromatherapy as a medical treatment or as a method to relax.
The major disadvantage of using absolutes or creating absolutes is that there may be trace elements remaining of the chemical solvent in the final product. This simply cannot be helped, as there is no way to ascertain that all of the chemical solvent has been removed from the absolute before it reaches the final project stages. This is why many people use absolutes only sparingly because they are not 100% natural since they had to be extracted using chemical solvents.
One other major difference between essential oils and absolutes is that, with the essential oils it is not recommended that they be taken internally except by someone who is educated, trained, and experienced enough to do so.
However, this is even more severe in the case of absolutes, which should never be taken internally no matter who you are. The trace chemical material in the absolutes makes this a certainty.
Hydrosols?
Hydrosols are another ingredient that can be used in aromatherapy treatments. Hydrosols are the waters that remain after extracting an essential oil from a plant material. This is often referred to as the floral water or distillate water.
When extracting essential oil from plant material, the water itself will become infused with the beautiful aroma and some of the therapeutic properties of the oil itself. However, hydrosols are byproducts of the distillation process.
Another type of oil that is commonly used in aromatherapy is called infused oil. Infused oil uses a different method to extract the oils from plant material. In this method of extraction, a carrier oil is permeated with one or more herbs. This type of oil has the properties of the carrier oil but it also contains therapeutic properties of both the oil and the herbs that are infused into the oil.
While many plants contain healing or therapeutic properties, not all of these plants have the ability to be turned into the essential oils. This is because they do not have enough oil material in them to have it extracted for an essential oil. However, this is why you would infuse that particular plant or herb with a carrier oil to making infused oil.
Infused oils are generally very oily depending on what the base oil was. They are clearly diluted as they have been combined with the carrier oil and they can go bad over time. You can even make infused oil at home with a crock top at a very low heat setting. It is easy to overheat the oil so you have to be extremely careful when creating your own infused oil.

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