What are essential oil's?

Essential oils are naturally occurring aromatic compounds that are found in the seeds, bark, stems, roots, resin, aerial parts and flowers of plants. The type of volatile aromatic compounds present in an essential oil determines both the oil’s aromatic quality's and also therapeutic benefits it offers.


Extraction Methods

Most common essential oils—such as lavender, pine, spearmint, peppermint, tea tree oil, and eucalyptus—are steam distilled in order to extract their essential oil. In order to distill the oil raw plant material, such as aerial parts, resin, flowers, leaves, wood, bark, roots, seeds, peel or stems is put into a coppers still or distillation apparatus over extremely hot water . As the water is heated the steam passes through the plant material which then turns the volatile compounds into vapor. The vapors flow within a coil in the apparatus, where they then condense due to the structure of the coil where they then turn back to liquid.The distilled water contains essential oil and hydrosol that can be used as a spray or separated and bottled. 


Storage of your essential oils

As stated, essential oils are a volatile oil which means their liquid is released into the air which hence why we can smell them!it is very important to replace the cap tightly after use.Most KOTANICAL essential oils last up to two years but we  doubt you will have them that long with regular use.


How scent works


What exactly is a volatile aromatic compound? In short, these compounds are small organic molecules that tend to change quickly from their solid or liquid state to a gas at room temperature.  The physical and chemical properties of the volatile aromatic compounds that compose essential oils allow them to quickly move through the air and directly interact with the olfactory sensors in the nose.

When essential oils (or any scent) are inhaled through the nose aromatic molecules are carried through the lining of the nasal cavity via small olfactory nerves where millions of sensory neurons lie in a strip of tissue called the olfactory epithelium. The tips of these cells contain proteins called receptors that bind odor molecules.

People have over 400 different types of olfactory receptors (for comparison, dogs have about twice as many). Once an odor molecule binds to a receptor, it initiates an electrical signal that travels from the sensory neurons to the olfactory bulb (a structure at the base of the forebrain that relays the signal to other brain areas for additional processing). This signal goes to an area on the vermiform cortex, a collection of neurons located just behind the olfactory bulb that works to identify the smell. Smell information also goes to the thalamus, a structure that serves as a relay station for all of the sensory information coming into the brain. The thalamus is the "switchboard" of the brain and quickly sends the impulse to specific regions of the brain depending on the type of scent molecule.  

The quick signals from the thalamus to different parts of the brain are what conjure up emotions and even specific memories, like when the smell of cut grass can remind you of summer. This happens because the thalamus sends smell information to the hippocampus and amygdala, key brain regions involved in learning and memory. The effects of some scents such as citrus scent molecules can also travel to the pre-frontal cortex of the brain and affect alertness and decisiveness. The effects that certain scent molecules have on the receptors which they are places explain why we feel more energized after smelling coffee and citrus or more calm after smelling lavender and ylang ylang. This occurs before the reasoning part of the brain can be cued and quick response to scent can explain why scent often affects our mood or sparks a memory without us being aware of why.

To sum it up In general the type of volatile aromatic compounds present in an essential oil determines both the oil’s aromatic qualitys  and the benefits it offers.


Further reading