|Definitions of Some Common Terms in Aromatherapy & Herbology|
an essential oil, but solvent extracted.
Aromatherapy-The use of essential oils to heal or positively effect the mind and body. This goes far beyond simply scenting one's body or environment. Aromatherapy recognizes the action essentail oils have on the body, whether through inhalation, ingestion, or massage. Aromatherapists study the properties of the various essential oils (just as herbalists study the properties and uses of herbs), and how they may be utilized to achieve a specific goal, as well as how essential oils may be safely used, and what precautions need to be taken.
Diffusion-The act of distributing essential oils into the air through various means, such as evaporation by heat from a light bulb, a plug-in diffuser or carried in water vapors of a simmering pot or steamer, or any number of aromatherapy accessories.
Essential Oil-The pure, volitile, aromatic essence of the plant, comprised of many different aromatic molecules. Essential Oils may be steam distilled, or obtained through Direct Expression or Enfleurage. An essential oil is highly concentrated, and can be anywhere from 5 to 50 times the potency of the plant itself. See the Wikipedia entry for more information.
Anti-Microbal-Antimicrobial is a general term given to substances including medicines that kill or slow the growth of microbes. Microbe is a collective name given to bacteria, viruses, fungi, and parasites.
Preservatives-Protect against microbes or oxidation, keeping products fresh and free of potentially harmful deterioration that could impact product safety. Most products require a preservative. In some cases, products may be 'self-preserving', such as those containing high amounts of alcohol or honey. When in doubt, however, be sure a product is adequately preserved for the sake of safety!
The following is intended for informational purposes. It is advised that one consult a qualified health care professional when utilizing herbs, particularly if one is pregnant or on conventional medications.