• Helichrysum Italicum vs Helichrysum Gymnocephalum Helichrysum Italicum vs Helichrysum Gymnocephalum

    Posted on by Carol Wu

    I often get questions about why helichrysum oils have different smells.  Well, there are several species of the popular helichrysum plant, they smell differently, and they serve different conditions.  The most common ones are,

    • Helichrysum Italicum
    • Helichrysum Gymnocephalum

    Helichrysum Italicum (Immortelle), also known as the curry plant.  It grows in the Mediterranean area, and has a fresh, floral, and slight smokey aroma. Helichrysum Italicum contains curcumene, and a high level of neryl acetate, giving it wound healing, skin cell regenerating, and anti-aging properties. This oil is very expensive because of its skin benefiting compounds.

    Helichrysum Gymnocephalum, grows in South Africa or Madagascar, it has a camphorous aroma similar with Eucalyptus, and has a high content of cineole, which provides deep healing for the respiratory system. It is great for cold and flu.

    Note: The price of Helichrysum Gymnocephalum is a lot cheaper than the Helichrysum Italicum !  It is better to ask and read the label carefully when purchasing Helichrysum Oil.

    I often get questions about why helichrysum oils have different smells.  Well, there are several species of the popular helichrysum plant, they smell differently, and they serve different conditions.  The most common ones are,

    • Helichrysum Italicum
    • Helichrysum Gymnocephalum

    Helichrysum Italicum (Immortelle), also known as the curry plant.  It grows in the Mediterranean area, and has a fresh, floral, and slight smokey aroma. Helichrysum Italicum contains curcumene, and a high level of neryl acetate, giving it wound healing, skin cell regenerating, and anti-aging properties. This oil is very expensive because of its skin benefiting compounds.

    Helichrysum Gymnocephalum, grows in South Africa or Madagascar, it has a camphorous aroma similar with Eucalyptus, and has a high content of cineole, which provides deep healing for the respiratory system. It is great for cold and flu.

    Note: The price of Helichrysum Gymnocephalum is a lot cheaper than the Helichrysum Italicum !  It is better to ask and read the label carefully when purchasing Helichrysum Oil.

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  • Essential Oil 101 Essential Oil 101

    Posted on by Jackson Fung

    <p>There are just so much information about essential oils, the best way to learn is to join a professional course or learn from books. Here, I have summarized 13 points for beginner.</p>
    <ol>
    <li>Essential oils are very concentrated liquid containing aroma compounds produced by an enormous amounts of plants through extraction.</li>
    <li>Essential oils are easily absorbed by the skin, making them popular ingredients used in personal care products for skin benefits.</li>
    <li>Essential oils may affect the body, mind, and mood by stimulating the release of neurochemicals in the brain.</li>
    <li>Fragrance, Parfum, Perfume, or Nature Identical are NOT essential oils, you can assume they are synthetic.</li>
    <li>Most essential oils are very concentrated, they should be used diluted with carrier oils on the skin.</li>
    <li>Some essential oils are photosensitive, meaning they react to sunlight or UV rays cause skin irritation such as dark pigments or rash on the skin. These oils are primarily citrus oils and include angelica, Bergamot, Grapefruit, Lemon, Lime, Orange, Wild Orange, and Tangerine.</li>
    <li>Avoid the use of essential oils on babies and children because they are very sensitive to the potency of essential oils. We recommend to avoid the use of essential oils on babies and children just to be safe.</li>
    <li>Avoid the use of essential oils while pregnant or nursing. Just to be safe we recommend stay off essential oils while pregnancy or nursing. Essential oils maybe too stimulating for women who are prone to miscarriage.</li>
    <li>People with critical health conditions should consult a doctor or aromatherapist before using essential oils.</li>
    <li>Use patch test to test if you’re sensitive to an essential oil. Dilute one drop of essential oil with 3 ml of carrier oil and apply on the skin and wait for a few hours.  If redness or irritation occurs, discontinue use immediately.</li>
    <li>Keep all essential oils out of the reach of children.  They are poison.</li>
    <li>Avoid contact with your eyes and avoid taking essential oils internally.</li>
    <li>Store your essential oils in dark glass bottles, and out of direct sunlight.</li>
    <li>Many essential oils are flammable, keep them clear of open fire, spark, or fire hazards.</li>
    </ol>
    <p>There are just so much information about essential oils, the best way to learn is to join a professional course or learn from books. Here, I have summarized 13 points for beginner.</p>
    <ol>
    <li>Essential oils are very concentrated liquid containing aroma compounds produced by an enormous amounts of plants through extraction.</li>
    <li>Essential oils are easily absorbed by the skin, making them popular ingredients used in personal care products for skin benefits.</li>
    <li>Essential oils may affect the body, mind, and mood by stimulating the release of neurochemicals in the brain.</li>
    <li>Fragrance, Parfum, Perfume, or Nature Identical are NOT essential oils, you can assume they are synthetic.</li>
    <li>Most essential oils are very concentrated, they should be used diluted with carrier oils on the skin.</li>
    <li>Some essential oils are photosensitive, meaning they react to sunlight or UV rays cause skin irritation such as dark pigments or rash on the skin. These oils are primarily citrus oils and include angelica, Bergamot, Grapefruit, Lemon, Lime, Orange, Wild Orange, and Tangerine.</li>
    <li>Avoid the use of essential oils on babies and children because they are very sensitive to the potency of essential oils. We recommend to avoid the use of essential oils on babies and children just to be safe.</li>
    <li>Avoid the use of essential oils while pregnant or nursing. Just to be safe we recommend stay off essential oils while pregnancy or nursing. Essential oils maybe too stimulating for women who are prone to miscarriage.</li>
    <li>People with critical health conditions should consult a doctor or aromatherapist before using essential oils.</li>
    <li>Use patch test to test if you’re sensitive to an essential oil. Dilute one drop of essential oil with 3 ml of carrier oil and apply on the skin and wait for a few hours.  If redness or irritation occurs, discontinue use immediately.</li>
    <li>Keep all essential oils out of the reach of children.  They are poison.</li>
    <li>Avoid contact with your eyes and avoid taking essential oils internally.</li>
    <li>Store your essential oils in dark glass bottles, and out of direct sunlight.</li>
    <li>Many essential oils are flammable, keep them clear of open fire, spark, or fire hazards.</li>
    </ol>

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  • Essential Oils vs Fragrance Oils Essential Oils vs Fragrance Oils

    Posted on by Carol Wu

    Essential oils are naturally extracted from plants, and used in aromatherapy for mind, body, and skin benefits.

    Fragrance oils are artificially created using synthetic chemicals.  They are specifically designed to produce a particular scent and do not provide any health or skin benefits.

    Price of Essential Oils

    Like red wine, the price of essential oils vary depending on the type of plant, the country of origin, the farmer, the distiller, the extraction method, the quality, and the availability.

    Essential oils of Rose, Neroli, and Jasmine are some of the well known exoctic floral essential oils.  It takes hours of labour to harvest about 1 to 8 kilogram of the plant to yield approx. 1 gram of essential oil.  It is labor intensive and time consuming to yield very little essential oil, that is why they are so expensive.

    Essential oils of Sandalwood, for centuries people have been chopping down sandalwood trees for the scent and medicinal qualities. Due to past exploitation has made wild sandalwood very rare today. This oil is so expensive because of the rarity and using only the older trees from the Southern part of India to product top quality sandalwood essential oil.

    If you find these exoctic essential oils cheap, they are most likely adulterated, diluted, or fake.

    Price of Fragrance Oils

    Fragrance oils are alot cheaper because they are synethetically created.  There are fragrance oils made alike to the natural scent of real essential oils but they offer no health or skin benefits.  Fragrance oils are sold very cheap in big bottle, some even added colorants.  Some dishonest sellers sell fragrance oil to shopper claming it is 100% pure essential oil.  The shopper used the fake essential oil (fragrance oil) for skin and causes irritation !  We recommend you purchase from reputable sellers and DO NOT buy cheap oils !!!

    Scent of Essential Oils

    The scent of essential oil is very smooth, mild, pleasant, and evaporate quickly.  It wouldn't give you a headache (unless you are over dosing). The scent of essential oils is used in aromatherapy to relax, and for skin benefits.  There are more than a hundred kinds of essential oils and each has its own health benefits.  Usually about 30-50 commonly used ones, and we sell about 40 and keep adding.

    Scent of Fragrance Oil

    The scent of fragrance oil is usually very strong, artificial, and long lasting.  It maybe discomforting to some people or even give a headache to some sensitivie people like myself.  They are usually designed for a specific kind scent and may cause skin irritation.  The selection of fragrance oils is numerous and inexpensive, for example, "Ocean", "Forest", "Romance", "Apple Pie", "Baby Powder", "Chocolate Chip Cookie", "Watermelon", "Spring Rain",  and etc.

    How to tell the difference?

    So far, we talked about price and scent differences. Next is reading the ingredient label. Essential oil label has the following information printed on it;

    • Common name (Lavender)
    • Latin name (Lavendula Angustifolia)
    • Extraction method (Steam distilled from flower tips)
    • Origin (France)

    Fragrance oil label has a mixture of chemical ingredients.

    Essential oils are naturally extracted from plants, and used in aromatherapy for mind, body, and skin benefits.

    Fragrance oils are artificially created using synthetic chemicals.  They are specifically designed to produce a particular scent and do not provide any health or skin benefits.

    Price of Essential Oils

    Like red wine, the price of essential oils vary depending on the type of plant, the country of origin, the farmer, the distiller, the extraction method, the quality, and the availability.

    Essential oils of Rose, Neroli, and Jasmine are some of the well known exoctic floral essential oils.  It takes hours of labour to harvest about 1 to 8 kilogram of the plant to yield approx. 1 gram of essential oil.  It is labor intensive and time consuming to yield very little essential oil, that is why they are so expensive.

    Essential oils of Sandalwood, for centuries people have been chopping down sandalwood trees for the scent and medicinal qualities. Due to past exploitation has made wild sandalwood very rare today. This oil is so expensive because of the rarity and using only the older trees from the Southern part of India to product top quality sandalwood essential oil.

    If you find these exoctic essential oils cheap, they are most likely adulterated, diluted, or fake.

    Price of Fragrance Oils

    Fragrance oils are alot cheaper because they are synethetically created.  There are fragrance oils made alike to the natural scent of real essential oils but they offer no health or skin benefits.  Fragrance oils are sold very cheap in big bottle, some even added colorants.  Some dishonest sellers sell fragrance oil to shopper claming it is 100% pure essential oil.  The shopper used the fake essential oil (fragrance oil) for skin and causes irritation !  We recommend you purchase from reputable sellers and DO NOT buy cheap oils !!!

    Scent of Essential Oils

    The scent of essential oil is very smooth, mild, pleasant, and evaporate quickly.  It wouldn't give you a headache (unless you are over dosing). The scent of essential oils is used in aromatherapy to relax, and for skin benefits.  There are more than a hundred kinds of essential oils and each has its own health benefits.  Usually about 30-50 commonly used ones, and we sell about 40 and keep adding.

    Scent of Fragrance Oil

    The scent of fragrance oil is usually very strong, artificial, and long lasting.  It maybe discomforting to some people or even give a headache to some sensitivie people like myself.  They are usually designed for a specific kind scent and may cause skin irritation.  The selection of fragrance oils is numerous and inexpensive, for example, "Ocean", "Forest", "Romance", "Apple Pie", "Baby Powder", "Chocolate Chip Cookie", "Watermelon", "Spring Rain",  and etc.

    How to tell the difference?

    So far, we talked about price and scent differences. Next is reading the ingredient label. Essential oil label has the following information printed on it;

    • Common name (Lavender)
    • Latin name (Lavendula Angustifolia)
    • Extraction method (Steam distilled from flower tips)
    • Origin (France)

    Fragrance oil label has a mixture of chemical ingredients.

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  • Essential Oils Extraction Method Essential Oils Extraction Method

    Posted on by Jackson Fung

    Enfleurage:

    One of the oldest method in essential oil extraction and it is rarely used nowadays. It is a very labor intensive and costly method and only used to extract oil from flowers such as jasmine.  The process involves spreading the flower petals on a glass called "chasis" and covering with vegetable oil or animal fat. The essence oil disperses into the grease and then the depleted petals are replaced with fresh petals. The process is repeated until the grease has fully abosorbed all the essence oil, then the grease is removed and is washed with alcohol to separate the essence oil from the grease. Essential oil absolute is produced after the alocohol evaporates.

    Distillation:

    The most common method of essential oils extraction is the steam distillation method. In this method, the plant materials to be used for extraction of essential oils are exposed to high pressure steam. As the steam is forced through the plant materials, it forces the pockets containing the aromatic compounds to open causing the compounds to evaporate into the steam. The temperatures of the steam should be high enough to force the release of the essential oils without causing damage to the plant material used. The steam containing the essential oils is then cooled to condense it to form a liquid mixture of water and the essential oil. Since water and oil are immiscible liquids and oil is less dense than water, the liquid mixture forms two layers with essential oil on top and water at the bottom. The two are then separated to obtain the essential oil and floral water which is a byproduct of the process.

    Expression (Cold Pressed): This process involves the use of high mechanical pressure to force essential oils from the plant material.

    Solvent Extraction:

    Solvent Extraction method is often used on delicate plants. Carbon dioxide, Alcohol solvents such ethanol, or petroleum solvents such as hexane are used in this process. The solvent is absorbed when it is added to the plant material and allows the aromatic compounds to be released. The solvent extracted compounds are usually very concentrated and are known as absolutes. Below is a brief description of the three major solvents that can be used;

    • Petroleum Solvent, This has been the most common method of essential oils extraction in the past. However, residues of petroleum solvent may remain in the essential oils can cause skin irritation and allergic reactions.
    • Ethanol Solvent, This is a beverage alcohol unlike petroleum solvents is a safer solvent.
    • Carbon Dioxide, A more expensive method which during extraction, the temperature of carbon dioxide is increased to about 33 degrees Celsius under high pressure causing it to has liquid properties while maintaining in gaseous state. At this stage the CO2 acts as a solvent extracting essential oil out of the plant. The CO2 solvent is removed by lowering the pressure to convert to gas leaving behind pure essential oil without any residues.

    Enfleurage:

    One of the oldest method in essential oil extraction and it is rarely used nowadays. It is a very labor intensive and costly method and only used to extract oil from flowers such as jasmine.  The process involves spreading the flower petals on a glass called "chasis" and covering with vegetable oil or animal fat. The essence oil disperses into the grease and then the depleted petals are replaced with fresh petals. The process is repeated until the grease has fully abosorbed all the essence oil, then the grease is removed and is washed with alcohol to separate the essence oil from the grease. Essential oil absolute is produced after the alocohol evaporates.

    Distillation:

    The most common method of essential oils extraction is the steam distillation method. In this method, the plant materials to be used for extraction of essential oils are exposed to high pressure steam. As the steam is forced through the plant materials, it forces the pockets containing the aromatic compounds to open causing the compounds to evaporate into the steam. The temperatures of the steam should be high enough to force the release of the essential oils without causing damage to the plant material used. The steam containing the essential oils is then cooled to condense it to form a liquid mixture of water and the essential oil. Since water and oil are immiscible liquids and oil is less dense than water, the liquid mixture forms two layers with essential oil on top and water at the bottom. The two are then separated to obtain the essential oil and floral water which is a byproduct of the process.

    Expression (Cold Pressed): This process involves the use of high mechanical pressure to force essential oils from the plant material.

    Solvent Extraction:

    Solvent Extraction method is often used on delicate plants. Carbon dioxide, Alcohol solvents such ethanol, or petroleum solvents such as hexane are used in this process. The solvent is absorbed when it is added to the plant material and allows the aromatic compounds to be released. The solvent extracted compounds are usually very concentrated and are known as absolutes. Below is a brief description of the three major solvents that can be used;

    • Petroleum Solvent, This has been the most common method of essential oils extraction in the past. However, residues of petroleum solvent may remain in the essential oils can cause skin irritation and allergic reactions.
    • Ethanol Solvent, This is a beverage alcohol unlike petroleum solvents is a safer solvent.
    • Carbon Dioxide, A more expensive method which during extraction, the temperature of carbon dioxide is increased to about 33 degrees Celsius under high pressure causing it to has liquid properties while maintaining in gaseous state. At this stage the CO2 acts as a solvent extracting essential oil out of the plant. The CO2 solvent is removed by lowering the pressure to convert to gas leaving behind pure essential oil without any residues.

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  • Essential Oils vs Flower Remedies Essential Oils vs Flower Remedies

    Posted on by Carol Wu

    Many customers ask, "What is the difference between flower remedies and essential oils?".  Each of the two natural essences has its' own usage and uniqueness, and the differences make them both handy to use at home.

    Flower Remedies are discovered by Dr. Bach from 1920-1930's in England.  The 38 flower remedies are made by infusing a small amount of flower material (the essence) into pure spring water and preserved with brandy and/or vegetable glycerin.  The remedies are usually diluted in water before use and do not have any taste or scent.  Such dilution may result a little more than a single molecule in the diluted remedies.  They are often used in homeopathy to treat the individual rather than to treat the disease or symptoms.  It is believed that the remedies take effect by balancing and/or shifting negative attitudes to positive attitudes, promoting one's own potential for self-healing.  In summary, Bach Flower Remedies are a form of natural alternative medicine that is intended for emotional and mental state.

    Essential Oils, are extracted from actual plant materials such as flowers, leaves, seeds, roots, barks, woods, and peels by various methods of extraction.  Each pure essential oil has its' own characteristic of scent, color, viscosity, and taste and there are over hundreds kinds of essential oils, and about ±100 commonly used.  Because of such high concentration, it is recommended to dilute before use, and use externally.  Essential oils are used in many industries from Aromatherapy, medical, perfumes, skin care, flavoring, household cleaning and more.  It is believed that the aromatic compounds in essential oils have therapeutic properties giving benefits to skin, mind, and health.

    The major difference between Flower Remedies and Essential Oils is, the odorless Flower Remedies are mainly used by professional trained homeopathy practitioner, whereas the aromatic essential oils are more common in a variety of usages in households.

    Many customers ask, "What is the difference between flower remedies and essential oils?".  Each of the two natural essences has its' own usage and uniqueness, and the differences make them both handy to use at home.

    Flower Remedies are discovered by Dr. Bach from 1920-1930's in England.  The 38 flower remedies are made by infusing a small amount of flower material (the essence) into pure spring water and preserved with brandy and/or vegetable glycerin.  The remedies are usually diluted in water before use and do not have any taste or scent.  Such dilution may result a little more than a single molecule in the diluted remedies.  They are often used in homeopathy to treat the individual rather than to treat the disease or symptoms.  It is believed that the remedies take effect by balancing and/or shifting negative attitudes to positive attitudes, promoting one's own potential for self-healing.  In summary, Bach Flower Remedies are a form of natural alternative medicine that is intended for emotional and mental state.

    Essential Oils, are extracted from actual plant materials such as flowers, leaves, seeds, roots, barks, woods, and peels by various methods of extraction.  Each pure essential oil has its' own characteristic of scent, color, viscosity, and taste and there are over hundreds kinds of essential oils, and about ±100 commonly used.  Because of such high concentration, it is recommended to dilute before use, and use externally.  Essential oils are used in many industries from Aromatherapy, medical, perfumes, skin care, flavoring, household cleaning and more.  It is believed that the aromatic compounds in essential oils have therapeutic properties giving benefits to skin, mind, and health.

    The major difference between Flower Remedies and Essential Oils is, the odorless Flower Remedies are mainly used by professional trained homeopathy practitioner, whereas the aromatic essential oils are more common in a variety of usages in households.

    Read more