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Properties and characteristics of essential oils


Characteristics of an essential oil

Fleur de Jasmin

  • The chmotype of a essential oil is a specific reference that indicates the majority or distinctive biochemical component present in essential oil. it is the element that allows to distinguish one essential oil extracts from the same botanical variety but from a different biochemical composition. This capital classification allows to select essential oils for a more precise, safer and more efficient use. For example, we know under the same botanical name, two large thyme families, subdivided themselves by the definition of their respective chmotypes.
  • Color. one essential oil ages and oxides. it should be kept away from light and air.
  • their smell.
  • Density.
  • The refraction index.


Biochemical families

  • Monoterpenes = immune system stimulantsFamille biochimique des Cétones
  • Monotonous = anti-infectious compounds, bactericides, viricides and fungicides
  • Sesquiterpenes = slightly hypotensive, calming and anti-inflammatory
  • Sesquiterpénols = good tonic and general stimulant,
  • Phenols = highly anti-infectious and immuno-stimulants
  • = hormone regulators
  • Aldehydes = good anti-inflammatory
  • Acids = are hypothermizers and hypotensors
  • Cétones = low dose, they are sedative, sedative, hypothermic. a high dose or repeated doses, they are neurotoxic, narcotic and epileptizing, or even abortive
  • Esters = anti-spasmodic and neurotonic properties, excellent nervous rebalancing
  • Oxides = decongestant broncho-pulmonary: mucolytics and expectorants.
  • Coumarines = Neurosedative, anticoagulant.
  • Lactones = act by hypothermizing. they have a more powerful cytonic action
  • Diones = antispasmodic and anticoagulant, less toxic than ketone.


Relationship between the structure of essential oils and their activities

The study of structural/activity relationships is to analyse the nature and importance of the relationship between the chemical structure of an essential oil and its physiological activity.

Unlike å a drug, composed of one or more isolated molecules with a precise function, the essential oil is an assembly of constituents belonging to å different chemical families having each their specificities.
This is why essential oils have more varied activities.

However, essential oils can be grouped into 3 large families:
1- the essential oils composed in large majority of a component aromatic majority: these essential oils will have a well-marked property.
Example: essential oil of wintergreen (gaulteria fragrantissima), composed of 99% methyl salicylate, conferring its antispasmodic and anti-inflammatory properties.

2- essential oils composed of two components aromatic majority.

Exemp!e: essential oil of globular eucalyptus (eucalyptus globulus), composed of 1.8 cineol ( 58 %) and a!pha pinene (209,6).

3- essential oils composed of three components aromatic majority, which will have more varied and nuanced properties.

These aromatic molecules will be classified following 2 axes, depending on their polarity and their positiating or negativating qualities, according to the diagram below.
Thus, an essential oil will have a more "sealing and relaxing" profile or, on the contrary, more "tonic and stimulating".

Example 1: essential oil of eucalyptus globulus
Majority components
- 1.8 cineol: terpenic oxides - alpha pinene: monoterpenes
It is an essential oil with a high tendency to tonigue and stimulating. the glorious eucalyptus has properties:
- positivant,
- expectorante,
- antiseptic, antimicrobial and antibacterial.

Example 2: essential oil of lavandula angustifolla
Majority components
- linalyle acetate: familie des esters - linalol: familie des spirits
It is an essential oil with calming and relaxing tenancy. the fine lavender has properties:
- negativating (predominance),
- powerful antispasmodic,
- soothing, sedative, muscle relaxant,
- variable anti-infectious.

Schéma structure/activités des huiles essentielles


Properties of essential oils

Properties of essential oils differ depending on whether the essence is extracted from the flower, leaf, roots or seed. In general, the species extracted from the roots are recognized for their action on the nervous system, those extracted from the seeds and flowers for their impact on the entire digestive system and those from the leaves for their well-being on the breathing.

Each essential oil can have multiple properties. the chmotype already gives a good indication of these properties. the use of essential oils reduces viral and microbial attacks, reduces oxidation of cells and increases the vitality of the body in these vital flows. they bring to our body, the most valuable nature concentrates to restore or maintain the balance indispensable to our health .

  • Deodorizing, fragrant, antiseptic, protective. .
    • In diffusion in the atmosphere or diluted in cleaning products essential oils disinfect, deodorize and fragrant pleasantly and naturally the air you breathe.
    • They remove the ambient air from pathogenic germs, this regular practice prevents microbial diseases by strengthening immune defenses. .
      • Citrus are remarkable antiseptics.
      • Geranium removes mosquitoes.
  • Antibacterial
    • Aromatic molecules with the highest antibacterial coefficient are phenols: carvacrol, thymol, eugenol. a molecule not belonging to this group but close by the presence of a benzenic nucleus is the cinnamic aldehyde (cannel).
      Well used these four molecules allow to control most common infections. just behind the phenols we find monoterpenols (alcohols with 10 carbons): géraniol, linalol, thujanol, myrcenol, terpineol, menthol. less powerful but also usable as antibacterial the group of aldehydes: neral, geranial, lemonellal and cuminal. Cétones have an interest in the treatment of infectious states: verbénone, thuyone, cryptone, menthone, d. carvone, borneone, fenchone but their neurotoxic and abortive properties make them delicate to use.
      To a lesser extent are as antibacterial ethers (estragole and anethole), oxides, phthalides and terpenes. terpenes are mainly used in diffusion as atmospheric antiseptic.
  • Antiviral
    • In the fight against viruses we find first, as for antibacterials, the group of hydroxylics (phenol and monoterphenol) knowing that phenols are more powerful but to use with caution. for long-term use, monoterpenolic oils are preferable to phenolic oils, much more "aggressive. essential oils stop viral progression.
      The mixture of certain oils applied in friction has a remarkable immunostimulant action on deep respiratory infections, associated with diffusion in the atmosphere to eucalyptus radiata for example.
  • Anti-duleurs
    • The vivid pain of a migraine is anesthesiated by peppermint in local application.
    • Dental pain is eliminated by the application of clover on the gum.
    • Cypresses will calm muscle cramps and rheumatisms.
    • The niaouli will calm the pains numbing the nerves.
  • Respiratory system
    • Inhalation niaouli will have a powerful expectorant effect on the airways.
    • Eucalyptus in skin application is a powerful immunostimulant and mucolytic (expectorant). used for a long time, he rich in 1.8 kineol (oxide) are very active (eucalyptus globulus, ravintsara, rosemary), as they stimulate the bronchial glands and mobilize the eyelashes of the bronchial mucosa.
  • Circulatory
    • Cypress, stimulating the circulatory system, will warm hands and feet.
    • Lemongrass promotes blood circulation and the elimination of lactic acid. it will relieve muscle pain and hardened feet.
  • Anti-fungal
    • essential oils have a great air and cutaneous anti-fungal power. fungal infections are of a screaming news because antibiotics prescribed abusively favor their extension. here, we will use the same groups as those cited for the fight against bacteria. the sesquiterpenic alcohols and sesquiterpenic lactones will be added.
      Among the essential antifungal oils: clove, lavender, rosat geranium, palmarosa, cinole rosemary
  • Digestives
    • Peppermint is the essential oil of digestive problems. it will be effective to calm colic, constipation, stomach burn, indigestion and flatulence


Synergies of essential oils

When you mix essential oils, you'll get them in synergy. experience has shown that the therapeutic power of several oils is greater than one (union is strength!). combining 2 or 3 oils of neighbouring properties will create a more powerful but also different synergistic mix. Discover all our synergies for dissemination


Quality guarantees of essential oils

essential oilsbring exceptional results in all their areas of application. their virtues are determined by their quality which is the sum of several factors:

  1. The quality of plants:
    Wild plants, collected out of pollution or from certified organic culture," free of impurities, and rich in energy. the final concentration of the product implies a search for maximum purity, without trace of pesticides, weeds, radioactivity, or heavy metals.
  2. Botanical recognition (Latin name):
    Giving their Latin name that specifies the botanical species and avoids confusion. (eucalyptus, there are several hundred varieties)
  3. The part of the plant whose oil is extracted (racine, leaf, flower, seed):
    Thus highlighting, harmony, pleasure and remarkable complementarity between aromatic vegetable world and human world, the anthroposophes of rudolf steiner summarise the action of plants according to this scheme:
    • the roots act on the nervous system,
    • the seeds and flowers on the total digestive system,
    • leaves on the breath and the heart.
    Hence the interest of knowing the part of the plant used to be more effective. an orange, an essential oil of leaf, flower or zest can be extracted. their properties are very different and they do not have the same use.


Attention to the use of essential oils !

With real concentrates of the vivifiant, soothing and fortifying forces of nature, they have very powerful therapeutic qualities and are therefore to be used with moderation and precaution.

  1. essential oils should not be applied to mucous membranes or eyes
  2. The majority of essential oils should not be applied pure on the skin but diluted in a vegetable oil like sweet almond. (unless indicated, do not exceed a concentration of 5.% or 100 drops per 10cl).
  3. Certain essential oils may be irritating to sensitive skin or create an allergic reaction. In case of doubt, test it by applying a patch. (1 drop of oil in 1 spoon of vegetable oil, apply to the bending of the arm, let act 24 hours, if reaction abandon this oil).
  4. Certain oils are photosensitizing (orange, bergamote, lemon and mandarin). do not expose yourself to the sun after application.
  5. In general, we do not recommend use essential oils for pregnant women and epilepsy subjects, people with heart problems or serious diseases
  6. For the use of therapeutic purpose oils, we advise you to consult an aromatherapist doctor.
  7. Never spread in the house some essential oils pure that are too strong as mint.
  8. Except in the kitchen where the dosage on fatty bodies in sauces, creams and desserts is infime, ingestion of essential oils belongs exclusively to medicine.


Essential oils and children

  1. They must be held out of reach below 3 years. Some manufacturers even indicate 7 years.
  2. In a baby's room, do not broadcast more than 10 minutes, and only in her absence.
  3. You can use them in diffusion or bathing. for bathing, not all oils are usable, but also reduce quantities:
    • 3 months to 12 months: lavender, grapefruit (2 drops)
    • 1 to 5 years old: lavender, grapefruit, lemon, geranium, palmarosa (from 3 to 5 drops)
    • 5 years old at puberty: all oils considered safe for adults (from 5 to 8 drops)


Regulated oils

You find below a list essential oils which are, for various reasons, prohibited for sale outside pharmacies:

1 - Absinth large (artemisia absinthium l) This essential oil contains thuyone (highly convulsivating monoterpenic cetone). It can cause hallucinations.

2 - Absinthe small (artemisia pontica l) This essential oil contains thuyone (highly convulsivating monoterpenic cetone). It can cause hallucinations.

3 - Armoise commune (artemisia vulgaris l). : This essential oil contains thuyone (highly convulsivating monoterpenic cetone). It can cause hallucinations.

4 - Arborescent armoise (artemisia arborescens): This essential oil contains thuyone (highly convulsivating monoterpenic cetone). It can cause hallucinations.

5 - Armoise white (artemisia herba alba): This essential oil contains thuyone (highly convulsivating monoterpenic cetone). It can cause hallucinations.

6 - Vermifuge, false ambrosia, tea of mexico, antherine, or e-nitrogen (chenopodium ambrosioides l. and chenopodium anthelminticum l). : contains ascaridol, toxic peroxide (powerful vermicide) particularly unstable (alluring to explosion under certain conditions)

7 - Sabine juniper or sabine (juniperus sabina l) : contains thuyones (highly convulsivating monoterpenic cetones, which can cause hallucinations) as well as sabinol (poenic alcohol attacking the nervous system and responsible for convulsions) as well as pyrogallol that can poison (fast death) animals that consume it by blocking their digestive system

8 - Hysope (hyssopus officinalis l) : contains pinocamphone (neurotoxic and abortive ring)

9 - Mustard jonciforme, brown mustard or Chinese mustard (brassica juncea [L.]Czernj. and cosson): contains extremely toxically toxically, particularly in neurological terms.

10 - Street (ruta graveolens l) : contains methyl heptyl ketone (highly neurotoxic and abortive)

11 - Sassafras (sassafras albidum) [nut] Nees) : contains safrol (composing toxic in the composition of ecstasy), carcinogen

12 - Officinal sage (salvia officinalis l). : Its essential oil contains thuyone (highly convulsivating monoterpenic cetone). It can cause hallucinations.

13 - Malaysia (tanacetum vulgare l). : Its essential oil contains thuyone (highly convulsivating monoterpenic cetone). It can cause hallucinations.

14 - Thuya du canada or white cedar (thuya occidentalis): This essential oil contains thuyone (highly convulsivating monoterpenic cetone). It can cause hallucinations.

15 - Thuya or cedar (thuya koraenensis nakai): Also called "sheet cedar." its essential oil contains thuyone (highly convulsivating monoterpenic cetone). It can cause hallucinations.

16 - Thuya (thuya plicata donn ex d. don). : Its essential oil contains thuyone (highly convulsivating monoterpenic cetone). It can cause hallucinations.

Searchable list by clicking on the following link: article D4211-13 of the Public Health Code dating from august 2007.

Another restriction exists on the following essential oils:

  • Starring (illicum verum)
  • Green anise (pimpinella anisum)
  • Badiane (illicium verum)
  • Fenouil (foeniculum vulgare)

The reason is provided in the general tax code (article 514 bis As compared - art. 1 (v) jorf 22 June 2000), the extract of which:

“as stated in article l. 3322-5 of the Public Health Code, it is prohibited for a producer or manufacturer of gasoline that can be used for the manufacture of alcoholic beverages, such as anise, badiane, fennel, hysope, as well as for producers or manufacturers of antehol, to proceed to the sale or offer, as free of charge.

Resale of these products in kind in the domestic market is prohibited to all these categories except for pharmacists who can only issue them on a medical order and must include the requirements that concern them in their prescription register.

Without prejudice to the prohibitions referred to in article 1812, paragraph 2, of the General Tax Code, shall be determined by order made in the Council of Ministers the conditions under which the essences referred to in paragraph 1 of this article, as well as the essences of apsinth and products assimilated or liable to supple them may, in any form, be imported, manufactured, put in circulation, held or sold. "