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What determines the therapeutic effect of an essential oil?

What determines the therapeutic effect of an essential oil?

The chemical constitution of an essential oil will determine its therapeutic application and efficacy. Not all varieties/or variants of the same specie are safe to use in Aromatherapy; e.g. Basil Ocimum basicilicum can safe or toxic depending on the natural chemical composition of the oil itself. Methyl chavicol is a constituent of Basil and must only be used if there is no more than 5% in the essential oil, otherwise it could have toxic effects rather than therapeutic. JW Basil oil has between 2-2.5% methyl chavicol.

The quality of an essential oil is graded - there are many grades of essential oils. Some are best suited as perfumes, flavours or fragrances for pot pouri and others: The quality of pant or seed stock, the soil, growing conditions, method of agriculture used, climatic conditions (drought/floods e.g.. Florida and the Grapefruit trees) all affect the quality of the essential oil. The highest grade essential oils are those that contain the highest quantities of the most therapeutic constituents and the least amount of the most toxic constituents - those safest and most effective to use in therapeutic application. E.g. Linalyl acetate and linalool are the two major constituents in Lavender oil that provide Lavender with its cytophylactic (cell renewing) properties.

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