Some plant material is too fragile to be distilled and an alternative method must be employed. Solvent extraction is the use of solvents, such as petroleum ether, methanol, ethanol, or hexane, to extract the odoriferous lipophilic material from the plant. The solvent will also pull out the chlorophyll and other plant tissue, resulting in a highly colored or thick/viscous extract. The first product made via solvent extraction is known as a concrete. A concrete is the concentrated extract that contains the waxes and/or fats as well as the odoriferous material from the plant. The concrete is then mixed with alcohol, which serves to extract the aromatic principle of the material. The final product is known as an absolute
Absolute essential oils are similar to their pure distilled and cold-pressed counterparts, but for various reasons the extraction process is more involved and requires the use of chemical solvents that are removed later in the production process. NOW Solutions offers two absolutes, Rose and Jasmine, which are extracted with solvents and clearly listed as such on our product labels. These two absolutes are produced by using the solvents hexane and ethanol in sequence, which are then actively reclaimed and removed via a stripping distillation process that leaves the essential oil portion intact.
Topical applications: massage oils, and bath and skin care products are absorbed through the skin. Massaging the area where the oil is to be applied can boost circulation and increase absorption. Some argue that areas that are richer in sweat glands and hair follicles, such as the head or the palms of the hand, may absorb the oils more effectively.
It is important that people research the oils they are using – as not all EO’s are created equally and MANY on the market can be harmful when used improperly. Industry standards are very lax and an EO is only required to have a minimum of 2% essential oil in the bottle to be classified as pure – the rest can be synthetics or fillers. I chose Young Living Essential Oils because I know – without a doubt that from the minute the seed is planted to the minute it goes into the bottle – proper care and precision has been taken to ensure only the highest quality oil on the market. Young Living is the ONLY company in the world who has taken it one step further by having our own farms, doing our own harvesting, cultivating, distilling, testing and bottling of our products as well.
I’m not so sure that the FDA is always spot on with their statements–sometimes they tend to under–or overreact in they synopsis of what is healthy and what isn’t. However, if methyl salicylate is indeed toxic and they are moderating how much goes into packaging stickers, then should Wintergreen oil be consumed at all (or does the methyl salicylate become more neutralized when consumed with all the constituents of the oil)?

Thanks for the feedback Heather. I’ve made two purchases with Ananda now and the customer service and shipping experience has been great. I guess after reading so many different blogs and sites about how easy it is to “sell” a low grade oil as a high grade oil, I am just hoping that is not the case with my purchases. I have nothing to compare oils to for now, other than reading. Crossing my fingers now and waiting out the time to see how the oils work for me.


Janice – no, it’s not at all junk science, and this is what ISO standards are all about – the maximum and minimum ranges of key constituents. This does of course vary with different chemotypes, as well as different species, and it can also vary with geographical origin. So there is an ISO standard for peppermint oil from the USA, and a different one for the rest of the world. (this is not elitism – ISO standards are not US-based.)
Unsure abt cats, but to DOGS, CITRUS is toxic. So are grapes, so I wouldn’t use grapeseed oil as a carrier, nor avacodo, as it too is toxic to dogs. You’re not supposed to use tea tree oil on them either, but I see it in canine shampoo products periodically. I know Walnuts are also toxic to dogs, so I wouldn’t use walnut carrier oils either. Onions are toxic, so I’d advise against any herbs, etc, that are onion related either. A few drops of Lavender in a water spray bottle, used around dogs bedding area & lightly sprayed on back of dogs head, massaged around ears & neck, is affective to calm them before going to veterinarian, traveling, or other situations where they are nervous & anxious.
I signed up to be a DoTerra Essential Oils consultant about a year ago, and I couldn’t be happier with my choice. I get high quality 100% pure therapeutic grade oils for a good price. I’ve used Frankincense and Lavender undiluted on my son since he was born. I’ve also taken advantage of my diffuser. My favorite blends to diffuse are their Breathe (which has been a lifesaver when my babe is congested -and the rest of the family too) and their On Guard. We diffused On Guard last fall quite often and nobody in our house caught so much as a cold. Which was so nice, considering the new baby in the house -and considering Hubby is a teach and typically brings bugs home at the start of new school years. My personal favorites are Lemon and Peppermint. I add a drop or two of lemon to my drinks when I feel a sore throat coming on, or when I feel like I need a bit of a mood/ energy lift. And peppermint works well for headaches and aches in general. 🙂 If you’re interested in DoTerra let me know. I live in the Colorado Springs area and I teach EO classes occasionally.
Supercritical carbon dioxide is used as a solvent in supercritical fluid extraction. This method can avoid petrochemical residues in the product and the loss of some "top notes" when steam distillation is used. It does not yield an absolute directly. The supercritical carbon dioxide will extract both the waxes and the essential oils that make up the concrete. Subsequent processing with liquid carbon dioxide, achieved in the same extractor by merely lowering the extraction temperature, will separate the waxes from the essential oils. This lower temperature process prevents the decomposition and denaturing of compounds. When the extraction is complete, the pressure is reduced to ambient and the carbon dioxide reverts to a gas, leaving no residue.
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