An essential oil is a concentrated hydrophobic liquid containing volatile (easily evaporated at normal temperatures) compounds from plants. Essential Oils are our nature’s best kept secret and are also referred to as ‘essences’. These oils are botanical extracts of various plant materials such as flowers, herbs, roots, leaves, etc. Each contains its mix of active ingredients which determine what purpose the oil is used for. An essential oil is essential in the sense that it contains the natural chemicals that give the plant its “essence” (specific odor and flavor)—the characteristic fragrance of the plant from which it is derived. Making of a steam distilled essential oil is a traditional and the best technique till date that produces the best quality and highly therapeutic oil.
Allspice leaves as the name suggests have a stock of aroma of all spices. A God-gifted blend in the form of a plant also known as Jamaica pepper, myrtle pepper, pimenta, or pimento. The warm, spicy aroma of Allspice Essential Oil, derived from the leaves and berries through steam distillation, is similar to that of clove and cinnamon essential oils. The high content of Eugenol is partly responsible for this similarity. Allspice Oil is a wonderful oil to use in the diffuser during the fall and winter. Allspice Essential Oil, in small dilutions, is said to act as an aphrodisiac. Its rich, warm aroma also complements masculine blends. Allspice is stimulating and vitalizing. It has been used to treat dental and viral infections, sinusitis, bronchitis, colds, depression, nervous exhaustion, arthritis, fatigue, flatulence. Debatable whether it should be used in massage since it is such a powerful oil. Personally, we find it a wonderful addition to a massage blend for sore muscles and arthritis. May irritate the skin and mucous membranes. A very warming oil, gets the circulation going. Blends well with frankincense, ginger, lemon and orange.
Topical use: Apply one to two drops to desired area. Dilute with cold-pressed oils to minimize any skin sensitivity.
Diffusion: Use three to four drops in the diffuser of your choice.
Internal use: Dilute one drop in about 100 ml food/ liquid.
Cooking with Essential Oils - Cooking with Essential oils is just not about adding flavor to the food but also bringing in health benefits and of course the convenience when fresh ingredients are not available. Steam distilled essential oils are best to consume. Steam distillation technique produces much lower yield of oil making a bottle of oil highly expensive in front of the flavoring synthetics available in the market. Essential oils are highly volatile & heat sensitive as cooking evaporates essential oil due to the steam so always add essential oil to the recipe after you have taken it off the heat to get the best flavour & nutrition with least drops. However for recipes that call for baking – add while making the batter only. Just add a few drops extra as heating tends to decrease the aroma & nutrition but some amount will be retained.
Precautions - A drop of essential oil is extracted from more than 100 long leaves of a plant therefore these are very powerful and concentrated oil and hence should always be used under proper guidance. Doses of essential oils vary for prevention and cure and also depend on the age, body constitution and health of the individual. Keep it out of reach of children. Avoid its neat contact with skin. Do not swallow without diluting it.