Ustadji & Co.
100% Pure & Natural Therapeutic Grade Oils
Ustadji & Co.
Ustadji & Co.
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FAQ
As with all Essential Oils, Do not take internally unless working with a qualified and expert practitioner or it is directed by a physician. Keep out of reach of children. Not for those with epilepsy or subject to seizures. Always conduct a skin patch test before using any Essential Oil on your skin.

QUES. 1 : What is the Ancient history of Essential Oils?
ANS. : Essential oils are the oldest and some of the most powerful therapeutic agents known to man. They have a long history of use in healing and in religious ceremony throughout the ancient World. Some, particularly frankincense, are cited repeatedly in many Judeo-Christian and Muslim religious texts.

They were used to cure every ailment "from gout to a broken head." Others, such as myrrh, lotus, and sandalwood oils were widely used in ancient Egyptian purification and embalming rituals. Still others, such as clove and lemon, were highly valued as antiseptics hundreds of years before the discovery of modern antiseptics. The National Geographic reported in October of 1985 that almost 1,000 years before Christ, dynasties of the ancient world were fighting over the lucrative incense market. Caravans of 3,000 camels transported costly frankincense along the Frankincense Trail, a 2,400-mile-long road that stretched from southern Arabia to the coast of Israel. It appears that the ancient Egyptians were the first to recognize the therapeutic potential of essential oils.

They created fragrances for personal use as well as for ritualistic and ceremonial use in the temples and pyramids. Many mixtures were composed of myrrh oil and honey. Myrrh was most often used for embalming, due to its effectiveness in preventing bacterial growth. The Romans used essential oils by diffusing them in their temples and political buildings. They were fond of soaking in oil-scented baths, then receiving a fragrant oil massage. The ancient Arabian people began to study the chemical properties of essential oils.

They developed and refined the distillation process. Europeans began producing essential oils in the 12th century. During the Plague of the Middle Ages, a band of thieves robbed the dead without becoming infected. Finally, four thieves were captured in Marseilles, France, and charged with robbing the dead and dying victims of the plague. It was disclosed that these thieves were perfumers and spice traders who had rubbed themselves with a concoction of aromatic herbs (cinnamon, clove, and oregano), which was the source of their immunity.

QUES. 2 : What is the Modern Rediscovery?
ANS. : The modern rediscovery of the value of essential oils is attributed to French cosmetic chemist, René-Maurice Gattefossé, Ph.D. In July of 1910, a lab explosion set him aflame. After extinguishing the flames, he discovered that his hands were quickly developing gas gangrene. But just one rinse with lavender essential oil stopped the horrible process.

Healing began the next day. His discovery was quite accidental -- he had plunged his arm into a vessel that he assumed was water. But it actually contained pure lavender oil ( Lavender Hybrid Oil - Lavendula officinalis ). With regular application of Lavender oil, the wound healed without a scar. French physician, Dr. Jean Valnet, used therapeutic-grade essential oils on patients suffering battlefield injuries during World War II. He was able to save the lives of many soldiers who might otherwise have died, even with antibiotics. Dr. Valnet's students, Dr. Paul Belaiche and Dr. Jean Claude Lapraz, expanded his work. They clinically investigated the antiviral, antibacterial, antifungal, and antiseptic properties in essential oils.

QUES. 3 : What are the Essential Oils ?
ANS. : Essential oils are highly concentrated natural plant extracts; a drop or two can produce significant results. An entire plant, when distilled, might produce only a single drop of essential oil. That is why their potency is far greater than dried herbs. Pressing or distillation extracts the subtle, volatile liquids (meaning they evaporate quickly) from plants, shrubs, flowers, trees, roots, bushes, and seeds, that make up essential oils. Essential oils are the life-blood of the plant, protecting it from bacterial and viral infections, cleansing breaks in its tissue and delivering oxygen and nutrients into the cells. In essence, they act as the immune system of the plant.

That is why they are so essential to the plant -- without them, plants could not survive. In the human body, they have a similar action -- such as transporting valuable nutrients to the cells; increasing oxygen intake, and digesting toxic waste in the blood. This is because the three primary elements - carbon, hydrogen and oxygen-are common to both human beings and essential oils. This shared chemistry makes essential oils one of the most compatible of all plant substances with human biochemistry.

Essential oils are very different from vegetable oils (also called fatty oils), such as corn oil, olive oil, peanut oil, etc. Fatty oils are produced by pressing nuts or seeds. They are quite greasy, are not antimicrobial nor help transport oxygen, and will go rancid over time. Essential oils, however, are not greasy nor do they clog the pores like vegetable oils can.

QUES. 4 : What are the different types of Essential Oils
ANS. : Essential oils are obtained by different methods - distillation being the most familiar. There are four types of essential oils :-
> Absolutes vs. concretes
> Expressed
> Solvent-extracted
> Steam-distilled
Absolutes are "essences," rather than "essential" oils. They are generally obtained from the extraction of a concrete. A concrete is the solid waxy residue derived from hexane extraction of plant material (usually the flower petals). To prepare the absolute from the concrete, the waxy concrete is warmed and stirred. During this process the concrete breaks up into minute globules. The absolute or the wax-free material is finally extracted by subjecting the purified solution to cold filtration.

Cold Pressing / Expressed Although many citrus oils are also produced by steam distillation, they seem to lack the vibrancy of the cold pressed oils. In this process, machines are used to score the peel/rind of the citrus and the resulting oil is captured. Expressed oils are pressed from the rind of fruits (usually citrus). Tangerines, grapefruits, lemons and oranges are produced by this method. Technically speaking, these are not "essential oils" - they are expressed oils, but they are highly regarded for their therapeutic properties, none the less. It is best to use only organically grown crops for this method, since pesticide residues, especially highly toxic, oil-soluble carbamate and chloride-based petrochemicals, can become highly concentrated in the oil.

Solvent Extraction Solvent extraction involves the use of oil-soluble solvents, such as hexane, dimethylenechloride, and acetone. This method of distillation is the most ancient and is still used in most countries. In this method of extraction, the plants are fully submerged in water, till a soup is formed. This soup is then heated and the resultant steam contains the aromatic plant molecules. Perforated trays of blossoms are loaded onto an extracting unit and washed repeatedly with an appropriate solvent. The filterate is then subjected to low pressure distillation and the solvent is recovered for further use. What remains is a waxy mass called the concrete containing the volatile oil. The waxy material is removed by processing the concentrated concretes, and the dilute form of the pure essential oil is formed. This solvent extraction actually yields three usable products; the concrete, the absolutes and the floral waxes. These floral waxes can be added to candles, thickening creams and lotions to provide a floral scented alternative to beeswax.

Steam Distillation True Steam distillation involves the use of an outside source of steam. This steam is piped into the distillation unit at high pressure. The steam passes through the material, carrying the most volatile chemicals of the material with it and exits into the condenser. A condenser is used to chill the steam and the resultant distillate is collected. Plant material is inserted into a cooking chamber, and steam is passed through it. After the steam is collected and condensed, it is processed through a separator to collect the oil. The amount of pressure used, the amount of time the plant material is steamed and the material the steam chamber is constructed of contribute a great deal to the quality of the oil.

Water & Steam distillation This method is best for distilling leafy materials, but doesn't work well for tough materials like woods, roots, nuts, etc.

QUES. 5 : What are the different types of Essential Oils
ANS. : Historically, there have been three models for using essential oils : the French, the German, and the English methods. The English traditionally dilute a small amount of Essential oil in Vegetable oil and massage the body to relax and relieve stress. The French prefer to ingest ( swallow ) therapeutic-grade essential oils. Many French practitioners have found that taking the oils internally is highly effective.

The Germans recommend inhalation of the essential oils. There is good reason for this - research has shown that these aromatic compounds can exert strong effects on the brain, especially on the hypothalamus ( the hormone command center of the body ) and the limbic system ( the seat of emotions ). Some essential oils can dramatically increase oxygenation and activity in the brain. Oils also increase ozone and negative ions, which inhibit bacterial growth. European scientists have found that essential oils work as natural chelators, bonding to metallic and chemicals and carrying them out of the body. Diffused essential oils make outstanding air filtration systems, helping to remove dust particles from the air and destroying odors from mold, cigarettes, animals, etc. When diffused, the oils reach the brain by means of the olfactory system.

The olfactory membranes have about 800 million nerve endings that receive micro-fine, vaporized oil particles. They carry them along the axon of the nerve fibers and connect them with the secondary neurons in the olfactory bulb. The impulses are then transported to the limbic system and the olfactory sensory center at the base of the brain. Then they pass between the pituitary and pineal gland and move to the amygdala - the memory center. The impulses than travel to the gustatory center where the sensation of taste is perceived. The best method of application depends on the need. In some cases, inhalation might be preferred over topical application if the goal is to induce weight loss or balance mood and emotions. In other cases, topical application would produce better results, as in the case of muscle or spinal injuries.

For indigestion, peppermint oil taken orally is very effective. Yet peppermint can also produce the same results when massaged on the stomach. In some cases, all three methods of application (topical, inhalation and ingestion) are interchangeable and may produce similar benefits. The two most common methods of essential oil application are cold-air diffusing and neat ( undiluted ) topical application. Healing response is greatly enhanced when essential oils are incorporating into the disciplines of reflexology, Vita Flex, acupressure, acupuncture, auricular techniques, lymphatic massage, spinal touch, and the Raindrop Technique.

QUES. 6 : What makes Essential Oils Therapeutic-Grade ?
ANS. : Essential oils come from various parts of plants - the seeds, bark, leaves, stems, roots, flowers, and fruit. The oils can be distilled from the plant material or extracted. The majority are distilled. The key to producing a therapeutic-grade essential oil is to preserve as many of the delicate aromatic compounds within the essential oil as possible - elements that are very fragile and destroyed by high temperature and high-pressure. Contact with chemically reactive metals ( i.e., copper or aluminum ) is another danger to the fragile aromatic compounds in oils. To insure a high grade of essential oil, it is imperative to use stainless steel cooking equipment at low pressure and low temperature for long periods of time. The purity of an essential oil is also determined by its chemical constituents. There are many variables that can affect these constituents. These can include :-
> Soil conditions
> Quality of fertilizer
> Region
> Climate
> Altitude
> Harvest season
> Harvest methods
> Distillation process
> The part or parts of the plant used for distillation

One plant can produce several different chemotypes ( biochemical variations ). The chemotypes vary according to climate, altitude and growing conditions. For example, the later thyme is distilled in the growing season ( i.e., late summer or fall ), the more thymol the oil will contain. If it is distilled in the early summer, thymol levels will be very low; hence, the oil will be less effective, if at all. Essential oils grown with agrochemicals can be dangerous. Pesticides, herbicides and chemical fertilizers can react with the essential oil during distillation.

Natural essential oils contain hundreds of different chemical compounds. Although chemists have managed to recreate some of the constituents and fragrances of oils, there are many molecules and isomers that are impossible to manufacture in the laboratory. There simply are no substitutes for the purest essential oils.

QUES. 7 : How Toxic and Adulterated Oils are Mislabeling ?
ANS. : Adulteration of Essential Oils is becoming more and more common these days. As the demand for them grows, the supply of top-grade essential oils dwindles/falls. The temptation to thin the oils with solvents, then add synthetic fragrance is great. In the last several years, France exported 100 times more lavender oil than it produced.

This can only be possible if the oil is being thinned. Frankincense is very commonly adulterated. This essential oil requires 12 hours of steam distillation from expensive resin to be therapeutic-grade. Lemon oil is another commonly adulterated essential oil. Terpene waste fractions left over from the industrial refining of citrus products and/or synthetic limonene is often purchased from chemical houses and used to dilute or "extend" genuine lemon oil. The most commonly adulterated oils include frankincense, myrrh, lemon, peppermint, cistus, helichrysum, lavender and birch or wintergreen, although all essential oils may be adulterated easily.

Most consumers do not know that adulterated oils can cause rashes, burning, and skin irritations. The petrochemical solvents in them can cause intense allergic reactions and toxic accumulations. And that they are devoid of any therapeutic benefits whatsoever. It is very important to know about the integrity of the company from whom you are buying the essential oil. In addition, some bottles do not contain the oil stated on the label. Oils marked as "clove" may be distilled from the leaf instead of the bud. Clove leaf oil is less expensive but does not have the same chemistry or therapeutic properties as clove bud oil. Many times, essential oils marked "cinnamon" are actually "cassia." Birch oil is often really Wintergreen -- at least in this case, the oils are nearly comparable.

But, very often, synthetic methyl salicylate is added to low-grade birch or wintergreen oils to "improve" its quality. As you can see, labeling can be very misleading - considering there is no agency responsible for certifying that an essential oil is therapeutic grade. It is up to the consumer/buyers to educate himself or herself and know the difference.

QUES. 8 : What is the Fragrance Factor ?
ANS. : Aromatherapy means to treat with aroma through inhalation. Research has shown that we respond to aroma within one to three seconds. Scientists are just beginning to explore how aroma reaches and influences the human brain, emotions and body.

An oil's fragrance is created when vapor evaporates from it. The heavier the molecular weight of the oil, the less volatile it is (the less it will evaporate). Oils with lighter molecular weights, evaporate or 'flash off' quickly. Therefore, the scents of lavender or geranium last only about 20 minutes. Heavier oils such as myrrh, frankincense, sandalwood, and patchouly evaporate slower, and therefore, their scent lasts longer.

Have you ever noticed that a scent or fragrance can instantly evoke a memory or an emotion on an unconscious level? This is because the sense of smell is the only one of the five senses that is directly linked to the limbic lobe of the brain - the emotional control center. Emotions such as anxiety, depression, fear, anger, as well as joy all emanate from this region.

The limbic lobe can also directly activate the hypothalamus - the "master gland." The hypothalamus functions as the hormonal control center of the body. It releases chemical messengers that affect the production of growth hormones, sex hormones, thyroid hormones, and neurotransmitters. Essential oils, through their fragrance and molecular structure, can directly stimulate both the limbic lobe and the hypothalamus. In this way, essential oils can exert/apply a profound/deep effect on the body and the mind.

QUES. 9 : What is the Essential Oils Chemistry ?
ANS. : Essential oils are made up of many chemical constituents. No two oils are alike in their structure or their effects. Each constituent has its own action, or effects. For example, the ketones found in lavender, hyssop and patchouly, stimulate cell regeneration.

Whereas, phenols, found in oregano and thyme oil, are highly antimicrobial. Because, the chemistry of essential oils is very complex, essential oils are diverse in their effects. This also supports their antimicrobial effects, due to the wide variety of antiseptic compounds in essential oils, makes the mutation of microorganisms extremely difficult. In l985, Dr. Jean C. Lapraz stated that no microbe could survive in the presence of the essential oils of cinnamon or oregano.

QUES. 10 : What is the basic Chemical Structure ?
Essential oils molecules are made up primarily of carbon, hydrogen, and oxygen.The aromatic constituents of essential oils are built from hydrocarbon chains (carbon and hydrogen atoms). They are normally joined together in ring-like chemical structures.

The chains are held together by carbon atoms linked together. Oxygen, hydrogen, nitrogen, sulfur, and other carbon atoms attach at various points of the chain, to make up the different oils. The aromatic-ring structure of essential oils is much more complex than the simpler, linear carbon-hydrogen structure of fatty oils. Essential oils also contain sulfur and nitrogen atoms that fatty oils do not have. The basic building block of many essential oils is a five-carbon molecule called an isoprene.

Most essential oils are built from isoprene. This is the building block that makes up the terpenoids. When two isoprene units link together, they create a monoterpene; when three join, they create a sesquiterpene; and so forth. Triterpenoids are some of the largest molecules found in essential oils. They consist of 30 carbon atoms -- or six isoprene units linked together.

Different molecules in the same essential oil can exert different effects. For example, the azulene in German chamomile has powerful anti-inflammatory compounds. The bisobolol German chamomile also contains has sedative and mood-balancing properties. Other compounds in German chamomile perform still different functions, such as speeding the regeneration of tissue. This is because the chemical structure of an essential oil determines its function. Phenols generally create antibacterial activity.

Carvacrols have anti-inflammatory activity and Limonines are antiviral. A single species of plant can have several different chemotypes based on its chemical composition. A plant such as basil grown in one area might produce an essential oil with a completely different chemistry than basil grown in another location. But, the main components of the basil oil remains always the same even the plant is cultivated in different area.
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