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Oshadhi Essential Oils
uncompromising purity
in essential oils
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uncompromising purity in essential oils

What are Absolutes?

essential oil concrete

Absolutes are plant oils produced by the process of extraction

Some plants do not allow the creation of an essential oil through steam distillation, either because the yield is so minute as to make it prohibitively expensive, or because the heat may adversely affect the aroma of the oil. In such cases extraction may be used. Oils produced in this way are known as essential oil absolutes.

Solvent Extraction

This involves washing the plant material in solvents such as hexane or butane, and then allowing the solvent to evaporate off. The resulting substance is called a ‘concrete’ (pictured, right) which is a mixture of many types of plant constituents, including waxes. The concrete then undergoes further processes to remove the unwanted products, and leave just the oil, which is the absolute.

What is different about Absolutes?

Because they don’t involve heating, which may change some of the plant’s naturally occurring chemicals, Absolutes often have an aroma which is stronger and more immediate than that of the essential oil; and they are frequently less costly too.
It’s true that some therapists feel that while they may be fine for fragrance, for use in aroma diffusers, and for direct inhalation it is preferable when performing aromatherapy massage to use oils that have not undergone any chemical extraction process. However any external chemical residue will be tiny, so you will need to make up your own mind about this.