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Home Page > Aromatherapy Articles & Guides > What are Absolutes?

What are Absolutes?

Absolutes
An array of bottled essential oils and absolutes stored in a padded traveling case.  

Like their essential oil counterparts, absolutes are highly aromatic liquids extracted from plants. Absolutes, however, are extracted in a complex manner that requires the use of chemical solvents that are later removed during the final stages of production.

Sometimes, the hot steam or water used to distill an essential oil does not extract much natural oil from the plant or harms the precious natural oil. The solvent extraction methods are often used in these cases.

As a rule, absolutes are more concentrated than their essential oil cousins. Where it is true that a little essential oil goes a long way, a little absolute goes an even longer way.

A very trace amount of solvent can remain in the final absolute. This indeed is a disadvantage to using absolutes as aromatherapy focuses on the use of pure and natural plant matter. Although the amount of remaining solvent is minimal, absolutes are used in true aromatherapy with care, respect and knowledge. Essential oils should never be taken internally by anyone that is not trained, educated and experienced at doing so. Absolutes should never be taken internally by anyone because of that small amount of trace solvent that may remain.

AromaWeb's Business Plaza provides a wonderful categorical directory of sellers of essential oils, absolutes and aromatherapy products.

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