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Uses Of Essential Oils Essay

1040 words - 5 pages

Essential oil is one of the natural products that are used by humans for a long time ago. This oil is extracted from various plants which contain a variety of essences that produce difference fragrant. Clarke (2002) defines essential oils as the “volatile product that is extracted by a physical process from single natural plant species and that has an odors and the composition characteristic of an essential oil from that species” (pp. 86-87). Essential oil is extracted by the dry distillation process or wet distillation process. Nowadays, essential oil is commercialized for multiple purposes. The four major uses of essential oil are cosmetic, pharmaceutical, food, and aromatherapy (refer to Figure 1 in Appendix 1).

The first uses of essential oil are in the cosmetics. The Guidebook for export to Japan (2011) says that cosmetics definitely are “articles with mild action on the human body, which are intended to be applied to the human body through rubbing, sprinkling or other methods, aiming to clean, beautify and increase the attractiveness, alter the appearance or to keep the skin or hair in good condition” (p. 3). Essential oils are traditionally good in penetration into the skin, which enhances their efficacy (Ziosi et al., 2010). According to Clarke (2002), there are a variety of materials suitable to be mixed with the essential oils in producing a cosmetic product like gels, lotions, creams, soaps and shampoos that collectively refer to as cosmetics based and toiletries. This combination fulfills a marketing claim and generates a big business. In 1990, Business Scent Ltd successfully launches the first series of trickle-down product in their ‘Project Eve’ namely soap, shampoo, shower gel and antiperspirant which their original fragrance is substituted into fragrance from exotic tropical, fruity, watery, floral and muguet (lily-of-the-valley). The original base of this product only has a fatty smell and alcoholic fragrance (Small, 2006). Due to increasing cosmetics product containing essential oils, there are some issues about skin sensitization. To avoid this problem, self regulatory system involving two organizations is established that is the Research Institute for Fragrance Materials (RIFM) and the International Fragrance Association (IFRA). Duties of RIFM and IFRA are to test every source of essential oils (Meakins, 2006).
The second uses of essential oil are in the pharmaceutical. Essential oils have been used in pharmaceutical a long time ago in different approaches. It has been used to prevent and treat disease. An important component of essential oil likes monoterpenes has the ability as an anti-tumor activity as well as an antidote to prevent cancer cell from spreading in the human body. Component of essential oil such as monoterpenes and terpenes can be extracted from plants with some technique. According to Edris (2007), it includes water or steam distillation, solvent extraction, expression under pressure, supercritical fluid...

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