Ayurveda is a science of natural wonder that often proffers the best to mankind, be it the treatment for the actual disease, solutions for preventing it in the future, leading a healthy lifestyle, a balanced and nutritious diet, serene meditation, enlightening yoga or a soothing Abhyanga with the use of Ayurvedic essential oils. Everything aims at a complete life and a state of comprehensive living even after your 60s as Ayurveda pays special attention to human beings right from the womb till their death bed, where the soul is trusted to rest in peace with a regular practice of an Ayurvedic routine. Most of you might wonder and feel like asking me that essential oils are an incredible part of Aromatherapy and why am I talking about storing essential oils in Ayurveda?
Ayurveda makes use of natural fragrances or aromatics in the process of healing illnesses. Incense sticks, fresh flowers, sandalwood powder or paste have always been a part of the religious ceremonies and the daily prayers for kindling the spiritual feelings of an individual. Essential oils are natural plant extracts without any artificial ingredient and have been proved across the globe for its therapeutic properties and enhancement in the quality of lives. Ayurvedic essential oils can be such a value addition to your life only if they are preserved well for extended use. This is because these oils being in a highly concentrated form are mostly used in drops and are retained for a long time in the shelves or medical cabinet. The simple tips to store Ayurvedic essential oils for better use are listed below for your guidance.
1. Nature of the container: The good looks or the prettiness of the container cannot pay your health in anyways. The pureness and the quality of the essential oils are very important in serving the purpose of its purchase and such healing values can be retained only with the type of the container it is stored in. Essential oils should preferably be stored in glass bottles mostly in amber or navy blue color for filtering the harmful UV rays that may otherwise worsen the essential oils. Make certain that you never purchase essential oils that are stored in clear glass bottles inviting sunlight to deteriorate the therapeutic properties of the oil or the oils stored in plastic containers as these highly concentrated essential oils will corrode the plastic and detriment the texture of the oil and taint it.
2. Focus on the temperature: Being volatile in nature, essential oils tend to evaporate in comparatively lower temperatures. Heat, moisture and sunlight can cause considerable damage to the quality of the oils. Always store essential oils in a dark, cool and dry place to preserve the freshness, natural fragrance and remedial properties. You can also store essential oils in an average temperature in the refrigerator and keep it out for few hours before use to allow it to settle to the room temperature.
3. Type and temperament of essential oils: Generally the storage of essentials oils depend on the nature of the oils. Certain oils like Sandalwood oil, Patchouli oil, Clary Sage essential oil, Vetiver oil etc, get enhanced with time. The older they are the better they smell and exhibit their rich fragrance. On the other hand, Citrus oils like Lemon essential oil, Grapefruit essential oil, Orange essential oil etc, are tend to tarnish and start to lose their curative values, aroma and the rich presence in a limited period ranging from 6 to 12 months.
4. Pay attention to the bottle caps: Do not buy essential oils that are covered with rubber droppers attached to the screw-top cap. This is mainly due to the highly concentrated nature of the essential oils that can turn the dropper into a gluey material and besmirch the entire oil. The best choice is the use of essential oils stored in dark glass bottles with a firmly fixed screw cap containing an orifice reducer set inside the mouth of the bottle. It holds a small opening in the middle allowing the oil to be discharged in drops without any mess.
5. Choose a safe wooden box for storage: As all of us know that ‘Health is the real wealth’. When we spend so much of money in purchasing jewel boxes to keep our jewels, then why can’t we get a compact and durable wooden box (without biting your pocket!!) that can preserve your essential oils from all of the factors that can cause damage to the essential oils?
- Keep the essential oils in a cupboard or a safe shelf that is not easily reachable by kids and pets. Both of them may tend to hurt themselves by coming into direct contact with the oil.
- Do not use Ayurvedic essential oils directly on your skin as they are highly concentrated and may burn the skin or cause considerable damage. Always use suitable carrier oils for dissolving your essential oils before use.
- Do not ingest essential oils unless it is recommended by your Ayurvedic practitioner.
- Ensure that the essential oils bottle is tightly closed after use to avoid spilling and mishandling.
- All of us have the habit of looking at the expiry date of all the pharmaceutical products and food items that we purchase. Try implementing the same here as well. Look for the expiry date at the back of the bottle. If you do not find one, then make it a practice to write the date of purchase on a small paper and paste it on the bottle to know the actual shelf life of a particular essential oil.
- Use Ayurvedic essential oils regularly for better results and consult your Ayurvedic expert regarding the different ways of using essential oils effectively to find value for your time and money.
- Ayurveda & Aromatherapy: The Earth Essential Guide to Ancient Wisdom and Modern Healing By Dr. Light Miller, Dr. Bryan Miller
- The Aromatherapy Companion: Medicinal Uses/Ayurvedic Healing/Body-Care Blends/Perfumes & Scents/Emotional Health & Well-Being (Herbal Body) By Victoria H. Edwards
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- Essential oils by Wikipedia
- How to store Essential oils by wikiHow
- Aromatherapy by National Association for Holistic Aromatherapy