Sunday, April 10, 2016

Here & Now Botanicals and Essential Oil Distillation

I have always been intrigued by the benefits of aromatherapy. Whether it actually works, or it's placebo effect, there's something appealing about using nature to heal. I was recently contacted by Here & Now Botanicals to try out some of their products. First off, they are based in Vancouver so that already got me excited. There are two major types of products they do: aromatherapy mists and aromatherapy oils. There's also beard balm, deodorant and lip balm all formulated with essential oils. 

Each product is created in small batches and handcrafted in Vancouver, British Columbia. The products do not contain: parabens, sulfates, palm oil, petroleum, phthalates, mineral oil and other harmful ingredients. Pretty much all the ingredients I can see in these three products are all natural!

Stay Focused Aromatherapy Mist $15
It is often believed that certain types of essential oils can help with memory and focus so I was intrigued to give this a try. It smells mostly of lemon with a bit of herbal scent coming from the basil and rosemary oil. I also found this cooling so I can't wait to use it during my summer study sessions.

Sweet Sassafras Aromatherapy Oil $15
First off, this smells so good! It is definitely sweet and reminds me of the sour cola candy or bubble gum! The therapeutic actions include: antidepressant, calmative, and relaxant. I brought this to work as it can get very stressful and I have to say this works! I rub some on my wrist and take a deep breathe whenever I feel stressed or frustrated. The scent immediately calms me down! Also side note, there is no actual sassafras in this product as I believe it's banned.

All Natural Lip Balm in Safety Third $5
This product is suppose to aid in the prevention of colds & cold sores. Unfortunately I caught a cold when I started using it so I can't really comment on it's "health benfits". The product is made of cocoa butter and a bunch of natural oils. It is VERY soft so be careful during the summer time! It's not my favorite lip balm formula as it's a bit oily and would be better for night time. The scent is also quite herbaly but I would be interested in trying their other 4 flavors! If you like natural ingredients though, this lipbalm is really great value.

Now for some education! I always wondered about the process of essential oil distillation and Jessica kindly broke it down for me. If you are also curious, take a read:

"I do two different types of essential oil distillation - steam distillation and super critical CO2 extraction. 
In steam distillation, it is similar to making alcohol. You have a still which boils water, the botanicals sit in a basket within the still - as the water turns to steam it passes through the botanicals and up through the column of the still and into the condenser. Once in the condenser the vapour cools and the oils from the botanicals separate from the water (water and oil don't mix). The oil is kept as essential oil and the water is kept as a hydrosol or hydrolat. 

With super critical CO2 extraction, this process is a little more complicated - we pump pressurized CO2 into a chamber filled with the botanicals we want extracted. When CO2 is subjected to the pressure in the chamber it becomes "super critical" and becomes almost a liquid but still in a gas state. Because it has these liquid-like properties, the CO2 acts like a solvent, essentially popping out the oils from the botanical matter. It can also pull pigments, so CO2 oils are very rich in colour! So when the pressure is released the oil is left separated from the plant matter."

Overall I'm a huge fan of the Sweet Sassafras aromatherapy oil rollerball and would definitely recommend it. Do you believe in aromatherapy? What's your favorite oil?

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