Many people have been asking us a lot of whys lately. Why do we have sodium hydroxide in our soap, why do we infuse our oils with herbs and why do we use essential oils???? These are the customers we love because they are reading our ingredients!! While our ingredient labels probably won’t be on the New York Times best seller list, they are pretty interesting!!
Medicine Wheel Herbals, only, uses essential oils to scent our products. You will never find a baked bread soap or sea breeze, pina colada, baby powder, or almond biscotti soap, lotion or deodorant, because those scents are chemical fragrances. They may smell wonderful (in a mimicking sort of way) but the ramifications of fragrances have enormous negative impact on your health and well-being.
Consumers may think that essential oils and fragrances are interchangeable, but there are some important differences between the two. Essential oils are made from the parts-blossom, fruit, leaf, stem, bark, wood or resin- of plants. The aromatic part of the plant is gathered and then extracted. Steam distillation is the most common form of extraction. An example of this is that it takes 1000 pounds of jasmine flowers to yield 1 pound of jasmine essential oil. Essential oils are used in aromatherapy to positively affect physical, emotional and mental health. I think of essential oils as the spirit, the very essence of the plant.
Fragrances are manufactured scents, artificially created to mimic scents, and there is no limit to what can be created. They are usually stronger, last longer, and are less expensive than essential oils. Synthetic fragrances may be more consistent as essential oils can vary by geographic region and climate; just as a tomato from Maine may not taste exactly like a tomato from Florida.
Besides my love affair with plants and herbs, why do we ONLY use essential oils to scent our products? Research indicates that chemical fragrances are insidiously harmful to your wellbeing, your health and the health of our planet. I think most people have read an article or two about these dangers, HOWEVER, did you know that The Institute of Medicine placed fragrance in the same category as second hand smoke in triggering asthma in adults and school age children? They went on to state "Fragrance is increasingly cited as a trigger in health conditions such as asthma, allergies and migraine headaches”. Some offices and places of employment actually ask their employees to NOT wear perfumes and colognes to work.
For all of these reasons and more, we use ONLY essential oils to scent our products. I think the more we sniff our products, the happier we become! And when we lay our heads down on our pillows at night, we can rest easy knowing that we are not bringing more chemicals into our lives, your lives, and earth’s life. Plants Rock!