GLOHS Organic Skincare & Health Products

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Extraction Methods

Is there a difference?

In our daily lives, we use a lot of oils, be it in our cooking or skincare. These oils are extracted from plants and seeds and delivered in a format that suits our purposes. Different extraction methods are used depending on the type of plants / seeds, cost, yield, and additives / preservatives used (if any).

As a consumer, we should try to understand the differences, so that we know what we are buying. Let me try and condense it for you:

  • Cold press – an eco-friendly extraction method mainly for seed oils but can also be for plants. Uses low temperature and no chemicals.
  • Hot press – uses high heat to extract oil from plant.
  • Solvent extraction – mainly uses hexane alcohol.
  • CO2 extraction – uses pressurized CO2 which acts as a solvent at a certain temperature to pull desired phytochemicals from a plant. Commonly used for cannabis.
  • Hydro distillation – can include water or steam distillation, is commonly used for essential oil extraction.
  • Maceration – involves immersing the plant in a solvent at room temperature over a period of time.
  • Enfleurage – an old extraction method from 19th century France that uses fat then alcohol to extract from flowers for essential oils.
  • Herbal extract – typically combines a botanical material with a solvent which acts as a preservative or an agent to break down the botanical.
  • Hydrosol – this is made in water through a distillation process. It is the water solution from the distillation process that is also used to produce essential oils. Floral water is also made this way.

The key difference in these different types of extraction methods is yield. The other key difference in the end product is the amount of nutritional value that remain in the oil / extract. Generally, cold pressed oils retain the double bond fatty acid which means that the oil has much better nutritional properties than refined oils. On the other hand, refined oils are usually treated with chemical acid, bleached or purified with an alkali, which, when exposed to heat, becomes oxidized, and can lead to cancer causing radicals in the body.  Refined oils also increase body inflammation, elevate blood triglycerides (stored body fat) and worsens impaired insulin responses, which over time, can lead to diabetes, heart diseases and cancer.

At GLOHS, we care about your health and will do what we can to deliver the best there is. We spend a lot of time vetting our suppliers. We carefully select suppliers and farmers who use the best extraction method for that particular ingredient. Moreover, we are highly supportive of small farmers with high integrity and truly cares about their products. Some of them are still using traditional manual methods of extraction and have refrained from switching to machines. Every new order of ingredients is extracted fresh upon placement of order. Where we can, we use cold pressed or even hand pressed oils in our products to ensure maximum benefits. We hope you can feel the love and all the hard work that go into the bottles that you are buying!


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