a brief discussion.
Below is a very brief explanation as to why it is important to use only fresh unprocessed, un-heated oils in the foods we eat and in the products we apply to ours and others skin.
vegetable oil industry turns over around 80 billion dollars annually and is a
powerful educative and political force that uses aggressive advertising
campaigns based on often misleading half truths and manipulative techniques in
order to gain market share.
of what this oil industry does in processing these oils alters their chemical
structures and removes the natural nutrients and there is a substantial and
increasing body of medical evidence suggesting that these changed oils may cause disease.
It is only in the last 30 years or so that science has come to understand the importance of dietary essential oils and the role they play in our health. In the last 10 years especially, much has also been learnt about the toxicity of these oils when extracted with chemical solvents and otherwise processed, especially when using high temperatures.
Unsaturated vegetable oils are affected especially by:
Light where they react with oxygen 1000 times faster, to go rancid.
Oxygen that breaks down essential fatty acids even in the absence of light.
Heat that breaks down the essential fatty acids by changing their chemical shape.
An optimal, balanced intake of unsaturated vegetable oils is very important for health, as is the avoidance of over heated and highly processed oils, as this changes the chemical structure of these oils making them potentially toxic.
A good reference on this subject for those interested is: “Fats that Heal Fats that Kill” by Udo Erasmus published by Alive Books. ISBN 0-920470-38-6
Any fats and oils applied to our skin are at least partially absorbed through our skin affecting the local area and potentially the body as a whole.
A masseuse or masseur when using partially oxidised or otherwise chemically altered fats and oils is not only dosing their client with potentially damaging oils but is also regularly, on a daily basis, dosing themselves with these products.
are three basic classes of these essential fatty acids:
- Poly-unsaturated fatty acids with two double bonds; an example being Linoleic acid as found in safflower and sunflower oils - also called omega 6 oils.
- Poly-unsaturated fatty acids with three double bonds; an example being Alpha-Linolenic Acid as found in Flax oil and cold water fish oils - also called omega 3 oils.
quality, ratio and quantity of these three oil types in our diet plays a very
important part in maintaining health and causing disease.
When using oils for massage it is best to buy only unprocessed, unrefined and cold pressed oils. They should be refrigerated, preferably packed in glass or tin and still have their original colour and flavour. Be aware that any commercial oil not labelled virgin is most likely to have been processed using heat and or chemicals and thus be chemically altered.
It is important that the bulk of the oil be stored in a refrigerator with small portions being drawn from it for daily use.