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Emulsions

Emulsions

An emulsion is a mixture of normally immiscible fluids (eg.oil & water). They are prepared with the help of an emulsifying agent, which is usually acacia gum. The emulsifying agent increases the viscosity of the water, reduces the surface tension between the water and the oil, and thus reduces the coalescence of the oil, and increases the surface charge of the oil to attract water to it.

The most common use of an emulsion is to administer essential or volatile oils internally (eg. an emulsion of Mentha piperita for indigestion).

How to make an Emulsion

  • Place 1 part acacia powder to 4 parts oil in a bone dry mortar and stir with pestle till thoroughly mixed
  • Add 2 parts water and stir in one direction only until the mixture ‘clicks’ (eg. reaches a certain consistency
  • Add essential oil if desired
  • Note: This is called a primary emulsion and much water can be added to it to dilute it from its original strength for internal use. Up to 1L of water can be added and taken in small doses as needed.

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