What are essential oils?


Essential oils are the concentrated, liquid essence of plants.  They are one of nature's most beneficial but sometimes under appreciated resources. They can come from various parts of the plant, depending on the oil and the plant. Some oils come from the flower of the plant or from the fruit of the plant which is what many people would suspect as those are the parts of the plant most people value. However, the other parts of the plant also contain the essential oils, and many times the other parts actually are the only parts that contain the essential oils we are after. Oils can be extracted from the leaves or stem of the plant and not from the flower or fruit at all. They can come from the bark of the plant and they can even come from the roots of the plant.  Some oils are even extracted from the rind on the fruit of the plant. Each oil is different. They range in consistency. Some essential oils are watery, and others can be very thick, almost tar like in some instances. They have different chemical constituents. The colors can range from clear to deep blue. Each has it's own unique aroma. Although they may differ in physical properties such as color, viscosity and weight, one thing they all have in common is that all essential oils are highly aromatic and have a scent that is dependent upon the plant it was derived from.

There are many uses for essential oils. They affect us emotionally, physically and mentally. They can heal us, restore us, and give us peace and clarity. Throughout history and in various regions around the world they have been used medicinally. They were used for all types of ailments, from simple skin care, to pain management, as sexual stimulants, appetite suppressants, fever reducers and even to curing cancer. Now a days, due largely to existing regulations they can no longer make such claims and the popularity of using an essential oil has been replaced with modern medicine for the most part.

Essential oils still have a place in modern times. They are still used extensively in commercial products such as toiletries, cleaning products, mouth rinses and toothpastes, and in the perfume industry as well as the pharmaceutical industry. They are used in food additives and flavoring for drinks.The are used by aromatherapist, massage therapists, salons and spas, and anyone who can appreciate the wonderful scents nature has prepared so perfectly. 

In aromatherapy, essential oils are believed to contain certain therapeutic properties that can have various effects when used as alternative medicine. They are believed to be able to affect one emotionally, physically and spiritually. If using essential oils as alternative medicine, please be sure to read our disclaimer as we want you to be informed. Having said that, essential oils contain chemical compounds that make up the essential oil that humans are not able to perfectly replicate in a laboratory due to their complexity. Even in a laboratory with the most advanced equipment, some of the constituents are so subtle that they cannot be accurately analyzed and are missing in synthetic blends. Each oil has hundreds of components, some even number into the thousands. The chemical components that make up the essential oils is dependent on many factors, first and foremost is the plant it is extracted from. Other factors include the way the plant was cultivated, how and when it was harvested, the amount of nutrients it received, the altitude in which it was grown and the method of extraction. 

Using essential oils is a wonderful way to get in touch with nature. They are powerful tools when meditating and can be wonderfully relaxing and spiritually healing. If you have never tried essential oils, find one that has a scent you would appreciate such as lavender (if you like lavender) and give it a try. Essential oils can work in harmony with your your body giving you a sense of balance and, peace and well being. It honestly can be a life changing experience that I hope you will be able to experience as I was and millions of others have. 

 

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