What are Essential Oils?

Essential Oils Truth

Everyone seems to be talking about essential oils these days. Some products claim to contain them. You even see bottles in your local health food store. Before you go out and buy essential oils, you need to know the truth.

Essential Oils are organic compounds extracted from plants. They can be found in the plant’s flower, stem, leaves or fruit. They can also be extracted from resin or bark. Essential oil molecules are small and volatile. This gives them the aromatic properties for which they are best known. Their chemistry is extremely complex and may consist of hundreds of different and unique chemical compounds.

The oils are the “lifeblood” of a plant, protecting it from bacteria, parasites and bugs. They also provide UV protection, healing and prevent water loss. Essential oils keep the plant healthy functioning at its best. When distilled properly, essential oils have the ability to do for US what they do for the plant.

How Essential Oils are Extracted?

There are two main processes to extract essential oils from plants. Steam distillation uses heat and pressure to release oils. Solvents can Companies that want to get more oils from plants quickly and cheaply will use more heat and pressure. Solvents may also be used. However, the best way to distill the essential oils while maintaining the unique therapeutic properties is to use low heat and low pressure. Cold pressing is another method of extraction used on plants that sensitive to heat and pressure. Cold pressing maintains the properties of the oil.

About 400 Essential Oils

While there are thousands of plants that can produce essential oils, there are only about 400 produced commercially.  Those include popular oils like lavender, peppermint, lemon, basil, cinnamon, bergamot, patchouli, citronella, frankincense, myrrh, chamomile, fennel, copaiba, dill, thyme, clove, and many others.

More Potent than Herbs

Essential oils are highly concentrated and are far more potent than dried herbs. Just one drop of Peppermint essential oil is equal to 26 cups of peppermint tea! Because they are highly concentrated, a large volume of plant material is needed to produce very small amounts of oil. It takes 5,000 pounds of rose petals to produce 1 kilo of Rose oil.

Learn more

Essential oils can support our body systems, emotions and contribute to our general well being.  Incorporating them into your daily routine can have a profound impact.   Because essential oils are used topically, aromatically and internally, purity is a concern.  You’ll want to use essential oils from a trusted source that avoids pesticides and additives.  I personally trust Young Living Essential Oils – they own their own farms and have a seed to seal guarantee which assures me that oils are free of chemicals and safe to use.

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