What are Essential Oils?
Essential oils, known as nature’s living energy, are the natural, aromatic volatile liquids found in shrubs, flowers, trees, roots, bushes, and seeds. The distinctive components in essential oils defend plants against insects, environmental conditions, and disease. They are also vital for a plant to grow, live, evolve, and adapt to its surroundings.
Essential oils are extracted from aromatic plant sources via steam distillation, and are highly concentrated and far more potent than dry herbs. For instance, 1 drop of peppermint essential oil is equal to 26 cups of peppermint tea! While essential oils often have a pleasant aroma, their chemical makeup is complex and their benefits vast—which makes them much more than something that simply smells good.
Ancient Wisdom, Modern Miracles
Historically, essential oils have played a prominent role in everyday life. With more than 200 references to aromatics, incense, and ointments throughout the Bible, essential oils are said to be used for anointing and keeping people well.
Research and General Acceptance
The cleansing qualities of some essential oils (such as tea tree and peppermint) and their value in assisting the immune system has been detailed extensively in both ancient and modern medical literature.
Recent research in mainstream medical literature has also shown that aromatherapy has a positive psychological impact on patients, as well. Several clinical studies involving both post-operative and chronically ill subjects showed that massage with essential oils can be helpful in improving emotional well-being, and promoting better sleep consequently, promoting the healing process.
The Science of Aromatherapy
When an essential oil is diffused, it’s inhaled and processed through the olfactory system, which then sends the therapeutic benefits of the aroma to the brain. Depending on the specific constituents in the oil, you may begin to feel the release of negative emotions, the soothing of undue muscle tension, or experience the cleansing effect of the oils.