Essential oils consist of 100’s of natural chemical compounds found in the seeds, bark, stems, roots, flowers and other parts of plants. Via multiple delivery methods they allow us to tap into uplifting our emotions, cleansing toxins from the body, regenerate cellular activity, increase energy etc. all of which improve emotional wellness! Here are a few important facts to know about what essential oils are:
- Natural aromatic compounds found in plants. They are essential to the health of that plant and to our health as well.
- Safe and do not cause harmful side effects.
- Cost pennies per dose and are applied simply by three different ways through diffusing, applying to the skin or ingested.
- 50-70 times more powerful than herbs.
- Provide a natural support to our immune system
Essential oils are non water-based phytochemicals made up of volatile aromatic compounds. Although they are fat soluble, they do not include fatty lipids or acids found in vegetable and animal oils. Essential oils are very clean, almost crisp, to the touch and are immediately absorbed by the skin. Pure, unadulterated essential oils are translucent and range in color from crystal clear to deep blue. Whether the oils are inhaled or applied dermally, they enter the blood stream and produce measurable pharmacological effects. Aromatically, the oil passes through the olfactory neural pathway which allows both intraneuronal and extraneuronal access to the brain.
But what exactly is a volatile aromatic compound? In short, these compounds are small organic molecules that tend to change quickly from their solid or liquid state to a gas at room temperature. They are called volatile because they change state quickly. When you first open a bottle of essential oil, you instantly notice that the aroma is potent and you can smell it typically even from some distance. The physical and chemical properties of the volatile aromatic compounds that compose essential oils allow them to quickly move through the air and directly interact with the olfactory sensors in the nose. Such unique properties make essential oils ideal for applications inclusion in aromatherapy – using these compounds from plants to help maintain a healthy mind and body – as well as other applications. The type of volatile aromatic compounds present in an essential oil determines both the oil’s aroma and the benefits it offers.
Over 3,000 varieties of volatile aromatic compounds have been identified to date. The nature of an essential oil varies from plant to plant, within botanical families, and from species to species. The delicate ratio of aromatic constituents found in any given essential oil are what make it unique and give it specific benefits.
Even with pure essential oils the composition of the oil can vary depending on the time of day, season, geographic location, method and duration of distillation, year grown, and the weather, making every step of the production process a critical determinant of the overall quality of the essential oil product.
Essential oils can be used for a wide range of emotional and physical wellness applications. They can be used as single essential oils or in complex essential oil blends depending on user experience and desired benefit.