What are Essential Oils?

Humans from different cultures (Greece, India, France, China, Rome, Persia) all around the world, have been using aromatherapy and essential oils going back over 5000 years.
Essential oils are concentrated, liquid plant extracts used for aromatic and wellness purposes. Essential oils contain the essence of a plant, which come from a variety of plant sources, including fruits, trees, leaves, flowers, roots and grasses. 

If you have ever chopped an herb and smelled a fragrant smell, you have experienced the essential oil of that plant, or squeezed the peel of a ripe orange, the fragrant residue on your hand is full of essential oils. More than just something that smells good, essential oils contain beneficial organic compounds that we can use for our health and well being. Over 3000 varieties of volatile aromatic compounds have been identified to date. 

Essential oils are generally non-greasy, feel very clean to the touch, and are immediately absorbed by the skin. Pure, unadulterated essential oils are translucent and range in colour from crystal clear to deep blue. 

Most oils are extracted using steam distillation, but some oils such as citrus oils are extracted through a process of compression in which the oil is squeezed from the plant, which is called cold pressed. Therapeutic-grade essential oils are usually extracted via a low-heat steam distillation process in which steam is circulated under pressure through plant material releasing the essential oils into the steam. As the steam mixture cools, the water and oils separate and the oil can be collected.

The extraction process for high quality essential oils needs to be monitored extremely closely. Everything has to be just right to get the highest quality oil of correct chemical composition, temperature and pressure. If done incorrectly, it can change the extract’s composition and potency.

Careful selection of plant materials is just as important as the distillation. Plants need to have the right species, the correct growing conditions, and be harvested at the correct time. The process requires experienced growers and distillers working together to ensure a high quality product.

Essential oils have been used throughout history in many cultures for their medicinal and therapeutic benefits. Each oil has specific health benefits, and can be used in many ways, and can also be blended with other oils to increase the therapeutic benefits. Modern culture and the increased interest in holistic health options has increasingly allowed for more scientific studies on the benefits and uses of essential oils. 

Essential oils can be used in diffusers, rollerbottles, lava stone jewellery, spray bottles and topically. Replace the harmful chemicals with essential oils and start to feel better. Instead of harsh cleaning products, perfumes, air fresheners and candles. All these things are harmful to us and the environment, where as essential oils only benefit us and our health. Not to mention, running a diffuser in your house all day can purify the air and instantly uplift your mood, just but inhaling the fine mist. 

Learn more about the therapeutic properties and benefits that each oil has by checking out the products, and their descriptions. Also check out the blog posts about each oil, different blends to use in diffusers, and how to use lava stone jewellery.