What is an Essential Oil?


Since the beginning of time plants have been used medicinally and whilst essential oils are a more recent discovery they are also the basis upon which our modern medicine takes its lead.

serene female holding bunch of flowers in meadow


Photo by Francesca Zama on Pexels.com

Essential oils are volatile, aromatic compounds that have been extracted from a plant, this may be from the flower, the leaf, a root, bark, seeds, the fruit. They are the plants’ protection from environmental factors and predators on one hand and their means to healthy reproduction on the other by attracting pollinators.

It is this ability to enable the plant to flourish in its environment that makes them such a powerful natural medicine. Hopefully it also helps you see the importance of collecting oils in season from plants grown in their natural habitat.

Consider the melaleuca tree growing in the swampy conditions of Australia, a natural breeding ground for mold, fungus and bacteria. A plant growing here must have a strong immune system to both survive and thrive. The oil collected from these trees, Tea Tree oil, can bring us those same strengths and qualities; antiseptic; antibacterial; antifungal; analgesic.

I’m sure we have all walked through a garden and enjoyed the amazing aroma given off by the flowers. The volatile nature of these compounds is what allows them to change state quickly and this is what makes them so powerful. 

Added to that is how amazing our sense of smell is, it takes just 20 seconds for that aroma to reach the centre of your brain. There is a nerve that connects your nose to your limbic system, the control centre of your brain. Responsible for regulating your emotions, sexual responses, regulating your hormones, controlling your stress reactions, your motor function, your metabolism, growth, sleep, mood, sensory perception, motivation, storing your memories.

The power of smell is 10 thousand times greater than our power of taste! Our eyes have just 3 types of receptors yet our smell has an incredible 100 receptors. We can distinguish an infinite number of smells even at low concentration. The response is instant and so are the responses with our body, mental, emotional and physical.

I’m sure you must have experienced how certain smells cause an automatic response in your mind and body. Have you walked past the bakery and felt your hunger rise as you smell the bread or walked into a coffee shop and experienced the coffee aroma calming your frazzled nerves? Are there things you smell that transport you back to your childhood?

This is where the power of essential oils lies. Their aromas are between 100 and 10,000 times more concentrated and potent than the plant itself. Added to this the incredibly small molecular size of the compound allowing the oils to pass easily across the blood-brain barrier, penetrate cell membranes, pass easily through the skin membrane and enter the bloodstream makes them incredibly powerful and responsive.

Combining the uniqueness of each individual essential oil and their ability to assist our bodies in such a powerful way is what makes them a powerhouse for natural health and well-being. 

Whatever your body needs and whatever your preference on aromas there is an oil to meet your requirements. 

A fragrance for everyone! Do you enjoy the woody aromas of Cedarwood, Siberian Fir, Douglas Fir, Cypress, Black Spruce, Sandalwood, Frankincense, Myrrh? How about the citrus smells of bergamot, wild orange, lemon, lime, grapefruit. Herbs such as coriander, rosemary, marjoram, oregano, thyme. The spice of clove, ginger, cinnamon, cardamom, black pepper. The floral of lavender, magnolia, rose, jasmine, geranium, roman chamomile, neroli. Add a few drops of your chosen essential oil to your diffuser, sit back and enjoy.

Support for every need! Are you struggling with your sleep, your mood, depression, anxiety, stress, nightmares, hallucinations? Is your body constantly in pain, do you have hormonal issues, thyroid disease, high blood pressure, respiratory problems? Perhaps you struggle with skin issues, dental problems, digestive issues, addictions, eating disorders. These are just a few of the uses for essential oils, look out for future blogs about how to use your oils and how to support areas of concern.

Essential oils can safely and effectively support 80-90% of your health and well-being concerns. The body is incredible, it works tirelessly keeping everything functioning, it has an amazing ability to heal itself despite how we abuse it. Modern society with all its chemicals and synthetic products is seriously taking its toll and now is the time to respect our bodies again.

Plants are carbon based just as we are carbon based beings this makes us compatible and nature beneficial to our bodies. It also means our bodies don’t react and become allergic to them like the modern synthetic medications but rather they interact together and not against each other. 

It is always wise to start of slowly when first introducing them as everyone is different, in the same way what works well for you may be different to what is best for me. To see the best results consistency will always be the best approach, make sure you finish your course is what your GP prescribes along with those antibiotics. 

Please, please, please buy wisely. Quality over quantity is definitely your priority when buying an oil. This is an unregulated industry so your bottle that says 100% pure may only infact contain 5% essential oil and that could even be synthetic, I would strongly advise you to do you research.

For me I chose doTERRA and every oil I buy has a number on the bottom of the bottle. That number can tell me everything about the oil in fine detail. Take a look here and learn a little more about where they source the oils from, the importance of purity and supporting a community. https://www.doterra.com/GB/en_GB/source-to-you-videos


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