What Are Essential Oils?
Essential oils are highly concentrated oils extracted from the bark, seed, root, flower, fruit or leaf of a plant. These concentrated oils are found naturally in the glands of plants as microdroplets, which diffuse towards the plant’s surface where they evaporate and release the plant’s scent. Essential oils contain not only the plant’s aroma, but also its health properties.
Essential oils are composed of tiny, low chemical weight molecules small enough to directly enter the body’s cells. Because of this, essential oils quickly act in and on the body, whether inhaled or applied topically. Don’t let their size fool you... essential oils are very powerful! Often, only a drop or two is all you need.
The two most common ways of extracting the essential oil from its plant are steam distillation and cold-pressed.
Essential oils are extremely concentrated substances, many times more potent than the herb or plant they come from. With essential oils, more is not always better. Very tiny amounts are required to produce desired effects, and many times, applying too much can be harmful. It’s best to use small amounts of a new oil at first. Remember, it’s a lot easier to add more than it is to take some away! Common sense, dilution and knowledge are key in using essential oils safely.