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What are essential oils?

Letzest blog what are essential oils?

Since the beginning of time people have been searching for wholeness, health and happiness through the healing plants and herbs. Essential oils are one of the greatest resources given us by Mother Nature to help maintain and promote the physical and psychological wellbeing.

Essential oils are volatile compounds extracted from the leaves, fruit, flowers, roots, seeds and other parts of various aromatic plants. The name “essential” they received because essential oils contain the essence of a plant from which they are derived. Each essential oil has its own chemical constituents which help to support the plant to heal itself. Oils are the plants own natural defence system, they are the soul of the plant.

Essential oils come in a variety of forms and are substantially complex all-natural substances. A single essential oil contains as many as 100 different chemical components, including, terpenes, phenols, ketones, aldehydes, ethers and oxides, to give the oil its unique properties and aroma. But essential oils do not have the properties that oils do, they do not contain fatty acids that are usually found in oils. Basically, essential oils, despite their name, are not actually oils at all.

Pure essential oils are extracted by either steam distillation or cold-pressed extraction, depending on which part of the plant the essential oil is derived from. Other processes include expression or solvent extraction, but depend on the characteristic of the plant and are not as common as steam distillation.

There are approximately 300 essential oils in general use today. They impart their therapeutic effects being inhaled or absorbed using different techniques and devices. Essential oils contain potentially medicinal properties ranging from skin and respiratory treatments to remedies for very serious diseases.

Different essential oils have different functions according to their properties. For this reason, you should determine which oil would suit your needs. Depending on your needs, you may find a variety of suitable oils.

Stay with us. Check out some of the ways you can use essential oils, along with their benefits and tips for using them safely in our next posts.

Resources:

Dawn M Murray. Essential Oils, a Natural Approach to Health and Wellness, 2018.
Matt Hall. Detailed Essential Oils For Beginners. Guide For Physical and emotional Health, 2015.
Neal’s Yard Remedies. Essential Oils, 2016.

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