What Is Essential Oil?

Essential oils have been in use since around the 13th century where records mentioned the various processes of extraction. In this article, you will learn more about what are essential oils and discover why choosing the correct brand of essential oils is crucial.

What Are Essential Oils?

An essential oil is not an oil but rather it is a volatile ( it evaporates easily at normal room temperature ) and concentrated hydrophobic liquid. This liquid contains the plant’s chemical compounds and these give the various essential oils their individual properties. As essential oils are concentrated, the aroma is usually stronger than the aroma from the plants’ natural state. Similarly, the active ingredients of the essential oil are usually of a higher level when compared to the actual plants.

In layman terms, they are simply concentrated natural chemicals of the plants!

what is essential oil

How Are Essential Oils Made?

These are the common extraction methods to obtain essential oils:

  • Distillation
    Harvested plant material such as bark, leaves, flowers or fruits is put into the distillation tool over boiling water. Steam then rises and passes through the plant material. The plant material then gets heated, leading to the vaporization of volatile compounds. The vapor then moves through a condensation coil and is collected as a liquid.
  • Expression
    In this method, the essential oils are extracted from the harvested plant material by pressing. This can be done via cold pressing or mechanical pressing.

How To Use Essential Oils

These are the common ways to use essential oils:

  • Diffusing
    A diffuser converts the essential oil into tiny particles in the air which are then inhaled. An ultrasonic diffuser is usually the most common option and it uses water to create a mist which carries along the essential oil particles
  • Steam Inhalation
    This is done by pouring boiling water into a large bowl and adding a few drops of chosen essential oil. Using a towel to cover the head over the bowl, the steam which carries the essential oil particles is then breathed in ( Be careful, it may be hot! )
  • External Topical Application
    In this case, essential oil is mixed with a pure unadulterated carrier oil that acts as a dilution medium. The resulting mixture is then applied on external skin.

Popularity Of Essential Oils

As mentioned earlier, humans have been using the natural benefits of plants since ancient history. In fact, plants are the foundation of almost half of the medical drugs used by modern society. While it is clear that essential oils are NOT meant to replace professional medical care, they do play a part in supporting wellness.

A common example would be the use of lavender aroma to promote restful sleep. A quick look at a typical home wellness products shelf will probably yield many products stated to contain natural lavender. Reputable brands usually source this lavender from the essential oil of lavender. Therefore many people may be already using products that contain essential oils without even realizing it!

Another example would be the use of tea tree in skin care! It is a common appearance in many over the counter lotions.

Are Essential Oils Dangerous?

As of all chemicals, whether natural or artificial, it can be dangerous. The key here is to be well informed on the proper usage and to stay clear of all risky behaviors or questionable products. It is important to be mindful that essential oils do not replace professional medical care. Always seek medical attention if in doubt!

Questionable sources of essential oils may dilute the product with other chemicals to enhance the smell and cut costs. Another common danger is the using of an extraction technique that may not be thorough and hence leading to the presence of impurities.

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Such questionable products pose an unknown possibility of danger as the impurities may react with your body. This is the reason why i chose Young Living Essential Oils. Their commitment to providing pure adulterated essential oils gives me the confidence to support my wellness lifestyle. They have a Seed to Seal quality program which covers the various facets of their essential oils production.

Young Living products are by no means the cheapest around but this is one instance where I would rather pay for quality than risk my family’s wellness to save a few dollars. I hope this article has been of use to you. Connect with me if you have any questions or join me for your Young Living journey with the link below. Stay wholesome!

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