What are Essential Oils? Essential oils are potent liquids that form as part of the internal structure of aromatic plants. In certain parts of these plants, special microscopic sacs gradually fill up with the oil as the plant matures.
For example: Take a orange rind/peel and look at the underside. You will see hundreds of tiny circular globes, which are the essential oil sacs in the peel. Grating the zest or pressing it with a nail will burst them open, releasing the tangy orange fragrance – the essential oil. Essential oil are beneficial healers because they transport oxygen to the cells, which trigger great healing effects. It is safe to say that all of them are anti-fungal, anti-bacterial, anti-viral, anti-infectious, anti-tumoral, anti-parasitic, and antiseptic on some level. Plants contain complex and powerful substances known as essential oils. These are aromatic liquids derived from shrubs, flowers, trees, roots, bushes, herbs, and seeds. These distinctive components defend plants from insects, harsh environmental conditions, and disease. They are also vital for a plant to grow, live, evolve, and adapt to its surroundings. Referred to as the essence of the plant, pure essential oils not only protect the plant, but also determine its aroma.
Essential Oils are not really “oils”. They are the highly concentrated liquid that comes from the plant. For example, rose essential oil has a beautiful, strong floral and sweet fragrance that is intoxicating and highly romantic. It takes thousands of flower petals to create the drops that are in a single bottle of therapeutic grade rose oil, and adding a single drop of peppermint oil to a glass of water has approximately the same concentration as 20 bags of peppermint tea.
Essential oils should always be diluted in carrier oil like Olive oil, sweet almond oil, Coconut oil, sunflower oil etc. It should never be used directly on the skin. The exception is Lavender oil which can be safely applied on skin for burns and wounds. Never apply essential oil close to the eye area and mucous membranes.
Essential oils can be used in various ways – Massage, Baths, Inhalations, Vaporizers, Compresses. It is also used in preparation of cosmetics. Please follow this space – “One essential oil a week”. I will be discussing the benefits, uses, safety precautions of some essential oils that heals our mind, body and soul.