Essential Oils are Nature’s fragrant pharmacy, medicine from Mother Earth. They are gentle and compatible with the human body, entering and leaving the body with great efficiency, leaving no toxins behind; unlike chemical drugs which are seen by the body as foreign invaders.
These lovely fragrant oils have an ancient pedigree. They are mentioned in the bible and feature in the history of many cultures. When God directed Moses to make an anointing oil from Myrrh and cinnamon and olive oil, he would have ended up with a powerful antiviral and antibiotic medicine that would have protected, and treated many ailments. Have you ever crushed a rosemary leaf in your fingers? That gorgeous smell comes from the oils in the leaves. And if you smell a rose, it’s the essence that creates that smell.
And you wouldn’t confuse one for the other, would you?
Each plant has a unique signature, like a finger print, that is distinctive to that plant. These essences are concentrated in different parts of the plants; some oils are distilled from the petals, such as rose oil or neroli (orange Blossom), and some oils are distilled from the bark, (cinnamon) others from the leaves,(Rosemary, eucalyptus etc.) some from the roots such as ginger. The distillation process varies as well.
There are some disreputable people that use chemicals in their processing, these are the oils to avoid. Always go for organic oils, as pure as possible.
There are at least three hundred essential oils (give or take a few) in use today by aromatherapy practitioners, but in general only about ten would be needed to cover every eventuality in the average bathroom cabinet. The most efficient way to use essential oils is not by mouth, as one might think, but by massage, diluted in a carrier oil, or by inhalation.
The oils can be applied by compress, or a few drops in a bath, or foot bath. There are a few that can be applied directly onto the skin, but most are safest when diluted. There is also a whole school of aromatherapy that uses the oils in baking and cooking; sometimes therapeutically, and other times just for the glorious taste or smell.
The strength of the oils comes from the fact that it is an essence of the plant, meaning it is a concentrate of what the plant is. The study of essential oils is deep and vast, too vast for me to broach here, but it is fascinating in the extreme and I wouldn’t think of being without my oils, at home or when I travel.