The Essentials of Essential Oils by Susan Hoffman – Essential oils are the volatile liquids distilled from plants, including the seeds, bark, leaves, stems, roots, flowers, and fruit. The liquids give plants their distinctive smells, provide protection and they also play a role in plant pollination. Essential oils have been used for food preparation, beauty treatment and health-care practices through much of human history. More than 3,000 varieties have been identified.
As a volatile aromatic compound, the small organic molecules can change quickly from solid or liquid state to a gas at room temperature. Their physical and chemical properties allow essential oils to move through the air and interact with the olfactory sensors in our nose. These properties allow for the use of essential oils in aromatherapy.
There are many forms of essential oils and the quality varies. For instance, perfume grade oils are found in lotions, soaps and perfumes, and these variations are not ingested. Other oils are used in candles or diffused into the air. A familiar use of high-quality therapeutic grade oil is to apply the oil topically or to ingest the oil in tiny amounts. Oils that are not therapeutic grade are not suggested for topical use and some can be toxic. These grades are why doing your homework or working with a professional is important.
Therapeutic grade oils embody the regenerating, protective and immune strengthening properties of the originating plant. The leading producers of essential oils are precise in harvesting and distilling oils as well as studying the oil properties and their many benefits.
The medicinal use or aromatics were noted by Egyptians, Persians, Romans, Chinese and Arabians over thousands of years. Even the Bible and the Torah reference essential oils such as rosemary, myrrh and frankincense.
Single oils and blends support the healthy function of our respiratory, immune, gastro-intestinal, and hormonal systems among others. Their antioxidant properties neutralize free radicals, which can injure cells leading to various diseases.
Families around the world are using essential oils in many ways; from boosting our bodies ability to fight cold and flu symptoms, relax and soothe sore muscles, address skin conditions, pain, balance hormones imbalances, and many more uses around the home. The reference book Modern Essential notes that essential oils have anti-bacterial, anti-fungal, anti-infectious, anti-microbial, anti-tumor, anti-parasitic, anti-viral, and anti-septic properties. The bottom line is therapeutic grade essential oils promote emotional and physical healing.
Good Sources: Modern Essentials: The Complete Guide to the Therapeutic Use of Essential Oils and doTerra.com
Susan Hoffman owns Englewood Pilates Center. She welcomes questions about essential oils at 480-266-5152.