Essential Oils

  • The history of essential oil use includes 33 biblical oils with 600 referenced. Chinese and Egyptian references date back to 2700BC. Hippocrates, who was considered the founder of Western medicine, identified over 200 different herbs and plants, including essential oils, as his foundation, making essential oils a part of many of histories healing systems. Over the last 30 years the popularity of Essential oils have re-emerged into the mainstream of American culture.
  • What are essential oils? Essential oils are the ‘essence’ of a plant which includes active compounds such as alcohols, aldehydes and possibly hundreds of other constituents making an essential oil a compact re-presentation of the entire plant. Essential oils are derived from flowers, roots, leaves, grasses and trees.
  • Essential oils are derived from the distilling of plant parts yielding oils and floral water called Hydrosols. A typical yield in making a low temperature distillation process (the best type to get all the essences) using lavender oil as an example is about 600-700 grams (1.5 pounds) per 100 kilos or 220 pounds.
  • Essential oils are highly indispensable in our lives. The use of essential oils can be found in medicines, cosmetics, foods, beverages, flavorings and aroma therapies to mention a few. As an example you may have come into contact with oils that are included in chewing gum (mints), vapor rubs for cough (eucalyptus) and soda or drinks such as mineral waters.
  • The chemical ingredients in essential oils can be very different depending on where the plant is grown, altitude, soil and climate, making one lavender different from other lavenders. Great examples of these include the lavender Spike which is high in camphor (used for inflammation) and lavender Fine which is more floral in smell and relaxing. Both have similar compounds but differ in concentration because of the areas they grow in.
  • Aromatherapy is the use of essential oils for healing and balancing the body. Lavender for stress, eucalyptus for cough and cold relief, rose oil for beauty are just some simple examples in the essential oil world. Essential oil quality differs as well. Distillation processes of oils can lessen the expense of oils by increasing the yield but may leave behind active ingredients that are healing to the body. Additionally, some essential oils can be toxic when used internally so proceed with caution and follow directions on the bottle.