ESSENTIAL OILS: THE BASICS, PART 1-
WHAT ARE ESSENTIAL OILS?
by Nicole Simpkins, Wine Country Botanicals
My love affair with essential oils began innocently enough. I used a hair product that contained essential oils and this *MAGICAL* product changed my life. Not only did it give me lustrous, beautiful hair (as if that weren't enough), it sparked a passion that would send me on the journey to create Wine Country Botanicals. This brand has given me a platform to share my enthusiasm and knowledge not only for essential oils, but also for using plants to improve our physical, mental and emotional wellbeing.
So today I want to start at the beginning and explain what essential oils ARE. In fact, the name itself is a bit of a misnomer as they aren't actually OILS in the traditional sense.
~Essential oils are fragrant, highly concentrated, volatile extracts from plants.
~These magical compounds are found in such varied parts of the plant as the leaves, fruits, woods, roots, seeds and flowers. For example, lavender essential oil comes from the flower while sandalwood comes from the wood and peppermint from the leaf.
~Essential oils are the most concentrated and potent of all plant extracts and are 75-100 times more concentrated than dried herbs.
~There are over 30,000 different aromatic molecules that can make up an oil. Some essential oils, like rosewood contain only a few types of chemicals (mainly linalool) while more complex oils, like rose contain hundreds of chemical types and some so small they can't be accurately analyzed. This is why many subtle oils can't be copied or created synthetically- the "invisible" constituents are always missing (how cool is that?).
~Each oil contains individual benefits to which the body and mind respond. Since the use of essential oils began thousands of years ago, it has been believed that they could heal the body, alter moods, stir emotions, arouse desire and generally improve the quality of life.
~Lastly, from a spiritual perspective, essential oils are the life force of the plant from which it comes. They work in harmony with the body and give a sense of balance and wellbeing. They are the souls of the plant.
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Next blog post I will discuss how essential oils work so make sure you are on our mailing list!