What Are Essential Oils?

Essential oil next to herbs and flowers

If you’re new to the world of essential oils, you’re probably wondering what they are and why they’re so highly regarded. With the growing emphasis on their ability to help both physically and psychologically, it’s no surprise that essential oils have gained so much popularity in recent years.

So, what exactly are essential oils? Essential oils are compounds extracted from plants that contain properties unique to the plant they’re extracted from. Usually obtained through a distillation process, essential oils are the highly concentrated “essence” of a plant and, despite the name, are not as oily as your typical carrier oils like coconut or almond oil. They are also extremely volatile, meaning they evaporate quickly, leaving behind its strong, characteristic fragrance. The use of essential oils dates back thousands of years and are greatly valued today in areas like holistic medicine and skincare. To better understand their importance, let’s break down what their often used for and why...

Thanks to their complex molecular composition, essential oils are a key component in common holistic practices. Aromatherapy, for instance, is an ancient technique that uses essential oils, either topically or by inhaling, to promote health and well-being through aromatics.

With over 100 different types of essential oils, some extracts can be used to treat very specific conditions. According to the NAHA (National Association for Holistic Aromatherapy), studies have shown that some essential oils contain anti-fungal, antiviral, and antibacterial properties. Essential oils can also help stimulate the immune system, reduce inflammation, help blood circulation, and control and balance emotions.

Their beneficial properties also make them ideal for skincare. When mixed with a carrier oil, essential oils can be applied topically and are effective in stimulating and regenerating natural cell growth on the deepest layers of skin. They are also often used as an alternative to artificial fragrances utilized in natural skincare products.

Whether you’re fairly new or experienced in the subject, it’s safe to say that the importance of using essential oils is growing as more research indicates the efficacy of these extracts on our physical, mental, and emotional health and well-being.

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