Essential Oils 101

Essential Oils 101

Essential Oils Defined!

One of the most basic definitions for essential oils is a natural oil typically obtained by distillation and having the characteristic fragrance of the plant or other source from which it is extracted.  However, aromatherapy advocates are far more aware of the fact that 100% pure, therapeutic grade essential oils such as those by Young Living, are much more complex.

The National Association for Holistic Aromatherapy defines essential oils as,

The term “essential oil” is a contraction of the original “quintessential oil.” This stems from the Aristotelian idea that matter is composed of four elements, namely, fire, air, earth, and water. The fifth element, or quintessence, was then considered to be spirit or life force. Distillation and evaporation were thought to be processes of removing the spirit from the plant and this is also reflected in our language since the term “spirits” is used to describe distilled alcoholic beverages such as brandy, whiskey, and eau de vie. The last of these again shows reference to the concept of removing the life force from the plant. Nowadays, of course, we know that, far from being spirit, essential oils are physical in nature and composed of complex mixtures of chemicals.” – NAHA

Now I know that this description may seem like a bit much, however, I felt that it was pertinent to share because it does much more justice to highlight what essential oils truly are. Essential oils are NOT just the fragrance of a plant, but ARE the life-blood of the plant made up of a complex mixture of chemicals – which can be truly therapeutic!

The Function of Essential Oils and How They Work…

Peppermint Essential Oil

In their original form, essential oils function to protect the plant from diseases, predators and parasites.  In the above images, you are able to view the essential oil sacs from a peppermint plant through a microscope.  What makes the therapeutic qualities of essential oils so unique, is the fact that their chemical make-up works so cohesively with that of our own bodies.  Essential oils are easily absorbed into our bodies blood stream by either one of three methods: aromatically, topically and internally. A few drops of oils applied to the bottom of ones feet will be absorbed into the blood stream within 30 seconds and will be able to service every cell in the body within 20 minutes.  Isn’t that AMAZING?

Since the beginning of time, our earliest ancestors harvested the therapeutic and medicinal properties of plant materials.  This was how we treated ourselves for centuries, and it must have worked. We are still here and in many places, have problems with over population.  Today, more so in our Western Tradition of medicine, we have forsaken our first born instinct to turn to natural healthcare and are now plagued with antibiotic resistant strains of diseases and super-bugs.  There is simply no reason that modern medicine and traditional medicine can not co-exist.  I believe that each has their place and should be utilized.

The Young Living Difference!

What I love about Young Living Essential Oils is that:

1. They are 100% PURE, UNADULTURATED, THERAPEUTIC GRADE essential oils.

2. Young Living Essential Oils aid in the support and normal functioning of the body’s systems: cardiovascular system, digestive system, hormonal system, immune system, nervous system, respiratory system, integumentary system, skeletal system, muscular system, and limbic system.

3. Young Living Essential Oils has been the industry’s leader for 20 years.  They offer the most essential oils singles and blends than any other company.

4. Not all essential oils are created equally (a topic for a later post) and many oils that are found in super-markets and drug stores are adulterated, meaning not pure and cut with additives in order to reduce the costs.  This of course reduces the medicinal properties of the oils and lowers the therapeutic qualities that one would expect to receive.  Young Living Essential Oils are never adulterated,  cultivated in the right conditions, distilled using low-pressure steam distillation processes in order to protect the oils precious chemical makeup, tested extensively for the right composition and then bottled and sealed!

Learn more about Young Living’s Seed to Seal process!

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