Now that I’ve talked about HOW EOs work and WHY you would want to use them (plus a bazillion other things!), how about we talk about what these magical drops actually ARE!
Essential oils are the “essence” of a plant. Ok, talk to ya next week!
Oh, you’d like more than a cryptic 8 word sentence? Fine, fine…
SO, the “essence” that’s referred to is actually these teeny tiny little molecules within a plant (roots, seeds, flowers, bark, etc) that are ESSENTIAL to it’s survival & God-given function! Scent and chemical makeup are obviously part of this. YES I said chemical… Chemicals don’t necessarily mean bad; synthetic & toxins though? Ya; steer clear!
I’m gonna nerd out on you just a little bit here… These teeny molecules are made up of different compounds (just as ALL molecules are!), but the 3 main ones we’re looking at are phenols, monoterpenes & sesquiterpenes. Here’s WHY we care;
Phenols; These are the defensive line and block/combat any threats (bad bacteria, viruses, etc). They make sure the receptor sites are “clean” and prevent the plant from getting bogged down & sick!
Monoterpenes; These are where you find the main scent that a plant has. May not initially seem like an important role but, remember how aromatherapy works; monoterpenes make it possible for the molecules to be carried away & utilized JUST by scent (PLUS they are antioxidant and promote normal cell growth)!
Sesquiterpenes; These guys are heavy hitters (literally heavier than monoterpenes!) and are responsible for pheromones & some hormones (yes plants have them too). Think calming, immume support, cellular repair, etc…
So maybe I nerded out a lot, BUT the science behind essential oils is AMAZING!! Just looking at these 3 compounds gives you an idea of what they can do for us. No wonder the pharmaceutical industry synthesizes plant compounds (or tries anyhow)! They all work together to form the complete molecule that we refer to as “Essential Oils”.
Now it comes down to getting those molecules in/on/around us! I don’t know about you, but I don’t really want to chew on a piece of cedarwood in the evening for that calming effect! Apparently, many people agree, because science has evolved to actually extract those molecules from the plants; fully intact, super concentrated, pure and ready to safely use!
The most common extraction methods are steam distillation, cold pressing & resin tapping. That’s a whole other topic on how it’s done but, take a gander online for a quick explanation if ya like!
So, there you have it; an 8 word sentence stretched out just a little! Essential oils keep their plant safe and thriving in their perfect and natural form; think of the possibilities of what can they do for YOUR body!
What are essential oils? Amazing… just amazing. Let me know YOUR success stories using essential oils!