Young Living Learning Center: Getting Started With Essential Oils
An essential oil is a concentrated liquid, which has the following characteristics:
- Hydrophobic = doesn’t like water
- Contains volatile compounds from the plant = you can smell it across the room
- Completely evaporates without leaving a residue, unlike fatty oils.
They are considered essential because they contain the essence of the plant from which they are derived. They are extracted from plants, herbs and trees by steam distillation, cold pressing or resin tapping, and are more powerful than the botanicals themselves.
Studies show that essential oils play a significant role in the health and wellbeing of plants, such as helping the plant to heal itself, repair damaged tissue and rid itself of toxic substances and free radicals. They have been used for thousands of years as beauty aids, dietary supplements and for their spiritual and emotional uplifting properties.
As molecules of essential oils are so tiny they can cross the blood/brain barrier, and therefore activate your limbic system (brain’s emotion and memory center). It’s therefore no wonder that essential oils are known to help maintain balanced emotions. They can also target and support every system in your body. This is vital when we are surrounded daily by an overabundance of environmental toxins and our poor diets and lack of exercise contribute to reduced energy levels and an unbalanced body.
Essential oils and oil-infused products are also very effective and a popular alternative to toxic chemicals when it comes to cleaning your home, and personal beauty and hygiene routines. You only need to watch the increasing number of scary studies appearing in the news to make the switch. Remember, positive results are quickly experienced after only taking one step at a time along your oily journey.
However, not all essential oils are created equal:
So, watch out when shopping in stores. Know your source! Pure and unadulterated oils are the only essential oils safe for internal use. They are also labeled with the correct species. Even organic, natural oils in stores that are labeled “100% pure” can still be manipulated, and they usually contain synthetic ingredients to enhance their scent, such as adding linalyl acetate to lavender or even ethyl vanillin to peppermint to give it a more “candy cane” aroma. Nevertheless, essential oils are for much more than just their smell.
Please also beware of the so-called essential oils that are 100% synthetic as there are no labeling regulations on the term “essential oil”. For example, linalyl acetate can be added to alcohol and then labeled as pure lavender. Is it really any surprise that multiple companies do this to increase their profit margins? Unfortunately, profit is commonly given a greater priority over our long-term health.