Essentials Oils: Medicines From the Earth

Essential oils have provided us with an incredibly diverse and powerful source of medicine.

If it was not for so much scientific evidence which backs up how these oils work, some of the healing which takes place under their influence could almost be thought of as a miracle.

Essential oils have a very long history. Professional practitioners make use of around three hundred oils today. With a supply of just ten of the main oils, most households can cover all their medical needs in a natural way.

Every oil has its own distinct medicinal properties as well as other specific features. These oils have been used with confidence for centuries and today research continues to back up this with hard facts.

Essentials Oils- Medicines From the Earth

Uses and Properties of Essential Oils

Take a quick look at just some of the huge range of functions that these oils can deliver…

  • Anti-viral
  • Anti-bacterial
  • Anti-fungal
  • Anti-inflammatory
  • Anti-neuralgic
  • Anti-rheumatic
  • Anti-spasmodic
  • Anti-venomous
  • Anti-toxic
  • Anti-depressant
  • Sedative
  • Antiseptic
  • Analgesic
  • Deodorizing
  • Diuretic

This list really does just scratch the surface and shows how wonderfully versatile essential oils are in terms of their health benefits.

Effects In The Body

Essential oils manage to enter the body and leave it very efficiently. They leave no toxins behind.

If you want to use essential oils in the most effective manner possible, consuming them orally is not the route to take. If you ingest oils then they need to pass through your digestive system. This means that they contact the digestive juices and their chemistry is affected.

Maximum benefit can be obtained by applying them externally or by inhaling them. An essential oil diffuser is the most flexible and efficient method.

Getting rid of essential oils takes 3-6 hours for a normal and healthy individual. This expulsion time can be extended for up to 14 hours if you are overweight or not so healthy. Excretion takes place through urinating and via feces. Different oils exit in different ways. Juniper or sandalwood can be detected by their smell in urine. Garlic will be passed out through exhalation and geranium when you perspire.

Extraction

All essential oils are extracted from trees, flowers, grasses, herbs or shrubs. The oil itself is concentrated in different parts of the plant. Some oils are found in the leaves or stems, others in the roots or resin. Others can be found in the fruit’s peel or even from bark and twigs.

Although it varies from plant to plant, the oil is generally stored in dedicated resin or oil cells. A wide range of methods are used to extract this oil from the plant. Steam distillation is perhaps the most common. Maceration, expression and solvent extraction are also used. As with everything related to technology, new approaches to extracting essential oils are always being researched and developed.

There is a huge amount of work involved in producing a minuscule amount of essential oil. Take rose blossoms as an example. A full 60,000 blossoms are required to yield just 28 grams of rose oil. Lavender has a greater abundance of essential oil but even here, 100 kilos of lavender gives out only 3 kilos of the oil itself.

There are many special growing conditions which, along with the sheer amount of work involved, is reflected in the relatively high cost of some oils. If you consider jasmine oil, an incredible 8 million handpicked flowers are needed to generate a single kilo of essential oil!

Today there’s a truly global trade in essential oils which is not surprising considering their incredible range of uses. From Europe to the Middle East and from South America to Southeast Asia, the whole world enjoys the health benefits of these wonderful, natural products.

Some Essential Oil Facts

The average essential oil has around a hundred different components. The main things which make them up are alcohols, terpenes, esters, ketones, aldehydes and phenols.

Technology is always discovering more components but the above are the principal ones in most oils.

There’s far more to essential oils than their enticing fragrance…

The chemicals in these oils are not invasive to the human body because we are fundamentally made of the same material. The chemicals which give off the fragrance of oils come from phenylpropane which is a precursor for amino acids. These amino acids are the building blocks for practically everything in our bodies.

Essential oils play a crucial role in blood circulation. They can help to deliver oxygen and nutrients to the tissues. They also assist in getting rid of carbon dioxide and assorted waste products produced when our cells metabolise. This enhanced blood flow leads to a boost in the immune system and a lessening in blood viscosity. Great circulation helps all parts of the body and brain.

Conclusion

The sweet and fragrant smell of essential oils can easily cause us to believe that they have a charming but useless nature. Nothing could be further from the truth.

Essential oils have an extremely complex and potent molecular structure. If we take oregano to illustrate this power, its essential oil is more than twenty-five times more effective as an antiseptic than phenol. Phenol is the active ingredient in many commercial cleaning products.

So, continue to explore our site to find out more about these wonderful natural additions to any medicine chest. Look beyond the superficial aspects of their smell and understand more about the diverse ways in which essential oils can be used for purposes of health and healing.

Remember too: essential oils can be used as body oils, in baths and beauty products and as room sprays – among many other approaches – but there is little doubt that the superior method of delivery is an essential oil diffuser. We review a wide range of different options here and if you have any questions at all then don’t hesitate to contact me!

Leia Chester
 

Editor at Essential Oil Diffuser Judge, I embrace natural living and aromatherapy with a focus on essential oils.

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