Essential oils are the natural, aromatic volatile liquids found in shrubs, flowers, trees, roots, bushes, and seeds. They can be thought of as nature's living energy. Each oil is made up of a variety of components, or constituents, and has it's own distinctive chemisty. In the plant, the distinctive components in essential oils defend plants against insects and environmental conditions. They are also vital for a plant to grow, live, evolve, and adapt to its surroundings.
For humans, each oil's distinctive components give the oil special fragrances and qualities that have specific effects on the human body, whether inhaled, taken internally or applied directly.
Essential oils are extracted from aromatic plant sources via steam distillation. Since the volatile liquid is extracted from the freshly-cut plant, they are highly concentrated and far more potent than dry herbs. (Note: the highest-quality oils are extracted from freshly-cut plants. Oils distilled from dried or nearly-dried plant material, or even wilted plant matter, are not as potent).
While many essential oils often have a pleasant aroma, not all do. Their chemical makeup largely determines their fragrance. The constituents of an oil are also variable, according to season, soil, climate, and other natural factors.
Historically, essential oils have played a prominent role in everyday life. With more than 200 references to aromatics, incense, and ointments throughout the Bible, essential oils were said to be used for anointing, gift-giving, and remedies.
The Koran mentions sweet-smelling sandalwood. The Ancient Egyptians highly regarded essential oils, embalming and burying the dead with containers of precious oils. The Crusaders brought back attar or roses from Jerusalem. Napoleon reportedly loved cologne water made of neroli so much that he ordered 162 bottles of it!
Today, essential oils are used for aromatherapy, in nutritional formulations, massage therapy, diffusing, emotional health, personal care, household cleaning, and much more.
Young Living Essential Oils, the leading provider of essential oils, offers more than 300 essential oil singles and blends. All Young Living essential oils meet the Young Living Therapeutic Grade™ (YLTG) standard. This means that every essential oil Young Living distills or sources is completely pure and natural and has the highest naturally-occurring blend of constituents.
Young Living designed and built the largest, most technologically advanced essential oil distillery in North America. They also developed the groundbreaking Seed to Seal® process, which preserves the integrity and potency of essential oils through every step of the production process.Next - Essential Oil Benefits, Part 2...