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Essential Oils Defined
What Are Essential Oils?

They DON'T Want You To Know About

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What Are Essential Oils?    Household Uses    Oil Properties    Oil Safety    Prices

"Essential oils are one of the great untapped resources of the world.  The concentrated essences of various flowers, fruits, herbs, and plants have been used for centuries all over the world, but in modern times we have forgotten the power of these ancient medicines of the earth, preferring instead to use the products of perfume and chemical companies which imitate the natural fragrances and medicinal and cleansing properties of essential oils.  Because the essential oils are so sweet-smelling, many people suppose their value is essentially one of charm and fragrance - but this is a mistake.  Modern scientific research has proven that essential oils are potent, with remarkable medicinal properties.  These substances are very complex is their molecular structure, and very powerful.  The essential oil of oregano, for example, is twenty-six times more powerful as an antiseptic than phenol, which is the active ingredient in many commercial cleansing materials.
   Unlike chemical drugs, essential oils do not remain in the body.  They leave no toxins behind, and essential oils make much more sense as air fresheners than commercial products, as they cleanse the air by altering the structure of the molecules creating the smells, rather than masking the unwanted smells.  When we are looking for alternatives to toxic products in our homes and in our lives, essential oils are a convenient, practical, and pleasant solution."

"essential oils,
oils that occur in plants and in general give to the plants their characteristic odors, flavors, or other such properties. Essential oils are found in various parts of the plant body (in the seeds, flowers, bark, or leaves) and are also concentrated in certain special cells or groups of cells (glands). Because of their properties, they are widely used in perfumes, flavorings, and medicines...They are obtained from the plant in various ways, depending upon the nature of the part in which they occur-by compression, by distillation with steam, by dissolving the oils out (extraction) or absorbing them, and by pressure and maceration."--ENCYCLOPEDIA.COM

I have learned a lot since I started using essential oils in my home and for my family.   I would like to share a little of what I have learned.

Essential oils act much like our blood.  They protect the plant from infections caused by bacteria and viruses, they cleanse the plant and bring oxyen and nutrients to the plant's cells. 

An essential oil is much stronger than the plant it comes from. It takes many pounds of the whole plant for one ounce of essential oil. They are extracted from the plants and are highly concentrated --a little goes a long way.

They are not like vegetable oils. They evaporate, and do not feel greasy, and they will not clog the pores of your skin.

Essential oils have many uses -- aromatic, medicinal, and theraputic.


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The history of essential oils goes back to ancient times.

  • There are records of oils, incense and perfumes used in the Holy Scriptures, and many cultures used essential oils in different ways.
  • Indian literature, dating from around 2000 B.C. make mention of the use of the herbs cinnamon, ginger, myrrh, coriander and sandalwood.
  • Many mixtures the Egyptians used contained myrrh and honey. The dead were embalmed with myrrh and cedar among other things. King Tutankhamen's tomb held around 50 alabaster jars designed to hold 350 liters of oil. Some had remains of their original contents.
  • Babylonians and Romans also used oils for such things as purifying the air inside buildings and scenting their baths, as well as for massage.
  • The Ancient Arabians developed and refined the distillation process and extracted rose oil and rose water. The oils were more valuable than gold and were used for bartering and buying land, gold, and slaves.  In the thirteenth century, they excelled in the creation and manufacture of perfumes.
  • There are records of their use in China, which has a long history of alternative medicine.
  • Europeans used oils much later. A formula used by thieves during the plague in the 15th century was posted in Marseilles,  France, so that others could also protect themselves from this terrible disease.

Modern knowledge of essential oils has been a process of rediscovery, since much of the knowledge was lost through the centuries. Rene-Maurice Gattefosse, Ph.D. was one of the first modern-day scientists to research the healing properties of essential oils. There is a famous story of him burning his hands very seriously in a lab explosion and using lavender oil to heal it. He tells about it in his book Aromatherapy.  He was already researching essential oils and studying them when the accident occurred. In his book he tells of a laboratory explosion in July 1910. He was aflame and covered in burning substances, so he rolled on a grassy lawn to put out the flames. Afterward he notes, "both my hands were covered with rapidly developing gas gangrene." According to him, "just one rinse with lavender essence stopped 'the gasification of the tissue'. This treatment was followed by profuse sweating , and healing began the next day."

Dr. Gattefosse shared his studies with Dr. Jean Valnet, who began using theraputic-grade essential oils on patients with battlefield injuries, after his supply of antibiotics were gone. He had much success with them, and was able to save many soldiers. He in turn taught the use of essential oils to his students. Two of them, Dr. Jean   Claude Lapraz and Dr. Paul Belaiche, expanded his work. They found that essential oils have antibacterial, antifungal, antiviral, and antiseptic properties, and that the oils are powerful at oxygenating and carrying nutrients into cells.

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There are basically 3 types of essential oils.  Steam Distilled Oils, Expressed Oils, and Solvent Extracted Absolutes.

Steam Distilled Oils These are the true essential oils.  The oils are distilled from various parts of the plant as they are heated. This is the oldest and most traditional method of extracting oils from plants. In the process used by the manufacturer of the oils we sell, steam is passed through the plants in a special cooking chamber, and the oils are carried with the steam and condensed in another chamber. The oils are then separated from the water. Care must be taken to not overheat the oils which can burn them and release unwanted by-products. The oils we sell are organic and distilled in special stainless steel alloy chambers (to reduce the possibility of the steam reacting with metal such as aluminum or copper) using a proprietary low-pressure, low-temperature process, which does not destroy the oil properties.

Expressed Oils  These oils are pressed from the rinds of fruits.  They are not technically essential oils, although they still have many theraputic properties. Care must be taken to use only organic crops, because pesticides can become highly concentrated in these oils. Some examples of expressed oils would be grapefruit, lemon, orange, tangerine, bergamot, mandarin and citrus hystrix oils. The oils we sell are cold pressed and organic.

Solvent Extracted Absolutes  These oils are technically essences.  Because the oils are volatile and water soluable, they would not survive distillation. The plant must firls be distilled using a hydrocarbon solvent, like hexane, to make a solid waxy residue called a concrete. This concrete is then distilled using pure grain alcohol to produce the absolute. This method is mostly used for botanicals whose fragrance and theraputic properties can only be unlocked using solvents. Examples of solvent extracted absolutes would be jasmine and neroli.

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Not every oil has all of these properties.  Consult individual oils for the properties they contain.

antibacterial  antifungal  antiseptic  antiviral 

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Keep all essential oils out of the reach of children.

For a complete list of our cautions, read our Safety Guidelines page and the oil properties for the individual oils you plan on using.

Essential oils, whether steam distilled, expressed or absolutes are very strong. They need to be used sparingly --a little goes a long way-- and you should always consult a reliable reference when using them. The axiom more is better DOES NOT apply to essential oils in general.

  • Always consult the properties of the individual oil and use it according to the instructions you are given.

  • A patch test should be performed, especially if the user has sensitive skin. (This is especially important for people with allergies.)

  • Ingesting some oils can cause problems, rather than solve them, or even prove fatal. Do not ingest an oil unless you are ABSOLUTELY SURE it is safe for ingestion, and then BE VERY CAREFUL of the amount you are using.

  • Never put oils directly on children's skin.

  • Always do a patch test for children and then apply oils only when diluted in a carrier oil first.

  • Pregnant or lactating women should be careful of certain oils --see individual oil properties. Some oils contain constituents with hormone-like activity, such as clary sage, sage, and fennel. Consult your health care practitioner.

  • Always keep a carrier oil handy (like olive, almond, or v-6 mixing oil) if you are applying oils directly to the skin. The essential oils can be diluted immediately with the carrier oil if discomfort is felt.

That being said, essential oils are safe if used correctly. Know the oils you are using and what their recommended uses are.

For further cautionary information,

  • Consult the properties of the oils you are using

  • Ask your health care practitioner or an experienced aromatherapist if you have questions about a specific oil or condition

  • See our Safety Guidelines page


What Are Essential Oils?    Household Uses    Oil Properties    Oil Safety    Prices

* These statements have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. These products are not intended to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent any disease. This information is provided for education only. We cannot dispense medical or health advice.  Please consult your health care professional









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