FYI: Essential Oils
Essential oils feel and work differently on the body than vegetable oils (like olive oil or sunflower oil). Vegetable oils are pressed from the seeds of plants. They have long straight chains and feel greasy and slippery to the touch. Essential oils, on the other hand, are distilled (which means all the parts of the plant are mashed and a low-temperature steam is passed through it). This steam carries with it small fat-soluble molecules, many are structured like a ring (which are called aromatic compounds). These molecules are then separated from the water and you are left with highly concentrated extracts from all the parts of a plant…called essential oils!
We can consider essential oils to be like the “blood” of a plant because they act, to a plant, like our blood acts, for us. Our bodies accept essential oils as familiar molecules, which gives them the ability to communicate and interact with the cells in the human body.
In their pure state, essential oils are some of the oldest, most concentrated therapeutic agents known to man. They exhibit significant and immediate anti-viral, anti-inflammatory, anti-bacterial, and hormone balancing effects. In clinical studies these powerful plant extracts have been shown to have a profound calming influence on the central nervous system, aiding the reduction or elimination of pain, the release of muscle tension, and providing a strong emotional uplift. Working with therapeutic grade essential oils is a beautiful, safe and effective way to balance the health of our bodies and mind.
An essential oil can be 100 to 10,000 times more potent than the dried herb of the same plant. So even a couple drops can go a long way.
Here are four key ways essentials oils impact our body:
#1 — Emotions, Stress, Hormone Balancing
Aromatic structures in nature have a strong aroma or scent. Because essential oils are small molecules, they rapidly vaporize and become air borne and so can be inhaled through the nose into the olfactory nerve. This nerve is hard wired into our inner brain, which is the limbic system (the emotional control center). The limbic system is directly connected to those parts of the brain that control heart rate, blood pressure, breathing, memory, stress levels, and hormone balance. The four other senses (hearing, tasting, touching and seeing) all stimulate the outer areas of the brain, which is our thinking brain– only smell directly stimulates the inner parts of our brain and works on an emotional and subconcious level so powerfully.
#2 — Cellular Nourishment and Protection
Because of their molecular structure, essential oils can rapidly penetrate cell membranes. When you rub an essential oil on your skin, it goes through your skin tissue, into your blood stream and through the membranes of your cells. They can reach the inner places of a cell and deliver nutrients and oxygen to the cell, remove toxins and protect and repair a cell’s DNA.
#3 — Immunity
Essential oils are the immune system of plants, and as such are highly antimicrobial– they protect plants from bacteria, viruses, molds and fungi that could harm or kill the plant. Likewise, in our bodies, we find essential oils provide us with an extremely high protection against harmful bacteria, viruses, mold and fungus.
#4 — Longevity
Free radicals are highly reactive compounds that can cause inflammation in the body. In our blood stream, essential oils are powerful antioxidants that clear out free radicals which cause damage and death to our cells and DNA. We can do our best to avoid free radicals by staying away from smoke, fumes, sunlight, air and water pollution, preservatives in food and stress (even vigorous exercise, while giving many benefits to the body, increases free radicals), but the reality is we will encounter a significant amount of free-radical producing things every day. Essential oils have such high antioxidant power they are a powerful way to manage the free radical build up in our blood.
Many oils that are touted as essential oils are actually derived with harsh chemicals, diluted, or copied and produced in a lab. Cheap copies bring cheap results and have the potential to be toxic. Therefore, it is imperative to take great care in choosing high-quality essential oils. When choosing a company to purchase essential oils from it is helpful to ask questions about how the plants are grown (organically? wild-harvested?), and are they tested for purity and by what standards? The FDA does not require essential oils to be tested for purity and pesticide residue, so the companies must hold their oils to these standards, themselves.
I use oils from Young Living, based out of Utah. They are an MLM company. If anyone is interested in purchasing from them or learning more, please contact my team through the contact tab above and we can set you up as a customer. Though I have not personally had experience with oils from www.mountainroseherbs.com, I do use this site for many dried herbs and extracts and have found them to be a very reliable source, as well.