What is an Essential Oil? Bringing it Back to the Basics

For thousands of years, essential oil has been a natural, life-enhancing product that brings a number of benefits to the people who use it. Both ancient and modern-day users of essential oils notice their positive effect on cosmetic and dietary applications. They’ve also been known for their uses in the spiritual and religious spheres. Read on to learn more about these beautiful and powerfully fragrant oils. You’ll discover where they can be found and how they can be used. If you’re still not convinced, you’ll learn why they are so important for enhancing aspects of daily life.

Where Did Essential Oils Come From?

The term ?essential oil? comes from the mother term of ?quintessential oil,? which is a concept dating all the way back to the ancient Greek philosophers. Their belief stated that matter is composed of four elements: earth, water, fire, and air along with a fifth element called ?quintessence.? Quintessence was thought to bring a spirit or a life force to every living piece of matter.

An essential oil, believed in the ancient times to contain the quintessence element, is an aromatic compound that is comprised of small organic molecules. These molecules bind together and change quickly from their solid or liquid state to a gaseous state at room temperature. They’re extracted through steam distillation, resin tapping, and cold pressing from their mother plants. These direct extraction procedures can be applied to the bark, fruit, flower, or root of a plant in order to draw the essential oil out and into the open. These were processes that the ancient Greeks thought allowed for the removal of the spirit from the plant. At the time, they believed they were transferring the life force out into the world.

essential oil

These methods of extraction give off the fragrant aroma that we smell when we inhale the scent of a plant. The scents that are extracted as essential oils are usually more powerful than the aromas of the plants from which they come. Oftentimes, the scent of an essential oil is described as ?potent? or ?volatile.? When we hear these words, we typically tend to think of negative aspects, but these are used to describe the smell of essential oils for a different reason. Essential oils are volatile because they can change their state so quickly. Their aromas are initially potent when you first encounter them. However, as your nose adjusts to the strength of the smell, the aroma is quite soothing and calming.

How Can You Use an Essential Oil?

Calming properties are just one aspect of essential oils that make them so beneficial for daily life. The powers of these natural extracts have numerous healing properties that work on both physical and emotional levels. Some of the important health purposes of essential oil use include fighting cold and flu symptoms, relaxing sore muscles and easing tension or pain in the body, and improving digestion. Additionally, essential oils have been noted for their cosmetic benefits. An essential oil can heal skin conditions such as acne, dryness, or eczema, and reducing cellulite and wrinkles. Essential oils also offer many biological benefits that aid in the growth and reproduction of plants. The ever-changing chemical compositions within essential oils help the plant in a number of ways. Essential oils can help attract pollinators and serve as a defense mechanism against animals and other insects.

The most important modern-day use of essential oils is in aromatherapy practices. These practices are recognized as vital healing rituals across almost all countries and cultures in the world. Nowadays, the use of essential oils is even popping up in medical hospitals. Essential oils are also being used to treat mental health issues such as anxiety and depression.

There’s a reason that the ancient properties of these fragrant oils have been put to use and carried over into modern day times. The powers of nature?s purest essence, from their biological purposes down to helping your hair grow faster, can be explored and enjoyed by all types of living creatures throughout daily life.

Do you understand essential oils now? Want to start using them? Let us know in a comment below!

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