What are Essential Oils ?
“1Essential oils are aromatic volatile liquids distilled from shrubs,
flowers, trees, roots, bushes, and seeds.”
Each essential oil is extremely complex and is comprised of unique chemical compounds particular to the specific plant. Just like the snowflakes God creates, no two essential oils are alike.
Unlike synthetic chemicals, essential oil chemicals are greatly diverse in their effects. And since the chemistry of essential oils is so complex, it make them ideal for killing bacteria, since microorganisms have a difficult time mutating in the presence of so many different antiseptic compounds.
A Little History
Essential oils have been used throughout history medicinally to kill bacteria, fungi, and viruses. They can also provide exquisite fragrances and help tissue regeneration and stimulate nerves.
The Efleurage method of essential oil extraction is believed to be the way the Ancient Egyptians extracted their oils for embalming.
There are over 200 references in the Old and New Testaments to aromatics, incense and ointments.
Frankincense, Myrrh, Cinnamon, Cassia, Rosemary, Hyssop, Spikenard and Galbanum were used for anointing and healing the sick.
In the book of Exodus, the Lord gave the following recipe to Moses for a holy anointing oil:
- Myrrh “five hundred shekels” ( about 1 gallon )
- Cinnamon “ two hundred and fifty shekels
- Calamus “ two hundred and fifty shekels”
- Cassia “ five hundred shekels
- Olive Oil “a hin” ( about 1 1/3 gallons )
Other biblical references of essential oils/ointments/precious oils are: Psalm 133:2; Ecclesiastes 9:8; Numbers 16:46-50; Mark 14:3; John 12:3
Basic Essential Oil Chemistry:
“1 The aromatic constituents of essential oils ( ie. Terpenes, monterpenes, phenols, aldehydes, etc. ) are constructed from long chain of carbon and hydrogen atoms, which have a predominantly ring-like chemical structure. Links of carbon atoms form the backbone of these chains, with oxygen, hydrogen, nitrogen, sulfer, and other carbon atoms attached at various points of the chain.”
Essential oils have a chemical structure that is very similar to the human cell structures and tissues.
This makes it easier for the human body to assimilate since the essential oils lipid-soluble structures are similar to the make-up of the cells in our bodies. Essential oils are able to penetrate the cell membranes and diffuse throughout the blood and tissues very quickly because of their small size.
How is an Essential Oil Extracted?
The most prevalent extraction of an essential oils is by:
- Stream Distillation; This is when steam is forced into a vat of plant material , where it breaks open and ruptures these glands releasing the precious oil. Following a cold water bath, the volatile oils are collected to be bottled. Because of the distilling process, essential oils are highly concentrated. It may often take one bush to produce one drop of distilled essential oil. This makes the distillation process the most potent and popular method of essential oil extraction.
There are are few more ways essential oils can be extracted:
- Expression Process; Citrus peels-Machine Pressed – Essential oils/fruit waxes-Essential oils separated and bottled.
- Efluerage; solvent extraction by layering animal fat with herbs. Eventually the fat absorbs the herbal oils/scented molecules.
Why Should I use Essential Oils?
Essential oils can have a vast arena of of therapeutic effects, either on one physically or emotionally.
Lets take Basil for an example: Basil high in linalool or fenchol is primarily used for its antiseptic properties. However, basil high tin methyl chavicol is more anti-inflammatory. A third type, basil hight in eugenol, has both anti-inflammatory and antiseptic effects.
I'll just list a few essential oils and their benefits so that you can get an idea of how they can benefit you!
- Medical Properties Antiseptic, anti fungalllanalgesicicic, antitumoral, anticonvulsant, relaxaanti-inflammatorytory, reduces blood fat/cholesterol, combexcessxess sebum on skin.
- Uses: Respiratory infections, high blood pressure, arteriosclerosis, skin conditions, acne, eczema, psoriasis, scarring, burns, hair loss, insomnia, nervous tension.
- Medical Properties: Anti-inflammatory, antitumoral, anti-parasitic, antibacterial, antiviral, anti-fungal, gallbladder/digestive stimulant, pain-relieving, pain-reliever, curbs appetite.
- Uses: Rheumatism/arthritis, respiratory infections, obesity, viral infections ( cold sores etc. ), fungal infections/Candida, digestive problems, headaches, nausea, skin conditions ( itchy skin, varicose veins, eczema, psoriasis, dermatitis ), scoliosis/lumbago/back problems.
- Medical Properties: Antitumoral, hormone regulating, estrogen-like, anti-fungal, antiviral, circulatory stimulant, gall bladder stimulant.
- Uses: PMS, estrogen, progesterone, and testosterone deficiencies, liver problems.
- Medical Properties:Powerful antibacterial, anti-fungal, antiviral, anti-parasitic. Anti-inflammatory action.
- Uses: Fungal infections ( Candida, ringworm ), sinus/lung infections, tooth/gum disease, water retention/hypertension, skin conditions ( acne, sores ).
How Do I use them?
There are three ways to use and apply essential oils.
- French way; use them by putting them directly on the skin, this is called Neat/Direct Application, or by adding them to food and then ingesting them.
- German way; inhalation to brighten or calm ones mood.
- English way; adding drops of essential oil to some type of liquid oil (such as vegetable oil), and then massaging them into the body for relaxation and relieving stress.
Most people enjoy using essential oils by combining all three ethnic views of application.
Depending on the case, inhalation may be a better application instead of Neat or Dillution. If your suffering from a sore muscle, then the dilution application would be what you would want to do. But if your worried about the greasiness, then you may want to try the Neat way of application.
Because the Neat-French application to the skin has nothing to dilute the extremely potent essential oil, some people find this application too strong for their skin. A rash or reddening may occur if you do not dilute the essential oil. Test on a small area of the skin first to see if you have more sensitive skin.
Where can/should I buy them?
Young Living makes the most potent and pure essential oils in the world!
Yes, they are more pricy then other companies, but they sell unadulterated oils. In other words, they don't put in any fillers, chemicals, or fragrances to extend the essential oil. “ 1For example, pure frankincense is often extended with colorless, odorless solvents such as diethylphthalate or dipropylene glycol. The only way to subject the essential oil to rigorous analytical testing using state-of-the-art gas chromatography, mass spectroscopy, and NMR 9 nuclear magnetic reconance ).Unfortunately, a large percentage of essential oil distributors fall into the adulterated category.”
Young Living is a unique company in that you cannot directly buy products from, instead you must go through a Young Living Distributor. After doing research on Young Living Essential Oils, I decided that they were the best in their line of business, so I became a distributor.
If your interested in buying essential oils or other products from Young Living, please leave a comment and let me know. I'd love to help you out by giving you my Distributor Number, so you too can benefit from these amazing oils God created for our use!
1 Essential Oils Desk Reference copyright 2007 Published by Essential Science