Basic Knowledge About Essential Oils
WHAT ARE ESSENTIAL OILS?
Pure essential oils are obtained from plants - including flowers, leaves, roots, barks and peels - using a steam distillation, cold pressing or CO2 extraction process. The oils are volatile, which means they evaporate on exposure to air and have a powerful aroma. Essential oils differ from cooking or "fixed" oils in that they are not oily to the touch.
Essential oils have been used for centuries. These oils are what the queens and kings of ancient days used as their medicine. There were no pharmacies on every corner; instead, there were simply herbs, spices and other plant parts known to promote health and healing.
Essential oils can serve innumerable functions in our life - from fostering relaxation and caring fro scrapes to helping fight diseases and promoting healing. Essential oils were placed on earth to benefit our health and provide rejuvenation.
WHY ARE THEY CALLED "ESSENTIAL" OILS?
When something is described as "essential" it is only natural to think of the item as a necessary thing since that is often what the word "essential" means. For instance, some vitamins and minerals are described as being essential because the body can't produce them and requires them to remain healthy.
Essential amino acids are those that the body needs but cannot produce on its own. These amino acids must be derived from the foods we eat. Given the use of the word "essential" to describe nutrients that our bodies need, it is no wonder that there is some confusion as to what essential oils are and why we call them essential.
However, when used to describe essential oil, the word "essential" is a different word altogether. It is shortened version of the word "quintessential." In modern times, the word "quintessential" means "embodying or possessing the essence of something." This essence is the term that describes essential oils; these natural liquids are drawn from the very essence of the plant.
The word "quintessential" has a history that dates back to the discovery of essential oils, and the two have been interlinked since the time. "Quintessential" can be literally translated to mean "the fifth essence." These quinta essentia was thought to be the fifth and highest element, and it was believed that when the quinta essentia combined with earth, air, fire and water, it made up the whole of a being.
The quintessence was the life force or spirit of the being or plant. A similar comparison in humans would be the word "pneuma" (also spelled numa or nooma), which means the spirit or "breath of life" in the bible.
While essential oils aren't comprised of the spirit of the plant, they are the plant's essence. That essence is made up of beneficial compounds that can support our health in numerous ways.
HOW DO ESSENTIAL OILS WORK?
Plants are more complex than many imagine; they are the only living thing that can produce their own energy using the light of the sun. The rest of us, humans and animal alike, are dependent on plants at some level to provide us with the energy and nutrients we need for survival.
Plants, though not sentient, have the "intelligence" of their own. More than just roots, stems and leaves, plants have a complicated system of communication, both within each individual plant and also with the surrounding environment. These communications are made by means of chemical messengers.
These natural plant chemicals are created with unique tastes, aromas and colors to protect the plant from predators, sweet smells to attract pollinators and coatings to keep bacteria and fungi at bay. Some plants even release a chemical that prevents competing plant species from growing in the first plant's territory.
This is fundamentally why essential oils are so powerful as natural remedies. We are capturing the healing properties of the plant and using them to support our own bodies. For instance, most flowers give off scents that are attractive in nature to bees. Similarly, throughout history, women have used floral oils such as rose, jasmine and lavender to attract men.
The plants of oregano and thyme naturally repel pathogenic bacteria, viruses and parasites in nature, actions that protect the plant itself. When we use their oils, they can benefit our bodies in the same way if we suffer with infections.
As you can see, essential oils are complex and life-giving compounds that benefit the plant as well as humans.
As it says in Genesis 1:12, "The land produced vegetation, all sorts of seed-bearing plants and trees with seed bearing fruit. Their seeds produced plants and trees of the same kind. And God saw that it was good." You can harness more of the goodness that God gave us by using essential oils.
WHERE TO APPLY ESSENTIAL OIL ROLLERS?
General rule is to apply on the areas of concern, but there are also certain body parts where essential oils are absorbed faster.
- Soles of the feet
- Pulse points
- Over vital organs
- Back of the neck
- Behind the ears
For non physical issues like stress, sleep, anxiety, focus etc., it is recommended to apply on pulse points, behind the ears, wrists and inhale its aroma.