The Essence of Plants

What are essential oils?

An essential oil is a natural oil that is extracted from a single species of plant, whether a flower, a tree or otherwise, and the National Association for Holistic Aromatherapy (NAHA) defines aromatherapy as "the therapeutic application or the medicinal use of aromatic substances (essential oils) for holistic healing."
The essential oil of a plant is found in its root, stem, leaves, flowers, or fruits. Although they are called oils, most essential oils don’t actually have an oily feel to them at all. They are described as oils because they contain oil-soluble chemicals – some of them contain up to 200. The complex chemistry of these essential oils is what makes them so valuable – and so helpful for healing and therapeutic use. It also explains why some oils have similar, overlapping properties – they are not just one ingredient, but many.
Essential oils aren’t just used by humans, they are an essential part of the plant’s make-up. Plants make use of them in many ways, including defending against infection, hormonal effects, healing damage and attracting or repelling insects, birds and animals.


 

How are essential oils used? 


An essential oil is a natural oil that is extracted from a single species of plant, whether a flower, a tree or otherwise, and the National Association for Holistic Aromatherapy (NAHA) defines aromatherapy as "the therapeutic application or the medicinal use of aromatic substances (essential oils) for holistic healing."
The essential oil of a plant is found in its root, stem, leaves, flowers, or fruits. Although they are called oils, most essential oils don’t actually have an oily feel to them at all. They are described as oils because they contain oil-soluble chemicals – some of them contain up to 200. The complex chemistry of these essential oils is what makes them so valuable – and so helpful for healing and therapeutic use. It also explains why some oils have similar, overlapping properties – they are not just one ingredient, but many.
Essential oils aren’t just used by humans, they are an essential part of the plant’s make-up. Plants make use of them in many ways, including defending against infection, hormonal effects, healing damage and attracting or repelling insects, birds and animals.

 

Difference between essential oils and aromatic oils


Essential oils shouldn’t be mistaken for fragrance oils, often called aromatic oils, as they are artificially created, while essential oils are not. Fragrance/aromatic oils are created to reproduce other smells, such as fruits, or ‘spring rain’ but although they smell lovely, they don’t contain the natural compounds you find in essential oils. Only pure essential oils should be used for aromatherapy purposes.

Essential oil, Aromatherapy