It’s amazing the amount of dialogue out there on something as simple as essential oils.
People tend to make grand claims about the medicinal benefits of these wonderful aroma oils, while others decry them as toxic and still others claim that essential oils must be super pure and produced in scientific laboratories in order to be safe and effective. Sometimes the best approach to something as lovely as essential oils is more about keeping it simple. Of course essential oils need to be produced in proper facilities to be considered safe, but the fact is that essential oils have been produced in all kinds of conditions and in use since at least the 12th century. Keeping it simple is the name of the game for enjoying these wonderful oils
So what are essential oils, exactly?
Simply put, essential oils are the oils inside of any plant. Essential oils are collected in mostly by distillation in a process where steam is applied to the select part of the plant which separates the oil away from the leaf, bark root or other part of the anatomy. Essential oils are gathered in other ways too. Citrus essential oils for example are often extracted by cold press. And there are other methods too, like using solvents or even tapping trees, but the end result is the same. The “essential” oil of the plant is the oil directly gathered from the plant that holds the unique and potent aroma.
Why are essential oils so popular today?
It only takes one experience with essential oils to keep us coming back for a lifetime. For many, patchouli oil was the first whiff of an essential oil. True, in high schools far and wide, patchouli is mostly associated with hippies. Still, it’s a great, musky introduction and oh so different than perfume. In the case of the young patchouli sniffers, a whole world of aromas has now been opened to them. To inhale the aroma of an essential oil is to get connected to the natural world in a way, the world of plants, and that has a very significant meaning, now more than ever.
But these days, everyone is using essential oils. It’s a great alternative to perfumes. There may be less allergic reactions. Many essential oils, according to countless testimonials really do work to calm the nerves and relax the body and mind. And on top of all that, they are cheap, last a long time and are widely available.