Jul 6, 2015

What are essential oils?

Dear Oily,

I’ve always been into a more natural lifestyle. I follow a paleo diet, love doing yoga, and I have used herbal supplements to support my body for many years. Lately, I’ve noticed that the local store where I buy my herbs from also sells essential oils. I’ve never really paid much attention to them before, but I keep hearing more and more about them. The last time I was at the store, I sniffed a few bottles and they smelled so good! So I’ve been wondering: what are essential oils and why should I consider using them? Are they more than just a natural perfume?


Essentially Confused

basic question what are essential oils | Hot Pink Crunch

Dear Confused,

It wasn’t long ago that I had the same questions. Everywhere I looked, essential oils were popping up: on Pinterest, Facebook, and the blogs I followed as well as in the local natural stores I visited, the big name grocery store I shopped at, and even in stores like Walmart! I thought, “Essential oils? Aren’t those the things that hippies use to smell good?”

I soon learned that they were a lot more complicated and amazing than that!

According to Essential Oils Magazine, “An essential oil is a concentrated liquid containing aromatic and other beneficial compounds from plants. The oil is referred to as ‘essential’ because it contains the essence of the plant’s fragrance from which it is derived.” So essential oils are the lifeblood of the plant, and they can be so much more than just a pretty scent.

Pure essential oils are powerful tools. They can support your body systems to help you achieve optimal wellness, influence mood, and even be used for green cleaning!

As someone who has used herbal supplements, you already understand the influence natural products can have on wellness. The Essential Oils Pocket Reference explains that, “most therapeutic herbs can be distilled into an essential oil. The key difference is that of concentration. The essential oil can be from 100 to 10,000 times more concentrated--and therefore more potent--than the herb itself.” Not only are essential oils more potent than their dried, herbal counterparts, but they also have the “unique ability to penetrate cell membranes and travel throughout the blood and tissues” and even into our cells.

Yeah. That’s as crazy cool as it sounds.

So think of essential oils as the dried herb’s more powerful and versatile cousins and give them a try!