Essential oils from plants have been found to provide relief and healing for a wide variety of human conditions.
As aromatherapy, they can treat depression, insomnia, and Attention Deficit and Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD). Some are used topically as a pain reliever and deodorant.
Many are effective antibiotics, taken internally or used topically. Several have been shown to protect against cancer and support general immune system function. A few can help you quit smoking.
What is essential oil?
“The term ‘essential oil’ is a contraction of the original ‘quintessential oil.’ This stems from the Aristotelian idea that matter is composed of four elements, namely, fire, air, earth, and water.
The fifth element, or quintessence, was then considered to be spirit or life force. Distillation and evaporation were thought to be processes of removing the spirit from the plant and this is also reflected in our language since the term “spirits” is used to describe distilled alcoholic beverages such as brandy, whiskey, and eau de vie.
The last of these again shows reference to the concept of removing the life force from the plant. Nowadays, of course, we know that, far from being spirit, essential oils are physical in nature and composed of complex mixtures of chemicals.”
Through distillation, the essence of the plant is extracted; this includes the plant’s smell, taste, and phytochemicals—like boiling something down to its most fundamental components and structure.
Plants produce these oils to protect themselves, attract insect pollinators, and ward off predators. Because of the nature of the concentrated extract, little of it is needed to reap its rewards. Therapeutic-grade essential oils are high-quality distillations and recommended when used for a specific health goal rather than only for their fragrances.
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