Wednesday, July 22, 2015

What are essential oils exactly?

So, what are Essential Oils exactly?

Click HERE for the definition according to Wikipedia.

Another popular way to describe essential oils is to say that they are the Lifeblood of the plant.

Essential Oils differ from the oils you use regularly in your kitchen.  The oils you use for cooking, or perhaps even cleaning your face if you use the Oil Cleansing Method (OCM) are what are known as 'fatty oils'.  Most often they are pressed from the food from which they come.  (Olive oil is pressed from olives, walnut oil is pressed from walnuts etc.)

Essential oils are most often distilled with water from the plant material (known as steam distillation).  Sometimes companies use Carbon Dioxide as a solvent and sometimes they use other (potentially more harmful) solvents.  Citrus oils however are generally pressed from the RIND ONLY of the fruit itself.  Young Living uses steam distillation for their oils with the exception of citrus oils, which are cold pressed.

Essential oils are potent to say the least! It takes roughly 1000 pounds of peppermint plant at maturity to produce ONE SINGLE pound of essential oil, hence the high cost of pure therapeutic grade essential oils.  This ratio varies with different plant materials, but in general it takes a huge amount of plant material to yield a very small amount of pure therapeutic grade essential oil.  This is the big reason to be certain that you are purchasing from a reputable company!  There is much incentive for big companies to increase their profit margin by adulterating the oils and then selling them for a more competitive price.

As a customer we feel we're getting a super great deal when we compare the prices to those of other companies, but if it seems to good to be true, in all likelihood, it is too good to be true.  The laws on labelling are rather appalling.  A company can legally label their oil 100% essential oil and in fact have a great deal of either carrier oil or other solvents in that bottle too.  I have said before, if you're only into essential oils for a pretty smell, you're likely not doing any worse than any other perfume you might purchase.  However if you are interested in the therapeutic value of the oil, please think twice about where you purchase from.  Ask loads of questions, and don't buy until you feel comfortable.

There are also a million or so little details that need to be taken care of to get the best out of any plant, and to produce a superior essential oil.  Everything from the age of the plant/tree to the time of day they are harvested, aging time prior to distillation, amount of time spent distilling...on and on!

This quick video is worth the time to watch!

Some History:

From way back to biblical times and even long before then, essential oils have been used, they were mankind's first medicine.

In Egypt essential oils were used in the embalming process and well-preserved oils were found in alabaster jars in King Tut's tomb.

Remember the story of the three wise men coming to bring gifts to the newborn King?  They presented baby Jesus with gold, frankincense and myrrh.  Frankincense and myrrh were as prized as gold at that time, perhaps even more so.  That speaks volumes to me.

Chemists today and for many years have studied essential oils to find the specific chemical compounds in them that make them so effective, and then they chemically reproduce those compounds to make pharmaceuticals.  The pharmaceutical industry is built on studying what nature made. I suggest THIS VIDEO if you have interest in hearing it straight from a scientist!

Young Living's Promise

The FDA states that the definition of a drug is anything intended for use in the diagnosis, cure, mitigation, treatment, or prevention of disease is a drug.  Therefore Young Living can no longer make suggestions for the use of their oils to help any particular health concern. We can only suggest their use to support an already healthy body (which is a brilliant use of them anyway!) There are books available that describe benefits of plants, and of course essential oils would apply to the same species of plant.  

Of course, if you have a health concern you should be seeing a physician.  Be mindful of the potency of the oils, it's not the same as steeping peppermint leaves to make a peppermint tea.  A single drop of peppermint is enough to flavour a family sized batch of hot chocolate to be noticeably minty!

I hope this has been helpful!

I am a Young Living Independent Distributor, which means I buy my essential oils at the wholesale price rather than the retail price. I save 24% off retail, receive discounted shipping, and can earn free products through the Essential Rewards program as well as the ability to earn commissions. 

If you would like to become an Independent Distributor, I would love to sponsor you!  You can click HERE and enter 2066298 in the “Sponsor  and Enroller ID” boxes. 

I am always happy to answer any questions!  Email me at

1 comment:

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