Natures own medicine
Do you ever wonder where exactly essential oils come from? Most people realize they come from plants but more specifically it is specialized cells within the plant.
To explain....Essential oils are produced by plant cells in and around specialized glands. These glands store and then secrete ‘essential oils’ which are very complex composition oils. These may consist of hundreds of different chemical constituents.
Depending on the plant and part producing the essential oils some essential oils are produced abundantly such as the Lemon peels and Eucalyptus leaves and others are produced sparingly as is the case with Jasmine and Rose which are also very prized oils as with Frankincense sandalwood, helichrysum and Melissa
Essential oils, are extremely volatile oils and quickly dissipate into the air. When they are completely evaporated, they leave no visible mark or stain.
Do not confuse essential oils with ‘essential fatty acids’. Essential fatty acids can be produced from both plant and animal sources these fats & oils are a nutritional food source.
Each plant has specialized epidermal cells that form glands. They are called "Glandular Trichomes".
These glands are found in various parts of the plant ranging from the flowers, peels, berries, leaves, petals, wood,resin and roots, depending on the type of plant and what the purpose for the essential oil will be.
Essential oils are released from these glands by hair-like structures. Some plants produce different varieties of essential oils from different parts of the same plant with different therapeutic benefits and properties.
Essential oils are natural aromatic compounds found in the seeds, bark, stems, roots, flowers, and other parts of plants. They can be both beautifully and powerfully fragrant. If you have ever enjoyed the gift of a rose, a walk by a field of lavender, or the smell of fresh cut mint, you have experienced the aromatic qualities of essential oils. In addition to giving plants their distinctive smells, essential oils provide plants with protection against predators and disease and play a role in plant pollination.
Essential oils are non water-based phytochemicals made up of volatile aromatic compounds. Although they are fat soluble, they do not include fatty lipids or acids found in vegetable and animal oils. Essential oils are very clean, almost crisp, to the touch and are immediately absorbed by the skin. Pure, unadulterated essential oils are translucent and range in color from crystal clear to deep blue.
In addition to their intrinsic benefits to plants and being beautifully fragrant to people, essential oils have been used throughout history in many cultures for their medicinal and therapeutic benefits. Modern scientific study and trends toward more holistic approaches to wellness are driving a revival and new discovery of essential oil health applications.