An essential oil is a pure plant extract with an aroma that is at least 70-100 times more concentrated than the herb or plant from which it is extracted. Not all plants contain essential oils, and only a small number are of high therapeutic quality.

Essential oils are not fragrances or perfumed oils – these are constructed in a laboratory and contain chemicals and lack therapeutic properties altogether. Pure essential oils are obtained from plants or herbs through careful extraction via distillation (steam distillation is the most common) or cold pressing. The oils are derived from many different plant parts, such as leaves, grass, roots, bark, gums, flowers, fruit and berries 
— whichever part of the plant that delivers the therapeutic goods. Unlike chemically manufactured perfumed oils, essential oils are always used in their pure form.

Essential oils are volatile, which means that they evaporate once they are exposed to direct heat, light, air and moisture. Because of their evaporative nature, it is important to store essential oils in a cool, dry place away from light and heat. Essential oils dissolve in pure alcohol as well as in fats and oils, but they are not soluble in water.

One of the greatest healing abilities of essential oils is that they are all antiseptic and antibacterial to some degree. They help stimulate skin cell renewal and affect the way you think and feel. As mentioned, they help your body’s curative and restorative mechanisms when under stress or when illness invades. Remember though, essential oils are not instant ‘magic potions’. You cannot use them to instantly ‘fix’ a problem. They work in conjunction with the body and encourage the natural healing processes within.

Whilst essential oils are effective on their own they can work even more dynamically when teamed up with other essential oils; this is called a ‘synergy’ blend. Buying pre-blended synergy blends helps make your selection easier as they have been carefully selected and crafted into powerful combinations for optimum results. If however, you are adventurous and confident enough to make your own blends, a good recommendation is to get into the habit of blending three essential oils at a time to keep it simple. Often a great way to choose a blend is one citrus, one floral (or herbal or spicy) and one woody. This creates a more well-rounded prescriptive blend.

Aromatherapy – the use of essential oils – is an ancient modality that has been used throughout the centuries for things like healing and beauty, medicine and mood enhancement. Whether it is in a vaporiser or diffuser, a bath or compress essential oils are powerful and highly effective way to keep the mind and body healthy and well.