What Are Essential Oils?

It seems like everyone is talking about essential oils but what are they really?  I mean the drugstore and my physician have been around forever and they seem to do a pretty good job keeping me healthy – right? So why does anyone need essential oils when we have a terrific modern medicine system?

Let’s start with what essential oils actually are.  They are basically the essential part of a plant.  Plants, trees, flowers etc. have chemical structures and biological properties that function to keep them alive just like humans.  Many of these plants contain chemical properties that have been shown to have medicinal qualities.  These properties can be carefully extracted from the plant material though steam distillation, cold pressing, or resin tapping. The result is a highly concentrated oil that is the purest form of that plants essence.  This oil can then be used in the appropriate manner based on the chemical and medicinal properties of that plant.  Essential oils can be diffused into the air, applied topically or sometimes ingested.  These oils ultimately are the concentrated life essence of each specific plant or plant material. 

It is important to note that essential oils are very popular and that can put their integrity in danger. Because essential oils are so powerful, it is extremely important to choose products that come with the highest level of purity to ensure your safety when using them. Diluted or contaminated oil products may not only not work appropriately but they may also cause harm. Cheaper is not necessarily better with essential oils. You need to choose a company that cares about and works diligently to ensure the quality of their essential oil products.

Why do we need essential oils in our lives when modern medicine is doing a great job?  First, it is noteworthy to mention that there would be no modern medicine if not for the exploration of the powerful medicinal properties of plants.  Humans have used plants and plant materials throughout history to treat ailments and maladies.  Many current traditional medicines are the result of studies on a plants ability to heal.  Current pharmaceuticals are synthetic products that are many times the result of studies on plant properties.  In fact, research continues to date all over the world in rainforests and beyond to find new chemical properties to treat and cure disease.

Secondly, I wonder if modern medicine is doing everything that it claims.  We still have many incurable diseases and our population continues to struggle with chronic illness that costs dollars, happiness, and lives.  Essential oils are an adjunct to our modern medicine.  They offer another option or an additional option when deciding how to treat your health.  They can enhance a treatment or replace a failed treatment plan.  Most importantly to me, essential oils offer my family and me a sense of control and empowerment concerning our health.  I am a pharmacist of 20+ years so pharmaceuticals are no stranger to me.  I am grateful for the work that they do to save and improve lives.  I am also extremely grateful for essential oils and the impact they have had on my family’s health and me. 

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