I love them. I don’t leave home without them! I am convinced that they are God’s provision for us. I use them to make deodorant, healing salve, and lots of other DIY body and cleaning products. Every one is talking about them these days, but what are they exactly?
Well, at their core, essential oils are simply the natural aromatic compounds found in the seeds, bark, stems, roots, and flowers of plants. For some, like lemons and grapefruit, they are found in the rind. For others, like lavender and jasmine, they are found in the flowers. Regardless which part of the plant they come from, essential oils are powerfully fragrant and affect us in more ways than just “oh, I like that smell!” They actually elicit profound emotional responses and are used for their medicinal and therapeutic benefits. Since I am an Holistic Health Practitioner, I got quite interested when I was introduced to them…
Essential oils are not new. Actually, they have been used for much longer than we have been on the earth and are referred to quite often in the Bible. We all remember how they gave Frankincence and Myrrh to the Christ Child. But they are even much older than that; papyrus dating back to 1500 B.C. lists 800 remedies including the use of many oils. And when King Tut’s tomb was opened, jars with essential oils residue were found; he died in 1323 B.C.
During the Bubonic Plague (1330 A.D.) that destroyed almost half of Western Europe’s population, an enterprising band of thieves robbed the dead without becoming infected by the disease. After being captured in Marseilles, France, the thieves were asked to reveal how they avoided the ‘Black Death.’ It turned out that the thieves used highly antibacterial aromatics all over their bodies, immunizing themselves with essential oils; how cool is that?
Plants were distilled first for perfumes, then came cosmetics and pharmaceuticals. After a French doctor, Mr. Gattefosse discovered by accident that lavender oil was analgesic and protected from scaring in the early 1900′s, chemists have investigated the chemistry and healing compounds of many essential oils.
Many scientists now accept that essential oils (EOs) have clear healing virtues. from antiviral, antibacterial, anti-fungal to antiseptic and anti-inflammatory. They can be used aromatically, used topically or ingested. They can also be used as dietary aid to promote vitality. How amazing is that?
Here is a little video made by the company I represent: