August 17, 2018
People have used essential oils for centuries as a way to improve their overall physical and mental health. From skin soothing properties to supporting your immune system, essential oils have a never-ending list of amazing health benefits! As holistic health practices and natural living have grown in popularity worldwide, so have essential oils, but what exactly are essential oils?
Essential oils are highly concentrated, liquid plant extracts. These plant extracts come from many different sources including flowers, leaves, bark, roots, resin, and peels. They are called “essential” because they contain the essence of a plant. All plants contain “essences”, which are not only beneficial to the plant but also provide many benefits to humans as essential oils.
Extracting essential oils from plants is commonly done in two ways: distillation or cold pressing.
Steam Distillation — This is the most common and gentlest method of extraction. During this process, many parts of the plants, such as the roots, leaves, stems, flowers, or bark, are heated by water vapor to create their own steam. That steam then condenses into a liquid, and the essences of the plants separate from the water.
Cold Pressed Extraction — Also known as expression, this method is uniquely used for citrus fruits. A centrifuge separates the natural oil from the skin of the fruit and fruit juices.
After extraction, the outcome is a highly concentrated essential oil. This oil has the properties of the plant from which it was extracted. This includes the aroma, therapeutic benefits, and other plant characteristics.
The practice of using essential oils is called aromatherapy. Aromatherapy is the art or science of utilizing the powers of essential oils. People have practiced aromatherapy for centuries. There are many different ways that you can use essential oils; the most common ways are diffusion, topical application, and household use.
Diffusion — One of the easiest and most effective ways to use essential oils is with diffusion. Diffusion allows you to breathe in the beneficial properties of essential oils, which allows them to be immediately absorbed into your body.
Topical Application — Another effective way to use essential oils is topical application. This method works best if you are targeting a specific area of the body. When you apply essential oils topically, your skin will absorb the oil and its health benefits, distributing them throughout the body. We always recommend using a carrier oil when you apply essential oils topically. For dilution rates, check out our dilution chart here. We also provide pre-diluted roll-on essential oils that are ready for topical application.
Household — Using essential oils for household purposes is a great way to naturally take care of your family and home. There are many different essential oils that you can use around your home. Common ways to uses essential oils in the home are for cleaning, deterring pests, and eliminating odors.
From supporting optimal health to replacing toxic cleaning supplies, there is a never-ending list of uses and benefits that essential oils can provide. The possibilities are endless! Below are some of our most popular essential oils and their therapeutic benefits.
Lavender — Extracted from the Lavender flower, this versatile oil provides you with many benefits:
Frankincense — Extracted from the Boswellia tree, people have used this oil for thousands of years for its therapeutic benefits:
Tea Tree — Commonly known as Melaleuca, Tea Tree is a strong but gentle oil with many different uses and benefits:
Peppermint — Extracted from the peppermint plant, this essential oil is one of our most popular, and it is easy to see why:
Now that you know the basics of essential oils, it is time for you to dive into exploring the amazing benefits of these little bottles of magic! If you have questions or want to learn more about essential oils, the Rocky Mountain Oils blog is a great place to start. It’s filled with information written by essential oil specialists to help you navigate the world of essential oils!