What Are They?
Essential oils are frequently referred to as the "life force" of plants. Unlike fatty oils, these "essential" oils are volatile, highly concentrated, substances extracted from flowers, leaves, stems, roots, seeds, bark, resin or fruit rinds. The amount of essential oils found in these plants can be anywhere from 0.01 percent to 10 percent of the total. That's why tons of plant material are required for just a few hundred pounds of oil. These oils have potent antimicrobial factors, having 200-300 therapeutic constituents. Beware of imitations. Essential oils cannot be substituted with synthetics. Only pure oils contain a full spectrum of compounds that cheap imitations simply cannot duplicate.
With the continual bombardment of viral, bacterial, parasitic and fungal contamination in our world, essential oils are a great benefit to help protect our bodies and homes from this onslaught of pathogens. Immune systems need support and essential oils can give it.
Because of the enormous amount of raw product used to make wholly natural essential oils, lots of products on the market have been polluted with lower quality, commerical-grade oils or contain other chemical substances to reduce the cost or increase the profit margin - a fact not usually revealed on the label.
Essential oils have unique properties that have been prized worldwide for thousands of years, being used therapeutically in early Roman, Greek, Egyptian, Indian and Chinese civilizations. Often the secrets of plant aromas were reserved for kings or other favored elite. For hundreds of years, extensive trade routes became established to transport perfumed ointments, resins, oils and spices throughout the ancient world.