Essential Oils 101
Whether you’ve had a little experience with essential oils already, or you’re just getting started, you might be wondering, “What exactly are essential oils?” Understanding what essential oils are, where they come from, and how they are made will help you see why they are useful, and why they have been popular for centuries. While there is a lot of science involved in essential oils, you don’t have to be a chemist to understand what they are and how they work—after all, essential oils are basic compounds found in nature. Let’s start at the beginning and learn what exactly an essential oil is.
Volatile Aromatic Compounds
In short, these compounds are small organic molecules that tend to change quickly from their solid or liquid state to a gas at room temperature. They are called volatile because they change state quickly. When you first open a bottle of essential oil, you instantly notice that the aroma is potent and you can smell it typically even from some distance. The physical and chemical properties of the volatile aromatic compounds that compose essential oils allow them to quickly move through the air and directly interact with the olfactory sensors in the nose. Such unique properties make essential oils ideal for applications inclusion in aromatherapy – using these compounds from plants to help maintain a healthy mind and body – as well as other applications. The type of volatile aromatic compounds present in an essential oil determines both the oil’s aroma and the benefits it offers.
Over 3,000 varieties of volatile aromatic compounds have been identified to date. The nature of an essential oil varies from plant to plant, within botanical families, and from species to species. The delicate ratio of aromatic constituents found in any given essential oil are what make it unique and give it specific benefits.
Even with pure essential oils the composition of the oil can vary depending on the time of day, season, geographic location, method and duration of distillation, year grown, and the weather, making every step of the production process a critical determinant of the overall quality of the essential oil product.
Essential oils can be used for a wide range of emotional and physical wellness applications. They can be used as single essential oils or in complex essential oil blends depending on user experience and desired benefit. Want to learn how to use essential oils? Visit our essential oils usage page to learn how to safely use doTERRA essential oils.
How To Use Essential Oils?
One of the easiest ways to enjoy essential oils is aromatically, or by breathing them in. Aromatic use of essential oils allows you to enjoy the aroma of the oil while experiencing benefits like purified air, emotional balance, and feelings of clear breathing. One of the best ways to enjoy essential oils aromatically is by using an essential oil diffuser.
This is a great way to yield the benefits that essential oils hold for the skin, as well as other areas of the body. Essential oils will easily absorb into the skin, but it is also a good idea to use a carrier oil like Fractionated Coconut Oil to help prolong the benefits for the skin. Diluting essential oils with a carrier oil like Fractionated Coconut Oil before applying will also help you to avoid skin sensitivity.
When it comes to using essential oils internally, you’ll want to consider application on an oil-by-oil basis. It is important to note that some essential oils simply cannot be used internally—in any amount. If you are using a product that has Supplement Facts, you know that the oil is safe to use internally. As long as you follow recommended dosages and application guidelines, you’ll be able to easily and safely use essential oils internally.