In-depth Knowledge on Essential Oils
- Essential oils are known as volatile compounds, which means when they are exposed to the air, they are expelled as a gas. This is why you can smell the oil so quickly after taking the cap off a bottle of essential oil. It also means that when applied to the skin “neat” (undiluted) it can evaporate off the skin fairly quickly.
- Essential oils are lipid soluble, meaning they dissolve in fats or oils. But because they are volatile and do not themselves contain fats, they leave no oily residue. If you combine essential oils with a carrier oil, it improves absorption and decreases how rapidly they evaporate from the skin.
- Essential oils contain and carry oxygen molecules. These oxygen molecules help transport nutrients into cells. When a nutritional deficiency exists, there is also a corresponding oxygen deficiency, and this is where disease can begin. Because essential oils carry oxygen, one can begin to see why they can be so useful for supporting a healthy body.
- Besides being oxygen carriers, essential oils may also contain potent antioxidants just as fruits and vegetables do. Antioxidants are known to fight against free radical damage which is linked to cell mutations, cellular oxidation, aging, and a sluggish immune system.
- Essential oils have been studied for their ability to support important bodily functions such as the secretion of neurotransmitters, antibodies, endorphins, hormones, and enzymes.
- Many essential oils have demonstrated potent antimicrobial properties. In vitro testing (done in test tubes) and in vivo testing (in the body) tests an oil’s efficacy against various strains of bacteria. Even bacteria that are known to be resistant to antibiotics, such as MRSA (methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus) have been decimated by certain essential oils. Some of the best oils for this are tea tree, lavender, manuka, eucalyptus essential oil, geranium, lemongrass, thyme, and oregano.
- Research indicates that diffusing essential oils can increase oxygen in the room where the diffuser sits. It can also remove metallic particles and toxins from the air, increase ozone and negative ions, inhibit bacteria, eliminate mold, and subdue odors from cigarette smoking and pets.
- Because essential oils cannot be patented, many pharmaceutical drugs have been created by copying the natural phytochemicals found in essential oils. For instance, aspirin was created by scientists studying the nature of the bark of the willow tree. The active constituent in aspirin, salicylic acid, is chemically similar to methyl salicylate, the natural phytochemical in willow bark (also found in birch and wintergreen).
- Humans are a complex combination of body, mind, and spirit. Essential oils can help to support physical, emotional, and spiritual wellbeing and oils even have the ability to affect all three simultaneously.
- In our modern world one of the most common health problems, experienced by young and old alike, is anxiety. A plethora of recent studies have shown that essential oils can help with anxiety and stress relief, regardless of the reason. The essential oils with the most research showing their anti-anxiety benefits are lavender, frankincense, bergamot, vetiver, orange, lemon, ylang ylang, chamomile, and rose.
- If your olfactory system (sense of smell) isn’t working, essential oils can work on your behalf anyway! Animal studies done with lavender showed that even though the animals (who had an impaired sense of smell) could not smell the lavender oil, its calming effects were still felt. Researchers discovered that olfactory stimulation was not required for the calming effects of lavender to be experienced.
- High quality essential oils have a long shelf life. Citrus oils, frankincense essential oil, tea tree, pine, and spruce have the shortest shelf life, being one to two years because they tend to oxidize more quickly. Storing them in the refrigerator helps to prolong their shelf life. Most other essential oils will last on the shelf between two to three years. Oils that have a high percentage of a compound known as sesquiterpenes tend to last the longest – up to ten years. These include sandalwood, patchouli, myrrh, vetiver, and a few others.
- Store essential oils in dark glass bottles, out of sunlight, with the caps tightly closed, and/or refrigerated to lengthen their shelf life. You can tell if an essential oil has deteriorated if the aroma has changed, it has thickened, or become cloudy.
Disclaimer: These statements have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. This information is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure or prevent any disease. The information on this site is not intended or implied to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. Please confirm any information obtained from or through this web site with other sources, and review all information regarding any medical condition or treatment with your physician. Never disregard professional medical advice or delay seeking medical treatment because of something you have read on this website.