What Are Essential Oils?
The natural aromatic compounds found in the seeds, bark, stems, roots, flowers, and other parts of plants, essential oils can be both beautifully and powerfully fragrant. If you’ve ever enjoyed a bouquet of roses, walking by a lavender field, or the smell of a fresh-cut lemon, you have experienced the aromatic qualities of essential oils. In addition to giving plants their distinctive aromas, essential oils provide plants with unique protection against predators and disease and play a role in plant pollination.
Although they are fat soluble, essential oils do not include fatty lipids or acids found in vegetable and animal oils. Essential oils are very clean—almost crisp—to the touch and are immediately absorbed by the skin. Pure, unadulterated essential oils are translucent and range in color from crystal clear to deep blue.
In addition to their intrinsic benefits to plants and being beautifully fragrant to people, essential oils have been used throughout history in many cultures for their medicinal and therapeutic benefits. Modern scientific study and trends towards more holistic approaches to wellness are driving a revival and new discovery of essential oil health applications.
Try this at home
Squeeze the peel of a ripe orange or lemon into the air. The mist you see in the air and the fragrant residue on your hand are full of health-promoting essential oils.