Essential Oils 101

I know it seems like everyone and their brother is talking about essential oils lately. It seems like a fad. But they've been around for many years {read your Bible - you'll find 'em in there!}. So instead of rolling your eyes and leaving this page, I encourage you to keep reading. I'm going to be sharing a lot of basics about oils, how to use them, and the many ways they promote a healthy lifestyle over the next 31 days. Get ready for our essential oils 101 class.

What makes essential oils so special? This post, the first in a 31 day series, explains the basic properties. It's time for Essential Oils 101.

Essential Oils 101

What are essential oils anyway?

They are the concentrated, aromatic liquids that are extracted from a variety of plants and their various parts (trees, seeds, shrubs, flowers, and roots) through a distillation process.

The plants use these oils to grow and adapt to their environment and they are also important in protecting the plant from insects and harsh conditions. When processed correctly, these oils retain their helpful properties. Essential oils are complex with many different chemical constituents. Unlike vegetable oils which oxidize and turn rancid, pure essential oils will not 'go bad', as long as they are stored correctly.

Essential Oil Constituents

There are a variety of factors and variables that can affect the quality of oils but pure essential oils will include some basic natural properties & compounds (things like terpenes, alcohols, esters, ketones, and phenols). Each essential oil can have between 200-500 different constituents, giving them many diverse uses. All of these constituents serve their plants in a variety of ways and, if distilled properly, will be preserved in the oils, where they can provide support for health and wellness.

The molecular structure of the oils gives them the ability to penetrate cells and travel through blood and tissue. The provide support for the body in many ways - immune system support, restful sleep, or soothing daily aches and pains. When they are applied topically to the feet, they can travel through the body in just a few minutes. The really are powerful!

A Long History

Essential oils have been around for a very long time. They were used as the first medicines and you'll find records of their uses in Egyptian hieroglyphics and the Bible, to name a few sources. Egyptians used the oils in the embalming process - some were even found preserved in jars in King Tut's tomb. The Bible is filled with references to oils - Jesus was even given some by the wise men.

They have been around many years though it seems like a fairly recent fad. Essential oil use has thrived for a reason - they work!

Are you new to essential oils? What questions do you have about them?

Over the next few days, we'll be going more in-depth in our look at essential oils and the importance of finding good-quality oils.

Tonia L

Hey! I'm the owner of Happy Homeschool Nest - a website devoted to helping homeschool moms balance the needs of homeschooling with managing a healthy and happy home.