Essential oils and Remedy To Problems

essential oils

Last Updated on September 29, 2021 by Smart Life Picks

Essential oils provide us with a fragrant pharmacy full of remedies and delights for all aspects of our lives. This is an extraordinary fact.

Already we know the earth provides us with food and water, but to realize as well that nature offers us a huge variety of plant essences capable of solving so many problems, and in addition giving us so much joy — well, that is something to rejoice in.

People have always found around them a number of plants that can heal — medicines out of the earth. But we live in a specially blessed time because we can look around the global village and take from around the world a huge variety of aromatic essential oils distilled from healing plants. This is new. We have a vast selection to choose from, never before available to humankind.

Essential oils are extracted from certain varieties of trees, shrubs, herbs, grasses, roots, fruits, and flowers.

The oil is concentrated in different parts of the plant.

Vetiver oil is made from the roots of the grass species Vetiveria zizanoides; bay oil is extracted from the leaves of Laurus nobilis.

Geranium oil comes from the plant’s leaves and stalks, cumin oil comes from the seeds, and ginger oil comes from the rhizomes, while rose oil comes from the fragrant petals of the rose flower. 

Myrrh, frankincense, and benzoin oils are extracted from the resin of their respective trees.

Mandarin, lemon, lime, grapefruit, and bergamot oils are extracted from the peel of the fruits, and pine oil comes from the needles and twigs of pine trees, while sandalwood comes from the heartwood of the sandalwood tree.

essential oils

If you were to look at lavender under a microscope, you’d see the smooth round glands that contain the essential oil, surrounded by a forest of spiky nonsecretory trichomes.

Many varieties of plants have similar sessile secretory glands that appear as round, distinct units with a cuticle, or outer membrane, protecting a package of secretory cells. 

In other species of plants, the essential oil–producing glands look like microscopic stalks. In seeds, the essential oil is stored in vittae, little pockets on the outer surface. 

In orange and lemon, oil cavities are found in the outer portion of the peel. In clove, a multitude of endogenous oil glands lie just beneath the surface, while in frankincense, resin globules are released from oil ducts. In ginger, the essential oil is found in secretory cells of parenchyma tissue, while in cedarwood the secretory cells line resin ducts.

The oil is extracted from the plant by a variety of means, depending again on the particular species. The most common method is steam distillation; other methods include CO2 extraction, expression, enfleurage, maceration, and solvent extraction.

There are hundreds of species of eucalyptus tree, but they’re not all used for the production of essential oils. 

Likewise, there are innumerable varieties of geranium, most of which are wholly unsuitable for essential oil extraction. Having said that, aromatherapy is a science that’s expanding. New plants are being distilled into essential oils, adding to our assets in the fragrant pharmacy.

Likewise, there are innumerable varieties of geranium, most of which are wholly unsuitable for essential oil extraction. Having said that, aromatherapy is a science that’s expanding. New plants are being distilled into essential oils, adding to our assets in the fragrant pharmacy.

Each essential oils has its own medicinal and other properties. Research has confirmed centuries of experience of using the plants from which essential oils are derived.

We now know that the fragrant pharmacy contains essential oils that are antiviral, antibacterial, antifungal, antiseptic, anti-inflammatory, antineuralgic, antirheumatic, antispasmodic, antivenomous, antitoxic, antidepressant, sedative, nervine, analgesic, carminative, digestive, decongestive, expectorant, deodorant, restorative, circulatory, diuretic, vulnerary, and much more besides.

There is a wide range of methods of using essential oils for therapeutic purposes, including external application, inhalation, oral ingestion, and suppositories. Their small molecular size means essential oils can be absorbed extremely easily and quickly. 

Methods used externally include body oils, compresses, gels, lotions, and baths — including hand and foot baths. Inhalation methods include diffusers, room sprays, vaporizers, and a whole range of other environmental methods, as well as simply inhaling directly from the bottle or from a tissue. 

Although the food and drink and drug industries add essential oils to products that are ingested orally, they are seldom used this way for medicinal purposes in the home unless under the direction of a qualified healthcare practitioner.

The method of use that’s chosen will determine both the rate and extent of absorption. Other factors to consider include a person’s age, size, diet, and genetics. The rate of healing may differ too if a person has a metabolic disorder or a condition affecting the heart, liver, or kidneys.

Each essential oil has its own story to tell. In the case of jasmine, each flower is picked by hand on the very first day it opens, before the sun becomes hot, whereas the sandalwood tree could be thirty years old and thirty feet high before it’s considered ready for distillation.

Between these two extremes, a whole range of growing and picking conditions apply to the plants that will ultimately provide the precious essential oils. 

The price of each oil reflects these conditions; because it takes around 4 million hand-picked jasmine blossoms to produce 1.1 pounds of oil, you can understand why that is one of the most expensive oils on the market. 

Rose otto essential oil is also costly because it takes around 4,500 pounds of rose flower heads to make 1 pound of oil, while lavender oil is cheaper because it takes only 150 pounds of flower heads to produce the same amount. Obviously, yields vary from location to location, and this too can affect prices.

The trade in essential oils is worldwide, with consignments passing between the United States, France, China, Brazil, Bulgaria, Turkey, Saudi Arabia, New Zealand, Ethiopia, Indonesia, Réunion, Australia, Argentina, Israel, the United Kingdom, Japan, Thailand, South Africa, Vietnam, Indonesia, Iran, Guatemala, Egypt, Somalia, and Spain, among many other places!

On average, an essential oil contains 100 chemical components. The main components fall within broader groups, such as alcohols, esters, ketones, phenols, terpenes, and aldehydes. But each oil also has a number of smaller trace compounds that even today cannot be identified.

It’s these mysterious compounds that distinguish essential oils from a simple collection of chemical constituents and gives them their complexity and unique properties. 

essential oils

Think of it like this: the human body is 60% to 73% water, having a higher percentage at the obese end of the body mass spectrum — yet when we look in the mirror we don’t see a big puddle of water. 

Likewise, an essential oil could be 30% to 60% linalyl acetate, but that’s just the beginning of its story. Some essential oils have as many as 300 components, some as yet unidentified, and the idea that all the known phytochemicals could be put in a pot and made into that essential oil is as presumptuous as thinking a person can be reduced to a number of molecules, starting with the largest in terms of volume, water.

Essential oils are not complex just in terms of their chemistry. They have a whole range of interesting properties that together make them hugely vibrant. In terms of their electromagnetic frequency or vibrational signature, some have a higher megahertz reading than others. 

The electrical properties of essential oils are defined in terms of positive-negative and polarity. An aroma molecule might be negative and polar, negative and nonpolar, positive and polar, or positive and nonpolar. And even individual components have their own electrical characteristics.

Some essential oils have optical activity and rotate light clockwise; some, counterclockwise — being dextrorotatory and levorotatory, respectively. Their components are crystalline in structure. 

Put all these things together alongside the body of a human being who also has these properties, and there can be a marriage of harmony and potential.

Essential oils are hugely versatile and also come in the most convenient form to exploit that versatility. A few drops of pure lavender oil applied to a minor burn effects the most remarkable cure as the skin returns to normal within days, whereas without it there could be a blistering patch and, eventually, a scar. 

You can return to the same small bottle when you have a headache — one drop rubbed on the temples often brings relief. And because lavender is a natural deterrent of mosquitoes and moths, among other insects, it can as easily be dabbed onto a ribbon and hung at the window to deter the former, or put on a cotton ball and placed in the wardrobe to deter the latter. 

The natural antibiotic and antiseptic qualities of lavender oil make it a highly effective wash for cuts and grazes and also a good addition to the wash water for cleaning tables, tiles, and floors. Its fresh aroma makes lavender a delight to use anywhere and any time, and it’s great to include in an air freshener. 

One little bottle, used with different methods, can attend to issues both physiological and environmental, and just because lavender can be used as an air freshener that’s not to say it wouldn’t be of huge benefit to burn units in hospitals. Indeed, I can’t think of anything that would be more appropriate to use as an air freshener in burn units!

That’s the thing about essential oils — they can do more than one thing at a time. Plants are chemical factories inhabiting the interface between light and dark, sun and earth, drawing energy from each and synthesizing this into molecules of carbohydrates, proteins, and fats.

They provide our food, and the food of the animals we eat. Plant cells are similar to ours in that they have membranes, DNA, and a range of organelles including Golgi bodies and mitochondria. We’re family. 

We can’t think of plants as inferior to us, because while they can live without us, we can’t live without them. That’s the relationship between us. So turning to plants for help is like turning to our extended family. We’re all increasingly aware of the number of synthetic chemicals in our lives today, whether we like them or not. They leach from carpets, flooring, and furniture. 

They’re in home cleaning products. They’re used in the production of food, in our public water systems, and in the products we put on our faces, hair, and bodies. They’re in the very air we breathe. It may seem that escape from this onslaught of synthetic chemicals is impossible. 

However, for some jobs around the home we can replace the usual shop-bought products with essential oils, and we can make our own entirely natural body, hair, and face products, perfumes, and air fresheners. 

We can use essential oils in the garden to encourage plant growth and protect our plants from insects. We can use these powerful natural essences on our bodies to alleviate all manner of physical problems, and we can use them for the well-being of our family and friends. 

Essential oils are useful and effective in a staggering variety of ways. And each time we use them, we avoid using synthetic chemicals in our lives because we’re lucky enough to have been given natural alternatives. 

We have been given a huge gift from Mother Nature, and essential oils are something we can feel confident about using if we treat them with the respect they deserve. It might be easy to suppose that because they’re so sweet smelling, the value of essential oils is their charm. This would be a mistake.

Scientists in labs all over the world are discovering that when they compare the effects of a complete essential oil to those of its main chemical constituents, the essential oils come out on top. They might smell sweet and lovely, but they’re potent and work very hard too.

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