How Do Essential Oils Work?
Updated: Jun 12, 2019
A bit of a rant...
So what is so great about essential oils? I believe that nature has the answer to most problems, be they physical or mental. The world of nature offers us a bounty of medicines that are exploited by pharmaceutical & cosmetic companies, although often they are mixed with cheaper synthetic compounds, chemicals & preservatives. Using pure essential oils with plant or nut oils & hydrosols (essential botanical water) with a little bit of knowledge is the most effective way of gaining some autonomy over our health and wellbeing. Finding natural remedies for ailments & using natural products for our skin is beneficial all round. One, it encourages us to look after nature & be mindful about what we do with our environment. Secondly, it makes us proactive in thinking about our bodies & what we put into it, rather than just mindlessly ingesting chemicals & artificial toxins. It is not surprising that in a world saturated by media, quick fixes & fast pace living, we tend to gobble up the advertising & discourse fed to us by billionaire faceless companies on a daily basis; this will make us healthier, more beautiful or successful. But does it really? We have been ignorant for far too long over the damage corporate companies are doing to the environment & to its consumers. The chemicals & preservatives that are sold to us as beneficial may actually be more harmful than helpful.
So let's stop being passive consumers to large global corporate companies. We must stop relying on what we are told & seek answers ourselves.
The science bit.
Here is an article about the effectiveness of essential oils as best described by Debra Fulghum Bruce Ph.D.:
Essential oils are highly concentrated substances extracted from a variety of different parts of a plant, including the flower, bark, roots, leaves, wood, resin, seeds, or the rind (in the case of citrus fruits). The oils contain healing vitamins, antibiotics, and antiseptics and represent the “life force” of the plant.
Scientists agree that essential oils may perform more than one function in living plants. In some cases they seem to be a part of the plant’s immune system. In other cases they may simply be end products of metabolism. Essential oils are said to be healing because they contain hundreds of organic constituents, including hormones, vitamins, and other natural elements that work on many levels. For example, essential oils can be sedative or stimulating. Some are antispasmodic, and most are antibacterial. Essential oils are 75 to 100 times more concentrated than the oils in dried herbs.
So when you think about it in terms of gardening, this makes sense. You plant a seed, it germinates, a plant grows, and more seeds are created. Each plant has its own circle of life. So, from a non-scientific and non-technical perspective, to transfer the essence of a plant to the cells of a human body means we are taking advantage of this essence for a mostly, if not completely positive outcome.