What is an Essential Oil?

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Have you been hearing a lot about essential oils and wondering what this “new” thing is that everybody is talking about?  Essential oils have been around since the beginning of time.  Essential oils were created by God and designed to work perfectly with the body.  There are over 200 references to essential oils in the Bible, and they were inhaled, taken internally, and applied topically to the body in Biblical times.

An essential oil is the vital fluid of a plant.  It is the lifeblood of the plant and is found within flowers, seeds, bushes, trees, and roots.  It is called “essential” because the plant requires the oil to live.  The oil protects the plant.  Have you ever broken open a plant and seen a fluid come out?  That is the essential oil.

Essential oils have extremely complex chemistry and are composed of hundreds of chemical constituents.  The oils are highly concentrated and far more potent than dried herbs and are usually extracted from the plant through steam distillation.  They are composed of tiny molecules that can penetrate into every cell.

It requires a large amount of plant material to produce a small amount of essential oil.  For example, it takes:

  •  147 pounds of rose petals to make one ounce of rose essential oil
  • 170-250 pounds of lavender plant material to make one pound of lavender oil
  • 43 lemons to produce a 15 mL bottle of lemon essential oil

Essential oils differ from fatty oils such as corn, coconut, olive, peanut, etc.  These oils are greasy and oxidize and become rancid over time.  If distilled and stored properly, an essential oil will not go rancid.




About Kerri Ketchum

Sharing the valuable treasures of Young Living Essential Oils
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