What are Essential Oils ?
Essential oils are Organic Volatile Compound that are created within the plant for many reasons. While essential oils are in the plant, they are constantly changing their chemical composition, helping the plant to adapt to the ever-changing internal and external environment. The chemistry of an essential oil is very complex and may consist of hundreds of different and unique chemical compounds. Recent scientific research has shown that plants produce essential oils for a variety of purposes including:
- To attract pollinators and dispersal agents
- To play a role in allelopathy, a type of plant-to-plant competition
- To serve as defense compounds against insects and other animals: Plants, like other living things, need to protect themselves from various types of predators. Plants use terpenoid compounds to deter insects and other animals from approaching them. Shawe pointed out that “insects are very rarely found on peppermint plants and the presence of linalol in the peel of citrus fruits confers resistance to attack by the Caribbean fruit fly.”5 The Douglas fir tree releases a complex mixture of volatile oils, or terpenes, from their needles to defend against the spruce budworm. Even more fascinating is that the Douglas fir trees “will vary the composition and production of terpenes each year thus decreasing the ability of the budworm to develop widespread immunity to specific compounds.6
- To protect the plant by their antifungal and antibacterial nature
They are in fact the immune system of a plant. I also like to refer to essential oils as the soul of the plant or tree.
There are 3 known ways to use essential oils.
1- Dermal application (on the skin)
2-Aromatherapy (inhaled or diffused) very low level of risk
3-Taken internally (which I won’t be discussing in this blog do to Health canada regulation)
Always make sure to use only the greatest and purest quallity of essential oils. Make sure you know and trust the compagnie you choose to use.