When I tell people that I use essential oils for aromatherapy, sometimes they look at me funny. Really, they give me "the look". They don't understand much about essential oils. Sometimes they think that essential oils are similar to perfume or air freshener scents. Well, yes and no. Yes, essential oils have a scent that smells wonderful. But, they do not compare to perfume or air fresheners other than the fact that they have a scent. Why? Well, because Grade A (meaning organic, no fillers or extenders) are very healing to our bodies. Any other grade of essential oils - the kind that you buy at health food stores with a warning on the label that says do not ingest or the kind that are in your health and beauty products just don't really benefit us as much as Grade A does.
Did you know that France exports more lavender essential oil than it produces? Did you know that Proctor and Gamble uses twice as much essential oil as is produced in the entire world? Why is that? They use chemical/synthetic extenders and fillers and/or use floral water of the lesser grade essential oils, of course. Ew. What does that mean? Think about a label that says "Pure". To the common buyer, it would mean that it is 100% "pure" essential oil in the bottle. Nope, doesn't have to be. It has to have at least 5% "pure" essential oils in the bottle. Our bodies need unadulterated essential oils in order to get the benefits of the essential oils.
Some people say, "well, I am allergic to fragrances/scents/perfumes/essential oils". You may be if it's not Grade A essential oil. Did you know that companies can put the word "fragrance" down on the list of ingredients and not have to say exactly what is in that fragrance? There could be over 700 toxic chemicals that "fragrance" could represent. How about putting that on your skin? No thank you. Did you know that it just takes 26 seconds for the chemicals in your personal care products to enter your bloodstream? YIKES!
Did you know that certain companies that produce essential oils are real careful about keeping the plants' chemical constituents in the oil? They steam distill the plants at low pressures and low temperatures without chemicals or solvents. Plus, if distilled properly, essential oils don't have the proteins in them to be allergic to.
Take Cypress essential oil for example:
Has 280 known chemical constituents
Distilling for 20 hours yields only 20 of the 280 properties!
Distilling for 26 hours results in zero properties!
Distilling for 24 hours, produces the full 280 properties.
Most cypress on the market is distilled for just 3 ½ hours
All 280 constituents are necessary if you want cypress to the job it is intended to do!
How are essential oils useful to us?
- When cells are compromised, essential oils start regeneration through the healing properties of amino acids and the increased oxygen to the tissues
- Several oils from herbs support the musculoskeletal and immune systems
- Various oils from spices benefit the digestive and immune systems
- Many oils can break down and detoxify the chemical build up in fatty tissue, potentially clearing DNA
- A few can actually pass through the blood- brain barrier [frankincense and sandalwood oils] i.e. sesquiterpenes
- Essential oils soothe the mind and calm the psyche through the restorative effect of smell on the emotions
- Improved physical, mental, and emotional well-being
- Assists the body’s natural ability to balance, regulate, heal, and maintain itself.
....And so much more... Too many to list here!
The answer is yes, essential oils are useful to our body, mind, and spirit if they are unadulterated, meaning Grade A. Know your supplier and distiller of essential oils and you'll know if it is Grade A or not.