Oil Drop # 1: What are essential oils, exactly?

Oil Drop of the Day #1 I apologize for the very LOW entertainment level of this first Oil Drop lol I’ll try to liven this up as much as I can… but science is always so darn serious! 😉 Let’s start at the very beginning because that seems like a very good place to start….

***WHAT ARE ESSENTIAL OILS (also known as EO)? Essential Oils are concentrated liquids containing volatile aroma compounds from plants. Volatile = easily changes from liquid to gas form. The essential oils then have amazing properties that we can use to support our body’s natural processes, to correct our ailments and moods, and even protect us from future harm!

***OK I’VE HEARD THAT SIMPLE EXPLANATION BEFORE, BUT BE MORE SPECIFIC. MORE THAN LIQUIDS FROM PLANTS, WHAT EXACTLY ARE ESSENTIAL OILS? To answer this, you’re going to have to come face to face with some science. Each individual essential oil is made up of a specific combination of hundreds of chemical constituents. It’s like a personality. Humans all have a body, but your unique personality combination makes you… you! These chemical constituents (or personality factors) fall into two categories: Hydrocarbons (the terpenes) and the Oxygens (esters, aldehydes, ketones, alcohols, phenols, and oxides). Here’s what each of these things contribute to our oils’ personalities:

*Terpenes – These inhibit the build-up of toxins. They also get rid of existing toxins from the liver and kidneys.

**Monoterpenes – We’re antibacterial. Extensively shown to benefit respiratory conditions like bronchitis and sinus infections.

**Sesquiterpenes – These are antiseptic, anti-bacterial, and anti-inflammatory. Stimulate the liver and glands such as the pineal and pituitary glands. They can pass through the blood-brain barrier

**Farnesene – We’re anti-viral! **Limonene – STRONG anti-viral and found in pretty much all of the citrus EOs

**Pinene – Strong antiseptic (Pine = think pine, fir, spruce and juniper oils)

**Other terpenes out there are camphene, cadinene, cedrene, dipentene, phellandrene, terpinene, sabinene, and myrcene.

*Esters – We are anti-fungal, claming, and relaxing. Esters are very common and found in many essential oils!

*Aldehydes – We’re highly reactive, in general are anti-infectious and anti-viral with a sedative effect on the central nervous system. Can be irritating if applied topically, but are profoundly calming when inhaled. Found in oils such as melissa, citronella, lemongrass, lemon, mandarin, lavender, and myrrh.

*Ketones – Oh ketones! These stimulate cell regeneration, promote tissue formation, liquefy mucous. Great for asthma, colds, flu, cough and found in oils such as hyssop, clary sage, jasmine, and fennel. When someone tells you that ingesting oils is toxic (and only in VERY LARGE AND INAPPROPRIATE AMOUNTS)… they are talking specifically about the ketones in some essential oils.

*Alcohols – Uplifiting (OH YEA THEY ARE! ;)), antiseptic, and antiviral. Non-toxic. **Terpene Alcohols stimulate the immune system, are anti-bacterial, work as a diuretic, relieve discomfort and loosen mucous (great expectorant/decongestant)

**Sesquiterpene Alcohols are anti-inflammatory, anti-bacterial, anti-mycotic (preventing, killing, or reducing the growth of fungi), and prevent/fix ulcers!

*Phenols – These represent the fragrance of an EO. Also are antiseptic, anti-bacterial, strongly stimulating, antioxidant, and contain high levels of oxygenating molecules. Can be quite caustic to the skin (known as the “hot” oils) like clove, cinnamon, thyme, and oregano oils.

*Oxides – This constituent mostly pertains to Cineol (eucalyptol). They are anesthetic, antiseptic, and an expectorant. Oxides are the primary constituent of eucalyptus EO and also found in rosemary, cinnamon, melissa, basil, and ravensara.

If you got all the way to the bottom of this Oil Drop, then please accept a high five and a pat on the back from me!!! I told you there was gonna be some serious learning happening in this event! Stay tuned for more learning with MUCH higher entertainment value 🙂 Here’s my site if you want to check it out! –> Here!

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