An essential oil is the aromatic liquid extracted from trees, plants, bushes, seeds, and fruit. It is not ‘greasy like an olive oil or coconut oil. Generally speaking, it is light and will evaporate relatively quickly and fill the air; we give this the term ‘volatile’.
Essential oils are the plant’s natural defense and protective mechanisms. They work the same in our bodies as they do in nature. They penetrate cell membranes and disperse into our blood and tissues. 1 drop contains 40 million trillion molecules that affect the body at the cellular level. These particles are one of the few things small enough to cross the blood brain barrier. Their purpose is to help support all of our body systems by keeping our bodies clean and our system functioning as it should.
On average, each essential oil contains over 100 molecular constituents with more being discovered every day. The key to producing therapeutic grade essential oils, however, is to preserve as many of these delicate compounds as possible because even the smallest compounds play an important role in arriving at the final result! Just like a symphony, the quality of the music is dependent on each individual instrument coming together harmoniously. So any impurity or out of tune instrument has a dramatic effect on the final result. So let’s be VERY clear: All oils are not created equal.
There are a few way to collect the essential oil. Most commonly is steam distillation, however other ways include a solvent extraction method, called enfleurage, for very delicate flowers and cold press which is typically for citrus rinds. You can see how the growing method will be important if you want to be sure that there are no unwanted toxic chemicals in the essential oil that may have been present during the plants life in the field. We use single batch, low and slow, distillation methods in stainless steel tanks only (other metals can leach). The industry standard is to steam distill hot and fast in large quantities using the same batch 2-3 times, and then mix them together as a single batch. The benefit to low and slow, is that there is more control and more valuable constituents that are released and collected, that give us the true essence of the botanical. If there is excessive heat, it can actually damage these beneficial attributes to the essential oil.
Essential oils are highly concentrated- not like dried or fresh herbs.
A single drop is full of amazing properties – not much is needed to receive the benefits – making them very cost effective. Fun facts using Young Livings distillation methods
- 7×30 ft distiller (chamomile buds) will only produce 1/4-1/2 cup pure therapeutic grade EO
- It takes 76 cold pressed lemon rinds to equal one 15ml bottle of lemon EO
- 1 drop peppermint has the strength of 26 cups pure peppermint tea
- 1 pound of raw peppermint to make 1 15ml bottle of peppermint (and should not smell sweet like candy but earthy like when you smell a peppermint plant)
- It takes 22 POUNDS of rose petals to make a 5ml bottle of rose