The use of plant-based products has been recorded as far back as 3000 BCE with the Egyptians, who used plant extracts for a myriad of purposes. Precious plant compounds such as peppercorns, cinnamon bark, frankincense, and myrrh fed the thriving trade routes that snaked through the arid deserts of the region. The reverence that this ancient culture had for plants is evident in the botanical depictions found in hieroglyphics and other Egyptian art.
Historically, herbal and medical professionals were intuitively and anecdotally guided in their use of plant extracts. Ongoing clinical research has found that used together, the three application models - aromatic, topical, and internal - create an effective and powerful practice for supporting health and wellness.
WHAT ARE ESSENTIAL OILS?
Essential oils are the lipid soluble mixtures of volatile aromatic compounds found in plants. They are distilled from the plant and isolated in a pure yield using various collection methods (steam distillation, cold pressing, solvent extractions, etc). Each essential oil is made up of a wide variety of functional chemical constituents that give each oil its unique aroma and beneficial properties. The physical and chemical properties of the volatile aromatic compounds that compose essential oils allow them to quickly move through the air and directly interact with the olfactory sensors in the nose. The type of volatile aromatic compounds present in an essential oil determines both the oil’s aroma and the benefits it offers. Over 3,000 varieties of volatile aromatic compounds have been identified to date. The nature of an essential oil varies from plant to plant, within botanical families, and from species to species. The delicate ratio of aromatic constituents found in any given essential oil can vary depending on the time of day, season, geographic location, method and duration of distillation, year grown, and the weather, making every step of the production process a critical determinant of the overall quality of the essential oil product.