What are Essential Oils?


Wondering what essential oils are. Here is a quick read about where essential oils come from and how they are used in nature.


Essential oils come from plants. The quality of the seed, how a plant is cultivated (with or without pesticides), when it is harvested, how long from harvest until it is distilled; all these things make a difference to the quality of oil. To guarantee the purity of an essential oil, the company or person you buy from should be able to tell you where, when, and how an essential oil was produced. Young Living understands this and has invested time and money into developing the best method for each essential oil they offer. You can read more about their extensive processes here: www.seedtoseal.com

In nature essential oils inside the plant have many uses. In the plant, some of the functions are assumed to be:

  • Protect the plant from bacteria and fungi
  • Attract pollinating insects
  • Prevent dehydration
  • To heal plant wounds. e.g. Tree resins
  • To deter attacking insects and herbivores by making the leaves unpalatable
  • Make the soil inhospitable to prevent other plants from growing near them

History and Essential Oils
There are many references in ancient texts that tell us essential oils have been used for many years. In fact, the distillation dates back to 3000 B.C. in Pakistan. Essential oils have been a part of the medical Pharmacopoeia since the 16th century. Scientific study of essential oils began in the 19th century.

Interest in essential oils as a medicine diminished after the discovery of antibiotics. The majority of essential oils in the world are produced for the fragrance and flavouring industries, whose main concern is to get as much product for as little cost as possible. Essential oils produced in this way are not suitable for therapeutic use and are commonly known as perfume grade essential oils.