What Are Essential Oils?
Essential oils are the natural, pure oils obtained from plants and trees through steam distillation or cold expression, often referred to as cold-press. The best essential oils are not processed or modified any further than that. The actual smell will vary somewhat, depending on the season and where the vegetation was harvested, as will the beneficial compounds to some degree.
In many ways, our modern interest in essential oils is an example of old ideas becoming new again. Ancient cultures used them for thousands of years in both their healthcare and spiritual practices. The extraction of pure oils is a time-tested process, and now their benefits are being tested and documented by science.
Essential oils are produced all over the world and often need to be distilled close to where they are harvested to remain fresh. They are sold as pure oils or in blends, mixed for specific purposes. They are sometimes diluted with other oils as well, to make them more affordable.
Why Should You Use Essential Oils?
Essential oils do much more than smell nice. By stimulating the olfactory receptors, they have a direct effect on the brain and limbic system. Research studies show that the brain regions that control emotions and memory are activated by these oils and there are many benefits for a variety of mental and physical health conditions, such as anxiety, insomnia and depression, or things like pain, infections, nausea, immune system support, and much more. The limbic system connects to those parts of the brain that control the heart rate, blood pressure, breathing and even your hormone balance.
Our modern, busy lives often lead to us to neglect our spiritual and mental needs. There are a lot of stressors and toxins in our environment. Essential oils often help people feel more positive and energetic. That may be one of the reasons why they played such a vital role in religious ceremonies in the past. They can help give you the emotional balance that you need to be healthier and happier, as a form of complementary medicine that can exist beside our modern, traditional medicine and prescriptions, to help support both the body and the mind.
Where Should I Buy Essential Oils?
I like to buy my essential oils from: http://sparknaturals.com. I appreciate the purity and quality of their products, as well as their affordability. They sell tested, pure oils and blends from the best areas of cultivation, from all over the world. Their oils are purchased in large quantities to keep prices competitive, and they are certified, CPPharmaGrade™ for consistent identity, strength and purity.
Featured image at top of post courtesy Kate Wares Via Flickr