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 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?
Amazon has essential oil suppliers of all kinds along with ratings and reviews from thousands upon thousands of people so you can read what customers had to say about each brand before buying. Here is one of the top brands on Amazon for pure therapeutic grade essential oils. This brand actually has nearly 10000 customer reviews so you can dig in deep and see what critiques anyone had with them before deciding whether or not to buy.
Featured image at top of post courtesy Kate Wares Via Flickr