The term essential oil is a shortcut of the original term, quintessential oil. This comes back from the Aristotelian states of matter which consists of five elements: fire, air, earth, water and quintessence also known as life force or spirit. Nowadays, that life force or spirit is considered to be all the active components that give the therapeutic effect. Nevertheless, the essence is a complex mixture of chemical notes that contain healing powers and they give the plant its characteristic odour and properties.
Obtaining essential oils can be done in a few ways and the method is usually chosen according to the type of plant. For most of the plants, distillation is the regular and more effective way of extracting essential oils, but there are also other ways of obtaining them. For example, citrus fruits are extracted using a cold press, whereas for flowers maceration is the best method. Maceration has to be used because they can not withstand the high temperatures needed to extract essential oils by distillation.
After extraction, the product obtained is a highly concentrated liquid that contains the aroma and therapeutic properties of the source from which it came.
When used correctly, essential oils bring a wide range of health benefits and they don’t have side-effects. You can add them in your hot tub, in your body cream, in your air freshening device or use them as cleaning products. If you are going for mental and emotional balance use essential oils such as lavender, peppermint, grapefruit, chamomile, lemon, ylang-ylang. They offer pleasurable sensory experiences within minutes because of their fragrances and restorative natures, making them impactful on your brain chemistry, emotional well-being, and spiritual wellness. If you are aiming for a mental stimulant, rosemary oil will increase focus and concentration.
Apart from the psychological effects, most of essential oils have antibacterial, antimicrobial, antiviral, antiseptic and antibiotic effects. This makes them an excellent addition to your homemade cleaning preparation. For example, orange and lemon oils are antiseptic and perfect natural degreaser, removing food grease of your kitchen cabinets, destroying Salmonella of your cutting boards. Lavender oil is a great natural deodorizer that you can use to freshen the air but also to disinfect the bathroom surfaces.
Essential oils are a great addition to your daily routine, regardless if its for cleaning or just physical and psychological wellness. They bring nature into your house and you can benefit of its great potential at your choice.