Natural essential oils, like herbs, have been used for many generations – mainly to improve health on a physical, mental, emotional and spiritual level. Just recently science began to discover how essential oils compounds affect our body and mind.
Essential oils are usually obtained from various specific parts of plants (e.g. leaves, seeds, wood, flowers, roots, resin) containing their real essence. There are also oils from whole plants.
It is not known when the essential oils were distilled for the first time, but it is known that they have been used in many cultures for thousands of years – in religious rituals and healing. According to historical records, the Ancient Egyptians were one of the first to use essential oils. Myrrh, sandalwood, cinnamon and incense were their favourite aroma. They were quite highly valued – people often paid for the essential oils with pure gold.
Essential oils and medicine.
For thousands of years, man has had knowledge of the healing power of plants, including essential oils. The vast majority of the essential oils have amazing healing, cosmetic and, of course, aromatic properties. For this reason, they are widely used in both Traditional Chinese Medicine and Ayurveda. In the 15th century, during the plague epidemic, an Ayurvedic blend of essential oils proved to be much more effective than medications. This mixture consisted of, among others, camphor, rosemary, lavender and meadowsweet essential oils.
Natural essential oils are also mentioned many times in the New and Old Testaments. The most popular biblical oils include, among others, incense, myrrh, cedar, cinnamon and fir. Hippocrates, known as the father of medicine, also documented the medical properties of essential oils.
The effectiveness of essential oils against pathogens.
Many viruses, bacteria and fungi die in contact with proper essential oils – especially those containing phenols, terpenes, carvacrol and thymol. More and more often, chemical forms of the active compounds of essential oils, as well as the essential oils themselves, are used to compose modern medicines.
The power of essential oils.
Almost every essential oil contains about a hundred different compounds. Each of these compounds affects the body in a different way, giving a unique synergy effect.
On a chemical level, our body and essential oils have a lot in common – they are made of many of the same substances, including terpineols. They play a vital role in the production of hormones, vitamins and energy. They support processes such as healing and metabolism. Terpineols are also present in many essential oils because plants produce them as they grow. The human body can absorb them easily, using them for nutrition as well as healing processes.