Over the past few years, essential oils have received numerous mentions in research publications, health journals, wellness magazines, and pretty much any literally material that deeply focuses on natural medicinal substances. This is mostly attributed to the fact that these marvels of nature have been found to be beneficial in the treatment of various health conditions and ailments, not forgetting their use in cosmetic products as well as other helpful uses such as household cleaning, and much more.
Essential oils are basically natural extracts of plants. They are normally extracted from the stems, leaves, roots, barks, and flowers of plants, and then concentrated for a variety of uses, including medicinal use. Essential oils are characterized by a peculiar fragrance that is easily notable to the human nose even from a distance. Some of the most common essential oils include lavender, camphor, birch, coconut, clove, eucalyptus, clove, lemon, peppermint, and oregano oils.
It is the antibiotic and antimicrobial properties of essential oils that make them powerful fighters of disease and infections. According to Dr. Todd Watts at Microbe Formulas, Thyme, Clove, and Oregano are among the various essential oils that can help with parasite cleansing, including the parasitic infections of the digestive system, the skin, and other parts of the body.
But even with their explosive popularity and long use in various purposes, most people know very little about these ‘magical’ oils. So what are some probably surprising things you should know about essential oils?
Here are 6 incredible facts about essential oils we thought you should know.
1. Essential oils have been around for so long
It might come as a surprise to some, but essential oils aren’t a new thing on God’s green earth. Especially for therapeutic, cosmetic, and religious purposes, the use of essential oils for various reason dates back thousands of years ago, even before the time of Hippocrates. Their use by the Egyptians, Romans, and Asians, is well documented in many historical publications. The Christian holy bible also contains dozens of mentions and references about the use of essential oils in various books and chapters. Perhaps what has changed much is the modes of extraction as well as the range of uses!
2. They support literally every system in the body
From the circulatory system to the digestive, endocrine, nervous, and musculoskeletal system, essential oils have been seen to be beneficial in literally all the body systems in humans. There is evidence that they can provide support for physical, emotional, and spiritual wellness. Additionally, they’ve been shown to do wonders when it comes to boosting emotional, sexual, and mental health. Considering their usefulness in supporting skin health, essential oils are huge supporters of the immune system.
3. They’re amazingly fast-acting
Essential oils are made up of molecules that possess the unique ability to quickly penetrate the skin and other cell membranes. Due to their lightweight nature and volatility, they can travel throughout the various parts of the body within a matter of minutes when inhaled or applied topically. This gives them the quick acting property, especially when it comes to relieving pain, inflammation, and soreness. However, their high volatility also means that they easily evaporate when exposed to air. This is probably why you’ll notice the smell of essential oil within seconds after opening the bottle cap.
4. They comprise hundreds of biological compounds
Unlike most other plant extracts, essential oils comprise of tens if not hundreds of specific biological plant-based compounds often referred to as phytochemicals. A good example is lavender oil, which has been found to contain more than 100 different phytochemicals.
5. Lots of raw material is required to produce them
The word produce here refers to extraction and packaging. A tiny bottle of essential oil may require loads of plant material to come up with the final concentrate. For instance, it can take 150 pounds of lavender flowers, 4000 pounds of Bulgarian rose, and 250 pounds of peppermint to make just a pound of the respective essential oils. The required amount could be higher or a bit lower depending on the type of essential oil in question.
6. Essential oils are not oils in reality
According to the biological definition of oils, an oil is any triglyceride that exists as a liquid at room temperature. But triglycerides contain 3 molecules of fatty acids, which essential oils don’t have. This means that technically speaking, they are not actual oils. However, some of them may contain the viscous appearance of oils, in addition to the fact that they are soluble in lipids and fats rather than water.
In plants, their main function is to provide resistance against diseases, pests, and parasites. It is so interesting that their roles in plants are arguably fewer but not less important than their benefits in humans. Nonetheless, now you know a few more facts that you probably wouldn’t guess about essential oils.