Before I get into discussing how essential oils have fit into my life, I thought it would be good to share some basic information on what they do and why people use them!
So What is an Essential Oil?
"An essential oil is a concentrated hydrophobic liquid containing volatile aroma compounds from plants. Essential oils are generally extracted by distillation, often by using steam. Some important information that you should know about an essential oil is the botanical name, chemotype (if applicable), origin of plant (this can drastically change the chemical constituents percentages) and extraction method." (Source)
Oils can be extracted from leaves of the plant or the seeds of certain plants and have been for centuries. Some of the earliest writings and paintings contain descriptions or depictions of aromatic oils in use. The effects of using oils was noticed early on by cultures all across the world including Native American, Greek, Chinese, and Roman societies.
As in many ancient cultures, essential oil use today takes many shapes and forms - from topical use to treat ailments, to decreasing stress via diffusing, and even ingesting the oils. The quality of the oil is of the utmost importance, especially when applied topically or ingested. I, myself, have decided not to ingest essential oils and find that I enjoy the effects of oils most when diffusing them.