Essential oils, also known as Volatile Aromatic Compounds, are the part of the flower, plant, root, or tree/resin that give that plant matter is aroma or scent. They are lipid soluble and "volatile" in that they can change their state (from liquid to gas) quickly!
These compounds exist in high concentrations in the plant, are potent, and serve many functions beyond its aroma including protection from harsh environmental conditions and even healing the plant from bacteria and viruses!
Over 3,000 aromatic compounds have been identified, each with unique chemical properties, or the active ingredients that create the aroma and beneficial uses of the oil. Each oil has hundreds of these chemical compounds, which is why one single oil, like Lemon, has literally 100's of uses!
doTERRA harvests these amazing plant compounds from a network of farmers across the globe so that the plants are grown in their indigenous climates; it also offers an opportunity to support the growth of developing countries (see Co-Impact Sourcing). (P.S. I cried the first time I watched the video on how Frankincense resin is harvested; SO MUCH LOVE and CARE goes into it and I feel connected to all beings on the planet when I open the bottle and take an inhale).
Depending on the plant, the oils are gathered through steam distillation, cold-press, or solvent extraction methods, and because doTERRA oils go through an extremely rigorous 3-tiered battery of tests, they can be utilized in three ways:
1. Aromatically (inhaling from the bottle or diffusing): this is also known as the German method, as German scientists were first to promote the benefits of aromatic essential oil use. Have you ever inhaled a pure grade essential oil and felt an immediate difference? I have, daily! It is because the molecules travel through our olfactory system and immediately to our Limbic Brain (center of the brain for motivation, emotion, learning and memory). This is one of the reasons that pure therapeutic grade essential oils can be supportive for emotional/mental health.
2. Topically (physical application neat or with carrier oil): Also known as the English method, based on Madame Maurgerite's work that essential oils are absorbed trans-dermally. Historically this has been a popular way to utilize oils via beauty products and massage therapy. When adding essential oils to a carrier oil, the concentration decreases but because they are fat-soluble, absorption increases!
3. Internally (physically ingesting the oil): Also known as the French method, as it was promoted historically by several French aromatherapists for health maintenance. If utilizing oils internally, be sure to check that they are GRAS (generally recognized as safe) by the FDA (the doTERRA website denotes this for each oil safe for internal consumption). Additionally only use pure, therapeutic grade oils in this way, as the industry is not yet regulated, and many oils have potentially toxic synthetic ingredients, and fillers added to them.
Have questions about incorporating essential oils into your holistic health routine? I've been so grateful for their support in my own journey and would be happy to share and serve yours in any way I can! Please email me: firstname.lastname@example.org