Saturday, January 31, 2009

EO Facts # 1: What are Essential Oils?

Q : What are Essential Oils?
Essential oils are aromatic volatile (quickly evaporating) liquids that are the end result of plant metabolism, the biological activity of plants. They are synthesized by the plant's chemistry and circulate through the stems, leaves, flowers, and roots. Though called "oils', EOs are not greasy and do not clog pores like many vegetable oils can.
Essential oils give the plant its aroma and flavor. They are "essential" for a plant's survival and a key component of its immune system. Different varieties of plants use EOs to repel unwanted insects, heal the plant when it has been injured, prevent water loss in arid climates, attract bees and other insects that aid in pollination.
Essential oils are stored by plants in oil and resin ducts, hollow spaces and cells. They are found in the leaves and stems of plants, flowers, rinds of fruits, herbs, grasses, and the twigs, bark, needles and resins of trees.
Essential oils are highly concentrated and far more potent than dried herbs. The distillation process is what makes essential oils so concentrated. It often requires an entire plant or more to produce a single drop of distilled essential oil.
Did You Know?
100+ Pounds of eucalyptus leaves = One Pound of Eucalyptus EO
2,000 Pounds of rose petals= One Liter of Rose EO
One drop of peppermint EO = the equivalent of approximately 30 cups of peppermint tea!

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