What Are Essential Oils?

Essential oils

Essential oils are a concentrated liquid that contains the natural chemicals that give plants their scent and flavor. They can be used for many purposes, including adding a delightful aroma to your home and treating various health conditions.

However, you must be sure to follow the safety instructions and do a skin patch test before using these oils. Some are very strong, and can cause a skin reaction.


Aromatherapy uses essential oils to positively influence a person’s health and well-being. Oils can be inhaled through the olfactory nerves, applied topically to the skin or ingested by mouth (in diluted form, of course). It’s always best to talk to your doctor before trying aromatherapy, as it may interfere with certain medical treatments you’re receiving.

An essential oil’s therapeutic properties depend on the type of plant and its chemical makeup, as well as how it’s harvested and stored. A quality essential oil company will be upfront about their products, with web pages and booklets detailing ingredients, processing and usage instructions.

Topical applications and inhalation are generally considered safe, but be cautious when using some oils on the skin—some can irritate it or cause a mild allergic reaction. Swallowing essential oils can be toxic and has been linked to one fatal case, so be careful when using them. A certified aromatherapist can recommend an appropriate oil for your unique needs.

Topical application

Whether it’s to clean the house, freshen the air or soothe sore muscles, essential oils can be beneficial. They are distilled from plant parts like flowers, leaves, stems, bark and roots, which contain naturally occurring chemical compounds that give the oil its unique scent and properties.

When applied topically, pure essential oils work to cleanse and nourish the skin. They can help reduce the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles, support healthy skin tone and texture and balance the body’s natural chemistry.

The best way to enjoy the benefits of topical application is by using an oil that has been properly diluted before applying it to the skin. Most essential oils, particularly those with a citrus fragrance, can cause photosensitivity and should be diluted or avoided before exposure to the sun. The most trustworthy essential oil companies will provide labels on their products that indicate which oils should be diluted or used with caution. They will also offer web pages, booklets and other resources on their websites.


Using essential oils in cooking is a new trend that’s gaining popularity among health-conscious food lovers. These highly concentrated plant extracts can add powerful flavor to a wide variety of foods and beverages. They also offer a number of internal health benefits.

These oils are produced by steaming or pressing various parts of the plant to capture their volatile compounds, including fragrance. They can be used in a range of ways, including inhalation, topical application, and in cooking. However, it is important to note that not all essential oils are safe to ingest. They must be diluted well before use. Also, people with certain medical conditions should avoid certain oils, such as peppermint, eucalyptus, and pine, which can raise blood pressure.

Generally, the best way to cook with essential oils is by substituting them for fresh herbs or spices. They also have a much longer shelf life than dried herbs and spices. Additionally, they can be used to replace citrus zest or peel in recipes.