What is an Essential Oil?
Essential oils are natural aromatic compounds found in the seeds, bark, stems, roots, flowers, and other parts of plants. They can be both beautifully and powerfully fragrant. If you have ever enjoyed the gift of a rose, a walk by a field of lavender, or the smell of fresh cut mint, you have experienced the aromatic qualities of essential oils. In addition to giving plants their distinctive smells, essential oils provide plants with protection against predators and disease and play a role in plant pollination.
Essential oils are non water-based phytochemicals made up of volatile aromatic compounds. Although they are fat soluble, they do not include fatty lipids or acids found in vegetable and animal oils. Essential oils are very clean, almost crisp, to the touch and are immediately absorbed by the skin. Pure, unadulterated essential oils are translucent and range in color from crystal clear to deep blue.
In addition to their intrinsic benefits to plants and being beautifully fragrant to people, essential oils have been used throughout history in many cultures for their medicinal and therapeutic benefits. Modern scientific study and trends toward more holistic approaches to wellness are driving a revival and new discovery of essential oil health applications.
Essential oils are used for a very wide range of emotional and physical wellness applications. They can be used a single oil at a time or in complex blends depending on user experience and desired benefit. Essential oils are usually administered by one of three methods: diffused aromatically, applied topically, or taken internally as dietary supplements.
Our sense of smell influences many physiological pathways including the stimulation of hormones and other metabolic processes. Aromatherapy is founded on the body’s predictable response to specific olfactory stimuli. Essential oils are widely used in aromatherapy applications. Certain essential oils, when diffused in the air, can be very stimulating, while others can be calming and soothing. Beyond emotional benefits, diffusing essential oils can purify air of unwanted odors and some airborne pathogens. Low or no-heat essential oil diffusers are recommended as they do not change the chemical structure of the oil being diffused. Essential oils can also be used as cleansing and purifying additives to laundry and surface cleaners throughout the home.
Due to their natural molecular composition, essential oils are easily absorbed by the skin and can be safely applied topically. Application of essential oils can have immediate, localized benefit to the target area of application. They have restorative and calming properties and can be used effectively with massage and beauty therapy. They are also natural disinfectants. The chemical structure of essential oils also allows them to be absorbed into the bloodstream via the skin for internal benefit throughout the body.
Essential oils can also be used as dietary supplements supporting a variety of healthy conditions. Some essential oils have powerful antioxidant properties while others help support healthy inflammatory response in cells. Many essential oils are generally regarded as being safe for dietary use, but some oils should not be taken internally. Do not use any essential oil product internally that does not have the appropriate dietary supplement facts on its label.
Are all Essential Oils the same? (click to watch a 3 min video)
No. Do your research on the sourcing and that your oils have been third party tested for purity. I recommend that they are Certified Pure Therapeutic Grade. DoTERRA Essential Oils are the only oils that I use and can recommend with confidence based upon purity and effectiveness.
There are a growing number of products claiming either to be or to contain essential oils. They range in price and quality and are found in skin care, cosmetics, aromatherapy, and other products. However, many of these products do not use pure essential oils and often use fragrant synthetic chemical substitutes to dilute or replace more expensive essential oil extracts. Furthermore, there are no current regulatory standards for the descriptive use of the “therapeutic grade” for products labeled as essential oils.
The CPTG Certified Pure Therapeutic Grade® mark* represents the internal standards used by dōTERRA for sourcing and testing pure aromatic botanical extracts using independent testing laboratories. The dōTERRA brand and registered CPTG mark represent the dōTERRA guarantee of pure essential oil extracts that meet high standards for both purity and material composition and accurate product labeling.
dōTERRA therapeutic-grade essential oils are pure, natural aromatic compounds carefully extracted from plants. They do not contain fillers or artificial ingredients that would dilute their active qualities. Proper extraction and quality control methods also ensure that dōTERRA essential oils are free of any contaminants, such as pesticides or other chemical residues. In addition to being pure and natural, CPTG Certified Pure Therapeutic Grade essential oils are subjected to additional quality testing that ensures the correct composition of the active natural compounds found in each oil. Even though an essential oil may be pure, if the right species or part of a plant has not been used, or if the plant has not been grown in the right environment, harvested at the right time, or not distilled under the right conditions, the natural chemical makeup of the extraction will not provide as predictable and powerful a benefit. In some cases, the wrong plant part harvested at the wrong time may result in an extract that contains harmful levels of some constituents.
CPTG Certified Pure Therapeutic Grade ® essential oils are guaranteed to be pure, natural, and free of synthetic compounds or contaminates. dōTERRA essential oils are subjected to rigorous mass spectrometry and gas chromatography testing to ensure extract composition and activity. dōTERRA essential oils represent the safest and most beneficial essential oils available today.