A natural substance derived from the leaves, flowers, seeds, resins, fruits, rinds, bark and roots. Considered the life force, soul and immune system of the plant. Are 75 to 100 times more concentrated than dried herbs.
All essential oils, to varying degrees, exhibit the following characteristics:
- Antiseptic (prevents or combats infection locally)
- Bactericide (kills bacteria) Ë Bacteriostatic (inhibits growth of bacteria)
- Cytophylactic (promotes cell rejuvenation)
- Lipophilic (ability to absorb deep into skin and internal organs)
- Adaptogens (flexible in response to specific needs)
How many pounds of plant parts does it take to make one pound of essential oil? 50 pounds of Eucalyptus leaves and twigs, 150 pounds of Lavender fresh flowering tops, 500 pounds of Rosemary fresh flowering tops, 2,000 pounds of Rose fresh petals.
COMMON PROPERTIES OF ESSENTIAL OILS
Antiseptic Prevents or combats infection locally
Antibiotic Destroys the growth/reproduction of microorganisms
Antiviral Destroys the growth/reproduction of viruses
Analgesic Reduces or eliminates pain
Bactericide Kills bacteria
Bacteriostatic Inhibits growth of bacteria
Cytophylactic Promotes cell rejuvenation
Digestive Aids the absorption/assimilation of food into the body
Lipophilic Increases ability to absorb deep into skin and internal organs
Adaptogens Flexibility in response to specific needs
Sedative Has a soothing, calming, or tranquilizing effect
PHYSIOLOGICAL AND PSYCHCOLOGICAL PATHWAYS OF ESSENTIAL OILS
- These almond shaped fingernail sized structures are located within the temporal lobes on each side of the brain. Its principal task is to filter and interpret incoming sensory information regarding our emotional or affective behaviors and feelings (e.g. fear, anger)
- A gland that contains neurosecretions which are important in the control of certain metabolic activities, such as water balance, sugar and fat metabolism, regulation of body temperature and secretion of releasing and inhibiting hormones.
- Endocrine gland located at the base of the brain. It stores and/or secretes many hormones of importance to body function, including growth hormone, thyroid stimulating hormone, follicle-stimulation hormone, etc.
- Glands that secrete their contents directly into the blood or interstitial fluid (fluid surrounding cells).
Adrenal Glands - Glands located adjacent to kidneys involved in the secretion of several important hormones including corticosterone, cortisol, aldosterone and epinehrine.
- Steroid hormones produced by the cortex of the adrenal gland. They elevate blood sugar, increase fat and protein breakdown, and exert anti-inflammatory effect on conditions such as arthritis and dermatitis.
Cortisol - corticosteroid hormone
- A hormone secreted by the adrenal cortex; important in the regulation of sodium and potassium levels and, in turn, in retaining water within the body.
Epinephrine (Adrenaline) - A hormone secreted by the adrenal glands; it acts to increase blood sugar levels and blood pressure and to accelerate the heart rate.
- A system of vessels and nodes throughout the body, which carry lymph fluid and help to remove toxins from the body.
Chart Credit: Aromatherapy: Scent and Psyche by Peter & Kate Damian, published by Healing Arts Press, an imprint of Inner Traditions International, Rochester, VT 05767 Copyright © 1995 by Peter Damian and Kate Damian