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How Do Essential Oils Work?

How Do Essential Oils Work?

“Think of the last time you received a bouquet of flowers, or brushed past a patch of mint in a field, or simply stood in the deep part of a forest and smelled, just smelled, the earth, the spruce, the moss. Chances are you experienced a moment where you lost track of your responsibilities, your desires, your plans and just existed in the fragrance. If even for a second, you tapped into a very primeval state of being: it is childlike, flowing, and free. In such a state, it is difficult to be judgemental, anxious, sad, or angry - and this may be why we so often give gifts of scented flowers when we want to nurture an atmosphere of love, understanding, and joy.” - Guido Mase.

Essential oils are the chemical components of plants that gives them their characteristic fragrance, and often, their flavour. They are volatile oils contained in oil sacs of the plant that can be distilled, or in the case of citrus peel, pressed from the fruit's skin. These volatile oils may attract pollinators, or in some cases, deter bugs from eating them. They are part of the immune system of the plant, so they are almost always antimicrobial. They are tiny molecules, so minute, they are able to penetrate the skin when diluted in carrier oils and applied topically. They are very concentrated and quite powerful so they are used in small diluted amounts.

The aromatic compounds in essential oils are carminative, easing digestion, bloating, gas, and cramping. That is why thyme, oregano, and basil not only taste and smell good, but also abet our digestion and should be included in all our cooking. Most of the nervines are aromatic, meaning they soothe, calm, and relieve nervous tension. They ease muscle tension also by acting on the neuromuscular connection. Because they work through the sensory system, smell, they can quickly alter mood, as they evoke memories or just allow us to come into the moment and forget our worries and stresses.

Essential oils can help heal the body and the mind, and can invoke positive feelings. While they should be used with caution, they can help improve your wellbeing and overall health. Check out our product pages for inspiration and traditional uses of the oils we sell.

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