Essential oils can be described as pure, undiluted, extracts of plants that can be derived from the following:

• Flowers
• Roots
• Twigs
• Bark
• Wood
• Berries
• Fruits
• Peels
• Leaves

These oils are therapeutic or healing in nature and their benefits can be accessed by inhalation and application. Their benefits are many and they include the following:

• They are calming
• They are relaxing
• They are stimulating
• They balance the mood
• They are good for digestion

All spa treatment clinics that offer Aromatherapy will always have the therapeutic-grade oils in use. Since they are strong in their undiluted state, the oils are diluted before use with carrier oils which include jojoba, grapeseed oil and sweet almond.

While it is true that they are called essential oils, they have very little to do with oil, they consist mainly of water. Since they are highly volatile, they tend to evaporate quite easily releasing a strong scent in the process.

There are some of these oils that are quite common and popular and they include the following:

• Peppermint
• Eucalyptus
• Chamomile
• Lavender
• Rose-geranium
• Lemon

For those who do not know, not all essential oils are therapeutic or healing in nature. Some are commonly used as food flavors or used to manufacture cheap toiletries. These low quality oils as they are sometimes referred to as, can also be found in some health food stores.

A good quality therapeutic oil should give enough information on the following

• Botanic species
• The chemotype or chemical composition
• The producing organ / leaves, fruits, flowers etc.

Other than their pleasant scents that will help in relaxation and the lifting of moods, they are endowed with other qualities that are amazing. For instance, essential oils can prevent and fight an infection that is already present. They therefore have antibacterial properties. They are also sometimes considered to be adaptogenic because they respond flexibly to various needs.

They have other benefits to the human body:

• They encourage the growth of cells
• They help in detoxification
• They support various organs of the body
• They promote the health of the skin

These benefits are believed to have first been discovered in ancient Egypt where they used to infuse aromatic plants into oils to obtain perfumed oils. The Greeks and Romans are said to have done this too. In late 17th century to late 19th century, essential oils that were gained through steam distillation and other means were commonly used in medicines.

Essential oils and their benefits were re-discovered yet again sometime in the 1920's by Maurice Gattefosse, a French Doctor who happened to burn his hand and treat it successfully with lavender and that was the beginning of a new and relentless journey for Aromatherapy and Essential oils in particular.