by Dawn Cox

What are essential oils, and why use them? Essential oils are the pure essence distilled from plants that hold the vibration of that plant. The vibration supports the body through inhalation and works directly with the olfactory system. The oil stimulates the sense of smell, signaling the brain to react to each individual oil. This supports the body’s natural healing process.

Essential oils can be quality grade or synthetic. Quality grade oils come directly from the plant and can provide a number of health benefits. Synthetic oils come mostly from petrochemicals, attempt to copy the scent of a plant, and are made for a specific purpose, such as perfume. They don’t carry the vibrational frequencies of naturally derived oils, so the body doesn’t respond the same way it does to quality essential oils.

The best way to distill essential oils is to use a low heat and low steam process to remove the oils from a harvested plant. Use of high heat or chemical solvents will destroy the oil’s health benefits.

Essential oils can be quality grade or synthetic. Quality grade oils come directly from the plant and can provide a number of health benefits. Synthetic oils come mostly from petrochemicals, attempt to copy the scent of a plant, and are made for a specific purpose, such as perfume.

Quality essential oils can be distilled from a single plant and bottled, or they can be combined to form a blend. In a blend, a variety of plants are used and the oils from each are tested to make sure they don’t counteract each other. Single oils support body systems in a more localized way, whereas blends are designed to be used in a variety of applications.

Single oils such as Clove, Copaiba, and Idaho Blue Spruce promote healthy immune function. Others, such as Palo Santo, Clary Sage, Geranium, and Vetiver, support the emotional system.

Blends such as Young Living’s Di-Gize supports not only the digestive system, but also the endocrine, excretory, and immune systems. Young Living’s Panaway supports the cardiovascular, digestive, muscular, nervous, and skeletal systems.

There are three main ways to use essential oils: inhalation, absorption into the skin, and ingestion via the digestive tract. It is important to consult a trained professional or do your own thorough research using credible resources, since not all essential oils are safe to ingest.

Quality essential oils are safe to use with people and animals alike. It is important to always apply the “less is more” rule with animals, because their energy systems are expanded and therefore more sensitive than a human’s. The amount of oil necessary varies between animal size and species. A “pocket pet” such as a mouse might only need one drop of essential oil diluted with four drops of a carrier oil such as coconut, while three full strength drops of oil would be appropriate for a horse.

As quality essential oils become more widely available and affordable, more and more people are turning to safe, natural, and effective essential oils to support their (and their animal companions’) return to wellness.