Pure, undiluted extract of a plant is what makes up Essential oil. It can be derived from leaves, twigs, berries, bark, wood, root, flowers, and even the peel of citrus fruits. Therapeutic-grade essential oils have a number of beneficial properties and can also affect the body by inhaling and by penetration through the skin. These oils can be calming, relaxing, stimulating, mood balancing, and even good for digestion.
An aromatherapy spa treatment uses therapeutic-grade essential oils. A few drops of the oils are added to other oils such as sweet almond, jojoba, or grapeseed. Although it is called an oil, the consistency of the essential oil is not fatty, but more of a water base. They are highly volatile and easily evaporate into the air releasing a strong, pleasant scent. Some of the more popular scents include lavender, chamomile, peppermint, eucalyptus, rose-geranium, and lemon.
However, not all essential oils are therapeutic. Lower grade oils are used to flavour food or used in cheap toiletries. A therapeutic grade essential oil should list botanical species in the ingredients. Also it should include the chemotype, which is the chemical composition, the place and time of year in which it was harvested.
Essential oils have a wonderful scent to relax you or life your mood, but essential oils also have other qualities. They can prevent or combat infection and kill bacteria, because they are considered to be adaptogenic, which means they respond to specific needs. They also support a healthy organ system and promote healthy skin. These oils can nourish tissues, stimulate cell growth, and help the body detoxify. The first to discover the therapeutic use of plants were the ancient Egyptians. They infused aromatic plants into oils to created perfumed oils, the Greeks and Romans followed this tradition as well. They were widely used in medicine from the 17th through the 19th century, but eventually fell out of favour and just used in perfumes. Essential oils were rediscovered for medicinal uses in the 1920s by a French chemist, Dr. Maurice Gattefosse. He burned his hand and successfully treated it with essential oil of lavender. He is also the one who coined the term “aromatherapy.”