Essential Oils: some basics

I have been using essential oils since 1992 and, like most people, learned about them from a Western mindset. While studying Chinese Medicine I began investigating these wonderful substances from an Asian perspective and am incorporating them into my practice of acupuncture. Their abilities are compelling!

Essential Oils – the basics: They are extractions from aromatic plants by distillation or other means using flowers, leaves, rinds, tree /shrub bark and, sometimes the seeds or roots of certain plants. They have amazing healing properties for physical, emotional, spiritual & mental dis-eases. I think of essential oils as the immune system of a plant. The definition of ‘aromatherapy’ is the therapeutic use of essential oils to promote physical & psychological well-being.

An amazing ability of essential oils….apply them on the skin and they are absorbed into our blood! We actually have receptor sites in our bodies for these plant extractions. As they travel around our blood, they get picked up by these receptor sites if needed. If not, they are excreted in our urine. They can trigger certain pharmacological effects such as the example below for relieving nausea, and much more.

Many of the plants which essential oils are extracted from are also used as herbs and teas. An example of this from a Chinese Medicine perspective: You have been feeling nausea and want some relief. Make either a mild organic mint or ginger tea to stop this nausea. If it is your stomach which is giving you the problem, ginger will relieve it. If it is your liver which is the cause, the mint is what you want. You can decide just from smelling both tea bags.