First of all, Essential Oils don’t act like “oils” as the name would indicate. Let’s first discuss the other more common oils a bit. That family of oils is called “fixed oils”. They are non-volatile, meaning they don’t evaporate into the air. They can be of animal or plant origin and mostly used in the kitchen for cooking such as olive oil, coconut oil and sunflower oil. If one puts any of these oils on the skin, it will look “greasy” or “oily” and slowly be absorbed into the skin. These oils are used to enhance Essential Oils and are also known as “Carrier oils”.
Essential Oils on the other hand, are volatile oils, meaning they evaporate quickly and pass easily into the body through the skin and its membranes. Their “volatility” is what makes the oils aromatic, therefore used in aromatherapy – their molecules are released as vapor into the air and this is what carries the essential oil’s scent. Hence, the powerful function of these oils! When these oils are applied to the skin, they move into the skin immediately and are NOT oily at all! When inhaled, they are extremely potent and pass through the mucous membranes to the brain, usually within seconds. One can begin to understand why and how they are so effective.
Essential Oils are obtained from plants such as flowers, leaves, roots, bark and peels. They are extracted from the plant typically using steam distillation. We will discuss distraction methods at another time. It is key that the oils not be extracted using chemicals, otherwise this will greatly affect the quality of the essential oils.
Their properties are known to induce actions of their natural tendency, being that which is “essential” or “necessary”. Their name, which comes from the word “quintessential”, means the embodiment or possession of the essence of something. These amazing liquids are drawn from the very essence of the plant that gives life, protection, healing, immunity a sense of connection with our emotions and spirit! Now we begin to get a picture of what these tiny, but powerful molecules do!
At Ignite Yoga, we believe that yoga is for everyone–For people of all ages and all walks of life.