Essential oils are wonderful healing agents that can help maintain and even enhance your health. Considered to be the life-force and soul of plants, they are the volatile part of the plant responsible for their characteristic aroma. While they are called oils they are light and non greasy. Essential oils can be rubbed into the skin easily and evaporate readily. Essential oils are often used holistically as they can help heal both physical and spiritual ailments. They can relieve stress, clear your thoughts, fight fatigue, lift your spirits and alleviate seasonal and muscular joint pains with their soothing properties.
The plant oils are one of the products of photosynthesis where sunlight, water and air combine to create a chemical reaction that produces food sources and glucose. The glucose is broken down to create more chemical reactions and the compounds that make up the essential oils. The oils can be used by the plant to attract pollinators, deter predators, and heal wounds in their own bark and trunks. Some oils can trigger immune responses to help the plant survive stressful environmental conditions such as lack of adequate watering or climate changes.
Each oil has its own unique chemical constituents which can be used for different therapeutic purposes. There are different types of compounds including oxides, coumarone, ketones, phenols, alcohols, esters, monoterpenes, and sesquiterpenes. All of the compounds are unique, depending on the plant from which the oil is derived. When you hear the term essential oil it usually described the oils captured and extracted from the plant via water or steam distillation.
Essential oils are extracted from the seeds, roots, leaves, bark, branch, flowers, whole plant or part of the plant. For example, the oils that are products from citrus fruits are extracted by cold pressing the rinds and are called essences. The oils formed from solvent extraction for example jasmine, rose or vanilla are called absolutes. The essences can be also captured in the purest from of extraction using carbon dioxide.
Many wiccans believe that essential oils have more than just theraputic effects on physical and emotional well being. They believe that when used with intention or incantation, that the oils can be vibrationally raised to support the higher frequencies of magic. The more prayer, ritual, and ceremony you employ when adding the essential oils, the more powerful the magic and their properties can become.
There are various kinds of essential oils found in the market place and they are not free from dangers. Certain oils can cause irritation and allergy, and oils often need to be blended with another oil such as pure coconut oil before being applied to the skin. Likewise, certain oils can contain carcinogens when burned and they can evaporate into gas if their containers are left open. Oral intake is usually not recommended either. Organically produced and naturally prepared oils are less likely to contain chemicals such as pesticide residues. Oils are usually blended in with lotions or creams and not swallowed. And oil is said to be essential because it has the distinctive smell of the plant from which it has been extracted. Essential oils are very often core ingredients in wiccan spells. Unfortunately even spell casting can get costly due to the ingredients needed, essential oils being very common on the ingredient list!