Imagine taking the refreshing scent of a whole peppermint plant and putting it into a tiny bottle, or capturing the heart-warming fragrance of rose petals in a single drop. This is the power of pure essential oils, but what makes these plant potions so magical?
What Are Essential Oils?
Essential oils are produced from all sorts of aromatic plants for a variety of reasons. These oils can be found all over the herb, from roots to flowers and fruit peels, from leaves and twigs to grasses. They may provide plants with protection from predators (animals or insects interested in snacking on the plant) or attract those helpful critters and crawlers who pollinate and propagate. We've learned how to extract these oils, allowing us to use them in natural fragrance, skin and body care, natural DIY home upkeep, and aroma-support recipes.
How Are Essential Oils Made?
Essential oils are extracted through the art of distillation. A large amount of clean, high-quality (typically fresh) plant material is placed in a still and carefully heated to separate out the volatile oils from the plant's other components (including the water-based portion, known as a hydrosol), creating distilled aromatic concentrates.
Once extracted, essential oils are highly concentrated aromatic ingredients. Because it takes so much plant material to produce a small amount of oil, a little can go a long way. In fact, one drop of organic rose essential oil contains 60 whole flowers! Such potency means that, for many uses, diluting your essential oils is a good practice. For example, when blending oils for aromatherapy purposes, placing just a few potent drops into the essential oil diffuser of your choice creates an immersive fragrance experience that can last for hours.
Essential oils are truly plant magic in a bottle, so be mindful with use, and always remember just how precious these plant potions really are!
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