What are essential oils?
Essential oils have been around for thousands of years, but the Western world seems to have caught on only recently to their countless benefits, from religious and spiritual to cosmetic, dietary, and even emotional. Essential oils are extracted from plants, providing countless micro and macro nutrients that nourish the body, reducing inflammation, lowering stress, balancing hormones and fighting against aging. “The therapeutic effect of plants can be concentrated into medicinal powders, tinctures, and essential oils and, when used appropriately, can help you feel better, sleep better and think more clearly,” says Joseph Clarke, nationally certified Diplomate of Oriental Medicine, acupuncturist and integrative medicine. Though many promotional claims are exaggerated, essential oils are not pseudo-scientific quackery. “Many effective drugs were originally derived from plants: Aspirin comes from willow bark, statin drugs are a synthetic form of red rice yeast, and antibiotics got their start with penicillin, which is a common bread mold.” So it only makes sense that we would use botanicals—in their natural state—to treat and alleviate illnesses of all kinds, mental, emotional, and physical. For example, many people are unaware that essential oils can be used to treat acne.