Essential oils are natural aromatic compounds found in the seeds, bark, stems, roots, flowers, and other parts of plants. The equivalent to blood in the human body. The plants immune defence mechanism. They can be both beautifully and powerfully fragrant. If you have ever enjoyed the gift of a rose, a walk by a field of lavender, or the smell of fresh-cut mint, you have experienced the aromatic qualities of essential oils. In addition to giving plants their distinctive smells, essential oils provide plants with protection against predators and disease and play a role in plant pollination.
Essential oils are very clean to the touch and are immediately absorbed by the skin. Pure essential oils are translucent and range in colour from crystal clear to deep blue.
Antibiotics and some other medications cannot penetrate the cell membrane. Essential oils will penetrate and kill viruses and bacteria.
How are dōTERRA essential oils extracted?
Therapeutic-grade essential oils are most often extracted via a low-heat steam distillation process in which steam is circulated under pressure through plant material liberating the essential oils into the steam. As the steam mixture cools, the water and oils naturally separate and the oil is collected in its pure form. To ensure the highest quality oil extract of correct chemical composition, temperature and pressure must be monitored very closely. Too little heat and pressure will not release valuable oil while too much can change an extract’s composition and potency. As important as the carefully controlled extraction process is, the careful selection of the correct plant and plant parts harvested at the right time is also required for a successful extraction. This complex process is as much art form as it is science and requires experienced growers and distillers working together to ensure a quality product.
It takes as much as 12,000 rose blossoms to distill 5 ml of therapeutic grade essential rose oil.
Steam distillation is by far the most common method of extraction, but some oils such as citrus oils are extracted through a process of compression in which the oil is squeezed from the plant. A very few essential oils are extracted using solvents that bind with the oils and are later removed from the final product.