Essential oils are plant extracts that contain chemicals and compounds known as volatile oils. The names 'essential oil' and 'volatile oil' mean the same thing. Still, some authors choose to call them "essential" because they were once assumed to be responsible for giving plants their distinctive odours and were seen as vital in the plant's reproduction. That theory has, however, been debunked because it is now known that essential oils are produced by all plants (not just where you would expect them to be). The word 'volatile' comes from the Latin word meaning to evaporate or to vaporise. You can smell volatile oils when someone opens a bottle of lavender oil, but once the bottle is closed and the air inside has cooled down, you can't smell it anymore. It has evaporated.
Essential oils are not really 'oils'. They don't contain fatty acids and cannot be used as cooking oils or to make soap. The terms 'essential oil', 'volatile oil' and 'plant extract' are often used interchangeably.
The term essential oil was first used by a French chemist named Rene Maurice Gattefosse in the early 1900's to refer to the aromatic essences in skincare products, lotions, treatments, remedies, and soaps.
Essential oils have therapeutic properties that can be used to help treat a wide variety of ailments. They have been used in many cultures for thousands of years for their healing abilities abilities , and today essential oils are used in aromatherapy , to help reduce stress, promote healing and improve mood.
When applied in small amounts, essential oils enter the bloodstream directly through your skin and organs (like when you massage yourself with them).
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