Essential oils are the volatil components of aromatic plants. You can find them in flowers (lavender, neroli), leaves (eucalyptus...), eucalyptus), bark (cinnamon, sassafras, sweet wood, sea pine), seed (carot, anise, dill, fennel, caraway) and roots (angelica, valerian) among a whole range of plants.
Essential oils have some functions in the plants, for instance the defense systems. Some people compare them with plant hormones, or with the Chi, the life force of the plants. In France, the country where modern aromatherapy was born, where up to today a big scientific knowledge is present a difference is made about two products: The "essence" which means the essential oil in its natural state in the plant and the "essential oil", the product obtained after a human intervention with different ways of extracting.
There is a big difference between these two products!
The essential oil is most of the time not completely formed in the plant, the final essential oil is only obtaining its totality of components during the extraction process.
For instance chamazulene in the matricaria chamomilla is only formed during steam distillation. This product is responsible for its intense blue color and is also determining its value.
A good distiller will search the method which will permit him to obtain essential oils as near as possible to the "essence".
Aromatherapy, essential oil components
Essential oils can't replace a healthy way of living, rest and hygiene. Prevention is better than healing!