What is an Essential Oil?

If you have ever enjoyed the scent of a rose, you’ve experienced the aromatic qualities of
essential oils. These naturally occurring, volatile aromatic compounds are found in the seeds,
bark, stems, roots, flowers, and other parts of plants. They can be both beautifully and
powerfully fragrant. Essential oils give plants their distinctive smells, essential oils protect
plants and play a role in plant pollination. In addition to their intrinsic benefits to plants and
their beautiful fragrance, essential oils have long been used for food preparation, beauty
treatment, and health-care practices.

But what exactly is a volatile aromatic compound? In short, these compounds are small
organic molecules that tend to change quickly from their solid or liquid state to a gas at room
temperature. They are called volatile because they change state quickly. When you first open
a bottle of essential oil, you instantly notice that the aroma is potent and you can smell it
typically even from some distance. The physical and chemical properties of the volatile
aromatic compounds that compose essential oils allow them to quickly move through the air
and directly interact with the olfactory sensors in the nose. Such unique properties make
essential oils ideal for applications inclusion in aromatherapy – using these compounds from
plants to help maintain a healthy mind and body – as well as other applications. The type of
volatile aromatic compounds present in an essential oil determines both the oil’s aroma and
the benefits it offers.

Over 3,000 varieties of volatile aromatic compounds have been identified to date. The nature
of an essential oil varies from plant to plant, within botanical families, and from species to
species. The delicate ratio of aromatic constituents found in any given essential oil are what
make it unique and give it specific benefits.

Even with pure essential oils the composition of the oil can vary depending on the time of
day, season, geographic location, method and duration of distillation, year grown, and the
weather, making every step of the production process a critical determinant of the overall
quality of the essential oil product.

Essential oils can be used for a wide range of emotional and physical wellness applications.
They can be used as single essential oils or in complex essential oil blends depending on user
experience and desired benefit. Want to learn how to use essential oils? Visit our essential oils
usage page to learn how to safely use doTERRA essential oils.
Experience the difference...........