Essential Oils are derived from natural plant sources. They are widely popular for their health-supporting compounds that may benefit the mind, body and spirit.** Essential Oils are also renowned for:
What are Essential Oils?
Essential oils are plant extracts that have wellness benefits. Often obtained from flowers, leaves and/or roots, essential oils can also have seeds and stems as components. Using essential oils for health purposes is known as aromatherapy. While some essential oils are appreciated for their physical effects, many are also valued in aromatherapy for their emotional and spiritual benefits.**
Utilized in wellness traditions for thousands of years—from ancient China to Persia during the Middle Ages and beyond—essential oils became increasingly prominent as production methods in aromatherapy grew more advanced. During the early 20th century, the French refined the distillation process, which involves subjecting plants to heat and pressure, and this is how many essential oils are still produced today. Certain aromatherapy oils, however, such as sweet orange and lime, are cold-pressed. Regardless of production method, essential oils are believed to capture the “soul” of the plant in its purest form.**
Much of aromatherapy’s effectiveness comes from the importance of scent, with smell being one of the body’s key senses. The fragrances of essential oils affect the limbic system, the part of the brain that processes emotions. Linked to memory and learning, the limbic system takes its cues from the aromatherapy nuances of essential oils, and these shifts can affect the mind, along with the spirit and body. The limbic system is considered the oldest region of the brain.**
The effects of aromatherapy and its essential oils have undergone more research during recent decades, with scientists uncovering numerous health-benefiting results. Studies have shown that many essential oils encourage calmness and/or reinvigoration, among other desirable aromatherapy responses. Investigations have also indicated that various essential oils have antimicrobial attributes that support skin wellness and overall health.**
Essential oils have been incorporated into mainstream culture in various foods, beverages, and conventional beauty and health products, though they remain most closely associated with natural wellness and aromatherapy.**
Most Popular Essential Oils
Tea tree oil: Sourced from the leaves of an Australian tree, this cleansing aromatherapy oil has an arboreal and bracing fragrance that is both revitalizing and soothing. Research has shown that it has potent anti-inflammatory and antimicrobial properties, and is particularly effective in encouraging skin health.**
Eucalyptus Oil: Another leaf-derived Australian botanical, eucalyptus yields a cool, clear scent that is reassuring and invigorating. The aromatherapy oil has been called upon for its respiratory benefits, though studies have indicated that it has antimicrobial and anti-inflammatory qualities that may support immune function and skin wellness.**
Lavender Oil: One of the most widely used essential oils in aromatherapy, lavender is extracted from its namesake bloom, which has a pleasant floral fragrance that encourages calmness and clarity. Science has found that the oil has a calming effect and may promote ideal sleep.**
Cedar Oil: Also called cedarwood, this oil is drawn from the wood of the ancient cedar tree. The time-honored aromatherapy oil is stimulating and grounding, with a scent both woody and warm. One study noted that cedar assists in upholding healthy circulation and respiration.**
Patchouli Oil: Bearing a fragrance associated with exotic locales and counterculture, patchouli oil comes from a perennial Asian plant and carries a potent sweet and earthy aroma. Known as a soothing and balancing aromatherapy oil, patchouli has been studied for its anti-inflammatory properties.**
Cinnamon Oil: World-renowned, cinnamon has been used for millennia in cuisines and health practices, as well as aromatherapy, thanks to its warm and sweet scent and flavor. Sourced from the Asian tree's bark or leaf, cinnamon oil is both energizing and comforting, with wellness applications that include antioxidant and antimicrobial activity.**
Organic Essential Oils
PipingRock now carries organic essential oils. Niaouli Pure Essential Oil (Melaleuca quinquenervia) is certified organic and utilizes special GC/MS testing for quality. Enjoy in a diffuser or in a bath with one of our natural carrier oils.