Photograph by Cristina Howell
Essential oils have very small molecular sizes; therefore their chemical constituents are able to absorb through the skin and/or enter the lungs where they are taken into the bloodstream and can have both local and systemic effects in the body. They have an innate "intelligence" and adaptability, and are therefore able to communicate with the body and adjust their effects to an extent, according to the body's needs. There is also evidence that they kill pathogens without significantly disturbing friendly flora. Through various mechanisms, essential oils can have therapeutic effects that are physical, mental, emotional, and even spiritual.
Essential oils are volatile, aromatic, fat soluble liquids in plants - the “life blood” or essence of the plant which expresses qualities that define the plant's "personality". They have been used by humans for medicinal and cosmetic purposes for thousands of years. Essential oils are very concentrated and powerful substances. It takes 5-8 pounds of plant material to make one 15ml bottle of undiluted lavender essential oil.