What are essential oils?
They are the aromatic properties of a plant. When you smell a rose, you are actually experiencing the essential oil of a rose. Essential oils come from plants. They are steam distilled from the roots, stems, leaves, needles, flowers or cold pressed from the rind of a citrus fruit. The essential oil is a fatty sack that sits on the plant and it is what the plant uses to ward of predators or illness. This is basically the immune system of the plant. So in essence, we are using the immune system of a plant to support our immune systems.
Why do they work so well?
Essential oils are carbon based, as are humans. When you use an essential oil on or in your body, your body recognizes it and instinctively knows where to utilize the oil in order to support your body. This means there are no side effects when you are using essential oils, just side benefits. For example, if you are using a drop of Frankincense under your tongue for the anti-inflammatory properties, you will also get the emotionally calming and balancing benefits of this oil (pretty amazing right?!)
How much? How often?
As a Western culture we always want to know a dosage amount. That is actually one of the best parts of using oils. Less is more, so one to two drops every 15-20 minutes, until you feel like you have gotten the therapeutic benefits is ideal.