Essential oils are fragrant volatile liquids extracted by distillation or expression from a single botanical source. They come from various plant parts and vary in colour. They are volatile, which means they evaporate and they are not water soluble. They are what give the plant its characteristic odour and contain the healing power of the plant from which it was extracted. When used correctly, essential oils bring a wide range of health benefits.
A typical essential oil will contain more than 100 different chemical compounds, each of which exhibits a specific therapeutic property, and it is for this reason that many essential oils can be used for such a wide range of conditions. Virtually all essential oils possess antiseptic properties, but many also have antifungal, antiviral and antibacterial properties. They penetrate the skin quickly and react on and within the body. Essential oils have a direct and immediate effect on the mind and emotions via the sense of smell. They are highly concentrated, 70 times more so than the plant from which they come.
My father took down some bottles from over the fireplace and mixed several liquids in a bowl. He then made a compress by folding a small piece of flannel, soaked it in the liquid and placed it on the man’s side. Within half an hour the pains had gone and his face was no longer screwed up out of all recognition as it had been. Gripping the table in my excitement I couldn’t take my eyes off him. It was a miracle!! “Papa, did you do that?!” “Mon cheri, he who causes the plants to grow is the one who did it.”
Of Men and Plants