Essential Oils, Part 3

Curious Now?

We previously talked about some history on foundation of Essential Oil use in Part 2.  I am sure you are even more curious about Essential Oils.

Their power to heal and cure disease is so effective that by using essential oils many people are able to avoid the need to use a plethora of drugs or have various types of surgeries.

What we know as modern “aromatherapy” was not introduced formally until French chemist Rene Maurice Gattefosse first coined the phrase in 1937.  Although he wasn’t necessarily a natural health advocate, he became interested in essential oils after a 1910 accident where he badly burned his hand. Gattefosse used the first available salve in his laboratory – a pure, undiluted lavender oil compound that not only immediately eased the pain, but aided in wound healing without infection or scar.

Because of Gattefosse’s work, Dr. Jean Valet used essential oils with injured soldiers in World War II. This led to Marguerite Maury being the first person to “individually recommend” essential oil combinations using a Tibetan technique for back massage applied to nerve endings along the spine.

Today, essential oils are still used by “kings” and “priests” as well as by doctors, nutritionists and other experts along with laypeople all over the world.

Interesting right?!

Why Essential Oils are so powerful

Essential oils are composed of very small molecules that can penetrate your cells, and some compounds in essential oils can even cross the blood-brain barrier. They differ from fatty oils (like those in vegetables or nuts) that come from large molecules as they are more easily absorbed.  For instance, most vegetable oils will stay on your skin and may even clog your pores because they are not small enough to get into your system whereas essential oils will soak right into your skin.

Essential oils placed anywhere on the body are “transdermal,” which means they can actually pass through your skin and into your circulatory system and cells.  These oils are typically used in 4  ways: topically, inhaled by using a diffuser, taken internally and used for personal care.

Many essential oils are so powerful that when used topically or internally, they must be diluted with a carrier oil like olive, coconut or jojoba oil.

Because of the incredible ability of essential oils to travel through the body and air, even diffusing essential oils can have great health benefits. Think about how powerful the scent of these oils are.  An example would be if you had peppermint leaves in your kitchen. Could you smell them from 10 feet away? Probably not.  But if you are diffusing peppermint, cinnamon or oregano essential oils, you can smell them throughout most of your home!

That’s because the volatile compounds in essential oils can pass from the air into your olfactory system. Your olfactory system, which is your sense of smell, is connected directly to your brain and what you smell can go into your cells and your bloodstream within seconds.

Benefits of Essential Oils

Because of the incredible ability of essential oils to travel through the body and air, it is great for times when your children are not feeling well, as you can simply diffuse essential oils of clove and frankincense in the air and support their immune system through olfaction.  Once in your system, these oil compounds have the ability to protect and support your body in various ways. Promoting health by means of your olfactory system is why using essential oils has been referred to as aromatherapy.

It’s important to mention that dried herbs and medicinal tinctures also have health-promoting properties. For instance, ground ginger root, cinnamon and echinacea have many health benefits.  Also, consuming healthy foods such as vegetables and fresh herbs can support overall wellness.  But in terms of compounds that have the strongest concentrated health-promoting properties, none of these are as powerful as essential oils.


† These statements have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration.

This article is not intended to provide medical advice or to take the place of medical advice and treatment from your personal physician. Readers are advised to consult their doctors or qualified health professionals regarding specific health questions. Neither the publisher nor the author takes responsibility for possible health consequences of any person reading or following the information in this book. All readers, especially those taking prescription or over-the-counter medications, should consult their physicians before beginning any nutrition or supplement program.