Oils 101 – What are Essential Oils

Welcome to Oils 101! This will be another regularly occurring series on this blog where we will discuss how Essential Oils can add to your health and wellness! A question I get asked often is “What are essential oils?” More than ever before people are hearing the term essential oil. Essential oils are even available at your local stores. In this post I will be outlining what essential oils are and the grades of essentials oils.

Essential Oils 101
Essential Oils 101

Essential oils(EO) are tiny molecules that are found in plants and those molecules are extremely small and light. I would encourage you to look up essential oils and the blood brain barrier. You can check out this article by David Stewart, Ph.D.,R.A. by clicking here. With essential oils being extremely lightweight, they are categorized as volatile. This doesn’t mean they are going to explode. It means that because they are so lightweight they literally jump into the air. That is why when you open a bottle of EO you can smell it from across the room; the molecules are literally jumping into the air and you are breathing them in!

Essential oils move throughout a plants circulatory system and many people call essential oils the life blood of a plant. They are similar to how our blood, and the things it in, help to keep us healthy. Essential oils can have many different purposes within a single plant and essential oils differ from plant to plant. Some of the main purposes of essential oils are:

  • to attract pollinators
  • Allelopathy- preventing plant competitors from growing in the area
  • to defend themselves against insects and other animals
  • to protect themselves from microbes, bacteria, and fungi

How essential oils are collected from plant materials and the part of the plant collected from varies from plant to plant. The 2 main ways EOs are extracted from plants are:

  • Steam Distilling: The most prevalent way EOs are extracted from plant material. EOs are extracted through highly controlled steam and pressure. The process Young Living uses is an exact science that varries based on the plant to ensure the most therapeutic grade EO is extracted.
  • Cold Pressing: Used for many of the citrus EOs by cold pressing the rind of the fruit in order to extract the essential oils. Cold pressing is essentially squeezing the EOs out of the rind. Citrus EO are not extracted from the pulp or juice.

There are 4 grades of EOs today:

  1. Therapeutic Grade Essential Oils (pure, plant produced essential oils containing all desired therapeutic compounds)
  2. Natural Organic and Certified Essential Oils (may not contain any or just a few therapeutic compounds)
  3. Extended or Altered Essential Oils (fragrance grade)
  4. Nature Identical or Synthetic Essential Oils (created in a labaratory)

Chemists can synthetically copycat the constituents of a pure essential oils in a lab. These oils may even be labeled as 100% pure therapeutic essential oils. BUT there are no laws regulating the definitions behind those terms. “CPTG®: Certified Pure Therapeutic Grade” is actually a copyrighted trademark that is owned by a company and not an actual certification given by an outside quality review board. It is a marketing term owned by one company with the goal of making money. Another one is “Certified Pure PharmaGrade – CPPG™”. Let that sink in. There is no certification given by an outside quality review board for an essential oil company to put on their label 100% pure therapeutic grade. And no other oil company could use their exact trademark or copyright. That is why I listed two different ones here. One can’t use the other’s. That makes trusting companies much more difficult to do. 

Essential oil health and wellness

Organic labels have some merit to them but not as much as you’d think. Young Living doesn’t put the Organic label on their products because it actually would be a down grade for them. The only way you can know for sure you are getting the best grade of oils is to see it with your own eyes. Seeing the seed the company puts in the ground to seeing the seal they place on the bottle. You can go to Young Living farms and experience the entire process. They aren’t diluting EOs to make extra dough. You can go see it with your own eyeballs. If you don’t believe me go see another company’s farm….oh wait, you can’t!

I also know they hold their standards extremely high and never cut corners because products go out of stock. If a company was operating solely to make money they would never, ever let a product go out of stock. Young Living has ethics, okay peeps. They would rather have a product go out of stock in order to ensure that their crops are sustainable and their therapeutic qualities are never compromised. That is the kind of company I trust and I find that no matter what industry most companies are not as transparent as Young Living is.

It is important you trust the company you use to uphold standards within their company, since no third party is currently doing it for them. If you are buying Essential Oils from your local health food store and your goal is to use them to increase your health, you won’t see good results. Synthetic and altered essential oils can be harmful to your body and health instead of beneficial. They aren’t any different than the chemical filled products you are trying to replace them with.

The main reason I use Young Living oils is because of the action they perform. They work. It is truly amazing. I use YL Essential Oils every single day to increase my health and wellness. I hope this summary helped you understand the basics of essential oils and why it is important to use a brand you trust! I’m not claiming to be all knowing either so research for yourself. And keep tuning back into this blog for more Essential Oil posts! You can subscribe so you don’t ever miss a post wink wink.




Before starting your journey with Essential Oils please do more research and have someone experienced with EOs help you out. If you do not have anyone you know with EO experience, you can message me through the Contact Me page. If you are ready to get started using Essential Oils click here.

Much of the information within my essential oil posts I have learned in my course study with The School for Aromatic Studies and from personal usage.

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