What Are Essential Oils

Access the Power of Nature with Mother E Essential Oils

To understand the healing power of essential oils, all we have to do is turn to Mother Nature. Take a moment and think about the:

  • Strong towering trees that provide shade and air for us to breathe,
  • Intricate root system of plants that feed the healthful fruits and vegetables we eat,
  • Powerful fragrances that attract pollinators, so radiant flowers can continue to flourish.

It takes an infinite amount of energy to maintain this abundant earth that sustains us, but it all begins with the essential nature of plants. Every aspect of a plant’s existence—from fragrance and color to leaf pattern and fruit—helps it to survive, heal and reproduce.

It is this same energy—or “quintessence” as Aristotle called it—that provides the healing, beneficial properties of essential oils in our everyday lives.

What Are Essential Oils?

Essential oils are natural aromatic compounds and volatile liquids extracted from the seeds, roots, bark, stems, leaves, flowers, resins, and other parts of plants. Essential oils are extracted from plants most commonly by steam distillation. They can also be expressed mechanically or cold-pressed; for example, citrus oils are extracted or cold-pressed from citrus peels.

With inherent antiseptic, anti-inflammatory, antibacterial, anti-depressant, analgesic, deodorizing, stimulating, diuretic and antifungal properties, essential oils have been known and used throughout time to promote homeostasis in the human body. The Egyptians, Romans, Mayans, Greeks and all other ancient cultures used essential oils for health and healing.

“The way to health is to have an aromatic bath and scented massage every day.”
-Hippocrates, the father of medicine

Essential oils are chemically quite complex, with the average number of chemical components in each essential oil being about 100. One of the common fallacies about essential oils, is that they should have an oily texture to them. This is false; pure essential oils, while oil soluble, in general, do not feel oily. This becomes an important point when evaluating the purity of essential oils (more on that in a minute!).

Essential oils are also highly concentrated; it takes a great deal of work to produce a tiny amount of essential oil. For example, to produce one ounce of rose oil, you need approximately 60,000 rose blossoms. Hence, the high price of rose essential oil! Another high-priced oil, jasmine, takes 8 million hand-picked jasmine blossoms for 2.2 pounds of oil. Lavender, a more affordable oil, requires 220 pounds of lavender flowers to produce 7 pounds of oils. Because of these differences in what it takes to yield specific essential oils, you can understand the wide price variations between oils!

There are about 300 different essential oils in general use today by professional practitioners, but in all practicality, most benefits that essential oils fulfill could be achieved with 10-12 essential oils. One of the ways that Mother E simplifies your essential oil use (not to mention saves you money!) is that we offer a small functional line of essential oils, with 12 single oils and 12 essential oil blends. Our selection of oils was carefully chosen to cover the main benefits that essential oils provide - so you don’t have to get a phD in essential oil use! Check out the benefits and Essential Oil List (link) for the many ways that Mother E’s essential oils and blends can support you physically, mentally and emotionally.

What is Aromatherapy? The National Association for Holistic Aromatherapy defines aromatherapy (also known as “essential oil therapy”) as the art and science of utilizing naturally extracted aromatic essences from plants to balance, harmonize and promote the health of body, mind and spirit.

Essential Oil Quality

Essential oils on the market vary widely in quality, so it’s important to know what you are getting. Interestingly, up to 98 percent of essential oils are used in the perfume, household or food industries, and in these cases, purity may not be as important. However, if you are using essential oils therapeutically (in other words to support your physical, mental and emotional well-being), purity is critical.

What does “purity” mean anyway?

The truth is that there is no real certification or classification for “purity” in essential oils. And, to confuse matters, some companies have jumped on the bandwagon of using the term “therapeutic grade” to get at the quality and purity of essential oils. This definition was developed in the 1990’s as a marketing term and, bottomline, there is no such thing as a ʻtherapeutic gradeʼ essential oil vs. ‘non-therapeutic’ essential oil. No quality standards for the authentication of essential oils specifically exist in aromatherapy.

"The quality and authenticity of essential oils we utilize are the very heart and foundation of aromatherapy."
-Jade Herbalist

That said, many essential oils on the market are adulterated. For example, some essential oil companies want their lavender to smell more “lavendery” so they add a synthetic version of a compound naturally found in Lavender to the essential oil.

Also, many companies dilute with a base or carrier oil, and present it as pure-- to increase their profit margins. While it is often recommended to blend a pure essential oil with a base or carrier oil when you apply topically, it is important to know what is in the product you are getting!

A question that often comes up with respect to essential oil quality and purity is, “is it organic?”

“Organic” simply means grown without chemical pesticides or fertilizers, and no GMO’s (gentically modified organisms). And generally speaking, organic is a good thing. However, “organic certification” is tricky. Many countries that grow essential oils do not have organic certification in place, and even if they do, it is very costly. Furthermore, GC/MS testing  (gas chromatography mass spectronomy) can be done to ensure that the chemical composition of the essential oil is what it should be. In other words, free from foreign chemicals, additives and residues.

The bottomline regarding “organic” is that it does not guarantee the quality, purity, and potency of essential oils. In addition, essential oils can be grown organically and not be “certified organic”. And, because it takes so much of a plant to yield a relatively small amount of essential oil, “certified organic” is much more costly to produce.

Mother E’s Commitment to Quality

Mother E’s highest priority is to provide pure, quality oils as affordably as possible. We’ll never compromise quality and we’ll always tell you what’s in our products!

While our products are not “certified organic”, our rigorous supplier standards and third essentialparty testing ensure the quality and purity of every one of our oils. Every batch of our  oils goes through GC/MS  testing, as well as physical tests for odor, refractive index, specific gravity, optical rotation and closed cup flashpoint. And while variation is always present when working with natural products, Mother E essential oils must meet within the range of our high standards or they will not be approved. Plain and simple.

Upon request, we are happy to provide a Certificate of Analysis and Safety Data Sheet for each single oil and blend we produce.

Learn more about the benefits of essential oils (link to benefits page) or check out Mother E’s Essential Oil Guide