Everything You Need to Know About Essential Oils

Adora Winquist
11 min readApr 27, 2022

Q: What are essential oils? How do they work?

A: Essential oils are the most volatile, concentrated aspects of aromatic plants. As products of plant metabolism, essential oils mediate between the plant and its environment. They are stored in various parts of the plant: roots (ginger), fruit (lemon), flowers (ylang ylang), heartwood (sandalwood), and leaves (rosemary). Essential oils are extracted solely through a distillation process (water/steam/vapor). Citrus oils can be obtained via the expression (pressing) of their peels, but another method is called supercritical Carbon Dioxide extraction. In this more sophisticated technology, CO2 as both liquid and gas extracts the aromatic compounds. Some aromatics, like Jasmine are termed absolutes and are extracted either via enfleurage (plants macerated in fat) or solvent extraction.

Biochemically active, essential oils contain sometimes hundreds of chemical constituents that contribute to their aromatic profile as well as their physiological benefits. For example, one of the main chemical constituents of Lavender, linalool, contributes to the nervine nature of this tremendously versatile and calming oil. From an alchemical perspective, aromatics represent the spirit, or the “quintessence” of the plant. Their energetic nature offers us a profound ability to open, access, and actualize our highest nature and potential for a vibrant life rich in all facets of health and harmony.

There are numerous factors that contribute to the quality of the essential oils on the market, including growing methodology, timing of harvest, and form of plant material used (fresh or dried). Other factors related to distillation include length and type. For essential oils, I am an enormous advocate for organic, biodynamic, and ethically wild-crafted aromatics, as well as their reverent usage. Aromatics like palo santo, rosewood, and sandalwood are currently over-harvested. In these cases, respectful, ethical, and sustainable harvesting is of primary import. At the same time, their spirit and medicine are here right now for us to be able to shift and heal at our core levels, supporting the elevation of consciousness in our humanity. These oils are best used sparingly for sacred work. These precious essential oils offer the most potent form of plant medicine available on…

--

--

Adora Winquist

Essential Oil Formulator. Innovator in Aromatherapy & Vibrational Medicine. Author. Speaker. Founder of the Soul Institute for Quantum Living 💜