What is an essential oil?

If you have already enjoyed the scent of a rose, then you have already experienced the aromatic quality of essential oils. These volatile aromatic compounds are found in seeds, bark, stalks, roots, flowers and other plant components. They can be fragrant or have a very strong scent. It is the essential oils that give a plant its very specific scent. They also protect the plant and play a role in pollination. But they are not only useful for the plant. Essential oils have always been used in the preparation of food, for beauty treatments and to maintain health.

But what are volatile aromatic compounds exactly? In short, they are small organic molecules that tend to turn from their solid or liquid state to a gas at room temperature; hence the term “volatile”. When you open a vial of essential oil, you will immediately smell the strong scent. You can usually see it from a distance. The physical and chemical properties of these volatile aromatic compounds allow them to move quickly in the air and interact directly with the odor sensors in the nose. These unique properties make essential oils ideal for a variety of aromatherapy applications. The nature of the volatile aromatic compound determines both the fragrance and the benefits it brings.

To date, over 3,000 volatile aromatic compounds have been identified. The nature of an essential oil changes within a botanical family and is different for each plant. The delicate proportion of aromatic ingredients in an essential oil make each oil unique and give it its health-promoting properties.

Even with pure essential oils, the composition of the oil can change depending on the time of day, season, location, method and duration of the distillation, year and weather. Every production step is crucial for the quality of the essential oil.

Essential oils can be used for a wide range of emotional and physical wellness applications. They can be used as a single oil or as a complex mixture; depending on the experience of the user and the desired benefit. Would you like to learn how to use essential oils? Visit our Essential Oil Usage website to learn how to use essential oils safely.

Why choose DoTERRA?

When you choose doTERRA, you are choosing a gentle, carefully distilled essential oil made from plants that have been harvested by skilled cultivators at the right time so that they have the best possible composition and effect.

Every doTERRA essential oil is carefully tested using the strict CPTG Certified Pure Therapeutic Grade® quality protocol. The experienced user will recognize the higher quality standard that makes doTERRA essential oils naturally safe and the therapeutic effectiveness of the oils.

Distilling essential oils is not only a science but an art too. Distillers use modern technology and technology, but also have years of experience.


External use

Internal use (ingestion)

Fragrance can produce powerful physiological, mental or emotional effects. Essential oils are quickly absorbed by the olfactory receptors. These are directly connected to the limbic system via the olfactory nerve. This in turn is a part of the brain that supports a variety of functions: including smell, emotions, behavior and memory. This is the reason why the aromatic application of essential oils is so effective.

Some essential oils have an uplifting, invigorating effect, while others are calming. Diffusion is the easiest way to aromatically apply essential oils. Diffusers that use cold air or water are ideal for this. However, you do not need a diffusion device for the aromatic application of essential oils.

You can achieve the same health benefit by rubbing a few drops of oil in the palms of your hands, then placing your hands in a bowl over your nose and taking a deep breath.

Other aromatic uses of essential oils:

  • Put a few drops of oil on a cotton ball and place it over the air vent in your car.
  • Put some oil in a spray bottle with water and use it to spray furniture, carpets or other textiles.
  • Add a little oil to the washing machine with each wash, or put a little oil on dryer sheets.
  • Add some oil to your household cleaner (e.g. surface cleaner)

The topical application of essential oils is very effective. Because essential oils have a low molecular weight and are fat soluble, they penetrate the skin easily. After penetrating the skin, you stay in the respective region and act locally there.

Even if essential oils are easily absorbed by the skin, the absorption capacity can still be increased. A gentle massage increases the blood circulation in the respective area, so the active ingredients are better distributed in the body. Use a carrier oil that can increase absorption. Especially in areas where your skin is dry or flaky. This moisturizes the skin and prevents the oil from evaporating as quickly.

To reduce the likelihood of skin irritation, it is advisable to use a carrier oil (e.g. fractionated coconut oil). This is especially true for young and sensitive skin, when using an oil for the first time or when it is a very strong oil. The usual recommendation is to mix one drop of essential oil with three drops of carrier oil.

It is better to apply several small doses a day than a large amount once a day. Start with the smallest possible dose (1-2 drops). An external application can be repeated every 4-6 hours as needed. Since everyone is unique, the dose is not always the same. It depends on height, weight and general health.

Areas of the body where the local application of essential oils is particularly effective

  • Neck
  • Forehead and temples
  • Chest and abdomen
  • Arms, legs, soles of the feet

Other effective methods of external application

  • Put a few drops in a warm bath.
  • Put a few drops of oil on a hot or cold compress (damp cloth) and then place on the desired area of the body.
  • Add some oil to your body regimen or moisturizer, then apply it to the skin.

Sensitive areas to avoid:

  • Some areas of the face, such as the area around the eyes
  • Eyes and ear canal
  • Open, brittle, or otherwise broken skin

Certain essential oils are traditionally used in food preparation and can be used as dietary supplements. They support a number of functions that have a positive effect on health. When you add some cinnamon to your oatmeal, drink a cup of mint tea, or add fresh basil to your spaghetti, you are ingesting volatile aromatic compounds of essential oils.

Essential oils contribute to your health, they also give food flavor and intensify the aroma. In concentrated form, essential oil can be used as a targeted, effective dietary supplement. Due to the sophisticated physiological processes that take place in our body, internal ingestion is a very safe and effective form of application.

Essential oils that are consumed as food go through the bloodstream directly to the gastrointestinal tract. From there they are transported to the rest of the body. Since essential oils are fat-soluble, they are quickly transported to all organs of the body, including the brain. Essential oils, like everything we ingest, are ultimately metabolized by the liver and other organs and finally excreted.

The composition of essential oils is highly complex. Each component has unique biochemical properties that react with cells and organs in different ways. Even if the mechanisms are not yet fully understood, the positive results are visible. However, the body can only tolerate a certain amount of essential oils.

To avoid poisoning, recommendations and guidelines must be strictly followed.

Other effective methods of internal use

  • Use essential oil in baking and cooking to replace fresh or dried herbs.
  • Remember that essential oil is much more effective than dry or fresh herbs. Therefore, only take a very small amount at the beginning.
  • For very strong oils, it is often better to measure them out with a toothpick than to take a whole drop (dip the clean end of a toothpick in the oil, then smear it into the food).