You’ve seen them on store shelves, you’ve smelled them on the person sitting next to you on the airplane, or maybe you even have a few bottles sitting on your bedside table—but what are essential oils exactly? Are they simply a fancy beauty product? Are they a new fad that’ll soon pass?
If you’ve never used essential oils, or if just have limited experience with them, they might seem like a complete mystery. The truth is, millions of people use essential oils every single day for things like cooking, cleaning, personal hygiene, fitness, sleep, overall health, and more.
What is an essential oil? So, what are essential oils? Scientifically speaking, essential oils are volatile aromatic compounds. In less scientific terms, they are the essence of plants, taken from roots, bark, flowers, seeds, and other plant parts. Did you know that an essential oil is what gives a plant its scent? Essential oils can also protect a plant from predators or environmental conditions.