Essential oils are volatile substances which are extracted from the roots, stems, leaves, bark, flowers, or seeds of a plant. They give plants their unique aroma and they play a protective role, protecting the plant from predators and disease.
The oils are extracted from the plants by a process of steam distillation. The steam passes through the plant material and oil sacs in the plant rupture. The oil becomes a vapour when exposed to the steam, and when the vapour cools down, the oil and water separate, and the oil floats to the top.
The resulting oils are not only beneficial to plants, they contain properties that are beneficial to us. Here are the compounds that exist in the oils and their benefits: