Essential oils in nature are used by the plants for very specific purposes, at very low levels, in very focused ways. By enzymatic and other biochemical means, plants are able to utilize the stored energy which we see and smell as essential oils. Often, the plant may draw upon one or a few of the array of individual chemicals to accomplish a particular task: repel a predator, aid in the healing of an injury, respond to stress, attract a pollinator, and so on.
When we distill parts of a plant, and ascribe particular properties or uses to the essential oil, we are using this precious concentrate, not in the subtle way in which the plant does, but simply in the most accessible form.
Only in recent years have scientists begun to examine and understand the properties of single chemical entities within the mix that we call an essential oil, and ascribe to these chemicals very specific roles as they pertain to the original plant and its well-being.
Now the examination of these materials is leading to exciting possibilities for use in human wellness applications. Dramatic results are being found in some cases at levels in the nanomolar range - that is, in amounts which approximate the levels at which the same chemicals are used by the plants themselves!
We fervently hope that we will see less flagrant over-use of precious plant oils, and more reasoned application as natural adjuncts to conventional therapies, as we strive to conserve our resources and put them to the most appropriate uses, for example - diffusion and inhalation at low levels.