If you are like many people I talk to in my work, you may be a little confused by the difference between essential oils, aromatherapy and flower essences.
Essential oils are the oil (or non-water-soluble) component resulting from an extraction of compounds from one or more parts of a plant. Essential oils may be extracted from the flowers, leaves, fruit, branches, wood or roots of a plant.
For example, Lavender essential oil is extracted from the flowers and leaves of lavender plants, Pine from pine needles and Cedarwood from the wood of the cedar tree.
Essential oils are very concentrated mixtures of many biochemical compounds that have wonderful healing properties for us. Most essential oils have an anti-microbial action. Some oils are more specific for viral infections; others are better for bacteria.
Many essential oils relieve pain, like Lavender, or inflammation, such as Myrrh. Certain oils may also act in specific areas of the body: Eucalyptus clears the airways, while Patchouli heals wounds and scars.
Essential oils also generally have a very powerful effect on the emotions. Many of them are uplifting and have an anti-depressant effect, such as Orange or Bergamot. Some are stimulating and enlivening, like Peppermint; others are soothing and calming, and in some cases, help adults and children safely to sleep – e.g. Mandarin or Roman Chamomile. Oils can balance emotional and hormonal highs and lows, and they can also play a major role in the reduction of stress, tension and anxiety.
Many essential oils are multi-faceted in their therapeutic action. A classic example is a little-known oil, Fragonia, which heals microbial infections, reduces inflammation and pain, AND brings emotional balance.
Click here to find information on how to use essential oils.
Flower essences are actually the life force of the flower, collected from its energy field, and placed in a solution. They are vibrational or energy medicines – that is, they contain the vibrational imprint of the original plant which has been “captured” and retained in the water. Used correctly, they are a subtle but powerful way of changing consciousness – even deeply ingrained thought patterns.
Flower essences, like homeopathy, contain no physical plant material – they have been diluted to the point where no actual molecules of the original substance are still present in the final treatment bottle given to the client.
Their power and effectiveness depends on the consciousness of the flower essence creator to tune in and bring through the required healing energies.
They are very safe – precisely because there is no physical plant material. It’s possible to make essences from plants that are normally toxic or poisonous if ingested or applied to the skin.
Some of the major differences between essential oils and flower essences are:
Essential oils are very concentrated and potent, containing powerful biochemicals, and must always be used with caution as per their relevant safety indications Flower essences are very safe as they are vibrational in nature and contain no actual molecular compounds.
Essential oils generally have a distinctive fragrance or aroma due to their constituent compounds Flower essences are preserved in a base of water and alcohol, and have no fragrance of their own.
Essential oils and flower essences are complementary in action and both have their place in a holistic medical or first aid kit. They can also be combined for an even greater healing effect.
The choice of which to use depends primarily on your preference – what you are most drawn to. Both require some simple training but with confidence and experience, you can enjoy experimenting to ease the suffering of everyday problems like coughs, colds, cuts, bruises and minor injuries, as well as to reduce stress and uplift the spirits.
If you want to know more about me or my work, click here. Or take a look here to find out more about the New Millennium flower essences, or click here to view the range of Living Energy aromatherapy products that combine organic essential oils with the powerful New Millennium Essences.