What are Essential Oils?

essential-oilsWhat are essential oils? I have put together a quick breakdown of what exactly essential oils are below.

Essential oils are, “volatile, natural, complex compounds characterized by a strong odour and are formed by aromatic plants as secondary metabolites” (Bakkali, Averbeck & Idaomar, 2008, p. 447). Buckle (2009, p. 389) further describes essential oils as, “the steam distillates derived from aromatic plants.” Essential oils are composed of numerous and complex mixtures of molecules (Bakkali, Averbeck, S & D, & Idaomar, 2008). Essential oils have been in use for thousands of years longer than any conventional medication and have been prized for centuries for their healing and preserving properties. Plant essential oils are indeed essential to the protection of the plant and work as antifungals, antivirals, insecticides and antibacterials. These may also play a role in the attraction of insects for pollination. Furthermore, the oils can be synthesized by all of the plants components from the seeds to the flowers and can be stored in the plants cells (Bakkali, et al., 2008).

There has been a shift in the last 100 years or so away from natural medicine but it is interesting to note that many conventional pharmaceutical drugs are made from plants. However, these medicines isolate the part of the plant that they feel is the active agent and most often it is the synergy of the different plant components that lend to their efficiency in helping the body to heal from the inside out.

Another key component that is often overlooked when many decide to try essential oils is that the quality of the essential oil is absolutely a key factor in whether you will get the desired results from the essential oil you are using.


Bakkali, F., Averbeck, S., Averbeck, D., Idaomar, M. (2008). Biological effects of essential oils-

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Discover Passions and Gain New Skills No Matter Your Age

Whatever your age, learning a skill or hobby is a fantastic opportunity to find something new to enjoy by yourself or with friends. You might do this online or with a group of friends at a local community center. Whether done alone or with your pals, these skills are fun for all stages of life.


Dr. Janina Ward provides holistic healing of the spirit, mind, and body. Schedule an appointment for a holistic wellness evaluation!


Learn on the Go with Apps


You don’t always need to sit at the computer to learn a new skill. A more convenient option is to download a few good apps to your phone and take the lessons with you on the go. If you’re concerned about using too much data through these apps, think about purchasing an unlimited plan through your wireless provider.


Explore Music


Whether you once played an instrument or have an enduring fondness for a particular kind of music, you may find that this hobby positively impacts your quality of life. Learning to play a musical instrument can be fulfilling, and the style of music that you create can be deeply personal. You might choose percussion instruments, such as drums, woodwinds like clarinets and saxophones, or brass options in the form of tubas. There are plenty of online lessons available, and many are adapted to all stages of experience. Music is a great tool to socialize, as you can learn with others and enjoy their musical masterpieces. If you would like to supplement your online lessons, be sure to ask your local community center if they offer classes.


Get Artsy


Art comes in many forms. You might try drawing, painting, sculpting, or even origami. The variety of art tutorials that are available can help you find the right medium for you. There are drawing tutorials available online, while your local community center may organize classes for individuals and groups. Each art form offers its own unique advantages, but each will stimulate your mind, strengthen your hand-eye coordination, give you the means to express yourself in a delightful way, and allow you to channel your creative impulses into something you’re proud of. You could show your creations off to friends and family, and even adorn your walls or mantelpiece with them. This sense of accomplishment can boost your self-confidence.




This is a versatile hobby that has the advantage of offering practical applications. Do your grandkids love beads, or would you like to knit a sweater to wear in the colder months? Crafting can be a fun and rewarding field to invest in. It’s a great way to spend time with loved ones, and can enable you to feel accomplished after completing a craft project. Learning to craft can be a click away, as there are numerous websites and video tutorials online. As an added bonus, if you are looking to earn some extra money, then crafting can be a way to achieve that. You can sell your creations online via stores like Etsy or Ebay, or set up a stall at your local flea or farmers market. This is another way to get your friends involved, as you might all band together not only to learn a valuable skill, but potentially profit from it, too.


Sharpen Your Computer Skills


When it comes to computers and the internet, there is always something new to learn and discover. Thankfully, there are plenty of avenues to take to increase your knowledge. There are websites dedicated to helping people navigate a myriad of technology subjects. This can allow you to delve into the topic at a pace that you find comfortable. If you find you have an aptitude for working with technology, you could even make a career of it. For example, you could earn an online master’s degree in information technology, a highly respected degree that would allow you to pursue work in cybersecurity, data analytics, and more.


Whatever you choose, learning a new skill or hobby is beneficial. It’s fun, can be done with friends as a relaxing way to socialize, and can help keep your mind sharp. After all, no one is too old to stop learning and experiencing new, engaging things.

Article contributed by Cheryl Conklin

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