I first heard about essential oils over twenty years ago and believe me, back then my first reaction was, “essential what?” I had no idea what they were or how they worked. Although essential oils are far more popular and even trendy now, I’ve found more often than not people still ask, “What are they and how do they work?” The simplest answer is that an essential oil is the highly concentrated, volatile, aromatic essence of plant. It contains hundreds of chemical compounds and is fifty to one hundred times more concentrated than the oils in dried herbs used in Ayurveda, Traditional Chinese Medicine and other herbal practices. The oils are distilled from flowers, trees, roots, bushes, and seeds of plants and it’s the distillation process that makes essential oils so concentrated and potent. It often requires an entire plant or more to produce a single drop of distilled essential oil. For example, it takes nearly five thousand pounds of rose petals to produce just one kilo of rose oil and adding just one drop of peppermint oil to a glass of water has approximately the same concentration as twenty tea bags!