Q: What is the difference between dried herbs and essential oils?
Dried herbs and essential oils are derived from many of the same plants. Both can be used for medicinal, culinary and therapeutic purposes. However, there are some important differences between the two.
Essential oils are concentrated plant essences. Growing, harvesting and pressing or steam-distilling essential oils is a precise science. Plant harvesting for essential oils is labor-intensive and often done by hand in order to preserve the plant’s therapeutic value. It takes as many as 12,000 rose blossoms to distill 5 milliliters of therapeuticgrade essential rose oil.
Dried herbs are made from actual plant material. They are often used in teas, in cooking, as supplements and as potpourri. Dried herbs can have a strong smell, but they lose their potency over time. Pure undiluted essential oils, on the other hand, never diminish in potency or aromatic quality when stored with proper care.
Essential oils can be up to 75 times more concentrated than herbs. For example, one drop of therapeutic grade peppermint oil is equivalent to 28 cups of peppermint tea. Due to their high concentration, essential oils contain virtually all of the plant’s healing nutrients, including oxygenating molecules, amino acid precursors, coenzyme factors and trace minerals. Clinical research has shown that 100 percent pure essential oils are immune stimulating, antiviral, antibacterial, antimicrobial, antiseptic, antitumoral and antifungal.
Unlike dried herbs, which can lose up to 90 percent of their healing nutrients and oxygen molecules, essential oils retain their oxygenating molecules. These molecules act as effective delivery agents, bringing food nutrients through the cell walls to feed the nucleus.
Essential oils contain the very life force of the plant and synergize favorably with the human body. It’s no wonder essential oils are now used as medicine by some of the world’s most prominent doctors.
Ashley Stone is a nutrition and health coach who promotes the use of doTERRA products to restore health, recover from deficiencies and address disease. She is a master herbalist of 20 years and healed herself of stage 3 cervical cancer 15 years ago. For more information, visit www.stoneoils.com or call 210-843-5179.