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Essential oils are very concentrated and powerful plant extracts that are 40- to 100-percent stronger than herbs. For example, 10,000 pounds of lemon balm (Melissa officinalis) yields one pound of pure essential oil.

Essential oils are very concentrated and powerful plant extracts that are 40- to 100-percent stronger than herbs. For example, 10,000 pounds of lemon balm (Melissa officinalis) yields one pound of pure essential oil. It takes approximately 70 large damask roses to produce one drop of pure essential oil.

The complex organic chemical compositions of essential oils include alcohols, esters, ketones, phenols, and terpenes. Each essential oil's chemical arrangement is determined by the oil's individual chemistry. The chemistry determines the oil's properties and influence on the body and its systems. Essential oils are natural, so they work in harmony with the body. Genuine and authentic oils leave no toxic residue.

Essential oils from related plants have a similar chemistry, which makes them share certain properties and therapeutic uses. For example, the plant family that produces the largest amount of essential oils is the Lamiaceae family. Plants in this family include basil, clary sage, lavender, marjoram, oregano, patchouli, and peppermint. All of these plants contain terpene alcohols, which are therapeutically considered to be the tonics of life. Plants in this family are known to be antiviral and bactericidal, and they all affect the central nervous system.

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