#Aromatherapy 101: Why do plants produce essential oils?

Essential oils are liquid that is generally distilled from plants. They are valuable volatile aromatic compounds derived from plants and the oils produced naturally in these living organisms are mainly what provide their amazing healing powers. Have you ever wonder why plants produce essential oils?

1. Protection – Plants produce essential oils to protect themselves against bacteria or fungi.

2. Attraction / Repellent – Plants release aroma (essential oils) to attract pollinators or repel insects.

3. Communication – Plants release oils to communication with each other. They can either inhibit competition on the grounds by stopping any other plants to grow near them or send a message about environmental threats.

According to Robert Tisserand, nature is very good at adapting, and rarely invents something new when an existing invention will suffice. Just as essential oil constituents perform multiple functions in plants, so they do in mammals. Human bodies are biologically programmed to react to essential oil constituents, which interact with a variety of receptor sites, neurochemicals, and enzymes, giving them a potential for therapeutic activity.