The Healing Benefits of Essential Oils

When it comes to scents, there are essential oils — and there are fragrances. Essential oils are plant extracts that are highly concentrated, holding on to their natural aroma (and in some cases, flavor, too). Natural fragrances contain ingredients only from a natural origin and are typically a mix of essential oils and botanical extracts. Synthetic fragrances are created in a lab.

Pharmacopia Healing Benefits of Essential OilsAt Pharmacopia, everything we do is better for you and plant based. That’s why we use only the purest essential oils and nature-derived fragrances in our products for hair, body, and lips. We also believe that essential oils are better for you than synthetic fragrances. And research backs us up.

Here’s a primer on the scents we use and their healing benefits.

What are essential oils?

Essential oils are plant extracts that retain their aromatic essences. They can come from a plant’s flower, seeds, bark, root, leaves, resin (sticky sap), or wood. They’re created by distilling the essences from that part of the plant.

This extraction involves separating these oils from their plant. One way of doing this is through steam distillation. During this process, the plants are soaked and suspended over boiling water with a special distilling tool until the steam comes out. It’s the steam that breaks apart the plant structures, pulling oil from the plant. Once the steam cools, the plant’s oils can be separated from the water and collected.

Another way of separating essential oils is through cold pressing. In this method, the plant is agitated through special tools that bring their essential oils to the surface. Water is sprayed over the surface and the essential oils are then separated from the water.

Keep in mind that while all essential oils start from an extraction method, sometimes even essential oils can be synthetic by making them nature identical in a lab. And some essential oils can be altered in ways that make them not so natural. But at Pharmacopia, our essential oils are pure and natural and in many cases, organic. It’s these pure essential oils that allow for the full healing benefits that plants offer. (Aromatherapy is the practice of using essential oils for a healing benefit.)

It's also important to know that because these plant extracts are so potent, sensitive people can have a reaction to them, even though they are natural. This is why essential oils may cause an allergic reaction if applied directly to the skin. A better bet is to safely mix them with carrier oils like argan oil, castor oil, coconut oil, hemp seed oil, jojoba oil, or soybean oil — all used in Pharmacopia’s own better-for-you body products.

8 top essential oils in Pharmacopia products

These are the essential oils you’ll find in our plant-based products.

  1. Basil essential oil is distilled from the leaves of the basil or Ocimum basilicum plant. Its main natural chemical component is linalool, which gives this essential oil its cool, woody character.

Linalool, along with other natural chemical components of basil, help to fight inflammation in the body. Basil is also an antibacterial. This makes it a good option for soothing irritated skin and scalp.

Find basil in: Pharmacopia’s Verbena Shampoo and Verbena Conditioner, Verbena Body Wash, and Verbena Body Lotion.

  1. Bergamot essential oil is extracted from the rinds of the citrus or Citrus bergamia fruit from the bergamot orange tree. It has a fruity, citrus-y scent with a hint of floral and spice (think of the scent of Earl Grey tea, which contains bergamot).

Bergamot essential oil has been shown to boost mood as well as being an anti-inflammatory and wound healer. This makes it not only good for calming rough, irritated skin, but also for making you feel more upbeat.

Find bergamot essential oil in: Pharmacopia’s better-for-you Citrus Body Care Collection.

  1. Cedarwood essential oil is distilled from the needles, leaves, bark, and berries of cedar or Juniperus virginiana L. trees. It contains the natural plant chemicals cedrine, cedrol, and thujopsene — which are anti-inflammatory, antiseptic (controlling the growth of microorganisms), and anti-fungal.

This essential oil has been shown in research to soothe the skin and scalp and help hair growth — as well as soothing anxiety. This is just one reason why it makes a great addition to shampoos and conditioners.

Find cedarwood essential oil in: Pharmacopia’s Verbena Shampoo and Conditioner and Verbena Body Wash and Lotion.

  1. Chamomile essential oil comes from the flowers of the chamomile or Chamomilla Recutita plant. It has a sweet, fresh aroma. It’s rich in the plant chemicals flavonoids, terpenoids, and coumarins. It’s these natural chemicals that are key to chamomile’s benefits: it’s an anti-inflammatory and antimicrobial — as well as being soothing to the skin and spirit.

Find chamomile essential oil in: Pharmacopia’s Verbena, Citrus, and Hyatt Hotels Argan Shampoos, Conditioners, Body Washes, and Body Lotions.

  1. Citrus essential oils are pressed or expressed from the rind or peel of citrus fruits, which come from the citrus or Rutaceae shrubs. These scents include orange, lemon, mandarin orange/tangerine, and grapefruit.

Citrus scents all have a bright aroma, making them a great option for feeling happier and more positive overall. It’s no wonder then that these essential oils have been shown in research to be mood-boosting and stress-busting. They also have anti-microbial and sebum-regulating properties making them good for oily or acne-prone skin.

Find citrus essential oils in: Pharmacopia’s Citrus Luxury Bundle (Shampoo, Conditioner, Body Wash, Body Lotion, and Body Bar) and Tangerine Lip Elixir.

  1. Lemongrass essential oil comes from the leaves and stalks of the lemongrass or Cymbopogon plant. Its scent is fresh, lemony, earthy, and sweet.

Lemongrass essential oil has been shown to heal wounds and fight infections, as it’s a potent antibacterial, anti-fungal, and anti-inflammatory. This makes lemongrass an ideal natural component of both skin- and hair-care products.

Find lemongrass essential oil in: Pharmacopia’s Verbena Luxury Bundle (Shampoo, Conditioner, Body Wash, Body Lotion, and Body Bar).

  1. Litsea cubeba essential oil comes from the peels of the fruit from the litsea cubeba shrub. It’s also known as May Chang or Chinese pepper. It has a clean, fresh, sweet green, lemon-like aroma.

The most abundant natural chemical in the litsea cubeba plant is one called citral. It has potent anti-fungal and antibacterial properties.

Find litsea cubeba essential oil in: Pharmacopia’s entire better-for-you Verbena Body Care Collection including our Verbena Body Bar.

  1. Mint essential oil comes from leaves of the plants in the Mentha plant family — and can encompass spearmint, peppermint, and other mint scents. Its aroma is fresh and clean and is both cooling and invigorating.

Some research has shown that mint essential oil may help relieve tension headaches. It may also help promote hair growth, say researchers.

Find mint essential oil in: Pharmacopia’s Verbena Shampoo and Conditioner.

Essential oils are a natural fit with any better-for-you body care routine. They offer many benefits — for hair, body, and lips, why they’re essential components of all our plant-based Pharmacopia products.