What Are Essential Oils?
Essential oils are the fragrant liquids found in aromatic plants. They may be found in many different parts of the plant: resin, bark, flowers, leaves, seeds, roots, wood. List your favorite plant smells. Our list included:
- the flowers of white jasmine
- the needles and resin of a pine tree
- the leaves of mint and basil
- the peel of a lemon
- vanilla pods
- cumin seeds.
You may have thought of many other aromatic plant parts. The distinctive smell of each of these plants comes from essential oils. where to find edens garden essential oils. Aromatic plants are probably already an important part of your life. They will almost certainly be a key ingredient in much of the food you prepare, and you may also use them to scent your home, and in the form of perfume to fragrance your body. You can also use them to powerful effect when designing a garden.
Essential oils are found in tiny oil glands or sacs which are found in the aromatic parts of the plant. Sometimes, several parts of the plant are aromatic (for instance, lavender oil is extracted from both the flowers and the leaves), and in some instances, different parts of the plant produce a quite different aromatic oil (the bitter orange tree produces three very different oils).
These wonderful natural oils serve many uses within the plant, including:
- attracting pollinating insects
- warding off predators
- repelling disease – almost all essential oils have antiseptic properties.
Essential oils have been widely used for many centuries for their antiseptic and other health-giving properties, and are also an essential component in aromatherapy. When Dr. Jean Valnet used essential oils to treat soldiers’ wounds during World War 2, not only did the powerful fragrances mask the smell of gangrenous wounds, but the oils actively stopped the decay. Valnet also noticed that soldiers sleeping rough in pine forests suffered fewer respiratory complaints than others as a result of the pine resin vapor saturating the air. For the same reason, Swiss sanatoriums were traditionally located near pine forests to help patients suffering from tuberculosis and other chest conditions.
In the garden, too, we may be able to harness some of the therapeutic properties of essential oils, simply by positioning plants where we can enjoy their scent. In addition, plants that are positioned where people are likely to stand on them or brush past them will release more of their scent as they are crushed or bruised. Beautifully scented herbs may thus be used to line walkways, while honeysuckle or jasmine surround a seating area, and a camomile lawn may be planted to release a wonderful scent when walked upon.
Experimenting with scented plants can introduce an exciting new dimension to the design process. As with visual elements, it is important to ensure that garden scents are in harmony and do not jar against each other. The scent profile may change as a visitor walks around a garden – at one point enjoying the heady scent of a rose bed, but further on relaxing beneath a bower of aromatic conifers.
We can all enjoy sensory gardens, but visitors who have a sensory impairment may take particular enjoyment from them. For instance, when creating a garden for a client with impaired vision, the designer can introduce plants and other features that stimulate hearing (water features, rustling grasses), as well as a wide range of scented plants, and plants such as grasses and feathery leaved species that can be enjoyed by touch.