I don’t mean geographically – that could be another whole blog post in itself! I am referring to the parts of the plant that our oils come from and if you look at the oils in my boxes, it is just about every part of the plant you could think of.
If we start with the roots of the plant we have vetiver and ginger among others. Moving up to the stems we have many of the culinary herbs are extracted from the whole plant with the exception of the root. However we also have many of the tree oils come from the trunk wood which is after all just a rather large stem! Citrus oils come from three different parts of the plant. Neroli from the flowers, petitgrain from the leaves and twigs and of course there is the oil from the zest or skin of the fruit.
The function of these essential oils varies. With roots it is often to deter pests such as insect damage, though perversely these oils that are intended to make things unpalatable in roots such as ginger and horse radish are what attract us to them! In flowers, the oils are largely about attracting pollinators whereas in fruit it may be either deterring pests or attracting animals which will disperse the seed. In stems and trunks the oil may be part of the plants hormonal system.
Wherever they come from nature has provided some incredibly complex chemical mixtures which have a vast range of therapeutic properties about which more is being learned every day.
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