The Power of Plants
Madison + Green products are 100% plant-based, and our stress-relieving aromatherapy inhalers and body oils contain pure, authentic essential oils. But what is aromatherapy? What are essential oils?
What is aromatherapy?
Aromatherapy is a natural healing method that uses oils that are extracted from plants, most often through the method of steam distillation. Those oils, called essential oils, are powerfully aromatic substances that contain many, sometimes in hundreds, of chemical components that can affect people mentally and physically.
For example, the relaxing effect of lavender essential oils included in our Yoga & Meditation Aromatherapy Inhaler can be traced back to an organic compound called linalool, a monoterpene alcohol, which often has a pleasant, sweet aroma. Many case studies have shown that linalool has antidepressant, anti-inflammatory, and antimicrobial properties. Linalool takes up about 29~36% of lavender (Lavandula angustifolia) essential oil, but it can also be found in other essential oils that have similar therapeutic actions, such as geranium, coriander seed, neroli, and petitgrain.
Why plants produce essential oils
Only 1% of flowering plants produce essential oils, and the oils are complex organic molecules produced through the plants’ secondary metabolites (meaning, it’s not essential for their growth, and produced during the late growth phases of the plants). Why do they produce them? As a self-defense mechanism when bad stuff is happening.
Ironically, plants use their essential oils when they are stressed (while we use them because we’re stressed!). Plants activate essential oils when they are under attack by fungus (an antifungal), getting eaten by herbivores (a sedative to make the predator sleepy), fighting over land with other plant species (some plants hate the oil and refuse to grow towards it), adjusting to a severe climate, and in many other situations. These are some of the reasons why plants produce these chemicals, and we, as people, can utilize them for healing ourselves just as the plants do.
Because essential oils are naturally derived, every jar of oil that arrives in our studio is unique. Factors affecting the quality of essential oil include the age of the plant, the altitude, climate, geography, soil type, temperature of the distillation, etc. At Madison + Green, every essential oil jar is checked for its quality by checking its GC/MS data that suppliers provide. The data can show its chemical composition, if pesticides are detected, and if it contains anything synthetic.
For more tips
Jasmine Bues, the co-founder of Madison + Green, is also a certified clinical aromatherapist and meditation instructor. She contributes content on Let's Inhale, Be well, the official journal for Madison + Green. Sign up or visit the journal to learn more about aromatherapy, breathing techniques, meditation tips, and more.