What are Essential Oils?

Essential oils are highly concentrated versions of the natural oils in plants and offer a variety of health benefits. They are used in everything from cosmetics to food, aromatherapy, alternative medicine, and more. As early as 2000 BC, many great empires all over the world, including the Egyptians, Greeks, and Romans, used essential oils for medicinal benefits, beauty care, and religious ceremonies. Today essential oils are used at home, in spas and hospitals. In fact, recent studies suggest they may be the next antibiotic. 

The process to extract oils from the plants is called distillation. This is done by one of two methods: steam or water. The outcome is a highly concentrated version of the plant, which contains healing properties and therapeutic benefits. They can treat anything from anxiety to infection and pain, even as a preservative in food.

Essential oils are not the same as perfume or fragrance oils – these are created in a chemists’ lab, while essential oils are derived from nature. Only pure essential oils provide therapeutic benefits. They vary greatly in quality and price, due to the rarity of the plant climate conditions, country of origin and the quality standards, processes and procedures of the distiller or manufacturer of the essential oils.

At SportVenom, we apply best practices when sourcing our essential oils and only use therapeutic grade in our products. This means ensuring suppliers provide Gas Chromatography (GC) or Mass Spectrometry (MS) tests to analyze the constituents in the oils. Additionally, not all plants are created equally and there are different types that vary in quality. For example, there are over 200 types of lavender plants and depending on the variety, they contain varying levels of esters, oxides and ketones. 

Here are a few popular types of essential oils that we use in our products:

Cedarwood has a storied history, dating back to Sumerian and Egyptian times in the northern and western mountains of the Middle East, where it was a symbol of strength, wisdom and protection. A natural sedative, it has the power to relieve tension and stress by soothing the mind and body, while defending the body against toxins in times of stress. Its therapeutic properties help treat dry, itchy skin and it is excellent at breaking down cellulite.

Tea Tree Oil is a natural plant extract from Australia and New South Wales, where aborigines used the leaves to heal infections, wounds and burns. It contains powerful antibacterial properties, which are so effective that it can attack and eliminate staph infections, including MSRA, without the use of antibiotics. It is excellent at treating and preventing Athlete’s Foot, as well as nail fungal infections, common with black toenails caused by running.    

Eucalyptus is native to Australia and New South Wales, where Aborigines used it for everything from paper to mulch, fuel, wind breaking and malaria fighting. It was used widely during World War I, to treat meningitis and the influence of 1919. Eucalyptus has strong anti-inflammatory and analgesic properties, making it an excellent tool for reducing muscle tension, inflammation, and soreness due to overexertion.  

Patchouli is a native plant from Asia, where it grows wild at high altitudes. The strong, sweet and spicy aroma has been used for centuries in perfumes because it’s excellent at eliminating and masking body odor. It’s well known for its use in aromatherapy as an antidepressant because inhaling it releases pleasure hormones like serotonin and dopamine, which lifts mood and relaxes tension. Lastly, its anti-fungal properties make it useful in protecting cuts or sores from becoming infected.

Lavender is a beautiful, versatile flower with calming and sedative properties. It is the most used essential oil in the world and has been mentioned in texts for medicinal and religious purposes for over 2,500 years. The Egyptians used it for mummification and as a perfume, while the Romans used it for bathing, cooking and scenting the air. Today it is often used as an anti-inflammatory, pain reliever and stress reducer, with calming and relaxing properties.

Lemongrass originated in Southeast Asia and is similar to lemons, but less mild and sour, with a hint of sweetness. It’s often found in culinary applications, but has many medicinal uses as well. It helps relieve pain in muscles and joints, caused by strenuous activity and athletics due to powerful analgesic properties. It also works as an air freshener and deodorizer, while simultaneously acts as a natural insect repellent, which is a bonus in the summer.

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