Essential Oils are the concentrated essence of a plant - be it from flowers, seeds, leaves, fruit, roots, bark or wood. As a natural therapy, aroma and energy forces of these oils can be used to benefit us on a physical, mental and spiritual level.

There is much scientific and anecdotal evidence to support the seemingly magical healing properties of essential oils. For example, tea tree oil has been extensively tested and proven as an effective treatment against herpes, the wart virus and Candida. As a matter fact all essential oils are anti-bacterial, they simply fight different pathogens.

Essential oils are so highly concentrated that you only need a very small amount for a positive result (two thousand roses are required to produce a small bottle of rose oil). Applied during massage, an essential oil will enter the bloodstream having effect on internal organs like the stomach and kidneys.

Most Essential oils can be added to baths, room sprays, and candle burners; used as steam inhalations, perfumes, beauty products and cosmetics and even to flavour meals and drinks (1-2 drops of fennel essential oil in mayonnaise or a drop of orange oil in homemade chocolates are a treat).

If you're looking to calm the mind at the end of a long day you might want to dabble a few drops of ylang ylang onto a silk scarf to ease tensions, and feel the effect of a natural aphrodisiac. Mandarin and neroli can be used during pregnancy to moisturise the skin and prevent stretch marks. Also, juniper and marjoram help to ease discomfort for expecting mothers. Be careful which oils you choose when you're pregnant though as it is not advisable to use some oils during this time.

A final note: essential oils deteriorate when exposed to light, heat and oxygen so try to minimise contact with these.