Modern essential oils are deemed to be far superior when compared to their older counterparts. This is due to the fact that hundreds of years ago, the ability to distil oil from a plant would have relied on environmental factors, whereas right now it’s possible to create the most beneficial environments for the distillation of oil from plants and herbs. Distillation works by placing a heated bowl of water under a freshly picked plant, before allowing the steam to envelope the stem, leaves and buds, to lift the oil away to where it can be stored separately for use at a later time. But what exactly can these oils be used for and why are they still as trusted as they are hundreds of years after they were first discovered? The use of an essential oil These days, plant oils can be used for a host of purposes. From consuming them orally to receive an immediate influx of antioxidants and health-enhancing properties, all the way to adding them to organic creams and applying them to the skin for a vitamin rich facial treatment. These oils are the most vital essences of a plant and as a result, they possess the greatest number of nutrients. Not all can be consumed however, as there are some plants that possess toxic properties. In these cases, it’s worth getting to know a little more about the properties of these types of compounds and whether they are safe for human use and consumption. For example, it can be entirely safe to harvest the oils from the tomato plant and use them in water for detoxing purposes, but the leaves contain harmful chemicals that can actually be poisonous to humans. This is why experts will only distil oil from the stems and buds. There are even poisonous plants that can be distilled in a way that allows their oil to become consumable and usable on the skin – but as is the case with most forms of herbalism and alchemy, it’s best to learn about the properties of a plant in its entirety before attempting to distil its properties yourself, or alternatively buy your essential oil from a reputable supplier.