Essential Oils

An essential oil is a concentrated hydrophobic liquid containing volatile aroma compounds from plants. Essential oils are also known as volatile oils, ethereal oils, aetherolea, or simply as the oil of the plant from which they were extracted, such as oil of clove. An oil is “essential” in the sense that it contains the “essence of” the plant’s fragrance—the characteristic fragrance of the plant from which it is derived. The term essential used here does not mean indispensable as with the terms essential amino acid or essential fatty acid which are so-called since they are nutritionally required by a given living organism.

Essential oils are generally extracted by distillation, often by using steam. Other processes include expression,solvent extraction, absolute oil extraction, resin tapping, and cold pressing. They are used in perfumes, cosmetics,soaps and other products, for flavoring food and drink, and for adding scents to incense and household cleaning products.

Essential oils have been used medicinally in history. Medical applications proposed by those who sell medicinal oils range from skin treatments to remedies for cancer and often are based solely on historical accounts of use of essential oils for these purposes. Claims for the efficacy of medical treatments, and treatment of cancers in particular, are now subject to regulation in most countries.

As the use of essential oils has declined in evidence-based medicine, one must consult older textbooks for much information on their use. Modern works are less inclined to generalize; rather than refer to “essential oils” as a class at all, they prefer to discuss specific compounds, such as methyl salicylate, rather than “oil of wintergreen”.

Interest in essential oils has revived in recent decades with the popularity of aromatherapy, a branch of alternative medicine that claims that essential oils and other aromatic compounds have curative effects. Oils are volatilized or diluted in a carrier oil and used in massage, diffused in the air by a nebulizer, heated over a candle flame, or burned as incense.

The earliest recorded mention of the techniques and methods used to produce essential oils is believed to be that of Ibn al-Baitar (1188–1248), an Andalusianphysician, pharmacist and chemist.

PRODUCT LIST OF ESSENTIAL OIL
ANGELICA OILANISE OILBASIL OIL
BAY OILBENZOIN OILBERGAMOT OIL
BIRCH OILBITTER ALMOND OILBLACK PEPPER OIL
BOLDO OILBUCHU OILCAJUPUT OIL
CALAMUS OILCAMOMILE OILCAMPHOR OIL
CARAWAY OILCARDAMOM OILCARROT SEED OIL
CASSIA OILCATNIP OILCEDARWOOD OIL
CINNAMON OILCITRONELLA OILCLARY SAGE OIL
CLOVE OILCORIANDER OILCUMIN OIL
CYPRESS OILDAVANA OILDILL OIL
ELEMI OILEUCALYPTUS OILFENNEL OIL
FRANKINCENSE OILGALBANUM OILGERANIUM OIL
GRAPEFRUIT OILGINGER OILHELICRYSUM OIL
HYSSOP OILJASMINE OILJUNIPER OIL
LAVANDIN OILLAVENDER OILLEMON OIL
LEMONGRASS OILLIME OILMANDARIN OIL
MANUKA OILMARJORAM OILMELISSA OIL
MUGWORT OILMULLEIN OILMUSTARD OIL
MYRRH OILMYRTLE OILNEROLI OIL
NIAOULI OILNUTMEG OILOAKMOSS OIL
ORANGE OILOREGANO OILPALMA ROSA OIL
PARSLEY OILPATCHOULI OILPENNYROYAL OIL
PEPPERMINT OILPETITGRAIN OILPIMENTO OIL
PINE OILRAVENSARA OILROSE OIL
ROSEMARY OILROSEWOOD OILRUE OIL
SAGE OILSANDALWOOD OILSPEARMINT OIL
SPIKENARD OILTAGETES OILTANGERINE OIL
TANSY OILTARRAGON OILTEA TREE OIL
THUJA OILTHYME OILTUBEROSE OIL
VANILLA OILVETIVER OILWINTERGREEN OIL
WORMWOOD OILYARROW OILYLANG YLANG OIL