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Essential Oils Guide With Essential Oil Profiles

Image of essential oil bottles and plants with the words Essential Oils Guide

Welcome to my essential oils guide where I'm writing profiles of as many essential oils as I can. If you want to skip the preliminary information, click here for the list of essential oils.

What Are Essential Oils?

Essential oils are highly concentrated liquids extracted from plants. For the plants, the oils serve purposes such as helping the plant thrive and protecting it from the environment.

The word "essential" doesn't mean necessary or required for humans. "Essential" comes from the poetic way of thinking about the "essence" or "life force" of a plant.

Don't confuse essential oils with infused or macerated oils. These oils are vegetable oils with the fragrance of a plant infused into the oil by soaking the plant material in the oil. Infused oils can make good aromatherapy carrier oils.

Making Essential Oils

The most common way to produce essential oils is by steam distilling plant material. A steam distiller has a chamber that holds raw plant material. When steam flows into the chamber, small sacs on the plant open and release the plant oils. The steam and oil move from the chamber into a chilled condenser, which turns the steam into water. The essential oil and water are separated. The water, called a hydrosol, contains some of the plant essence and also has uses in aromatherapy.

Another process less often used to make essential oils used in aromatherapy is hydrodistillation — the plant material is boiled in water, the resulting steam is cooled, and then the water and essential oil are separated.

The other process for making essential oils is expression (also called cold pressing). It is used primarily to produce citrus oils, such as lemon and orange, where the peel is pressed to release the oil it contains.

Solvent Extraction – Absolutes

Some oils, such as jasmine and benzoin, used in aromatherapy aren't technically essential oils but are absolutes. These oils are extracted from plant material using a solvent. This process produces what is called a concrete. The concrete is then processed further to make an oil called an absolute.

Another way to make absolutes is enfleurage, which involves placing plant material into solid odorless fats at room temperature to capture the fragrant compounds. The fat is separated from the plant oils using alcohol. Enfleurage is rare today but was the standard method of producing oils in ancient times.

Carbon Dioxide Extraction

Carbon dioxide (CO2) extraction is a newer process that involves using liquid CO2 as a solvent to extract oils from plants. These products differ in chemistry from distilled essential oils.

Essential Oils Guide

The following essential oil profiles are available as part of this guide:

Angelica Essential Oil

Anise Essential Oil

Basil Essential Oil

Bay Laurel Essential Oil

Bay (West Indian) Essential Oil

Bergamot Essential Oil

Benzoin Oil

Black Pepper Essential Oil

Black Spruce Essential Oil

Blue Tansy Essential Oil

Calendula Oil

Caraway Essential Oil

Catnip Essential Oil

Cedarwood Essential Oil

Chamomile: German Chamomile Essential Oil and Roman Chamomile Essential Oil

Cinnamon Essential Oil

Citronella Essential Oil

Clary Sage Essential Oil

Clove Essential Oil

Copaiba Essential Oil

Cumin Essential Oil

Cypress Essential Oil

Eucalyptus Essential Oil

Frankincense Essential Oil

Geranium Essential Oil

Ginger Essential Oil

Grapefruit Essential Oil

Helichrysum Essential Oil

Hyssop Essential Oil

Jasmine Oil

Juniper Essential Oil

Lavender Essential Oil

Lemon Essential Oil

Lemon Myrtle Essential Oil

Lemongrass Essential Oil

Lime Essential Oil

Mandarin Essential Oil

Marjoram Essential Oil

Melissa Essential Oil

Myrrh Essential Oil

Myrtle Essential Oil

Neroli Essential Oil

Nutmeg Essential Oil

Orange Essential Oil

Oregano Essential Oil

Palmarosa Essential Oil

Palo Santo Essential Oil

Patchouli Essential Oil

Peppermint Essential Oil

Petitgrain Essential Oil

Pine Essential Oil

Rose Essential Oil

Rosemary Essential Oil

Rosewood Essential Oil

Sage Essential Oil

Sandalwood Essential Oil

Spearmint Essential Oil

Spikenard Essential Oil

Tangerine Essential Oil

Tea Tree Essential Oil

Thyme Essential Oil

Vanilla in Aromatherapy

Vetiver Essential Oil

Yarrow Essential Oil

Ylang Ylang Essential Oi

Buy Essential Oils

I recommend Young Living essential oils.

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