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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 oil profiles.

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:

  1. Agarwood Essential Oil
  2. Allspice Essential Oil (pimento berry)
  3. Angelica Essential Oil
  4. Anise Essential Oil
  5. Balsam Fir Essential Oil
  6. Basil Essential Oil
  7. Bay Laurel Essential Oil
  8. Bay Essential Oil (West Indian)
  9. Bergamot Essential Oil
  10. Bergamot Mint Essential Oil
  11. Benzoin Oil
  12. Birch Essential Oil
  13. Black Pepper Essential Oil
  14. Black Spruce Essential Oil
  15. Blue Tansy Essential Oil
  16. Cajeput Essential Oil
  17. Calamus Essential Oil
  18. Calendula Oil
  19. Camphor Essential Oil
  20. Cannabis Essential Oil
  21. Caraway Essential Oil
  22. Cardamom Essential Oil
  23. Carrot Seed Essential Oil
  24. Cassia Essential Oil
  25. Catnip Essential Oil
  26. Cedarwood Essential Oil
  27. Celery Seed Essential Oil
  28. Chamomile: German Chamomile Essential Oil and Roman Chamomile Essential Oil
  29. Cinnamon Essential Oil
  30. Cistus Essential Oil
  31. Citronella Essential Oil
  32. Clary Sage Essential Oil
  33. Clove Essential Oil
  34. Coffee Essential Oil
  35. Copaiba Essential Oil
  36. Coriander Essential Oil
  37. Cornmint Essential Oil
  38. Cumin Essential Oil
  39. Cypress Essential Oil
  40. Davana Essential Oil
  41. Dill Essential Oil
  42. Elemi Essential Oil
  43. Eucalyptus Essential Oil
  44. Fennel Essential Oil
  45. Fir Essential Oils
  46. Frankincense Essential Oil
  47. Galbanum Essential Oil
  48. Geranium Essential Oil
  49. Ginger Essential Oil
  50. Goldenrod Essential Oil
  51. Grapefruit Essential Oil
  52. Helichrysum Essential Oil
  53. Hinoki Essential Oil
  54. Ho Wood Essential Oil
  55. Hyssop Essential Oil
  56. Jasmine Oil
  57. Juniper Essential Oil
  58. Kunzea Essential Oil
  59. Lavender Essential Oil
  60. Ledum Essential Oil
  61. Lemon Essential Oil
  62. Lemon Myrtle Essential Oil
  63. Lemon Verbena Essential Oil
  64. Lemongrass Essential Oil
  65. Lime Essential Oil
  66. Mandarin Essential Oil
  67. Manuka Essential Oil
  68. Marjoram Essential Oil
  69. May Chang Essential Oil
  70. Melissa Essential Oil
  71. Myrrh Essential Oil
  72. Myrtle Essential Oil
  73. Neroli Essential Oil
  74. Niaouli Essential Oil
  75. Nutmeg Essential Oil
  76. Ocotea Essential Oil
  77. Orange: Sweet Orange Essential Oil and Bitter Orange Essential Oil
  78. Oregano Essential Oil
  79. Palmarosa Essential Oil
  80. Palo Santo Essential Oil
  81. Patchouli Essential Oil
  82. Peppermint Essential Oil
  83. Petitgrain Essential Oil
  84. Pine Essential Oil
  85. Ravensara Essential Oil
  86. Ravintsara Essential Oil
  87. Rose Essential Oil
  88. Rosemary Essential Oil
  89. Rosewood Essential Oil
  90. Sage Essential Oil
  91. Sandalwood Essential Oil
  92. Spearmint Essential Oil
  93. Spikenard Essential Oil
  94. Tangerine Essential Oil
  95. Tarragon Essential Oil
  96. Tea Tree Essential Oil
  97. Thyme Essential Oil
  98. Turmeric Essential Oil
  99. Valerian Essential Oil
  100. Vanilla in Aromatherapy
  101. Vetiver Essential Oil
  102. Wintergreen Essential Oil
  103. Yarrow Essential Oil
  104. Ylang Ylang Essential Oil
  105. Yuzu Essential Oil


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