Essential oils are the concentrated vital essences of aromatic plants used in cosmetics, perfumes, flavorings, and in aromatherapy. Known as volatile oils, the essential oils of a plant are the aromatic oils responsible for flavor and aroma in herbs as mints, citrus, and spices. Volatile, or essential, oils are found in minute glands in the herb.
Although they are called “oils”, they are more like water as they are a liquid that readily evaporates or volatilize. The fixed oils in a plant do not evaporate.
Essential oils are commonly used to make soaps, perfumes and dental products; candies, soft drinks and other foods.
Examples of individual essential oil components:
In this video playlist, aromatherapist and author Kathi Keville gives an overview of essential oils.
- In part #1, she shows how to create an essential oil kit, along with her picks of herbs for it.
- In part #2, she covers Citrus, Eucalyptus, Tea Tree, and Peppermint essential oils, along with safety concerns when using essential oils for pets.
- In part #3, Kathi talk about safe dilution formulas as well as massage recipes for pain and pre-workout warm ups.
- Ann McIntyre (1995), The Complete Women’s Herbal
- David Hoffman (2013), Holistic Herbal: A Safe and Practical Guide to Making and Using Herbal Remedies
- Dr. Greg Sperber, Herbal Explorations: Phytoestrogenic Herbs
- Rosemary Gladstar (2014), Herbs for Common Ailments: How to Make and Use Herbal Remedies for Home Health Care