What Are Essential Oils?

What Are Essential Oils?

An essential oil is a concentrated hydrophobic liquid containing volatile aroma compounds from plants. Essential oils are also known as volatile oilsethereal oilsaetherolea, 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.

Essential oils are generally extracted by distillation, often by using steam. Other processes include expression or solvent extraction. They are used in perfumescosmeticssoaps 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.