An essential oil is a concentrated hydrophobic liquid containing volatile aroma compounds from plants. Essential oils are also known as volatile oils, ethereal. Essential oils like lavender and mint are popular as alternative therapies to inhale or to rub into the skin. Find out the DOs and DON'Ts of. Essential oils are often used in aromatherapy, which is a form of alternative medicine. However, some of the health claims associated with them.
General Flores ; C. Diagonal, ; E; Barcelona - Spain. Essential oils obtained by hydrodistillation from leaves of Mentha pulegium L. Oxygen-containing monoterpenes were the main group of constituents in both oils. Pulegone, isomenthone and menthone were the major components in the oil of M.
Mentha essential oil; multidimensional chiral gas chromatography. The genus Mentha Lamiaceae includes aromatic herbs of difficult taxonomic classification due to a great variability in their morphological characters and frequent hybridisation.
Previous investigations of their essential oils have revealed the existence of an important chemical polymorphism Lawrence, and several varieties and chemotypes have been described for M. Previous reports Lawrence, ; Hefendehl, ; Pino et al. Some authors have considered M. The present paper deals on the chemical composition of the essential oils of M.
Plant Material and Isolation of Volatile Constituents: Flowering aerial parts of M. Carrier gas was Hydrogen, 55 kPa. Carrier gas was Hydrogen, 30 kPa. Helium was used as a carrier, using Carrier gas was He, The components of the essential oil were identified by comparison of their Linear Retention Indices on the two columns, determined in relation to a homologous series of n-alkanes, with those from pure standards or reported in literature.
Comparison of fragmentation patterns in the mass spectra with those stored on databases Adams, ; McLafferty and Stauffer, was also performed. The quantification of the components was performed on the basis of their GC peak areas on SE, except those indicated in Tables 1 and 2 , which were obtained on Carbowax 20M, without corrections for response factors.
The first was equipped with a column coated with SE and the second with a chiral column coated with a derivatized b -cyclodextrin, a hot interface, a rotary switching valve and a system to maintain a constant flow during the transfer. With this system a heart-cut of the relevant fractions can be made and these fractions transferred from the non-chiral column to the chiral one in the following experimental conditions: Volume injected, 1 m l of an oil dilution 1: Carrier gas was Helium, 90 kPa precolumn , kPa analytical column.
It was originally developed as a refrigerant to replace Freon. The essential oils are mostly pure and contain little to no foreign substances. Estimates of total production of essential oils are difficult to obtain.
One estimate, compiled from data in , , and from various sources, gives the following total production, in tonnes, of essential oils for which more than 1, tonnes were produced. The medical value of essential oils is the subject of ongoing research, and varies among species, presence or absence of active compound s , route of administration, potency, and dosage. Some may be inappropriate for persons with certain medical conditions or who take certain prescriptions or over-the-counter OTC medications.
Taken by mouth, many essential oils can be dangerous in high concentrations. Typical effects begin with a burning feeling, followed by salivation. In the stomach, the effect is carminative , relaxing the gastric sphincter and encouraging eructation belching. Further down the gut, the effect typically is antispasmodic.
Different essential oils may have drastically different pharmacology. Some act as locally anesthetic counterirritants and, thereby, exert an antitussive effect.
Some essential oils, such as those of juniper and agathosma , are valued for their diuretic effects. Many essential oils affect the skin and mucous membranes in ways that are valuable or harmful.
Many essential oils, particularly tea tree oil , may cause contact dermatitis. Typically, they produce rubefacient irritation at first and then counterirritant numbness. Turpentine oil and camphor are two typical examples of oils that cause such effects.
Menthol and some others produce a feeling of cold followed by a sense of burning. This is caused by its effect on heat-sensing nerve endings. Some essential oils, such as clove oil or eugenol, were popular for many hundred years in dentistry as antiseptics and local anesthetics.
Aromatherapy is a form of alternative medicine in which healing effects are ascribed to the aromatic compounds in essential oils and other plant extracts.
In a systemic review of published studies on essential oils as alternative medicines, only 10 were found to be of acceptable methodological quality, and even these 10 were still weak in reference to scientific standards.
Research has shown that essential oils have potential as a natural pesticide. In case studies, certain oils have been shown to have a variety of deterring effects on pests, specifically insects and select arthropods. However, the molecules within the oils that cause these effects are normally non-toxic for mammals. These specific actions of the molecules allow for widespread use of these green pesticides without harmful effects to anything other than pests.
Although they may not be the perfect replacement for all synthetic pesticides, essential oils have prospects for crop or indoor plant protection, urban pest control,  and marketed insect repellants, such as bug spray. Certain essential oils have been shown in studies to be comparable, if not exceeding, in effectiveness to DEET , which is currently marketed as the most effective mosquito repellent.
Although essential oils are effective as pesticides when first applied in uses such as mosquito repellent applied to the skin, it is only effective in the vapor stage.
Since this stage is relatively short-lived, creams and polymer mixtures are used in order to elongate the vapor period of effective repellency. In any form, using essential oils as green pesticides rather than synthetic pesticides has ecological benefits such as decreased residual actions. Essential oils are usually lipophilic literally: They can be diluted in solvents like pure ethanol and polyethylene glycol. The most common way to safely dilute essential oils for topical use is in a carrier oil.
This can be any vegetable oil readily available, the most popular for skin care being jojoba, coconut, wheat germ, olive and avocado. Essential oils are derived from sections of plants. Some plants, like the bitter orange , are sources of several types of essential oil. Balsam of Peru , an essential oil derived from the Myroxylon , is used in food and drink for flavoring, in perfumes and toiletries for fragrance, and in medicine and pharmaceutical items for healing properties.
Garlic oil is an essential oil derived from garlic. Most eucalyptus oil on the market is produced from the leaves of Eucalyptus globulus. Not only do the products of different species differ greatly in characteristics and effects, but also the products of the very same tree can vary grossly.
Lavender oil has long been used in the production of perfume. Rose oil is produced from the petals of Rosa damascena and Rosa centifolia. Steam-distilled rose oil is known as "rose otto", while the solvent extracted product is known as "rose absolute". The potential danger of an essential oil is sometimes relative to its level or grade of purity, and sometimes related to the toxicity of specific chemical components of the oil. Many essential oils are designed exclusively for their aroma-therapeutic quality; these essential oils generally should not be applied directly to the skin in their undiluted or "neat" form.
Some can cause severe irritation, provoke an allergic reaction and, over time, prove hepatotoxic. Some essential oils, including many of the citrus peel oils, are photosensitizers , increasing the skin's vulnerability to sunlight. Industrial users of essential oils should consult the safety data sheets SDS to determine the hazards and handling requirements of particular oils. Even certain therapeutic grade oils can pose potential threats to individuals with epilepsy or pregnant women. Essential Oil use in children can pose a danger when misused because of their thin skin and immature livers.
This might cause them to be more susceptible to toxic effects than adults. The flash point of each essential oil is different. Estrogenic and antiandrogenic activity have been reported by in vitro study of tea tree oil and lavender essential oils.
Two published sets of case reports suggest the lavender oil may be implicated in some cases of gynecomastia , an abnormal breast tissue growth in prepubescent boys. Some of the substances are found in "at least 65 other essential oils".
The study did not include animal or human testing. Exposure to essential oils may cause a contact dermatitis. Glass syringes are often used, but have coarse volumetric graduations. Chemistry syringes are ideal, as they resist essential oils, are long enough to enter deep vessels, and have fine graduations, facilitating quality control.
Unlike traditional pipettes, which have difficulty handling viscous fluids, the chemistry syringe, also known as a positive displacement pipette, has a seal and piston arrangement which slides inside the pipette, wiping the essential oil off the pipette wall.
Some oils can be toxic to some domestic animals, cats in particular. There is some concern about pesticide residues in essential oils, particularly those used therapeutically. For this reason, many practitioners of aromatherapy buy organically produced oils.
Not only are pesticides present in trace quantities, but also the oils themselves are used in tiny quantities and usually in high dilutions. Where there is a concern about pesticide residues in food essential oils, such as mint or orange oils, the proper criterion is not solely whether the material is organically produced, but whether it meets the government standards based on actual analysis of its pesticide content.
Certain essential oils are safe to use during pregnancy, but care must be taken when selecting quality and brand. Sensitivity to certain smells may cause pregnant women to have adverse side effects with essential oil use, such as headache, vertigo, and nausea.
Pregnant women often report an abnormal sensitivity to smells and taste,  and essential oils can cause irritation and nausea when ingested. Always consult a doctor before use. The following table lists the LD 50 or median lethal dose for common oils; this is the dose required to kill half the members of a tested animal population.
LD 50 is intended as a guideline only, and reported values can vary widely due to differences in tested species and testing conditions. From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia. For the Midnight Oil album, see Essential Oils album. Not to be confused with essential fatty acid. This section needs more medical references for verification or relies too heavily on primary sources.
Please review the contents of the section and add the appropriate references if you can. Unsourced or poorly sourced material may be challenged and removed. List of essential oils.
British Pharmacopoeia and United States Pharmacopoeia. Oxford English Dictionary online, American English ed. Archived from the original on The Journal of Nutrition. A systematic review of case reports and case series". Brill's First Encyclopaedia of Islam, — Casarett and Doull's Toxicology:
101 Essential Oil Uses & Benefits
If you're finally curious enough to give essential oils a go, we've got the information to help you get started. We compiled a comprehensive. Not sure how to navigate the land of essential oils? Find out everything you need to know about the best essential oils and how to use them. Essential oils have been used for more than years for natural remedies for various conditions and also to improve the health of skin, hair and body, or to.