If you have ever enjoyed the scent of a rose, you have experienced the aromatic qualities of one of the single essential oils available today. These naturally occurring, volatile aromatic compounds are found in the seeds, bark, stems, roots, flowers, and other parts of plants. Essential oils provide plants with protection against predators and disease and play a role in plant pollination. In addition to their intrinsic benefits to plants and being beautifully fragrant to people, single essential oils have long been used for food preparation, beauty treatment, and health-care practices.
Basil Valued for its restorative and calming properties, basil is commonly used for soothing sore muscles and joints, to ease breathing, and as a cooling agent for the skin.
Bergamot is a highly favored oil for its lovely fragrance. It is unique among citrus oils for its calming properties. It should be cold-pressed from the rind of the bergamot fruit.
Black Pepper essential oil is a multi-purpose oil that is extracted from the unripe red fruit of the Piper nigrum plant. A stimulating and highly antioxidant essential oil which has been shown to improve circulation, aid digestive system, as well as help curb urges to smoke. Black pepper is also a wonderful flavor enhancer but a little goes a long way – use sparingly.
Cassia, a close relative of cinnamon, is notable for its wonderful fragrance. Mentioned in the Old Testament, cassia has literally been used for thousands of years both for its fragrance and calming properties.
Cilantro essential oil comes from the leaves of the coriander plant and is a fresh and tasty flavor enhancer used by food connoisseurs. There are also many diverse benefits that may be enjoyed, including digestive, antioxidant, and stimulating. For aromatic, topical or internal use.
Cinnamon is most well-known for its extensive use as a spice in flavoring food. However, its popularity as an essential oil stems from its many therapeutic uses, including cinnamon's cleansing properties and its usefulness with aches and pains.
Clary Sage is known for its uplifting and mood-lightening attributes. It is also widely used by women to soothe monthly discomfort associated with their menstrual cycles. It was also studied by noted expert Robert Tisserand for its mood-enhancing properties during massage.
Clove is much more than a popular cooking spice, it is a favorite among both health care professionals and health conscious individuals for its many useful and healing properties. It is also a powerful antioxidant.
Coriander is popular across many cultures for various uses. It oil is extracted from the seed of the coriander plant. Coriander's healthful therapeutic benefits, which can be attributed to its extremely high linalool content, range from digestive support to supporting a healthy insulin response.
Cypress is distilled from the twigs and foliage of the cypress tree. It is popularly used to ease breathing as well as a throat gargle. It can be used to ease tight, tense muscles, and used topically to support localized blood flow. A blend of cypress and grapefruit is used in spa therapies for beautifying legs and hips.
Eucalyptus has an outdoorsy aroma. Because of the many influential compounds found in eucalyptus, it is a key ingredient in cough and throat medicines and chest ointments. It is used widely both for its calming and clearing properties as well as to ease breathing.
Fennel (Sweet) has been used for centuries for its many health benefits. Fennel essential oil has pronounced antioxidant properties and is considered a tonic. It is often used to relieve indigestion (supporting the healthy functions of the stomach), to aid in any kind of digestive issue and to support improvements to the lymphatic system. Fennel's sweet yet spicy aroma is balancing and has familiar licorice notes.
Frankincense is perhaps the most precious of the ancient oils, frankincense is highly sought after by modern consumers for its many uses, including relaxation, immune support, and mood enhancement.
Geranium offers outstanding benefits for soothing skin and is a common ingredient in many skin care products. Also useful for joint support and tempering minor aches and pains, geranium's calming effects make it a popular choice for many essential oil users.
Ginger is an indispensable component of worldwide cuisine and is most notable for its ability to ease indigestion. Ginger's sweet, citrusy fragrance accompanies a multitude of other therapeutic benefits.
Grapefruit's fresh, invigorating aroma is sure to uplift the mood and please the senses. Pressed from the rind, grapefruit is more than just a fresh scent, its cleansing and invigorating properties have made it a favorite among essential oil lovers.
Helichrysum happens to be one of the most sought-after essential oils. It has traditionally been used for its soothing and regenerative effects. The rare essential oil of helichrysum is distilled from the flower cluster of an evergreen herb and is highly prized by essential oil users.
Juniper Berry acts as a natural cleansing agent, both internally and externally. It supports healthy kidney and urinary function as is very beneficial to the skin. When diffused, Juniper Berry helps to cleanse and purify the air.
Lavender is a most popular oil. It has been cherished for its unmistakable aroma and its therapeutic properties for thousands of years. Lavender is widely used and accepted for its calming and relaxing qualities.
Lemon is a favorite among many. This essential oil powerhouse is cold-pressed from lemon rinds to preserve its delicate nature and potent properties. Lemon is known as a powerful aromatic, topical, and internal cleanser that can be used to complement many other oils. Diffusing lemon in a room can cleanse the air and uplift mood. It can also be used on surfaces throughout the home as a non-toxic cleaning booster.
Lemongrass has long been used in Asian and Caribbean cooking due to its subtle lemony flavor and aroma. It has been found to support healthy digestion, and soothe aching muscles.
Lime, with its sharp, citrus smell is one more essential oil to add to your favorites. Lime’s stimulating and refreshing properties can affect mood, as well as being a powerful aromatic, topical and internal cleanser. Lime is also popular for use on joints and for seasonal bugs.
Marjoram is also referred to as "wintersweet" or "joy of the mountains." It is one of the most common herbs found in kitchens around the world. Valued for its calming properties, marjoram may be applied topically to soothe tired, stressed muscles or to support the respiratory or nervous system.
Melissa is one of the most expensive and rare oils. It has a sweet, fresh, citrus-like fragrance and is steam distilled from the fresh flowering tops, leaves and stems of the melissa officinalis plant. With a wide range of therapeutic properties, melissa can be used for calming the nerves, addressing stomach discomfort, mood support, and seasonal bugs. Because the melissa plant has an oil yield of less than 1/10 of 1%, it is one of the most commonly adulterated oils.
Myrrh Historically, myrrh has been used in many ways, from meditation to embalming in ancient Egypt. Modern herbalists frequently recommend myrrh for its cleansing properties, especially for the mouth and throat. Myrrh is also excellent for calming the skin.
Orange is cold-pressed from the orange peel. It is excellent for energizing and revitalizing. It is also commonly used as an effective tool for uplifting mood, as well as for its wonderful citrusy aroma.
Oregano Hippocrates, the father of medicine, used oregano as a cleansing agent as well as for digestive and respiratory support. High in antioxidant activity, oregano contains phenolic acids and flavonoids.
Patchouli oil has an easily recognizable rich musky-sweet fragrance. It can have a grounding, balancing effect on the emotions while providing excellent mood support. Patchouli is also widely used for wounds and tissue repair, as well as in skin care preparations for these same properties.
Peppermint is popular in countless forms, from toothpaste to chewing gum. As an essential oil, it is useful to ease breathing and as a digestive aid.
Roman Chamomile is the most versatile of the chamomiles. Roman chamomile is extracted from the small, white, daisy-like flower of the Roman chamomile plant. Used widely for its calming properties, Roman chamomile is especially soothing to the systems of the body and helps to support a healthy inflammatory response.
Rosemary is considered sacred by ancient Greeks, Romans, Egyptians and Hebrews, rosemary has been revered by healers for centuries for its digestive uses and for muscle aches and pains.
Sandalwood has a documented history of use over several thousand years and a wide variety of applications. Sandalwood is most notable for its smoothing effects on skin and for its mood-enhancing properties.
Tea Tree (Melaleuca) Recognized by its more common name "tea tree", melaleuca has been revered for its cleansing and regenerative properties, especially for the skin. Composed of more than ninety different compounds, melaleuca has limitless therapeutic applications.
Thyme is familiar to most as a common seasoning for cooking, produces and essential oil that has valuable cleansing and clarifying properties. It is also notable for its broad-spectrum activity for winter health.
Vetiver is loved for its rich, exotic, and complex aroma. Used extensively in perfumes as a base note and fixative, vetiver's woody, earthy scent complements many other essential oils. Vetiver also has many therapeutic uses, including as an antioxidant and for relaxation.
White Fir is derived from the soft needles of the tree, white fir is a favorite among essential oil users for its ability to relieve and soothe muscle aches and pains when applied topically.
Wintergreen is a popular scent and most modern consumers are familiar with the aroma and flavor of wintergreen due to its use in candy and chewing gum. Wintergreen essential oil, however, has much more to offer therapeutically, as a soothing agent for aches and pains, for example.
Ylang Ylang Ylang ylang, while famed for its exquisite fragrance and long history as a component of perfumes, has much to offer therapeutically. It is an effective mood uplifting agent as well as having calming properties.
If you can't find a description of the oil you are looking for, try our Less Common Oil List. This is a place where we describe the oils in a brief setting since these oils are hard to find in a single bottle. Mostly, these are the oils are are use in connection with popular essential oil blends.
Single essential oils are both exciting and promising when it comes to taking care of your own and your family’s health. Whether you’re applying essential oils topically, enjoying the aromatic benefits through diffusing, or taking essential oils internally, the positive, healthful effects of essential oils are boundless.
That’s why you’ll want to ensure that the single essential oils you are using are capable of delivering on their promise. You’ll want to make sure that you are choosing single essential oils for their potency and their purity.
Most essential oils have a clean feel and are quickly absorbed into the skin, leaving no residue. On a molecular level, essential oils are made of organic compounds such as terpenes, ketones, esters, phenols and aldehydes. These constituents contain powerful properties that give essential oils their immediate action, resulting in nearly instant relief.
Potency starts with the plant itself. The same species of plant when grown in different environments will vary in chemical composition. But, that’s only half of the equation. Purity plays a major role as well. Many essential oils available to purchase are not certified pure. Often, they contain fillers or other elements that dilute and alter the purity. This diminishes the healthful qualities of the oil.
Essential oils that can be called therapeutic are most often extracted via a low-heat steam distillation process in which steam is circulated under pressure through plant material, liberating the essential oils into the steam. As the steam mixture cools, the water and oils are separated and the oils collected in its pure form. To insure the highest quality oil extract of correct chemical composition, temperature and pressure must be monitored very closely. Too little heat and pressure will not release the valuable oil, too much can fracture an extract’s delicate chemical composition and alter its potency.
Equally important to the carefully controlled extract process, the meticulous selection of correct plant species and plant parts, harvested at the perfect moment when their essential oil compounds are most concentrated is also required for a quality therapeutic grade essential extract. This complex process is a much an art form as it is a science and requires experienced growers and distillers working together to ensure a superior product.