Minerals, Metals, and Other Materials

Natural Substances

Why are essential oils called “essential”?

Called essential oils because of their ease of solubility in alcohol to form essences, essential oils are used in flavorings, perfumes, disinfectants, medicine, and other products. They are naturally occurring volatile aromatic oils found in uncombined forms within various parts of plants, such as leaves and pods. These oils contain as one of their main ingredients a substance belonging to the terpene group. Examples of essential oils include bergamot, eucalyptus, ginger, pine, spearmint, and wintergreen oils. Extracted by distillation or enfleurage (extraction using fat) and mechanical pressing, these oils can now be made synthetically.


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