What are essential oils?
Essential oils are parts of plants and herbs, which on average constitute less than 10% of the plant and which determine the scent and flavor of the herbs. Well-known essential oils are lavender oil, tea tree oil, eucalyptus oil and peppermint oil. The ingredients of the oils have very particular functions for the plants, such as attracting pollinating insects or repelling pests.
How are these natural oils produced and how are they extracted?
Essential oils are formed in the oil glands of many plants and then stored in the plant tissue. These are located in various parts of the plant, such as the flowers, leaves, seeds, fruit peel, roots, resin, rind or wood. The amount of essential oil in the different plant parts varies widely depending on the plant and growth phase. For instance, there is often more essential oil to be found in the flowers and leaves than in the roots of the plant. Also the well-known peppermint oil where the main component – menthol – is responsible for its typical peppermint aroma is mainly located in the leaves of the herb peppermint.
By means of various extraction methods such as steam distillation or solvent extraction, the precious essences can be released from the plants.
What are the oils used for?
There is a huge variety of different essential oils worldwide. So it’s hardly surprising that we use essential oils almost every day: whether it’s cooking with fresh or dried herbs, applying perfume or skincare products, or as a fragrance for our homes – they don’t just smell good, but also support our well-being through internal or external use.