Essential Oils Index

Essential Oils and Aromatherapy


Essential Oils - Index

The essential oils listed here do not constitute a complete list. However, the oils listed are commonly used essential oils within the discipline of medical Aromatherapy and the list will be up-dated and expanded over time.

You can click on the name of the essential oil to access more information on that specific essential oil.

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Index to Essential Oils

The essential oil of Sweet basil is extracted by steam distillation from all the above ground parts of the plant, but is concentrated primarily in the leaves. The oil is a light green colour and has a refreshing odour like a mixture of thyme, peppermint and liquorice.


Bergamot has been used as a digestive tonic and a worming agent. As it is reputed to be strongly antiseptic with an affinity for the respiratory, digestive and urinary systems, it has also been used for a variety of infections and inflammations of these areas.

Black pepper

Camomile (Chamomile)
Chamomile (Chamaemelum nobile) is one of the most famous of the daisy (Compositae) family of plants. The essential oil of Chamomile is extracted from the leaves and flower cones by steam distillation and varies in colour from light green-blue to cobalt blue.



Cedarwood oil was possibly the first essential oil to be extracted from a plant, and was used by the Egyptians in the mummification process. The Egyptians also valued Cedarwood highly as an ingredient for cosmetics, and impregnated papyrus leaves with it to protect them from insects.

Clary sage
Clary sage (Salvia sclarea) is similar in appearance to common sage, although its blue flowers are slightly smaller. The essential oil of Clary sage is clear and has a sweet, nutty scent, only slighlty reminiscent of common sage oil, with a much more pleasant, almost floral quality.

Cypress (Cupressus sempervirens) is traditionally a tree of graveyards. But it has many other qualities... Paul Vasseur described it as "an exclamation-mark on a happy landscape". C. sempervirens is the cypress of southern Europe, also known as Italian cypress

Eucalyptus oil is harvested from the leaves of the Eucalyptus tree, a native to Australia. The Eucalyptus tree (Eucalyptus globulus) is a medium to very tall forest tree which may reach 70 metres in ideal conditions but is more commonly 15-25 metres in height.



The essential oil of Rose Geranium, clear to light green in colour and highly aromatic, is extracted from the leaves and flowers by steam distillation. The fragrance is reminiscent of roses with a citrus-peppery tone.


The essential oil of Jasmine is beneficial for hot, dry, sensitive skin, especially if there is redness or itching. This does not mean however that Jasmine oil cannot be used for other skin types. Jasmine oil is reddish-brown in colour and blends very well with Rose and citrus oils. It has a sweet, exotic bouquet which never fails to please.

Juniper oil acts on the skin, digestion, urinary tract, the blood and the nervous system. Along with sandalwood it is one of the classic diuretics and remedies for urinary tract infections.

The Essential Oil of Lavender is generally regarded as the mosts useful and versatile essential oil for therapeutic purposes. Lavender oil is widely used in the natural skin care industry as well as in perfumery, especially in toilet waters and it is still an extremely populer Essential oil.


Melissa is often referred to as 'lemon balm' and its leaves have a delightul, lemony scent. Melissa is found in Europe, Middle Asia and North America and is common in England and rapidly spreading whether cultivated or wild. Melissa has many medicinal indications and is used in natural skin care products for its soothing and tonic properties.


Orange blossom (Neroli)
Neroli oil is, as its price suggests, among the finest of essential oils. Neroli is most commonly used in Eau-de-Cologne, where it blends with lavender, bergamot, lemon, and rosemary to form the classic toilet water. It will also blend with sandalwood, jasmine, and rose, and is good to use as the 'heart' of a floral blend.

Patchouli comes from India, where it is known as puchaput. Patchouli belongs to the labiate family, but the oil is unlike other labiate oils. Patchouli oil has the unusual property of improving in odour with age. It is a deep reddish-brown, and is exactly the same colour and consistency as oils of benzoin and myrrh.

Peppermint is one of the best known of all herbs. Peppermint oil has wide ranging applications in the cosmetic, dental and confectionery industries and is often used as a flavouring.

Rose oil is, perhaps surprisingly, one of the most antiseptic essences. This combined with its slightly tonic and soothing qualities and its action on the capillaries, make it useful for virtually all types of skin. It is particularly good for mature, dry, or sensitive skin and for any kind of redness, or inflammation.

Rosemary is a well-known aromatic, low-growing shrub, with spiky, dark green leaves and clusters of small pale, blue flowers. It is a cleansing, stimulating and restorative herb and is used on the body either as an infusion, or in the form of an essential oil.

Sandalwood has a history of use in chronic genito-urinary tract infections, as a reproductive tonic and as Nervous System tonic.

The name Ylang Ylang means flower of flowers, and it certainly has an exotic, voluptuous sent. It resembles a mixture of jasmine and almond, and is very sweet. It blends well with other essential oils such as sandalwood and jasmine and makes a useful fixative.


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