When you’re new to essential oils, it’s a good idea to brush up a little on the lingo. You should know the basic terms used when discussing essential oils and aromatherapy so you can communicate with other users more efficiently. If you’re reading articles about essential oils, or participating in groups, you want to be able to understand the basics of what everyone is talking about. If you’re not familiar with these terms it could make it difficult to find the right oils for your collection or even make it a little harder to follow some recipes.
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Here are 15 common terms for essential oils to help you get started:
- Absolute – When distilling a concrete, an absolute is the most concentrated fragrances you can obtain.
- Aromatic – Having a strong odor or scent.
- Calmative – Having sedative properties.
- Carrier oil – A vegetable oil, lotion, gel, cream or any other agent used to dilute essential oils to make them safe to use.
- Cold pressed – Method used to extract oils from the plant without using chemicals or heat so that the oil retains its essential fatty acid content.
- Concrete – A semi-solid essential oil extract with a waxy feel that is made by using plant material.
- Diffuser – A device used to break up the tiny particles that make up essential oils and then disperse them into the air.
- Dispersant – A non-alcoholic substance used to dissolve essential oils across the surface of bathwater used for aromatherapy.
- Distillation – One of the methods used to extract the essential oil from a plant.
- Fixed Oils – The vegetable oil that comes from non-volatile and fatty plants.
- Infusion – Refers to the process of steeping or soaking plant material in water or vegetable oil to prepare a homemade remedy.
- Phototoxicity – Refers to a sensitivity or pigmentation reaction that can occur when the skin is exposed to ultra-violet light after using certain essential oils.
- Phytotherapy – Using plants and herbs as medicine to treat various illnesses and diseases.
- Synergy – The effect created when you mix two or more essential oils together to make them more effective than they would be if used individually.
- Volatile – An unstable substance that evaporates quickly.
The terms above are some of the most common ones used when discussing essential oils and aromatherapy. This is certainly not an exhaustive list, but it should help you get started.
It’s always a good idea to learn as much about these oils and the way they’re used before you begin using them and learning the terminology is a good place to start. You’ll be less likely to make a rookie mistake that could potentially cause you harm. Therefore, in addition to making it easier to communicate with others, it may also help prevent accidents.
I just placed my first order for oils! Can’t wait to try them!
Lisa Clark says
Yay! That’s awesome. Glad to hear it and I hope you enjoy them.
Amelia Furman says
Thanks for demystifying all the crazy terms that are heard in conversations about essential oils. I’m completely ignorant about them, so this was super helpful! Thanks for the foundational info!
Lisa Clark says
You’re welcome and thanks for stopping by to read and comment.
Vicki @ Babies to Bookworms says
This is so helpful! I have just started getting into essential oils, so this will come in handy!
Lisa Clark says
You’re welcome! Thanks so much for stopping by.
Amanda Maxwell says
I have been using oils for a while so this was a good refresher for me. A few I needed brushing up on for sure!
Nicole Banuelos says
This is a great reference, I’ve been meaning to look into oils so I will be saving this!