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Essential Oil

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Updated July 24, 2013

Definition:

A concentrated oil containing aromatic compounds from a plant. Essential oils are responsible for the scent of the plant and are most often found in the flowers and leaves. The scents are thought to have therapeutic properties.

Essential oils are used in aromatherapy, massage therapy and in other alternative therapies. They're available in small vials in health food stores and online, and can also be found in products such as soaps, lotions, bath salts and candles. Essential oils evaporate easily into the air, which is why they're also called volatile oils.

Essential oils shouldn't be confused with essential fatty acids, which are edible oils that are a necessary part of our diets.

Also Known As: Aromatherapy essential oils, volatile oils
Examples:
Some of the more popular essential oils include lavender essential oil, tea tree essential oil, and eucalyptus essential oil.
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