Essential oils are herbal products of a very strong odor. They are fragrant, volatile mixtures of various chemical compounds, liquid products of plant tissue. Many organic compounds are present in their composition: alcohols, aldehydes, ketones, various fatty acids. The basic component is terpenoids.
In general, they have a very wide application in medicine, pharmacy, perfumery and cosmetics, food, culinary and agriculture. They are fragrant mixtures, easily volatile, which are synthesized and localized in special secretory structures of plants and can be pre-distilled with water vapor.
Species that are particularly rich in oils are species from families: Pinaceae, Rutaceae, Apiaceae, Zingiberaceae, Lauraceae, Lamiaceae, Myrtaceae and Asteraceae. They can be found in every part of the plant: roots, trees, leaves, flowers and fruits of plants. Depending on which part of the plant the essential oil is obtained from, there are different types of oil of one plant.
Oils in the Pharmaceutical Industry
Oils that are of importance for pharmaceutical purposes are those plants that, by distillation with water vapor, yield over 0.01% of the essential oil. Certain essential oils are very viscous or of a solid consistency at room temperature (e.g. iris essential oil). When it comes to the organoleptic properties of essential oils, they are generally colorless, yellow or yellow-green, although there are also bright essential oils (e.g. cinnamon, clove) oils. Their odor is intense and its origin is derived from components with an oxygen group. The taste is also intense.
Essential oils are liposoluble, while the by-products of steam distillation in order to isolate the essential oils or dissolve the essential oil in water, obtain aqueous solutions of the hydro-solubility constituents of the essential oils – aromatic water. Aromatic waters are widely used in the pharmaceutical industry.
These products are easily susceptible to oxidation and should be packaged in small, dark, filled bottles and stored in cold or cool temperatures.
It is very difficult to standardize essential oils to always have the same color, taste and aroma because there are various properties of the oils that depend on climatic factors (temperature, humidity, time of harvesting the vegetable raw material, etc.), the method of processing and the genotype of the oil (within one type there are more types of plants).
When oils do not always look the same, this is proof that this is a truly natural product without the addition of artificial colors, fragrances and preservatives. Most of the food we buy in the store is standard in the same taste, smell, appearance and color. This is thanks to the addition of a large number of chemicals that make it possible to standardize the product.
We should always keep in mind that nature is infinitely diverse and the only real source of life energy for us!
Never underestimate the power of nature, use its products properly and nature will reveal you all of its best.