Basic Essential Oil Terminology

Basic Essential Oil TerminologyOften, the basic essential oil terminology we use with essential oils are ‘short-cuts’ for more complex ideas.  The words and expressions we use can be confusing for those just learning about the power of essential oils.  With that in mind, we thought it would be appropriate to take a moment to explain some of the more common words and expressions you might hear when someone speaks about essential oils and aromatherapy.

Basic Essential Oil Terminology

The is by no means an exhaustive list but does cover most of the terms that often occur in the conversations of essential oil users.

AROMATIC – an application method of essential oils that simply means the smelling or inhaling of essential oils.

TOPICAL – an application method of applying essential oils to the skin or exterior of the body.

INTERNAL – an application method of consuming essential oils.

NEAT – the topical application essential oils with no dilution (or carrier oil).

SENSITIVE – the topical application of essential oils that may require dilution for younger or sensitive skin.

DILUTE – the topical application of essential oils, usually ‘hot’ oils, that require dilution with a carrier oil.

VOLATILE – changing state quickly, usually in the form of passing off readily in the form of a vapor or evaporating rapidly.

AROMATHERAPY – the aromatic use of essential oils to promote emotional well-being, often to affect a person’s feeling, mood, or behavior.

CARRIER OIL – an oil one mixes with an essential oil when applying topical for absorption.  Also for diluting strong or ‘hot’ essential oils when applying to the skin.

DIFFUSE – way to experience essential oils by spreading the vapor out, usually over a large area (see aromatic).

PROPRIETARY BLEND – a unique blending of two or more essential oils blend sold exclusively by doTERRA.

CPTG (Certified Pure Therapeutic Grade®) doTERRA’s testing process that certifies that there are no added fillers, synthetic ingredients, or harmful contaminants in essential oils that would reduce their efficacy.

CO-IMPACT SOURCING – a doTERRA initiative to ensure that small-scale farmers and harvesters in disadvantaged areas are treated ethically and receive on-time payment for their labors.

STEAM DISTILLATION – a process to extract essential oil from a plant (usually the leaves) using steam and pressure.

COLD PRESSED (or expression) – a process to extract essential oil using mechanical pressure.  Citrus essential oils are ‘cold pressed.’

Click below to download a PDF copy of the terms.

Basic Essential Oil Terminology
Downloadable PDF