Glossary of Terms

Absolute Generally an alcohol method of extraction from concrete for producing an alcohol-soluble liquid or semi-liquid oil.
Acne Skin disorder caused by inflammation of the skin glands and hair follicles found primarily in adolescents and marked by pimples, especially on the face.
Analgesic Agent or remedy that deadens pain.
Anti-arthritic Agent that combats arthritis.
Anti-inflammatory Alleviates inflammation.
Antimicrobial Agent that destroys or resists pathogenic micro-organisms.
Antioxidant Substance used to prevent or delay deterioration, especially upon exposure to air. Prevents fats from spoiling.
Antiseptic Prevents and destroys microbe development.
Aphrodisiac Stimulates or increases sexual desire.
Aromatherapy Therapeutic use of essential oils to balance, rejuvenate and relax the body, mind and spirit. Aromatherapy helps improve the quality of life on an emotional, physical and spiritual level.
Arthritis Inflammation of joints due to infectious or metabolic causes.
Asthma Condition marked by labored breathing and wheezing, sense of chest constriction, and often attacks or coughing or gasping. Often from an allergic origin.
Astringent Causes contraction of organic tissues.
Attar Extracted substance derived from flower distillation.
Cold pressed The cold pressed or expression method used to obtain certain essential oils, especially citrus, carrier oils and juices. Minimal heat extraction process. Also see expeller pressed.
Concrete Waxy, solid or semi-solid perfume material prepared from previously live plant matter, usually using a hydrocarbon type of solvent, which yields, after solvent removal, a waxy, solid or semi-solid concentrate.
Diffusion Evaporation, or volatilization, of the aromatic components of the oil into the atmosphere. Accessories such as aroma lamps, electric diffuser and unglazed porous diffusers can be used.
Distillation Heat process for separation and purification of a liquid mixture from plant material where the essential oils are derived through vaporization and condensation.
Eczema Inflamed skin condition characterized by itching, redness and oozing vesicular lesions that become crusted or scaly.
Emollient Has a soothing and softening effect on the skin by preventing water loss.
Emulsifier Substances used to bind or stabilize an emulsion. An example of an emulsion would be an oil and vinegar salad dressing once shaken.
Essential Oil The volatile and aromatic liquid or semi-solid obtained from a single botanical, primarily through the distillation, expression or extraction process. Generally, it constitutes the odorous principles of a plant, having the taste or smell of the original botanical used. However, essential oils do not always have the same properties as the whole plant from which it was derivied from as certain parts of the plant are used to produce the essential oil.
Expeller pressed Extraction by machine pressing, usually around 90 degrees Fahrenheit.
Extraction Absolutes, concretes, oleoresins and resinoids are produced through this process of treating plant material with an organic solvent. The solvent portion is removed upon filtering. The extract contains both volatile and non-volatile components.
Fixative Material that slows down the evaporation rate of more volatile components in a perfume composition.
Fixed or Carrier Oils Non-volatile oils derived from plant material, usually referred to as vegetable oils. Certain oils are used as a base to dilute the essential oils.
Fungicidal Prevents and combats fungal infection.
Hydrolysis Process of decomposition involving splitting of a bond and addition of the elements of water.
Hydrosol Also known as floral water or distillate water.  It is the by-product of steam distillation and includes some of the water-soluable elements of the plant not included in essential oil. In addition, hydrosol has many of the same properties as the essential oil in lower concentrations.
Insecticide Repels insects.
pH On a scale of 14, it measures alkalinity and acidity. A neutral solution, such as water, is 7. Alkaline is more than 7, while acid is less than 7. Skin and hair are naturally acidic.
Psoriasis Chronic skin disease known by its silver scaling and red patches.
Relaxant Soothing, causing relaxation, relieving strain or tension.
Restorative Strengthens and revives the body system.
Rheumatism Various conditions characterized by inflammation or pain in joints, muscles or fibrous tissue.
Seborrhea Generally associated with excessive oil secretion from the sweat glands.
Sebum The level of sebum production determines whether skin is dry, normal or oily. It is the oily substance produced by the sebaceous glands which are open to the skins surface at pores located in the epidermis. Its function is to lubricate the skin and seal in moisture. Too much sebum production can cause acne and other skin disorders.
Single Note 100% pure and natural essential oil that has no additional additives and has not been adulterated.
Stabilizer Product added to maintain a desired texture or give it body.
Stimulant Agent that quickens the physiological functions of the body.
Surfactant These wetting agents help lower water's surface tension which allows it to penetrate and spread out more easily. There are four major categories, depending upon the electrical charge, or lack of electrical charge, carried. Surfacants properties range from cleaning, stain removal, antistatic and sanitizing, to adding mildness to shampoos and lotions.
Synergy Agents that work harmoniously together, or where the total effect is more affective than the individual parts. A synergistic oil blend combines a variety of oils to produce a new aroma with a different therapeutic effect.
Tincture Method of alcoholic extraction from mashed or boiled plant material for flavors, aromas and tonics. Also an herbal remedy, or perfumery material prepared in an alcohol base.
Tonic Enlivens and strengthens body parts.
Viscosity Capability possessed by a solid of yielding continually under stress.
Volatile Unstable and evaporates easily.
Waxes Organic compound generally similar in composition to fats and oils, except it contains no glycerides. Solid at room temperature.

Notice: This list is intended for informational purposes only and is not a medical or prescriptive guide. It is not intended to treat or diagnose any problems, and you should seek medical attention or advice for your specific situation.