Essential oils, also referred to as "essences", are botanical extracts of various plant materials such as flowers, fruit, seeds, leaves, barketc. These oils are called essential as they represent the very essence of odour and flavour of the plant and are highly concentrated in nature . For example, it takes about 16 pounds of fresh peppermint leaves to produce an ounce of essential oil.
Essential oils differ from perfume or fragrance oils as they are derived from the plants whereas perfume/fragrance oils are artificially created fragrances or contain artificial substances and are unable to offer the therapeutic benefits which essential oils offer.
The use of essential oils have a long history and has been used by many prominent healers in the past due to the healing power of the extracts.