Some Essential Oils are Extracted from Vegetables: Photo Credit, Fotolia
Some Essential Oils are Extracted from Vegetables: Photo Credit, Fotolia

Strange as it sounds, some essential oils are extracted from vegetables! Although not all are used in aromatherapy practice, some vegetable essential oils are becoming popular in aromatherapy. This week’s post looks at some essential oils that are extracted from vegetables and what you might use them for.

Carrot Seed Essential Oil

Carrot (Daucus carota) produces both an essential oil and a carrier oil. Although you might be thinking of the domestic carrot, with its bright orange root – Daucus carota ssp. sativus – wild carrot (Daucus carota ssp. carota) is the source of the essential oil and carrier oil; the domestic carrot was developed from the wild carrot during the sixteenth century.

Wild carrot has a tough, white root, hairy leaves, and characteristic umbels of white lacy flowers; wild carrot belongs to the Apiaceae plant family. The essential oil is extracted from the seeds of the plant, and the carrier oil is extracted by maceration.

Carrot seed essential oil is used a lot in skincare, particularly for mature skin and skin toning applications. In aromatherapy practice it is also used for arthritis, rheumatism, gout, PMS, dysmenorrhea, and amenorrhea.

Carrot seed essential oil has a warm, woody-earthy aroma.

CAUTIONS: None noted.

Celery Seed Essential Oil

Celery (Apium graveolens) is a plant that has been sourced for its use as a spice in the past. The essential oil has a warm, spicy aroma which might come as a surprise to some. It is extracted from the seeds of the plant.

Celery is a small plant with a solid, grooved stalk, topped with pinnate leaves. It also produces umbels of white flowers and is related to Apiaceae plant family member, wild carrot.

Celery seed essential oil is used in aromatherapy practice for arthritis, rheumatism, gout, indigestion, amenorrhea, sciatica, and flatulence.

CAUTIONS: Avoid during pregnancy.

Parsley Essential Oil

Parsley (Petroselinum sativum) is also a member of the Apiaceae plant family. It is a smallish herb with bright green leaves, green-yellow flowers, and small brown seeds. An essential oil is produced from both the seed and the actual plant. Parsley seed essential oil has a warm, woody-spicy aroma and parsley (herb) essential oil has a warm, spicy-sweet aroma.

In aromatherapy practice, parsley essential oil is used for arthritis, rheumatism, sciatica, indigestion, flatulence, amenorrhea, dysmenorrhea, and cystitis.

CAUTIONS: Avoid during pregnancy.

Garlic Essential Oil

Garlic (Allium sativum) is a member of the Liliaceae plant family and it doesn’t have much use in aromatherapy practice because of its unpleasant aroma. However, an essential oil is produced via steam distillation of the crushed bulbs.

The plant has white flowering stems and long, flat leaves. The bulb (root) is composed of several cloves which are covered by a white skin. The plant is very aromatic. The essential oil is reminiscent of the plant with a strong, garlic aroma.

CAUTIONS: Possible sensitivity.

Onion Essential Oil

Onion (Allium cepa) is a relative of garlic and it also belongs to the Liliaceae plant family. Again, although an essential oil is produced by steam distillation of the bulb of the plant, the strong, unpleasant aroma discourages use in aromatherapy practice.

Onion has hollow leaves and a flowering stem, with a large, round fleshy bulb (root). It also produces small, black seeds. Despite its unsavory aroma, onion has been used since ancient times for various health conditions, and was advocated in use by both Galen and Hippocrates.

CAUTIONS: Possible sensitivity.

Learn More About Essential Oils with Sedona Aromatherapie

If you would like to learn more about essential oils, consider one of the Sedona Aromatherapie home study aromatherapy courses. Visit the courses home page to learn more.

References:

  • Lawless, Julia, 1995, The Illustrated Encyclopedia of Essential Oils, UK: Thorsons

  • Price, Len, 1999, Carrier Oils for Aromatherapy and Massage, UK: Riverhead Publishing

  • Author is a UK-certified aromatherapist with a decade of training and practical experience in aromatherapy, published author and editor in aromatherapy, an approved education provider for the National Association for Holistic Aromatherapy (NAHA), an aromatherapy business owner, and Chief Editor for the NAHA Aromatherapy Journal.

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