Origin: a Latin derivative
meaning "Gift of the Earth."
Essential oils are produced by plants in low amounts to serve a host of beneficial functions. Oils attract herbivores that help the plant reproduce; they also ward off unfriendly pests, fight off environmental threats, and even allow the plant to heal itself if physically injured. When looking at the plant as a whole, they are composed of a small amount of essential oil—on average, just 1–5 percent of a plant’s total composition. Acquiring even just one bottle of essential oil requires an incredibly large amount of plant material. For example:
Approximately three pounds of lavender flowers are required to produce just 15mL of lavender essential oil.
It requires about 242,000 rose petals to distill approximately 5 mL of rose oil.
It requires 6,000 pounds of melissa plant to distill just a single pound of melissa essential oil. That equals around 63 pounds of melissa per 5mL bottle.
Nearly 3,000 lemons are needed to distill just over 2 pounds of lemon essential oil. This equals about 50 lemons per 15mL bottle.