Part 5: Oxygenated Compounds—Esters
Esters are formed when an esterification reaction occurs between an alcohol and a carboxylic acid functional group. An ester is essentially a combination of these two functional groups and incudes a carbon atom with a double bond to an oxygen molecule, a single bond to an oxygen molecule, and a single bond to another carbon molecule (usually written -COO- or -COOC-). Esters can be identified from the proper chemical name, which usually ends with the suffix “-yl, ” “-ate, ” or “-ester.” Common esters found in essential oils are methyl salicylate, linalyl acetate, and neryl acetate.
Main Health Effects:
- Calming, relaxing, soothing, and balancing effects on mood1
- Reduces the appearance of skin blemishes2
- Provides a soothing and warming sensation when applied topically3