Essential Oil Chemistry for Integrative Health Professionals Online


This course explores the chemical components of plant essential oils. Students will learn the names, general structural features, key safety concerns, therapeutic actions, and aromas of key essential oil chemical constituents. This course starts with an introductory review of foundational chemical terms and principles. It discusses how plants create essential oils and the types of organic chemical families found in essential oils. Students connect this information with real aromatherapy applications through practical lab exercises where they perform organoleptic testing with isolated essential oil constituents (for example, linalool) and a corresponding essential oil that contains that constituent (for example, lavender). This course also examines essential oil quality assessment techniques and how essential oil constituents interact with the body. This class is exciting and valuable for anyone working with botanicals or in integrative health, natural product development, or perfumery.

Learning Outcomes

  • Discuss essential oil constituents and their therapeutic actions

  • Recognize odor samples of constituents.

  • Understand polarity and solubility.

  • Discuss pharmacology in relation to aromatherapy.

  • Conduct aromatherapy research.

  • Discuss what atoms and molecules are, and how they make up the material stuff of the universe.

  • Get essential oils to disperse in water.

  • Describe how essential oils are absorbed, metabolized, and excreted by the body.

  • Understand what quality criteria you need to consider when buying essential oils.

  • Propose a hypothesis, design a study, complete an experiment using the scientific method, and compose the analysis in a format used by scientific research journals.

More details

Required Course Pack:

  • Online Materials and Library Resources (OMLR)
  • Essential Oil Chemistry Practical Lab Kit

The Essential Oil Chemistry Practical Lab Kit includes the following certified organic or sustainably wildcrafted essential oils:   

  • Cinnamon Cinnamomum zeylanicum
  • Clove Bud Syzygium aromaticum 
  • Eucalyptus Glob. Eucalyptus globulus 
  • Geranium Pelargonium graveolens 
  • Lemon Citrus limonum
  • Lemon Eucalyptus Eucalyptus citriodora
  • Oregano Origanum vulgare
  • Lavender Lavandula angustifolia
  • Lemon Citrus limonum
  • Lemon Eucalyptus Eucalyptus citriodora
  • Lemongrass Cymbopogon flexuosum
  • Oregano Origanum vulgare
  • Peppermint Mentha xpiperita var. Black Mitcham
  • Sweet Orange Citrus sinensis 
  • Ylang Ylang COMPLETE Cananga odorata var. genuina 

This kit also contains the following experiential learning supplies: 

  • Essential oil constituents: 1,8-Cineole, Carvacrol-Natural, Cinnamaldehyde-Natural, Citral, Citronellal-Natural, Eugenol-Natural, Farnesene, L-Menthone, Limonene-r, Linalool, Linalyl acetate-Natural, Nerolidol, Solubol 
  • 5 ml Amber Bottles (Qty 3)
  • 25 ml Beaker
  • 3 ml Disposable Pipettes (Qty 5)
  • Perfume testing strips
  • Glass stir rod

Required Textbooks:

View the required textbooks for this class, including ISBN, edition, and retail price, by visiting our Required Textbooks page.

Total Course Price:

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Prior aromatherapy formal training or prior chemistry (aromatherapy-specific chemistry not required) is recommended

Current Instructors:

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Admissions Requirements:

Candidates must possess a baccalaureate degree or higher from an institution accredited by an agency recognized by the US Department of Education. Candidates must submit official transcripts directly from the issuing institution along with one professional letter of recommendation. All applicants must be recommended for admission by the ACHS Admissions Committee.

Total Course Price:

View the total course price including tuition, fees, course materials, and shipping.

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