Introduction to Essential Oil Chemistry

This 28 min. voice over PowerPoint Presentation by Dr. Peter Minke is a brief introduction to the biology and chemistry of plant essential oils. He briefly discusses the benefit of essential oils to the plant and to us, as well as isoprene as the building block for terpenes and sequiterpenes. Misconceptions about phenol are also discussed.


  1. Jessica Charls on November 17, 2020 at 8:55 pm

    Thank you very much, I have my Chemistry of oils exam on Thursday.

  2. Donna Hynes on November 17, 2020 at 8:57 pm

    This was a great introduction Dr. Minke. I ve taken the Chemistry 1 and II with CARE.

  3. Lisa Muria on November 17, 2020 at 8:59 pm

    Great video! thanks for this information!

  4. karen natiw on November 17, 2020 at 9:02 pm

    Thank you so much for sharing your knowledge and making it so easy to understand- I love that we can share your video with others to teach- ! thank you again!!! Happy Oiling!

  5. Ellen Cooper on November 17, 2020 at 9:03 pm

    I am a chemist and trained in plant secondary metabolism. I think you present some challenging concepts well, in easy to follow language. This kind of information is so important for dispelling all the misinformation that permeates the fields of alternative medicine, herbalism, and aromatherapy. Thank you!

  6. Jeremy Bonsol on November 17, 2020 at 9:05 pm

    i recently discovered Ameo essential oils, which uses a Moringa Olifera base.  Any thoughts on Ameo?

  7. Kenneth Miller on November 17, 2020 at 9:08 pm

    Quite a bit of error in this presentation, especially with respect to the chemistry. Where do I even begin?

  8. Giganta Store on November 17, 2020 at 9:14 pm

    This is amazing. I wish there was more like this available to us aromatherapists striving to understand the chemistry aspect of this craft. There isn’t; and what there is is very difficult to understand. This was done beautifully.

  9. Cyn Pruitt on November 17, 2020 at 9:14 pm

    Hi Peter – saw you in Chicago on 11/23.  You are a good educator!  Thanks.

  10. Christine Scott on November 17, 2020 at 9:15 pm

    (y) love this

  11. Dolores McLaughlin on November 17, 2020 at 9:16 pm

    great information..will need to watch again..

  12. Adam Brunt on November 17, 2020 at 9:19 pm

    Nice work! This is such an excellent presentation for someone just learning about essential oils like me! I appreciate the scientific explanations as well as the holistic appreciation for what plants may offer us.

  13. Dorothea Bassett on November 17, 2020 at 9:19 pm

    Thank you so much Peter!   I am from Perth, WA and I loved your talk last night !
    It was by far the best event that Young Living has put on for us since I joined 2 years ago!  !  I learned a lot!

  14. Giganta Store on November 17, 2020 at 9:20 pm

    I would love some more of this

  15. astridbelge on November 17, 2020 at 9:22 pm

    essential oil can kill bacteria, I am concerned about essential oil killing the good bacteria in our gut, damaging gut flora. because there is not enough research on this , how can I know if the oil can distinguish between good or bad bacteria? I use frankincense oil daily, I am concerned about damage to gut flora.   Please assit me in this matter.

  16. Naomi Ozaniec on November 17, 2020 at 9:22 pm

    Brilliant – 

  17. Sandy Smith on November 17, 2020 at 9:23 pm

    Love it! Very well explained

  18. ruffyatutube on November 17, 2020 at 9:29 pm

    "To defend themselves" sounds nice according to evolutionary theorists,
    but the plants today that do not contain essential oil sacs, as you open your course to say, are successful plants of today, so why do these plants lack what you call "defensive" mechanisms. More likely there are better explanations, although those die-hard evolutionary "theorists" (despite evidence that abounds to counter this pseudoscientific notion) would jump to disagree with me. In fact, if these said plants lack the sacs, they may well have even more sophisticated mechanisms of defense that remain still to be determined; After all, the "theory" can cut both ways.

    Here’s an example of what I mean by "die-hard" evolutionary theory:
    You can look at the Frankincense tree as being "hurt", or wounded, by a break or cut — OR, you can see it as a divine gift for man TO USE FOR HIS HEALTH, or for man’s benefit … One could easily argue that divine intelligence has everything to do with His products of creation … . (Of course, then, one may walk away with gratitude in their heart for The Creator, rather than, as perhaps, an ingrate, thankful for the good God we have – to contemplate upon.)

    The fact is, is it not, that essential oils have therapeutic value, do they not? Why then invoke yet another string of remarkable "coincidences of nature" when you know full well essential oils have wonderful therapeutic values, besides the other string of circumstances you must adopt that led to its "evolution"! Save yourself the philosophic pretzel exercise and just stick with divine intention.

  19. Amanda Montgomery on November 17, 2020 at 9:38 pm

    I have a bachelor’s of science and I am thinking of going back to school. Where do you recommend I look for a Master’s or PhD in Essential Oil Science??? Is there such a thing

  20. Spirit AndSoul on November 17, 2020 at 9:42 pm

    This is how they compose some oils artificially composing looking at these organic structures. Another term of adulterating the pure oils to imitated synthetic oils.

  21. robert olson on November 17, 2020 at 9:45 pm

    You mentioned Eugenol and its benefits, then compared that to risk from synthetics, bypassing the risks from natural Eugenol. But not to fear I will post it here from pubchem.: HEALTH HAZARD: This compound is a primary irritant and sensitizer and can cause contact dermatitis. Irritation of the skin, eyes and respiratory tract occurs. Ingestion of this compound may cause gastroenteritis, vomiting and gastric secretion of mucin. It may also cause abdominal burning, nausea, diarrhea and convulsions. Ingestion of large amounts can cause liver damage and gastrointestinal damage. Inhalation of this compound can lead to bronchial irritation, dizziness, and rapid and shallow breathing. Skin contact may cause an inflammatory reaction on the skin. Prolonged or repeated skin contact may cause allergic dermatitis. Eye contact may cause burns. Skin sensitization may also occur. Symptoms of exposure to this type of compound include intense irritation of all tissues, circulatory collapse, dysuria, hematuria, unconsciousness, tachycardia, pulmonary edema, bronchial pneumonia, abortion and irreversible renal damage. ACUTE/CHRONIC HAZARDS: This compound may be harmful by ingestion or inhalation.

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