The Oil Properties Wheel is a tool designed to help our Wellness Advocates better understand the chemistry behind essential oils. In understanding the basic chemistry of each oil, individuals can more fully understand when and how to use the oils to achieve a desired benefit.
The wheel is divided between two sides: monoterpenes (oils that have a 10 carbon backbone) and sesquiterpenes (oils that have a 15 carbon backbone). The oils are further organized by functional group with the top one or two chemical constituents listed under each oil. Finally, the oils are grouped according to their shared key properties. The shared key properties provide a starting point for understanding how to use the oils. The combination of these different groupings enables individuals to begin to understand the characteristics and properties of dōTERRA’s amazing essential oils.
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Some explanatory notes:
Only the top one or two chemical constituents were used in this construction, with the decision to ignore the minor constituents of the oil, which often have important effects.
Oils with a significant (about 25 percent or greater of the whole) secondary constituent outside of the top constituent’s functional group are included in parenthesis. An example of this is Cilantro (Decenal). Decenal is an aldehyde that is present at about a quarter of the whole oil. The top constituent of Cilantro is linalool, which is an alcohol. Therefore, Cilantro belongs in the monoterpenoid alcohol functional group, but it also has high amounts of an aldehyde.
Melissa (Caryophyllene) and Helichrysum (alpha-Pinene) also have a secondary constituent in parenthesis. Although neither caryophyllene nor alpha-pinene is present at 25 percent of the whole, they serve to explain the uniqueness of these special oils.
Anethole, one of the components of Fennel, is actually not a monoterpene, but a phenylpropene, as noted.
doTERRA Science Blog
Wellness Advocate, BSN,RN