The Origins of Essential Oils

A single class with Petra Ratajc, PhD

What determines the composition of an essential oil? Why do so many essential oils contain the same constituents? Why are essential oils so complex? Do we use essential oils for the same reasons plants create their constituents? 
An “essential oil” is the liquid that is distilled (or expressed) from a plant. This class is a dive into what happens before we harvest aromatic plants to create essential oils. Dr Ratajc looks at why and how plants create volatile compounds that form their essential oils, and explains what determines both the similarities and the variations in different oils.
Price: $39 US

We love essential oils, but why - and how - do plants create volatile compounds?

Discover how similar we are to the plants in using different enzymes to transform one substance into another.

Class content includes:
  • The difference between plant volatiles and essential oils
  • The functions of plant volatiles
  • The role of volatile compounds in communication for most organisms
  • How plants synthesize the compounds they need while keeping within their energy budget
  • The principal biosynthetic pathways
  • Influences on composition, from genetics to seasonal cycles to the environment
  • Chemotypes – what they are and why they matter
You will gain a deep understanding of the origins of essential oils. Whether you are a distiller, herbalist, aromatherapist, botanist, biologist, essential oil enthusiast or aroma nerd, we promise you will never look at an aromatic plant the same way again!

What You Get in the Class

A recording of the 60 min presentation by Dr Petra Ratajc.

Recording of the Q&A that took place after the original live session.  

A handout with all the slides for you to download and print.

You’ll have access to the recording of the webinar to watch and review as needed.

Dr. Petra Ratajc, PhD

Biologist | Researcher | Educator

Petra refers to herself as an ‘aromatic plants enthusiast’ and has a post-graduate degree in Biological and Biotechnical Sciences from the University of Ljubljana. Her PhD extends from fieldwork to molecular research in the quality, safety and efficacy of aromatic herbs and their essential oils.

Petra specializes in medicinal and aromatic plants, secondary plant metabolites, pharmacognosy and pharmacology specifically focused on plant volatile constituents. Visit her myth-busting plant biology blog, The PhytoVolatilome.

What previous students say about our courses:

I loved having Petra for a professor! She is so professional and knowledgeable. ~Caron Della Flora

I really enjoyed and appreciated the manner in which Dr. Ratajc presented the information. She was easy to understand. She didn’t just read from the notes but added important information. It was methodically presented. This was my first class and I thoroughly enjoyed it. Thank you. ~Lisa Arbeene

I have enjoyed all of the courses I have taken. I really appreciate all of the hard work that must go into producing such a high quality online learning experience. ~ Faith Miller