Choosing Essential Oils by Plant Part

When we consider the part of the plant the essential oil is extracted from—and use this information while we are using, and blending, essential oils—our connection to the plant, the oil and the blend deepens.

Imagine a blend made from oils extracted from flowers. What comes to mind? Maybe the beauty of flowers, the colors and the range of floral, sweet aromas.

Now imagine a blend made just from root oils. How is this feeling different? The roots of plants are deep in the earth, anchoring the plant to the ground. When smelling root oils, we feel grounded, settled, connected. When someone is feeling ungrounded, anxious, or disconnected, we might make a blend of oils extracted from roots.

When blending, if we consider the plant parts, and the emotional support the oils can bring, we have just deepened the blend’s impact. We often blend 2 or 3 plant parts to bring support on several different levels.

SEEDS (sem. or semen)

The seeds in a plant are responsible for its ability to reproduce. Seeds are the beginning of life, inspired with all the potential of the plant. Essential oils extracted from seeds can be supportive of new growth. They can help us feel nourished and can support a sense of fresh potential. We can use seed oils to support the reproductive system and help us feel less stuck.

ROOTS / ROOTLETS / RHIZOME (rad. or radix)

The roots of a plant anchor it to the soil and absorb water and nutrients vital to the plant’s growth. Essential oils extracted from roots can support us through times of high anxiety, fear, and instability. They support feeling grounded, settled, and calm. Anchoring and strengthening, they help us to absorb what we need, and provides a sense of stability and balance.

WOOD / TRUNK (wood-lig. or ligum)

The wood or trunk of a tree conducts water and nutrients to its leaves, stems and flowers. If our energy is dispersed, then the essential oils extracted from wood can help us feel more centered. The trunk looks like the spine and these oils can often be used for our skeletal and muscular systems to reduce pain.

RESIN (resina)

When you cut into a resin producing tree, the resin seeps out to help heal the wound. Historically, resins have been used for meditation, incense, rituals, protection and honor. The essential oils made from resins can be used for all these purposes. When you want to show respect to some aspect of your life, you can blend oils made from resins. These essential oils are also great for healing wounds of an emotional nature, and to support inner reflection.

LEAVES / GRASS / NEEDLES (leaves-fol. or folium)

The leaves allow the plant to breathe. They also protect the plant from water loss and support photosynthesis. We can use essential oils made from leaves to support respiration and deeper breathing. These oils can also protect us from infection. They can help us breath when we feel stress and anxiety, while supporting expansion and creativity. Leaf oils can also support us when if we get into over-thinking and need a calm, clear mind.

FLOWERS (flos)

Flowers are abundant in the springtime and represent new growth. Flowers are beautiful, colorful and gentle. They produce aromas to attract insects for pollination. The essential oils made from flowers are often used for emotional support. Giving flowers, or blends made from flowers, is about supporting love, friendship, forgiveness and soothing the heart and mind. Flowers are associated with the head, good for facial skin care, and to calm the mind.

FRUITS (fr. or fructus)

Fruits have an uplifting and cleansing effect. They contain a lot of water and are good for the lymphatic system and for emotional cleansing. They are refreshing! Fruits also protect and nurture the seeds in the plant. The essential oils from fruits can be used to bring fresh, clear energy to a space. They bring nourishment and energy. Citrus essential oils can be used to encourage inspiration, fun, creativity, self-expression and ease. These essential oils are often used in blends to lift depression and offer joy to the heart and mind.


This post is summarized from information gathered from Andrea Butje, LMT at Aromahead Institute. For more information on this topic, please visit:

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