Whole food essential oils are oils expressed from the organic matter of a plant, generally extracted by water distillation or expression. Some oils are expressed through maceration or distillation. Oils that are not separated by physical means are not considered to be true essential oils.
Used with a carrier oil or in concentrated form, essential oils are meant to be used topically, but not consumed. They are used for both pharmaceutical and cosmetic purposes. Essential oils are both pure and potent, requiring sparse usage to avoid potential adverse reactions. Caution should be used by pregnant women when using essential oils, since their use is considered controversial.