Materia Aromatica

Materia aromatica


On this page you will find links to the Monographs of the Materia Aromatica Database. This database is a work-in-progress that will first present the plants used for Gadoi products, but aims to expand to all the most important aromatic plants for the production of essential oils, so as to offer an information and work tool for anyone who is interested in essential oils, from simple interested user to professionals.

Each plant has a monograph containing information on botanical names, taxonomy, plant description, habitat and cultivation, used part and method of collection, details on distillation, organoleptic description of essential oil and composition chemistry. After that the monograph details, when present, information on historical and popular uses, perfumery and foods and beverages. Following is a general description of the plant's toxicity, followed by more specific contraindications, drug interactions and caution. The database is constantly integrated with new information and enriched with new monographs. For more insights into the individual essential oils, each monograph links links to external sources of deepening.

Safety in the use of essential oils

To explore the topic of safety in using essential oils, see the article Come usare gli oli essenziali in sicurezza



It is important, in order to be able to use the Monographs in the best way, to clarify what essential oils and aromatic waters are. To do this, here are some short definitions:

1. What is an essential oil?

It is the hydrophobic product of steam distillation of aromatic plants or, but only in the special case of citrus peels, the hydrophobic product of cold pressed rinds of Citrus fruits .

That is, an essential oil is that complex mixture of organic molecules, insoluble in water, obtained by distillation of the aromatic plant material or by cold pressing of citrus peels. Since this definition is a bit complex, for those who want more insights, here is a more comprehensive definition of essential oil and of the production process.

2. What is an aromatic water?

Aromatic waters, also called floral waters, hydrocarbons or hydrosols, are also a product of the distillation of aromatic plants, but in this case they contain organic molecules which are volatile AND water soluble (or at least less fat soluble than the one present in essential oils).

For those who want to deepen their knowledge of aromatic waters, here is a more comprehensive article.

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