[Quality evaluation of essential oils]

Yakugaku Zasshi. 2002 Mar;122(3):253-61. doi: 10.1248/yakushi.122.253.
[Article in Japanese]


Essential oils on the market were analyzed using GC-MS and the main ingredients of each essential oil were quantified. Analysis of the essential oil of Lavandula officinalis (lavender oil) showed that each sample had a different ratio of the contents of main ingredients, such as linalool, linalyl acetate, and camphor. In addition, some commercial lavender oils were analyzed by GC-MS for comparison with the Lavandula flagrans (lavandin oil) and the reference standard. As a result of this analysis, although the components of almost all commercial lavender oils were approximately the same as those of the reference standard, there were a few products that contained more than 0.5% of the amount of camphor in lavandin oil. This suggests that some lavender oil samples are mixed with lavandin oil to lower the price. Commercial essential oils of Melaleuca alternifolia (teatree oil) and Mentha piperita (peppermint oil) were also analyzed by GC-MS. Each of the peppermint oil samples had a different ratio in the content of its main ingredient. With respect to teatree oils, the amount of terpinens in each sample differed. These results led to concern about the efficacy of essential oils. For achieve the expected efficacy of essential oils, correct information on their ingredients should be available and quality control using instrumental analysis should be introduced.

MeSH terms

  • Gas Chromatography-Mass Spectrometry
  • Lavandula
  • Mentha piperita
  • Oils, Volatile / analysis*
  • Oils, Volatile / chemistry
  • Plant Oils / analysis
  • Plant Oils / chemistry
  • Quality Control
  • Tea Tree Oil / analysis
  • Tea Tree Oil / chemistry


  • Oils, Volatile
  • Plant Oils
  • Tea Tree Oil
  • peppermint oil
  • lavender oil