Essential oils are natural extracts generally extracted by distillation, often by using steam from various parts of plants. The extracted oils are highly concentrated and can be used in a number of ways. The earliest recorded mention of producing essential oils was between the years of 1188–1248, by an Andalusian physician, pharmacist and chemist by the name of Ibn al-Baitar.
Interest in essential oils have increased in popularity with aromatherapy and alternative medicine. Essential oils are used in cosmetics, hygiene products, flavoring food and drinks, and are added to incense and natural cleaning products.