Updated: Jul 29
You may have noticed that the Latin name for each plant is listed for every oil. This is important, as the Latin name identifies the exact type of essential oil in your bottle. Otherwise you could easily be using a different type of oil than you think you are!
How is this possible? Keep reading to find out…
A short introduction to plant identification
A Latin name, or botanical name, is the most precise way to identify a particular plant because Latin is the universal plant language and many plants have several different species!
For instance, Lavender has many different species, like angustifolia or latifolia. Each species of Lavender has different aromas and therapeutic qualities. In order to know which essential oil is in the bottle, the label must include the Latin name. Otherwise, you couldn't be sure if your “Lavender” was Lavender (Lavandula angustifolia) or Spike Lavender (Lavandula latifolia).
This is important, because these two Lavenders have different chemical makeups, and therefore different therapeutic properties and safety considerations.
Here’s an example of what that might look like on a bottle…
As you can see, it lists both the common name (Lavender) and the Latin name (Lavandula angustifolia). And the Latin name is always italicized.
There are more details to plant names, but this is enough to begin with. Knowing this will help ensure you're getting exactly what you ask for in your bottle of essential oil.
Here’s the list of essential oils in this class with their Latin names
Cedarwood (Juniperus virginiana)
Roman Chamomile (Chamaemelum nobile)
Lavender (Lavandula angustifolia)
Lime (Citrus aurantifolia)
Orange (Citrus sinensis)
Peppermint (Mentha x piperita)
Ravintsara (Cinnamomum camphora ct. 1,8 cineole)
Vetiver (Vetiveria zizanoides)
Ylang Ylang (Cananga odorata)