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Curr Drug Metab. 2018;19(13):1100-1110. doi: 10.2174/1389200219666180723144850.

Essential Oils: Extraction Techniques, Pharmaceutical And Therapeutic Potential - A Review.

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Centre of Lipid Engineering and Applied Research (CLEAR), Ibnu Sina Institute for Scientific and Industrial Research, Universiti Teknologi Malaysia, 81310 UTM Johor Bahru, Johor, Malaysia.
Department of Chemical Engineering, University of KwaZulu- Natal, Durban 4041, South Africa.
School of Industrial Technology, Universiti Sains Malaysia, Penang-11800, Malaysia.
Faculty of Chemical and Energy Engineering, Universiti Teknologi Malaysia, 81310 UTM Johor Bahru, Johor, Malaysia.
SHE Empire Sdn Bhd., Bandar Baru Kangkar Pulai, 81300 Skudai, Johor, Malaysia.
Gazi University, Faculty of Pharmacy, Department of Pharmaceutical Technology, Etiler 06330, Yenimahalle, Ankara, Turkey.
Department of Biology, Faculty of Science, King Abdulaziz University, Jeddah, Saudi Arabia.
King Fahd Medical Research Center, King Abdulaziz University, Jeddah, Saudi Arabia.
Enzymoics, 7 Peterlee Place, Hebersham, NSW 2770, Australia.
Novel Global Community Educational Foundation, Australia.



Essential oils are liquid extracts from aromatic plants, which have numerous applications in multiple industries. There are a variety of methods used for the extraction of essential oils, with each method exhibiting certain advantages and determining the biological and physicochemical properties of the extracted oils. Essential oils from different plant species contain more than 200 constituents which are comprised of volatile and non-volatile components. The application of essential oils as antimicrobial, anticancer, anti-inflammatory and anti-viral agents is due to their effective and efficient properties, inter alia.


Several advanced (supercritical fluid extraction, subcritical extraction liquid, solvent-free microwave extraction) and conventional (hydrodistillation, steam distillation, hydrodiffusion, solvent extraction) methods have been discussed for the extraction of essential oils. Advanced methods are considered as the most promising extraction techniques due to less extraction time, low energy consumption, low solvent used and less carbon dioxide emission.


This manuscript reviewed the major research studies in the field and discussed several research findings on the chemical composition of essential oils, methods of oil extraction, and application of these oils in pharmaceutical and therapeutic fields. These essential oils can be used as anticancer, antimicrobial, antiviral, and as skin permeation enhancer agents.


Essential oils; cancer; chemical compositions; method of extractions; pharmaceutical; therapeutic potentials.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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