The Value and Use of Absolute OilsChances are, you are already familiar with the concept of Essential Oils.  These are concentrated liquids containing the volatile aroma compounds extracted from plants which are usually created through steam distillation or extraction.  Essential oils can be very valuable for herbalists or those seeking to experience the essence of a plant medicine. They allow you to feel the powerful healing properties of a plant in a concentrated form. For reference, one drop of an essential oil can contain the essence of up to an entire ounce of the plant itself. Simply inhaling the scent of an essential oil, or placing a few drops in an oil burner or pan of simmering water will allow you to experience both the scent and the healing properties of a plant in no time.

Although many people are familiar with essential oils, far fewer are aware of the existence of absolute oils. Similar to essential oils, absolute oils are concentrated aromatic oils.  Some flowers are too delicate for steam distillation, which damages them a great deal, and so their oils are more effectively extracted using a process known as enfleurage. Absolute oils are usually more concentrated than essential oils, and since they are created in a low temperature process, more of the fragrance is preserved.  This means that the scent of an absolute oil is often more similar to the aroma of the original plant.

Absolute oils are more volatile than essential oils, meaning they can evaporate or degrade if not taken care of properly. Therefore, they should be stored in dark, air-tight glass bottles and kept away from heat.  They can last up to five years in the right conditions.  In the traditional method of absolute oil production, the flowers are placed on fats, and the fats absorb the scent of the flowers over a few days.  This process is repeated until the fat contains the desired amount of fragrance.  In a more modern method, the flowers are combined with hexane, which absorbs into the extract and is then removed to create a resin. Next, the fat (or resin) is washed with alcohol which extracts the aromatic compounds, and the alcohol is distilled, leaving a pure essence.

Absolute oils are particularly important and precious in the study of entheogens, because there are certain flowers that can only be distilled using these gentle methods.  Of particular interest to us, these flowers include lotus and lily.  Blue lotus (Nelumbo nucifera), blue lily (Nymphaea caerulea), white lily (Nymphaea ampla) and red lily (Nymphaea rubra) can all be distilled into their most essential essence as absolute oils.  This creates a unique and simple way to experience the power of these sacred plants.  Both lotus and lily flowers have been used traditionally as aphrodisiacs to promote sexual desire as well as feelings of ecstasy and euphoria.  It is also believed that these entheogens played a big role in the meditative and spiritual rituals of the Egyptians, the Mayans, and many other ancient peoples.  You can learn more about these plants in the links above.

If you are interested in experiencing the true power of these magical plants, but are unsure as to how to prepare the raw plant material, an absolute oil may be an excellent choice.  A lotus or lily absolute oil can be used in a number of ways. First of all, a few drops can be added to a carrier oil to create a massage oil. The active alkaloids in lily and lotus absolutes will absorb through the skin, meaning that both the giver and the receiver of a massage with such an oil will experience psychoactive effects.  Absolute oils may also be added to smoking blends to potentiate and enrich the experience – simply add one drop of the essential oil to a dose of the herb in question to experience its full effects. Lily and lotus essential oils may also be placed in oil warmers to create intense aromatherapy experiences, and some people also report adding a few drops to wine to create a psychoactive brew.  Finally, if you’re looking for a quick and immediate experience with the power of these plants, simply lift the essential oil to your nose and inhale – you will experience the unmistakable effects within five to ten inhalations.

We hope that this article assists you in beginning to work with these powerful medicines! High quality lily and lotus absolute oils can be purchased many places online – just make sure you are getting a product that is made from organic flowers!  Of course, you can always check out our favorite source for absolute oils!

If you have any experience with any entheogenic absolute oil, or have tried a method of working with them that we have not mentioned, we encourage you to leave a comment and tell us all about it.



“Absolute Oil”, n.d.

“What Are Absolute Oils?”, n.d.