Carrier Oils For Aromatherapy



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Corn Oil

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  • Corn Oil

  • Latin Name: zea mays
  • family: Graminae, Poaceae
  • Etymology
    Also known as Indian corn, maize. Zea is the Greek name for a related plant and mays is from the Mexican.

  • The Plant and its environment
    Corn or maize, which can grow to a height of about 4 meters (12 feet) is native to the Central Americas and was used by the Aztecs, the Incas and the Mayans, who worshipped the plant. No wild maize has ever been discovered and it is assumed that our present day plants are hybrids dating back to pre-history. It was one of the plants brought back to Europe by the modern discoverer of America, Christopher Colombus. Once established in Europe it was not long before this nutritious plant spread to Africa  and the East.

  • The Oil
    Pure corn germ oil is a clear light yellow and stores well as its height in vitamin E content (0.6%) helps to prevent oxidation. It is a semi drying oil.

  • Method of Extraction
    Corn is usually extracted from the corn germ by means of steaming, bleaching and recoloring that this oil is not generally favoured for use in aromatherapy . Cold pressed oil is not available, and there is only 6% oil in the embryo.

  • Principal Constituents
    Corn oils consists predominantly of unsaturated fatty acids (around 65%-80%) comprising about 58% linoleic acid and 1.5% alpha-linolenic acid, oleic and arachidic ac ids, helping us to assimilate fat when used in cooking : the saturated palmitic and stearic fatty acids are present only in small quantities. It is a source of omega 6 fatty acids.


Type Based On  Content - 5
 saturated fatty acids    
 C12:0  lauric acid  <0.3
 C14:0  myristic acid  <0.3
 C16:0  palmitic acid  9.0 - 4.0
 C18:0  stearic acid  0.5 - 4.0
 C20:0  arachidic acid  <1.0
 C22:0  behenic acid  <0.5
 C24:0  lignoceric acid <0.5
 Total saturated fatty acid content    14
 Monounsaturated fatty acid content    
 C16:1  palmitoleic acid  <0.5
 C18:1  oleic acid  24 -42
 Total monounsaturated fatty acid content    28
 Polunsaturated fatty acids    
 C18:2  linolenic acid  34 - 62
 C18:3  alpha linolenic acid  <2.0
 Total polyunsaturated fatty acid content     58

Physical Properties 

Acid value (mg KOH/g oil) 0.2 max.
Peroxide value (meq/k oil) 2.0 max.
Refractive index at 40C 1.4640-1.4690
Colour (Lovibond 5.25" cell) 2.5 red max.
Iodine value (wijs) 103-131
Saponification value 187-193
Unsaponifiable matter (%) 2.0 max.
Specific gravity at 25C 0.915-0.920
Energy value Kcal/100ml 901
  • Vitamin and Mineral Content

  • The oil contains the vitamins A, B1, B2, C and E. The corn kernel germ surpasses wheatgerm with respect to its content of vitamin E, iron, zinc, and fiber. It is also a good source of potassium, magnesium and copper
  • .
  • Therapeutic Properties - internal use

  • A tablespoonful (15 ml) of this oil taken at meal times is reported to help such ailments as asthma, eczema, hay fever and migraine.
  • Cosmetic Uses

  • Corn oil is used mainly in emollient creams and toothpastes.

  • Culinary Uses

  • Cheap and plentiful, this widely used cooking oil is produced on a large scale by the makers of corn flakes, corn flour and glucose. Used in margarine, chocolates, cheese spreads, and biscuits.
  • Reference: Carrier Oils for Aromatherapy and Massage: Len Price with Ian Smith and Shirley Price

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