An Overview of Current Essential Oil Market in Kenya

Perhaps by now you have come across different sizes of bottles in a grocery store mostly in a brown color. These are essential oils from different plants that keep well in yellow and brown bottles or glass vials to reduce oxidation. Kenya has plenty of plants whose barks, leaves and fruits produce extracts that form essential oil. This article looks at the current market overview of the export industry for essential oils.

Background Information

According to findings by Grand View Research, essential oil markets worldwide are growing and will be worth $11.67b in 2022. The leading destination for essential oil is Europe, which by 2014 was receiving around 40 percent of all world supplies. The oils are in use as aromatherapy treatment: for instance camomile, with its mood-soothing abilities.

Kenya produces a wide range of essential oils from fruits and herbs. Orange oil which provides juice, cosmetic products and home cleaning oils, is the world’s biggest natural oil. In 2014, it had a market share of a third of all other oils.

Kenya’s leading products include extra virgin essential oils, such as, avocado oil, olive essential oil, camomile, tea tree oil, lavender, eucalyptus essential oil, cypress oil and lemon. While some of these natural extracts come from the barks of trees, the most common come from the leaves and fruit juice.

According to information by the Export Promotion Council (EPC), essential oils from Kenya account for at least KSH 9.82b, using 2015 statistics. This is more than certain manufactured goods like plastic and synthetic medicine. In total, essential oils provide a tenth of all horticultural exports from Kenya. In 2015, the country exported horticultural fresh produce wort KSH100 billion.

Below is a sample look at a few essential oil products that you can import from the country.

Tea Tree Oil

The first herbal option for clinicians, tea the oil enjoys use in the treatment of fungal infections. It is also has an antibacterial solution that contains powerful natural chemicals against microbes.


Kenya also exports camomile, one of the leading external applications for soothing the mood of a person. If you are looking for this oil, you will find a lot of uses for it, ranging from:

• Treating infections on the skin

• Curing swelling on the skin

• In aromatherapy, including keeping the mind open and calm.

• Treating hard-to-go pimples and acne.


Kenya grows plenty of the aromatic lavender leaves for their soft, antibiotic qualities. In fact, lavender oil can feature in the bath water of children the same way synthetic antibiotic liquids do, with the exception that it is natural.


The oil derived from basil does more than serve as a medicine for one purpose. It overcomes stomach upsets, reduces gastric gas, returns kidney to their normal activity, treats colds, and overcomes intestinal worms. Additionally, it is a mosquito repellant, especially in tropical countries, and serves as a balm after snake bites.


Not only does Kenya-grown frankincense provide better toning but it overcomes hyper pigmentation in skin. This is besides its traditional role as a an incense with a powerful, sweet smell.


Lemon is one of the most important fruits that also serves as a herb. It requires just a number of drops of lemon essential oil to help heal skin sores and burns. It also brightens the skin if used together with other natural cosmetics. This is because it contains high parts of citric acid and vitamin C. Needless to say, it is a home freshener and dish-brightening product due to its high acidic natural formulation.

Sample Extraction Process

Kenya processes a number of fruits for their oil, locally. This is through companies in the sector, some of which are SMEs, like Mt. Kenya Avocados. The companies follow a safe, mechanical process that avoids any additives and that maintains hygiene. For instance, Mt. Kenya Avocados extracts hass and fuerte extra virgin avocado oil, through cold pressing. The first process involves transporting fresh fruits to the processing zone. After tests by the Kenya Plant Health Inspectorate Services (KePHIS), the fruits then undergo the process of the removal of the skin and the large seed. Then crushing and kneading occurs. Then there comes the grinding stage of the flesh into a greenish yellow paste, which then undergoes heating at temperatures below 45 degrees. The final stage is sieving water and avocado oil, separately, through a centrifugal tube, leading to 100 percent natural oil. The product stores well in a clear-labeled glass container, mostly in a brown color.


Therefore, getting the best natural oil from the tropics is just a step away if you consider Kenya. The country is rich with aromatherapy products like camomile and frankincense, not forgetting tree-extracted essential oils, like cypress and eucalyptus. Get in touch today with Fresh From Kenya to learn more about our range of essential oils!