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There are multifarious essential oils in the market and you do not get to use all of them for your recipes. Yes, there are times when you lack certain oils for your essential oil blends or recipes. This can be devastating if you have built your hopes on a particular recipe and cannot imagine forgoing it. Say, you have been using a particular diffuser for your home-office and all of a sudden, you cannot find a particular oil to prepare the blend you are used to – it can be terrible if you are a person who takes time to accustom yourself to blends. In such a case, without letting doom befall on you, you can substitute the required oils with other essential oils. But there are rules for substitution and those should not be taken lightly.
Substituting essential oils: As you would have deemed, it is not easy to substitute essential oils with other similar oils. You need to know a few things before you do that – 1. the properties of both the oils (both aromatic and therapeutic properties), 2. the blending nature of the oil that replaces the originals, 3. the purity and quality of the oil that replaces. You need to choose from the same family of oils while substituting stuff. Also, you need to decide on your purpose behind substituting essential oils. If it is just for aromatic purposes, you can choose from oils of the same family of aromas – floral, earthy, spicy, citrus etc. If you want to substitute for therapeutic purposes, you need to take into account only the therapeutic benefit of the oil that replaces the original one.
How to substitute essential oils: Most of the substitutions are aromatic. This is because one cannot gauge the aroma of the oil that will be created if one substitutes for therapeutic purposes. And since you go only by the therapeutic properties, you can hardly expect a pleasant aroma. On the other hand, if you are substituting essential oils for aromatic purposes, you can do so by using oils from the same aroma family.
For instance, you can substitute Mandarin oil with Sweet Orange as both have a similar aroma. Though Rose Otto and Rose Geranium do not complement each other in properties, the aromas are a bit similar and you can substitute one for the other. Similarly, you can substitute Lemon for Grapefruit, Tangerine for Sweet Orange, Lavender for Lavendin, Spearmint for Peppermint, Benzoin Resin for Vanilla Absolute and Clove for Cinnamon (as both are spices) or vice versa. In much the same way, you can substitute and replace Neroli oil, Jasmine oil and Ylang Ylang oil. Though all three are different from each other in almost everything, they have the same aroma and that makes a huge difference when it comes to substituting the right oils.
Therapeutic substitution of oils follows a different thumb rule and all properties of both the oils used should be studied carefully before substituting one with the other.