Category Archives: Aromatherapy Facts

Essential oils safety sine qua nons: Oils to use (avoid) at different times

You need to be very careful while using essential oils. This is because oils can have contraindications on account of their high concentration and pure properties. Neat or undiluted applications of aromatherapy oils can result in skin problems and even life long sensitizations. To avoid trouble, get to know which oils need to be avoided at different times/situations of life and which are safe to be used. One of the most commonly used oils is Lavender. It is said that Lavender oil is harmless even if applied neat, but this is not true. Also, Lavender oil can be used in a variety of sensitive applications like during times of pregnancy, child birth and for babies. No wonder Lavender oil is often called the mother of oils. It is soothing, relaxing and extremely pleasing to everyone who uses it. These are the reasons Lavender oil finds usage in many applications. First, we will take a look at the dos and don’ts of Lavender oil.

Lavender – The Mother of Oils: As mentioned earlier, Lavender oil is revered by many aromatherapists for its multifarious healing properties. Pregnant women can use Lavender oil anytime, except the first trimester. But use only ½ of the strength of the oil as heavy dose of essential oils are not recommended during pregnancy. Lavender oil helps in reducing blood pressure. If you happen to have low blood pressure, be careful when you use the oil. Similarly, the oil has proved to be safe for babies, even the 6-week infants. If your baby has a stomach upset, rub Lavender oil in a circular, clockwise motion on the baby’s tummy. You can add a drop or two of the oil on baby’s items – pillows or toys – to give the baby a general well-being and good bath. However, you can start using the oils only after 6 weeks of infancy and should avoid it for a week, when you go for vaccination.

Lavender dosage to people: For an infant who is just born, you can use Lavender oil only after 6 weeks, that it more than 1 ½ months. For babies aged from 1 to 5 years should have 2 drops of Lavender per 1 tbs of carrier oil. For use of children from 6 to 12 years of age, use 1 drop of essential oil per 2 tsp of carrier oil.  For adults, 2 to 5 drops of essential oil per tsp of carrier oil, while for the elderly, use ½ strength of the dose used for adults. For pregnant women, use 1 drop of essential oil per 2 tsp of carrier oil. But, there are different opinions on why and how oils should be used.

Essential oils to avoid:
Several essential oils are to be avoided if you have skin disorders, if you are pregnant or if you have heart problems/pain with your body. You can be sensitive and allergic to anything, so keep in mind while using essential oils safely:

1. Avoid Bay Rum, Roman and German Chamomile, Clary Sage, Juniper, Rose, Spearmint, Black Spruce, Thyme etc. during pregnancy.

2. For skin problems, skin irritation or sensitive skin, avoid Bay Rum, Bergamot, Citronella, Ginger, Lemon Yellow, Lemongrass, Peppermint, Scotch Pine, Black Spruce, Sweet Orange, Tangerine, Thyme etc. as they may aggravate the disorder and sensitize the skin further.

3. Safe oils to use: Red Myrtle, Palmarosa, Pink Pepper, Ravensara, Spruce, Tea tree, Vanilla, Vetiver and others.

Bypass your paranoias: 4 essential oil safety myths you should know

Essential oils are highly concentrated liquids and hence should be handled with care. The moment we tell this, people are panicky and decide to abhor essential oils altogether. This is not required. You need not abhor the whole clan of essential oils for the sake of the caustic effects of a few oils. It is enough if you get clear-headed about the myths surrounding essential oils and the steps needed to avoid the un-safe use of aroma therapeutic oils.

Essential oil safety myths: When something is considered pure, of high value and is a bit unfamiliar, generally, there are two ways of approach to it – under-use or over-use. Yes, people may become paranoiac and refrain from using essential oils or may abuse it by overusing it without following any kind of safety information. This article will explain to you the safety myths surrounding essential oils usage and what best practices ensure the safe use of oils. By following the tips given below, you can pave your way to pure and unadulterated use of aromatherapy. You can even consult your physician or expert aromatherapist in case of doubt.

1. Lavender, Tea Tree can be used undiluted on skin: A myth prevails that Lavender and Tea Tree oil can be used undiluted on skin texture for better therapeutic effect. This is wrong. Whatever be the quality of Lavender, a pure essential oil, when used on skin, can make you extra-sensitive. There have been reported cases of severe sensitivity, where individuals feel the impact of pure Lavender oil even after 10 years or so. If you happen to apply these pure oils on broken skin, it turns all the more worse. So, be careful while using essential oils. Undiluted oils are not meant for application, howsoever soft or fruitful the oil is projected to be. If you ignore this rule, you will be suffering from sensitization forever.

2. Not all individuals are ok with essential oils: Some individuals can respond with allergic reactions to oils. Most of such people will contract dermatitis every time they come in contact with essential oils. To avoid such skin outbreaks, use essential oils only after you do a skin patch test. Apply a drop of essential oil and stick a bandage over it. Wait for 24 hours and check your skin condition after that. Even if a particular oil is supposed to be soothing on your skin, don’t venture into skin application without a patch test. You will save a lot of trouble in future.

3. Essential oils can be ingested:
The worst of myths. Essential oils are not for ingestion and cannot be consumed even if they are harmless or diluted. Only after a detailed consultation with a reputed aromatherapist, your general physician and your family members, you can engage in the intake of essential oils.

4. Essential oils are suitable for any kind of ailment: No. Some oils have contraindications and hence should be avoided at all costs. Most of the oils are not suitable for therapy during pregnancy, after child birth, in case of diseases like asthma, epilepsy, cancer etc. Check thoroughly whether an oil is suitable for your ailment and whether it has any side effects with other ailments you have, before using it.

Way to the bin: How to dispose of essential oils safely?

Essential oils are not ordinary liquids that can be disposed off readily down the drain or in the garden. They are highly concentrated liquids which require proper mode of disposal. Since people are used to storing essential oils in ½ oz bottles, they tend to forget that oils are flammable substances and should be treated with care even while disposing. Essential oils are just like hazardous materials that can be compared to pharmaceuticals, paint thinners, chemicals, gasoline and fuels. You cannot dump them in your garbage can or flush them down the drain. Chances are, these oils may come in contact with water supplies, vegetation and other important organisms on the soil and spoil them for life. This is why there  needs to be a structured way of disposing essential oils. This article will throw light on how to do that.

Why is disposing essential oils important? First, you might wonder why you should dispose off essential oils considering their therapeutic value and uses. There are reasons. Essential oils can age with time and lose their therapeutic properties as years pass by. Some oils can go rancid and emit a foul smell, or a smell that is unlikely of pleasant aromas. Other oils can grow stale and be of no use. The problem of disposal is more if these oils are blends – mixed with vegetable or carrier oils. While pure essential oils at least evaporate with time, blends prepared with carrier oils are heavy and take a lot of time to vaporize. Another reason is, if bad essential oils come in contact with elderly people or children or pets in your home, the result can be devastating. When essential oils age, they cannot be used in skin care or for direct application. This complicates your problem of clearing them off your shelf. If you want to cope up with all these harmful effects of a bad/rancid essential oil, you can use the below guidelines to dispose them off.

How to dispose essential oils safely? It is always easy to dispose off small quantities of essential oils. But understand that with regard to concentric oils like essential oils, even less is more. Adding 2 or 3 drops down your toilet drain for aromatic purposes is fine, but making it a mode of disposal is not recommended. Especially so if you have a large inventory of oils to be disposed. Below are a few steps to help you out:

1. Contact the Waste Management Department of your region/community/city. Get from them tips on how to dispose essential oils. Some of their procedures may sound unreasonable and too complicated. But they are no big if you are willing to take on them. Follow the procedures and dispose all your essential stuff.

2. Most of the procedures recommends mixing the highly concentrated oils with an inert substance like sand and sealing them in an approved container. You can look into the Material Safety Data Sheet (MSDS) for the oils from your retailer or supplier. This sheet will have all the details on product safety, guidelines to follow during disposal, harms that the product/oil can inflict etc. Follow the MSDS and stick to it.

3. Another popular way of disposing essential oils is to dig a hole in your garden and pour your oils into it. However, you need to check how this may affect the growth of your garden plants and whether it will have an impact on your underground water system.

4. The best way is to find other uses for remaining oils. But for this, you need to first detect in which way your oils have aged – therapeutic or aromatic. If your oils have lost their aromas, you can get a load of old couch roll and pour it onto it and wrap in a bag and throw it in the bin. The oil will vaporize in a short period of time. If your oils have lost their therapeutic properties, you can always find aromatic uses for them as toilet fresheners, for drain scenting etc.

No oils? Not a sin. Substituting essential oils with same family oils

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.

Quality vs Purity of essential oils: Where lies the difference?

Essential oils ought to be pure to be therapeutic and beneficial for medicinal or healing purposes. But most of the oils that are projected to be pure are not actually pure. Holistic aromatherapy measures an oil by its purity, the ratio of natural constituents present in it. Some oils can be pure and yet be of poor quality. How can this happen? This can happen if pure essential oils are tampered with other natural or synthetic constituents to make them serve a particular purpose, therapeutic or otherwise. This article will help you analyze in depth about the purity and quality of essential oils and how they can influence the therapeutic quality of their usage.

Purity of essential oils: Do not imagine that all the essential oils you come in contact with are pristine. Most of the oils are adulterated during various kinds of processes – extraction, distillation and packaging.  Essential oils’ purity is measured by the optimum ratio of natural constituents present in them. Since oils are distilled for various other purposes like home fragrancing, cosmetics, personal healing and other things, most of them are tampered with many other constituents. This is because manufacturers want what are called standardized oils. Any oil, extracted directly from plant substances, carries natural constituents in different ratios. No two extracted oils of the same plant species, from the same region, are the same. Each plant yields oil that is different in some way or the other from its neighbor. Since uniformity is required in the manufacture of food or perfume products, companies use only essential oils that are standardized and do not vary from shipment to shipment.

Standardization of essential oils: Standardized oils are not pure oils. Sellers standardize oils only to suit the needs of buyers and hence, have several constituents removed/added to pure oils. Peppermint oil is used in the manufacture of chewing gums, ice creams and candies. The oil is used as a flavoring by food and candy manufacturers. Since companies should produce Peppermint-flavored products that have a consistent aroma, intensity or taste, manufacturers buy only standardized Peppermint oils.

Standardization process is not suitable for use in therapeutic aromatherapy. Addition or removal of constituents may make oils impure, adulterated and un-therapeutic. Some manufacturers may adulterate oils to cheat buyers and find profits. Japanese Yuzu essential oil seems to be a combination of Grapefruit and Mandarin. Sellers may use this trait of Yuzu and blend Grapefruit and Mandarin essential oils, and sell it as the costly Yuzu oil. Similarly, Patchouli oil can be extended with the addition of Cedarwood and Lavender oil can be tampered with linalyl acetate.

Quality of essential oils: The aroma and exact percentage of essential oils of each natural constituent contribute to the quality of the oil. Several other factors which contribute to an oil’s quality are – quality of soil in which the plant is grown, temperature of the region, weather/climatic changes/annual amount of rainfall  in which plant is grown, altitude of plant life, distilled part of plant, distillation process, time gap between harvest of plant and its distillation, storage of oil after extraction, type of distillation equipment used etc.
Some of the ways in which essential oils can be adulterated and which can in turn, affect their quality: blending pure oils with less expensive oils; adding synthetics to increase or maintain a particular aroma; extending oils by mixing bad carrier oils; blending an oil of higher quality with one of lower quality and so on. To ensure that you use only oils of good quality, check with your buyer on the soil, region and distillation process of the plants from which the oils are extracted and on the optimum ratio of the natural constituents of the oil.

Does your life lackluster? Make summer out of Citrus essential oils

“If life is giving you lemons, make a lemonade out of it”. The saying is true if you are an aromatherapist. Yes, you can make more with lemon and Citrus essential oils than with other oils. A citrusy aroma is one of the most uplifting of aromas. The very waft of an orange or lemon can brighten up a place and cleanse the mind of worries and troubles. Generally, Citrus oils are made from the rind or peel of Citrus fruits. If you squeeze the rind of an orange or lemon, you will see a tiny quantity of aromatic fluid coming out – that is Citrus essential oil.

Citrus essential oils: Citrus essential oils are used in a variety of things, from air fresheners to room cleaners to perfumes to skin toners. Reason – They carry light, summery aromas that uplift the spirit and brighten any gloomy area or room. They are perfect for winter and fall and they complement most of the Winter Blues oils. Also, Citrus oils are a must while preparing natural blends for men and women as they can make even earthy, bittersweet aromas appear lighter, fresher and more energetic. This article will elaborately discuss on the different kinds of Citrus oils and their profiles/properties/uses.

Different Citrus essential oils: There are several kinds of Citrus oils, but we will see only the most popular of them here.

Sweet Orange Essential oil: This is also called Orange essential oil or Orange oil. It is readily available and very inexpensive. It blends with all oils, especially spicy, floral and mint types. Since it is an energizing oil, it is liked by all – men, women and children – and is favored as an important ingredient in diffusers kept at family living rooms. Orange oil is also used in commercial cleaners to clean grease and other dirt. As it has a high-spirited aroma, it is applied to diverse situations and appeals to many people.

Bitter Orange Essential oil: This oil comes with a bitter orange aroma and is not like the above one. It is a combination of the sweetness of Orange and the bittersweet flavor of Grapefruit oil. Though bittersweet, it is favored by many on account of the very same tendency. This oil too has a variety of uses.

Lemon essential oil:
Lemon is all about life and color. Just like its color, it is sunny and summery in aroma and is liked by almost everyone. It can clear any foul-smelling room instantly, thanks to its strong, energizing aroma. Limonene is the naturally occurring chemical constituent in Lemon oil and it is this constituent which gives Lemon its strong aroma. Lemongrass and Lemon Myrtle oilstoo have limonene content in them.

Lime essential oil: Lime is no different from Lemon, but it is the most fruity and aromatic of Citrus oils (except Neroli). Its aromatic influence goes a long way and is fresh, bright and all things sunny. A few drops of Lime oil to any diffuser blend or natural fragrance, will uplift things and make everything look sprightly. It is said to be very effective in clearing the mind of unwanted, disturbing thoughts. A spiritual cleansing and soothing of your aura is also said to be a property of Lime essential oil.

Neroli essential oil: Costliest, but the best of Citrus oils. Neroli oil is distilled from orange tree Citrus aurantium. It is intense in its floral, sweet and citrusy aroma. Thanks to its exotic properties, it is highly concentrated and so a little goes a long way.

Bergamot essential oil: An expensive cold-pressed oil made from Citrus bergamia. Though the aroma has an apparent orange flavor, there is an underlying floral tone to the oil. It is a phototoxic oil and hence, should be applied with care as it can react when exposed to sunlight.

Storing essential oils: 8 dos, don’ts and tips you MUST know

Essential oils, as you know, are plant substances that form the immune system of plants. When steam distilled or extracted from plant parts, they are pure and pristine, without any synthetic elements. Such pure essential oils can change over time. They can go rancid, oxidize, deteriorate and lose their therapeutic properties if they are not handled properly. To avoid any kind of damage, essential oils need to be stored and preserved in the right way. Be it of a small quantity or a large quantity, essential oils need special attention to keep them natural and untainted.

How to store essential oils? Before plunging into the dos and don’ts of storing essential oils, we need to look into the measurements of oils sold in the market. Essential oils are highly concentrated substances and hence a little goes a long way. Owing to this, they are sold only in 5ml, 10ml and 15ml quantities. Some of the costliest oils are sold even in 2ml or one dram sizes. This is being done to help preserve the quality and purity of oils sold. As oils age with time, they can lose their therapeutic value. If sold in large quantities, you may end up with oils that are of no use to you. Below are a few tips on how to store essential oils:

1. Do not store oils in plain, clear glass bottles. Most of the essential oils, especially the Citrus ones, are phototoxic and hence should not be exposed to sunlight. If clear bottles are used, there is every chance of sunlight entering the bottle and deteriorating the oil. To avoid this, don’t buy oils sold in clear glass bottles

2. Store essential oils in amber-colored or cobalt blue color bottles. These bottles filter UV rays from entering the oils inside and hence you have less chance of losing the therapeutic value of the oils.

3. Plastic bottles should be avoided completely. Essential oils react vehemently with plastic and eat it out. This will make them rancid and impure over time. To avoid this, never use plastic bottles.

4. Avoid bottles that have a rubber dropper incorporated into its screw-top cap. Droppers with rubber bulbs should not be kept with essential oil bottles as the oils can react with droppers and ruin them into a gum-like form. In the process, the oils can go rancid and impure.

5. Store all your essential oil bottles away from sunlight, in a cool and dark place. Ensure that they are out of reach of children and pets. A tiny drop of oil can be toxic if ingested without dilution. So, avoid such a scenario at any cost.

6. Store all your essential oil bottles in a wooden box. You can choose any wooden box from craft stores or bazaars. Even unfinished wood is no issue.

7. Check for an oil’s shelf life and properties before buying an oil. For instance, Citrus essential oils tend to deteriorate in six months time. While those like Patchouli or Sandalwood mature with age. If you know the shelf life of every oil you buy, you will be able to use them and conserve them properly.

8. Aluminum bottles are said to be safe for storing essential oils if they are lined on the insides. Check the nature and quality of bottles before you buy oils.

Qualified vs quack: 7 ways to identify a professional aromatherapist

Finding a good aromatherapist is often more difficult than finding a good doctor. In the United States. Almost anyone can call themselves an aromatherapist as there is no standardization or Federal certification for aromatherapy or the alternative medicine that uses essential oils. This leads to a number of courses that offer certification on aromatherapy, the art of blending essential oils and so on. Confusion sets in, when your aromatherapy practitioner says he is an aromatherapist and not an aromatologist. There are subtle differences between aromatherapist, aromatologist, aromacologist and aromatherapy practitioner etc. This article will detail on how to identify the differences and find the right aromatherapist for yourself.

How to find qualified from quack? Qualified. You need to find one who has experience, qualification and sound knowledge in essential oils and aromatherapy. Any quack can boast himself as an aromatherapist and loot money from you if you are not shrewd enough to put him to rigorous questioning. Yes, before relating to a qualified aromatherapist, you need to put him to test and ask him about his details – aromatherapy study, experience as practitioner and successful cases handled.

If you live in the U.S., you need to find out what is your State’s stand on aromatherapy eduction and how it licenses/does not license aromatherapists.  If you are in other countries, find out the Federal rule of your country and identify aromatherapists based on your State’s certification principles. It should be brought to light that there is no Fed-recognized certification for aromatherapists right now. There are only two kinds of aromatherapy practitioners – aromatherapists and aromatologists. An aromatherapist is an individual who has formal training in aromatherapy and has hands-on experience in the field of massage, nursing or cosmetology. An aromatologist is an individual who has formal training in the subject, but is not experienced in nursing or massaging or other related study. What is generally offered by aromatherapy institutions is a certificate or diploma in the subject and hence, you need to know the details of the course only from an aromatherapist before you undergo your therapy with him.

How to find an aromatherapist: There are several ways and below are a few of them:

1. Check your Yellow Pages: Best and easiest way out. You need to check your local Yellow Pages and find aromatherapists in Aromatherapy or Alternative Medicine columns. You can call the person to verify his credentials.

2. Ask local massage therapists: If you know of any massage therapist, you can ask them of aromatherapists they know. They would definitely be in touch with some renowned ones and so you can find the qualified from the quack.

3. Go online or on the spot: Check online or go to the spot of alternative medicine centers. You will definitely get a few leads to good aromatherapy practitioners.

4. Ask for details: Once you find a list of aromatherapists, you need to verify their credentials. You can do this by asking them about their formal training – Where and how long did you train yourself in aromatherapy? Do you have any certification for the same? This can be an appropriate question.

5. Certificate is not license: Having a certificate from a University is different from being licensed from the State. So, ask for that too.

6. Ask for hands-on experience:
Distinguish whether the person is an aromatherapist or aromatologist. Find out the experience the aromatherapist has in massaging, nursing or other related study. This would help you find the authenticity of the person.

7. Observe the attitude:
This is important. How does the individual feel when you ask all these question? Good, bad or terse or stressed? Or, does the person avoid such questions? This will help you know the true self of the practitioner.

Aromatherapy for beginners: 8 do’s and don’ts for a novice aromatherapist

The general misconception about aromatherapy is, people think it to be a complete alternative to traditional medicine and imagine that essential oils can cure everything from cancer to diabetes without the intake of oral drugs. This is wrong. Aromatherapy is just a complementary system of medicine and cannot or should not be used as the only kind of medicine. It can be added to the holistic way of healing you practice as it can alleviate your regular disease-symptoms and give you instant relief. However, that does not mean that essential oils can treat the disease in question.

Aromatherapy for beginners – Tips: Aromatherapy can be a difficult path for beginners if they go into it with preconceived myths or notions.  Many who are new to essential oil usage, do not know what is to done and what is not to be done with regard to oils, their blending or usage properties.

Essential oils – Do’s and Don’ts: Below is a quick reference of how to and how not to use essential oils:

1. Read as much as possible about aromatherapy and the usage of essential oils. Knowing about it can save you time, money and waste of oils. You will get to know how to cure symptoms of serious ailments, common disorders and chronic diseases. Once you start applying aromatherapy principles, you will start feeling happy, relaxed and at home with yourself. You need to know about the various blends, properties of pure essential oils, carrier oils, grain alcohol, CO2s, absolutes etc.

2. Check for the purity of the essential oils you buy. Many companies promise pure quality essential oils when they know pretty well that they sell nothing but bad stuff. Beware of false claims by learning to identify purity through indicators – check for the plant’s Latin name, origin (place, country, growth conditions), extraction and distillation processes etc. with your buyer. If your buyer knows the properties of oils and can differentiate between a true and fake oil, chances are, he is well-acquainted with this aromatherapy business and can guide you in buying oils.

3. Start small. Do not end up making large quantity blends at the beginning. Even if you feel you are an expert in blending essential oils, avoid making blends in large quantities. Sometimes it can be a waste of time, money and effort. Start using oils in 5, 10, 20 drops.

4. Compare prices before you buy. Some essential oils cost more than others. If you know the difference, you will know which oil is worthier than which other. If your buyer sells all the oils at the same price, understand that he is cheating and never buy from him.

5. Don’t buy from buyers who sell oils in containers other than dark-colored glass bottles. This is because most of the oils are photo-sensitive and need to be stored in dark bottles to avoid being transformed due to the effect of sunlight.

6. Don’t purchase oils from village fairs, craft bazaars, farmer’s fairs/festivals etc. Many people sell aromatherapy oils as a hobby. Such people may not give you proper details of oils and may also not sell quality essential oils.

7. Don’t close oils with or buy oils that have rubber glass dropper tops. Essential oils are very concentrated and can turn the rubber into gum spoiling the purity of essential oils.

8. Don’t buy oils in large quantities. Every essential oil has a storage period. Some oils may go rancid if they are stored for a long time. Avoid it by storing oils only for a limited period of time.

Infused wisdom: What are infused oils and how to make them?

By now, you should know that apart from pure essential oils, there are other oils like carrier oils, infused oils, resins and CO2s. Infused oils are as good as essential oils in their therapeutic properties as they are infused with the immune qualities of a herb. In general, an infused oil is a carrier oil “infused” with the wisdom of one or more herbs. Infused oils are more beneficial than carrier oils as they combine the holistic healing properties of both carrier oils and the herbs used.

What are infused oils? Why is there a necessity for infusing essential oils? Some of the plants do not have essential oils to protect them. Their immune mechanism is different and it is very difficult to extract essential oils from such plants. Infused oils bring out the healing qualities of such plants. By infusing such herbs into carrier oils, we infuse the health quotient of those herbs into the carrier oil of our choice. This is especially very useful for aromatherapy purposes as you can use even infuse popular oils with herbs to add to the therapeutic grade of the oils.

Properties of infused oils: Infused oils are no different from carrier oils or essential oils in properties. They are more therapeutic than base oils as they carry the strength of herbs in them. However, most of the infused oils are a bit oily and like carrier oils, can go rancid if not prepared or stored well. It is essential for you to read the safety information on carrier oils/herbs before preparing an infused oil recipe. This is because certain herbs may go rancid if used without caution. There are several ways to prepare infused oils. Two most popular ways are – 1. Preparation of Hot Infused Oils and 2. Preparation of Cold Infused Oils.

How to make Infused Oils: Making infused oils can be very useful and can be used in bath water, as body powder and in even food and other aromatherapy recipes. For instance, you can infuse basil into  Olive oil, Calendula into Sweet Almond oil etc. While the former will make a great salad dressing, the latter is a remarkable skin toner.
Hot Infused Oils: Hot Infused oils are prepared in low heat. To make a hot infused oil, you will need the following supplies – Double Boiler, Cheese cloth, 250 g of herbs, 3 cups of carrier oil  of your choice – Olive oil, Sunflower oil, Sweet Almond oil and Avocado oil. Place the herbs in double boiler and cover with oil. Let the mixture simmer for 3 hours. Stir well and see to it that the herbs are infused into the oils. Remove from heat after the herbs are fully infused and filter the whole blend through a cheese cloth. Then, pour the oil into bottle and store in a cool, dark place.

Cold Infused Oils: You require the same supplies for this, except for the stove. Dry the herbs completely and place them in a large jar. Add oil and keep the mixture in sunlight for about 2 to 6 weeks. The infusion process will take place in the presence of sun.