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Hit the books: 5 popular books on aromatherapy you can read

Apart from the web and viral information, books are the true source of knowledge when it comes to aromatherapy. If you are a Do It Yourselfer, you cannot practice aromatherapy without books. This article will throw light on several popular books in the field of aromatherapy. Most of these books are written by famous aromatherapists, doctors or alternative medicine advocates who have years of experience in the world of aromatherapy and essential oils.

Popular books on aromatherapy: There are several books on aromatherapy and most of them are written by exceptional practitioners of the field. A few of them are patients who have come forward to write books based on the specific aromatherapy that cured them from a major illness or disease. Before we start to examine the books in the field, let me tell you why you should read aromatherapy books –

1. They are a true source of knowledge, as they are accepted by the society.
2. Some of the current aromatherapists may follow the rules of the book word for word. So, if you know the rules beforehand, you can tell your therapist what you want and do not want.
3. You will know what is true aromatherapy from the fake fragrance oil practices
4. You will gain deep knowledge in the field so much so that even if you don’t become an aromatherapist, you will be able to recommend it to friends and family
5. Books offer you a lot of recipes for aromatherapy blends. And the best part is, you can do all these from the comfort of your home

Below is a list of popular books in the science of this alternative medicine called aromatherapy. This is just an extract from what is available. To know the complete list of books, regularly read book reviews or search online.

1. The Complete Book of Essential Oils & Aromatherapy by Valerie Ann Worwood. A beginner’s must-have book. If you know a bit about aromatherapy and are confused where to start, this is the book to read. It gives you an introduction to essential oils, a chapter on various essential oils and over 600 recipes/synergies. You can read this book to know all about the science and also practice it at the convenience of your home.

2. The Illustrated Encyclopedia of Essential Oils by Julia Lawless. The best book for aromatherapy students, however, it will be useful to beginners even. The book gives an outstanding reference to over 160 essential oils and that means oils for particular remedies like skin problems, pain, common ailments, major diseases etc. The book features an introduction to aromatics, a therapeutic index consisting of essential oils and a section that has monographs of about 165 oils.

3. Advanced Aromatherapy by Kurt Schnaubelt. A 138-page book that is of the size of a textbook and features all and sundry information about the advanced stage of aromatherapy. It talks about Essential oil chemistry, Essential oil profile nuances, selection process and application of particular blends etc.

4. 500 Formulas for Aromatherapy by Carol Schiller & David Schiller. This is a book of recipes. If you know what is aromatherapy and what it can do to you, then, this is the book to look for. This book gives 500 formulas on aromatherapy blends that you may never or know otherwise. A compilation as this is very useful to one who is practicing aromatherapy.

5. Holistic Aromatherapy for Animals: A Comprehensive Guide to the Use of Essential Oils and Hydrosols with Animals by Kristen Leigh Bell. This book gives information on both aromatherapy, EO profiles and also on how to use aromatherapy for animals. It details on how to apply aromatherapy for dogs, cats, horses and other pet animals and the dos and don’ts of the therapy.

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.

When it is thicker than water: 6 tips to work with thick aromatic oils

If blending essential oils involves a lot of quintessential things, working with thicker oils involves more than that. Not all oils are of water-like consistency. There are some which are thicker than water in viscosity and are very difficult to handle. A few are even solid at room temperature so much so that you need to first bring them to a workable consistency to use them. Some steam distilled oils like Patchouli, Sandalwood, CO2s, absolutes, balsams and resins are of a solid consistency which makes it difficult for aromatherapists to prepare the oils for working.

Working with thick aromatic oils: Many resins, including Benzoin, are often thicker and more solid in room temperature. You can bring such oils to a workable consistency if you know the trick of the trade. But this is easier said than done as you need to bring an oil to a workable consistency without losing any of its therapeutic properties and this is not easy. The general way to come of the “thickness” of essential oils is to heat them. But heating plainly seldom helps as oils can vaporize or lose their originality when heated.

Below are a few tips to work with thick aromatic oils:

1. Water bath technique: While heating on the stove plainly can be simple, heating using this technique can be different. This is because it retains the aroma, quality and properties of the oil intact without any adulteration or evaporation. To follow this technique, gently heat the bottle containing essential oil in a warm water. Do not place the bottle or pan containing bottle directly on the stove. Instead, pour warm water in a pan and keep the bottle in it for 10 minutes. Keep changing warm water as and when it is cooled. This method can keep the oil’s quality intact and at the same time, bring the consistency of the oil to a workable level. You can use this method to work with resins, balsams and thick CO2s. This technique can be used even to open bottles that are difficult to open. If your Patchouli or Olive oil bottle is difficult to open, place it upside down in warm water for 15 minutes. The bottle will open after the water bath treatment.

2. Heating with triple boiler: Though heating with double boiler helps, heating with triple boiler helps more. Place your small bottle of oil in tea cup with a some warm water. Place the tea cup on a large container of warm water and heat accordingly.

3. Measure by weight: When your oil is warm, it is difficult to weigh it drop by drop. Avoid doing so and measure by weight. You can use a digital scale that has a tare reading, to allow you to measure only the content of oil in a bottle.

4. Warm carrier oil too: What will happen if you pour a warm oil into a cold carrier oil? You will get blobs instead of therapeutic oils. To avoid this, warm your carrier or blending oil too.

5. Alcohol is better: Often, alcohol is better than carrier oil. Some oils do not dilute in carrier oils too. But all oils can be diluted with alcohol and this is the advantage of using alcohol with beeswax and cocoa.

6. Warm water tray technique: If you want to do things at one go, heat all the oils you want to heat/dilute or bring to a workable consistency by placing their bottles in a tray of warm water. This is especially useful if you are blending two oils and want both to be in the same warm conditions.

Everyday essentials: 4 aromatic recipes for generic use and perfumery

Aromatherapy can be applied for everyday use, on a regular basis. But you should know the basic safety measures, blending properties and useful recipes to apply essential oils to your life. Though essential oils are pure concentrated oils extracted from natural plant parts, they can be toxic too. For instance, some oils like Bergamot are photo sensitive and require cautious handling. Certain oils need to be used only as blends and not directly on the skin as they can cause skin allergies. Generic and basic use of essential oils involves use of them as bath water, perfume, air fresheners etc. This article will elaborate on a few basic essential oil blends  that maybe useful to you on a daily basis.

Essential oils for everyday use: The following recipes need to be tried only after you know in depth about essential oils and their different aroma properties. If you are a newbie to this whole aromatherapy business, better to take efforts to learn a little about essential oils and then, try out the recipes:

1. Carrier Oil Base Perfume: This is a perfumery blend made using carrier oils. To make this blend, you will need the following ingredients: 15 to 25 drops of your perfume blend, 1 tbsp of Jojoba carrier oil and other supplies for mixing. You can replace Jojoba with even oils like Sweet Almond or Apricot Kernel. Use oils based on the perfume you want to achieve in the end. Blend all oils together well and store in an airtight container which is made of dark-colored/amber glass. Once you know the mixture is blended properly, take a drop of it and apply on to your pulse points. Note how the scent changes from time to time. If you are allergic to oils or suffer from any skin problems, better to do a skin patch test before application.

2. Alcohol Base Perfume: A perfume made with alcohol as the base. To make the blend, you will need 4 ¼ teaspoons of Vodka, 1 ½ teaspoons of distilled water and 60 drops of your perfume blend. Blend all ingredients well and store in an airtight container. Ensure that you store in a cool, dark place that is does not initiate any reaction with the sunlight. Let the perfume blend sit for 2 weeks. Shake the bottle 1 to 3 times daily to ensure that you mix the oils well. After the stipulated period of time, filter the perfume blend. You can use a coffee filter to do this. Re-bottle the blend after filtering and let it sit for a few hours. Do a skin patch test before applying the perfume to your pulse points.

3. Body Splash: First, try making a Body Splash of one ounce quantity. To make the body splash, use 4 ½ tsp of Vodka, 2 tsp of distilled water and 18 drops of your perfume blend. You need to first prepare the perfume blend using pure essential oils to mix with Vodka and water. Once the mixing is over, store in a dark-colored bottle away from sunlight. Shake the bottle to mix the ingredients at least for 1 to 3 weeks. Do this for about two weeks. By the end of the second week, use  a coffee filter to filter the impurities in the oil and re-bottle the perfume. Read all safety data and skin patch test before trying out your body splash.

4. Air Fresheners: Air Fresheners are the best items for generic, home-environment use. To make an air freshener, mix 20 drops of Lime oil with 14 drops of Bergamot, 4 drops of Ylang Ylang and 2 drops of Rose.

Aromatic blending basics: 3 first steps you need to know

Aromatic or perfumery blending is often done for the fun of experimenting with various aromas and oils that yield those aromas. Traditional perfumers do years of study to master the art of perfumery, analyzing each and every aroma in its top, middle and base notes. Aromatic blending involves use of synthesized chemicals along with natural ingredients. In general, perfumers use aromas from chemicals that are extracted from natural plant parts and ones that are prepared in chemical ways using essential oils, absolutes, grain alcohol, carrier oils, herbs, water and CO2s. Edward Sagarin explains in detail about perfumery using aromatic blends in his book, ‘The Science and Art of Perfumery’

Aromatic blending of essential oils: Blending essential oils for aromatic purposes involves a lot of nuances. When a blend is created for aromatic purposes, therapeutic benefits can also occur. However, one has to focus on the aromatic end result of the blend than its therapeutic benefits. Below are the first steps with regard to blending basics:

1. Essential oils categories: Essential oils can be classified into broad categories based on their aromas. Called as aroma families, oils of the same family blend well together, while those of different families require good carrier oils to blend. Below are the basic aroma categories:

Floral oils: Lavender, Neroli and Jasmine oils produce a floral aroma.
Woodsy oils: Pine and Cedar oils produce a woody aroma that is strong and powerful.
Minty oils: Fresh, minty aromas are yielded by Peppermint and Spearmint oils.
Camphorous oils: Eucalyptus, Tea Tree, Cajuput oils yield Camphorous aromas that are medicinal too.
Spicy oils: Nutmey, Clove and Cinnamon yield aromas that are spicy and lively.
Oriental oils: Ginger and Patchouli yield oriental aromas of a unique kind.
Citrus oils: Orange, Lemon and Lime yield Citrus aromas that refresh the spirit.
Earthy oils: Oakmoss, Vetiver and Patchouli yield earthy aromas.
Herbaceous oils: Marjoram, Rosemary and Basil  yield herbaceous aromas that are medicinal too.

2. Oils that blend well: Before you start, you need to know the basics about essential oils. Not all oils blend together. However, you can vouch by the above categories. Oils of the same category generally blend well, while those of different categories too sometimes go well. Floral oils blend well with spicy, citrus and woodsy oils. Spicy and oriental oils go well with florals and citrus oils. Minty oils blend well with citrus, woodsy and earthy oils. The best part about Woodsy oils is, they blend well with almost all oils.

3. Harmonizing aromas: Oils are concentrated substances that evaporate quickly. They yield different kinds of scent during their evaporation and this variation in scents are called Notes. Essential oils that evaporate quickly (within 1 to 2 hours) are called top notes. Oils that evaporate with 2 to 4 hours are called middle notes, while those that take longer time to evaporate (the thicker oils) are called base notes. You need to take into account these evaporation notes while creating aromatic blends.

When you start off, work with oils in small amount – say, 5 or 10 drops. Also, work with essential oils, absolutes and CO2s before working with blends. You can use carrier oils, grain alcohol or other base oils after your work with pure essential oils is done.

Good blend equals creativity and knowledge: 5 therapeutic blending tips

One of the best things about aromatherapy is, you can create your own blends and experiment with several essential oils, absolutes, CO2s and carrier oils at a time. Blending of essential oils is done to enhance the effect of oils by bringing them together. A good blend of essential oils demands creativity and knowledge about aromatic blending, aroma profiles of oils and therapeutic effect of each and every oil. You can blend essentials for the sheer pleasure of mixing aromas and also for the delight of inventing your own therapy for your problems and ailments – acne, bladder infection, arthritic pain, fatigue, tension, stress, depression, muscle problems or other issues. By combining anti-viral oils you can make essential oil blends that are effective in treating injuries, cuts and scrapes on account of their antimicrobial properties.

Therapeutic blending tips: Therapeutic blending of essential oils is a bit different from aromatic blending. In an aromatic blend, you look only into the aroma of the blend. Only the end-aroma is important, not the therapeutic effect behind aroma. But in a therapeutic blend, both the healing and aromatic properties of  blend are important. In fact, both aroma and healing are so intertwined that just a whiff of the oil tunes you out of depression or anger or yields the desired effect.

There are several things you need to know before you start your own blending experiment. Below are a list of points to be noted:

1. Know aroma profiles: Essential oils have aroma profiles. That is, a particular oil maybe a top note, middle note or a base note. You need to know the notes of oils to understand them fully and use them appropriately. A delicate, highly volatile oil like Bergamot is a top note; a tenacious, less-volatile oil like Clary Sage is a middle note, while a deep and rich oil like Patchouli is of base note. While creating a good blend, you need to achieve balance between top, middle and base notes.

2. Test your oils’ aroma: To learn more about aromas of essential oils, you can test the aromas on a blotted paper or unscented tissue. Concentrate, inhale the notes of the oils and record the impressions you get of the aromas in the top, middle and base/dry-out stages. This would be useful in preparing blends because good blends have to carry a pleasant and likable aroma to work. Listen to yourself and note how you feel when you inhale a particular fragrance – energetic, relaxed, uplifting or sensual. If you like a particular aroma, find out which part of the oil you want to work with – top, middle or base –  and gather how you much of this aroma you want in your blend recipe.

3. Start with a small amount: Start making a small amount of the blend you want to make. Better to try with 5, 10 or 20 drops. Though large amount of essential oil blends do good, you can end up making a huge waste of time and money if the blend does not turn out to be therapeutic as expected.

4. Work with pure essential oils: Work with pure, therapeutic grade oils – essential oils, CO2s and absolutes. Do not complicate things by adding carrier or other oils in the beginning of the blend preparation. This would save a lot if you do not like the aroma of the blend you created.

5. Maintain a record: Keep a notebook on the number of oils you used, amount of oils used, which blends are of top notes, which are middle/base or which are to your liking etc. When you maintain a record, you will be able to repeat your favorite blends in large scale and store them for future. You will also avoid wasting time on blends that suck.

Don’t cut corners and buy cheap: 10 tips on how not to buy essential oils

Essential oils can cause health hazards if they are not of good quality or do not have therapeutic grade properties. Poor quality oils can mean oils which are adulterated, not properly distilled or produced from low quality crops. Such oils often do not last long and lose their aromatic and therapeutic properties too soon. Sometimes such poor quality oils can have harmful side effects and provide minimum benefits.

How not to buy essential oils: There are several nuances involved in buying essential oils. Below are a list of things to be noted/avoided while buying oils for aromatherapeutic use:

1. Don’t buy oils which are termed “fragrance oils”, “natural identical oils” or “perfume oils”. There are not therapeutic grade essential oils, but oils that are used for aromatic purposes. Many use the term aromatherapy for products that have no trace of the purity or essence of plant oils. Since aromatherapy is a popular alternative medicine, this malpractice has been on for years. So, avoid buying oils which are termed fragrance or perfume oils for aromatherapy.

2. Don’t buy oils without Latin name, place, country or region where the plant species has been grown. If it is a chemotype, the oil’s label should mention that too. Good quality essential oil companies do list all possible information about oils, their extraction methods and other valuable data. So, if an oil’s label does not have all these, understand that it is not of high quality.

3. Don’t buy oils with same prices. There’s should be something wrong with company which sells all oils for the same prices. For instance, therapeutic grade pure Patchouli may actually cost more that Eucalyptus. But if your vendor sells both the oils at equal price, understand that something maybe wrong with regard to quality or a compromise has been made somewhere.

4. Don’t buy essential oils from companies which sell to the food and beverage or perfumery industries. These industries do not buy oils for their therapeutic properties but for their aroma or flavor. Vendors who sell to them may not maintain the therapeutic standards required for aromatherapy use.

5. Don’t buy oils that are sold in clear bottles. Most of the essential oils are photo-toxic and hence are sensitive to light. Many of them lose their aroma or flavor with the impact of light. Oils in dark or brown glass bottles are not liable to loss. Some vendors sell in aluminum bottles. Don’t buy oils sold in aluminum if there is no lining inside the bottle. Also, never buy oils sold in plastic bottles as plastic tends to dissolve in the presence of highly concentrated essential oils.

6. Buy from vendors who are ready to offer you samples or advice you on the therapeutic use of each and every oil. Some sell essential oils as a hobby. Such vendors may not know about oils in depth. So, avoid buying from such aromatherapy-illiterate vendors.

7. Don’t buy from online without comparing rates between vendors. You can send emails or interact in the online forum of the vendor before buying a particular oil. An authentic vendor will provide possibility of such buyer-vendor interactions.

8. Organic oils are entirely different from non-organic ones. Non-organic ones can often be byproducts of a lot of synthetic processes. If you want to experience holistic healing, avoid buying from non-organic oils.

9. Start with small samples. Do not order in bulk if you are buying from a vendor new to you. Avoid purchasing from street fairs, craft exhibitions or festival markets as oils sold in such places maybe locally grown and may not be up to therapeutic mark.

10. Don’t go by words. Do a background check on your vendor’s authenticity. Many vendors use the term “pure essential oils” in all their labels. Often their oils are the most contaminated in the world. So, never go by words of your vendor or the label on your oil without doing a thorough check.

Essential facts: What’s exactly in your essential oils?

Do you wonder what is in essential oils that make them so important and therapeutic? What makes them instant healers? Readymade-cures for every sort of pain or infection or injury or even emotional problem? What pushes forth that instant relief? Though the limbic system and its connection with the important parts of the body maybe an answer, you cannot justify that the therapeutic effects essential oils have on our minds and bodies by pointing at the brain’s sensitivity to aromas. There ought to something quintessential about oils which make them special medicinal cures. This article will focus on the constituents of essential oils and how to determine their quality or impact on our body.

Essential oils – constituents: What makes essential oils essential? It is the constituents or chemical make up of every other oil which determines its effect on the human body. Like every other thing, essential oils is made of an array of molecules and atoms which can be found out using quality tests like Gas Chromatography and Mass Spectroscopy (GC-MS). As you know, essential oils are plant substances which are the life-blood of plants. They provide support to plants throughout their life processes and carry all the nutrients and anti-viral, microbial and bacterial properties of the plant immune system. When these natural substances are used for curing an ailment, they react with the same germs in the human body and bring about an instant relief.

This philosophy of using natural herbs are immunity agents has been in practice for ages. Modern day Aspirin is but the old times white Willow Bark, discovered over 2000 years ago by Hippocrates to ease headaches, pains and backaches. When science discovered that this bark contained salicin which helps reduce aches, they used the constituent in a tablet and so was born, modern-day Aspirin.

Chemical compounds that are unadulterated and pure are the highlights of essential oils. In general, the following group of constituents are present in any essential oil:

  • Acids
  • Alcohols
  • Aldehydes
  • Coumarins
  • Esthers
  • Ketones
  • Esters
  • Lactones
  • Oxides
  • Phenols
  • Terpenes

Quality of essential oil constituents: Some oils may have a higher concentration of one or two constituents, while some others may lack in the very same constituents. For instance, Lavender oil has a high percentage of ester known as linalyl acetate which has the power to isolate and synthesize particular constituents. Some oils maybe blends of two or more oils and will be very expensive to buy. This is the case with Japanese Yuzu oil which looks like a blend of Grapefruit and Mandarin oils. Exploiting this nature of Yuzu, many try to produce the oil at cheap rates by blending Grapefruit and Mandarin. In a similar way, Patchouli oil is blended with Cedarwood or balsams.

It is difficult to standardize the constituents and if you do so, then, your essential oil may not be pure. This is because oils are influenced by several factors – right from soil, place of origin, amount of rainfall, to altitude, temperature, production, extraction and distillation processes. And manufacturers often standardize oils based on their customers/clients’ requirements. If a manufacturer sells his oil to the perfumery industry, he follows a particular standardization process and ensures that the oil meets the mark. However, in the case of therapeutic grade essential oils, this is not possible as such a standardization would mean adulteration of a substance that was pure and natural. This is why it is important to check if your oil’s constituents are unadulterated before you buy.

Aromatherapy golden rules: 8 best methods of topical application of oils

Without doubts, aromatherapy is therapeutic. It is a healing system which applies essential oils in the form of diffusers, massages, as bath oils or bath salts to promote health and life. The most common way of aromatherapeutic healing is through massaging or topical application. Though essential oils are beneficial to the body, care needs to be taken when you apply them on to your skin. Certain methods of topical application are more successful and reap the utmost benefits. This article will focus on some of the best methods in which you can use essential oils as a topical treatment for disorders and ailments.

Topical application of essential oils – Do’s and Don’ts: Never think that topical application of an essential oil is easy. There are several nuances involved and you need to attend to each and everyone of them to make most of your aromatherapy. Below are a few tips on how to topically apply essential oils:

1. More oil is not better therapy: Never think that the more oil you apply, the better you are healed. More oil can only detoxify the skin around the area of application. To avoid this, use only one to six drops of essential oils for an affected area. Generally, desired results can be got by using just one to three drops of essential oils.

2. Apply on your feet: The feet are the second fastest area to absorb essential oils quickly. Apply on the feet if you want an instant remedy. Since feet have large pores, you can trust them for quick relief of your ailment. Other quick absorbing areas include ears and wrists.

3. Foot bath preparation: Foot bath can be another route for a calm, relaxed and peaceful state of mind. Add one to six drops of essential oils per foot bath preparation and soak your feet in it.

4. Large area massage: When massaging oils to a large area of the body, it is better to dilute the oils. You can dilute the oils in carrier oils by 15 to 30% or add them with V-6 Mixing oil.

5. For children: Essential oils can turn toxic to infants and children if applied too much. Hence it is better to dilute them with V-6 Mixing oil. You can use one to three drops of an essential oil to one tbsp of V-6 Mixing oil for children and one to three drops of an essential oil to one tsp of V-6 oil for infants.

6. Never mix blends: Commercially available essential oil blends are prepared by specialized aromatherapists based on the reactions and properties of oils. If you mix blends, you can invoke a series of caustic or undesirable reactions. To avoid this, don’t mix blends. Do so only with individual oils.

7. Use layering technique: If you are unsure about how to make a blend, use layering technique in applying essential oils. Layering refers to the process of applying one oil (that is, rubbing it on to skin) and then, applying another oil on top of it. You need not wait for more that two seconds in between application of oils. If you want to blend the oils with a mixing oil, apply it on top of all the oils. Since absorption into the skin is pretty easy, you need not wait for one oil to dry to apply another.

8. Strictly no internal use: The FDA has approved certain essential oils for internal use and such oils have a GRAS (Generally Regarded As Safe for Internal Use) label. It is safe to use oils with this designation for internal consumption. Don’t take other oils internally. It can be fatal.