Category Archives: Blending Essential Oils

The sin of applying ‘neat’: Sensitization and diluting essential oils

When you apply an essential oil ‘neat’,  you apply it directly on to your skin, without dilution. Undiluted application of pure essential oils is termed as neat application and leads to several problems, including skin disorders. Though not many people know this, it can result in life-long sensitization to that oil, making one develop skin problems the moment he or she comes in contact with the oil. However, this is a debatable topic as a few aromatherapists, even companies, profess that there is no harm in applying Lavender and Tea Tree oil in a neat way. This is not true and this article will explain why.

The sin of sensitization: Sensitization of skin basically means contact dermatitis of skin. Application of pure essential oils without dilution results in what is called sensitization – severe rash or itchy skin that appears every time your skin comes in contact with that particular oil. For instance, if you apply Lavender oil undiluted, you will develop sensitization every time you come in contact with the oil, even after 20 or 30 years. The proof for this is mentioned by Marge Clark in her famous book, ‘Essential Oils and Aromatics’. To avoid any such skin problems, ALWAYS use essential oils only after dilution. This is a must at least for the topical dilution of essential oils.  Because, permanent sensitization can be a curse for life.

How to use essential oils: Though essential oils are natural substances, they can be too tough to handle. That is, overuse or abuse of them can result in problems that maybe otherwise caused by abuse of medicines. This is why it is important to treat them with respect and use them like medicines.  Use caution every time you come in contact with an essential oil and ensure that you dilute your oil before topical application.  With regard to essential oils, always remember that less is more. Even with minimum drops, you can reap maximum benefit. Similarly, avoid using essential oils that are hazardous or have the potential to cause skin irritation. These include: Bay Laurel, Benzoin, Cinnamon,  Clove, Fennel, Oregano, Fir Needle, Parsley, Needle, Sage, Tagetes, Thyme and Spruce. Avoid oils like Anise, Bay Laurel, Benzoin, Fennel, Cassia, Catnip, Cinnamon, Citronella, Clove, Peru Balsam, Pine, Star Anise, Tagetes, Melissa, Oakmoss and others that cause sensitization.

Diluting essential oils – methods: A simple and easiest way to dilute essential oils is to add 12 drops of pure oils to 1 fl. Oz (30 ml) of carrier oil. This means a 2% dilution and involves no complex measurements. Though the mixture is not of appropriate measurements, this 2% dilution is enough to ensure that pure essential oils are blended well with carrier oils and do not cause harm on topical application.

Raindrop Therapy (pure application) is said to advocate use of pure oils. Avoid the therapy or check well with aromatherapists before going for any such undiluted topical application of oils.

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.

Go for broke, make a difference: How to make potpourri essential oils

Potpourri essential oils are fun to make. You can do it with your family, your children and almost everyone in the neighborhood. They are also a natural way of bringing in essential oils into your home. In the world of aromatherapy, potpourri refers to the use of all possible plant parts – flowers, petals, herbs etc mixed with essential oil blends to scent a room or home atmosphere. The resulting aroma is often a relaxing one and varies, depending on the oils and substances used. You can keep your potpourri blends for a long time and often rejuvenate them by using a drop or two of your essential oils. Its fun to make your own potpourri recipe as you can combine any number of things and try out blends of any volume or kind. You can even dry herbs or plant parts on your own if you are not interested in buying them. This would make your potpourri recipe a fun, craft project for you.

Supplies for potpourri blends: To make potpourri blends, you would need the following ingredients – plant substances and essential oils. Both these can be brought from local craft stores or even via online stores. You can even use your garden, home-made plant substances if you want. Or ask your local florist if he has a set of things he cannot sell on account of some defect or other. Things like flowers with missing petals. If you can get them at an inexpensive rate, you can use the petals in your potpourri. On the whole, try everything you can to get potpourri substances at cheap rates.

Drying plant substances for potpourri: If you are interested in drying the herbs, petals and flowers yourself, you can do so with the help of a dehydrator. This speeds up the drying process and also retains the aroma of the substances used in potpourri. When you use a dehydrator, you need to be careful regarding the safety instructions and use substances in the appropriate way. See to it that all substances are placed properly in the dehydrator, separate from each other. Dry every material thoroughly or else, mold can occur. Ensure that your flowers and petals feel crispy and completely dried. When you are ready with  the materials for the potpourri, you can mix essential oil blends with them and use.

Potpourri essential oil blends:
Choose one of the below blends in a dark colored bottle and mix well by rolling the bottle between your hands. Then, add them to your potpourri bowl and use. If you feel the aroma is little depreciating, add the blends again (a drop or two) to rejuvenate your potpourri. Some of the blends that can be used in potpourri:

1. Citrus blend: This is an exotic blend which can be used for scenting any indoor room or space. Combine 3 drops of Jasmine with 9 drops of Sandalwood, 12 drops of Bergamot, 6 drops of Grapefruit and 5 drops of Oakmoss.

2. Floral-Citrus blend: Mix 12 drops of Bergamot, 5 drops of Lemon, 8 drops of Grapefruit, 4 drops of Ylang Ylang and 6 drops of Cedarwood together in a dark bottle and use in potpourri.

3. Spicy blend: To make a warm, spicy blend, use 11 drops of Orange with 6 drops of Ginger, 8 drops of Cinnamon, 1 drop of Nutmeg and 4 drops of Frankincense.

4. Complete potpourri blend: In a large bowl, add the following for a complete potpourri recipe: 8 cups of lemon leaves, lemon verbana, tea tree, lemon thyme, lemon grass leaves, 1 cup of eau-de-cologne, 1 cup of calendula petals, 1 cup of fixative (Benzoin, Cedarwood, Frankincense, Myrrh, Oakmoss, Patchouli, Sandalwood, Vetiver etc), along with 6-8 drops of Lemon verbena oil and 3-4 drops of Bergamot oil. Cover the bowl and let it sit for 6 weeks to ensure the materials mix well. After 6 weeks, use the materials in a potpourri container and scent your room/living space.

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.

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.

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.

The art of synergistic blending: Blend classifications of essential oils

Blending essential oils is an art. Whether you do it for therapeutic purposes or for the simple pleasure of creating an aromatic blend, you have to be careful and cautious while using essential oils. True. Some essential oils have strong chemical properties which can harm you or your skin. Essential oils like Bergamot has to be handled with caution as its phototoxic properties can be hazardous to you. Some oils can be contraindicated for ailments and that can cause havoc to you. So, when you are sure that you are perfect with your materials and know what is the byproduct of your creativity, start blending your oils.

Blending classification of essential oils:
Essential oil blends work well if they are blended properly. To accomplish this, you need to know a few basic things regarding which oil to be used first, second or third in a blend. For instance, if you are making a therapeutic blend for headache cure, and you are required to add Lavender, Peppermint and Eucalyptus, if you use the oils in the wrong proportion or add them in the wrong order, you will end up making a chemically useless blend that has no effect on your headache. This is why you need to follow a sequence in blending your oils. The four blending classifications of essential oils are Personifiers, Enhancers, Equalizers and Modifiers. Let’s take a look at them in detail:

1. Personifiers: These are essential oils which have a sharp, strong and very aromatic scent. They usually form 1 to 5% of an ideal blend. Their dominant properties react on ailments and induce a powerful therapeutic action in your body. Oils that come under this category are: Angelica, Birch, Cardamom, Cinnamon Bark, Clove, Clary Sage, Coriander, German Chamomile, Ginger, Mandarin, Neroli, Nutmeg, Orange, Peppermint, Rose, Tangerine, Spearmint, Wintergreen, Ylang Ylang and others.

2. Enhancers: These are essential oils which enhance the blend with their blending properties. They do not have sharp scents like Personifiers, but blend well with other oils to induce and enhance their properties. They generally form 50 to 80% of the blend so that they can balance the oils in the blend and make them heal better. Basil, Bergamot, Birch, Cajeput, Cedarwood, Dill, Eucalyptus, Frankincense, Geranium, Hyssop, Grapefruit, Jasmine, Lavender, Lemon, Lemongrass, Lime, Marjoram, Melissa, Myrtle, Orange, Oregano, Palmarosa, Petitgrain, Ravensara, Roman Chamomile, Spruce, Thyme, Rosemary and Wintergreen.

3. Equalizers: These oils form 10 to 15% of the blend. They are useful in creating synergy and balance in the blend. They equalize the blend and do not have sharp or strong aromas like Personifiers. Essential oils that are classified in this category – Basil, Bergamot, Cedarwood, Cypress, Fennel, Fir, Frankincense, Geranium, Ginger, Juniper, Lavender, Lemongrass, Marjoram, Tea Tree, Myrrh, Myrtle, Neroli, Oregano, Pine, Roman Chamomile, Rosewood, Sandalwood, Spruce, Thyme etc.

4. Modifiers: Essential oils of a mild and short fragrance are classified as Modifiers. They usually form 5 to 8% of the blend as they bring in harmony to the whole blend. Some of the oils under this category include: Angelica, Bergamot, Cardamom, Eucalyptus, Fennel, Grapefruit, Hyssop, Jasmine, Mandarin, Melissa, Neroli, Petitgrain, Rose, Rosewood, Sandalwood, Ylang Ylang.