Aromatherapy 101… or something;)

By deffinition, an essential oil is the expressed or sometimes distilled product of the volatile components synthesized by different parts of the same plant.

Is called essential because it contains the chemical components that give each plant its essence, its unique aroma and therapeutic properties.   Each essential oil contains up to hundreds of different chemical components and each of these has specific therapeutic properties that when combined, become more potent and effective. The incredibly complex chemistry of an essential oil makes it unique in aroma, therapeutic properties and characteristics.

Essential oils are volatile. This means, they evaporate in low temperatures without leaving oily residues. They are not greasy, do not become rancid and can spoil easily if not taken proper care. The most important factors to take care of to preserve your essential oils and their therapeutic properties are:

  • sunlight
  • heat
  • humidity
  • oxygen

Essential oils are precious, expensive and delicate substances. Really large quantities of plant material are needed to produce a little amount of oil. This is why they are incredible potent and should always be used with precaution.   Make sure to test each essential oil in your skin before using it and respect the recommended doses. It is better not to use them with children, the elderly or the frail unless you are a qualified aromatherapist.

You can follow this dilution table for using most essential oils:

Base oil volume

1%

2%

4%

1 Tbsp or ½ oz.

3 drops

6 drops

12 drops

2 Tbsp or 1 oz.

6 drops

12 drops

24 drops

4 Tbsp or 2 oz.

12 drops

24 drops

48 drops

½ cup or 4 oz.

24 drops

48 drops

96 drops

1 cup or 8 oz.

48 drops

96 drops

192 drops

2 cups or 16 oz.

96 drops

192 drops

384 drops

1% : for body lotions, face toners, children and pregnant women –after the first trimester. NOTE: please do your research before using ANY essential oil, some are stronger than others and many should NOT be used during pregnancy!

2% : for massage oils and topic applications.

4% : for specific area massages, to be applied on small parts of the body and small periods of time.

Other uses are:

  • Bath: use 3 to 15 drops depending on the essential oil.
  • Compresses: 5 drops per cup of water maximum.
  • Feet or hand bath: 5 to 10 drops per liter.
  • Spray or mist: 20 drops in 4 oz.

 

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