Useful Aromatherapy Information
A carrier oil is a vegetable oil derived from the fatty portion of a plant, usually from the seeds, kernels or the nuts. If essential oils are applied to the skin undiluted it can cause severe irritation or reactions in some individuals. Carrier oils are used to dilute essential and other oils prior to application. They carry the essential oil onto the skin.
Each carrier oil offers a different combination of therapeutic properties and characteristics. The choice of carrier oil can depend on the therapeutic benefit being sought.
Natural lotions, creams, body oils, bath oils, lip balms and other moisturising skin care products are also made using vegetable (carrier) oils. From a simple essential oil/carrier oil blend to a more complex natural lotion, your choice of carrier oil can make a difference in the therapeutic properties, colour, overall aroma and shelf life of your final product.
Carrier oils, are pressed from the fatty portions (seeds, nuts, kernels) and do not evaporate or impart their aroma as strongly as essential oils.
The term carrier oil is generally limited to use within the practice of aromatherapy. In natural skin care, carrier oils are typically referred to as vegetable oils, fixed oils or base oils. Not all fixed oils/base oils are vegetable oils. Emu oil (from the emu bird) and fish (marine) oils are also classified as fixed/base oils, but these animal-based oils are generally not used for aromatherapy work.
Some carrier oils are odourless, but generally speaking, most have a faintly sweet, nutty aroma.
It is advised that Grapeseed oil should be used for those with nut allergies and is safe for babies and children.
If you come across a carrier oil that has a strong, bitter aroma, the carrier oil may have gone rancid.
Essential Oils & Massage Blend Information
We pride ourselves on stocking a comprehensive range of top quality essential oils, massage oil & ready mixed blends. We are also pleased to be able to offer some of our most popular oils in a range of bottle sizes. If you are looking for a particular oil, just contact us a line and it is highly likely that we will be able to source it for you.
Used for hundreds of years in Egypt, Ancient Greece and Asia and may other civilisations, Aromatherapy is a complementary therapy based on holistic principles, using the application of essential oils to improve mental, physical, emotional and spiritual well-being. Many of the oils have powerful antibacterial and anti-viral qualities, which do not leave behind dangerous toxins like many pharmaceutical drugs.
Essential oils are organic compounds derived from plant sources such as roots, bark, flowers and seeds. They are complex chemical compounds and not technically oils at all. They are extracted using a variety of methods to capture the scented particles, leaving many of the other chemical constituents of the plant behind. Oils can be applied in a variety of ways apart from massage
Choosing the Right Oils
We realise that trying to make choices about which oils to buy and blend together can be very difficult. To help you with these choices we have gathered together information about using aromatherapy in general and the individual oils.
Whilst essential oils may come from a natural source, this does not mean they are completely safe to use in any way you choose. Like any other chemical compound, natural or synthetic, they need to be treated with care and respect in order for you to remain safe while benefiting from the wonderful things they have to offer.
How do you use essential oils?
20 drops = 1/5 teaspoon = 1ml
100 drops = 1 teaspoon = 5ml
300 drops = 1 tablespoon = 15ml
600 drops = 1 ounce = 30ml
General rule is to dilute your essential oils in a carrier oil 1% for elderly and children under 7yrs. 2-5% for healthy adult. Please note that there are recommended limits or contraindications for certain essential oils if you are suffering medical problems or pregnant.
Dosage: up to 6 drops in 10-15ml (2-3 teaspoons) of carrier oil or lotion.
Facial skin requires special care as it tends to be delicate, show more signs of stress and toxic overload, and is generally more exposed to the wind, sun and atmospheric pollutants. For facial massage, select an appropriate carrier oil and use a lower dosage of essential oil than that for body massage. As the face is a small area, 5ml of total mix are usually sufficient.
Dosage: 1-3%, or 1-3 drops, in 5ml (1 teaspoon) of carrier oil (use an even higher dilution for very sensitive skin).
Can be applied to small areas, for example stiff joints, sprains and cramps (e.g., stomach and period pains). As the area to be covered usually requires fast action the dilution used is often lower than that for body or facial massage, but always make sure that you are using a safe dosage.
Dosage: 5%, or 10 drops, in 5ml (1 teaspoon) carrier oil. Ensure that you do not exceed the maximum safe dosage
In the bath
Using essential oils in the bath is an extremely effective way of influencing mood, although rather wasteful as much of the essential oil sticks to the sides of the bath. Add essential oils to a spoon or two of oil or soap solution and add it to the bathwater just before you get in - otherwise the oils will evaporate before you have a chance to enjoy them or benefit from absorption via the lungs and nose.
Dosage: up to 10 drops in 10ml (2 teaspoons) oil or soap solution, or directly to the water.
Take care when using oils in the bath as some can sting. Lemon, orange, grapefruit, aniseed, camphor, clove, eucalyptus, ginger, juniper, black pepper, peppermint, sage, savory, spearmint, and thyme should be used in very small dosages - no more than 2 drops to a bath.
Alternatively, you can apply a massage blend to the body, then sit in a warm bath for a while.
A footbath is useful when someone is immobile or too fragile for other methods. This is an extremely effective stress-relief and pick-me-up at the end of a hard day and in hot weather.
Dosage: use 4 drops in a bowl or footspa of warm water and soak feet for about 20 minutes
Certain situations require fast action, so low dilutions are used. Conditions like sprains, cuts, bruises, sunburn, insect bites, rashes, large areas of skin infection and inflammation respond well to this method.
Dosage: up to 12 drops in 100ml water, hot or cold depending upon the situation. Agitate the water and quickly soak a piece of sterile gauze in it, wring it out and apply to the affected area. The treatment can be augmented by the application of ice packs or heat pads as appropriate.
Cuts, insect bites, spots, cold sores, verrucae, warts and athlete's foot can be treated with neat tea-tree and/or lavender essential oil. Apply with a cotton bud. If the area is cracked and dry cover with a barrier cream after 10 minutes. Note: tea-tree oil may cause irritation and dryness, so treat with respect.
Essential oils can be diffused into the air through dry heat, steam or mist or by fan-assisted evaporation. This is an effective way of changing mood, purifying the atmosphere or getting essential oils into the respiratory and olfactory systems. The commonly available types of fragrancer are as follows:
Light bulb rings: oils are dropped into a channel in a small ring that fits over a table lamp bulb, which heats the oils.
Electrical fragrancers: oils are dropped onto a metal plate heated by an electrical element. This is safer, but the heat can damage the oils.
Electrical diffusers: a fan blows across the essential oils container, causing evaporation. Safe, no heat damage to oils or fire risk, but expensive.
Radiator fragrancers: small essential oil containers that clip onto metal radiators, which heat the oils. Take care because essential oils can spoil paintwork.
Inhalations: Use for colds, flu, sinusitis and asthma, or in any situation that requires fast relief from congestion and respiratory or emotional problems. Use 3-5 drops of an appropriate oil in a cupful of hot (not boiling) water and inhale.
Alternatively, fill a bowl with hot water, add appropriate essential oils and then sit bent over the bowl with a towel over your head forming a tent to keep the vapours in. This can be dangerous and should not be used for unsupervised children. The bowl method also makes some people feel claustrophobic, and should not be used on asthmatics except with great care. People with thin, sensitive skin or skin that has a tendency to thread veins should not use this method. Note: keep your eyes closed to prevent irritation.
Sprays: Fill a plant spray bottle with water. To each 300ml add 8-10 drops of essential oil. Shake bottle vigorously before each use, as oils do not dissolve in water. Use as a room freshener or an insecticide using appropriate oils. Avoid getting spray in eyes as this may cause irritation. Do not spray on painted surfaces as oils may stain paintwork.
Children have delicate skin and eyes and are, on the whole, very sensitive to smells. For these reasons, great care is needed when selecting and blending oils. Ask yourself if it is necessary to apply the oils to the body, or whether fragrancing is more appropriate. Take care when using low dilutions in fragrancers as the vapour may sting a child's eyes and delicate mucous membranes. Do not leave children unsupervised when using fragrancers with night lights.