Aromatherapy is a term used to describe a wide range of therapies using aromatic oils, many in massage, for the aromas to be inhaled by the patient.
Most aromatherapy applications are 2% dilutions. This means that 2% of the oil is made from essential oil or flower essences. So, for every 100 drops of carrier oil you have 2 drops of essential oil. If you are working with pregnant or nursing moms it is suggested to use a 1% dilution, or 1 drop essential oil for every 100 drops of carrier oil. You can make larger amounts at one time if you’d like by replacing “drops” with “teaspoons”. 100 teaspoons is about 2 cups, so you could add one to two teaspoons of essential oil for every two cups of carrier oil.(Keep in mind most carrier oils go rancid fairly quickly, so if you are making large batches plan to use them quickly or give them as gifts to be used quickly).
Carrier oils can be infused oils that you have made, or any of the following:
- Sweet almond oil
- Apricot kernel oil
- Avocado oil
- Borage oil
- Coca butter
- Evening primrose oil
- Grape seed oil
- Hazelnut oil
- Jojoba oil
- Kukui oil
- Macadamia nut oil
- Olive oil
- Peanut oil
- Pecan oil
- Rose hip oil
- Sesame oil
- Shea butter oil
- Sunflower oil
These are all commonly used in aromatherapy dilutions.
~ 2 drops of your chosen essential oil
~ 100 drops of your chosen carrier oil
~ Vial or glass jar to put finished product in
Your final dilution should be stored in an amber glass bottle in a dark/cool location and used fairly quickly as most carrier oils will go rancid fairly quickly.
So, what is the difference between an essential oil and a carrier oil? Carrier oils are pressed from the fatty portions of plants, like the nuts and seeds, and they do not evaporate and have much less aroma than an essential oil. Essential oils are typically “distilled” from the aromatic parts of plants (leaves, flowers, barks, roots) they have a very strong aroma and they will evaporate.
Aside from alternative medicine uses for aromatherapy oils, they can also be used in homemade items such as soaps, air fresheners, coasters, bath fizzies, reed diffusers, even your own massage oils and body scrub cleansers. Depending on how strong the scent is, you may find you need more essential oil for some items than you would for others.
Do you have a favorite aromatherapy oil Recipes? Share them here and try someone else’s favorite too!