Blending Essential Oils
When prescribing essential oils for therapeutical uses each of all the symptoms concerning the patient should be looked into, (refer to the therapeutic index) on the basis of which, the section on the Essential oils dealing with their medicinal properties is to be referred. Frequently it is observed that the use of one essential oil is enough, and the use of a blend of several essential oils for the treatment can prove to stub the improvement in the patient concerned. Thus, if the use of a single oil enhances the improvement to the best, a combination is not termed as necessary. But if a single essential oil fails to cover the observed symptoms, there arises the necessity to blend several together.
It is recommended while blending of oils, to keep them to a minimum of 2 to 5 oils at a time. The resultant blend has its own unique and medicinal properties and is not a simple combination of the properties of the ingredients concerned. Therefore it is likened to the creation of an entirely new essential oil.
Certain psychological elements are always seen to be involved in the event of a sickness or ill health. In cases of mental, emotional or psychological disorders it is not advisable to conclude with an oil by merely observing the external symptoms and overlooking the internal discomfort. In such cases selection of oils should be made by the patient. You must be wondering how that is possible. It's simple. All that you have to do is ask the patient to pick up an oil which exhumes the most appealing smell to him/herself. That’s the oil which is going to be beneficial to him/her. Sometimes blending may also be required. It is easy to improve the fragrance appeal by merely altering the percentage of each oil in the blend wherefore it proves to be a useful gain for the patient. So whether you are the patient or the therapist the art of exotic blending needs to be judged by:
- Harmonisation of the blended oils.
- The right ratio and proportion in which the two or more oils blend together in.
- A set of good Olfactory senses.
The best guide to an excellent blend is our own nose although it does take some while in finding the perfect balance. The fact still remains that one can learn best from experience alone.
The oils blended for external application comprise the 2 basic ingredients i.e. Essential oils & Vegetable oils (also known as Base oils & Carrier oils). The blending of the essential oils involves the action of the carrier oils as a vehicle, for it is only hence that the former implies a possibility of dilution to the desired strength.
Now your choice of the carrier oils is extensively dependent on the variation in the prices ruling it. But besides this, you may have other primary considerations in the forefront. Thus you may desire the oil to be prolifant in the nourishment of the skin and also act as an easy vehicle for blending. E.g. Avocado & Wheat Germ are rich in vitamins but they are heavy to be used on their own, therefore these are to be mixed with lighter carrier oils, with the result that you can bring out more nourishing and lighter base oils. Almond oil is weighed as the best for a general use but Olive, Coconut, Sunflower or Cottonseed are known by their presence of a higher rate of skin penetration which is opined as an important factor in Aromatherapy massage. A close observation has brought into light the rapid oxidation of most vegetable and essential oils whose resultant rancidity (cloudiness) besets them with an unpleasant odour in the oils, a distinct loss of the freshness and a reduction in their therapeutical values. Oxidation is termed as an irreversible reaction process, therefore utmost importance is given in mentioning the precaution to be undertaken by keeping the oils well filled in airtight containers. But avoid replenishing fresh oils in a used container.
The immense storehouse of Mother Nature has furnished us with an anti-oxidant in the form of Wheat Germ Oil. The latter works as an excellent anti-oxidant due to the presence of vitamin E in high contents. In the preparation of your blends use 10 to 15% of Wheat Germ Oil which enhances the preservation for longer periods than usual although the oils are not immune to last forever. The average period of dependency is 3 months, but the subjection can vary as per how often the bottle is opened for use.
Although the quantity of essential oils to be used in the carrier oils depends upon the strength of its fragrance varying from 1% to 3%, essential oils are extremely powerful and thus their use is always curbed to the minimum. No better results would ever be effected upon by augmenting the quantity of essential oils in use. Plants carry essences which vary between 0.01% to 10%, therefore the average variegates between 1% to 3%. The use of essential oils per ml. (in drops) is entirely dependent upon the specific gravity of the oil, although a common measure is prevalent which averages around 20 drops. E.g. if you require 2% mixture in 50 ml of carrier oils, you would administer 20 drops of the essence.
A general guideline has been set whilst diluting the essential oils in the base oil: ESSENTIAL OIL MIX TO BASE OIL
- 5 Drops to 10 ml.
- 25 Drops to 50 ml.
- 50 Drops to 100 ml.
Aroma facials require 3 to 5 drops of essential oils in 5 to 7 ml of base oil. For body massage administer 6 to 8 drops in 15 to 25 ml of base oil. A notable factor influencing the maximum enduration of the oil fragrance inside the bottle and outside demands the need for proper fixation of the bottle. Perfumery has augmented the use of fixatives to beset in protracting the would be the process of evaporation of the perfume, thus assuring unchangeability of the fragrance for a longer period. The most excelling fixative is the oil of Sandalwood, notwithstanding an effectual use of Patchouli, Vetiver and Frankincense which is definitely possible.