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Essential Oils Blog

Carrier Oil Education Archives

The Many Methods of Diffusion

 

My first assignment when I started working at Plant Therapy was to test diffusers as I did not yet have a computer to work on.  I really knew nothing about them. I sorted through a very large pile of diffusers and organized them by brand and style. That night at home I got online to do some research on them.

The definition of diffusion is “the spreading of something more widely”. “The natural process in which the atoms, molecules or ions of different substances intermix due to their spontaneous random motion”. (4)

There are various ways of diffusing essential oils, some of which I will address. Nebulizers, Ultrasonic diffusers, room sprays, aromatherapy jewelry, steam inhalation,  personal inhalers, and passive diffusions such as our Lil Stinkers or a  simple tissue.

 

The nebulizer is the most powerful of all and what I found myself to be working with and testing on my first project. With this diffuser you get a continuous and constant flow of essential oil. A  10 ml bottle attaches directly to the diffuser. A jet of air blowing across a small tube creates a vacuum that pulls the oil from the bottle through a tube. The air blowing at the top of the tube blows the oil in a fine mist or spray. This type of diffusion puts the whole oil into the air in the form of tiny droplets. You don’t need heat or water with this diffuser. Be sure to take a look at Plant Therapy’s Advanced Aromatherapy Diffuser.

The ultrasonic diffuser is almost the same as the nebulizer in that it also produces a fine mist, but this one uses water. This unit emits electronic frequencies to cause a small disk under the surface of the liquid (usually water) to vibrate at a very fast rate. These ultrasonic vibrations break the essential oil(s) into tiny microparticles, dispersing the oil in a fine mist. These tiny particles are more easily absorbed by the lungs for a greater therapeutic effect on the body, mind, and spirit. This unit doubles as a humidifier as it uses water. The AromaFuse Diffuser is one of our most popular diffusers.

Room sprays are another way to get essential oils into the air. Simply fill a  4 oz spray bottle with water and/or witch hazel, adding 9 drops of essential oil for every 1 ounce of liquid. Remember that essential oils and water do not mix well, so shake well before using. This is a 1% dilution; to get a 2% dilution use 18 drops of oil per ounce of water. This needs to be stored in a PET bottle or glass bottle as over time essential oils will deteriorate plastic. PET plastics are safe and approved for use with essential oils. If using water, you will also need to add a preservative such as Optiphen Plus if you won’t be using it within a few days.

Diffuser Necklaces are straight forward in their application. Apply 1 to 2 drops of oil on the necklace pad, wood bead, etc. The oils are near the face, they evaporate and you inhale the molecules as the evaporation process takes place. Diffusers that you wear around your neck can be beautiful and functional.

With a tissue, you just put a drop or two on the tissue and keep it near you. You can tuck it in the vent of your car or hold it close to your nose. It needs to be refreshed every hour. The cost is very little and requires no equipment. Plant Therapy also carries a line of Lil’ Stinkers which are plush pals for the children to use.  Using essential oils in these ways – by passive diffusion, is one of the quickest methods to disburse aromatic molecules. With this method, the oils evaporate very quickly and the aroma will not stay very long as it will not reach very far. This is great if you are trying to keep the oils in your personal space when traveling on a plane, or in your work space at that office.

I  also learned about steam inhalation and personal inhalers. Steam inhalation is a method of introducing warm, moist air into lungs via the nose and throat for therapeutic benefits. This is a method for treating respiratory issues.  Heating water in a bowl then adding 1 drop of essential oil and putting a towel over your head while breathing in the mist from the bowl is one way of using steam inhalation.

A personal inhaler delivers scent into the body via the lungs. Inhalation is an effective method of use for essential oils so a personal inhaler is very convenient as they are portable. This is a much more concentrated inhalation application than just putting a drop on a tissue, or in a room diffuser. They are in a protective shell so there is very little evaporation of essential oil and they have a very long shelf life.

“It is not advisable to directly and intensively inhale essential oils for longer than 15-20 minutes, such as with steam inhalation. However, this does not apply to ambient inhalation from essential oils vaporized into the air. If you are diffusing essential oils, it is safer to do this intermittently than constantly, all day long. Ideally, diffuse essential oils for 30-60 minutes. This is not only safer, but it’s also more effective as both our bodies and our nervous system habituate to essential oils after this period. Whenever you are using or diffusing essential oils, some air exchange (fresh air) is advisable.” (3)

When an essential oil is inhaled, the odor travels up the nose to where they are trapped by olfactory membranes. They are then carried to the limbic system. From the limbic system, odor messages are sent to the other parts of the brain like the pituitary, pineal and amygdala. They also travel to the body stimulating the autonomic nervous system, endocrine system, organ functions, secretions of antibodies, hormones and enzymes throughout the body. Smell is the only sense that goes directly to the limbic system. The oils are great for helping and regulating mood. (2)

When choosing essential oils to diffuse there are many things to consider; smell, strength of aroma, properties of the oils and what you are looking for them to assist you with.

All essential oils are not meant to be diffused. Some of the oils are considered unsafe for use around children. Some of the hot oils can be irritating to the mucous membrane at any age and caution should be used when diffusing.  Plant Therapy was one of the first companies to develop a  KidSafe® line of essential oils. Robert Tisserand, author of Essential Oil Safety worked with us to formulate these oils that are safe for kids ages 2-10. (1)

In conclusion, there are many types of diffusers that can be used and I do not think that there is a right or wrong diffuser to use. The circumstances and personal preference will influence which diffuser you choose. In the office, we try to use personal inhalers as there are some that are allergic or can react adversely to certain oils. On occasion, we will diffuse the oils in an ultrasonic diffuser or nebulizer keeping in mind others at the work place. Because I have children at home, I am very careful of the oils that I diffuse. I diffuse only when needed to avoid over exposure. Everyone’s situation is different so there are different times and places to use each of the discussed diffusers. Learning about diffusers and oils over the past three years has been very helpful in keeping my family safe when diffusing.  Happy diffusing!

 

Resources

1 Tisserand, Young (2014) Essential oil Safety: A Guide of Health Care Profesionsals 2nd Edition (add place of publication : publisher)

2 Shanti Dechen: The Nasal Inhaler: Aromatherapy’s unsung Hero  https://naha.org/naha-blog/the-nasal-inhaler-aromatherapys-unsung-hero

3  Tisserand institute How to use essential Oils Safely  http://tisserandinstitute.org/safety/safety-guidelines/

4 Wikipedia Inhaler definition  https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Inhaler

 

Dandelion Infused Carrier Oil DIY

Spring is in the air and the Dandelions are once again popping their bright yellow heads out of the ground. Up until recently I have never looked at these pesky lawn ornaments as beneficial-only as the usual weed that I struggle to banish from my perfectly groomed lawn. But boy does my heart melt every single time my toddler brings me her gorgeous bouquet of freshly picked dandelions. I don’t dare throw them out and break her little heart – so random cups of water, with yellow blossoms floating in them litter my kitchen all summer long.

So what’s so great about these bouts of infestation consuming my luscious green grass? Fresh dandelions are beneficial for a variety of reasons. To my surprise, every part of a dandelion is useful including the flower, stem, roots and leaves. Dandelions are extremely beneficial for fighting bacteria and helping to heal wounds. They have been considered a natural food source for so long due to having a very high vitamin and mineral content (even higher than vegetables) and are used to decorate salads or to be eaten raw in many countries. You can boil them, or dip them in batter and fry them. Due to the fact that dandelions are such a sustainable plant and they are easily grown, they can be used year-round for a multitude of medicinal purposes.

The dandelion dates back to the early 1800’s and is said to originate in Europe, where they used to rid their lawn of the grass in order to make more room for dandelions and other “weeds.” The name “Dandelion” is an English corruption of the French name for this plant: “dent de lion” meaning “lion’s tooth”, a reference to the tooth-like serrations on the plant’s leaves.” (Ehrlich, 2015)

As for therapeutic properties, they are gentle, calming, and have pain relieving qualities that can be beneficial for muscle rubs and over-exertion balms. Dandelion infused carrier oil is perfect for beauty products or for topical applications due to its healing properties. It can also help reduce feelings of worry and is skin moisturizing. Dandelions are chock full of vitamins A, B, C, and D, are an appetite stimulant, and are great for upset stomach. Dandelions can also help with digestion and help fight inflammation.

Next let’s talk about how to make a Dandelion Infused Carrier Oil. First of all, there are different infusion methods you can use to extract the medicinal benefits of the Dandelion. There is the Solar-infused method, cold infusion method, and double-boiler method. This recipe is going to be for the cold infusion method.

Any carrier oil can be used for this recipe, the only thing you should keep in mind is the shelf life of the carrier oil – this will determine how long your dandelion infused carrier oil will last. I chose to use a blend of Camellia Seed Carrier Oil (12-18 months) and Fractionated Coconut Carrier Oil (2 years). Some excellent alternatives are Almond Carrier Oil, Argan Carrier Oil  or Jojoba Carrier Oil (which will extend the shelf life of the carrier oil).

Before you begin picking, always make sure the dandelions you are picking are free of pesticides and chemicals. When you go out to pick your dandelions make sure it is a bright sunny day and late enough in the afternoon that all the dew has evaporated. You want to pick enough of them to fill up your mason jar. Shake each individual flower head gently to evacuate any small inhabitants that may be living in them.

Once the jar is full, fill your mason jar with your choice of carrier oil until it covers the dandelions completely. You do not want your dandelions to be sticking out of the oil because the air and moisture can inhibit bacteria growth and lead to molding. Once they are completely submerged in the oil, stir gently to ensure all the air bubbles have been removed and place in a sunny window. You can cover the oil with a breathable mesh such as cheesecloth or a coffee filter to be sure no foreign objects fall into the oil while it is infusing.

 Let the oil sit, stirring every few days, for 2-3 weeks. Dandelions can be left in the window for up to 4 weeks if you choose to make the carrier oil more aromatic, but any longer could result in bacteria growth and mold. This method of infusion is called the “cold infusion method” because you do not use heat to extract the properties from the dandelion. Once the 2-3 weeks has elapsed, use a slotted spoon to remove the dandelion heads, then strain through a cheesecloth or fine mesh cloth to remove any small particles. Also, you will want to store the oil in a cool, dark place as you would any other carrier oil.  To calculate the shelf life of your dandelion infused oil take average of the shelf life your carrier oils have; for this particular recipe, it would be about 21 months.

When the oil is finished there are so many different DIY products you could use it for. It can be used to create an oil blend, salve, or butter for pain associated with age and over-exertion. It can be added to a lotion which would be beneficial for dry chapped skin. Making a facial toner is a great option as well, due to the inflammation and healing properties of the dandelions. Don’t forget that the carrier oil alone has added therapeutic properties, so making this dandelion infusion then becomes a powerhouse for therapeutic benefits.

Helpful Hints:
  • Always make sure the dandelions you are picking are free of pesticides and chemicals.
  • Only pick dandelions once the dew has evaporated on a warm sunny day.
  • Shake/tap gently to remove inhabitants.
  • Check your carrier oil for mold growth and air bubbles every couple of days while it is in the sunny window. (If you get a small patch of mold on one of the flower heads it should still be fine, but if there is too much you may consider throwing it out and beginning again.)
  • Store your dandelion infused carrier oil in a cool, dark place.
  • Label your container with the infusion date to ensure accurate shelf life.
  • Be sure to use clean, dry containers and utensils when preparing your dandelions for infusion.

 

“When you look at a field of dandelions you can either see a hundred weeds or a hundred wishes.”

– Unknown

 

References:

Ehrlich, S. D. (2015, June 22). University of Maryland Medical Center. Retrieved from Dandelion: http://www.umm.edu/health/medical/altmed/herb/dandelion

 

What do you like to infuse your carrier oils with?

Certified Organic Argan Oil Is Here

We are so excited to announce that our all-new Certified Organic Argan Oil is now available! Many of us have been using this amazing carrier oil as we’ve geared up to launch the product, and we are totally in love.

Full of vitamin E and essential fatty acids, Argan Oil has been making waves in the cosmetic industry and among beauty experts (certain Hollywood starlets swear by it). Sure enough, as a cleanser, hair conditioner, moisturizer, age-spot corrector — you name it; we’ve tried Argan Oil for it, and we couldn’t be more impressed.

Beauty experts revere Argan Oil for its ability to make dull complexions glow. It helps to diminish the appearance of fine lines and can even restore skin elasticity. Even those blessed with young, healthy skin will adore the silky-smooth texture and vitamin-rich body of Certified Organic Argan Oil. Unlike some other carrier oils, Argan OIl is great for all skin types, including sensitive skin and complexions that break out easily. Argan Oil is also super stable and will last (always store in a cool, dark place) for up to two years.

We hope you love Certified Organic Argan Oil and the new look for our carrier oils as much as we do! As always, we welcome your input and feedback.

How to Use Organic Argan Oil as a Cleanser

Take about a teaspoon of Organic Argan Oil and use clean fingertips to massage gently into your skin. Then, using a warm wet towel, wipe off any excess. That’s it! It’s a wonderfully moisturizing, natural cleanser for all skin types.

How to use Argan Oil for your hair

  • Boost your regular shampoo/conditioner by adding 10% argan oil.
  • A leave in oil treatment of Sunflower and Argan, wrap in a towel.
  • Use a few drops on your hair before straightening or curling to help protect from heat damage.
  • Use a few drops for frizz control.

Here’s a lovely Vanilla & Rose Body Lotion

diy-vanilla-roselotion

This smells AMAZING!  I feel like I’m giving myself such a treat when I use this lotion.  The Argan Oil really nourishes my skin, the smell of Rose and Vanilla is so calming, and the ease of having a pump-able lotion makes this a total win!

What you’ll need;

What you’ll do;

  1. Heat wax, butter, and oil in a double boiler until melted.
  2. Remove from heat and let cool, I put mine in the fridge for about a half hour, until a film had hardened on the top.
  3. The vanilla did separate so I whisked it and it’s been 48 hours and there doesn’t appear to be any separation.
  4. I added the essential oils at this point and mixed well.
  5. Transfer to bottle, I used a frosting bag to to get the lotion into the bottle.

 

This post contains affiliate links which support Africa Heartwood Project. This means they will receive a commission if you make a purchase using these links. To learn more about Africa Heartwood Project click here.

 

 

Macadamia Nut–The best kept beauty secret of the islands

By: Kimberly Daun, Certified Aromatherapist

How to use Macadamia Nut Oil For Stronger, Longer, Hair.

Hawaii is my beloved home, everything about it is beautiful.  There is such a strong emphasis on health and happiness.  One of my favorite memories is sitting on an abandoned beach in Haleiwa, eating chocolate covered macadamia nuts, and breathing in the intoxicating scent of the plumeria trees.  I was able to justify my guilty pleasure due to the many health benefits Macadamia Nuts offer.

I love Macadamia Oil for so many of the same reasons I justified indulging in my chocolaty treat.  I also LOVE a good deal, and today only Macadamia Oil is discounted as the daily deal!  It’s jam packed full of fatty acids; oleic, palmitoleic, linoleic, and a-linoleic.  This makes it an ideal carrier oil for personal care as there are so many benefits to your hair and skin.  Plus is has a shelf life of a year when stored properly so I never need to worry about expiration (I use it too frequently)!  Here are some of the ways I use it on my hair and skin.

How to use Macadamia Nut Oil For Stronger, Longer, Hair.

It helps to hydrate and strengthen your hair and scalp, preventing breakage and frizz.

To use alone;

Deep Conditioner; Massage into your hair, starting at the roots, until you have covered your hair.  Is doesn’t need to be drenched, just mostly covered with a layer of oil.  The amount will depend on how long and thick your hair is.  Then put on a shower cap, or wrap a towel and let sit for an hour.  Rinse with your regular shampoo for noticeably softer/shinier hair.

Frizz Control; Apply a couple of drops to the palm of your hand, start at the tips and apply to dry hair (I typically only apply to the lower half of my hair).  Style as usual!

Amp it up by using the following essential oils;

Oily Hair; Peppermint Western, Steam Distilled Lemon, Rosemary, and Tea Tree

Dry HairCedarwood Atlas (you can use Virginian or Himalayan), Lavender Fine (you can also use Population), and Tea Tree (it’s pretty much good for everything!)

Thinning Hair; Rosemary, Thyme Linalool, Cedarwood Atlas (you can use Virginian or Himalayan), and Lavender Fine (you can also use Population)

As you can see several of the recommended essential oils are really great for any hair type.  So mix and match a total 1-2% dilution to enhance the therapeutic properties of Macadamia Oil.

How to use Macadamia Nut Oil For Stronger, Longer, Hair.

It efficiently penetrates and absorbs leaving a non greasy satin finish, and is very nourishing.  I even like to rub it all over my body right out of the shower for super soft skin.  You can use it alone by massaging on the areas of concern.  Below are some essential oil suggestions to make an even more effective combination.

Scars; Neroli, Lavender Fine (you can also use Population), Helichrysum Italicum, or Frankincense Frereana, Anti Scar/Stretch Synergy

Massage; Black Pepper, Marjoram, Lavender Fine (you can also use Population), Spruce, Turmeric, or Juniper Berry.

Anti aging; Sandalwood, Rose, Neroli, Frankincense Frereana, Frankincense Serrata, Frankincense Carteri, Anti-Age Synergy

Dry feet; Lavender Fine (you can also use Population), Petitgrain, Palmarosa, Carrot, Helichrysum Italicum, Silky Soft Synergy

I would again recommend mixing and matching for a total 1-2% total dilution.

Here are some previous DIY blog posts using this fabulously nutty oil; Face Serum, Lotion Spray, and Hair Mask.

How to infuse carrier oils (quick heat method)

By: Kimberly Daun, Certified Aromatherapist

So I’m not the most patient of people.  When I make a decision to do something I typically like to do it right away.  Spontaneous? Sure!  Last minute?  I’m in!  Infusing my herbs in my carriers was no different.  I noticed that my Peppermint and Melissa were ready for their first trim of the season (perennials from last season), I was immediately excited at the prospect of infusing my carrier oils and wanted to start creating right away.  However I didn’t want to wait six weeks for them to dry and infuse so I took some short cuts.  I was able to go from fresh herbs to infused oil in two hours flat!  I infused my Melissa into solid coconut oil and my peppermint into a jojoba/almond combination.

 

Step 1 Step 2 Step 3 Step 4

Now that your herbs are dry it’s time to infuse them into your carrier oil!

Step 5 Step 6 Step 7

We would love to hear about your infusion creations!  What herbs do you like using?  What is your favorite use?  What are your carrier oils of choice?

 

Benefits of Almond Oil

Let's Get Creative-900x200


Carrier oils provide the backbone for many DIY creations. Choosing one that suits you best may seem intimidating, but I promise it’s worth the effort. The right carrier can make the difference between a newly made product that is good and one that is AMAZING. We’ve done a few posts previously on the benefits of various carrier oils, which you can find here:

This time we thought we could focus on the benefits of just Almond oil, as well as provide a few ideas for how you can make the most of the various uses for Almond oil. We all know how important it is to choose a carrier oil that is suitable for your skin type. Almond oil can be a wonderful choice for nearly everyone, making it the perfect option for those who want a great multi-purpose carrier to use in their projects and for blending. Almond oil is a light carrier oil that absorbs easily and doesn’t leave a greasy feeling on the skin. This spotlight (below) can be clicked and printed so you can add it to your essential oil binder!

AlmondCarrierOil

Now, let’s take a closer look at what Almond oil is! Almond oil, as you might have guessed, is cold-pressed from the almond kernel. Native to Europe, the Mediterranean and California, the oil can range in color from colorless to pale yellow and has almost no scent of its own. Almond oil can be used as the sole or base carrier for your blends, meaning it doesn’t need to be mixed in conjunction with others. Why is Almond oil so great for your skin? It contains oleic acid , essential unsaturated fatty acids, sterolins and even  vitamin E.  Why is this important? Let’s examine what these compounds can do for you & your skin:

  • Oleic Acid Oleic acid is a fatty acid that occurs naturally in some vegetable and animal oils. It is a mono-unsaturated fat, making it a great choice for individuals who have skin prone to dryness, eruptions or redness. Oleic acid allows the skin to stay soft & supple by leaving a protective layer to fortify the skin against outside damage.
  • Unsaturated Fatty Acids  For amazing skin, unsaturated fatty acids provide elasticity and help to rejuvenate skin’s appearance. 
  • Sterolins Sterolins are skin-softening agents, useful to improve the appearance of skin and maintain a youthful glow. 
  • Vitamin E Often misrepresented as a preservative, in fact Vitamin E is an antioxidant which can extend the shelf life of products, but can not be relied upon to prevent bacterial growth. However, this is rarely a concern in oil-based products. Only with the introduction of water or water-based  items should there be a concern for bacterial growth. (Parker, 2015).

How can you incorporate Almond oil into your aromatherapy routine? Well, very simply, you can reach for it first when creating a new blend that requires dilution. Or check out one of these ideas for other great ways to use Almond oil:

  1. When used as a massage oil, Almond oil can be amazing in reducing muscle fatigue and tension. Since it is a protein-rich oil, it quickly rejuvenates tired muscles and gets you back on your feet faster after that tough workout or anytime you’ve over done it! Try this recipe for your sore muscles: To 1/3 ounce, or 10 mL of Almond Oil, add 1 drop Lemon, 3 drops Marjoram and 5 drops Frankincense Carteri.
  2. For use in your Oil Cleanse Method – massage into the skin of the face for several minutes, cover with a warm, damp face cloth for a minute or so, then wipe away residual oil. You can combine with essential oils if you wish, or simply leave it plain.
  3. Nothing is nicer than having a warm bath and leaving with silky soft skin! Add 3 drops Roman Chamomile and 10 drops Lavender to an ounce of Almond Oil, and add a 1/2 teaspoon to your bath along with a handful of Pink Himalayan Salt for seriously soft and scented skin!

It’s important to note that if you have (or suspect) a nut allergy, you should probably avoid the use of Almond Oil or do a patch test to be certain it’s the right choice for you.

We’d love to hear how YOU benefit from Almond Oil. Share with us by leaving a comment here or contacting us via email at Aromatherapist@planttherapy.com. We also have a lively and FUN Facebook group for you to join over at Safe Essential Oil Recipes. We look forward to hearing from you soon!

Resources:

Parker, S. M. (2015). Power of the seed: Your guide to oils for health & beauty. United States: Process Media.

Confused by Carrier Oil Choices?

Do you have questions (2)


Choosing Carrier Oils-2


I am often asked “Which carrier is best for _______?” To help you navigate the benefits of these amazing carrier oils, I wanted to give you a bit more information about each one, including an appropriate skin type. This is just the tip of the iceberg! Each carrier has its own set of properties that make it a good choice for certain reasons. I wanted to begin with a small selection, so let’s check out the following carriers and how you can incorporate them into your aromatherapy experience:

Screen Shot 2015-08-31 at 2.07.19 PMApricot Kernel Oil is a lovely choice for mature skin or as the base of a massage blend. This carrier is cold pressed from the kernel of apricots and results in light yellow oil that smells faintly nutty. Apricot kernel oil is readily absorbed by the skin and leaves a smooth and moisturized result behind.

Apricot Kernel oil can be combined with other carriers for a soothing & moisturizing massage blend. Use 2 parts apricot, 1 part avocado and 1 part camellia seed oils. You may add essential oils to this base, if desired.

Screen Shot 2015-08-31 at 2.06.52 PMAvocado Oil can be a lovely choice for dry skin. This thick, rich oil has very little scent and typically has a light green color. It is best blended with another carrier, such as camellia seed or meadowfoam.

 Can be used as a hair mask, combine 1/4 cup of avocado oil with essential oils of your choice and apply to hair. Allow to sit on hair for a few hours or overnight (use a shower cap if you need to sleep!). To wash out, use shampoo on “dry” hair, rubbing it in well, then rinse and repeat the shampoo process!

Screen Shot 2015-08-31 at 2.06.29 PMCamellia Seed is cold pressed from the seed of a flower native to China and Japan. This carrier is light to golden yellow in color and provides protection to mature skin and improves appearance Camellia is easily absorbed into the skin, providing a silky finish with no greasy feeling.

A lovely serum for dry (or mature) skin can be made by combining 1 part Avocado oil, 1 part Evening Primrose with 2 parts Camellia oil. Essential oils that are beneficial for a healthy complexion can be found in these blog posts:

Screen Shot 2015-08-31 at 2.06.02 PMEvening Primrose provides a wonderful boost when combined with other carriers. This nourishing carrier is cold pressed from the seeds of an evening-blooming flower and is yellow in color. Used alone, it leaves an oily feeling on the skin and is best combined with other carriers like Camellia or Meadowfoam to reduce this greasiness. Evening Primrose oil provides the base for our body cream. Refined to remove the unpleasant scent, in the refining process there are no solvents used, instead it is refined by heat.  Our evening primrose is not bleached.

Evening Primrose oil can be used to soothe cramping during menstrual cycles. Use as the base for any blend found in this post: Women’s Health Concerns and smooth over belly to reduce discomfort.

Screen Shot 2015-08-31 at 2.05.34 PMJojoba is actually a liquid wax with a very long shelf life. It’s very like our own natural sebum, which makes it ideal for cosmetic reasons. Jojoba has a soft, pleasant scent and leaves a nice barrier on the skin, but with a satiny finish so you don’t feel sticky!

Jojoba can be used to create a solid perfume like the one found in this post Solid Perfume  from Mother’s Day. It can even as the base of a bath oil.

Screen Shot 2015-08-31 at 2.04.54 PMSesame Seed is a rich carrier that is cold pressed from sesame seeds. The oil absorbs fully into the skin leaving only a whisper of oil behind. The scent of this carrier is distinct, and may overpower other scents. Sesame seed oil ranges in color from golden yellow to golden brown and has a distinct aroma. A favorite of massage therapists and aromatherapists since it’s non-staining!

Screen Shot 2015-08-31 at 2.03.55 PMSunflower Seed Oil is a pale to golden yellow carrier that has been cold pressed from the seeds of the sunny flower! Sunflower oil is deeply nourishing and amazing for dry or damaged skin. Since it’s easily absorbed into the skin, sunflower oil is a great base for your blending needs. Sunflower oil makes up the base of our Sunflower Body Cream, as well!

Thanks for joining me as we create new products to benefit your family, the possibilities are endless! If you have any questions, concerns or comments please feel free to email us at Aromatherapist@planttherapy.com Plant Therapy has a staff of 5 Aromatherapists who are happy to answer your questions about essential oils! We also have a fabulous Facebook group which you can find by clicking here: Safe Essential Oil Recipes where you can hang out with other Plant Therapy fans and share amazing recipes, tips and other essential oil related topics!

Making the most of your carrier oils {how to infuse herbs}

Let's get CREATIVE...-3


Infusing herbs can be a great way to make the most of your carriers and compliment the use of essential oil in your homemade products. For example, arnica is great for sore muscles and stiff joints as well as being useful for bruising. Perfect for a muscle rub for high school or college sports players. When combined with marjoram, it can provide soothing relief for sore muscles. Another great example is comfrey which is excellent for bone health and can be useful when dealing with a break or fracture, combined with essential oils for pain management it’s a winning combination. Calendula is soothing for the skin, chamomile is wonderful for itching, irritated skin. The list is endless!

A great resource for all things herbal is The Herbal Academy of New England. I have taken the Intermediate Herbal Course through their on-line school. It’s a fantastic course and I really learned a lot. Of course, as with essential oils, learning about herbs is a lifelong pursuit. This is a great start! You can learn about different herbs that may boost the blends you are currently making or learn about something new!

Why don’t we take a closer look HOW to create herbal infusions.

Creating Herbal infusions is easy - just gather a few basic items and create your own herbal infused oils today!
Creating Herbal infusions is easy – just gather a few basic items and create your own herbal infused oils today!

What you’ll need:

  • Carrier Oil
  • Herb of choice
  • Glass jar, quart size is preferable
  • Lid for glass jar
  • Cheesecloth (not immediately, but necessary for straining later)
  • Additional, smaller, jar for storage

What you’ll do:

  1. Add herb of choice to your quart jar
  2. Pour carrier oil over your herbs until they are covered
  3. Choose method below to complete the process
  4. Use this infused carrier to boost the benefits in your essential oils blends!

 

There are two different methods you may use cold (or solar) infusion and heat infusion.

The first method, you simply add the herbs and oil to your jar and allow to sit in a warm place for approximately 6 weeks. Strain, bottle and store in a cool dark place until ready for use.

For the second method, add herbs and oil to your jar then place in a heatproof pan in the oven. TO prepare your oven, heat to 250 degrees then turn it off when you place the jar inside. Allow the jar to remain in the oven, closed, for 24 hours. Remove the jar, strain and store in a cool dark place. Additionally, you may add the oil and herbs directly to a pan on the stove, set to low) and warm that way. Be very careful not to overheat (or burn) your oils/herbs. Heat for approximately 45-60 minutes. Once cool, strain and store in a cool, dark place.

I hope you enjoyed learning a bit about herbal infusions. Herbal learning and essential oils go well together, and many times compliment each other beautifully. There are many benefits to using essential oils, but sometimes they simply aren’t the answer you need. For those times, we turn to herbs and food to be truly holistic and to live vibrantly!

If you have questions or concerns, please contact on of our on-staff aromatherapists at Aromatherapist@planttherapy.com

Are there "driver" or enhancer oils?

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We get asked this question often. Are there oils that can act as a driver or can enhance absorption of other essential oils? This means are there oils that can help other oils penetrate further into the skin, thereby increasing absorption rates. While this is something best left to professionals, who understand the chemistry, I want to try and answer the question in the spirit of education!

The simple answer is yes, there are a few oils that can enhance the absorption of essential oils into the skin. But first, let’s take a look at how our skin works:

Our skin consists of

  • the epidermis, which is our waterproof layer and provides protection against infection
  • the dermis, where the parts of the skin” live” (like hair follicles, sweat glands, etc)
  • the hypodermis, which is the fatty layer “beneath” the skin that keep us warm

Layers of skin

Why oil can penetrate the skin and water can’t?

Our epidermis acts as a waterproof barrier for our bodies. Water doesn’t penetrate the skin since it’s made up of several layers of cells. These cells maintain their structure through a phospholipid bond.

Phospho-what?

Phospholipid refers to a group of elements that are composed of fatty acids. This means that the layers of skin are held together by the fatty acids. Remember how oil (or fat) and water don’t mix? THIS is why our skin repels water. Oils, of any kind, can be readily absorbed by the skin since they are of the same type of substance that hold our skin together.

How much EO is absorbed?

Robert Tisserand writes, in his book Essential Oil Safety, that approximately 10% (give or take) of an essential oil that is applied to the skin is absorbed into  the blood steam. This, of course, depends on the type of oils and several other variables. These include; 1) skin temperature 2) rate of dose applied 3) duration of contact 4) Humidity 5) Occlusion (or blocking off the area) and 6) skin hydration

Effect of Enhancers: how they work?

These substances reduce the skin’s ability to perform its barrier function. Then allowing the essential oil (or medication in some instances, like nicotine patches) to cross the epidermis at a faster rate. The constituents in some essential oils can disrupt that phospholipid bilayer and allow enhanced penetration. D-limonene and 1,8-cineole have been shown to do just this function. A water-based cream or lotion provides the essential oil some movement in order to reach and then penetrate the skin. We go back to oil and water not being able to mix, using a water-based carrier sends the essential oil through the carrier faster to the skin and allow for deeper penetration. Since essential oil molecules are more likely to dissolve in fats and lipids – water-based creams or lotions are a better carrier for penetration than a fixed oil.  Using a fixed oil also allows for penetration – but in a slower more controlled manner.

What have we learned?

We can use some essential oils to absorb quickly in the skin. To do so, our “carrier” should be a water-based lotion or cream, since the oils will have more freedom of movement and work to penetrate the skin faster. We also know that oils that have higher amounts of d-limonene (most citrus oils, like lemon) and 1,8-cineole can be used as skin penetration enhancers.

Well, I hope that you learned a little bit more about how essential oils can effectively penetrate your skin & are absorbed to reach the bloodstream. It’s a hard topic to grasp, so don’t hesitate to get in touch if you need help understanding!

As always, any questions you have can be directed to our Certified Aromathereapist at aromatherapist@planttherapy.com. We welcome questions, comments or concerns. Please check out our Facebook page Safe Essential Oil Recipes.

 


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