Essential oils are one of the easiest and most enjoyable ways to support mind-body health. Wearing your favorite scent may help with boosting energy, feeling tranquil or cleaning those unwanted toxins from the body. Purchasing pre-made blends is great, but making your own oil blend ensures you’ll get a mixture that perfectly suits your needs. And your nose! But the world of essential oils can be intimidating. What is vetiver anyway?
Essential Oil Basics
Essential oils are the volatile oils of plants, usually extracted through steam distillation. They can seem expensive—and some rare oils are extremely costly—but because you need only a few drops at a time, a small bottle can last for many months or even years. Essential oils should not be ingested or applied directly to the skin without the guidance of a health practitioner knowledgeable in aromatherapy.
Place a few drops of your chosen oil into a carrier oil to make the oil safe for application. Good choices for carrier oil include:
- Jojoba oil
- Sweet almond oil
- Olive oil
- Coconut oil
- Grapeseed oil
Blending essential oils is both art and science. It can be very complicated or very simple. Best to start with simple! A basic rule of thumb is to make a 2% dilution of any essential oil. That translates to about 12 drops of essential oil into one ounce of carrier oil. Easy peasy.
Combining essential oils not only enhances the scent but the effectiveness of the end product. And this is where things can get a bit more complicated. Generally speaking, oils are divided into four categories for health use:
Essential oils may also be divided into groups according to how they smell: grassy, flowery, woodsy, spicy or citrus. Or they may be divided into top, middle and base notes like perfume ingredients.
If you are new to aromatherapy, you might do best to first decide what you want to use the oils for. Research which oils are most commonly used for those issues and let your nose guide you. Place one or two drops of your chosen oils into one ounce of carrier oil. Mix and let the blend rest uncapped for 10-30 minutes. Now start building. Play with the ratio, adding a few drops at a time until you get a blend you love.
And don’t forget to write down your recipe! There’s nothing more frustrating than developing the perfect essential oil blend, only to forget what you put in it!