Suggested Dilutions for Various Methods of Application
2 - 3% dilution (10 - 12 drops per ounce of vegetable oil)
1% for pregnant women, people
with health concerns
and children (5 drops per ounce of vegetable oil)
3 - 15 drops per tub, depending on the oil
5 drops per cup of water
3 - 5 drops in a bowel of hot water
Caution: never do an inhalation during an asthma attack
3 - 5 drops per quart of warm water
Caution: Choose nonirritant oils only (e.g., lavender
or tea tree).
Foot or Hand Bath
5 - 10 drops per quart of water
5 - 10 drops per sitz bath
Fragrant Body Water
5 - 10 drops per 4 ounces of water
20 drops per 4 ounces of water
Gargle or Mouthwash
1 - 2 drops per 1/4 cup of water
Carrier oils should be stored away from heat and light to ensure their freshness. The addition of jojoba oil as 10 percent
of your carrier oil will help extend the shelf life of your blend by slowing down oxidation that leads to rancidity. Vitamin
E oil is an excellent antioxidant; adding it to any aromatherapy blend will help extend the life of most vegetable oils. One
or two capsules (200-400 IU) per two-ounce bottle of carrier oil is enough. It is recommended that you make only enough of
a blend to last a few months. A refrigerated blend may keep six months or more. Refrigeration of all vegetable oils is highly
Methods of Application at a Glance
Essential oils are versatile and effective
in treating many common problems. The following guidelines are suitable for a single essential oil or a combination of oils.
Many problems are best treated by a combination of methods. For example, a cold may be treated with an inhalant, a bath, a
chest rub and a compress. Details on specific applications are presented throughout this book in the chapters on Facial Care,
Massage and Therapeutics.
Vegetable oils high in vitamins A, E and F-soothing, skin-softening,
nourishing and rich in nutrients that enrich the skin-are among the best carriers of essential oils. They are called fixed
oils because their large molecules stay in the plant instead of being easily released, as are the essential oils. This means
that they are often extracted with heat or solvent-extracted (a process that also uses heat to extract the solvent). The one
exception is olive oil, which can be cold-pressed, although less oil is obtained with this method, resulting in a more expensive
product. Whenever possible, choose vegetable oils that are expeller-pressed or cold-pressed, which means they have not been
exposed to temperatures over 110 degrees.
Unlike essential oils, vegetable oil molecules are large and do not easily penetrate the skin, making them an ideal medium
for cosmetic products. The "saturation rate" of carrier oils measures how thick they are. The more saturated the oil, the
thicker it is, the longer it stays on the skin, and the longer its shelf life. On the other hand, unsaturated oils give the
illusion that they are being absorbed into the skin when they are actually evaporating. The most suitable oil depends on the
application. Most body workers prefer saturated oil for massage, but many cosmetics use less saturated oils that feel less
thick and sticky.
Other factors to consider are smell and color. The light smell and color of almond, hazelnut and grapeseed oils put them
among the most preferred oils for cosmetics. (We've found that you need to go easy on using unrefined oils, which can leave
you smelling like food).
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