Essential oils are absorbed into the bloodstream and have a direct effect on Physical and Emotional according to Marge Clark, author of Essential Oils and Aromatics. Essential oils are distilled from roots, wood, resins, berries, flowers, or leaves.
Volatility Rate of Essential Oils
The rate at which an essential oil evaporates is called volatility and influences how long the fragrance will last. The volatility rate is termed “top note,” “middle or heart note,” and “base note.” Citrus, conifer and light floral essential oils tend to be top note oils. Most floral scents, herbs and grasses tend to be middle or heart notes; while woods and roots tend to be base notes.
Essential oils are diluted by mixing with a carrier oil for use on the skin. Essential oils will dissolve in a carrier oil but not in water. Readily available carrier oils include almond or sweet almond oil, apricot kernel oil, avocado oil, borage seed oil, calophyllum oil, fractionated coconut oil, evening primrose oil, grapeseed oil, hazelnut oil, jojoba oil, kukui nut oil, macadamia nut oil, olive oil, rose hip seed oil, squalane, and sunflower oil.
Measurements and Dilution Equivalents
To convert the volume of essential oil, use the following guideline:
- 2 tablespoons = 600 drops or 1 fluid ounce
- 1 tablespoon = 300 drops or 1/2 fluid ounce
- 1 teaspoon = 100 drops or 1/6 fluid ounce
- 1/5 teaspoon = 20 drops or 1/30 fluid ounce
For one fluid ounce of carrier oil (600 drops), use the following guideline:
- 1% dilution = 6 drops of essential oil
- 2% dilution = 12 drops of essential oil
- 2.5% dilution = 15 drops of essential oil
- 5% dilution = 30 drops of essential oil
- 10% dilution = 60 drops of essential oil
To create a spray or spritzer, use 4 ounces of distilled water and add:
- 8-10 drops of essential oil for a facial toner
- 30-40 drops of essential oil for an all-over body spritzer
- 80-100 drops of essential oil for a linen spray, room spray or air freshener
Shake well and spray.
Common Uses for Essential Oils
To ease sinus congestion/sinus headache, mix 6 drops Eucalyptus Smithii, 6 drops peppermint, 6 drops lavender and 3 drops sweet basil oils. Add 15 drops of the blended oils to 1 fluid ounce of carrier oil and apply to the sinus areas. Or add two drops of the combined oils to a tissue and inhale.
Remove cooking or sickroom odors and diffuse smoke with 10 drops of lemon essential oil, 10 drops of bergamot essential oil and 10 drops of lavender essential oil. Add 80 to 100 drops of the blended oils to 4 ounces of distilled water in a spray bottle. Shake well and spray. This blend also makes a car smell clean and fresh.
When feeling low in energy, combine 4 drops orange essential oil, 2 drops lime essential oil and 1 drop of Cardamom essential oil. Add the blended oils to 1/8 cup of carrier oil. Apply to the pulse points.
Air, heat and bright light can damage the more fragile oils. It is best to store essential oils in tightly sealed containers at a cool room temperature and away from any source of heat or light.
Essential oils can prove harmful under certain conditions. Almost any essential oil has the potential to be a skin irritant if not properly diluted. Others can cause photosensitivity, contact allergic sensitivity or other allergic reaction. That’s why oils should be used in a mild dilution and individuals with a history of allergies, asthma or eczema should use extra caution.