Essential Oils Guide ❦

The use of essentials oils have been used for thousands of years by many cultures. Interest in essential oils has been revived with the popularity of aromatherapy, a branch of alternative medicine whereby essential oils and other aromatic compounds have curative effects. Oils are volatilized or diluted with a "carrier oil" and used in massage, heated over a candle flame, burned as incense, or diffused in the air by a nebulizer.

An essential oil is a concentrated liquid containing volatile aroma compounds from plants—also known as volatile oils, ethereal oils, or simply as the "oil of" the plant from which they were extracted. An oil is "essential" in the sense that it contains the "essence of" the plant's fragrance—the characteristic fragrance of the plant from which it is derived.

Carrier oils, also known as base oil or vegetable oil, is used to dilute essential oils and absolutes before being applied, carrying the essential onto the skin. Unlike essential oils, carrier oils don't contain a concentrated aroma, with the exception of olive, which has a mild, but distinctive smell. Carrier oils don't evaporate like essential oils, which are more volatile. The carrier oils used should be as natural and unadulterated as possible.

There is a range of different carrier oils, each with various therapeutic properties. Choosing an oil will depend on the area being massaged, the presenting conditions and the clients sensitivity and requirements. For massage, viscosity is a major consideration; for example, grapeseed oil is typically very thin, while olive oil is much thicker. Sunflower, sweet almond and grapeseed oils have viscosities midway between these extremes. Carrier oils can be easily blended to combine their properties of viscosity, acceptability, lubrication, absorption, aroma and so forth.

True carrier oils are generally cold-pressed or macerated vegetable oils
taken from the following, amongst others:
Sweet almond oil and grapeseed oil are very popular carrier oils.
See also: << Carrier Oils Guide - Aromatherapy ❧ >>

and  << Carrier Oils Guide - Nut Oils ❧ >>

Infused oils are a combination of a carrier oil and plant material and they can be either commercially or domestically prepared. A base oil, often sunflower, is placed in an airtight container with the appropriate plant material for a time. Calendula and carrot oils are produced in this way.

High quality oils sold for culinary use are often eminently suitable for massage use, and are economical (those obtained by cold pressing are preferred). All carrier oils should be kept cool, and away from strong light, to slow rancidification. Rancid oils should be avoided. Refrigerating oils helps preserve their freshness but some oils should not be refrigerated (e.g. avocado). Very cold oils may appear cloudy, but regain their clear state on returning to room temperature.


Peanuts are legumes, not "true" nuts, but they share with true nuts the risk of causing allergic reactions, even in minute amounts. Pure peanut and nut-derived oils are not usually allergenic, (as they do not typically contain the proteinaceous part of the plant), but avoiding them may be safer, as serious peanut and nut allergy is widespread, oil purity cannot be guaranteed, and other hypoallergenic oils are easily substituted.

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Argan Oil - Sold as a luxury item, argan oil was once difficult to purchase outside of Morocco. In some parts of Morocco, argan takes the place of the olive as a source of animal feed, timber and fuel. Due to the increasing interest to cosmetic [read more …]

Anise Oil - Anise, also called aniseed, is a flowering plant native to the eastern Mediterranean region and Southwest Asia. Its flavor has similarities to such spices as star anise, fennel, and liquorice. First cultivated in Egypt and the Middle [read more …]

Basil Oil - The word basil comes from the Greek, meaning "king". Basil is also known as "Holy basil" or "king of herbs". Possibly native to India, basil has been cultivated there for more than 5,000 years. It is highly revered in [read more …]

Bergamot Oil - Bergamot oil is a cold-pressed essential oil produced by cells inside the rind of a bergamot orange fruit. It is common in perfumes. Earl Grey tea is a type of black tea that contains bergamot essential oil as a flavoring. [read more …]

Camphor Oil - The camphor tree (camphor laurel) a large evergreen tree found in Asia, can grow up to 98 feet tall. The leaves are glossy with a waxy appearance and smell of camphor when crushed. In spring, trees produce bright green [read more ...]

Cannabis Flower Oil - Cannabis flower essential oil is a volatile oil that is a mixture of volatile compounds, which has a fragrance that is sweet, earthy and floral. The pale yellow to light green liquid, is used in perfumes, cosmetics [read more …]

Carrot Seed Oil - Carrot seed oil is the essential oil extract of the seed from the carrot plant Daucus carota (more commonly known as wild carrot, bird's nest, bishop's lace, or Queen Anne's lace). Pressed carrot seed oil is extracted [read more …]

Cedarwood Oil - Cedarwood oil or cedar oil, is an essential oil derived from the foliage, and sometimes the wood and roots, of various types of conifers, most in the pine or cypress botanical families. It has many uses in medicine, art, industry [read more …]

Chamomile Oil - Chamomile or camomile is the common name for several daisy-like plants of the family Asteraceae that are commonly used to make herb infusion for various medicinal purposes. Popular uses of chamomile preparations [read more …]

Frankencense Oil - As one of the highly sought after oils, frankincense is used in many Christian and Islamic faiths mixed with oils to anoint newborn infants, initiates, and members entering into new phases of their spiritual lives. [read more …]

Geranium Oil - Common names include rose geranium, old fashion rose geranium, and rose-scent geranium. "Rose geranium" is sometimes used to refer to Pelargonium incrassatum or its synonym Pelargonium roseum – the [read more …]

Lavender Oil - Lavender, derived from the Latin word “lavare” which means “to wash”, is a flowering plant in the mint family which is native to the 'Old World'. It can be found in the Canary Islands, down through southern Europe, and the [read more ...]

[More to Come]

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