essential oils 101

on Oct 18, 2007 @ 11:34 am

Scents, you must be giddy and giggly in your sleep w/ all ChickChat interest in natural remedies of late!

W/ that in mind, what exactly ARE essential oils? I understand they are extracted from various plants and I read up a bit on wikipedia:
But, in your own words, enlighten us about what we should know about e/o ....

6 Replies

Scents Of Peace
Simply put . . . on Oct 26, 2007 @ 03:53 am

Essential oils can be extracted from the root, bark, leaves, stems, flower, fruit, seed or wood of a plant. Some are produced by cutting into the bark and harvesting the sap or resin. The same plant can yield more than one essential oil.

Orange Tree:
Fruit (peel) = Orange e/o
Leaves and Stems = Petitgrain e/o
Blossom = Neroli e/o

The essential oil can be described as the "life source" of a plant. It is the most concentrate form of what the plant yields, regardless of it's source (seed, flower, bark etc.). Essential oils, with few exception, must be diluted with a carrier oil before use.

In blending there is a top, middle and base note. Not to be confused with your base oil, also known as your carrier oil. In perfumery, they are referred to as head, heart and fixatives.

· Base/Carrier oils
· Head/Top notes
· Heart/Middle notes
· Fixatives/Base Notes

Your top note is what you notice first and usually dissipates first - think citrus oils.
Middle notes usually soften a blend - think floral oils
Base notes are what linger the longest and pull everything together - think woodsy

Carrier oils are your almond, sesame, coconut etc. that you mix the e/o's into so you can safely apply them to your skin.

How's that for layman's terms ?? And yes, I LOVE all the chatter concerning natural remedies !!! Bring on the questions . . .

Scents Of Peace
Sleep ? on Oct 26, 2007 @ 03:55 am

Notice the timestamp - lol !
That may explain the funky A's in front of my chart - oh well you get the idea ;-)

essential oils and pregnancy on Oct 27, 2007 @ 06:11 pm

Scents of Peace,

You are obviously very knowledgeable on this stuff, so I have a few questions for you!! :D

I've read somewheres that if you are pregnant, you shouldn't use essential oils. Is that true?

If I want to make my own bath oils, what would you recommend for mixture and how much of each should I mix? How about perfume oil?

For the pimple treatment, I'd like to try that lavender you suggested. I found some at a local grocery store, a brand one of the chickies recommended, called aura circa?? Anyway, I'm wondering how to apply it it to the pimple. Do you just dab it on the problem area or do you have to mix it with something?

Thanks for your tips! :D

Scents Of Peace
E/O's and pregnancy, baths, perfumes and pimples on Oct 28, 2007 @ 05:57 pm

Thanks for posting that question - it's an important one !

As a rule, you should avoid most e/o's in large amounts during pregnancy IF you are unsure how you react to them (ie - not pregnant) because it's not the time to experiment. There are a few e/o's however that are considered generally safe for momma and baby when s/he arrives. One, being the ever-popular lavender ;-)

There are many variables depending on the intended use, so it's hard to give a clear-cut answer on that. But for all the ladies, of all ages and circumstances, I can definitely say NEVER, EVER use pennyroyal e/o as it can cause you to lose a pregnancy. Avoid natural pest control products that contain pennyroyal - be sure to read your labels !

As for bath oils, use Turkey Red Castor as a base because it completely disperses in water and won't leave a slippery film afterwards. It also makes the water milky white for an interesting effect.

NEVER use mineral oil (ie baby oil) as it interferes with natural Vitamin A production, an important skin nutrient. Mineral oil is a petrochemical also, so you might as well bathe in gasoline. Same with Vasoline - no guesswork there - it's even called PETROLEUM jelly ! Better to use Crisco, at least it's a natural fat, and not dinosaur fat.

Generally, you only need a few drops of e/o's per TBS carrier. Less is best; you can always add more. One thing you don't want is to irritate sensitive skin (I don't need to explain where - you get the idea) by having a pool of un-dispersed e/o's sitting in a film on top of you bath water when you exit. You won't have this concern with the TR Castor ;-)

Avoid "tingly" e/o's like mints and most of your citrus oils for soaking unless you use a very, very small amount for the aroma only. I can not overemphasize how small an amount . . .

As for perfume oils - did you mean "the addition of perfume oils to the bath" or "the amount of e/o's to make a perfume oil'?

If it's to make perfume oil : Use jojoba oil, which is actually a wax very close to the chemical make-up of the skin's sebum and resists going rancid. The ratio is very similar to the one given above. Less is best; you can always add more.

Zapping pimples : Lavender oil is safe to use straight on the skin. It is one of a few e/o's that can be used as is, also known as "neat". As for brands, Aura Cacia is fine to use, but from experience it can be a little pricier than competitive brands. It is not any better, providing the competitive brand states it is 100% pure essence of "whatever oil", or claims to be 100% pure essential oil of " whatever oil". Just avoid any brand that states "contains the essential oil (or essence) of " because that means it could be artificially based or very diluted in a carrier. The exception to that would be if it is a product that is marketed as a blend and clearly states their formula. I'm am referring more to a single scent product . . .

Again read your labels !

If you would like me to make a specific recipe for a specific use, let me know. I'd love to help in any way possible !


Scents Of Peace
Clarification - Aura Cacia on Oct 28, 2007 @ 06:04 pm

I don't want to give the impression that there is anything wrong with AC products, just that they can be a little pricey and that they're not any better than another brand of the EXACT same e/o.

It depends on what is available in your market area . . . just shop wisely ;-)

lavendar + cotton swab on Oct 28, 2007 @ 08:37 pm

Hi bubbly,
I've been using both tea tree oil and lavender interchangeably for pimple treatment (lavender when fiance' is around and tea tree when he isn't -- tea tree smells). I just dip the tip of a cotton swab into the e/o container and dab each problem area w/ the swab. As for brand, Aura Cacia is all that I can find in my area, though I know a few other chickies have reviewed The Body Shop's e/o. As for effectiveness, I tend to think the tea tree is a bit better. But its just a sense. I have no solid evidence to indicate truthfully.

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