As we source essential oils from all around the world, we approach the challenge in a similar way that a chef does when selecting the highest quality farm-to-table ingredients for their kitchen. A sun-ripened, organically grown tomato, picked fresh from the vine is simply going to taste better and provide more robust nutritional value than a store-bought tomato picked before it’s ready. Starting with the high-quality plant material makes all the difference in the world, especially when crafting essential oils bursting with therapeutic vibrancy.
When we go on sourcing trips to meet with essential oil producers, we are very intentional about the process. We are selective about the relationships we want to foster and cultivate. When we find incredible people doing inspiring things in the world of distillation, we do everything in our power to support them and their efforts. Sometimes this means providing additional equipment for farming or distillation or perhaps teaming up on the initial expenses of starting a new crop or expanding production of an existing crop. These inspired distillers and producers create exceptional products that allow us to take the practice of aromatherapy to a place of humbling excellence and beauty.
It is essential to buy high-quality essential oils; cheaper essential oils are almost always of poor quality and come with a host of sustainability concerns. It takes a lot of plant material to make a small amount of oil. For example, it takes approximately 50-60 roses to produce one drop of rose essential oil! A half-ounce of pure essential oil can last a long time since only small amounts need to be used for their intended medicinal effects.
Essential oils must be stored in dark, airtight, glass bottles because exposure to light, oxygen, and heat causes chemical changes in the oil over time. All oils need to be kept cold. The ideal temperature is 65°F, although between 45°-65° is adequate.
Without the appropriate training, most essential oils should not be put directly on the skin or taken internally as they can burn or irritate the skin, mouth, and stomach. Essential oils are combined with “carriers” such as cream or vegetable and nut oils (e.g., Almond oil, Grapeseed, Avocado oil & Jojoba oil) and then applied to the skin (see dilutions below for blending guidelines).
Depending on the specific oil and the situation, a total of 5-18 drops of essential oil goes into 1 oz. of carrier oil. These amounts vary based on the person for whom you are making the blend (see dilutions below) and on the strength of the specific oil you are using. For example, you can use several drops of Lavender to every one drop of Rose.
1% dilution= 5-6 total drops of essential oil in each ounce of carrier oil or cream. This dilution is used for children, elders, chronically ill persons, and pregnant women.
2% dilution= 10-12 total drops of essential oil in each ounce of carrier oil or cream. This dilution is used for the average adult and daily or long-term use of the product.
3% dilution= 15-18 total drops of essential oil in each ounce of carrier oil or cream. This dilution is used for specific illnesses or for acute injury. Blends made at this dilution are used for a week or two, for an acute situation.
Most essential oils, although highly concentrated, do not appear “oily”. As oils, they are lighter than water and highly fluid. They are primarily lipid (fat) soluble rather than water-soluble allowing for easy, fast penetration into the skin and bloodstream. Essential oils are absorbed through capillaries, lymph ducts or the lungs (by inhalation). Once applied to the skin surface or inhaled, the body takes about 30-90 minutes to absorb the essential oils entirely. Healthy blood circulation increases the absorption rate.
Essential oils may be found in virtually any part of the plant: seeds, flowers, fruit, leaves, stems, roots, bark, wood, needles, and resins.