Essential Oil Blending FAQ
Do you have some essential oil blending questions? Ever wonder how to construct a blend? Choose a carrier? Understand how it works? Or how to know when it’s time to create a new blend? Clinical aromatherapist, formulator and educator at the JennScents Aromaversity, Jennifer Pressimone, shares frequently asked questions with answers about common blending advice, suggestions and tips.
Make sure you scroll to the bottom to see a sneak peek at our Advanced Blending Techniques course.
Q: I am having a hard time creating an aromatherapy blend for myself to reduce my stress response to a crazy and hectic life right now. Any suggestions?
A: With blending for self, sometimes it is best to use a freestyle blending method. This means you open your aromatherapy box. Pick a number between 1 – 6. Then blindly grab that number of essential oils. For example, if you pick 5, then grab 5 EO’s randomly and sit them on the counter. Without looking at their names, smell them and see which ones you gravitate to. Based on the oils you rank an 8, 9 or 10 (on a scale of 1-10), create a formula either in a roll-on, spray, 5ml blend with carrier oil, or bath salt and use it daily for a week or two. I like this method, especially for situational issues.
Q: If I use water as a carrier to make a spritz how does the oil and water mix and ling does it take for the water to grow bacteria. Would the addition of plant enzyme make a difference?
A: The water is serving as a vessel to hold the oil. When creating a spray, include in the instructions to shake well before use. The atomizing spray top will emit fine particles of the oil/water solution which helps with the separation aspect and allows the scent to unfold. The essential oils are antibacterial in addition to containing other properties such as antiviral, antifungal, etc. This is why quality of essential oil’s is important. This helps cut down with potential bacterial growth. The addition of silver (aquasol or colloidal) can additional help combat bacteria. Keep in mind, fruit oils (top notes) have a shorter shelf life thus in sprays, you want to use this up within 3 months. If it is combined with middle or base notes, it will extend the shelf life (and potency). The enzymes will be similar to water. Where the enzyme spray is more beneficial, would be in blends needing to provide increased hydration, moisture and to drive blends deeper into tissues for pain relief.
Q: My client used up her entire blend, all 10 ml in 5 days. She used it numerous times throughout the day (reapplying every few hours), to calm physical pain, tummy upset, boost her mood and relieve her headaches. Is this too much usage? Does this mean that I need to increase the dilution percentage? It is working just fine, but I wasn’t sure if I needed to make any changes or if there were certain rules I needed to follow with usage.
A: Everyone is different. Sometimes certain situations will require frequent repeated amounts, while other times may need only a once or twice daily usage. You have to assess the overall person, their current health condition and particular health needs at hand. Think about aromatherapy usage this way, sometimes you have to apply small, repeated amounts frequently, so the body can absorb at the rate it needs to fill up its reserves. If the reserves are depleted, more will be required until it reaches a “full” or “saturated” point, before less will be required. There will come a point when usage will decrease, once that threshold is attained. Because it is taking more than usual, this is a good indicator that she was wiped out. Keep in individualized for the person you are working with integrating safety, their age, health state, sensitivities, allergies, compliance and commitment level.
Q: Can I become “immune” to aromatherapy?
A: With pure botanicals, you do not become “immune” to the scent or its therapeutic properties. However, if you or your client is not responding to a particular blend, you may not have found the right remedy yet, that is needed to address the particular situation at hand. Botanical remedies will always work, when they are matched up appropriately to the situational need, with the right application method.
Q: What type of blend or carrier should I use for a client who is fat deficient, malnourished, feeling un-nourished emotionally and having a hard time digesting emotions and situations?
A: This type of person may crave or require a more fat-based blend (meaning in a carrier/massage oil) versus a water-soluble blend. Combining a carrier base that includes high EFA content, such as avocado oil, with a gentle, nourishing carrier such as apricot oil can provide a balancing effect. This can also help provide good fats in a gentle way so that their body can absorb it better, and it feeds their mind and emotions, bringing about stability and optimism. Nut-based carriers will be helpful, unless someone has a sensitivity or allergy to nuts.
Q: What if my client prefers a spray over a carrier oil blend?
A: You want to create a blend that the client will comply with. Therefore, make a spray application using, singularly or in any combination, liquid plant enzymes, water, hydrosols, witch hazel, herbal teas, tinctures and/or extracts as the base. You can emulsify the essential oils, first, in vegetable glycerin, a flower essence remedy, herbal tincture or extract that is glycerin or alcohol based.
Q: How fast does the topical absorption rate take for someone using a blend?
A: Absorption rates vary per person. If the lymphatic system is highly congested, there are obstructions (i.e., scar tissue) or the person is “closed off” emotionally, absorption rate will be slower. In this situation, use small dilutions, in small, repeated amounts, like a homeopathic philosophy. This aids in making slow, but substantial headway while carving through the scar tissue, congestion and old physical and emotional wounds a little at a time. This subtle approach is needed when someone is not ready to work on the emotions being brought to the forefront, if they are sensitive or have a weak constitution, and if there is thick scar tissue build up. It is about small, repeated amounts consistently.
Q: Which oils do you recommend for high functioning autism, epilepsy (mild) and ADHD clients?
A: A few of my favorites are Orange, Cedar and Vetiver. These are adaptogenic, meaning they adapt to any situation, effortlessly. These are equally relaxing and stimulating because it nourishes the adrenals (which are usually drained with autism, ADHD and neurological disorders). Try adding in 1 drop each into afternoon and/or evening diffuser blends. If you add these to another recipe, keep in mind you want to avoid diuretics in evening blends, such as Juniper, as it moves fluids in the body. Thus, it will move the bladder during the night. So, blends should be used 2 hours before bed, to allow time for the bladder to void before going to sleep.
Q: What should I do if certain essential oils are keeping my client up at night?
A: This is when you assess, address and adjust a client’s blend. First assess the blend and do your research to see if any are stimulating, diuretics or other possible effect. How is it keeping your client awake at night? This will lead you to the essential oil property that might be too strong. Certain essential oils can be too stimulating for bed. Engage your scentillect and if you find this to be the case, then I would decrease the number of drops of that particular oil and/or increase calming oil such as chamomile. Also, what time are they waking up? Cross-reference the circadian rhythm chart to see which organ is producing the effect. For example, if someone is waking between 1:00am-3:00am, this is the liver time zone, so address any liver issues, and include the corresponding essential oils that can assist with the issue.
Q: I notice that my blends seem to help my client’s issue but then another issue pops up. Why is this?
A: When you formulate blends that work and deliver results, it balances certain systems and functions, which is the goal. During that process of balancing the issues, other imbalances may be uncovered and now allowed present themselves, as the “clutter” in the way, has now been removed or cleared. This is common. When someone buries emotions or unresolved issues, they get covered up with other “stuff” they are buying. This cause physical, mental and emotional stuckness. Think of it as excavating a barrel. You have to remove one layer, to get to the next layer. These newly exposed issues help you to start pin-pointing the initial culprits and getting to the root cause of the imbalances.
Want To Know More?
Are you hungry for more education and training? Take a course or earn a Certification in Aromatherapy at the JennScents Aromaversity. We offer courses, such as Advanced Blending Techniques, that take you on a journey of understanding historical uses to present day concepts and practices, as well as how to safely and precisely use essential oils for a variety of common and uncommon health issues. Here is a sneak peak at the Lesson 1 Course Introduction training video for the Advanced Blending Techniques course. See you in class.
Disclaimers: Information provided is for educational purposes only and is not intended to treat, diagnose, cure or prescribe. It is recommended that if serious health issues exist, you consult a licensed medical provider. JennScents does not assume liability or responsibility for the use and/or misuse of this information.
References: This blog contains excerpts from JennScents Aromaversity Certification Courses and the JennScents Holistic Aromatherapy Comprehensive Guide.
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