Lesson 15: Carrier Oils
Fundamentals of Aromatherapy page 1
WHAT IS AROMATHERAPY?
How would you use a working knowledge of essential oils?
Welcome to the wonderful world of aromatherapy! This book is for beginners, as well as the seasoned Aromatherapists, and I want your experience with the amazing gifts of essential oils and blends to be a positive one. Naturally, I expect, you will soon enjoy aromatherapy as much as my family and I do!
Aromatherapy is the practice of using volatile plant oils. Volatile means the oils evaporate into the air so we can smell them, not that they explode! These oils come from various parts of the plants such as: leaves, roots, stems, wood, flowers, fruits, resin or sap, seeds or pods, and the peelings from citrus fruits. Plant essences serve the plant in many ways, including protection from insects or to attract insects for pollination. Plants communicate with each other using their natural odors for their own protection and for healing purposes. Essential oils are useful to us in many of the same ways: for psychological and physical health, protection and comfort, and to attract others.
In aromatherapy, the use of other all-natural ingredients are sometimes used to obtain a plant oil’s full effects, whether they are cold-pressed vegetable oils (such as grapeseed, olive, or sunflower), jojoba (a liquid wax extracted from the pods of the plant), hydrosols (the water left over after the distillation process), herbs, sea salts, sugars, clays, and muds. The most common way oils are used is by inhalation, the act of smelling the aroma of the oil.
There are three basic aromatherapy styles with essential oils: German, English, and French. German style aromatherapy suggests that oils should only be smelled and never applied to the body in any way.
English style includes both smelling and applying to the skin, but only when highly diluted with a vegetable oil or other essential oil carrier, such as bath salts or clays.
The French, who have used essential oils for decades, take a more medicinal approach, which includes internal use—both orally and internally as a suppository. Of course, they also employ the two English methods of inhalation and diluted topical use. Although I have been trained in all three methods, this book will focus mainly on the English style.
Essential oils can be blended together to create appealing aromas or to target specific purposes, such as pain, colds, or flu prevention. An essential oil blend is considered to work better than using each oil independently. Blends are also called synergies because of their synergistic effect—the sum of the collective whole is greater than the sum of the individual parts. Single essential oils are selected for blending by reviewing the beneficial effects of their natural chemicals—by plant part, plant families, or by note.
(Passport to Aromatherapy page 31-33)