Essential oils are the volitile oils plants produce to protect themselves against illness and predation, attract pollinators, and communicate with the rest of Nature. Humans have been tapping into the power of these essential oils for the same reasons for several hundred years. Why? Because they’re darn powerful.
Why Create My Own Essential Oil Blend?
Today, home herbalists can create their own essential oil blends just like the pros. It’s surprisingly easy. The first step is to decide what you want to do with your blend. The pros use cusom blends for a variety of reasons, like:
- First Aid
- Relaxation, stress management
- Emotional Healing, Anxiety, Depression
- Cleansing, Sanitizing
- Animal Care
When I’m blending, I aim for either a highly focused blend for a specific purpose, like a blend to help me relax and release anxietiees that may be rising due to current challenges in my life. Or, I aim for a general blend that will support a wider range of needs, like a blend that disinfects and soothes and can be used for Cleaning, First Aid, and Stress Management for my whole family rather than specifically for just me. I make a very small amount of the highly focused blends for immediate use and I make larger amounts when I’m making a more general blend. In either case, my essential oil choices are made a lot easier when I’ve got clarity on how I want to use my finished blend.
Which Essential Oils are Good to Use?
The question of which Essential Oils to use is a good one. Not only do you need to make choices on which plants to work with, you also need to think about quality…which boils down to which brands to use. Many of us have access to more high quality essential oils than ever before. As with so many things, price doesn’t always indicate quality, either. Figuring out which ones to buy can be rather bewildering.
The first bit of advice any aromatherapist or herbalist with their feet on the ground will offers is to look for a couple of specific terms on the label of any essential oil you’re thinking about trying. Essential oils sold as singles or in blends ought to be 100 percent Essential Oil. The key here is that the contents of the bottle are only essential oils, with no additives or blending agents or carrier agents.
I highly recommend you add Organic to your list of terms to look for. Organic is paricularly important when you’re working with Essential Oils because they are highly concentrated. What I mean by that is it takes many pounds of a single plant to create just an ounce of essential oil. The bottle you buy of any given essential oil represents a wealth of volatile oils distilled down into that little bottle, and any chemicals that were in or on the plants before they were processed will be concentrated into the finished essential oil, too. That means that if the plants used to make your essential oil were exposed to any levels of non-organic substances, those subtances will become a part of the essential oils distilled from them and the concentration of those subtances will be quite high just as the concentration of naturally-occuring chemicals in the plant is quite high. Look for Organic Certification on the essential oils you’re trying to avoid the risk of introducing adulterants or dangerous levels of other chemicals into your blend.
Which Plants are Good to Use?
One you’ve found an essential oil brand you trust, it’s time to start experimenting. Many of the most popular Essential Oils, like Lavender, Rosemary, and Orange Peel, are reasonably priced and terrific starting points with few potential negatives affects and a wide range of use. I recommend starting off with three to five single-plant Essential oils, which are not blends but rather are made of just one plant, like Tea Tree or Lavender. Choose a set that isn’t too expensive to start out so that if you make mistakes or don’t like a blend you’ve created you will feel more comfortable letting it go. There is nothing worse than paying a lot of cash for an essential oil you think you’ll love only to find out that you can’t stand it. Or, using up those prescious drops of that high-priced Essential Oil in a blend you detest. The more you work with individual plants, the easier it will get to make good choices.
Consider the individuals who will be exposed to the blend you’re making as you consider which oils to choose, too. Cats, for instance, almost universally detest Lavender. If you’re living with a cat, then it would be wise to not use Lavender in your cleansing and room-freshening blends. If you live with folks who have sensitive systems or have one yourself, go light and slow with introducing new Essential Oils into your life and environmet. Essential Oils are powerful. Just a couple of drops can fill an entire room and affect everyone in it.
Let’s Get Blending
Now that you’ve got clarity on your goal and you’ve chosen your Essential Oils, it’s time to start blending. The blending process is pretty darn easy. Add all the Essential Oils you want to blend to a dark glass container with a tightly fitting lid, shake, and you’re done. Deciding what proportions to use and how many different Essential Oils to use in a single blend is where the real art is.
For your first blend, I suggest you find a good, simple recipe. Limit your Essential Oils to two or three so you have an opportunity to recognize how they change once you mix them together. You’ll notice the scent of the blend is different than the individuals each alone. You may also notice the energy of affect of the blend is different than if you were to work with each one alone.
Tip for Getting to Know Your Essential Oils
The first time you make your blend, follow the recipe precisely. The second time, try increasing or decreasing one of the Essential Oils and see how that changes it. Try adding a single new Essential Oil to the blend the third time around or substitute a new Essential Oil for one of the originals. The idea is to play with it a bit. Even if you’re making a general purpose blend of which you might normally want a larger quantity, consider making smaller lots so that you can play with the blend and get to know the Essential Oils without creating so much of one batch you cannot use it up.
General Disinfectant and Relaxing Essential Oil Blend Recipe
This Essential Oil blend is a good one to keep around for adding to cleansers (including surface and countertop cleaners, mop water, and bathroom cleansers) for its disinfectant properties. It serves well in a diffuser for clearing the air when someone in the household has been ill or you fear illness is knocking on your door. It makes a terrific first-aid addition to topical salves, butters, lotions, and liniments as well as a good addition to massage oils and shampoos and hair rinses.
The three Essential Oils I use are generally low-cost and easy to procure. They each have distinctive scents, which makes them a terrific set for beginners, too. All are generally antiseptic in nature and generally safe for most situations. If you intend to use this blend on small children or animals, consider substituting Orange (sweet or bitter) for the Tea Tree Essential Oil. Tea Tree Essential Oil is generally safe for most folks, but if you use it too heavily you can build an intolerance to it and it is harder for smaller individuals to process, like dogs, cats, and kids.
- 1 part Lavender Essential Oil
- 1 part Rosemary Essential Oil
- 1/2 part Tea Tree Essential Oil (or Orange Essential Oil)