Diluting Essential Oils
The most effective way to dilute essential oils is in a carrier oil. A carrier can be any high-quality vegetable oil such as almond, apricot, hazelut, olive, macadamia, kukui, wheatgerm, grapeseed or sesame. Carrier oils should be stored away from heat and light to ensure their freshness. The addition of jojoba oil as 10% of your carrier oil will help extend the shelf life of your blend as will Vitamin E oil which is an excellent anti-oxidant; adding it to any aromatherapy blend will help extend the life of most vegetable oils. One or two capsules (200-400 IU) per two-ounce bottle of carrier oil is enough. Make blends in small amounts and use within a few months. They can be stored in the refrigerator for extended shelf life.
A safe and effective dilution for most aromatherapy applications is 2% (2 drops of essential oil per 100 drops of carrier oil). There is no need to go beyond a 3% dilution for any purpose. Using more of an oil will not get you better results; in fact, it may cause adverse effects. Some oils, such as lavender, are sedating in low dilutions and stimulating in high dilutions. A 1% dilution should be used on children, pregnant women, the elderly and those with health concerns.
When making blends for the first time, start with no more than two or three oils at a time. The more complicated blends require a bit more knowledge because the oils have synergistic effects (meaning that the combination of oils have properties greater than the um of the individual oils).
- 1% dilution: 5-6 drops essential oil per ounce of carrier oil
- 2% dilution: 7-14 drops essential oil per ounce of carrier oil
- 3% dilution: 15-18 drops essential oil per ounce of carrier oil
||1 1/4 ml
||2 1/2 ml
||1 1/3 dram
||about 5 ml
||1 1/2 tsp
||about 15 ml
||about 30 ml
The size of a drop however varies depending on the viscosity of the oil, the temperature and the opening of the dropper of course. Use an ordinary dropper that you purchase from a pharmacy. When making large portions, use teaspoon measurements. Use the chart above from Keville and Green's Aromatherapy: A Complete Guide to the Healing Art as a guideline.
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