Therapeutic Essential Oil Blending
Therapeutic blending focuses on creating a blend that will aid with a particular emotional or physical condition. Therapeutic blending concentrates more on the therapeutic result than on the aroma of the blend, but naturally it's important to create a therapeutic blend that is pleasing in aroma.
It is important to select essential oils that do not have contraindications or safety issues that can affect other aspects of your health. For instance, if you create a blend to aid with dandruff but you happen to be pregnant, you should not include Rosemary Essential Oil because it is contraindicated in pregnancy. As another example, you would obviously not create an arthritis blend that includes peanut oil (a carrier oil used to dilute essential oils and is reported to provide benefit in arthritis blends) if you are allergic to peanuts.
When creating therapeutic blends, it is also important to consider all the therapeutic actions you are seeing and avoid oils that clash with your desired goals. For instance, let's say you are having severe period cramps and are having trouble sleeping. For this scenario, let's also say that you want to create a blend that you can use right before bedtime. Peppermint and Cypress are essential oils that can provide relief with menstrual cramps. But, Peppermint and Cypress are energizing oils. Thus, you would want to avoid these oils in a blend that you'd use right before bed.
The Essential Oil Profile area on AromaWeb lists aromatic descriptions and the uses for particular essential oils. Books such as The Illustrated Encyclopedia of Essential Oils by Julia Lawless provides much greater detail including safety information, therapeutic actions and aromatic descriptions for 165 oils. Such a resource can be quite helpful in creating your personal therapeutic blend.
- When creating a new blend, start out small with a total number of drops of either 5, 10, 20 or 25 drops. 25 drops should be the most that you start with. By starting small, you waste less oil in the event that the blend does not ultimately provide the therapeutic results that you seek.
- Start creating your blend by only using essential oils, absolutes or CO2s. After you have designed the blend, then you can dilute it by adding carrier oils, alcohol, etc. If you hate the aroma of the blend you created, you have then not wasted any carrier oils or alcohol.
- Keep a notebook that lists each oil that you used with the number of drops used for each oil. This way, you can reduplicate the blend if you ever need to. It's easy to forget what oils and in what ratios you used if you didn't take notes! If you are especially ambitious, it's also a wise idea to note the vendor name of the oil that you used as the therapeutic properties and quality of oils do vary between vendors (even with the same vendor, the properties of oils can vary from batch to batch, due to crop fluctuations and resourcing).
Be sure to label your blends clearly. If you don't have enough room to specify exactly what your blend is, label it with a number that corresponds to a number in your notebook.
Aromatherapy Blending Guide:
Part 1: Introduction to Blending Essential Oils
Part 2: Aromatic Blending of Essential Oils
Part 3: Formulating Masculine/Earthy Aromatherapy Blends
Part 4: Therapeutic Blending of Essential Oils
Part 5: Working With and Blending Thick Aromatic Oils
Part 6: How to Substitute Essential Oils in Aromatherapy Recipes and Blends