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Aromatherapy Articles

The ART of Blending Essential Oils


Joie Power, Ph.D.

Aromatherapy Newsletters

Blending is the art of combining essential oils to make therapeutically effective mixtures to use in inhalations, massage oil, compresses, baths, and diffusions.

Although a thorough knowledge of the actions and uses of individual oils as well as a knowledge of essential oil chemistry are necessary prerequisites for successful blending, blending is nonetheless an art more than a science and like any art you have to practice, practice, practice - you have to learn through trial and error and to be really good, you have to tap into some innate, intuitive expressive aspect of self.

The knowledge part of this is the part that's easiest to master and someone can teach it to you - no one can really teach you the intuitive part - you have to find it.

One of the things that helps with this is to begin interacting with your oils on a daily basis. Start by interacting with single oils - just one a day. Read about it - especially its mythology (which in a way gives you a plants life story), learn where it comes from, what environment in grows in, what it looks like.

Pay attention to what you've learned about an essential oil's energy - is it warm or cool, hot or dry - and then begin to tune in to its energy for yourself.

Some people don't really understand what the "energy" of a plant is and how people think they can know what it is even if there is such as thing.

With some plants it's fairly obvious - the energy of ginger is hot and that's the first thing you'll experience if you bite into it but why is it dry? Why is the energy of Geranium cool and moist? I would have thought it would be warm and dry because the plant grows in the sun and the leaves feel more dry than moist to me.

Sometimes, you can guess the energy of a plant by its looks and where it grows but the most reliable way to understand the energy of a plant and its medicine is to use it and pay very close attention to what it does in your body.

When you do this you're not necessarily looking for big dramatic effects, you're often looking for subtle ones.

I had a reminder of how plant energy works recently when I got a cold. I had a sore throat and a congested chest and nose and post-nasal drip - so I took a bath with eucalyptus, lemon and tea tree because I knew they would kill viruses, drive out the symptoms of cold, open my chest, and dry up some of the post-nasal drip. The first time I used it was great - I felt a lot of better.

Then a few hours later I used it again and within a few minutes of getting out of my bath I started feeling dry - my skin felt dry, my nasal passages felt dry, my throat felt dry - and now this didn't feel so good. I put lotion on my skin which helped and I put on a humidifier to help with my nose - which ached and throbbed from being too dry. My throat was dry and scratchy all night.

My point is, the energy of all 3 of these things is dry - especially eucalyptus, which was once planted for its ability to drain swamps - and what happened was that my body had an experience of this dry energy - the drying energy of these 3 medicines.

If you want to understand why the energy of eucalyptus is described as dry and what this means - try it.

Try all the oils you want to work with - the best way is to center yourself with meditation, apply the properly diluted oil, sit with it a while and then be prepared to pay attention over the next several hours to what's going on with you. Don't dismiss anything as irrelevant - don't say well it wasn't the rosemary that made me feel irritable - it must have been something else.

Maybe it was but maybe it wasn't - try that rosemary again in a few days and see what happens.

To get good at bending you have to develop a personal relationship with your oils.

Hopefully this brief article will prove to be helpful to you and I would be pleased to review and comment on any blends that you might created so feel free to contact me - Joie.

To learn more about blending, I invite you to take my series of Aromatherapy Workshops. You'll learn a great deal about blending essential oils and so much more.

*This information is provided for educational interest and is not intended to diagnose, treat, or cure any disease.

Copyright © 2011 Joie Power, Ph.D. / The Aromatherapy School  |  All Rights Reserved

Dr. Power is a retired board certified neuropsychologist and former Assistant Professor of Surgery/Neurosurgery at the Medical College of Georgia, where she performed intra-operative cortical mapping with renowned neurosurgeon Herman Flanigan, M.D. She has over 20 years of clinical experience in both in-patient and out-patient settings and during her years of practice has also been both a practitioner and student of alternative healing methods, including herbal medicine, aromatherapy, Reiki, Chinese Medicine, and other energetic healing systems. Her extensive formal training and experience in the olfactory and limbic systems of the brain give her a unique qualification for understanding the actions of essential oils in the body. Dr. Power, founder of one of the earliest essential oil companies in the U.S. to specialize in therapeutic quality essential oils, is now a clinical consultant for Artisan Aromatics as well as an internationally known writer and teacher in the fields of aromatherapy and alternative medicine. Her approach to aromatherapy weaves together her solid scientific training and strong clinical skills with a holistic philosophy that honors body, mind and spirit. Dr. Joie Power is also the author of The Quick Study Guide to Aromatherapy and numerous published articles on aromatherapy and related topics.

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