This page is currently being updated. More oils. More info.
An excellent book on the subject is Carrier Oils for Aromatherapy and Massage" by Len Price. I'll give the www.amazon.com code when it is available there. Available on www.amazon.co.uk to special order
Pure Essential Oils are mostly too strong and concentrated to be used directly on our skin. So they should bediluted with carrier or base oils so that they can be rubbed or massaged onto the skin. Essential Oils can be very expensive and will not go very far when full strength, but will cover a large area when diluted and will be just as effective. Oils which are termed "Extra Virgin, Cold Pressed Oils" are the best carrier oils to use. These are the first pressed oils from a crop. The oils come from the nut or seed of the plants. Although there are hundreds of oil bearing plants only a few are produced commercially.
Also the oils which themselves have no, or a minimum of, aroma of their own are more suitable for Aromatherapy, to allow the Essential oils themselves to work properly.
Later extraction's can come from heat or solvent processes which can destroy vital trace minerals and vitamins found in the oils. It is also wise to avoid mineral oils and baby oils as well.
Sweet Almond;The first choice of many aromatherapists as it is good for all skin types. The best quality oils is cold pressed and filtered. Almond oil diluted with 10% of Avocado or Wheatgerm (unless the user is allergic to wheat) is good for people with dry skin, and can help relieve itching, soreness and dryness. Never mix this oil up with the steam distilled essential oil from Bitter almond, (Prunis amygdalis var amara, P. dulcis var amara) as this oil is never used in aromatherapy due to the risk of hydrocyanic acid (prussic acid) forming when the crushed kernels are macerated in water before being distilled.
Prunus dulcis: (P. amygdalis var. dulcis: P. dulcis var dulcis: Amygdalis communis: P. amygdalis var sativa: Family Rosaceae
Apricot Kernel;Another good for all skin types, but especially sensitive or prematurely mature skin.
Prunus armeniaca Family Rosaceae
Persea gratissima Caertn. P. americana Family Lauraceae
Used as an addition to other base oils, 10% to 25%. It is good for eczema and dry, dehydrated skin. Should not be kept in the fridge, may be slightly cloudy when cold. (this is good as it will then show that it hasn't gond through excessive filtering/refining. It should be a deep green colour.) This is not a nut oil.
Borago oficinalis Family Boraginaceae
High in gamma linilenic acid (GLA) Must be stored in a cool dark place to maintain the efficacy of the GLA
Grapeseed;A good second choice carrier especially for those whose skin seems not to absorb other oils very quickly. It does not leave a greasy feeling to the skin after application. Grape seeds are washed, dried, ground, and pressed with the aid of heat and sometimes refined. Heat is used because the seed has only ~13% oil in it.
Vitis vinifera Family Vitaceae
Peach Kernel;And another good for all skin types, along with Sweet Almond and Apricot Kernel oils it is a rich and nourishing oil and similiar in chemical makeup.
Prunus persica. Amygdalus persica. Persica vulgaris Family Rosaceae
Olive;Used in a 10% dilution, for rheumatic conditions, hair care and cosmetics.
Olea europaea Family Oleaceae
Soya;Can be used 100% on all skin types. Rich in lecithin and one of the few foods to have all 22 health giving amino acids and vit A and B complex. The down side is that soya is liable to oxidation and can cause acne, allergic reactions and hair damage. Double downside is that much soya is now genetically modified.
Flycine max, G. soja, G. hispida Family Leguminosae
Sunflower Seed;Can be used 100% Organic oil is cold pressed. "Kitchen" oil is probably solvent extracted and is not recommended for aromatherapy/massage.
Helianthus annuus Family Asteraceae
Seasame Seed;Used as a 10% addition to main oils. Can assist with psoriasis, eczema, rheumatism, and arthritis.
Sesamum indicum Family Pedaliaceae
Coconut;Usually deodorised for use in aromatherapy coconut oil can aid tanning and is reputed to filter the sun's rays. Can cause a rash on some people.
Cocos nucifera L Family Palmae
Calendula; (macerated)An infused oil. This Oil has an anti-inflammatory, anti-spasmodic, vulnerary (aiding healing of wounds) effect and so is very useful in its own right. The addition of essential oils enhance the effects of the oils together, (a synergistic effect). It also blends well with Hypericum.
Calendula officinalis Family Asterceae (Compositae)
Hypericum perforatum Linnaeus Family Hypericaceae, Clausiaceae
Macerated oil from St Johns Wort. An anti-inflammatory oil. It is soothing and effective on wounds and is helpful in cases of neuralgia, sciatica and fibrositus. Blends well with Calendula.
Wheatgerm;Used 10% in a mixture. Helps eczema, psoriasis, prematurely aged skin, and slows down mixed blends of oils from deterioration.
Triticum vulgare, T. durum, T. aestivum Family Graminae
Simmondsia sinensis, Buxux sinensis Family Buxaceae
A liquid wax rather than an oil, used as a 10% addition to other oils.
The following oils are not common yet and are listed here until I can put more info about them.
Camelina sativa Family Brassicaceae
Daucus carota L. ssp sativus, D. carota ssp carota L., D. communis Family Apiaceae (Umbelliferae)
Ricinus communis Family Euphorbiaceae
Prunus avium, P cerasus Family Rosaceae
Theobroma cacao Family Sterculiaceae or Byttneriaceae
Zea mays Family Graminae, Poaceae
Gossypium barbadense Family Malvaceae
Oenothera biennis O. glazioviana (O. lamarkiana, O. riparia) Family Onagraceae
Flaxseed (see Linseed)
Corylus avellana Family Corylaceae
Canabis Sativa Family Moraceae
Centella asiatica, Hydrocotyle asiatica Family Apiaceae (Umbelliferae)
Aleurites moluccans Family Euphorbaceae
Lime blossom (macerated)
Tilia cordata, T. europaea, T. platiphyllos Family Tileaceae
Linum usitatissimum Family Linaceae
Macademia ternifolia, M. integrifolia Family Proteaceae
Limnanthes alba Family Limnanthaceae
Elaeis gueneensis Family Palmaceae
Passion flower (macerated)
Passiflora incarnata Family Passifloraceae
Arachis hypogaea Family Leguminosae, Famaceae
Pistacia vera, P. chinensis
Cucurbita maxima, C. pepo Family Cucurbitaceae
Brassica mnapus, B. campestris Family Cruciferae
Oryza sativa Family Poaceae, Graminae
Rosa canina, R. acicularis, R. cinncmomea, R. rugosa, R. villosa, R. rubiginosa Family Rosaceae
Carthamus tinctorius Family Asteracea (Compositae)
Sisymbrium irio Family Cruciferae
Calophyllum inophyllum Family Clusiaceae
Juglans regia Family Juglandaceae
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