While one might think it is much easier to use an essential oil by itself, diluting if necessary, think again! Blending essential oils together provide significant results for your health and overall well-being. In fact, we often find that mixing essential oils together provides a greater benefit.
What is an essential oil blend?
In aromatherapy, we talk about blended oils when we combine several essential oils with each other. Creating a blend consists in identifying the desired properties for a given problem, and in selecting several oils that can meet this need.
On the internet, in local shops, or even at your neighborhood CVS and grocery store, you can buy both individual essential oils and blended varieties. Individual essential oils are intended for informed users, who have experience with usage and are aware of the safety precautions. Blended essential oils however, are generally suitable for beginners, those less experienced, especially first time users. Most commonly, a blend is a mixture of essential oils intended for a specific use such as, rest, revitalization or serenity amongst others.
At Family SelfCare, along with our mission to create attainable wellness for everyone, we create tailor-made blends on demand thanks to our SelfCare1® application. It's very simple: you indicate your need, the application calculates the dosage of the blend, and the connected device delivers your essential oils instantly.
Potent results due to essential oil blends
Combining oils can increase efficacy by working on several levels. In one example, if you have a stomach ache, you may choose to use a spasmolytic essential oil such as exotic basil to soothe you. By adding a second essential oil such as bitter orange leaf, you will increase the soothing effect tenfold while relaxing your body more broadly.
For each well-being need, this is the logic our scientists and healthcare professionals apply when designing the blends of our SelfCare1® application.
Interactions between plant extracts
In addition to combining their effects, natural extracts can support each other in their respective actions, and thus prove to be more effective together than separately. Traditional oriental medicines, such as Ayurveda (India) or Chinese medicine have observed this concept well. In these countries, therapists offer few isolated plant extracts but prefer to combine them to make complete, natural remedies.
Unfortunately, in the West, the scientific community pays very little attention to the combined action of plants with each other. The Padma 28 preparation, derived from traditional Tibetan medicine and composed of more than twenty plant extracts, is a rare exception. The Swiss recognize the effectiveness of this mixture on circulatory problems to the point of having put it on the market as a medicine.
We hope that Western medicine can draw inspiration from this example to go much further and study the combined action of plant extracts on many everyday disorders!
More essential oils, less risk
Blends also help reduce the risk of side effects, when the all too intense action of one oil is mitigated by another. For example, oils rich in phenols (thymol thyme, Ceylon cinnamon, compact oregano, etc.) consumed in high doses can cause problems for the liver. On the contrary, essential oils of lemon or grapefruit protect the liver. By combining thyme with thymol and lemon in a blend, we can benefit from the properties of phenols while reducing side effects in the liver.
In addition, mixing several different essential oils reduces exposure to each active ingredient individually. Therefore, less risk of overdose is present in essential oil blends than for an oil alone.
It is important to remember that using any essential oils whether they are blended or through individual use, safety guidance is adhered to for each active ingredient. This effect is found in the risk of allergies. In some people, allergies are triggered by coming into contact with a substance in a certain amount. By combining the oils with each other, we reduce exposure to each molecule individually. The risk for a new allergy to trigger is therefore reduced.
The scent of synergies
The final reason to blend essential oils, and admittedly one of our favorites is the aromatic smell, unique to each blend. Essential oils have potent smells, some more pleasant than others according to your individual tastes.
Plant notes such as patchouli, ylang-ylang or orange blossom are emblematic in perfumery. Yet many people find the scent of the essential oils extracted from these same plants overwhelming. Again, the difference is in associating the plants with each other.
Without claiming the same olfactory harmony as the great perfumes, the blends can often smell better than each individual oil that composes it. The scents of eucalyptus or ravintsara, evocative of the medicinal world, do not necessarily trigger positive emotions. Associated with the intensity of lavender or bitter orange leaf, they will bring a note of freshness, for a blend that is ultimately very pleasant.
Guérir avec les forces de la nature, Andreas Michalsen, 2019, Albin Michel
Aromathérapie, Dominique Baudoux, Dunod, 2017
Aromathérapia, Isabelle Pacchioni, 2014, Edition Aroma Thera