By Kristin Lail, Certified Aromatherapist & SEOR Admin:
You’ve read about the different blending methods and you may be wondering “now what?”. Having an idea of what you want to accomplish and knowing who the blend is for will help answer a lot of the questions you may have when making a blend.
In creative writing classes, students are often instructed to use the Five Ws to gather information and solve problems. In addition to asking who, what, when, where, and why, it is also important to ask how when it comes to aromatherapy.
Who is the blend for?
When you’re starting on a blend, it’s important to consider who you are making your blend for. There may be special needs or restrictions you’ll have to take into account before you blend.
- Pregnant or Nursing Mother
- An elderly individual
- A healthy adult
- An individual with health concerns and/or on medication*
- Oils that are not contraindicated with the condition or medication.*
*Because essential oils can interfere with some medications and conditions, we would recommend consulting with a clinical aromatherapist and working closely with your doctor if you have health concerns are taking medication. You can find a clinical aromatherapist in your area by searching the directory found on the National Association for Holistic Aromatherapy (NAHA) website: https://naha.org/find-an-aromatherapist
What oils should you use?
You’ll be able to make some decisions based on your answer to the first question. Then you’ll be able select oils that are safe for the individual.
- Children will need Kidsafe essential oils.
- Pregnant or nursing mothers should only use oils that are pregnancy and nursing safe.
- An elderly individual in good health with no medical conditions/medication and skin that is not thin may use dilution levels as a healthy adult.
- Healthy adults may use most essential oils as directed.
When will the blend be used?
Start by considering the time of day the recipient of your blend will most likely be using your creation.
- In the morning
- Before bed
- Throughout the day
Generally speaking, you may want to use uplifting and energizing oils in the morning and relaxing essential oils before bed.
Where will the blend be used?
Consider where this blend will be used, as it may affect how you use it. For example, we don’t suggest diffusing in the classroom, so a blend used in spaces like this would need to be used in a personal inhaler.
- At home
- Work or school
If using oils at work or school, it would be best to use a personal inhaler. Essential oils are not safe for all people and it would be best not to expose another person to an oil that could affect them negatively.
Why do you want to use essential oils?
Think about the purpose of the blend. Why did you choose to use essential oils to address those concerns?
How will the blend be used?
- Inhalation (diffuser, passive diffusion, or personal aromatherapy inhaler)
- Topical application (long term or short term?)
This helps determine the dilution percentage that you will choose for your blend. A 1% dilution should be used for long term, daily use or full body application. A 5% dilution can be used for short term use. It is always best to start low and increase the dilution only if necessary.
Making your blend.
Now that we know the purpose of our blend, who it is being used for and all safety considerations are taken into account, we can start blending!
Generally speaking, we recommend sticking to 3-5 essential oils in your blend. If you’re new to blending, using just 2 oils is a great start. You’ll also want to have cotton balls or scent strips on hand so you can test how the essential oils smell together before you commit to a blend.
With a pen and paper in hand, add essential oils to your cotton round or scent strip drop-by-drop until the blend is pleasing to you. Keep in mind, that when an oil has a low recommended max dermal dilution rate, you will not want to exceed those when applying topically.
How many drops you use of each individual oil comes down to intent as well as personal scent preferences. It is a good idea to have a primary oil that addresses your concerns while the other oils support the overall intention.
To learn more about using the drop-by-drop method to blending, please check out this blog post.
Making it work for you!
Don’t be afraid to try new things! One of the things I often hear is, “I tried what was recommended and it didn’t work for me”. While there are generalizations that can be made, learning how you respond individually to an essential oil is very important.
Just as an example, most people should avoid stimulating oils before bedtime in favor of calming or relaxing oils. However, I personally find that stimulating oils before bed often help when I feel too tired to sleep. This is a perfect example of why it is important to learn what works for you.
Another example, may people use and enjoy Lavender, Lemon, and Peppermint for seasonal allergies. However, there is no evidence that these oils possess antihistamine properties and their chemical make-up doesn’t support this. However, many people have used and said that the oils worked for them on a personal level. This is another instance where each individual needs to know how they respond to the oils.
We’re all different and getting to know our essential oils on a personal level will help you make blends that yield the best results for you!
Need more helpful tips? Feel free to check out our Safe Essential Oil Recipes group on Facebook for DIY recipes and support!