The essences or “oils” as they are commonly called, are present
within the root, bark, leaf or flower of an aromatic plant.
Contained in the form of tiny odoriferous droplets, these droplets
change their chemical composition constantly within the plant
according to the time of day or the season and will therefore
readily evaporate. An essential oil is a very volatile substance.
The amount of essential oil within a plant varies between 0.01% to
There are several hundred aromatic plants, but only some are used
for therapeutic purposes. They can be used in foods, medicines or
beauty aids, although frequently these are based on synthetic
equivalents. For the purposes of aromatherapy in the UK, essential
oils are not used internally.
Don’t feel oily.
Don’t have any lubricating properties.
Don’t mix with water.
Do mix with alcohol.
Do mix with vegetable and mineral oils.
Penetrate the skin.
Stimulate white cell production.
Either stimulating or sedative.
Most are cell renewing.
sake essences may be classified into three types:
The most volatile.
Often obtained from citrus fruits, eg. bergamot, lemon, orange,
Evaporate most quickly (1-14)*
Usually obtained from flowers and herbs, eg. geranium, lavender,
Evaporate moderately (15-80)*
Affect body organs
Produced from flowers and herbs
Last 2-3 hours before evaporating
Known as fixatives as they “hold back”
Fast evaporation from the top notes.
Have the lowest volatility.
Usually obtained from woods and resins, eg. sandalwood, myrrh,
Evaporate very slowly (81-100)*
Heavy woody aroma
* (RATES OF EVAPORATION 1-100)
HOW TO USE
Aromatherapy massage has been found to be the most effective way of
using the essential oils. For the purposes of massage the oils are
blended in a base oil.
Massage of the hands and feet is an excellent way to keep in good
health. All the reflex or zone points for the body are stimulated by
this method. This helps balance the body’s energy flow.
Bathing is the next most effective way of using the oils. There are
Diffusing up to 5 drops of essential oils
Diffusing up to 5mls of a blend.
This method is good for sensitive or dry skin, and preserving a
a) Run a bath of warm water, ( not hot or the oils will evaporate
b) Add up to 5 drops of essential oil or 5mls of a blend.
c) Agitate the water.
d) Relax for 10 - 15 minutes minimum.
e) Avoid splashing in the eyes.
It is safe to use the bathing method everyday. The warm water
assists the absorption of the oils. One of the first benefits of an
aromatherapy treatment is improved quality of sleep.
As changes in the clients condition occurs vary the oils according
to new indications.
If the condition doesn’t begin to change after a reasonable amount
of time, the blend should be changed and medical attention sought,
Foot and hand baths
Place 8-10 drops of essential oil in a bowl of warm water and bathe
the hands or feet for 10-15 minutes.
Make up a blend with the same essence(s) and after drying the area
massage the oil in to complete the treatment.
Indicated: Rheumatism, arthritis, dermatitis, dry skin.
Inhalation is very useful for relieving congestion, easing catarrh
and soothing the respiratory tract. The age old method of covering
the head with a towel, and inhaling the vapour from Eucalyptus and
Camphor, still holds good today.
a) Boil 2 pints of water and pour into a bowl.
b) Add 10 drops in total of essential oil(s).
c) Agitate the water.
d) Put a towel over the head.Inhale the vapours for a few minutes at
a time, for up to 10 minutes or as long as is comfortable.
Repeat several times a day if required.
A facial steamer may be used instead of a bowl, with 3 - 5 drops of
Follow first aid instructions for the use of compresses. If a
compress pad is not available disperse 1 - 2 drops of essential oil
into the water. Use a large, clean, white handkerchief folded in
eight. The material should be gently laid on the surface of the
water to attract a film of essential oil. The compress can then be
placed on the affected area in the normal way. This is particularly
good for young children and babies when teething.
A range of scalp conditions, including dandruff, respond well to the
use of an essential oil blend.
This method can also be used to assist in clearing lice from the
scalp, and has the advantage of being pleasant to use.
a) Ensure that the eyes are well protected.
b) Prepare the chosen blend (proportionally less for children)
and massage into the scalp.
c) Leave the mixture on the head for half an hour up to two
A plastic cap or cover will help absorption. Always supervise
children as they may pull a loose fitting cap down over their
face. Bathtime is a good time for a scalp treatment as the
heat will help absorption of the essences.
d) To remove the blend: massage in NEAT SHAMPOO initially, then
add water and shampoo in the normal way.
There are several ways of using essential oils to produce a
wonderful fragrant atmosphere in a room.
Essential Oil Burners
Essential oil Burners are obtainable from many health food shops and
from some suppliers of the oils.
A small reservoir at the top of the burner is filled with water.
This is heated by the flame from a nightlight placed inside the
burner. Up to 5 drops of neat essential oil may be sprinkled on the
water. This gradually evaporates, filling the room with the fragrant
Lavender produces a relaxing atmosphere which can help with
Rosewood is soothing for tired grumpy children who don’t want to go
During illness the use of a room fragrancer can help to protect the
health of the rest of the family. The “aroma” inhibits infection by
airborne bacteria such as cold and flu viruses. This has been put to
good test in several hospitals and clinics. This method can also
ease breathing in many chest conditions, and help asthmatics reduce
their need for inhalants.
Put a few drops of neat essential oil on a cold light bulb or use a
special attachment for the bulb. The fragrance will gradually
permeate the room as the warmth of the bulb vaporises the essential
A saucer of water with a few drops of neat essential oil, placed on
top of a radiator, will act as a vaporiser and humidifier at the
Handkerchief or Tissue
Put one or two drops of neat essential oil onto a handkerchief or
tissue, and inhale when required. This method is useful for sinus
congestion, travelling and when other methods are not convenient.
Make up a blend as directed and use as you would a perfume.
Frankincense and/or Sandalwood make excellent fixatives for your
information about our aromatherapy oils and products please ring
3863 or 0845 1661 646 (local call rate)
More about essential oils
People with allergies, including allergies to perfume may be
helped by Professional Aromatherapy. The aromatherapist should
recommend the essential oils for home use to complement the
Occasionally a person’s skin may be sensitive to a particular
oil (usually the more stimulating ones) causing irritation. It will
usually disappear within the hour. Plain sweet almond oil, smoothed
on the affected part, will assist the irritation to subside. Women
may find skin sensitivity increases just before their period, or at
ovulation. This is due to hormonal changes in the body. If
sensitivity occurs refrain from using the particular oil for 10
days. Then, dilute to one quarter of the original amountmade up in a
blend and test on a small area of the skin. If no reaction occurs
continue to use the oil in the diluted amount.
Some of the essential oils are phototoxic e.g. Bergamot and should
not be used if the person will be in the sun within a few hours of
Ylang Ylang should not be used on anyone prone to headaches.
ESSENTIAL OILS ARE BEST USED BY A QUALIFIED THERAPIST
Certain oils are best administered by a qualified Aromatherapist:-
eg. Cinnamon, Clove, Hyssop and Sage.
Contra-indications for High Blood Pressure: Rosemary, Sage, Thyme.
Contra-indications for Epilepsy: Sage, Fennel, Hyssop.
GENERAL CAUTIONS, CHILDREN AND SPECIAL CASES -
NEVER USE NEAT ESSENTIAL OILS DIRECTLY ONTO THE SKIN
NEVER USE ESSENTIAL OILS INTERNALLY
Infants and Children
Babies and infants should only be treated with the oils recommended
in the paragraph immediately below. They, and to a lesser extent
children, require much smaller amounts of the oils than adults to
obtain effective results.
Babies 0 - 12 months One drop of Lavender or Roman Chamomile
may be used as compress
Dilute one drop in 15mls of Sweet Almond oil for massage.
Bathing Infants 1 - 6 years, One - three drops of Tea Tree, Lavender
or Roman Chamomile used as above.
Children 7 -12 years, Use as adults but half the number of drops of
Children 12+ years Use as directed for adults.
Room Fragrancers are very effective for all ages.
USE THE ESSENTIAL OILS IN HALF THE STATED AMOUNT AT THIS SPECIAL
Stimulating essential oils and those which have an emmenagogic
effect, i.e. help bring on periods, should not be used during
Aniseed, Basil, Camphor, Cedarwood, Clove, Cinnamon, Hyssop,
Juniper, Marjoram, Myrrh, Rosemary, Sage and Thyme, should not be
used during the nine months of pregnancy.
Fennel and Peppermint should be avoided during the first 4 months of
pregnancy, because of their stimulating effect, but are however
acceptable after this period.
HOW TO BLEND
The dilution recommended is 2.5%, using almond oil
(or other organic virgin cold pressed vegetable oil) as a base.
There are 20 drops to every 1 ml
ie. 20 drops = 1 ml
This equates to one drop of essential oil to every 2 mls of
For a dry skin, 5 -10% of wheatgerm oil (providing the client is not
allergic to wheat) or avocado oil may be included.
The blend would normally contain 3 essences, although typically
might range from 1 - 4 essences, depending on analysis of the
This Aromatherapy blend can be used for both facial and body
Depending on the size of the person and amount of body hair,
15-25 mls would be sufficient for a full body treatment.
Brown glass bottles can be obtained from chemists or bottle
suppliers. The number of mls is shown on the bottom of the bottle.
BASIS OF BLENDING
The synergistic effect of more than one oil is more
powerful than the oils individually used and forms a unique blend
for the client.
A blend of 2, 3 or 4 oils gives a choice of 2,500 blends.
Fragrances which have similar top notes, eg Grapefruit and Bergamot,
are not good used alone, as neither is long-lasting, unlike
Sandalwood and Jasmine which have heavier, longer lasting aromas.
Always remember that essential oils are very concentrated, and
should always be used with care. They are usually diluted in
vegetable oil, or diffused in water eg for a bath or infusion.
PURCHASE OF ESSENTIAL OILS
In order to benefit from the healing properties of the oils, it is
vital to purchase them from a reputable supplier, who takes care to
ensure high standards. The word “natural” on a bottle’s label does
not always guarantee purity.
Buy the oils in small quantities replacing them as required.
A pure oil is one that has not been adulterated with chemicals or
synthetic compounds. An oil comes from a named botanical plant and
is from a definite geographical location.
A pure essential oil should be distinguished from an ‘aromatherapy
oil’. The latter description is often used to describe an essential
oil added to a carrier oil. In some cases there may be only 4% of
essential oil in an ‘aromatherapy oil’. In these cases the oil is
already blended for massage use.
Increasing numbers of oils are being tested for companies by The
Natural Oils Research Association. This is actively working to
promote pure oils with a distinctive definition giving the name of
the oil, its scientific name, its origin, its batch number and the
‘best before’ date. The oil is then known as an ‘AROMARK OIL.
Suppliers are provided with a ‘Certificate of Purity’ and the whole
process is controlled by an independent Analytical Committee based
at Universities or Research Establishments. Each batch is tested by
specialists in essential oils and the method of testing is known as
Gas Liquid Chromatography. It reveals a ‘chemical fingerprint of the
oil - each oil being unique.
There are over 3,000 essential oils and about 300 are available to
therapists. Around 100 of these oils are commercially available from
the Fragrance, Flavour and Pharmaceutical Industries. Some oils such
as Lavender, Geranium, or Ylang Ylang are very popular whilst others
are less well known. Many suppliers help both the public and
therapists by indicating the origin of the oil. This is important
because Geranium Oil from China, Egypt or Reunion has its own
In general the price tends to reflect the yield of oil in the plant.
Roses produce very little oil, whereas Eucalyptus gives a high yield
and is relatively inexpensive. Although price can suggest a more
expensive oil it does not always indicate either quality or
genuineness. You have to establish a personal formula to achieve the
best quality and price.
More about essential oils
click here or on the links below for therapy
treatments at Manchester