An Introduction to Berry Carrier Oils

Posted on: June 29th, 2015 by
Comments Requested

Berries for Carrier Oils: Photo Credit, Fotolia

Berries for Carrier Oils: Photo Credit, Fotolia

There are a number of berry carrier oils, in addition to the more “traditional” carrier oils, available on the market. If you take the time to do some research, you will find that many berry carrier oils are packed with beneficial properties for the skin – and can be combined with essential oils in aromatherapy for greater effect.

What is a Berry Carrier Oil?

Berry carrier oils are cold-pressed from the seed of the berry. Many berry carrier oils are high in essential fatty acids, vitamins, and anti-oxidants, making them a favorable skincare product for all types of skin.

Berries have a long history of use in plant medicine. Understanding the type of berry oil, and its uses, can help you to decide which berry oil is best for your purpose. Use berry oils as a carrier oil in aromatherapy practice, in combination with other carrier oils, and in many skincare bases – such as creams, lotions, lip balm, and hair care products.

The Different Types of Berry Oils

Below are listed some of the different types of berry oils suitable for aromatherapy skincare applications:

  • strawberry seed (Fragaria x. ananassa)

  • blackberry seed (Rubius fructicosus)

  • blueberry seed ( Vaccinium corymbosum)

  • raspberry seed (red) ( Rubus idaeus)

  • raspberry seed (black) ( Rubus occidentalis)

  • blackcurrant seed ( Ribes nigrum)*

  • cranberry seed (Vaccinium macrocarpon)

  • acai berry seed (Euterpe oleracea)

  • seabuckthorn seed (Hippophae rhamnoides).

* Note that blackcurrant also produces an absolute used in perfumery.

Common Characteristics of Berry Carrier Oils

In researching berry carrier oils, I found that many berry oils share the following characteristics (although there are exceptions to the rule):

  • most berry carrier oils are high in omega 3, omega 6, omega 9, and vitamin E. They also contain other beneficial ingredients to the skin.

  • Most berry carrier oils are suitable for all skin types; some are more suited to, for example, oily skin, or mature skin, but you will find that there is an appropriate berry carrier oil for all skin types.

  • Most berry carrier oils (like many other carrier oils) are not high in aroma, so you can blend them with other carrier oils and/or essential oils.

  • Most berry carrier oils are not known to have any contra-indications for general aromatherapy use.

  • Many truly organic, authentic berry carrier oils can be quite expensive, so I would advise blending then in a mix with other carrier oils.

Learn More About Carrier Oils with Sedona Aromatherapie

If you are interested in learning about traditional carrier oils, and their applications in aromatherapy practice, consider the Sedona Aromatherapie Certification in Professional Aromatherapy program. To learn more, visit the courses home page.

References:

  • Natural Sourcing LLC website, Berry Oils, accessed June 29, 2015

  • Price, Len, 1999, Carrier Oils for Aromatherapy and Massage, UK: Riverhead

  • Author is a UK-certified aromatherapist, published author in aromatherapy, an approved education provider for the National Association for Holistic Aromatherapy (NAHA), an aromatherapy business owner, and Chief Editor for the NAHA Aromatherapy Journal.

Pin It

Alternative Essential Oils to Repel Insects

Posted on: June 22nd, 2015 by
1

Essential Oils to Repel Insects: Photo Credit, Fotolia

Essential Oils to Repel Insects: Photo Credit, Fotolia

Many people are familiar with essential oils such as citronella (Cymbopogon nardus) and lemongrass (Cymbopogon citratus) as an insect repellent. However, if the aroma of these particular essential oils is not appealing to you, here are a few alternative suggestions to repel insects this summer.

Cape May Essential Oil for Insects

Cape May (Coleonema album) essential oil is extracted from the leaves and stems of the the South African white confetti bush. It has a green, herbal aroma with a peppery note. The bush has pink-tinged white flowers with needle-like leaves and you can see the essential oil gland on the underside of the leaves. Cape May belongs to the Rutaceae plant family.

The leaves have traditionally been used as an insect repellent, among other uses, and the essential oil can be used for the same purpose.

Geranium Essential Oil for Insects

Geranium (Pelargonium graveolens) is one of my favorite essential oils, both for its aroma and for its many uses. Geranium essential oil is extracted from the leaves and flowers of the plant and it has a rosy-sweet scent.

Geranium belongs to the Geraniaceae plant family. It is a perennial, hairy shrub with green, serrated leaves and pink flowers. Note that there are many species and cultivars of geranium available.

Geranium essential oil can be used as an insect repellent and it is an essential oil that I have also used to calm insect bites.

Bergamot Essential Oil for Insects

Bergamot (Citrus bergamia) is a member of the Rutaceae plant family. It is a small tree that has oval, green leaves and a small fruit which resembles an orange. However, the fruit ripens from green to yellow, not orange.

Bergamot essential oil has a number of uses and can be used both as insect repellent and for insect bites. It has a pleasing citrus aroma. However, bergamot essential oil is photo-toxic, so do not use it prior to going out in sunlight.

Eucalyptus Essential Oil for Insects

There are a few varieties of eucalyptus essential oil that can be used as an insect repellent including blue gum eucalyptus (Eucalyptus globulus) and lemon-scented eucalyptus (Eucalyptus citriodora). Eucalyptus is native to Australia and belongs to the Myrtaceae plant family. The trees can be similar in appearance.

Lemon-scented eucalyptus essential oil is similar to citronella in aroma; blue gum eucalyptus essential oil is more camphoraceous in aroma.

How to Use Essential Oils as Insect Repellents

One of the best way to use essential oils as insect repellents is in an aromatherapy diffuser or a natural-based aromatherapy candle. Simply light the candle when dining outdoors in the summer to repel insects.

You can also use these essential oils in a white lotion base, carrier oil base, or a spritzer base. Make sure that all essential oils are fully diluted before applying to the skin. Check for any contra-indications for use. If in doubt, consult a certified aromatherapist.

References:

  • Lawless, Julia, 1995, The Illustrated Encyclopedia of Essential Oils, UK: Thorsons

  • Tisserand, R., Young, R., 2014, Essential Oil Safety (2nd Edition), UK: Churchill Livingstone Elsevier

  • Author is a UK-certified aromatherapist, published author in aromatherapy, an approved education provider for the National Association for Holistic Aromatherapy (NAHA), an aromatherapy business owner, and Chief Editor for the NAHA Aromatherapy Journal.

Pin It

Welledia Aromatherapy Diffuser Review and Giveaway

Posted on: June 15th, 2015 by
23

Welledia Tranquil Aroma Diffuser

Welledia Tranquil Aroma Diffuser

I was recently sent a new aromatherapy diffuser from Welledia to review. Not only that, but Welledia have very kindly given you the opportunity to win one of their aromatherapy diffusers! If you are in the market for a new aromatherapy diffuser, take a few minutes to read my review of the Welledia Tranquil Ultrasonic Aroma Diffuser, and see why this might be the perfect diffuser for you.

What is an Aromatherapy Diffuser?

When I first started training in aromatherapy – over ten years ago – aromatherapy diffusers were quite basic. The most simple aromatherapy diffuser was the candle-lit aromatherapy diffuser; place a tea light candle under the ceramic tray of the diffuser, add a small amount of water to the tray, a few drops of essential oil, and light the candle. The essential oil aromas were then dispersed around the room.

The disadvantage of this type of aromatherapy diffuser was that quite often you would forget about it, the water would dry up, and the essential oils would “burn up.” Today, you can get all sorts of aromatherapy diffusers that are more environmentally friendly, easier to operate, safer, and often have added features, too.

Basically, an aromatherapy diffuser disperses the aroma of the essential oils in an area where it is placed – helping to create an overall better atmosphere.

The Basics of the Welledia Tranquil Ultrasonic Aroma Diffuser

The Welledia Tranquil Ultrasonic Aroma Diffuser is one of several aromatherapy diffusers offered by the company. Here are the basics for this particular model:

  • Size: 300ml/10 fl oz reservoir.

  • Color: White with a green company logo on the front of the unit.

  • Mode of Operation: Electric (plug).

  • Technology: Ultrasonic – generates waves at 2.4 million times per second, allowing the essential oils to be dispersed in micro-particles as a vapor.

  • Added Features: Colorful LED lights for light therapy, humidifier (essential oils are dispersed as a cool water mist which helps with conditions such as coughs, colds, breathing difficulties, and moisturizes the skin).

Best Features of the Welledia Tranquil Ultrasonic Aroma Diffuser

The following features are what I consider to be the best features of this diffuser model:

  • Easy to Operate: Simply follow the instruction booklet supplied with the diffuser. Add water to the reservoir, add your chosen essential oil, and switch on as instructed.

  • Multiple Timer Settings: No more switching on the diffuser and forgetting you have it running! Simply set the timer to the required time and it will switch off automatically. On the evening I tried it, I had a friend come by and the diffuser automatically switched itself off at the designated time – so I could relax and not worry about leaving it on unintentionally.

  • Colorful Lights: The option of the lights is a great addition to this diffuser, creating a relaxing atmosphere in your living room, bedroom, or bathroom, whatever the occasion.

  • No Noise: You won’t even know the aromatherapy diffuser is on; there is no noticeable running sound that some diffusers emit.

  • Ultrasonic Diffusion: Allowing you to enjoy the full therapeutic benefits of the chosen essential oils.

How to Win a Welledia Tranquil Ultrasonic Aroma Diffuser

If you would like to try one of these aromatherapy diffusers from Welledia for free, Welledia are giving away ten units to the first ten people to post a comment on this blog post, with a reason why you would like to try one. Simply post your name and comment and I will pass your information along to Welledia who will mail out your aromatherapy diffuser to you! Good luck!

In addition, Welledia have this limited time offer on diffusers:

  • Welledia Ultrasonic Aroma Diffuser $10 Off Amazon.com.
  • Save $10.00 when you purchase one or more, offered by Amjee!
  • Enter code U4HRVAB8 at checkout.
  • Ends: 06/20/2015 11:59 PM PDT.

Tranquil #WEL-848 http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B00NGZE5LG

Don’t miss out on this generous offer from Welledia! For more information on the range of aromatherapy diffusers offered by Welledia, visit their website at: www.welledia.com.

Pin It

Essential Oils with Lemon-like Aromas: Part Two

Posted on: June 8th, 2015 by
Comments Disabled
Essential Oils with Lemon-like Aromas: Part Two: Photo Credit, Fotolia

Essential Oils with Lemon-like Aromas: Part Two: Photo Credit, Fotolia

Last week, I wrote part one of Essential Oils with Lemon-like Aromas and discussed citronella, may chang, and melissa essential oils in place of lemon essential oil for a slightly different lemon-like aroma. This week I am comparing lemon verbana, lemongrass, and lemon myrtle essential oils with regard to their lemon-like aroma – although you will probably find that they have beneficial properties too, depending upon your purpose.

Remember to dilute all essential oils before dermal application; consult a certified aromatherapist for further information on safe use of essential oils.

Lemongrass Essential Oil

Lemongrass (Cymbopogon citratus)essential oil is closely related to citronella (Cymbopogon nardus) essential oil, being of the same genus and plant family. Lemongrass, like citronella, is an aromatic perennial grass from which an essential oil is steam distilled. Lemongrass essential oil has either a fresh, grassy-citrus aroma or a fresh, grassy-lemon aroma depending on the type. West Indian lemongrass is usually more lemon-like due to a higher citral content.

CAUTIONS: Possible skin sensitivity.

TIPS FOR USE: Use in an aromatherapy diffuser to repel mosquitoes, add to a custom perfume blend, use in aromatherapy practice for muscle pain, fevers, headaches, and stress.

Lemon Verbana Essential Oil

Lemon verbana (Aloysia triphylla) is similar in use to melissa (Melissa officinalis), although the two species are not related. Lemon verbana is a medium-sized perennial shrub with lanceolate, aromatic leaves and small purple flowers. Lemon verbana essential oil is steam distilled from the plant and it has has a lemon-like, fruity-floral aroma.

CAUTIONS: Possible skin sensitivity. Photo-toxic.

TIPS FOR USE: Add to a custom perfume or cologne blend, use in aromatherapy practice for insomnia, anxiety, and stress.

Lemon Myrtle Essential Oil

Lemon myrtle (Backhousia citriodora) is closely related to myrtle (Myrtus communis). Lemon myrtle is a tall flowering plant with cream-colored flowers and lance-shaped leaves. It is indigenous to Australia. Lemon myrtle essential oil is steam distilled from the leaves and it has a strong lemon aroma.

CAUTIONS: Possible skin sensitivity. Do not use in pregnancy. Do not use with babies and children under two years of age.

TIPS FOR USE: Use in an aromatherapy diffuser to uplift or calm, use in aromatherapy practice for chest congestion.

Learn More About Essential Oils with Sedona Aromatherapie

If you are interested in learning more about essential oils, and the plants from which they are extracted, consider one of the Sedona Aromatherapie home study aromatherapy courses. For further information, visit the courses home page.

References:

  • Lawless, Julia, 1995, The Illustrated Encyclopedia of Essential Oils, UK: Thorsons

  • Tisserand, R., Young, R., 2014, Essential Oil Safety (2nd Edition), UK: Churchill Livingstone Elsevier

  • Author is a UK-certified aromatherapist, published author in aromatherapy, an approved education provider for the National Association for Holistic Aromatherapy (NAHA), an aromatherapy business owner, and Chief Editor for the NAHA Aromatherapy Journal.

Pin It

Essential Oils with Lemon-like Aromas: Part One

Posted on: June 1st, 2015 by
Comments Disabled
Essential Oils with Lemon-like Aromas: Photo Credit, Fotolia

Essential Oils with Lemon-like Aromas: Photo Credit, Fotolia

Lemon (Citrus limon) essential oil is well-known for its fresh, citrus scent. Lemon essential oil is also light in aroma. However, if you are seeking a slightly different lemon-like aroma, you might be interested to learn that there are several other essential oils with a lemon-like aroma. The following essential oils have been compared with regard to aroma – although you you will probably find that they have beneficial properties too, depending upon your purpose. This is part one of a two part post; part two will be published next week.

Remember to dilute all essential oils before dermal application; consult a certified aromatherapist for further information on safe use of essential oils.

Citronella Essential Oil

Citronella (Cymbopogon nardus) is a favorite summer aroma to keep mosquitoes, and other types of biting insects, at bay. Citronella essential oil has a fresh, and powerful, lemony aroma.

The essential oil is extracted by steam distillation from citronella grass – a tall, perennial grass that is very aromatic. There are various types of aromatic grasses, including lemongrass (Cymbopogon citratus), which are related to citronella.

CAUTIONS: Do not use citronella during pregnancy. Possible skin sensitivity.

TIPS FOR USE: Use in an aromatherapy diffuser to repel mosquitoes, add to a custom perfume blend, use in aromatherapy practice for fatigue, colds, flu, and headaches.

May Chang Essential Oil

May chang (Litsea cubeba) is a plant that is native to Asia. The essential oil has a powerful, lemony aroma that is perhaps a little heavier than traditional lemon-like aromas – but similar to lemongrass.

May chang essential oil is steam distilled from the pepper-like fruits of the small, tropical tree. Although it is also known by the name of tropical verbana, it is not related to lemon verbana (Aloysia triphylla).

CAUTIONS: Possible skin sensitivity. Do not use with children under two years of age.

TIPS FOR USE: Add to a custom perfume blend, use in aromatherapy practice for skin care, stress, and high blood pressure. You can also use it in an aromatherapy diffuser to repel insects.

Melissa Essential Oil

Melissa (Melissa officinalis) is also known by the name lemon balm because of its light, fresh, lemony aroma. Melissa is actually a small herb that has highly aromatic leaves. It is recognizable from other herbs because of its bright-green, serrated leaves.

The essential oil is steam distilled from the leaves and flowering tops of the plant. Melissa is one of the earliest known herbs that was used for medicinal purposes and, consequently, has a long history of use.

CAUTIONS: Possible skin sensitivity. Use in low dilution. Do not use with children under two years of age. This essential oil is sometimes adulterated with lemon, lemongrass, or citronella because of the similar aromas.

TIPS FOR USE: Use in an aromatherapy diffuser as a summertime repellent for mosquitoes, add to a custom perfume blend, use in aromatherapy practice for allergies, insect bites, nausea, respiratory problems, anxiety, depression, insomnia, high blood pressure, shock, and migraine.

Learn More About Essential Oils with Sedona Aromatherapie

If you are interested in learning more about essential oils, and the plants from which they are extracted, consider one of the Sedona Aromatherapie home study aromatherapy courses. For further information, visit the courses home page.

References:

  • Lawless, Julia, 1995, The Illustrated Encyclopedia of Essential Oils, UK: Thorsons

  • Tisserand, R., Young, R., 2014, Essential Oil Safety (2nd Edition), UK: Churchill Livingstone Elsevier

  • Author is a UK-certified aromatherapist, published author in aromatherapy, an approved education provider for the National Association for Holistic Aromatherapy (NAHA), an aromatherapy business owner, and Chief Editor for the NAHA Aromatherapy Journal.

Pin It

Persic Carrier Oils for Aromatherapy: Apricot, Cherry, Peach, and Plum

Posted on: May 25th, 2015 by
Comments Disabled
Plums for Plum Kernel Oil: Photo Credit, Fotolia

Plums for Plum Kernel Oil: Photo Credit, Fotolia

Recently, in the course of research for a client, I came across the phrase “persic” in relation to carrier oils. Upon further research, I discovered that there are several carrier oils that can be described as “persic.” Here is a quick look at the common types of persic oils used in aromatherapy.

What is a Persic Oil?

According to Merriam-Webster.com, a persic oil is:

either of two substantially identical colorless or straw-colored nondrying fatty oils obtained by expression:

a: one expressed from apricot kernels – called also apricot kernel oil

b: one expressed from peach kernels – called also peach kernel oil.”

However, according to Len Price, in Carrier Oils for Aromatherapy and Massage, both cherry kernel oil and plum kernel oil are also persic oils (page 36). He describes a persic oil as a “fixed oil obtained from the kernels of various species of Prunus...by cold expression.” Therefore, it could be argued that sweet almond (Prunus dulcis) is also a persic oil – and it is, in fact, very similar to apricot kernel oil in chemical make-up and use.

In short, all of these carrier oils are extracted from the kernels (seeds) of the relative plant. In addition, all of these plants belong to the Rosaceae plant family and the seeds are high in amygdalin.

Apricot Kernel Carrier Oil

Apricot kernel (Prunus armenica) has been used for aromatic and therapeutic purposes for a long time. The apricot tree spread from China, to the Middle East, to southern Europe, and finally to the United States in the 18th century. It is a deciduous tree with white flowers and red-tipped leaves when young.

Apricot kernel oil is emollient and nourishing to the skin. It is suitable for sensitive, dry, mature, and irritated skin.

Cherry Kernel Carrier Oil

There are two species of cherry kernel (Prunus avium, Prunus cerasus). Prunus cerasus is the sour (morello) cherry whereas Prunus avium is the sweet cherry. The carrier oil is usually expressed from Prunus cerasus (Price, Len).

Cherry kernel oil is emollient to the skin and hair and is used in a similar way to apricot kernel oil.

Peach Kernel Carrier Oil

Peach kernel (Prunus persica) is a deciduous tree also originating from China. As was the case with many plant species, the peach traveled to Europe via the Empire-building Romans. The peach tree arrived in the United States in the 17th century.

Although not as common as apricot and sweet almond oils, peach kernel has similar therapeutic properties and uses. It is both emollient and nourishing to the skin, and useful for conditions such as eczema. Sensitive, dry, and mature skin may benefit from the use of peach kernel oil.

Plum Kernel Carrier Oil

Plum kernel (Prunus (x) domestica) is also growing in popularity for use with aromatherapy and skincare products. Prunus domestica is actually a hybrid species of Prunus spinosa and Prunus cerasifera. It produces a small, round red-colored fruit. There are various cultivars of this plant.

Plum kernel oil is moisturizing and can be used for eczema, psoriasis, dry skin, wrinkles, damaged hair, and brittle nails. It is high in tocopherols and fatty and essential fatty acids.

Learn More About Carrier Oils with Sedona Aromatherapie Courses

Various carrier oils are studied in the Sedona Aromatherapie Certification in Professional Aromatherapy. To learn more, visit the courses home page.

References:

  • Merriam-Webster.com, Persic Oil Definition, accessed May 25, 2015

  • Natural Sourcing website, Virgin Plum Kernel Oil, accessed May 25, 2015

  • Price, Len, 1999, Carrier Oils for Aromatherapy and Massage, UK: Riverhead

  • Author is a UK-certified aromatherapist, a published aromatherapy author, an approved education provider for NAHA, An aromatherapy business owner, and current Chief Editor of the NAHA Aromatherapy Journal.

Pin It