It is essential to buy high quality oils; cheap oils or “bargains” are almost always of poor quality. It takes a lot of plant material to make a small amount of oil. For example, it takes approximatley 50-60 roses to produce 1 drop of rose essential oil! A half-ounce of pure essential oil can last a long time, since only small amounts need to be used for their intended medicinal effects.
Essential oils must be stored in dark, airtight, glass bottles because exposure to light, oxygen, and heat causes chemical changes in the oil over time. All oils need to be kept cold. The ideal temperature is 65°F, although between 45°-65° is adequate.
Without the appropriate training, most essential oils should not be put directly on the skin or taken internally as they can burn or irritate the skin, mouth, and stomach. Essential oils are combined with "carriers" such as cream or vegetable and nut oils (e.g., Almond oil, Grapeseed, Avocado oil & Jojoba oil) and then applied to the skin (see dilutions below for blending guidelines).
Depending on the specific oil and the situation, a total of 5-18 drops of essential oil goes into 1 oz. of carrier oil. These amounts vary based on the person for whom you are making the blend (see dilutions below) and on the strength of the specific oil you are using. For example, you can use several drops of Lavender to every 1 drop of Rose.
1% dilution= 5-6 total drops of essential oil in each ounce of carrier oil or cream. This dilution is used for children, elders, chronically ill persons, and pregnant women.
2% dilution= 10-12 total drops of essential oils in each ounce of carrier oil or cream. This dilution is used for the average adult and daily or long-term use of the product.
3% dilution= 15-18 total drops of essential oil in each ounce of carrier oil or cream. This dilution is used for specific illnesses or for acute injury. Blends made at this dilution are used for a week or two, for an acute situation.
Most essential oils, although highly concentrated, do not appear “oily”. As oils, they are lighter than water and highly fluid. They are primarily lipid (fat) soluble rather than water-soluble allowing for easy, fast penetration into the skin and bloodstream. Oils are absorbed through capillaries, lymph ducts or the lungs (when oils are inhaled). Once applied to the skin or inhaled, the body takes about 30-90 minutes to entirely absorb the essential oils. Strong blood circulation increases absorption rate.
Essential oils may be found in virtually any part of the plant: seeds, flowers, fruit, leaves, stems, roots, bark, wood, needles and resins.