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Dilution of essential oils! Learn why it’s important.

Dilution of essential oils is the most important thing to learn in aromatherapy.

Image by Photo Mix from Pixabay

Dilution of essential oils is sometimes tricky, what size bottle, jar or tin are we using? Did we double or halve the recipe?

Most of the time, that is an easy equation to figure out: 5-6 drops per 30 ml of carrier.
That should be the end of my blog…but it is not.

What about the oils that we must use in low dilution? Say a .07%? How do we figure that out?
I do not want to make 30 ml of anything, just a 10 ml rollerball…. how much essential oil is that?
Or a 5 ml bottle—I use those a lot.

Uses for essential oils are in the chart below, note the dilution rate for specific issues.

DilutionUsed for
1%Face, children, pregnant women, immune compromised
2%Daily use, massage oils, larger area of body
3%Specific injury of muscle, tendon or bone
4%Local area such as chest congestion
5% or aboveSevere pain, muscle cramps, bruising

Easy to use dilution tables for various sizes of bottles:

DilutionBottle sizeDrops of stock blend
1%5 ml1 drop
2%5 ml2 drops
3%5 ml3 drops
4%5 ml4 drops
5%5 ml5 drops
10%5 ml10 drops
Best to use a stock blend then add to a carrier oil
DilutionBottle SizeDrops of essential oil
.50%10 ml1 drop
1%10 ml2 drops
2%10 ml4 drops
3%10 ml6 drops
4%10 ml8 drops
5%10 ml10 drops
10%10 ml20 drops
This size is great for 10 ml rollerballs
DilutionBottle SizeDrops of essential oil
1%30 ml5-6 drops
2%30 ml10-12 drops
3%30 ml15-18 drops
4%30 ml20-24 drops
5%30 ml25-30 drops
30 ml= approximately 2 Tablespoons (29.57 ml)

Do your research on oils that have dermal restrictions, such as Phenols or Aldehydes.

Image by Irina Ilina from Pixabay

Using these dilutions is important in helping to modulate various issues that may arise.

Whether it is a pulled muscle that needs a massage oil or a cough that just won’t go away. The dilution that you use will help get the results that you are looking for, all with safety in mind.

Happy blending,


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Why distillation dates are important when buying essential oils.

Why is it so important

to check the distillation date

from the manufacturer?

Is that date even listed?

Image by monicore from Pixabay

Well, lesson learned. I recently was going through all my essential oils.

I have accumulated a lot from the aromatherapy certification program I had enrolled in. There was a supply list of all the oils to buy for the course, so I did!

After all, who does not want to get involved in the course and use the oils, smell the oils, make the blends, inhalers, and lotions?
All this brings me to the dating of the batches. When you buy the oil that is not the date when it expires, when it expires is the distillation date.

Some of my oils were 2 years old when I bought them! One oil, fennel, was 3 years old!

No offense, but I have expired sweet marjoram, fennel, laurel leaf and only 4 months to use the orange oil. The orange oil is a favorite, but cleaning with fennel? Laurel leaf? Don’t think so…. ☹

The chart below shows the distillation date which is important. It tells you when the essential oil expires.

NameLatin NameBatchDistilledBoughtShelf lifeExpires
AnisePimpinella anisumANS 1029/201710/13/20195 yr2022
Cinnamon leafCinnamonum seylanicumCIL 1053/20184/20204 yr.2022
Fennel sweetFoeniculum vulgareFEN 1057/201610/12/20194 yr.2020
Laurel leafLaurus nobilisLLF 1119/20177/14/20193 yr2020
Marjoram sweetOriganum margoranaSWM 1137/20177/19/20194 yr2021
My example of short-dated essential oils

What if I don’t know when my oils expire? How do I tell how long they are good?

I did find out from the seller of my oils that most oils are distilled once a year–some even less. I guess that is the case and point with Anise or the fennel oil. The list below helps judge, but beware that your bought date could be years earlier.

1-2 years Most citrus oils; orange, lime, lemon, grapefruit.

3-4 years Conifer oils; pines, firs, spruces. Bergamot, black pepper, Citronella, cypress,

eucalyptus, laurel leaf, juniper berry, geranium.

5-8 years Lavender, rose, carrot seed, helichrysum, vetiver, patchouli, sandalwood.

I hope my mistakes help someone else. I listened to a NAHA webinar from Penny Price a while back.

she said: “Your box should have no more than 30 oils, learn to use them!”

Before clicking the BUY NOW button, check the DISTILLATION DATE!

It will save you aggravation. What I am going to do with an outdated fennel and laurel leaf oil are beyond me. I thought that I had 2 years left on these oils. In fact, I thought I had 2 or three years left to use all these oils. I am posting this as a precaution. It is so important that we safely and sustainably use essential oils. I feel that I have wasted precious product. This year my sweet marjoram and nutmeg will expire in July. The orange oil will expire in September, with only 4 months of dating. I think the company ought to put a disclaimer on the page that has short, dated oils.

As always, Happy blending,


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Learn about 1,8-cineole in essential oils.

The 1,8-cineole content in rosemary is 42%.

Image by A_Different_Perspective from Pixabay

In the last post on Eucalyptus,, I wanted to keep talking about 1,8-cineole because there is so much to learn! Realizing that the blog would be a ramble down a rabbit-hole, I decided to make this a part 2. The chemical component in most eucalyptus is 1,8-cineole. But it is also in Rosemary, Ravintsara and cardamom, so let’s learn more about these Oxides.

The percentage of high 1,8-cineole rich oils.

  • Helichrysum ct. Gymnocephalum 59%
  • Hyssop ct. 1,8-cineole 56%
  • Ravintsara 56%
  • Niaouli ct. 1,8-cineole 54%
  • Cajeput 48%
  • Laurel leaf 46%
  • Rosemary 42%
  • Saro 39%
  • Cardamom 32%
  • Myrtle (red) 31%
  • Spike lavender 29%
  • Rosalinda 29%

There is significant 1,8-cineole content in all the oils listed above, if there are safety concerns with this component it is good know. Always research oils before blending.

In future blogs, I will go into more of the individual oils listed above. For now, I just want to focus on the chemical components.

Helichrysum gymnocephalum is a 1,8-cineole rich oil at 59%. This percentage is almost as high as the percentage in radiata.

Uses for cineole-rich oxides other than a cold.

Cardamom is an anti-inflammatory and an analgesic. It is best used for digestion, but can be irritating to the skin and mucus membranes. Use at a dilution of 1% or less in blends.

Spike lavender has many therapeutic benefits: Anti-inflammatory, analgesic, antibacterial, antifungal as well as being a decongestant and expectorant. This oil is also high in linalool at 45%.

Ravintsara is analgesic, anti-inflammatory, antibacterial, antifungal and antiviral.

Rosemary is also many of the above, plus a CNS stimulant for memory and alertness. Rosemary is rich in a-pinene at 12% and camphor at 11% which enhances its therapeutic benefits.

So, the point is—if 1,8-cineole is a problem for you, there is more than Eucalyptus to research and be concerned about.

Safety is always the first concern when working with essential oils.

Happy Blending,


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Easy essential oils for children

Orange and lavender are easy essential oils that children love!

Image by Lorri Lang from Pixabay

There are some oil blends that are better than others for children.

I have asthmatics in my family, so Eucalyptus globulus is one oil that I use a substitute for often.  In the beginning of my training as a certified aromatherapist that I discovered that my daughter gets a tight chest from smelling the eucalyptus oil. Any time I am using an oil that has any 1,8-cineole, I have her smell the cap from slight distance to see if it causes her to tighten in the chest.

I learned this method from Andrea Butje at Aromahead Institute. The Aromahead approach is not to use oils high in 1,8-cineole on children under 5 and used with caution on children between ages 5-10.

It’s easy to substitute oils for Eucalyptus (Eucalyptus globulus).

For children under 5 years old, with Cedarwood (Juniperus virginiana) or (Cedrus atlantica).

Oils that are easy to use for children–

Cedarwood (Cedrus atlantica) I currently have this version of cedarwood in my box. It is good for respiratory inhalers for children and asthmatic adults.

Sweet Orange (Citrus sinensis) This oil smells like an orange peel! Of course kids love it, it’s uplifting and makes everyone smile. Using sweet orange oil is great because it has no phototoxic issues like other citrus. I covered that in the Fun in the Sun blog-check it out:

Orange-Rose skin cream for children

1% dilution

1 oz. (28 grams) unscented body cream

4 drops Sweet Orange (Citrus sinensis) oil

1 drop Rose Absolute (Rose damascene)

Add drop by drop to cream, blending after each addition.

Blend well. At a 1% dilution, this is a great smelling body cream.

Lavender (Lavendula angustifolia) is almost everyone’s favorite go-to oil. There are other lavenders and lavandins; Spike lavender (Lavendula latifolia) has 13% camphor—has a more herbal aroma than Lavender. It is an easy inhaler to use for alleviating headaches, promoting sleep and relaxation.

A few other safety tips for children:

Remember to only use 7-8 drops of oil in an inhaler, taking care with all the Eucalyptus oils.

To be safe, substitute cedarwoods instead. For a dermal product, always remember to test the area,

and use a dilution at 1% for children.

Happy blending,


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Diabetes, essential oils and medications

Image by Steve Buissinne from Pixabay

Have you thought about essential oil use and your diabetic medication? Should you worry? Let’s see..

Ignorance or disregard of basic essential oil safety information can be one of the most dangerous mistakes to make with essential oils. Essential oils can react with your medications and supplements. They can cause adverse reactions when used in excess. They can react differently in children, the elderly, and those with weakened immunity. It is imperative to educate yourself on the cautions and contraindications surrounding essential oils.

What do the studies say?

In the “Second Edition of Essential Oil Safety”, Tisserand Young, 2014; most safety concerns for drug interactions are through oral administration. Inhalation and diffusion guidelines for safety should always be followed, and the same for the proper dilution for dermal application.
The research studies below are for oral administration.

Abies balsamea, has been shown to potentially inhibit certain metabolic pathways in the liver, which could potentially limit the effectiveness of some diabetes medication.

(Tam, T.W., Liu, R., Arnason, J.T., Krantis, A., Staines, W.A., Haddad, P.S., et al. (2011). Cree antidiabetic plant extracts display mechanism-based inactivation of CYP3A4. Can J Physiol Pharmacol., 89(1):13-23. https://doi: 10.1139/y10-104

Is there good news?

Image by Hans Braxmeier from Pixabay

Lemon peel essential oil exhibited higher antidiabetic and antihypertensive activities compared to orange peels. Findings suggest that these essential oils are potential antidiabetic and antihypertensive agents. (Oboh, G., Olasehinde, T. A., & Ademosun, A. O. (2017). Inhibition of enzymes linked to type-2 diabetes and hypertension by essential oils from peels of orange and lemon. International Journal of Food Properties, 20(Sup1), 594.

What practical information do I follow if I use essential oils and take medications?

The Diabetes Council states that “Dry brushing, a technique of rubbing or brushing the skin gently with brushes or loofahs, is often used in conjunction with oils such as cinnamon and peppermint to improve circulation. Lavender (Lavendula angustifolia) and cypress are also used for this purpose.” We know from previous posts that lavender is used for improvement of mood and the ability to relax. Massage improves circulation.
Essential oils can also be used for wound care; Helichrysum (Helichrysum italicum), German chamomile (Marticaria chamomillia), Frankincense (Boswellia carterii) and Sandalwood (Santalum album) are among those oils used for this. Use a 1% dilution in a carrier for massage.

It is practical by knowing which essential oils to avoid using when taking medications, or having a particular disease state. The benefits of safely using essential oils by diffusing, inhalation and topically far outweigh the risks.

Always remember to do your research.

Happy blending,