Monday, November 18, 2013

The Solution for Dilution

I heard about diluting essential oils shortly after I got started with them. The more I researched EOs, the more I learned of the importance of dilution. I think this is an important topic to cover, so I wanted to share a little about what I've learned about dilution. Plus, I made a cute little printout so that we can easily remember the "solutions for dilution".

What is dilution:
Dilution means to make something less concentrated or to weaken. In the case of essential oils, we want to dilute the essential oils by adding them to a carrier, such as vegetable based oil, lotion or cream. 

Why dilution:
Essential oils are highly concentrated. There are a lot of plant essence in each drop, sometimes an entire plant - it takes about 50 rose flowers to create one drop of rose EO. Dilution is important to prevent contact sensitivity and skin irritation.
Essential oils are drawn to fats. When you dilute with a carrier, the essential oil bonds with the fat in the oil and slowly absorb into the fat on your skin. 

How to dilute: 
You can use a carrier oil, such as jojoba oil, sweet almond oil or fractionated coconut oil. Water is not a carrier, as water and oil do not mix. 
The general guidelines are to dilute by 1-3% depending on the situation.

1% dilution - This is for use with children under 12, elderly, those with a compromised immune system, and during pregnancy. This is also a great place to start with a new essential oil or if you have sensitive skin.
2% dilution - Use this for blends supporting general health, including body and skin care or blends for everyday use. 
3% dilution - This is for creating blends meant for treating specific health issues, such as cold and flu relief or pain.

In Real Life:
To put this to use in your essential oil use, a great idea is to pre-mix your essential oil blends. An example pre-mixture could be an allergy blend. For this, mix up 1 part lavender, 1 part lemon, 1 part peppermint in an empty 5ml or 15ml bottle. Then next time you need allergy relief, you can grab that pre-mixed, well-labeled bottle and use two drops in a 1/6oz (5ml) roller bottle topped with a carrier.

Other measurements to remember include: 
(Note: these are approximated to the nearest round number)
1 tsp = 5 ml = 1/6 oz
2 tsp = 10 ml = 1/3 oz
1 T = 15 ml = 1/2 oz
2 T = 30 ml = 1 oz
4 T = 60 ml = 2 oz = 1/4 cup

Dilution printable: 
Did you like the chart I made? Download one for yourself and your friends! I will be including them with all my essential oil gifts this holiday and giving one to everyone I share EOs with. Download {here}.

More information:
Over on several blogs I follow, they've been talking about dilution, please check out these posts by Tonya @ Created2Fly and Peggy @ Caring Oils and consider taking this FREE online class from Aromahead Institute. 

References: Aromahead Institute
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