The Carrier Oils – Therapeutic Base Oils in Aromatherapy For Skin Care and More

When we think of aromatherapy, an extensive list of intoxicating scents springs to mind: jasmine, lemon, myrrh, bergamot, sage! Essential oils are certainly the most exciting and showy aspect of aromatherapy. Wandering behind the bouquet of essential oils, however, come the carrier oils, a group of oils whose function is to assist essential oil application and provide nourishment for the skin. Essential oils, or volatile oils, are small molecules that change once they touch the air. Carrier oils are composed of big molecules that maintain their texture for a long time, giving necessary lubrication and moisture, especially to the skin.

Essential oils and carrier oils have a symbiotic relationship in aromatherapy. While carriers are often thought of in terms of their reflexology and massage uses, these oils actually posses their own virtues. Instead of thinking of them as merely the method of applying essential oils, we can explore the unique qualities of carrier oils separately with great results. Most likely, your aromatherapy techniques will be enhanced by using your special essential oils with carriers that actually increase their medicinal qualities.

Fats, or lipids, are a critical aspect of human health. They are important for staying warm, protecting organs and assisting cellular activity. While nutritionists are focused on finding how fats are used internally, aromatherapy examines how plant oils improve health from the outside. What we’ve found is that fats, or oils, applied externally also deliver essential nutrients to the skin.

Carbon, hydrogen and oxygen combine to make a lipid molecule. It’s not necessary to tune into the chemical make-up of carrier oils, but it can be helpful because these terms are used in relation to many food and supplement products as well. A simple way of viewing a fat molecule is to know that some lipids have carbon atoms that form two bonds, which means they have a shared electron. These lipids are known as unsaturated fats, and you mostly find them in liquid form. They come from plant matter, and most carrier oils fall into this category. The second type of fat, saturated lipids, do not have double bonded carbons. They are usually found in animal fats, but some plants create saturated fats, too. A popular carrier oil, coconut, is actually a saturated fat. It can also be found on the market in its fractionated form, which is derived from breaking off part of the molecular chain. This results in a liquid oil. The oil functions the same way as in its solid, but it is much easier to apply in massage or reflexology.

A lot of carrier oils are composed of the super-stars of the fatty acid world: omega-6, or linoleic acid, and omega-3, known as linolenic acid. These nutrients, part of the essential fatty acid spectrum, are important for human health. Salvatore Battaglia, an aromatherapy practitioner, tells us that linoleic acid assists our liver, joints, skin and hair and also the cardiovascular system. Evening primrose oil is particularly effective in these areas. Linolenic acid is found in a multitude of carrier oils. When used as a supplement, it assists the eyes, muscles and growth processes. We find it in fish and plant oils, such as rapeseed and linseed, and this acid is especially useful in combating cardiovascular problems and hypertension. For aromatherapy purposes, finding superior carrier oils means the skin will derive fantastic benefits. Carrier oils help the skin keep its shape, color and nutrients, making it your best ally in skin health.

Carrier oils are primarily derived from nuts and seeds. They are extracted via cold-pressed technology, meaning high heat is not used. Once oils reach temperatures exceeding 160 degrees Celsius, their structure is altered, making them trans-fats, a kind of mutated fat that the body cannot assimilate properly. Expeller-pressing is another common extraction method. By placing seeds or nuts in an expeller, the precious oil is pressed out and then bottled. Superior carrier oils are mechanically pressed oils and have not been subjected to chemical changes.

There are many reasons for choosing one carrier oil over another, and most of the time this is based on personal preference regarding the viscosity of the oil and its natural scent. While this is a fine way to choose oils, if you want to include the specific healing benefits of carrier oils in your aromatherapy applications, it might be useful to look at how carrier oils are sometimes categorized. The primary carriers can be put into three groups: massage and reflexology, facial skin care and bodily skin conditions. Fractionated coconut, hempseed, sweet almond and sunflower are all great choices for massage and reflexology. By adding 10-15% essential oil, your carrier will be easy to work with and smell delightful, too. Carrier oils such as apricot kernel, hazelnut and rosehip work well in facial skin care, bringing vitality to skin that has suffered from the sun or acne. Rosehip also assists in reducing scars. Tamanu, jojoba, evening primrose, sesame, shea, avocado and grapeseed are excellent carrier oils for helping dry skin and other skin ailments, like eczema. Deciding on a carrier oil might require a bit of experimentation to see how your body responds, but when you land on the best oil for your needs, you can move on to blending your carrier with essential oils.

Mixing carrier oils with volatile oils allows the essential oil to be used more efficiently. Volatile oils have a short lifespan once they hit the air. In about an hour, these oils are no longer active. A carrier oil, with its viscous body, keeps the essential oil vibrant, allowing the essential oils to exhibit their healing qualities longer. A way to remember this is to consider what happens when you put a drop of ylang ylang on your skin. Within an hour the scent is decreased. If you mix the ylang ylang with a carrier, however, the scent, and the oil’s medicinal qualities will last much longer.

Aromatherapists have found that essential oils are most effective when they are applied on a regular basis, and carrier oils allow us to do so. Because some essential oils may burn the skin, carriers also protect the skin from this potential pitfall.

While carrier oils may not be as awe-inspiring as essential oils, these simple oils do bring healing into the body. The beauty of discovering which carrier oils work best for you is that your essential oils will be extended, your skin will rejoice, and you won’t have to say, “Now what do I do with this neroli?”

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Colon Cleansing and Detoxification For Nerve and Glandular Support

Colon cleansing and detoxification (also known as cleansing, cleaning, internal cleansing, internal cleaning, detoxing, detoxifying and “spring cleaning”) are important natural health regimens that help improve a person’s overall health and wellness. In our age, when toxic chemicals are easily found in the air we breathe, the food we eat, the water we drink and bathe in, and the products that we use in our homes and offices, the need for detoxification is paramount.

Our innate detoxification organs certainly do their best to neutralize toxins and escort them from our bodies, but they can get swiftly overwhelmed by the sheer volume of pollution that we are exposed to on a daily basis. When this happens, vital organs and systems become compromised, leading to poor health. This is true, for example, where our nervous system and glands are concerned.

Some colon cleansing and detoxification programs pull “double duty” by incorporating the powerful use of natural herbs; as they exert their effects on your colon and aid detoxification, they also positively affect your body in other ways. Indeed, some herbs can have positive health effects on your nerves and glands, helping to address related health concerns while they assist in the internal cleansing process. Here are some herbs to watch for, as they can be powerful allies in colon cleansing:

Gentian Root: Largely overlooked in American herbalism, this herb has quite a strong reputation in Germany, where it’s been used as a tonic for centuries. As a “bitter herb”-herbs that have a bitter taste due in large part to their volatile essential oils and other natural components-gentian root stimulates the activity of the body’s glands while also acting on the digestive system by stimulating the appetite, digestion, and the flow of bile.

Chamomile: There are essentially two major types of chamomile, German and Russian, and they are believed to have similar effects upon the body. Chamomile has been used therapeutically for thousands of years and is still widely used in Europe today. It is often used for sleeplessness and anxiety due to its calming effects, but it also treats gastrointestinal conditions such as upset stomach, gas and diarrhea. As another bitter, chamomile stimulates the liver, a vital organ and important part of the body’s natural detoxification system.

Yellow Dock: This herb affects the liver and other organs related to detoxification and metabolism, increasing their ability to strain and purify blood, which in turn supplies the glands with vital nutrients and oxygen. In many countries, this herb is beloved for its blood-purifying effects, which directly contribute to its use for skin ailments, liver and gall bladder ailments, and general glandular inflammation and swelling. To this day, yellow dock is included in blood-purifying preparations all over the world: European and North American countries, and China and India all recognize and utilize this herb’s powerful effects on blood and glandular tissues.

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