If you are a beginner to aromatherapy, it can be overwhelming knowing where to start with so many different oils and bases available. Although nothing can substitute a good, basic aromatherapy course or book for the beginner to aromatherapy, here are some of my favorite oils and bases for beginners to aromatherapy.
Beginner Essential Oil: Lavender
Albeit predictable, because of its popularity, there is a reason that lavender (Lavandula angustifolia)essential oil is a favorite for beginners to aromatherapy. A familiar aroma to many, lavender essential oil not only contains a chemical make-up that is gentle for most users (predominately alcohols and esters), it is remarkable in its versatility for different ailments.
Lavender essential oil can be used for all skin care types, cuts and bruises, burns, muscle pain, asthma, nausea, menstrual difficulties, insomnia, shock, depression, and headaches, in addition to various other problems.
Beginner Carrier Oil: Jojoba
There is more than one suitable carrier oil for aromatherapy beginners but here, in the United States, jojoba (Simmondsia chinensis) is popular for its price, versatility, and long shelf life.
Jojoba is extracted from from the seeds of a native Southwestern plant. The oil is suitable for all skin types and blends well with essential oils. It is suitable for use with all age groups. Jojoba oil may last for years; even after it has solidified, if left in cold temperatures, jojoba will easily convert back to liquid form if it is left standing at room temperature for several hours.
Beginner Hydrosol: Rose
I could have chosen lavender again as a beginner hydrosol but rose(Rosa x damascena) is just as versatile, and less expensive than the essential oil, in hydrosol form. The aroma of rose hydrosol is also less “intense” than rose essential oil.
Rose hydrosol is predominately made up of alcohols, making it useful for all types of skin, stress, and nausea. It is also said to be an anti-inflammatory agent. Its light aroma, in hydrosol format, means that it can be sprayed directly on the skin. I also use rose hydrosol to clear negative energies in a space.
Beginner Butter: Shea Butter
I chose shea butter (Butyrospermum parkii) as a beginner butter because of its versatility in use in a butter combination, in a lotion, in a cream base – or simply on its own.
Shea butter is a rich and moisturizing ingredient that melts on contact with the skin. It is principally composed of stearic and oleic acids. Shea butter has a nutty-vanilla aroma that is subtle enough, when combined with essential oils, not to overpower.
Beginner Wax: Beeswax
There are various waxes that are extracted from plants and used in aromatherapy but beeswax is probably the most common, and most popular, wax used by beginners to aromatherapy. Beeswax is not extracted from a plant itself but is the natural product of the honey bee (genus Apis), made in the honeybee hive through a complex process.
Beeswax is used in creams, lotions, butters, and as a solid perfume base. It is also used in candles.
Learn More About Aromatherapy with Sedona Aromatherapie
If you are interested in learning more about aromatherapy, and the oils and bases discussed in this post, consider taking the Sedona Aromatherapie Certification in Professional Aromatherapy Course, in which I discuss each of the above products in greater detail.
In addition, I will be writing about the different ways you can use these basic ingredients (and more) for simple Holiday gifts in the coming weeks.
Falsetto, Sharon, 2014, Authentic Aromatherapy, US: Skyhorse Publishing
Price, Len, 1999, Carrier Oils for Aromatherapy and Massage, UK: Riverhead Publishing
Sedona Aromatherapie Certification in Professional Aromatherapy Course, 2014, US: Sedona, Arizona
Author is a UK-certified aromatherapist with a decade of international experience, 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.