If you hear someone talking about carrot oil, stop and take a moment to establish exactly which type of carrot oil they are referring to, before you use it. Carrot oil is available as both a carrier oil and an essential oil, both of which are useful in aromatherapy practice – but with different methods of application. Here’s a quick look at carrot oil.
Botanical Profile of Carrot
Carrot (Daucus carota) belongs to the Apiaceae plant family. It is also known by the names wild carrot, carrot seed (a reference to the source of the essential oil), and Queen Anne’s Lace. It is related to both fennel (Foeniculum vulgare) and dill (Anethum graveolens) – which is apparent from the characteristic umbels of white, lacy flowers that it bears (also a reference to the name Queen Anne’s Lace).
Carrot is a herb that has a tough, inedible, white-colored root. Wild carrot should not be confused with the “domestic” carrot that we know so well with the edible, orange, fleshy root. This particular carrot cultivar was developed from the wild carrot species that was brought to England by Flemish refugees during Elizabeth I’s (1533 – 1603) reign (Price, Len, 1999).
Carrot Seed Essential Oil
Carrot seed essential oil is extracted from the dried seeds of the plant by steam distillation. The essential oil is yellow to amber in color and has a warm, woody-earthy aroma. It is popular as an ingredient in aromatherapy skincare problems for such conditions as dermatitis, eczema, psoriasis, mature skin, wrinkles, and to tone and revitalize the skin.
However, it also possesses other therapeutic properties that may be beneficial for conditions such as arthritis, gout, indigestion, PMS and other related menstrual problems in women.
Carrot seed essential oil is, in general, non-toxic, non-irritating, and non-sensitizing. However Len Price, in Carrier Oils for Aromatherapy and Massage, advises against the use of carrot seed essential oil during pregnancy due to the ability to promote menstruation.
Carrot Carrier Oil
Wild carrot also produces a carrier oil by maceration. This involves soaking small, chopped pieces of the carrot root in a vegetable oil. After a number of weeks, the liquid is filtered and the material is separated out from the oil. The oil is clear orange in color.
Carrot carrier oil can be used as a tonic for the skin, to help to relieve itchy skin, and in use for conditions such as eczema and psoriasis. Although it possesses similar properties to the essential oil, it is very important to understand the difference between the two oils – especially with regard to the application of the oils.
Application of Carrot Oil
Carrot carrier oil is usually used as a base for aromatherapy blends – or added to aromatherapy skincare products. Check the base vegetable oil that was used in the maceration of the carrot root to make sure that there are no contra-indications for use. Because of both the price of the oil, and its tendency to stain, carrot carrier oil is usually combined in small quantities with other carrier oils in use.
Carrot seed essential oil, like all essential oils, should be diluted in a base oil or lotion before application to the skin. It can also be added to aromatherapy skincare products – but in lesser quantities than the carrier oil (ie number of drops vs. several ounces).
Learn More About Aromatherapy with the Sedona Aromatherapie Home Study Program
If you would like to learn more about essential oils and carrier oils in aromatherapy practice, consider one of the Sedona Aromatherapie home study aromatherapy courses. There is a wide range of courses to choose from including bath and body product making courses and a professional certification in aromatherapy. Visit the courses home page to learn more!
Lawless, Julia, 1995, The Illustrated Encyclopedia of Essential Oils, UK: Thorsons
Price, Len, 1999, Carrier Oils for Aromatherapy and Massage, UK: Riverhead
Author is a published author, certified aromatherapist, accredited aromatherapy course provider, and aromatherapy business owner