left

Natural Health Resource Center


  • Natural remedies, homeopathy, herbal preparations, and other alternative health practices can offer a natural way to maintain ones health. However, herbs can be very powerful and it is important to know how your body responds to different combinations and doses. This section provides some guidance when selecting alternative health options.

Carrier Oils

Essential oils are very concentrated and should always be diluted before use on the skin.  Carrier oils are used for this purpose and are typically vegetable oils.  Each carrier oil offers different properties and the choice depends on the therapeutic benefit being sought. Unlike essential oils, carrier oils do not evaporate or impart their aroma as strongly as essential oils.  However, they usually have a shorter shelf life and can be mixed with a natural preservative such as vitamin E for longer storage.  Carrier oils should be natural and preferably cold-pressed. This ensures that the therapeutic qualities remain in the oil and have not been damaged by heat or chemicals. Below is a list of the most commonly used carrier oils. 

Almond, Sweet

Botanical Name: Prunus amygdalus var. dulcus
Aroma: Light, slightly sweet and nutty
Texture: Slightly oily and absorbs semi-quickly
Color: Virtually clear with a tinge of yellow
Notes: Sweet Almond oil is a good all-purpose carrier oil and is moderately priced.  It is cold pressed from the almond itself. Conditioning, emollient, softens and smoothes skin.
   

Apricot Kernel

Botanical Name: Prunus armeniaca
Aroma: Faint
Texture: Somewhat oily and absorbs semi-quickly
Color: Virtually clear with a tinge of yellow
Notes: The semi-oily texture makes this oil helpful in massage blends. 
   

Avocado

Botanical Name: Persea americana
Aroma: Medium. Somewhat sweet, fatty and nutty.
Texture: Thick 
Color: Deep olive green
Notes: It may overpower a blend if not used in a small dilution. High in vitamins A, D, and E. It softens skin and aids in cell regeneration. It is often used in products for sensitive skin.  
   

Borage

Botanical Name: Borago officinalis
Aroma: Light and sweet
Texture: Thin to medium
Color: Light yellow
Notes: It is excellent in treating many skin conditions. Borage oil is expensive and is usually blended in a small dilution with other carrier oils (often 10%). It goes rancid rather quickly.
   

Cocoa Butter

Botanical Name: Theobroma cacao
Aroma: Unrefined cocoa butter is rich and very sweet . It has a chocolate/cocoa aroma. The cocoa aroma is less noticeable in refined cocoa butter.
Texture: Solid and hard to work with at room temperate. Breaks into pieces.
Color: Yellowish tan.
Notes: Cocoa butter needs to be blended with other materials/oils to be workable. Suitable for use in lotions and creams. It is from the cacao bean and is used to hold moisture in the skin.
  

Evening Primrose

Botanical Name: Oenothera biennis
Aroma: Light and sweet
Texture: Thin
Color: Medium yellow.
Notes: Evening Primrose is excellent in treating many skin conditions. It is expensive and is usually blended in a small dilution with other carrier oils. It goes rancid quickly.
  

Grapeseed

Botanical Name: Vitus vinifera
Aroma: Light, slightly sweet with a hint of a nutty aroma.
Texture: Thin
Color: Virtually clear and has an almost unnoticeable tinge of yellow/green.
Notes: Unlike most other carrier oils, grapeseed oil is solvent extracted and may have trace amounts of chemicals remaining. It has a lower shelf-life and goes rancid rather fast.  Grapeseed oil should be stored in an amber bottle and in a cool dark area to reduce the chance of rancidity. 
  

Hazelnut

Botanical Name: Corylus avellana
Aroma: Light, nutty, somewhat sweet.
Texture: Thin
Color: Light yellow.
Notes: It is a good choice for those with oilier skin.
  

Jojoba

Botanical Name: Simmondsia chinensis
Aroma: Light to medium in aroma, not as sweet as the nut oils. The aroma is distinct but pleasant.
Texture: Light and silky. Absorbs well.
Color: Yellow.
Notes: Jojoba "oil" is actually a wax. It is a more expensive oil and is frequently blended in a small dilution with other oils. It has a very long shelf-life and is the closest to the skins own naturally occurring oils.
  

Kukui

Botanical Name: Aleurites moluccana
Aroma: Light, sweet, pleasant, nutty.
Texture: Thin, absorbs well
Color: Clear with a hint of yellow.
Notes: It is excellent in treating many skin conditions. It is a more expensive oil, but tends to go rancid rather quickly.
  

Macadamia Nut

Botanical Name: Macadamia integrifolia
Aroma: More fragrant than many other nut oils and has a very sweet, nutty aroma.
Texture: Thick
Color: Clear with a tinge of yellow.
Notes: It may overpower a blend if not used in a small dilution.
  

Olive

Botanical Name: Olea europaea
Aroma: Typical aroma of olive oil used in cooking (smells somewhat like olives). 
Texture: Heavy and rather oily.
Color: Light to medium green.
Notes: It may overpower a blend if not used in a small dilution. It is cold pressed from the olive itself and is great to retain your own natural moisture. Is an excellent softener for the skin. 
  

Peanut

Botanical Name: Arachis hypogeae
Aroma: Very light in aroma with a slight fatty, nutty quality.
Texture: Thick
Color: Virtually clear.
Notes: Peanut oil should not be used by anyone that has an allergy to peanuts. Because of it's oiliness, it is a good choice in massage blends. 
  

Pecan

Botanical Name: Carya pecan
Aroma: Very light in aroma with a slight fatty, nutty quality.
Texture: Medium thickness
Color: Virtually clear.
Notes: May go rancid quickly. It should be stored in an amber bottle and in a cool dark area to reduce the chance of rancidity. 
  

Rose Hip

Botanical Name: Rosa mosqueta
Aroma: Mild, earthy aroma.
Texture: Light
Color: Virtually clear.
Notes: It is excellent in treating many skin conditions. It is expensive and is usually blended in a small dilution with other carrier oils. It goes rancid rather quickly.
  

Sesame

Botanical Name: Sesamum indicum
Aroma: Medium with a distinctive sweet, nutty sesame scent. 
Texture: Mildly thick
Color: Light yellow.
Notes: Sesame oil may overpower a blend if not diluted with another carrier oil.
   

Shea Butter

Botanical Name: Butyrospermun parkii
Aroma: Nutty, fatty.
Texture: Solid but permeable at room temperature. 
Color: Off-white/cream.
Notes: Suitable for use in lotions and creams.  It is derived from an African nut and is also known as Karite Butter. It is extremely gentle to the skin and is very moisturizing.
   

Sunflower

Botanical Name: Helianthus annuus
Aroma: Faint and sweet.
Texture: Thin
Color: Virtually clear with a tinge of yellow.
Notes: When choosing sunflower oil, strive to get unrefined oil.



Special Promotions

The fresh, sweet aroma of lavender has relaxing and uplifting qualities that leave users with a sense of calm and balance. Discover your inner calm with these great lavender products!