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.

Essential Oil Notes & Characteristics

Essential oils penetrate cells and disperse throughout the body very quickly.  Since everyone responds differently to the type and amount of essential oils, it is important to start with a very small portion.  This will help you establish the amount needed to achieve the desired effect.  There are many ways to use essential oils and the list below provides the most common uses. 
For the benefits of individual essential oils, visit our Essential Oil Dictionary

Essential oils are classified by their "notes" or scent characteristics.  This chart shows the typical classification and can be used in combining scents.

Top Notes: Essential oils that are classified as top notes normally evaporate very fast and typically have anti-viral properties. They tend to be light, fresh and uplifting in nature and are usually inexpensive. Top notes are highly volatile, fast acting, and give the first impression of the blend. However, they are not very long lasting.

Middle Notes: The bulk of essential oils are considered middle notes and normally give body to the blend and have a balancing effect. The aroma of middle notes are not always immediately evident and may take a couple of minutes to establish their scent.  They are normally warm and soft fragrances.

Base Notes: Essential oils that are classified as base notes are normally very heavy and their fragrance is very solid.  It will be present for a long time and slows down the evaporation of the other oils. These fragrances are normally intense and heady. They are normally rich and relaxing in nature and are typically the most expensive of all oils.

Top Notes

Middle Notes

Base Notes

(Top to Middle)
Bay Balsam Peru

(Top to Middle)

Black Pepper Cassia
(Base to Middle)
Cajuput Cardamom Cedarwood
Cinnamon Chamomile Cinnamon
(Base to Middle)
Clary Sage
(Top to Middle)
Cypress Clove
(Top to Middle)
(Middle to Top)
Eucalyptus Geranium Ginger
(Base to Middle)
Grapefruit Ho Leaf Jasmine
(Top to Middle)
Ho Wood Myrrh
Lemon Hyssop
(Middle to Top)
(Base to Middle)
(Top to Middle)
Juniper Oakmoss
Lime Lavender
(Middle to Top)
Mandarin /
Marjoram Rose
(Top to Middle)
(Middle to Top)
(Base to Middle)
Verbena Myrtle Sandalwood
Niaouli Nutmeg Valerian
Orange Palma Rosa Vanilla
Peppermint Pine Vetiver
Petitgrain Rosemary Ylang Ylang
(Base to Middle)
Ravensara Spikenard  
Sage Yarrow  
Tea Tree
(Top to Middle)
(Top to Middle)

Diffusion - A diffuser is specially designed to disperse a fine mist of essential oils sufficient to fill a room in a few minutes. It disperses the oil without burning, which can cause the oil to lose much of its therapeutic benefits. Research shows that diffusing certain oils may help to reduce bacteria, fungus, mold and unpleasant orders. In addition, this method can help you relax, relieve tension, help in weight management, improve concentration, and increase mental clarity. Diffused essential oils can also purify the air and fill the room with a fresh, herbal aromatic scent.

Massage - Mix 3-4 drops of essential oil with 1/2 teaspoon of a massage oil. Visit our Essential Oil Dictionary to choose the oil with the desired benefits.

Perfume or Cologne - Therapeutic-grade essential oils are natural, refreshing and healthy alternatives to synthetic fragrances and deodorants. Floral oils are specifically long lasting and invigorating as perfumes.  Many popular colognes get their base scents from essential oils.  Experiment with different blends to customize your own personal scent.

Compress - Rub 1-3 drops on desired location after diluting with a carrier oil.  There are a few oils that are suitable for direct application without dilution.  This will depend on the oil and the skin sensitivity at that location. Cover with a hot, damp towel and let rest for 10-30 minutes.

Bath or Shower - Add 2-3 drops of essential oil to an unscented shower gel.  Be sure to disperse evenly to prevent the stronger oils from stinging sensitive areas.  The same technique can be used with your favorite shampoo to add conditioning benefits.

Direct Inhalation - Put several drops on a tissue or handkerchief and inhale. This method offers a very fast absorption into your system and the benefits can be seen almost immediately.  Visit our Essential Oil Dictionary to choose the oil with the desired benefits.

Humidifier/Vaporizer - Essential oils like peppermint, lemon or frankincense make ideal additions to humidifiers or vaporizers.  While heavy aromas tend to last longer, citrus and floral scents can also be used to enhance a room.

Cleaning - A few drops of oil can be added to the washing machine or dishwasher to help disinfect and purify. You can also add a few drops in furniture oil to freshen and enhance the wood.  Favorites are typically lemon, peppermint, and fresh smelling aromas.

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