I am very excited to introduce our guest expert who will be writing this blog for you today – Marija Kolarović, Mr. Ph.
Marija is a practicing pharmacist and phytotherapist making clinical and cosmetics aromatherapy blends for her patients on a regular basis. She is also an educator and has founded a non-profit organization Verbena through which she organizes and provides aromatherapy and natural cosmetics education. She believes education is the key to unlock the mystery of formulating.
Are you ready?
Marija, take it away!
Synergy is an effect that may (or may not) occur as a result of blending
Term synergy is used to describe how collectively the whole is more significant than the sum of its isolated parts. In nature, no component ever works alone, but instead interacts with all the other component to create a more beneficial complete essential oil. There is also an increased safety issues to consider, as well as variety. A complex profile of components covers a broader range of health applications, while also preventing a concentrated abundance of one component to minimize the risk for toxicity.
Antagonism is the opposite to synergism. Interestingly, it can occasionally have beneficial effects in aromatherapy practice. The phenomenon is sometimes called quenching.
Maybe you’ve heard of it?
It is when one component appears to ‘quench’ the negative effect of another by the antagonistic effect. Quenching can happen between the components within a single essential oil, or between the components from different oils put together in a blend. We see antagonistic effect when one or both components are less active or effective in cases they are applied together and more potent when applied individually.
When blending essential oils with other materials (such as butters, base oils and etc), we are not only blending different essential oils but also the combining of the chemical components found in a single essential oil as well as the mixture of essential oils and the base. When blends are used, mixed components can interact to produce an additive, synergistic or antagonistic effect. For example, it is commonly assumed that if two essential oils containing geranial were added together, the concentration of geranial would double, and thus double the possibility of a skin sensitivity reaction. Interestingly, that is never the case when blending essential oils, because the content of the new blend is always summed up to the new volume.
What does that mean?
With blending, you’re always diluting components, even if the ratio of blended essential oils is 1:1. For example, let’s say you use Lemongrass essential oil for that geranial content and add Melissa essential oil to support it. Well… take a look at links or compare them (in Dropsmith and look at the average at the bottom of comparison) and you will quickly see that concentration of geranial in this new blend is lower than it was initially in Lemongrass essential oil. The addition of Melissa essential oil diluted the total geranial content but added some other nice things as well.
Let’s look at the video Melani made for you below to make it more visual.
That is one of the most common misunderstandings we are happy to clear up today 🙂