B is for Blends, Basil, Bergamot & Black Pepper

B is for BlendsYesterday was an introduction to the topic of aromatherapy, and today I am going to tell you how to blend some oils for a massage. These posts are aimed at people who have an interest in trying to use this method of health and wellness for themselves at home, it is not an in depth study of the subject, so please bear this in mind when reading the challenge.

Firstly, for me, blends should be done as soon as possible to usage. Once a mixture is made, the oils will start to react and blend with each other, think of a meat sauce or curry, have you ever noticed that it tastes different, as the time passes? It is the same with blends. And as it is with wine, some essential oils last longer than others. Like a good wine, some of the base notes (we will discuss this in N) mature as they age, whereas top notes go off quicker. To get a good balanced blend, you should use oils from each “note”.

So the rule of thumb when blending for a massage is half of the total in mls of base oil = the total number of drops of oil that goes into the blend.

So for example, you are going to use 20 mls of your chosen base oil, for a full body massage, how many drops of essential oil would you use? 10 Right? On day 4 I will be discussing dilution in further detail.

If you use just 1 essential oil, you would put 10 drops of oil into your base oil. But the art of aromatherapy is making a blend to treat a condition, whether that be physical or psychological. So you would use 2 or 3 different essential oils. I don’t recommend using more than 3 oils at a time, + the base. Depending on the time of day that you were going to be doing the massage, would depend on how many drops of each essential oil you would use in that blend. If you are massaging at the beginning of the day, you would add more top notes to base, and reverse it for the end of the day. Can you see why it is important to blend your oils when you want to use them?

I once had a friend who was training in aromatherapy and needed people to be case studies for him. I volunteered and left it to him to design the blend for me. Well it was late afternoon and he chose peppermint as the main essential oil. Well let me tell you, I did not sleep a wink that night. Peppermint is a top note, so a great oil for using in the morning, but not at 4 pm in the afternoon.

Mixing and Storing Blends: If you plan on keeping a blend, then you need to use a dark coloured glass bottle. The dark glass will keep the blend for longer. The mix will react with a plastic. Once mixed the bottle should be kept in a dark cool place, out of direct sunlight.

Books! An added “B” bonus: If you are looking for a book to help guide you with your home use then I can recommend a book of the same name “Aromatherapy A guide for home use” by Christine Westwood.

If you are wanting a more in depth reference book, then the book that was my Aromatherapy bible when I was studying back in 1993 is Wanda Sellar’s “The Directory of Essential Oils”


BASIL:       Ocimum basilicum                     Clearing Mental clarity

This aromatic nerve tonic is distilled from the well known culinary herb. It clears the head, excellent for exam nerves. Add a few drops to a tissue and take into the exam room with you.

Uses: mental tiredness, sinus congestion. Amphora Basil

This oil is best administered by a qualified aromatherapist. It should not be used on babies, infants or children and should be avoided when pregnant or on sensitive skin.

CHAKRA: 5th Throat


Bergamot:      Citrus bergamia.         Keyword: Mood elevator, Anti-depressant

Amphora BergamotThis is a lovely oil obtained from the rind of a small orange-like fruit, native to Italy. Think of sherbety tangerine! Or Earl Gray tea. Bergamot is used to give Earl Gray tea it’s distinctive flavour and aroma. It is invaluable for raising the mental state, and is therefore suitable for use in depression, anxiety and post baby blues. Although it is not safe to use on babies and infants, I would say that it is safe to use in a bath for the mother who may need her spirits lifting after the birth, even if she is breast feeding. Relax in a warm bath after your baby has settled for the evening.

(If your baby is not settling at all and seems to constantly cry, then I suggest that you consult with a Chiropractor who treats babies, to see if they have any misalignments that need addressing. It is not normal for a new born baby to cry all the time. Crying is a signal that something needs addressing, which will normally respond to Chiropractic treatment and does not require medication.)

For those that do not have to consider a young baby, it is suitable for putting in a burner too, or using in a blend of massage oil or body lotion. I like to add it to my shower gel on the days that I need a “wake me up shower”.

Beware of using Bergamot on your skin though if you intend going out in the sun, or using a tanning device. It can make your skin photo-sensitive, and if it is applied unevenly, you may look streaky, and be more sensitive to the sun.

CHAKRA: 4th Heart


Black Pepper:               Piper nigrum                                                 Keyword: Penetrating

Black pepper is one of the oldest known spices, being used in India ove 4000 years ago. Oil is obtained from Malaysia.Amphora black pepper

This oil has a hot stimulating effect. It dilates blood vessels, making it useful for muscular aches and pains, and also useful for digestion, which is why it is used in cooking.

Massage in dilution, over abdomen, for constipation, in circular movements starting on the right hand side, going up and across and down the left, the direction of the large bowel.

Muscular aches and pains, including stomach pains.

Caution. Not to be used if you are using homeopathic remedies as it will negate their effectiveness.

Chakra: 3rd Solar Plexus


Tomorrow we will look at Chamomile, Clary Sage & Cedarwood

Blessings Joy


17 thoughts on “B is for Blends, Basil, Bergamot & Black Pepper

  1. Thank you again for this! I feel like I’m a stalker now, looking for your post. I’ll be looking more into the black pepper as this is an area of concern for my girl. It looks like the majority of individuals with the syndrome suffer from chronic constipation. Anything that can help is always welcome.

    • Thank you Ann, couldn’t agree more with your B, balance. I say that to everybody too, life needs to be kept in balance, so on that note I guess I need to get off the AtoZChallenge and go give my husband some attention. 🙂 Blessings Joy

      • You are most welcome Joy (smile) Do what you must to stay balance, I believe we all work at balancing somethings (wink) Blessings and enjoy time with your husband!

  2. So much information is packed into such a handy little post! I have to admit, basil and black pepper make a regular appearance in my kitchen and cooking, but I’ve never experienced their benefits as essential oils…let along bergamot! I’m glad to have found you through the challenge and look forward to learning more!

  3. Pingback: M is for Massage, Mandarin, Melissa & Myrrh | A Joy of Health Nutrition and Beauty

  4. Pingback: N is for Notes | A Joy of Health Nutrition and Beauty

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