Exploring the Synergistic and Complementary Use of Fixed Oils in Aromatic Therapies


An exploration of the use of fixed oils along with essential oils and aromatic extracts in aromatherapeutic care by Ken Miller

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Often in the practice of aromatic therapies, the focus on both synergistic and complementary combinations in therapeutic blends is placed solely upon steam distilled essential oils, aromatic CO2 extracts, and/or absolute extractions. Although there are a handful of fixed oils or fixed-oil CO2 extracts that are occasionally utilized in aromatic care, the extensive use of the multitude of fixed oils available to aromatherapists and aromatic medicine practitioners is a rarity. Aromatherapists and aromatic medicine practitioners are commonly trained to employ a traditionally small complement of fixed oils in their practices (e.g. Calendula, Tamanu, Sea Buckthorn, etc.), and rarely — if ever — do they receive education with regard to the properties and uses of the larger body of fixed oils in their aromatic studies.

Fixed oils can be an extraordinarily significant tool in the aromatic practitioner’s toolbox. There are a wide variety of fixed oils available on the market with known properties and known chemistry that can provide synergy to and/or complement an aromatic blend, enhancing both the strength and effectiveness of the blend’s desired actions, perform different but necessary actions, or both.

This paper aims to explore the synergistic and complementary properties that fixed oils of many varieties can offer to aromatic therapies, particularly when paired with aromatic blends utilized in practice. It will explore these synergistic and complementary properties in most treatment forms of aromatic therapy by providing not only examples of how the power of these fixed oils may be harnessed, but also why this power should be harnessed based upon the chemistry and known properties of these fixed oils.

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