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  • Writer's pictureStephanie Cavoli, LMT

What are Botanical Oils?

I absolutely love working with botanical oils.I've been using essential oils(very different from botanical oils) for over 25 years now, studying herbs for more than 10, and so it felt only natural to dive more deeply into the world of botanical oils. They are in fact what I use more than any other product on my clients.

Botanical Oils are often called carrier oils. You may be familiar with a few popular ones like coconut oil or even olive oil. They are often made from cold processing nuts and seeds and have been used in food, skin care, and medicinally for centuries. Botanical oils come from trees and plants from around the world.

They are made up of a combination of fatty acids and unsaponifiables. The chemical make-up of each oil helps us determine what we might want to use that particular oil for. There are more options than I can possible name. Some may be saturated (usually thick butters) or unsaturated, some may be considered poly or mono which speaks about their carbon chains on cellular level. Because of this, each oil is completely unique and has with it, it's own medicinal and energetic properties.

They are often called "lipid oils" or "lipids". They are also commonly called carrier oils for their common job of safely "carrying" the aromatherapy properties of essential oils to the skin. However, I am not a fan of this nick name, because it makes it easy to forget the amazing properties of these fantastic oils all on their own. While chatting with Susan Parker, author of power of the seed (hands down the best book on lipid oils), we lemented this together and agreed that "Botanical Oil's" were a much more fitting description.

Unlike essential oils, botanical oils have either no scent or very mild nutty or tree like scents. We do not use them for these aromatic properties but for their own healing properties. Because of this we can use them topically or ingest certain ones. Many botanical oils are already a part of our diet. Olive oil, avocado oil,peanut oil, and sunflower oil, for example are all ones we commonly see in kitchens around the world.It is often very common to infuse these oils with herbs and citrus to create delicious epicurean treats or to add to it's topical healing properties. While we cook with these oils, and often add essential oils to them, it is never recommended to ingest a botanical oil that has essential oil in it.

At our massage studio you will find that we use a base of coconut oil for almost all of our massages. From there we have a variety of botanical oils we can chose to add to create a customized blend just for you.


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