Blending Essential Oils for Therapeutic Effect

Chatting with KININ’s Kim Todd About Why Blending Essential Oils in Various Combinations Matters.

Ten years ago, it seemed no one even knew what essential oils were, but these days it seems you can’t go outside without hearing about them.  The increased popularity comes right alongside a general transition society has been experiencing in recent years, of people embracing Eastern traditional medicine and holistic healing. Though this trend promotes a healthier and more enjoyable life, it can be overwhelming trying to understand the differences between topical applications, aromatherapy, and what conditions make essential oils okay to inhale or ingest.

Luckily here at Kinin, we have a remarkable in-house essential oil expert, the lovely Kim Todd, here to answer all our questions about blending essential oils.  

Note: This interview was transcribed from a video interview, which is available on our instagram in 2 parts entitled “blending essential oils”: part 1 / part 2

Q: Hi Kim! We’re so glad you’re able to give us some insight into why the combinations matter when blending essential oils. Can you introduce yourself, and telling us a bit more about your passion for and background in essential oils?

Kim: “Hi! I’ve been passionate about fragrance and scents since I was a small child. Making special things, making things smell good – i’ve done floral design, aromatherapy… I’m a bespoke fragrance specialist, massage therapist, Telling TTouch Practitioner, I’ve worked in a fragrance lab and been blessed enough to help people actually build their own custom blends – working what’s called the Perfumer’s organ with both essential oils and fragrance oils. I was able to harvest herbs with master perfumers, and I do custom blends, so i love to make custom blends, and Kinin was a great fit for me.”

Q: What is the difference between “fragrance” and “aromatherapy”?

Kim:  “Great question. I always say ‘what’s the source’ – essential oils or “EO”s as they’re called, are an oil extracted from the leaf, the flower, of an actual plant. Fragrance oils are typically synthesized. So many commercial fragrances may have a combo of both, but what we’re using at Kinin is strictly essential oils, no fragrance oils.”

Q: How does understanding “Aroma categories” help create better blends?

Kim: “So more in the perfume world, than in the aromatherapy world, you have top, middle and base notes. Also known as CFW – citrus, floral, and woodsy. More in the perfume world than aromatherapy, you do need to have a balance of all three of these top middle and base notes. You do need this balance to make a blend in aromatherapy, but the beauty; what makes aromatherapy so magical is that it is math, science, and art. So you need to know not only what oils you’re blending, but the quantities, and the plant families, and what they produce. So it is much more complex than many people believe it to be.”

Q: What is the difference between undiluted and diluted essential oils? Why does it matter how the oils are blended for topical application vs. inhaling vs. ingesting?

Kim: “A lot of times the biggest way things are extracted these days is through steam distillation. Most things are steam distilled. You don’t want to dilute things initially – say you’re making a skin care product, you need to know how much you’re using, and the quantity of what it is you’ll be using it for, if that makes sense. So that’s where the math comes in – knowing what oil you’re using… So you have what you call carrier oils. When I was doing a lot of massage, I would make special blends for my clients. Jojoba is an oil closest to human sebum, and it’s used in many commercial products, but this doesn’t mean go out and buy whatever and dump it on yourself – you want the purest oil of the plant you can have. You want oils in the purest form, and you want to know what the source is, and you want to know what the use is.”

Note: Dillution is how we make the product perform properly in close proximity, so that users obtain a similar amount of essence in each breath.

At Kinin, we put a lot of thought and time into the process when blending essential oils, designed to stimulate certain mood boosts using natural aromatherapy. The specific combinations of oils are carefully picked with wellness in mind.  Each of the blends combines different essential oils to help boost your mood, and each oil is known to have various healing properties.

Q: Blending essential oils – Meditate blend contains Bergamot, Ylang Ylang, and Frankincense. How does this combination stimulate a meditative mindset?

Kim: “Well Frankincense for centuries, has been known as the ‘meditative oil’. It actually slows down breathing. It’s one of the oils that can slow down breathing. Ylang Ylang is the heart of that , or the floral, or the middle. Bergamot is uplifting, it’s used for depression. So put those all together and you’ve got a magical combo!

Mother nature is so amazing, plant medicine is so amazing. Eucalyptus is in one of our blends, we’ll get to this more later. There are many Eucalyptuses, but most are shaped like a human lung, and most eucalyptus is used for – respiratory benefits! Mother nature mimics the human body with plant medicine.

Inhalation through our pens is so different than many other ways. When you’re inhaling, and it’s going through the olfactory bulb, the nose, smell is our first sense, and our most primal sense. So you’re affecting the limbic system. What you’re really doing is you’re saying – okay this is what i want my brain to interact with my body. And that’s how it’s being ingested through our pen. So it’s pretty powerful, you can change a lot of behaviors through the limbic system, that’s your first memory, your first sense.”

Q: Blending essential oils – Focus blend contains Cacao, Tangerine, Cinnamon. How do these oils work together to give you a focused feeling?

Kim: “Cacao is very awakening. Tangerine is uplifting, and Cinnamon relieves nervous tension, and is very good for people that are exhausting. It’s uplifting, it helps you focus on one thing at a time so you don’t have all that mind chatter”

Q: Blending essential oils – Relax blend contains Lemon, Chamomile, and Copaiba. How does this blend create a relaxed state?

Kim: “Copaiba comes from the resin of the tree, and basically it is a neural protective agent. As we know lemon is soothing. And then we have chamomile, which is a nerve sedative. So the combination of those things helps you relax”

Q: Blending essential oils – Recover blend contains Clary Sage, Eucalyptus, and Peppermint. How do these oils work together to assist in recovery?

Kim: “Eucalyptus really affects the respiratory system, so that will help a little bit of how you’re breathing. Peppermint is called the ‘Mother Earth Plant’ because it’s anti-fungal, anti-viral, anti-inflammatory and anti-bacterial, so it has a lot of properties. The interesting thing about peppermint is it can wake you up, OR you can use it in a blend to tone things down. So when you’re using peppermint you have to be mindful, because it can really overtake a blend. Clary sage cools inflammation, and it’s a nerve tonic, so when you bring all of these together it’s an incredible powerful blend. And it gives you fresh breath!”

Q: Blending essential oils – Awake blend contains Sweet Orange, Pink Grapefruit, and Tangerine. How does this specific blend help enhance your mind and mood?

Kim:  “Sweet Orange is known as an anti-depressant. If you look at the fruit, the actual oil is extracted from the peel, like lemons, that’s where it comes from. Tangerine is uplifting, and pink grapefruit is antimicrobial and anti-depressant. It’s in the limoline family, which we won’t get too much into, but it’s actually used in various synthetic medicines that help with that. That orange is just so uplifting. We’re so blessed here in California and when those orange blossoms start blooming it’s amazing, you can’t not be happy, it’s so beautiful and uplifting.”

Q: Blending essential oils – Crave blend contains Vanilla, Clove, and Star Anise.  Why is this particular combination helpful in stifling sugar cravings?

Kim: “Star anise is one of those interesting oils – it’s used in many candies and confections. Of course it’s in a very diluted amount, but it has the properties that give you spicy and sweet at the same time. Vanilla is used in many confections, it’s sweet, and clove is one of my favorites. I just love clove. It’s a stimulant – so you can have the balance of the oils in the blend, and this can help with your sweet tooth.”

Try naturally sweet plants instead! The Crave blend contains Star Anise, Vanilla, and Clove. Star Anise is used in diluted amounts in many common candies and confections (you might recognize the flavor of black licorice!), and gives the Crave blend it’s unique spicy and sweet flavors at the same time. Vanilla and Clove add to the sweetness as well, with Clove acting as a stimulant. The balance of the oils in this blend can help with your sweet tooth, giving you all the flavor with none of the calories ????????????????

Q: Blending essential oils – Indulge blend contains Sandalwood, Cedar, and Coffee Bean.  What makes this the perfect blend for indulgence?

Kim: “It’s interesting because when you go to a perfume counter to smell fragrances, you want to clear your nasal passages. Well the reason coffee beans are used is because it’s an evoked memory – in other words, almost everyone has smelled this, so that’s how you can clear that passageway. Cedar can be a sedative, and sandalwood is grounding. So how can you put all that magic together, without overindulging. I think of it, as we’re talking about top middle and base notes, we said aromatherapy doesn’t always follow this system, but this indulge blend with the sandalwood, really brings this blend home, it grounds the other oils, in my opinion. ”

Q: Switch blend contains Black Pepper, Lemon, and Spruce.  How does this unique blend help with nicotine cravings?

Kim: “What happens is Spruce is an expectorant – so you’re eliminating congestion, and it’s a stimulant. Just like nicotine is a stimulant. Black Pepper reduces withdrawal symptoms which is pretty amazing. Lemon is soothing, and Clary Sage is a nerve tonic, so what more could you want in a blend? You’re able to go okay, I’m feeling up, but I don’t want to feel too up, yet I need to get rid of this feeling and calm the nerves… So clary sage is where it comes in as a nerve tonic. And many of these oils as we discussed earlier, have multiple properties, so it can be a nerve tonic in one instance, and something else in another instance. So there’s the beauty and magic again with the blending, the art, math and science. So blending is definitely a talent, it’s a skill, and the spruce being the expectorant, and the black pepper, are the two big ingredients in my opinion that make this blend special.”

Q: So a lot of people question the black pepper – why specifically is this oil in the Switch pod?

Kim: “It’s the black pepper again that can reduce withdrawal symptoms, it’s gives you that sensation and mimics the same feeling of nicotine in the body, without harmful effects.”

Q: Any final notes on blending essential oils?

Kim: “Sure- So for example, I love rose oil. I’m blessed to have been to several parts of the world where rose oil comes from. It blew my mind to find out it takes 1,000 pounds of rose petals to make 1 lb. of rose oil. So that gives us an idea of why things can be so expensive. So what makes Kinin’s blend so unique is the creative process of naming the blend, what do we want it to do, how is it going to affect the system, how do we have the math and science, and using the best oils to create a blend. And we like to say, it’s not vaping, it’s welling. And this is very important, and I like that. Because god only knows what’s in some of the vapes – here’s my theory, if you’re going to put it ON your body, you should feel good putting it IN your body. So hopefully you can feel a little bit better about the knowledge behind what goes into all of the blends”

Such amazing information and insights. Thank you so much Kim for your knowledge and time!

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