Many people who are just getting started with essential oils miss out on a few important details unless they find a great certified aromatherapist to work with. After all, this is truly an art form and unless people truly learn and understand the powerful ways that essential oils can be harnessed, they are bound to miss out on some truly wonderful properties. This is why learning about the chemical families into which essential oils fall can have a big impact on the way that you learn to utilize an essential oil. Each chemical family of essential oils has unique properties in terms of the way they can provide therapeutic benefits, but not all oils within an oil family are interchangeable, a fact which many people miss out on. However, this is still important information because you can make assessments of an essential oil based on the percentages of each chemical family that is present in the oil. While it does not paint a very specific picture for the users, this information can give you a good place to start when thinking about the essential oils you would like to blend together in your oil diffuser for the perfect aromatherapy need of your choice. While essential oils usually belong to a few different chemical families, there are certain chemical families present at higher concentrations in some oils than others. Again, armed with this information you will be better able to get the best essential oil blends possible.
So, to begin, there are two large compound groups to pay attention to. The first of these groups are the Hydrocarbons or Terpene Compounds. This group specifically includes compounds that only contain hydrogen and carbon atoms. This group further breaks down into Monoterpenes and Sesquiterpenes. The former includes light and airy compounds with molecules that usually evaporate quickly. This is the largest group of essential oils, though many of the essential oils that belong to this group also belong to other groups. These types of oils are great as airborne deodorizers, decongestants, and antiseptics, so they are perfect for your oil diffuser. One common example includes citrus oils. Sesquiterpenes, on the other hand, are primarily anti-inflammatory and anti-allergenic in nature. Some examples are Blue Tansy and German Chamomile.
The second major group are the Oxygenated Compounds, which contain hydrogen, carbon, and oxygen atoms. There are a lot of sub groups to this large group, but many of these essential oils have high alcohol contents and are usually anti-infectious, antiviral, and anti-bacterial. The Monoterpenols are uplifting as well as being anti viral and antiseptic. Examples include Lavender, Geranium, Peppermint, and Pamarosa. The Sesquiterpenols are anti-inflammatory and are grounding, serving to support the systems of the body in a grounding way perhaps because they largely comes from the roots and bark of plants. These essential oils are best in perhaps lotion form as they can then be directly applied to the skin. Examples include cedarwood, sandalwood, and vetiver. While there are many other families within the Oxygenated Compounds grouping, this gives you an idea of what kinds of families you should be examining when it comes to your personal essential oil combinations.