Essential Oils, Plant Parts and Blending

It’s amazing and astonishing when I’m walking outside looking at the trees, flowers, bushes and thinking of the oil that comes from them.  Essential oils come from many different parts of plants.  When we think about the plant that the essential oil is extracted from and make this part of making our blend, our connection deepens with the plant and the oil. 

If we think about that when we are smelling the aroma, we feel grounded.  If I think about blends made with flowers, the colors and the wonderful sweet aromas, as I’m blending them, it’s peaceful and calming.  So from what plant parts do essential oils come from and does this have to do with blending?  First let’s take a brief look at how plants work.

Plant parts work in unison to survive.  From reproduction to survival, each part plays an important role.  And essential oils extracted from these parts are powerful healing and comforting oils, both mentally and physically.  From seeds, resins, bark, leaves, roots, rhizomes and flowers, they are filled with potential to heal and have been used for many centuries in alternative treatment.  To understand how they heal, we need to look at the plant parts that the oils come from.

We will start at the beginning, with the seed.  A seed is an embryonic plant enclosed in a protective outer covering. The formation of a seed is part of the process of reproduction in seed plants, the spermatophytes, including the gymnosperm and angiosperm plants.  Seeds (sem. Or semen) are responsible for enabling and protecting the ability to reproduce. They are the start of life. 

The oils extracted from the seeds can be supportive of new growth, nourishment, potential birth, the reproductive system, feeling stuck, lower chakra imbalances, the need for movement, creativeness and release.

Some essential oils from seeds include Cardamom, Carrot Seed, Fennel, and Nutmeg.

The next plant part we will look at is Resin (resina).   From the ever popular Frankincense to Myrrh, and Opopanax, resin essential oils are amazingly healing. When you cut into a resin producing tree, the resin seeps out to help heal the wound of the tree.  Tree resin (along with other gum and latex fluids) play an extremely important function in trees by rapidly sealing over woundsused as introductory pathways by invading insectsand fungal diseaseagents. (Butje)  Organisms that try to enter a tree via a wound can be flushed out, can become stuck and trapped in the seal and can be overcome by the resin’s toxicity. It is also thought that resins have high antiseptic qualities that prevent decay and that they also lower the amount of water lost from the plant’s tissues. In any event, consistent resin flow is essential to the continued health of most resin producing trees.

Historically, resins have been used for rituals, incense, meditation, protection and showing honor.  These oils are wonderful healing oils for your emotions and so supportive for inner reflection.  When I inhale a resin, it truly brings about a meditative calmness.   For more listings of resins, go to Aromatics International website listed below. Go to the essential oils page, on the side bar to the left go to plant part and click on resins for a full list.  You will love this feature on this site!

Next we look at roots and rhizomes. The roots of a plant anchor it to the soils and drink up and absorb water and nutrients which are vital to the plant’s growth.  Oils extracted from the roots can support us through times of high anxiety, fear and instability.  These essential oils give us a feeling of be grounded, settled and calm.  They have anti-inflammatory and analgesic powers.  Anchoring-strengthening-helps us to absorb what we need, and it provides a sense of emotional stability and balance to our lives.

Some favorites from this category are rhizomes from Ginger, Plai (love this), and Turmeric and roots from Spikenard and Vetiver.

The wood or trunk (wood-lig. Or ligum) is where the tree conducts water and the nutrients to its leaves, its stems and flowers. Oils extracted from the wood can help conduct energy, provide balance and give us a sense of core support.  The trunk is like a spine and these oils can often be used for our skeletal and muscular systems to reduce pain.

Some trunk oils are Cinnamon bark and Sandalwood.  And some great bark essential oils are Cedarwood and Ho Wood.  Did you know that there are about 25 different species of the genus Cedarwood? Cool stuff. My favorite Cedarwood essential oils is Juniperus virginiana.


Next, whether leaves, sprigs, grass, or needles (leaves-fol. or folium), they allow a plant to breathe and protect the plant from water loss and also support photosynthesis. The essential oils made from leaves support respiration and deeper breathing. They heal respiratory infections, clear mucous and bring relief when sick.  How cool is that.  These oils offer protection from infection and can help us deal with stress and anxiety while supporting creativity. Leaf oils can support us when we tend to over think and need a calm clear mind.

There are too many oils in this category to list but some wonderful leafy oils include Basil, Bergamot, Eucalyptus, Laurel Leaf, Patchouli and Peppermint to name only a few. 

Some needles include Balsam Fir, Engleman Spruce, Norway Pine and Siberian Fir.  These are very powerful conifers used for component blending (medicinal). I use these for blends for flus, colds, immune system, aches, pains and more. And those wonderful grass oils include Lemongrass, Citronella and Gingergrass.  

The next one we will glance at is flowers. I love the sweet aroma of essential oils distilled from flowers. Flowers are plentiful in the spring and represent new growth and a new season.  Flowers are beautiful and colorful and gentle.   

The reason they produce aroma in the first place is to attract the insects for pollination.  These oils offer self-confidence, creativity and new energy.  They are often used to support us emotionally.  Flowers are associated with the head, good for facial skin care and calming the mind.

Flowers include the powerful healing Helichrysum, and the Chamomiles (Roman and German), Lavender, Jasmine absolute, Neroli, Ylang Ylang, Rose, and Rosemary to name only a few. 

Or last one is the fruit of the plant. Citrus fruit is a common term and genus of flowering plants in the rue family, Rutaceae and these fruits (fr. Or fructus) have a mood lifting effect. Citrus fruit has been cultivated in an ever-widening area since ancient times; the best-known examples are the oranges, lemons, grapefruit, and limes.  Fruits contain bunches of water and they are good for the lymphatic system and emotional cleansing.  Fruits are refreshing and the oils can be used to bring clean fresh energy to a room or space.  I love diffusing orange or grapefruit. The aroma is clean and yummy.  Fruits Citrus essences cane be used to provide inspired thoughts, bright creativity and expression.  These oils are used in blends for depression, sadness or moodiness.  They bring a lightheartedness about.  Some favorites are Orange (sweet), Lime, Grapefruit and of course, Lemon.

That’s a lot to take in but the point of this little article is by blending with 2 or more plant parts, it creates a whole and brings support on many levels.  I love blending this way and try to make a point to do so.  This blending also has some calming, soothing aromas when you learn to blend them.  By using this method and include blending notes and the chemical constituents, you will find you are making some powerful, effective blends.

The last part of this is that essential oils are made of chemical families and within these chemical families are chemical constituents.  Essential oils have been studied intently and are used in many things from cleaning supplies (Lemon oil or PineSol) to perfumes, bath and body products, medicinal ointments and more.  Using them requires knowing the safety precautions that come with them.   Some oils are safe and come with no safety concerns at all.  Some essential oil use and strength is dependent on person’s age, health, medication, Asthma, blood pressure, sensitivities and more.  Knowing the safety precautions and how to use them will bring much joy and healing to one’s life.  

Now, because you took the time to read my article, I’ve included a very special blend I’ve created.  This recipe includes flowers, citrus fruit, and resin. I’m proud of this blend.  It brings about a feeling of being grounded and focused.  I feel calmer after using it.  And the aroma is beautifully balanced.  You can also just mix the oils and use them for your diffuser.  I also like a diffuser necklace and will place a drop or two in it and have the calming aroma near me through the day.

Rehne’s Emotionally Balancing Cream
4 oz. Unscented Lotion or cream
In a separate glass container, blend:
15 d. Neroli Cananga odorata var. genuina
12 d. Sweet Orange Citrus sinensis
6 d. Frankincense Boswellia carterii
6 d. Ylang Ylang Cananga odorata var. genuina

Rehne Burge, Certified Aromatherapist



3- Latin name, safety, therapeutic and clinical usage of EO’s)

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