WHAT IS A SYNERGY BLEND?
by Penny Keay
For those beginning to learn and study aromatherapy you will often times hear someone mention they have a Synergy Blend. What is a Synergy Blend and why is it so important in aromatherapy?
When the word synergy is taking to its roots – “Syn” meaning together and “ergon” means work. A simple definition for “synergy” as used in aromatherapy is the working together of two essential oils that result in an effect greater than the sum of their individual effects.
More powerful therapeutic results are often obtained when essential oils are blended together than when used individually. This blending of two or more essential oils results in completely new compounds being formed.
Synergy blends have been created in order to promote specific benefits such as for relaxing, sensual, alertness, respiratory or applications for use in pain. Or maybe for seasons or holidays or other special scents such as floral, minty or citrus. The list is endless as to the combinations you can create.
When you blend essential oils together the chemical constituents in individual oil can have a mutually enhancing effect on the others.
As an example; the anti-inflammatory effect of Roman Chamomile is supported by being mixed with Lavender. When the blended oils are working together they are said to be working harmoniously and this new combination is called a synergy.
Finding the correct proportions for the essential oils used in the blend can be a little more challenging depending on the results you are trying to achieve. The synergistic effect of 10 drops of oil ‘A’ to 2 drops of oil ‘B’ may not necessarily be the same as 2 drops of oil ‘A’ to 10 drops of Oil ‘B’. Although the same oils are used in the blend the synergism of the individual components of the oils will be in different proportions and may give entirely different results.
Another important factor is If you are trying to create a blend for pain relief you may need a higher percentage of the oils that have such properties. But once the blend is created you will not need to use more for the application than you would have used individually.
To explain: If you needed 5 drops of Peppermint to give pain relief prior to blending OR 10 drops of Rosemary Now when you blend the two in a 1:1 ratio you may only need 3 drops of the new synergy blend to get the same pain relief. The two oils blended together enhanced the other to enable less to be used and the blend is now producing better results.
Essential oils from similar families of oils; such as the florals, herbs, citrus and those that have some similar constituents will normal work together well. Blending these will result in very pleasant aromas that will have enhanced synergistic effects.
Blending more than 5 or 6 essential oils may be counterproductive. Many synergistic blends using multiple oils can in some cases lessen their degree of effectiveness.
Learning the properties and testing your blends will let you know if you have created a better blend or if you need to use ‘less’. Remember too that ‘less’ is often times ‘more’ when it comes to using essential oils. And this is true when it comes to blending. More may not always be the better choice.
If you like the smell of your blend, then they probably will have better synergistic effects then a blend that is not pleasant. Although this is not necessarily true. Some very unpleasant smelling blends will still work better than individual oils.
You do not need to know the chemical makeup of any essential oil to create wonderful and powerful synergistic blends. But knowing the properties they possess will help you to make combinations that are more likely to work for your given resultant effect.
Experimenting and having fun blending, recording your ‘recipes’ and what the Synergy Blend accomplishes for you is one reason essential oils and their use in aromatherapy can be so rewarding.
Remember what works for you in a blend may not work for someone else since the synergy blend also has to work synergistically with your own personal chemical makeup too.