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flaxseed carrier oil|women putting oil in hair|Eczema on arm|man suffering from Arthritis

Essential Oils

All About Flaxseed Carrier Oil

If you like to use essential oils for massage or to treat skin issues, then you will need to dilute them in a carrier oil. Only a couple of essential oils are safe to apply directly to the skin. There are many different oils that you can use for this purpose, but perhaps the most versatile carrier oil is flaxseed oil.

The History of Flaxseed Carrier Oil

The flax plant and the linseed plant are both part of the "linum usitatissimum" family, and they have long histories. The ancient Egyptians would make linen from flax, and it was used for clothing, and even for mummification. 1 Flax was even used to make rope and paper. Flax seeds can be used as a food and contain a lot of healthy fats. The oil is useful for cosmetics and skin treatments. 2

Chemical Properties
Flaxseed oil contains omega-3 and omega-6 oils, as well as alpha-linolenic acid, ligans, protein and fiber. The lipid makeup of flaxseed is particularly interesting, with 53% being alpha-linolenic acid, 7% being linoleic acid, 19% oleic acid. Of the remainder, three percent would be stearic acid and five percent would be palmitic acid.

It is this interesting makeup which makes flax seeds so useful for people who do not have access to seafood, which is traditionally the best source of omega-3 fatty acids. 3

Uses for Flaxseed Carrier Oil

women putting oil in hair Hair Treatments

One recent study shows that flaxseed oil is useful for improving both hair length and the thickness of your hair. 4 It provides nutrition for your hairs’ follicles, and it is rich in selenium and protein, which are important for supporting thick and strong hair. It is an anti-inflammatory, which means that it can help to reduce dandruff and hair loss, and it also contains vitamin E which can moisturize your hair.

Eczema on arm Eczema Treatment

Flaxseed oil can reduce inflammation and help to stop skin from drying out, which can make it useful for managing eczema. It doesn't have to be applied directly to the skin for this, either. While it is useful as a carrier oil for other topical treatments (such as tea tree oil ) it can also be beneficial as a treatment when taken orally.

man suffering from Arthritis Arthritis Management

Another benefit of the anti-inflammatory properties of flaxseed oil is that it can help with arthritis management. Mix lavender or eucalyptus with flaxseed oil for a nice blend that can help to fight against the chronic pain of arthritis. 5

Mood and Hormone Regulation

Many women struggle with the hormonal imbalances that come during the menopause. Massage oils that are based on flaxseed oil and aromatherapy blends containing lavender, bergamot, clary sage, and chamomile can help to balance the hormones and promote better sleep, reducing insomnia and night sweats. 6

Anti-Aging Cream

We cannot completely stop the clock, but we can slow down the effects of aging. Flaxseed oil can help to promote skin elasticity, and is helpful for staving off wrinkles and reducing other age-related issues with the skin. Using flaxseed oil as a base for other essential oils means that you get the incidental benefit of improving the quality of your skin. As an aside, taking flaxseed oil or other substances rich in Omega-3s orally can help to stave off age-related macular degeneration. 7

Safety and Precautions

Carrier oils are oils that are designed to dilute other essential oils which would cause irritation or damage if they were applied directly to the skin. Most carrier oils are unscented, which means that they won't irritate your skin and won't interfere with the therapeutic effect of the oils that they carry.

Assuming that you are not allergic to the oil in question, then you should be able to use a carrier oil in great quantity without issues. There are a few things that you should think about though. Some oils may irritate your skin or cause issues if you have acne.

When you are preparing an essential oil mixture that uses a carrier oil, you should follow the dilution guidelines for the specific recipe carefully. For most recipes you need just a few drops - 15 drops of essential oil to 6 teaspoons of the carrier oil works out as a 2.5 percent dilution, and is enough for most recipes. In some cases, you may go up as far as a 10 percent dilution, but only for very specific essential oils.

It is important that you store flaxseed oil properly. Once the oil is exposed to air it can start to go rancid. To keep flaxseed oil fresh, you should store it in the refrigerator once it has been opened. If the taste or smell of the oil becomes bitter, discard it.


There are many studies supporting the cardiovascular benefits of dietary flaxseed oil, but critics believe that there are other dietary sources that are more beneficial. 8 , 9 Where flaxseed oil does not get enough attention is in the world of massage oils and aromatherapy. Since it is such a gentle, mild oil it is one that is not likely to irritate anyone's skin. When it is fresh it has a comparatively mild aroma, too, which makes it a better choice for a carrier oil than some other popular options.

When you are thinking about an aromatherapy treatment, the oils that you are mixing into the solution are the main active ingredient, but it's nice to know that you will be getting benefits out of the carrier oil as well. Flaxseed oil is a good anti-inflammatory, a moisturizer, and is full of healthy fats which can be absorbed through the skin. It does go off quite quickly, so if you are going to make oils out of it you should make sure that you mix up only small quantities at a time and that you store any solutions you make in a cool place, in a dark-walled bottle to prevent oxidation.

Photo credits: Mr.CheangchaiNoojuntuk/, TYLim/, onephoto/,AnnaBogush/

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