Essential oils are becoming incredibly popular among people from all walks of life—from athletes looking to make massage blends to help with post-workout recovery, to students trying to cope with exam stress. To use essential oils on your skin safely, though, you need to make sure that they are appropriately diluted with a carrier oil.
To accomplish this, there are many different carrier oils to choose from, but wheat germ oil is one of the more versatile ones.
History of Wheat Germ Carrier Oil
Wheat germ oil is extracted from the germ of wheat kernels. The oil is known as Godhuma Taila in Ayurvedic medicine and has a long history of being used as a treatment for a number of conditions, including psoriasis, dry skin, scars, and eczema. It is also thought to help boost cognitive function.
Wheat germ oil primarily consists of linoleic and omega-6 fatty acids. It also has a high concentration of oleic acid, palmitic acid, and stearic acid, as well as some squalene and lecithin.1 Cold pressed wheat germ oil is a good source of alpha-tocopherol.2 In addition, it is rich in vitamins A, D, and E, as well as several of the B vitamins and some minerals.
Uses for Wheat Germ Oil
Wheat germ carrier oil could be thought of as a “supporting” oil. It is usually combined with other carrier oils to make a massage oil, cream, or conditioner that can have a few drops of other essential oils added to it. Some of the top uses for wheat germ oil are highlighted below.
Reduces Signs of Aging
Wheat germ oil is rich in antioxidants, which can be beneficial for helping stave off the effects of aging.3 The fatty acids in the oil also make good moisturizers and can help protect the skin and reduce the appearance of fine lines or wrinkles.
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Though this oil is probably a little too light to be used by itself, it can be mixed with other thicker carrier oils to create a mild sunscreen and moisturizer.
Remedies Eczema and Other Skin Conditions
Vitamin E is often used in dermatological treatments because it can help protect the skin and promote skin repair. Wheat germ oil is rich in vitamin E, making it a good natural treatment for common skin conditions.
The fatty acids in the oil can soothe sore, inflamed, or cracked skin, and the nutrients can promote better skin repair.4 Add a few drops of tea tree essential oil to wheat germ carrier oil to create a salve that can help fight off infections or other skin irritation.
Improves the Appearance of Hair
Wheat germ oil has been found to help to reduce hair loss in women and can be helpful for nourishing and thickening hair, as well as reducing dandruff and other scalp-related skin issues.5 You can use wheat germ oil as a part of a leave-in conditioner, or comb a very small amount of it through your hair to reduce frizz.
Reduces PMS Symptoms
If you struggle with PMS, then consider using wheat germ oil as a remedy for cramps and other physical symptoms. One study into the use of wheat germ extract found that it significantly reduced both physical and psychological symptoms of PMS.6
While this study focused on oral supplementation with wheat germ, it is entirely possible that similar benefits would be seen from using wheat germ oil as a massage oil for period pains, especially if combined with pain-relieving essential oils such as lavender.
Pairing Essential Oils with Wheat Germ Carrier Oil
Wheat germ oil is a versatile carrier oil that contains a lot of Vitamin E. This means that it can be used as a preservative for your essential oil blends. Add one percent wheat germ oil to your other carrier oils (e.g. coconut oil, or olive oil) and it will extend the life of that oil.
Wheat germ oil does not produce strong odors and it has good emollient properties. It works best when it is blended with other carrier oils at around a 10 percent dilution. Use it to soften coconut oil, for example, so that it works better as a massage oil or body butter.
Safety and Precautions
Most people should tolerate wheat germ oil quite well, although it is possible to be allergic to it. Because of this, it is important to conduct a patch skin test before you use it in on larger areas of the body.
If you are trying a new essential oil, seek advice about how strong of a dilution you should make. Wheat germ carrier oil is a versatile oil that can be added to other oils to make them easier to spread or to improve their emollient properties.
Any massage blends that you make should be mostly carrier oils, with typically two to five percent of essential oils. Some blends can reach 10 percent essential oil concentration safely, but that depends on the oils you use.
Store your wheat germ oil in a sealed, dark bottle in a cool place when not in use to prevent it from going rancid.
Wheat germ oil is not the most prestigious carrier oil, but it has a lot of beneficial properties and it can improve the shelf life and benefits of your other oils. Additionally, its mild aroma means it works well with other oils and it can prove to be a valuable part of your aromatherapy collection.
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