What is synergy? You can think of it as the science behind blending...
"The interaction of two or more agents so that their combined effect is greater than the sum of their individual effects." 
Synergy acts on the molecular level - whether that's in your single oils or in an essential oil blend. Multiple compounds make up each essential oil and make each batch or blend unique. But the modern attitude toward health is to find the one component that works for a specific symptom, isolate it, and use it to treat the issue. In some cases that can be beneficial, but as a rule of thumb, you miss out on the synergy. You pull that compound out in an essential oil and you can lose the natural balancing benefits that you get with the total unit.
It's the whole "better together than we are apart"... yes, might seem cliché, but it gets the point across!
The same concept applies to blends too!
Allison, one of our certified aromatherapists, puts it this way:
"The goal in blending is to combine the natural synergy in single oils to enhance the intended benefits and reduce side affects."
She also explains that synergy in blends is particularly effective when using oils for antimicrobial purposes - which is why our aromatherapists chose a variety of essential oils with significant antimicrobial properties for our Immune Support blend!
So synergy can cause individual properties in an oil to support and strengthen each other. On the flip side they can also balance or "quench" some side effects like sensitization...
In their book “Aromatherapy for Health Professionals” Len and Shirley Price, who has provided an accredited aromatherapy diploma program in the UK since 1980, state that you have to be particularly careful when you isolate any component because it can result in some unwanted side affects. “When that same constituent is present in the whole oil, other constituents act as ‘quenchers’ of these unwanted effects.” (p.44)
In short, quenching helps take out the “bad” effects the natural way.
Citrus oils are a great example! Citrus peel oils like pink grapefruit or sweet orange helped counteract skin irritation from lemongrass essential oil (Price, p.45). Equal parts of either pink grapefruit or sweet orange with lemongrass helped counteract the skin irritation caused by citral, a component found in lemongrass. The limonene in the citrus oils helps counteract the skin irritating effect citral in lemongrass.
That's a lot of scientific background, but now we can look at some tips to get the most out of a synergistic blend! We'll use our Autumn Leaves blend recipe as an example;) It smells amazing and helps stress and is a good mood boost!
| Diffusing Tip
Ever notice how one oil in your diffuser blend is the only one you smell? Dripping different oils one at a time into your diffuser can make it hard for the oils to actually blend with each other. For diffusing, mix all your essential oils together in a separate bowl first, then pour into the diffuser. It makes sure that your oils are equally blended and combined so you won’t get one “patch” of an oil type diffused at a time.
Roll On Tip |
Some key areas to roll on a blend (particularly this one) is on your chest, temples and neck. Just one swipe on your temples since its a smaller area, but on the larger areas on your chest and neck, several swipes are best.
For blends that deal with hormones, the back of your neck and wrists work well too!
Have any questions about synergy or how to blend? Feel free to DM us on Instagram @verdantessentialoils, start a chat on our website, or email us firstname.lastname@example.org! One of our certified aromatherapists would love to answer any Qs you might have;)