Interest in essential oils has revived in recent decades with the popularity of aromatherapy, a branch of alternative medicine that claims that essential oils and other aromatic compounds have curative effects. Oils are volatilized or diluted in a carrier oil and used in massage, diffused in the air by a nebulizer, heated over a candle flame, or burned as incense.
Carrier oils are nut or seed oils - not vegetable oils. They contain essential fatty acids that have not been modified by heat or processing. The carrier oils should be kept in cool, dark places, as heat and sunlight can shorten their shelf life..
The carrier oils vary in their consistency and preferred application. They are all good for use in massage, but some, like Jojoba oil, can be too thick if used 100%. Blending it with a thinner oil to the desired consistency is best. See the individual notes for each oil for recommendations.