Topics in Aromatherapy-Sweet Almond Oil
Welcome to the 3rd post in my blog series, Topic in Aromatherapy. Each week I will focus on an aspect of aromatherapy such as an essential oil or carrier oil and discuss their healing properties. I also will discuss how to make some of your own natural products using essential oils. So far, we have talked about jojoba oil and tea tree oil.
What is sweet almond oil from?
The fruit of the almond is not a true nut, but a drupe. A drupe has an outer hull and a hard shell with the “nut” inside (source)
The fruit of Prunus dulcis (almond plant) are mainly sweet but a few bitter almonds can be on each tree (source). The bitter almond is shorter and broader than the sweet almond and has 50% of the fixed oil found in sweet almonds(source).
Sweet almonds are about 49% oils. 62% is monounsaturated oleic acid (an omega-9 fatty acid), 24% is linoleic acid (a polyunsaturated omega-6 essential fatty acid), and 6% is palmitic acid (a saturated fatty acid) (source)
Bitter almonds may yield from 4–9 mg of hydrogen cyanide per almond.(source)(source)
What health properties does sweet almond oil have?
Sweet almond oil has been been “shown” to:
- Be an excellent emollient and moisturizer.
- Be similar in composition to the oil baby’s excrete to keep their skin and hair healthy.
- Used to treat dry skin
- Relieve itchiness, soreness, rashes, dryness, irritation and burns.
- Keep the proper balance of moisture in the skin
- Be used on the delicate skin under the eye to prevent “crow’s feet”.
What studies have been done on sweet almond oil?
Actually, none that I could find to support the above claims. This may be due to the fact that sweet almond oil actually can’t perform these functions or because there is no funding to carry out these studies.
How is sweet almond oil used in aromatherpy?
Like jojoba oil, sweet almond oil is referred to as a carrier oil which is used to dilute essential oils and help the absorption of the solution into the skin. Sweet almond oil can be used as part of massage oil, in lotion, face scrubs, shampoos and conditioners. Sweet almond oil can also be used plain on the skin or hair for moisturizing.
I currently use sweet almond oil in my daily face scrub. I mix
- 1/4 cup sugar
- 1/8 cup sweet almond oil
- 1/2 tsp Vitamin E oil
- essential oils (so far I have used lavendar/rosemsary/tea tree and lemon/orange/tea tree)
As this scrub is slightly oily, I follow it with a toner that I make with equal parts green tea/water and some essential oils.
Caution: As some can be allergies to almonds, use this and all aromatherapy tools cautiously and only on a small part of your body to test your reaction (source)
Have you heard of sweet almond oil before? How do you figure out of the health claim of a product is true?