Power of the Seed

your guide to oils for heath & Beauty

A Reference Book to Carrier Oils

The world of plant oils is large and diverse. Culture by culture, around the globe and throughout time, oils are central players in all communities. Natural and necessary, the lubricant to nature’s smooth functioning, oils are ever-present and integral to the life forms of plants, animals, and humans. The source for all this oil? Seeds. Seeds are nature’s oil-producing calorie factories. A storehouse of sunshine within the seed, oils nourish the next generation of plant until it can feed itself through photosynthesis. Seeds and kernels, nuts, and fruiting bodies are complete energy and dietary centers, the grocers of the plant world.

Every seed has the capacity to make oil and carries unique properties from the parent plant. While all oils have a common structural similarity, each plant’s seed brings something special to the individual commodity. Spicy, tangy olive oil is uniquely different from rich, flavorful, and solid coconut oil. Contrast similar oil dichotomies throughout the plant kingdom, and the range, variety, qualities, and properties possible become truly astonishing.”

~from the Introduction of Power of the Seed

This is a well-researched book about many, many carrier oils and butters; not essential oils. As a home-based formulator all of this information is extremely useful and valuable. The book itself is a teaching tool as well as a research tool. I purchased the paper book (two copies) and the kindle version so I have all of this wisdom & knowledge wherever I need it. I constantly refer to it and add my own notes within the pages. In fact it is the most dog-eared of all of my CosmeticChemistry/Aromatherapy/Perfumery/Herbology books! Highly recommended.

K. Young

Excellent! So glad a friend recommended this. I’ve counted over 85 carrier oils with lots of detail information on types of healing to use for-wound, skin, etc. Recipes, Skin Care, Massage, etc. But, the part I liked the best was the chemical analysis for these oils that I’ve spent so much time trying to find…and it’s all covered in this book. I actually took an on-line Aromatherapy Course for this, but can honestly say I’ve gotten more from Susan’s Book and all the details she has, than in the course. A Must Have!


Post Publication Notes

With the publication of Power of the Seed in the Spring of 2015 the book is a record of what I understood on the subject up until the end of editing in late 2014. I have said that in the book, that it is an evolving study on the subject of these oils.

Now that the book has been out forseveral years there are points I made that need reviewing and revising. In addition, the oils listed at the time have now expanded and will be covered in our membership group and in the courses we open several times a year.

A few points that I will address in the coming weeks and months:

The first new post will be a correction to page 24 in the paper version of the book. The lower diagram for the triglyceride is inaccurate and is corrected here.

CO2 extractions of the carrier/fixed oils
Vitamin C, is it ever found in oils?
New information and research on oils covered in the book

Book Correction - Triglyceride Diagram

Power of the Seed book correction, the lower diagram on page 24 of the paper version is not accurate! In the kindle version the diagram is early on in Chapter 2, Lipid Chemistry 101. The full diagram of a triglyceride is accurately portrayed below.

A better view of the diagram can be seen at its source, Indiana University website, Fat and Why it Matters. This page from the university also has other fatty acid diagrams you may find interesting.

Vitamin C in plant oils

Post publication of Power of the Seed the issue of vitamin C in oils was brought to my attention and I realized that I hadn’t researched deeply enough into the subject before publishing. Several suppliers were claiming that the fruits high in vitamin C that produced oils, the vitamin carried over into the oil. 

Therefore I continue to research into this subject. The following are the comments I’ve made in the course Lipids Decoded on the ways that the vitamin could be available, or not…

I’ve witnessed spirited discussions about the presence, or lack of a presence of vitamin C in the lipid oils. Ascorbic acid, the synthetic form of vitamin C is water soluble and is also highly reactive oxidizing easily.

There are synthetic lipid compatible forms of vitamin C like ascorbyl palmitate, magnesium ascorbyl phosphate (MAP), and others.

The argument is, because vitamin C is water soluble there can be none present in lipid oils. However, other water soluble compounds like tannins and cyan pigments are present in oils. Perhaps it is possible for Nature in her infinite wisdom and ability, to create a vitamin C type action, if not the vitamin itself in oils from seeds from fruit high in the vitamin.

This is a continuing discussion that is not yet finished …

The Power of the Seed is an incredible reference book! It has so much information, and detail about so many different oils I never would have thought to use as a carrier or a base oil. It is great for beginners, to experienced aromatherapists, and massage therapists. I absolutely love how it is organized, and how oils can be found by use, application, fatty acid composition, sap values, botanical family, etc! It really a great reference for anyone who is looking to make their own skincare products. Certainly a unique guide! I’ve been working with essential oils, making blends for years, and upon discovering this book, it has taken my blending practice to an entirely different level. Thank You!