Mr. Wolfert, perhaps we need to clarify proper accuracy of the English language. “All of our oils are FDA approved as being Certified Pure Therapeutic Grade (CPTG).”, quoting from the email sent directly from service@doterra.com, clearly refutes your attempt to ascertain that DoTerra is NOT making false claims. If the company is truly remiss and wants to clarify, they should put a disclaimer and apology on their website. They should stop using the misleading certification standard altogether if they wish to regain credibility. Anytime the word “certified” is used, it is assumed that the proclaimed certification comes from a government agency (i.e., FDA) or officially recognized independent body. It is absurd to think that a company can certify themselves, although we see this absurdity, generally amongst multi-level marketing companies especially those dealing in essential oils. To use the word “certified” in DoTerra’s registered mark is a branding of their oils which appears to convey intentionally misleading information about certification processes. You state that DoTerra also does not claim AFNOR or ISO certification. Most in the essential oil trade regard AFNOR (Association French Normalization Organization Regulation) standards regarding essential oils as relatively useless and applying to oils produced in France. Additionally, there is no such thing as AFNOR essential oil certification. ISO (International Standards Organization) also does not certify, but has an essential oil technical committee (TC 54) who will be meeting in China this year to continue their work of, “development of specific monographs for quality standardization of every essential oil; standardization of analytical methods to control essential oils quality; requirements for transport, labelling and marking; nomenclature, botanical names, etc., and revision work.” You will see that acting as a certification body is also not in their purview. Neither organization uses the term “therapeutic” in their monographs or standards for essential oils.
Or most important goal is to maintain the consistent quality of all our products. This has been proven in tests conducted by independent institutes throughout Germany. Tested TAOASIS products have received the highest rating from both the consumer organisation Stiftung Warentest and the magazine Ökotest! Aromacosmetic products are produced in accordance with the strict guidelines for natural cosmetics. We work in compliance with the GMP standard for medicines and pharmaceuticals and have been ISO 9001:2008 certified since 2002.
question please, enjoyed the article thank you. Business aspect didnt work out, but use doTerra, because i trust their Testers/Scientists, but on the GRAS, if i go uptown, how do i know because it says that, its safe to ingest? doT is costly, so want to know how to answer ? or help others, after reading, all seems a scam in marketing. NOT in any way saying they do not work, they DO, i just want to know on what to trust to ingest, thank you so much, Teresa

A few more questions...do you use any spices in your cooking? Do you use any lemon peel in bundt cakes or the drizzle for frosting? Do you realize these contain essential oils? Do you remove the essential oils first before using or consuming them? You have cherry picked articles that feed what you were taught in your herbalist teachings. You pick articles that are written by government agencies and supported by big Pharma. Of course Big Pharma doesn't want you to consume the oils, that is a given. You definitely have the right to have an opinion, but what you are stating is not "fact" other than to the person who wrote the article. Those of use who disagree can find articles that completely disagree with what you have reported. So while I do respect your right to write your article and link to the "facts" that support your thoughts, just know that anyone can do the same thing. I'm not doing it in rebuttal because I've done the research for myself and think that others should do the same. Talk to people, for real, who do use them on their skin and who do use them internally. Also, if you are true to your own thoughts, you should recommend that no one use any arthritis aid or any type of muscle ache creams....they have essential oils. GASP!
We’re having a problem at our apartment that we fear may be bedbugs, and I’m following a recipe to make a topical treatment that is supposed to protect me from being bitten–since I’m one of those unlucky 30% who are sensitive to their bites–while we undergo whatever steps necessary to rid the premises of the pests. It calls for six drops each of lemongrass oil and tea tree oil, and 10 each of lavender and thyme, in a quarter cup of almond oil. I’m supposed to apply it before bed, but I’m wondering how safe it is to apply on, say, the face, since the insects target any exposed skin, and that’s one of the few areas I can’t really cover. Any knowledge on the matter would be appreciated.
AFNOR (Association Francaise de Normalisation) Their "New Approach" provides directives and standards for members of the European Union states to facilitate intra-community trade. All companies wishing to exchange goods within Europe are therefore obliged to comply with their directives. For essential oils, they provide guidelines and information on various topics including determination of water content, chromatographic profiles, determination of acid value, content of phenols, etc.
No essential oil retailer carries every single aromatherapy essential oil, so over time you may find yourself buying from several different retailers. When you check the GC/MS reports to determine which retailers have the oil with the constituent profile you want, and then compare price (do not forget shipping), availability, customer support, and any other criterion that is important to you, you will be better able to determine which oils you wish to buy from the various high quality oil suppliers.
You see with the rise in the popularity and increasing understanding of the effectiveness of the use of essential oils in aromatherapy, several large  direct and multi-level marketing (MLM) companies have moved into the field.  As with any company of this type, they have a very real need to differentiate themselves one from others in the field as well as from traditional businesses.

Essential Wholesale & Labs offers a high quality sweet and floral French Lavender 40/42. For those who prefer a pure Lavandula angustifolia we offer a beautiful certified organic Buena Vista Lavender oil distilled here in Oregon. The Buena Vista Lavender oil is a relatively recent addition and has been a great success. Since we first added it to our offerings in September 2011 we have sold out four times and purchased progressively larger volumes with each order to meet increasing demand. It is our plan to continue adding more certified organic oils to our catalogue. I can only hope they are as well received as well as the Buena Vista Lavender. 
I bought a jar of mag chloride at WF and tried it as a for soak for him. It worked the very first night! However, that jar ( a little over a cup) was $15. am very frugal, (hence interested in this article) and after doing much shopping around I ordered a large bag of Ancient Minerals Magnesium Flakes from Amazon, and it works out so much less expensive that way. Now I use 1/2c in a gallon of the hottest water possible and he soaks for 30 minutes each night. No more cramps. BONUS: when he’s done, I reheat half of that water in the micro and soak my own feet in it. I have osteoarthritis and general soreness all over, and there is a significant difference in my pain level now, as well. Mag is a great anti inflammatory nutrient.
I personally have used essential oils as a massage therapist for over 22 years, and have used oils from many companies… Young Living, Aura Cacia, organic, no-name oils that I’ve purchased from various websites, and most recently Doterra. It doesn’t matter if a company is an MLM, mom and pop, corporation or anything else for that matter….what matters is whether or not their product is GOOD!
I have yet to come across a YL distributor who is a qualified aromatherapist. Not saying they don’t exist, I just haven’t met one and I check at every trade fair I visit. Possible that the reason you got vague answers from them is because they are preaching the company line that they have been taught without actually knowing/understanding the answer?
I’m still a beginner but I know that for many essential oils, you need what is called a carrier oil. These carrier oils mixed with the essential oil are what make it safe for skin. I suggest looking into getting the book ( aromatherapy for beginners) if you are serious about it. I’m still reading it but it has a tone of info, meanings, recipes and helpful terms of understanding. Also, it has a handy section in the back about resources online and in books to learn more and to find your essential oils. Good luck. 😀
I researched EO’s a Few years ago but wound up not getting into it. I’m back. I love to research and learn. I loved this article. But, I also learned that I would never buy from Young Living or DeTerra…… Pure to me means mind, body and soul.. The whole debate is a cacophony….. Anyway, thank you for ALL the info, good and bad = balanced…… PS I’m probably going to start with the NOW oils and/or check put While Foods mainly bc I’m in the dabbling stage
I’m new to the world of EO’s. A doTerra-using friend made a “concoction” help my sinuses drain during an infection. EO’s involved are: eucalyptus, rosemary, melaleuca, doTerra’s Breathe blend, lime, and lavender in a coconut oil base. I slathered the oil mixture on my facial sinus areas, using the oils about 7 or 8 times in a 12 hour period. When I got up the next morning and washed my face, my face felt like I’d gotten a mild sunburn. Is this normal? Or an indication of anything? Too much EO to the face? Wrong choice of EO’s used for facial use? Thanks for any input!

Essential oils are commonly sold for flavoring food. If you can use the essential oil to flavor food without it being toxic to human consumption, then it is considered "food grade". This is in contrast to essential oils that are absolutely toxic to humans and should never be used for ingestion, not even for flavoring food, like pennyroyal. It is entirely possible for an essential oil to be both "therapeutic" and "food" grade, though food grade oils with additives meant to enhance or prolong flavor would no longer be considered "therapeutic" and would not be labeled as a bottle of 100% pure essential oil by any reputable company.
I’m newbie to EO. I’ve purchased Peppermint, Wild Orange, Lavender, Clove from Doterra to start with (quite pricey) and then I discovered a nice selection of EO in Marshalls (!). There i purchased Pine, Lemon and Eucalyptus from Plantlife ‘100 % pure aromatherapy grade’ at a fraction of the cost. Firstly, can you please explain the difference of quality with Doterra and Plantlife? And secondly, you say when rubbed onto the skin, the oils need to be diluted – but with what? And where do I find this? (Trader Joe’s perhaps?) What is the safest ‘dilution’ for someone in the journey of starting of a family? My acupuncturist made up a Doterra rollerball ‘Fertility blend’ with Cary Sage. Thanking you kindly.
Essential oil purity and quality is vital to essential oil therapy and should be the highest priority in using essential oils in treatment. Adulterated and low quality essential oils are an ever-increasing problem as demand outpaces supply. Using bad oils on a client, at best, results in a lower than expected curative effect, but worse, they may actually have a negative or toxic reaction in both the practitioner and client. Using pure and high quality oils are good for your client, business, and reduces your exposure to liability.
This post is a definite BOOKMARK for me…I love all the info. My favorite essential oil to put in my burner is sweet orange – it just makes me so HAPPY! I read your response above about YLEO. I received a package of them as a gift a few years ago from a friend. I love them and have them in my studio all the time, but honestly I would never pay those prices. MLM completely scares me off of them too…just sharing my agreement with you 🙂
Hi Zach – yes true, if you make a syrup with honey (or other sugary substance) then the EOS will dissolve much better, which makes taking them safer. I think whether EOs are “safe” to take internally depends – on who, how, how much, how often, why, etc. So for me, there’s not a simple answer. Sometimes it’s fine, sometimes not. I will write more about this on my blog.
I have heard not to use essential oil peppermint around certain ages. That it can interfere with specific ages and their breathing. So if I made an Essential Oil peppermint lotion would I not be able to wear it outside the home incase I came into contact with a person who shouldn’t be exposed to peppermint essential oil OR is this just meant not to diffuse around a child under a certain age. I was on a website that was given the ages of people who shouldn’t be exposed to specific essential oils. I believe peppermint essential oil was one. Others were pointed out as well. So is it ok to wear the diluted essential oil on your skin if that specific essential oil is not recommended for little children? Or are they speaking of diffusing only?
Based on the MIC results 10 μL of the cells suspension from the wells showing no visible microbial growth and from three wells above them were subcultured in Petri dishes containing Sabouraud Dextrose Agar medium (SDA- Merck®) for yeasts and Tryptic Soy Agar (TSA-Difco®) or Blood Agar media for bacteria. The plates were incubated at 36°C until five days in aerobic, microaerophilic or anaerobic conditions. The MBC/MFC was defined as the lowest sample concentration showing no cell growth on the inoculated agar surface. The tests were performed in three independent experiments, each one in triplicate [19, 20]. The EOs and fractions antimicrobial activity was classified in strong, moderate or weak according to Duarte et al. [17].
Ok I don’t usually make comments on articles but I just had to on this one. To the author: I’m sorry but this blog is poorly researched and full of errors. If you are going to put out information that people take as truth or at the very least as suggestions because they like you, you need to know what you are talking about. I highly suggest you take this blog down, re research essential oils and rewrite one that is accurate.
Someone in the audience then asked him about his connected to YL. He was clearly thrown by the question, and said in the end that he wanted to move onto other toipcs but that he had left the company, because he did not like what they were doing. He also told a few stories concerning patients of his that had cancer, including a man called John that was given two weeks to live, and how he had felt so sad that as a doctor John would have been one of his first patients that would die. Until someone in the audience mention that ‘John’ was also the man in his book that miraclously recovered. This seemd to jog Dr. Hill’s memory, and he said yes that the man had no signs of cancer and was cured. Ummm….
~ doTERRA does not, and never has to my knowledge, made any official statement that their oils are FDA approved. The email quoted must have been written by someone who didn’t understand or had heard something untrue. I heard some things going around initially from consultants that didn’t sound right but they have been corrected and my observation has been that doTERRA goes to great lengths to educate their consultants. Obviously, they can’t control what every person associated with them says. It would be amazing if every employee of every company gave you accurate information, every time you contacted them. Also, due to the nature of essential oils and the fact that none of them, from any company, are FDA approved, no one can make any claims as to their effectiveness for particular conditions or how to use them. That would be considered prescribing and treating illness, which is restricted to health care professionals. doTERRA does not publish or sell a book on the use of their essential oils but someone else has. It’s called “Modern Essentials” from Aroma Tools.
"My first visit, a local, very popular, natural food store. I went straight to the essential oils and, yep, he was right…the price was cheaper. I pick up the bottle and ask a friendly employee…”can you take these internally”? She responded with a quick, no. This is not for internal use. Hmmmm. Okay. I look on the bottle and sure enough. "Do not ingest."
A Clinical Aromatherapist IS a healthcare practitioner. They are trained in chemistry, anatomy, diagnostics, physiology, formulation guidelines and safety issues regarding each specific internal route (oral, vaginal or rectal). Taking them internally can have serious health effects if you don’t know what you are doing. Other countries have a culture of using EOs and therefore know how to use them appropriately and safely. We do not have that here. I’ve known several people who have listened to their Young Living or doTerra Reps and taken EOs internally and ended up with serious health problems.
“Therapeutic grade” is simply a marketing claim with no real independent meaning or value, and no credible third-party standards. However, the quality standards for authentication of essential oils have been long established by authoritative references. Our quality control team tests essential oils to the specifications published in The Essential Oils by Ernest Guenther, as well as Fenaroli's Handbook of Flavor Ingredients by George A. Burdock. These are the same standards used by major European distillers that are the primary suppliers of these oils to our industry.
Aromatherapy is the practice of using volatile plant oils, including essential oils and their volatile aromatic compounds, for psychological and physical well-being. Aromatherapy, which also goes by “essential oil therapy,” is defined as the art and science of utilizing naturally extracted aromatic essences of plants to “balance, harmonize and promote the health of body, mind and spirit.”
There are always a few bad seeds to a group. Its is not the fault of the company that some people out there are giving false info or claiming an oil to be a cure all in the name of making a buck. These 2 companies have been and are actively talking steps to prevent this from happening further. I find it unfair to point the finger at the company when its individuals who have made bad choices. I use EO and when asked I will share what has worked for me, and I always tell people to do their own research.
He suggested an “old wives tale” remedy of tea tree oil in my shampoo. He is not typically an alternative medicine sort of guy, so I was surprised that he even suggested it. By golly it works! I have been a teacher for over thirty years –28 of them head lice free. I shared this idea with several colleagues and parents, and they all report the same results.
The Ananda Apothecary operates business hours of Monday – Friday, 9am – 5pm MST. You can call 1-303-440-3766 for Customer Service or contact custserv@anandaapothecary.com. This brand also offers a newsletter, social media channels, and a neat “Aroma Science” section where you can learn a whole bunch of detailed essential oil information from their staff chemist (who is also their most active writer).
It’s been a few months since you posted, and I hope you are feeling better! My youngest is now 10 and I am JUST now, as I am learning about my peri-menopausal experience, getting an understanding on my postpartum experience. I struggled for months with each kid and now I am pretty sure the base-line physical issue was hormonal imbalance. I have been taking a product from Young Living called Progessence Plus, and it has been a life-saver– I wish I had it when I was postpartum. Look it up, theres a PDF by Dr. Dan Purser talking about the product that answers a lot of questions and helped me a lot when I was researching. There are other oils from YL that help a lot with hormonal issues, Dragon Time, Schlaressence, Lady Schlerol. (Use my distributer #1112524 🙂 if you want to buy from YL)
When washing clothes I use regular soap (haven’t looked into home made yet), and then put about 2 tablespoons of Epsom salt scented with a few drops of essential oils into the bottom of the washer before adding clothes. Then instead of using fabric softner I fill the dispenser with regular white vinegar. It keeps the washer from getting that funky smell and my clothes come out way softer. At first I was worried you would be able to smell the vinegar, but I have been doing this for 6 months now and you really can’t smell it! The Epsom salt doesn’t really have to have essential oil in it, the scent seems to rinse out in the wash but I like the little burst of scent you get when you dump it in, and use fairly cheap oils like citrus for it. If you want your clothes to actually smell of the oils you can get some wool dryer balls and add an oil of your choice before drying.
A mucous membrane irritant will produce a heating or drying effect on the mucous membranes of the mouth, eyes, nose, and reproductive organs. It is recommended that mucus membrane irritating essential oils not be used in the bath unless they are adequately diluted in a dispersant such as natural bath gel base, polysorbate or vegetable oil. Bay, clove, cinnamon bark, lemongrass, and thyme ct. thymol essential oils should be avoided in baths completely. Table 5 lists some common essential oils considered to be mucous membrane irritants.
Essential oils can be altered to achieve standardization (for example, a certain chemical that was found to be at a lower concentration in the whole oil in a particular year can be added to make it the same percentage as last year's batch). The problem with standardized essential oils is that they are no longer natural, genuine, and authentic. This variability in essential oils by time, place and conditions is a big challenge to conducting valid research. Currently the International Standards Organization sets standards for each essential oil that include a range of acceptable concentrations for its major chemical constituents.
As an aromatic food supplement, essential oils are a playground for the nose and probably safe in small quantities. They may be useful in modulating the mind-body connection, but as primary medical treatment for most disease conditions, there is no evidence to suggest they work. I’d recommend spending your hard-earned money on chemical compounds that do.
According to the FDA, an essential oil only has to be 5% pure to label themselves as 100% pure. That’s why some say they are safe for internal use while others aren’t. The ones that say that you should not take them internally most likely have other things in them that make them unsafe for taking internally. For therapeutic reasons, and internal use, you should find a company that actually uses 100% pure oils. Also, undiluted essential oils do not expire. It’s the ones that have other contaminants in them that expire. If it has an expiration date or says you should not take any of their oils internally, those would be warning signs.

Knowing the average cost of a good quality oil needs to be taken into consideration when purchasing from large companies with large marketing agendas. Marketing costs a lot of money, as do quality essential oils, so be certain that every dollar of your hard-earned money is going fully into the quality of the essential oil rather than its promotion, advertising and salespeople.


You may have seen some "multi-level marketing" companies that sell essential oils and recruit independent sellers to vend on their behalf—and recruit more sellers beneath them in a sales strategy that resembles a pyramid :)  One of these multi-level marketing companies puts a "certification seal"on their packaging that says "CPTG" or Certified Pure Therapeutic Grade.  This private company actually trademarked this particular term and seal, and designed it to resemble the seals that are from independent bodies.  Since they trademarked it, they are of course the only ones who can use it. Basically, they are pretending like "CPTG" is an official, independent certification, which of course it isn't. 
We found that boswellic acids contents depended on hydrodistillation duration and temperature (Table? 2). Essential oils prepared from longer distillation time and higher distillation temperature contained greater amounts of boswellic acids. For example, boswellic acids contents in Fractions III (19.6%) and IV (30.1%) were higher than those detected in Fraction I (0.9%) or II (0.8%) essential oil.
I keep reading comments about not Ingesting EO. I’ve researched young living brand EO and they are injestable. They are a therapeutic hospital grade. And their founder Gary young Takes many eo in capsules daily. Not all brands are. So I would only trust this particular brand because I’ve done the research on it. I know people who add YL lemon or grapefruit daily to water a drop is fine you don’t want to do more than that it can cause cramping and pain these oils are highly Concentrated. Make sure you do your research, for it is the only way you will be safe using these oils they are very powerful and in the wrong hands of someone who is not educating themselves can be very harmful. I attribute my nieces grades in school going up due to eo. They have helped her focus and help her attention. My moods have changes as well as my daily stress, anxiety and nervousness. I love eo and all they have done for my family.
The truth is that there are MANY therapeutic grade standards. The problem is, which one do you trust? Its important for people to realize that all of these standards are INTERNAL standards developed by the company themselves and may or may not include quality control by a third party lab. Furthermore, if a third party lab is used, does this lab really know what they are doing? It’s also important to know what the company defines as being “therapeutic grade” does it simply mean that the oil is pure or does it mean something beyond purity and carry with it a quality standard as well? Let’s face it, an oil can be pure as the driven snow but still be low quality, I see this on a daily basis in the samples I analyze for my clients in order for them to make good buying decisions. Judgements about essential oil quality take more than just good chemists and good equipment, they require many years of experience in odor evaluation and knowing what specific minor components are desirable in an oil and not just focusing on the major components.

In the world of essential oils there is an enormous amount of controversy and competition, with some companies accusing other companies of being less pure, while others claim trademarks and exclusivity on their products. All of this noise creates plenty of confusion for the average consumer to sift through, especially since there is no official regulation or oversight on the essential oil industry, federal or otherwise.

I found your article via pinterest, very informative, thank you!! I am motivated to get started but overwhelmed not knowing where start. I checked out a few of the websites from some of the brands promoted as the highest quality in the comments section of your article. it seems the prices will start at around 20 dollars per bottle. As someone just starting out, this will be quite the investment if I want to have a variety of oils to use. My question is do you know of any higher quality brands that offer a bundle or sampler package for people like me who are just starting out and will have to purchase maybe five to ten bottles at the same time?
In my ever growing quest to find the healthiest options in my life, I began to wonder what about my essential oils? It's true that with the help of essential oils (and a healthy GMO-free diet), my family hasn't actually been sick in about a year and a half. That is a LONG time!!!! Before essential oils entered the picture, I was constantly fighting off sinus infections, colds, the flu….you name it, and I was possibly experiencing it. Essential oils have become my go-to every time I have had something come up; from cleaning, to medical, to emotional, each time I have found success in my quest to keep my family healthy. Only now, am I asking, “What about my essential oils?”
The major compounds identified in the most active oils and fractions are shown in Table 5. The analysis showed the presence of derived from aliphatic alchools in the C. sativum oil such as 1-decanol, E-2-decen-1-ol, 2 dodecen-1-ol, E-2-tetradecen-1-ol, E-3-hexen-1-ol, previously described in this aromatic specie commonly used in Brazilian culinary [36]. Anti-Candida activity of these compounds was comproved by Furletti et al.[25], which tested standards and correlated the activity to Z-2-hexen-ol, E-2-hexen-ol, E-3-hexen-ol and 1-decanol.
We have used Frontier/AuraCacia, MountainRose, RockyMountain, PlantTberaly and are happy with each of them. However, we’ve found Edens Gardens to work well for us. We love their blends, their sales/specials pricing and their customer service. We occasionally use the other brands (especially in a pinch) and sometimes place a order for AuraCacia through our Frontier Co-OP account.
Ok I don’t usually make comments on articles but I just had to on this one. To the author: I’m sorry but this blog is poorly researched and full of errors. If you are going to put out information that people take as truth or at the very least as suggestions because they like you, you need to know what you are talking about. I highly suggest you take this blog down, re research essential oils and rewrite one that is accurate.

These texts, as well as other sources of scientific information, detail specific physical and chemical properties of a particular oil. A partial list of the components that we analyze include Specific Gravity, Refractive Index, Optical Rotation, Flash Point, Infrared Absorption (as published in FCC), Ultraviolet/Visible Spectroscopy (UV/Vis) for pigment detection, Solubility, Taste/Odor, Color/Appearance, Heavy Metals, and Predominant Active Chemical Components.
Cumin oil, which is safe to use in your food, can cause blisters if you put it on your skin.  Citrus oils that are safe in your food may be bad for your skin, especially if you go out into the sun. And the opposite is true, too. Eucalyptus or sage oil may soothe you if you rub it on your skin or breathe it in. But swallowing them could can cause a serious complication, like a seizure.
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