Since we are not chemists, nor do we have the resources or equipment to evaluate the chemical purity of the essential oils, we stuck with methods of evaluation available to the average consumer. Out of the nearly 40 different essential oil companies researched we were able to narrow down the list to a total of seven reputable companies by using the parameters listed above in our section ‘What to look for when purchasing essential oils.’
I just wanted to correct you, when you say that essential oils should not be taken internally. This is one huge difference, and deciding factor for how I select an essential oil. If I can’t eat it, I won’t use it on my skin. Anything your skin contacts, goes to your blood stream. If an oil is unsafe for consumption, you should not use it. Many oils like peppermint, wintergreen, basil, lemon, lavender, clove, etc. are great for problems like headache, nausea, indigestion, pain, flu, and other ailments. One drop under the tongue, or mixed with a teaspoonbof honey is a great way to get fast releif and healing properties to your cells without harm. This is why the brand does matter. The extraction method is very important and has everything to do with the grade of oil in the end result. Not all oils are created equal, that’s for sure. Young Living is the brand I use and trust.
Ron Guba points out that toxicity during pregnancy is almost exclusively due to pregnant women taking large, toxic doses of essential oils, notably pennyroyal (rich in the ketone, pulegone, which is metabolized to the highly toxic furan epoxide, menthofuron) and parsley seed (rich in the dimethyl ether, apiol) in an attempt to abort the fetus.13 And Battaglia shares this insight: “the judicious use of essential oils together with appropriate forms of massage by a skilled therapist can help ease the discomforts of pregnancy and provide a sense of nurturing that will comfort the mother at times she is likely to be feeling rather fragile.”14
Some essential massage oils may make their way into the placenta, an organ in your uterus that grows along with your baby and helps to nourish it. It’s not clear if this causes any problems, unless you take toxic amounts, but to be safe, it’s best to avoid certain oils if you’re pregnant. Those include wormwood, rue, oak moss, Lavandula stoechas, camphor, parsley seed, sage, and hyssop. Ask your doctor if you’re unsure.
EO’s also can have pharmaceutical drug interactions, such as essential oils which are high in eugenol or methyl salicylate should not be used by persons on anticoagulant drugs. Methyl salicylate can also cause problems for asthmatics or those with aspirin allergies. Another for instance, inhalation of EO’s high in menthol, such as peppermint, will cause increased lung permeability of nicotine. Menthol also slows the ability to clear nicotine from the body. If you are a smoker, allow several hours to elapse between cigarette use and inhalation of high menthol EO’s. Those with renal or liver disease, compromised immune systems, or those taking multiple medications should consult with a qualified professional aromatherapist before attempting to self-medicate with essential oils. I also know Blue Tansy and Grapefruit have pharmaceutical drug interactions as well, I just can’t remember exactly off the top of my head. I am sure there are others, but these are more common EO interactions and can be serious. Your example of selling Mary Kay really is like comparing Apples to Oranges given Cosmetics are having to follow FDA restrictions and guidelines. There is not a governmental agency that oversees the safety of Essential Oils. Essential Oils if not used properly and safely can poison you, CAN kill you. Sally, it frightens me you feel just because YL or doTerra (their largest competitor) operate in 9 countries, they are a “good and / or safe” company. Yes, in September 2014 the FDA cited YL & doTerra & Natural Solutions for advertising EO’s as being “the cure-all” for certain illnesses? If you do your due diligence, you’ll see why YL is NOT acting in a safe manner. Another example I can give you, putting EO’s in your water to drink, such as Lemon EO. Firstly, Oil and Water do not mix, secondly ingesting Lemon EO can burn your digestive tract horribly. Have you seen what Lemon EO can do to plastic? If not, I suggest again you do your due diligence and see what it does, I wouldn’t want that going down my throat, in anyway. Also Sally, I hope you don’t have any Cats in your home. Did you know EO’s can significantly cause serious health risks not limited to death in felines? Dogs you ask? Yes, they are not exempt, not as severe as cats but can harm them as well. Again Sally, due diligence is why Ellen was suggesting their practice is about the mighty dollar, not people and their health and sharing what the beauty of EO’s can truly be, IF USED SAFELY AND PROPERLY.
The unfortunate thing is that the information is just passed from rep to rep down the MLM sales chain and the layperson doesn’t question if it is correct or if it could do harm. How easy would it be to assume that you could put a drop of wintergreen oil in a glass of water to relieve pain because you can with all of the others right? Ingesting wintergreen oil is like taking a large quantity of aspirin – highly toxic. However, these oils are sold as harmless, safe and natural. They couldn’t hurt you, right?
In this very official looking document, the conclusion is noted as only an opinion of the authors that administering a "wide variety" of essential oils orally is safe, and is loaded with the names of reputable organizations well-known for their authority in such matters, like the FDA and German Commission E. Note how the first instances they cite as evidence suggesting the safe ingestion of essential oils don't actually document ingesting the straight oil, only studies of the products that contained them in dilution like mouthwash, and the association of uses of the oil's parent plants for herbal medicine remedies like peppermint.
Now, I looked at the ingredients for Terra Greens and, all opinions and facepalming and "why don't they just grind up the whole peel and root?!" aside, the first thing that stood out to me was that the 30 mg of "proprietary blend" that include the EOs in this product list no further info than that. So the questions become, "how MUCH lemon EO" and "how MUCH ginger root EO" is actually in this, and is the rest of the 30mg a benign medium or another active ingredient? These answers are not discernible from the label, which is both useless and dangerous at the same time. You don't know how much of any of this you're intaking, or what it fully consists of. As a dry preparation of EOs, if the EOs in this product are not from actually grinding up the whole food, I assume it's EOs sprayed onto some kind of dry material (in the case of herbal extracts, usually leaves) for use. How much is sprayed on and what it is sprayed onto... ???
Sorry to disappoint but essential oils are not alive. I would like to see anyone go through a 212+ degree distillation process for a few hours and come out alive on the other end! The plant material is certainly not alive after the distillation so I am not sure how anyone could believe that the oil is alive. Essential oils are a collection of volatile organic molecules, not living entities. Furthermore, since they themselves are not alive, the oils do not give life to anything (but this is not to say they don’t help the plant survive). Lets just look at this logically and break it down. In order for A to give life to B, it follows that A must predate B in its timeline of existence. This is not the case for essential oils. Plants don’t start producing essential oils until a certain point in their development. The oil does not give life to the plant, the plant, at some point, starts producing the oil.
well my encounter with a doterra sales rep was very interesting, and she informed me (me being qualified and acredited clinical aromatherapist) that doterra were the purest essential oils on the world and they are so pure you dont have to use as much as other companies essential oils and that they are pure theraputic grade essential oils for internal use!!!!!! well that is illegal here in australia unless you hold an advanced diploma in aromatic medicine, i asked her what training she had to make such a dangrous statement and she said she was a sales rep. i find with most MLM compaines like YL and doterra that none of their sales reps have any form of training in aromatherapy or clinical aromatherapy to make the clams and statements they do.
I would highly recommend that anyone who is interested in essential oil toxicity to read this article regarding safety, including ingestion or neat application. I found it to be very helpful. It is a comprehensive article that was also published in an aromatherapy journal. Ron Guba, the author, is a well known Australian aromatherapist. http://www.agoraindex.org/Frag_Dem/toxicitymyths.html
Of course aromatic materials were used in Biblical times for various medicinal, religious and ceremonial purposes but these materials would not have been essential oils, at least not by todays definition of being steam distilled products. This would have been impossible given that steam distillation had not yet even been discovered! Most people attribute the discovery of true steam distillation to a Persian scientist named Avicenna (Ibn Sina) in the 11th century. There was certainly no steam distillation over 2300 years earlier in King Tut’s time. Aromatic products used during these ancient times would have been of a crude solvent extracted nature using fats and pressed oils and the like and would not have been very concentrated (not to mention that extracted products yield very different chemistry than distilled products) and therefore their use cannot really be related to how we should use the steam distilled essential oils of today.
So, where 1 teaspoon of dried herbs, or 2 to 4 teaspoons of fresh herbs, usually supplies enough plant oil to flavor an entire recipe, it takes 16 pounds of the fresh peppermint leaf to produce one ounce of essential oil! When's the last time you picked up a leaf? There's not much weight to one, really. Its been reported that a single drop of pure essential oil straight out of the bottle is the equivalent of up to 75 cups of herbal tea.
Lavender 40/42 is made up of 100% natural lavender oils blended to produce an oil containing 40% linalool and 42% linalyl acetate, which are the two primary aroma compounds occurring in Lavender. This is done with the intention of creating a standardized Lavender aroma, which presents a minimum of variation between batches. The scent of Lavender oil can vary tremendously from lot to lot, from season to season and from growing region to growing region. Small changes in rainfall, atmospheric and soil conditions and cross pollination as well as events occurring during distillation all have an impact on the scent of the oil. Because Lavender oil is such an important ingredient, frequently making up a large percent of a finished manufactured product, variation in the Lavender’s aroma can have a dramatic effect on finished goods. Therefore, many manufacturers count on the reliably consistent aroma of Lavender 40/42.
I assumed this was just standard competition stuff that we've seen before with other big brands in Corporate America. Then I read this article on LearningAboutEOs.com last summer that showed 'proof' from a third party lab that there were synthetic compounds found in several large and small essential oil companies. I highly recommend you read this in its entirety.
Is the information in these Young Living articles trustworthy, sound, and rational as it relates to the proper use of essential oils? Why are sales reps giving medical advice? And how do they convince us that eating the pure, undiluted essential oil of a plant—as warned against by clinical aromatherapists and aromatherapy organizations—is perfectly safe?
“The first data set used by DeStefano et.al represents a huge lost opportunity to understand any role between the timing of the first MMR vaccine and autism. The re-analysis presented here elucidates effects that should at least merit further investigation. Specifically, increased risks of earlier vaccination are observed for African-American males and among cases of autism without MR. Both phenomena deserve additional study that could yield important clues regarding the current enormous increase in autism.”
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
Never use an undiluted essential oil on a baby or child. Children have much thinner, more delicate skin than adults have, and tend to be very sensitive to the potency of essential oils. In fact, even if you do use essential oil in a recipe for children, only use half of the essential oil recommended in the recipe. That’s all they’ll need, anyway. (Here is a list of 19 essential oils that are safe for babies and children.)
I have posted in the past as "Michael" I have since formed a profile, and I am known as MJ Degno. Lee first off- she is brilliant, and has been very supportive for me recently, and a good friend. She has sound advice. I have been working on many blends and I am a advocate of safe oil use. While yes there are some schools of thought about ingestion out there, this would be reserved for Professionals, and I personally do not use any oils internally. I have no need, and to be honest I don't want to take the chance. I know my body, and I don't think it would be good for me either. The arguments that diffusion and ingestion being "the same thing" isn't even a substantive argument.
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.
Most citrus peel oils are expressed mechanically or cold-pressed (similar to olive oil extraction). Due to the relatively large quantities of oil in citrus peel and low cost to grow and harvest the raw materials, citrus-fruit oils are cheaper than most other essential oils. Lemon or sweet orange oils are obtained as byproducts of the citrus industry.