Hi! I suffer from connective tissue disease (similar to lupus or RA in pain), and I use lemongrass DILUTED in coconut oil. It is amazing how well this works for pain. Peppermint is awesome for headaches as well as nausea, and marjoram is another pain med. Some oils don’t do much for me except smell really good, but those three have been invaluable. I get mine from doTerra, but I’m going to check out the other site mentioned by Crunchy Betty. Thanks!

I’m familiar with EO at one time I used YL the only problem with that is they were to expensive in my opinion. So I quit for awhile. I deal on a daily basis with fibromylgia,osteoarthritis and anxiety. Due to all this my doctor took me off of a sleeping pill said I was sleeping to much in the day plus I went to the library for a free class about sleeping patterns and I was told to get off the OTC sleeping meds. Wow want to talk about a withdraw plus the lack of sleep I was getting. I was like an owl still sleeping in the day up at night. I had to do something. My sister told me about piping rock that’s where she’d been getting her essential oils. So I got my Lavender and Bergamont and at reasonable prices.Their great I sleep well now.
What I truly want is to be able to wisely and knowledgably use essential oils for myself and family, believing they are a quality that would benefit our bodies. I understand that there are no offical “therapeutic” standards for essential oils, but is there a solid list of “must have” qualifications that I can look for in a brand and feel comfortable using them–even if they may not be the “best” on the market? Like other nutritional supplements, I may not always be able to afford the “best”–but I do want to use products that are trustworthy, safe and effective.
Another important factor to know about the oil is the geographical location each plant was grown. Plants grow naturally and thrive in climates and conditions suitable for their health. Plants farmed in locations outside of their natural habitats will be less effective when distilled. The climate, the soil, the time of year (and sometimes even the time of day) have great effects on the quality of the essential oils and good companies know this.
I realize that it’s been a while since you posted this question, but hope this information helps anyway. My poor husband had the same problem with leg cramps. Took supplements for potassium and ate bananas and oranges like crazy. No difference. Heard then that the deficiency that causes these cramps is more likely related to magnesium, so he started taking a magnesium supplement. Still no difference.
Thank you so much for posting this. I had a reaction to my pure, therapeutic grade Frankincense on my skin and it left me with an itchy rash for over a week. It left me really wondering about the claims the MLM supporters make. I have had great experience in using my oils, but it is foolish to claim they can do no harm. I really appreciate a scientist’s take on all of this.
^ Arenholt-Bindslev, D; Jolanki, R; Kanerva, L (2008). "Diagnosis of Side Effects of Dental Materials, with Special Emphasis on Delayed and Immediate Allergic Reactions". In Schmalz, Gottfried; Arenholt-Bindslev, Dorthe. Biocompatibility of Dental Materials. Springer. p. 352. doi:10.1007/978-3-540-77782-3_14. ISBN 9783540777823. Archived from the original on May 18, 2016. Retrieved March 5, 2014.
Thanks Kathryn. As an herbalist I've loved to wildharvest and ID plants ever since I was a kid. But I was still surprised to discover in my 'medicinal plants of my region' field guide that almost if not EVERY SINGLE plant in that book could be sold to pharmaceutical companies. The plants ARE the medicine - they've taken that knowledge, the inheritance of our collective wisdom and experience as humans, hid other from us, and sell it back to us little by little. I still drink a cup of willow bark tea for headache. I have a group online who's started studying the essential oils from the info on material safety data sheets - the info given to companies who use chemicals (even natural ones) so they know how to handle the safely. Lots of info there. Good luck in your studies, and thanks for writing. Be well.
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].
So, as you can see, it would be impossible to characterize an essential oil or even a single essential oil molecule as having a single vibrational energy frequency. Furthermore, the energy of vibration in molecules is way higher than the 52 Mhz – 320 MHz (52,000,000 – 320,000,000 Hertz) range claimed by the people selling the eo frequency measuring devices. In fact, that low energy range would be in the radio waves region and below.
Demeter stands for products of the biological-dynamic economy way, which is the most sustainable form of land cultivation and ensures the continuous growth of the humus layer. As an international organic brand, Demeter is represented on every continent. The Demeter guidelines for biological-dynamic cultivation is in 38 countries and more than 3,500 companies with an area of around 100,000 hectare accepted. TAOASIS® is a member of the Demeter association for many years now.

I am trying to write an essay for a public health post grad course, the role of the public health worker.. I won’t bore you with the details… I’m trying to tentatively suggest that education is a major role….non antibiotic therapies for infectious disease, for example tea tree in the treatment of staphlococcal…. can you suggest any reading/authors/doctors I can explore?

Thanks for this info; I have dabbled in herbs, oils, teas & decoctions for several decades. I had started to follow some blogs that were espousing a certain brand of eo, and reading just the comments on your page was very enlightening. I have a question: I have used aura cacia on occasion, and been satisfied, yet you don’t list that in your favored brands, and as you stated, their number of organics is large (largest of any supplier at several of my local health food stores). Wondering about your opinions about them. Thanks! Very useful information!!!


Black bean brownies are a delicious and nutritious twist to a traditional chocolate brownie. You might be nervous about baking with black beans, but don’t be – they have a very mild flavor and are extremely rich, creamy, and full of protein. You can also boost the flavor of your brownie with essential oils such as Peppermint, Wild Orange, Cinnamon, or even Lavender.
Today, the processors (distillers) of essential oils carefully blend proprietary mixtures of L. angustifolia subspecies and cultivars to produce a combination of true lavender oils that have a more consistent aroma, rather than providing only the low-camphor Reya and Munstead subspecies as specialized perfume ingredients. These other lavender essential oils are as true and pure as the two cultivars used by perfumers, but with four cultivars they provide a wider palette of scent and a more diverse scope of practical application due to their wider range of natural constituents.
No, don’t use it on your skin without diluting it. You can mix a drop or two into your moisturizer or into an oil like olive or coconut. Also, for acne and blackheads you also need to look at toxins in the other products you are using and make sure you are exfoliating several times a week. A green clay mask will also help pull toxins out of the skin. Just using rosemary oil without looking at the root causes of acne and blackheads will only go so far.
I see a lot of comments on here that advise unsafe practices on ingesting essential oils and using them undiluted. Essential oils should never be ingested unless under the care of a doctor or naturopath. In France, only a doctor can prescribe injestion and in Britain they don’t advise it at all. There are many cases of individuals being harmed by this practice. Essential oils are highly concentrated and do not need to be ingested in order to be effective. Also, essential oils should not be used on children, or anyone else, undiluted. Peppermint oil, in particular, has been shown to slow breathing in infants and shouldn’t be used on or diffused around them. I suggest that anyone using essential oils educate themselves on their effectiveness and dangers. There are many great resources, including Dr. Tisserand’s book “Essential Oil Safety”. Education should go beyond that of what a particular company tells you or trains you to do.
General safety guidelines include: avoid application of known dermal irritant essential oils on any inflammatory or allergic skin condition; avoid undiluted application; avoid application on open or damaged skin; and dilute known dermal irritants with appropriate vegetable oil or other carrier. If you suspect a client has sensitive skin, perform a skin patch test. Table 1 lists some common essential oils considered to be dermal irritants.
Wow, I just found this article after feeling ill for the last two days, after I was schooled by a YL distributor how to ingest peppermint oil (not diluted), and massage it into my forehead and throat for a cold. I stated to google articles after I swallowed two more drops, followed by a glass of water, and developed painful esophageal burning (I take full responsibility, I should have dome some research -_- ) Never again....
I am still confused about this whole internal taking thing. how can several companies say their eos are 100% and yet some be safe to take internally and others not. also, I have been using NOW eos for a couple of years. you state that they are ok for cleaning but not for therapeutic reasons. can you explain this further? they say they are 100% pure and they seem to be working. would these other companies eos work better or differently? thanks
Whilst the product is very nicely packaged I am very disappointed with the contents. The essential oils are awful, they smell and behave no better than those cheap £1 store ones, I don't believe that they are 100% pure as they smell so awful, cheap and synthetic. I have tried most of the oils in the box and will not be bothering with the rest as they are so bad.
People who are new to natural, alternative or holistic medicine may have a bit of a learning curve in using essential oils in holistic ways. Based as much on intuition as hard and fast techniques, the holistic use of essential oils can sometimes be more art than science. Addressing the underlying cause of disease can be slower, less direct and more ambiguous than focusing solely on the symptoms. However, addressing the root cause of disease holistically holds the promise of true and lasting healing. It is therefore best to combine both medicinal and holistic medicine together, using one to complement the other.
Our in-house laboratory is staffed by highly qualified chemists and technicians. It employs state-of-the-art analytical equipment that allows us to perform highly specialized analyses, such as Gas Chromatography and Infrared Spectrometry. We use our own analysis results to confirm specification sheet reports and certificates of analyses received from 3rd party outside laboratories and vendors. As always, when it comes to Essential Oils, individual practitioners and consumers will decide for themselves which variety of a flower or leaf produces the essential oil that best suits their particular need. With NOW pure essential oils, you can be assured that you have the real thing.

The MIC was determined using tissue culture microplates (96 wells) containing 100 μL of Brain Heart Infusion (BHI - Oxoib®), culture medium for bacteria and Sabouraud Dextrose Broth (SDB, Merck®) for C. albicans. The stock solutions of EOs oils and fractions were diluted to 4 mg/mL with propylene glycol, transferred to the first well and serial dilutions were performed to reach concentrations ranging from 1.0-0.00048 mg/mL. Nystatin (Sigma® - 1%) and chlorhexidine digluconate (Sigma® - 0.12%) were used as antimicrobial standard. The inocula (100 μL) was added to all the wells, and the plates incubated at 36°C for 48 h in aerobic, microaerophilic or anaerobic conditions. The MIC was defined as the lowest concentration of the EO able to prevent the microbial growth. The tests were performed in three independent experiments, each one in triplicate [19, 20].

I've been a member of the National Association of Holistic Aromatherapy (NAHA) for a number of years. Upon renewing my membership several years ago, I spotted that their membership application/renewal form, at that time, prohibited membership to those companies that use these terms. It was that policy that lead me to then take a fresh look at the terms therapeutic grade and aromatherapy grade and realize how confusing these terms can be to consumers. Having said that, I have noticed that NAHA, under different leadership, no longer includes the statements on their applications that prohibit membership to companies that use these terms.
Delivering the freshest product with the highest level of quality control is our top priority, and as a result we only have a small portion of finished product on-hand at any given time. Additionally, growers who produce plants that are both Certified Organic and up to our personal standards are exceedingly rare, and the few growers we’re lucky enough to work with can only produce so much raw material at a time.
AFNOR standards were established by The Association for French Normalization Organization Regulation for the French essential oil industry. The program was so successful that the International Standards Organization (ISO) adopted the AFNOR standards for essential oils and provides a list of these ISO standards and guidance for essential oils on their web site. Surprisingly enough, no USA Company or organization has adopted these standards to date and all continue to make silly claims to try to prove quality without any regulatory body supporting their claims.
I know 2 people who are part of the MLM’s, one YL and one DoTERRA. Through their websites I have learned of all this controversy and need to research. You did not answer AJ’s question. How much research is needed to feel qualified to use essential oils effectively and safely and get the most for your money. Should I take a course on them or are there on-line tutorials that are honest?
I could tell you that I am experienced with essential oils for 7 years or I could be a first time user… if it makes me any more or less credible. Either way, I spent my last 6 weeks deliberating between Young Living and doTERRA essential oils. I looked up as much as I could take in on both companies. I attended each of their classes and took the “Pepsi Challenge” smelling and applying each company’s oils. First, I started with each company’s Lemon essential oils. Closed my eyes, shuffled them between my hands and smelled each. Without knowing which one was in either hand, I noticed the first one smelled good. Ok, it was definitely a lemon aroma. Then, I smell the second one. It too, smelled great. I liked them both, at first. As I went back to smell the first one again, I could tell something wasn’t quite as fresh as the one I smelled a second before. It had a little more of a pungent aroma. As if it were not as clean as the second. Maybe even a weaker or diluted feel. Maybe as if it were not as pure as the second. Upon opening my eyes, I saw the first one was Young Living’s product and the second was doTERRA’s. It was clear to me which one I liked better. So, I tried it with a few more oils from both companies. I did the same with each Lavender, Thieves/On Guard, Peppermint, and Frankincense. One after another, it was consistently doTERRA’s oils I honestly felt had a better, more cleaner, more purer smelling aroma.
This is where DoTerra RADICALLY differs: A vast majority of their oils are safe for ingesting. The reason is because they are Certified Pure Theraputic Grade Essential Oils (CPTG). The oil industry has been very unregulated for a long time – in fact, the FDA only requires oil companies to put 10% oil in a bottle and then they can put anything else in that they want (kind of like how perfume companies can get away with putting phthalates in their chemical cocktails). DoTerra has a very strict standard, and as many people state, they can tell this almost immediately with how powerful they smell.
Do they sell essential oils of plants that are endangered? There are quite a few companies that are harvesting and using essential oils of plants that are endangered. You should be asking where your essential oil has come from; is it “endangered” and is the supplier trying to sell you an inferior/substituted product in its place, claiming that it is the same “quality” and standard.  If it is extracted from an endangered plant species, what is the current level of threat to that plant species? Finally, is there an alternative essential oil, with similar chemical components and properties that you could be using? You can keep track of current endangered aromatic species on cropwatch.org
EOs that you are able to ingest have been noted to help the body and are forced through your gut allowing the body to use them differently from EOs that enter your body via the skin. Those that are not recommended for ingestion have been noted to cause irritation to the GI tract and have been noted to have a negative response. An example of this, though slightly unrelated, is marijuana – smoking it vs ingesting it. It enters the lungs and thus the bloodstream while an edible source has to enter your stomach and then the bloodstream. The stomach acts as the buffer just as the lung tissue acts as a buffer but different responses and levels of THC are achieved.
In order to know if an essential oil is pure and true it must be tested in a chemistry lab. The Gas Chromatography and Mass Spectrometry (GC/MS) test is a standard in the industry. This test separates and analyzes the chemical compounds while confirming the elemental composition within a sample, helping chemists to determine whether or not the essential oil has been tainted. Good companies will have third-party GC/MS reports for every batch of oil available for you to read.
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The term ‘therapeutic grade” essential oils is both false and misleading. The term ‘certified therapeutic grade’ was actually created by um… doTERRA, who then registered the name and then told the world that all other essential oils were not as ‘pure’. They even go so far as to call them ‘better than organic’. And just to point out, their oils are NOT organic, which would make them free from pesticide residues,  genetic modification or irradiation. There are many oils on the Australian market that are just as good if not better quality than those sold by doTERRA and Young Living. This does not make them universally safe to ingest, which brings me to my next point.

Essential oils are the fragrant soul of a plant. They are the characteristic scent or odor of a plant. Many chemical constituents make up this volatile oil. Peppermint essential oil (Mentha x piperita), for example is made up of menthol, menthyl acetate, menthone, cineole, pulegone, limonene, phellandrene, pinene, beta-bisabolene & beta-caryophyllene. It is these chemicals, in a combination determined by nature, which produce the scent of Peppermint.
Dermal sensitization is a type of allergic reaction. It occurs on first exposure to a substance, but on this occasion, the noticeable effect on the skin will be slight or absent. However, subsequent exposure to the same material, or to a similar one with which there is cross-sensitization, produces a severe inflammatory reaction brought about by cells of the immune system (T-lymphocytes).7 The reaction will be represented on the skin as blotchy or redness, which may be painful to some individuals.
I highly recommend it. If you will take the time to read his information, he clearly shows that many of the “leading” EO companies utilize deceptive marketing to push impure or adulterated EO’s for therapeutic use. He also gives (and references) many non-standard use instructions as well as use in conjunction with herbs. Very good info even if you choose not to purchase EO’s from the site.
As for “therapeutic grade” essential oils, I agree with Dawn-Mari that synthetic or toxic chemicals are best avoided in aromatherapy. (Though I would add that these terms are not synonymous, and some essential oils naturally contain toxic constituents.) Also, I totally agree with the sentiment that essential oils used in aromatherapy should be of a grade suitable for the task. I’m just saying that there is no independent, industry standard that is known as “therapeutic grade.”
Enormous amounts of plants are needed to produce essential oil. In fact, on the extreme end, it takes 4000 pounds of Bulgarian roses to produce 1 pound of essential oil. Other plants like lavender only take 100 pounds of plant material to produce a pound of essential oil. Still, can you imagine how concentrated essential oils must be, in light of how many plants are used to produce them?

The following oral pathogens were studied: Candida albicans CBS 562 from “Centraalbureau voor Schimmelcultures” and bacteria Streptococcus sanguis ATCC 10556, Streptococcus mitis ATCC 903, Porphyromonas gingivalis ATCC 33277 and Fusobacterium nucleatum ATCC 25586 from American Type Culture Collection. The microorganisms were stored at −70°C in Sabouraud Dextrose Broth (SDB, Merck® - C. albicans) and Mueller-Hinton Broth (Difco® - bacteria) with 15% glycerol. It was considered the oxygen exigencies of each microorganism (C. albicans - aerobiosis, S. mitis and S. sanguis microaerophilie and F. nucleatum and P. gingivalis anaerobiosis) to choose bacteria growth conditions.

d?TERRA does not claim that the FDA, AFNOR or ISO has certified, registered or somehow approved its essential oils. Although AFNOR and the ISO have monograph standards for certain plant extracts in different industries, it is my understanding that they do not have standards for grades of essential oils. In fact, there are no current regulatory standards for the use of the descriptor “therapeutic grade” in the industry. Anyone can use the term to describe their essential oils regardless of their purity or potency.

Thank you so much for the work you put into this . I found it very helpful. I’m just getting the oils and haven’t even purchased anything because I had no idea where to start. I started researching and was shocked at all the brands out there. I want to use a good oil but my funds are limited. I also started making candles and wanted a good brand that will hold the scent all the way to the end of the candle.
However, a small variation in price differences on the higher end will NOT mean a better essential oil. It will just mean a higher price. (A little birdie also told me that there are also only a handful of essential oil distilleries in the world, which means that most essential oils come from the exact same places – thus there is little difference in quality between the more “typically priced” EOs.) What I’m saying here is: Understand that you DO have to pay for quality, but that if you’re just using essential oils in non-therapeutic fashions, it’s okay to use less expensive oils (like the Beeyoutiful ones pictured at the top of this post, or NOW brand essential oils). But if you want high quality, I suggest using an ethical supplier that offers organic essential oils (grown without pesticides or toxic fertilizers).
Therapeutic essential oils or medicinal essential oils must be of the highest quality, potency and purity for demanding medicinal applications and maximum effectiveness. Therapeutic essential oils must also be well balanced, natural and of high energy for holistic applications. The following are qualities to look for in a true therapeutic or medicinal essential oil:
In the research and development from pharmaceutical products it is a main part to specify the quality of the active and auxiliary materials, manufacturing process and control methods are determined, the health harmlessness and the clinical effects are evaluated. So that every medicinal product with its characteristics or quality fits with the registered type, the quality assurance system of the manufacture has to make a back up of every batch.
100% Pure. Oils that say “pure” or “100% pure” are allowed to have as little as 51% essential oil by law! Isn’t that amazing? Therefore, “pure” on the label doesn’t really mean pure. And, even if an oil is “pure” in the sense of not being diluted, it may still be adulterated with synthetic chemicals, residual pesticides and with solvents, or it may be of mediocre medicinal quality.

I hope this helps to clarify doTERRA’s official position on the matter. In summary, d?TERRA has not and does not claim any certification, registration or approval of its essential oils by the FDA, AFNOR, ISO, or any other regulatory body. We do believe that the CTPG standard supports d?TERRA’s effort to bring to market only the most pure essential oils.
“d?TERRA’s CPTG Certified Pure Therapeutic Grade® quality standard is more rigorous, yet very different in nature and function than the ISO monographs for aromatic extracts. This statement, however, should not be interpreted that AFNOR or the ISO has a standard for “therapeutic grade” essential oils or that any essential oil product has AFNOR or ISO certification or approval. They do not certify brands nor do they grade essential oils as therapeutic, grade-A, premium, etc. The ISO monographs for essential oils are not comparable nor serve the same quality control function as the d?TERRA CPTG standard.”
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Essential oils are often used for aromatherapy, a form of alternative medicine in which healing effects are ascribed to aromatic compounds. Aromatherapy may be useful to induce relaxation, but there is not sufficient evidence that essential oils can effectively treat any condition.[3] Improper use of essential oils may cause harm including allergic reactions and skin irritation, and children may be particularly susceptible to the toxic effects of improper use.[4][5]
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