Finally, you can't barge in here calling shenanigans on me with phrases like "absolute non-sense" and end with "I respect your opinion". That is definitely an either/or situation. You don't respect my opinion, you don't have to, and none of this is opinion anyways. I present facts that are intentionally hidden from consumers so that you stand a chance of truly making the best decision for yourself and your health with all factors on the table.
This is the biggest and most hotly argued aspect of the unregulated essential oil market. Be aware, there are no official legal bindings to the terms, “Pure”, “100% Pure”, “Natural”, and “Therapeutic Grade”; in fact there are no grades at all regarding essential oils. If you see any of these, or similar terms on essential oils, they are completely meaningless marketing slogans.
This is a general summary for people who are using essential oils on a casual basis. 🙂 I didn’t want to muddy the waters here. However, I would gladly revise my statement if the oils were taken internally under the care of a naturopath or other professional. I just don’t think people should, willy nilly, run around taking them internally, due to their potency.
doTerra is a Young Living rip-off, but they are still better than most. I got off 4 Rx drugs with Young Living Essential Oils, I use them daily on my skin undiluted and take them internally several times per week. Thanks for your article on oils — just a note that there is a VAST difference between most oils sold in health food stores and cheap online venues vs. true therapeutic-grade oils. =)
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.
Essential oils are usually lipophilic (literally: "oil-loving") compounds that usually are not miscible with water. They can be diluted in solvents like pure ethanol and polyethylene glycol. The most common way to safely dilute essential oils for topical use is in a carrier oil. This can be any vegetable oil readily available, the most popular for skin care being jojoba, coconut, wheat germ, olive and avocado.[32]
Previously mentioned in Module 3, the chemical profile of an essential oil is a crucial determinant of the overall quality. Certified Pure Therapeutic Grade® essential oils should always have certain ratios of the same core constituents, as these major constituents are largely what determine how the oil will interact in the body. Because essential oils are pure botanical extracts, the ratio of constituents will fluctuate slightly depending on the geographic location, weather conditions, soil conditions, insect presence, precipitation, temperature, distillation conditions, etc. Quality control tests should be used to monitor the chemical profile of each batch of oil and determine if it fits within the proper ranges that will result in beneficial health effects.

Oh yes, as a folk herbalist since 2003 I use EOs, I love them, but I don't eat them - they're not a food (even though now some come complete with a "supplement label" to make them appear so - a product of the company's marketing and label design, NOT anyway affiliated with the FDA!) Any Material Safety Data Sheet on EOs will instruct you to seek immediate medical attention if swallowed. (here in the US, that's OSHA guidelines for the handling of hazardous materials, EOs included).
Fourier Transform Infrared Spectroscopy (FTIR) is conducted to ensure the potency and consistent quality of a batch of essential oil. This testing method identifies the structural components of essential oil compounds. In an FTIR scan, infrared light of different frequencies is shined through a sample of essential oil and the amount of light absorbed by the sample is measured. The quality of the sample is determined by comparing the results from an FTIR reading to a historical database with absorption patterns of high quality samples.
This is an easy place to start. The pricing of oils depends on the yield of oil from the plant.  Some flowers like rose or neroli (orange blossoms) take loads more plant matter to make one drop of pure essential oils.  For example, it takes 60 roses to make one drop of rose essential oil.  For this reason, it would make sense that a more abundant oil like Lavender might be priced between $20 and $30 and a Rose Otto be closer to $80 for the same volume. Be wary of oil brands that are a single price across the board.
I love do terra oils. I have been usining the oils and suppliments internally, neat, and with carriers for over 5 years now. I haven’t died yet, nor my kids or extended family. Network marketing is a great way to market essential oils, because you want to talk to people face to face about the oils and how to use them. There are several companies that I’m sure offer quality essential oils, for me , Doterra has been sufficient for my needs, and I trust the company.
Heavy Metal testing shows the amount of heavy metal content in the essential oil. When properly distilled, essential oils should not contain heavy metals. ICP-MS testing uses a high-energy medium called Inductively Coupled Plasma (ICP) to ionize the sample. The sample is then run through a mass spectroscope, which separates the sample into its elemental parts and provides a reading about which elements are present and at what quantities.
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The essential oil should be labeled with the common name and its Latin one. Remember the example above about chamomile? “The presence of the Latin name of the plant on the label is an added assurance of what you are getting,” says Dr. Burke. There may be few standards for essential oil quality but there are standards set by the Federal Trade Commission about what a company can put on a label. “If you put ‘chamomile’ on the label, you can sell either German Chamomile (Matricaria chamomilla) or Roman Chamomile (Anthemis nobillis). If you put ‘matricaria chamomilla’ on the label, you must be selling exactly that,” says Dr. Burke.
Essential oils are all the rage. You know the ones I’m talking about. In fact, you’ve probably been invited to a product party where little vials with expensive price tags promise a wide range of health benefits. You’ve also heard the stories. Essential oils cure warts and ear infections. They soothe rashes and bellyaches. They reduce fever and fight the common cold. Virtually any ailment you suffer has a corresponding dose of liquid magic.
As far back as A.D. 1000, healers used mechanical presses or steam to extract essential oils from fragrant plants. Today, practitioners can rub oil-infused lotions on the skin, where the compounds are absorbed into the bloodstream. Or they can diffuse them into the air where, once inhaled, they bind to smell receptors and stimulate the central nervous system, says Joie Power, PhD, a neuropsychologist and aromatherapist who has taught nurses how to use the oils for decades.

What many companies mean by Therapeutic grade essential oils is backed by science and not just made up. These oils go through a testing process called GCC for short. That will tell you every chemical part that makes up the oil. So when you have a pure EO, it only has certain chemicals, many distillers have dirt, weeds and many other items in the distilling process which ends up in the EO. When these oils are run throught a GCC test, the test shows there are new chemical parts in the oil that shouldn’t be in the EO. These oils are not pure, so came along the saying “Therapeutic Grade” meaning a pure EO. Without doing a GCC test you have no clue what level of purity your EO is. Also, many suppliers also cut the EO with carrier oils and therefore made other suppliers to come up with a new term “Therapeutic Grade” to make a clear distinction between all the different oils on the market. EO’s are like cars, not all cars are built to the same quality and EO’s are not all grown, distilled and diluted to the same quality. Just because there is one company pushing FDA certificate doesn’t mean the meaning “Therapeutic Grade” is not true. You need to learn what to except as truth or not. Just like this blogs article, anyone can say anything and with a little following people believe and you have hundreds of people believing it is not true and it is true.
Thanks for your comments. The claims were on the DoTerra company website, as stated above, whether your distributor made such claims to you herself. It is still a misleading statement by the company itself, as I said and others commenting on this blog post. The criticism is not aimed at mlm’s specifically, however, when mlm companies teach their distributors erroneous information, it travels down the chain and is harder to correct later on. I believe all people should independently investigate for themselves, not depend on one company or teacher. The fact that so much misinformation abounds is irritating to those who have formally studied aromatherapy, using chemistry and science, not anecdotal or religious information, which most often is subjective and not based in fact. My next blog post will focus on how to evaluate a supplier of essential oils. Watch for it.
Initially and up to this day, the necessity of testing is that most worldwide production of essential oils is for flavor and fragrance materials. The essential oil/fragrance industry has a long tradition of altering essential oils in the form of “standardization” and/or “extending” them. Purity is a problem with many big producers and distributors. Even the smaller essential oil producers and distributors are found to have quality problems too. Very few aromatherapy companies know what is in their oils because no one in the supply chain is analyzing their oils or in some cases outright doctoring their results. There are practical considerations; analysis is expensive, complex and takes years of experience.
Take the lemon oil in a styrofoam cup demonstration for example. A few drops of pure lemon oil eats right through the cup. Most would say I'm not eating that, because somewhere along the way they earned an appreciation for self-preservation. Kind of like when you don't have to chase your toddler around all day anymore - after a few bumps and bruises, junior learns not to run off the side of a cliff.
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?
Please take responsibility for your own health. Do not use any products that may cause a sensitivity or allergic reaction, or if sensitivity or allergy status to a product is unknown. Information provided is not given or intended to be a substitute or replacement for qualified medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. The owner(s), developer(s), producer(s) and maintainer(s) of this business, website, articles and its partners are not engaged in rendering professional or medical advice. This information has not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration and is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent any disease. The information presented in these pages should not be considered medical advice, and you should always consult a physician before beginning a new regimen, to be advised about complications, interactions, or contradictions to your current treatment, or altering your course of treatment.
Most aromatherapy oil based blends will be between 1 and 5 percent dilutions, which typically does not represent a safety concern. As one increases dilution, potential dermal (skin) reactions may take place depending on the individual essential oil, the area in which the oil is applied, and other factors related to the client’s own sensitivity levels. Any excessive usage of essential oils may cause irritation or other undesired effects due to their lipophilic nature.5
Heavy Metal testing shows the amount of heavy metal content in the essential oil. When properly distilled, essential oils should not contain heavy metals. ICP-MS testing uses a high-energy medium called Inductively Coupled Plasma (ICP) to ionize the sample. The sample is then run through a mass spectroscope, which separates the sample into its elemental parts and provides a reading about which elements are present and at what quantities.
No aromatherapist shall use essential oils for internal ingestion or internal application nor shall any aromatherapist advocate or promote such use of essential oils unless the practicing aromatherapist has medical, naturopathic, herbalist, or similar qualifications and holds an insurance policy which specifically covers the internal application of essential oils. (IFA code of ethics. Simply Essential, No. 11 December 1993)."
So, what’s your take on companies like Young Living Oil, which basically give me the vibe of “our oil is the only true and pure one out there”. I’m not sold on the idea, and don’t know that I’ll be purchasing anything other than their Thieves blend, when it comes to EOs for my soaps, lotions, and salves. I know you’re mainly addressing aromatherapy and massage here, but would the same principles apply to homemade healthcare products, as well?
For those coming to this blog from the UK (we seem to be a bit behind in the information stakes in the UK. most sites i come across are US based, and so places of purchase and some terminology is non applicable for us), a good ethical and organic place to buy your oils is from G Baldwins (based in London). they don’t have as big a range in oils as you might want or find elsewhere, but after reading reviews and doing some research on other oil providing companies (and it is a minefield: hard to be assured of the authenticity) they came out best for me.
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].
FDA regulations state that natural product labeling, including all website claims as well as product label content, cannot legally suggest that a product intended for topical or aromatherapeutic use be taken internally without labeling the product as food. NOW Solutions closely adheres to all federal regulations. See more Essential Oil Food Grade FAQs.
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.
For past few years, there is a rapid expansion of natural products in food and beverage industries. It is expected to contribute a great economic ratio in upcoming years. No matter, you want an effective massage, aromatherapy, relaxation therapy or any other treatment, organic essential oils will work as the best stimulation remedies for you always.
I had bedbugs (yikes!) in my hotel room at the Rodeway Inn when I was in Salt Lake City last year for the doTERRA convention. What a place to pose that question – everyone was so helpful! One gal gave me cedarwood oil, another a glass spray bottle so I could mix up cedarwood, peppermint and water to spritz my suitcases with, I sprayed them down before I relocated rooms, dried all of my clothes at high heat through the industrial dryers and the diffused Cedarwood and On Guard in the new room for the rest of the week using a Sprite Diffuser that I had purchased at a great discount from one of the vendor booths at the event.
Research has shown that essential oils have potential as a natural pesticide. In case studies, certain oils have been shown to have a variety of deterring effects on pests, specifically insects and select arthropods.[27] These effects may include repelling, inhibiting digestion, stunting growth,[28] decreasing rate of reproduction, or death of pests that consume the oil. However, the molecules within the oils that cause these effects are normally non-toxic for mammals. These specific actions of the molecules allow for widespread use of these green pesticides without harmful effects to anything other than pests.[29] Essential oils that have been investigated include rose, lemon grass, lavender, thyme, peppermint, and eucalyptus.[30]
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