Certified Organic: Not officially certified because sourcing happens across a wide variety of countries that don’t all have US matching quality control standards. Same as with the Young Living Oils, they’re not US “certified organic” because of all the rules in the different source countries. Yes – Some of their product line-up is USDA certified organic. Not all of their oils are. 6 out of their 150 essential oils are USDA certified organic. Edens Garden offers both a certified organic line of essential oils, and a conventionally sourced lineup.Both an in-house laboratory and independent labs and consultants perform analyses for product quality.
I have friends who have had great results using Young Living oils for anxiety and insomnia. I agree with you, too, something from nature rather than something from the lab is going to be actually healing rather than masking symptoms– I ONLY use Young Living. When I have anxiety, I often use a beautiful blend called Joy. It sort of depends on where the anxiety comes from though, so I use a variety of oils depending on what’s going on. Sandalwood is great for old fear and terror coming up– better out than in! For insomnia, lavender on the pillow, on the feet, diffussed; RutaVela is a blend of rue, valerian and lavender and is great great great. Peace and Calming, Stress Away… So many wonderful options. I am happy to help, contact me or use my Young Living #1112524.
What I found most impressive is that they control their product right from the very botanical seeds; cultivating, harvesting and distilling many of their essential oils right on their very own farms across the world. This gives Young Living the unique ability to verify their quality standards at every step of the process. For more information on this, check out their proprietary Seed to Seal production process.
The first thing to look for to determine essential oil authenticity is that each oil is identified with the plant’s scientific or botanical name, and in appropriate cases, the chemotype. A chemotype is when the same plant, e.g. rosemary (Rosmarinus officinalis), will have a different chemical profile based on where it is grown. Only some plants have chemotypes. Country of plant origin, extraction process used, and either a distillation or expiration date are also important.
Thank you so much for this article. I have been a skeptic of the YL craze and worried when I see people applying the oils to their babies and little ones!! It is so hard to find any information on the internet that hasn't been written by YL themselves!! This is a great article; now I need to figure out how to nicely share it with some of my family/ friends.
The International Organization for Standardization (ISO) is a worldwide federation of national standards bodies from over 100 countries, one from each country. ISO is a non-governmental organization established in 1947. The mission of ISO is to promote the development of standardization and related activities in the world with a view to facilitating the international exchange of goods and services, and to developing cooperation in the spheres of intellectual, scientific, technological and economic activity.

Hi. I have been using DoTERRA’s products for approx. 6 months in many ways, topically, diffuser, cleaning, cooking, etc. I recently had surgery and got a bad cold while in the hospital. I started using doTERRA’s OnGuard throat drops and continually got worse (I also suffer from asthma so was using my inhalers as well.). Do you think there is any way the drops killed too much of the good bacteria in my mouth and throat? Just wondering your thoughts on this. Looking forward to your feedback.
I would like to start using EO in my home now that I am a mom and have become a lot more aware of the harsh chemicals in all of my cleaning supplies, beauty products and air fresheners. I am currently EBF and know that there are certain EO that I should avoid. Does this mean I shouldn’t be exposed to them at all or that I should not use them topically?

Can you use essential oils for shingles? Shingles results in a painful, itchy rash that can lead to blistering and permanent nerve damage. Medications can treat the condition, but many people also explore home remedies and alternative ways to alleviate symptoms. Here, learn which essential oils may help, including peppermint, thyme, and geranium oils. Read now
Such great information! I wish I had read the “warning” about diluting EO’s before putting directly on the skin. I purchased some essential lemon oil as I heard it was a a great way to brighten up the skin, clean pores etc. This morning after getting out of the shower, I liberally dabbed some on a cotton ball for that fresh clean feeling. What a mistake! Within seconds my face felt on FIRE, nothing would soothe it, I spread coconut oil on it hoping that would calm it down, I think it made it worse. Then I splashed ice cold water on it which seemed to help, but it took a good 5 minutes for the pain to subside. I was almost afraid to look in the mirror, fearing I would see blistered skin, thankfully all was good, just very red and that too went away. So please, please don’t make this mistakes of using undiluted EO’s and never, never on freshly washed, open pored skin! A very painful lesson to learn.
You may be asking yourself, “so, which brand would you recommend I buy, Christina?” and that would be the same question that I was asking myself.  With all of these brands telling me that theirs was the best, I wasn't sure which brand to pick. I had been using Now Foods essential oils and Aura Casia for quite awhile and was seeing success with these brands. I was curious if these more affordable essential oils are working so well, how much better would the “high-end therapeutic grade” essential oils perform?
Some essential oils can be taken internally. The specific one I am thinking of is peppermint EO. It is known to treat IBS in several studies and can be taken also to combat headaches as well. Of course a topical application near the stomach and tummy is also known to be effect and application to the bottom of the feet can help reduce fever. I am currently in the process of making a guide based on symptoms to help people pick essential oils based on application.
Thank you, Marcia!!! A friend asked me just this morning about the “Certified Pure Therapeutic Grade” oils she had seen, and my first question was “Certified by whom?” Mr. Wolfert may be correct in saying that the phrase is trademarked, and not to be interpreted that the OILS are certified by anyone, but the so-called “average user” is not going to know that. They are going to assume, wrongfully, that SOME official body has certified that DoTerra has the world’s most perfect oils. Somewhere on TV I saw the phrase “puffery”… Shame on any organization who has to stoop to such deliberately misleading marketing tactics to sell their product. Obviously the truth isn’t enough, some folks have to embellish and mislead.
Thank you for this insightful article. It is insane to me that Doterra and Young Living advocate and encourage ingesting essential oils. When I first came in contact with a Doterra consultant, she passed around a bottle of doterra peppermint oil. I got an immediate migraine and had to walk out. Doterra is extremely concentrated, to dangerous levels. I believe that Doterra and Young Living are putting people at risk.

To help us get a more clear understanding of what to look for in essential oils we spoke with Clinical Registered Aromatherapist, Anna Doxie. She is the founder of the Institute of Holistic Phyto-Aromatherapy. She’s the Director Coordinator and Director of the Southern California Region of the National Association for Holistic Aromatherapy (NAHA) and an esteemed Aromatherapy instructor. We’ve also combed through NAHA’s educational materials, consulted the prolific writings of Dr. Robert Pappas — a highly respected name in essential oil testing and education — and sought many other independent sources of information to present to you some guidelines for finding the best essential oil:


I just want to add a note here on behalf of those companies like NOW and Aura Cacia and all the others from the health food store I’ve tried. They may have all good intentions. They may or may not be testing their oils, anyone can give a test. The mass spectrometry test will pass with a very high amounts of filler oils and chemicals from extraction in it. These issues may not necessarily be from the owners of companies that get oils out there, it may be from the farmers selling the oils and trying to get an extra buck or from somewhere else in the line of business people it goes through before it gets to our shelves. Our world is very focused on money so who knows where the fault really falls. If you’re wondering what brand you should use, I would recommend the three above… doTerra, TRUessence, Young Living… however, I think its better for people to decide for themselves, so maybe do your own smell test. I’ve also been told that if an oil says “not for internal consumption” then there’s a pretty high chance that it is not as pure as it should be to be safe (at least if its is on the FDA’s GRAS list). I know this is long, but hey you asked right? And anyhow, education brings true freedom.
Developing essential oil standards for essential oil therapy/aromatherapy has been discussed in several circles over the years, but because of cost of administration, setting up labs, certifying them and the analysis cost all by itself, it has turned out to be an overwhelming task and cost that only a well-organized and well funded organization could handle. But, an organizational attempt to deal with the analytical and administrative challenge for self-regulation would be desirable before essential oil therapy/aromatherapy looses its “therapy” from an overdose of bad oils.

Hi Linda! Just wanted to let you know that NAN oils are amazing! I have been using them for quite awhile and there is no comparison to any health store oils or most online. It’s fortunate that there is so much info out there today about EO’s as I bought the book that’s listed, “The Compete Book of Essential Oils and Aromatherapy” when it came out in 1991! That was before I even knew about the internet! Just a few things to keep in mind: NANs kits are a large collection and also 15mm, that’s why they seem so expensive. You can always buy just what you want, even in a 5mm. Nice size to try if your unsure. Also, do your OWN research instead of listening to sales pitches from paid representatives. A high percentage are gullible parrots. But to each their own. Just keep reading about EOs as you can never learn enough! I almost actually hate to bring this up, just remember I am NOT paid for indorsing – Read the articles in her blog, “wholenewmom”, about comparing EO companies. She really spells out differences between a lot of the well-known companies & what to look for in any. It’s Very informative! And I was blown away at the conclusion. Good Luck and Be Well!
It seems to me that these companies almost disregard Aromatherapists as being unimportant and unnecessary in their global quest for financial gain and profit. I find this situation crazy as Aromatherapists are the only people truly trained in using Essential Oils!!! Aromatherapists can do so much more for people than what these companies sell, we personalise and individualise our treatments and products 100%. Some companies publish books on aromatherapy, however, it is only promoting their products – people are missing out on variety of other oils that are available!
I’m wondering.. I was thinking about trying the oil cleansing method (I have grapeseed oil and sunflower oil in my cabinet) and I was considering adding lemon essential oil just to see what it does and I read in this post not to use lemon if you’re nursing…why is that? I can’t imagine that lemon would hurt. Especially since I would just be putting a drop or two on my face, not drinking large quantities (I know, not possible, but I threw it out there as a referential visual lol). But yes, I’m never happy when I see “do not use” or “consult a medical professional” when breastfeeding on just about every product out there but none of them ever say why.. I’m very interested in the why’s of things, if you could help answer this one for me 🙂 thanks!
One very public example of this came in September of 2014 when the FDA cited both dōTERRA and Young Living, multi-level marketing essential oil companies. FDA agents found clear evidence that some of Young Living and dōTERRA reps were making claims that their oils could prevent and cure Ebola and many other illnesses! The situation was quickly remedied.

Folks, do you own homework and quit relying on the hype put out there by those who want their fingers in your pocket. Look to those who have no vested interested in your money and who actually know what they are talking about, people who have dedicated years to studying and researching, rather than uneducated people who are just singing the party song!
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.
You start your article out by bashing on Young Living specifically but later on mention other companies. I suspect you didn't research how other countries utilize EO for this wordy "article". Also, the FDA just approved a few products from YL as "medicine".... Do you know what that means? Do you realize almost all medicine came from plants and herbs to begin with. If someome choices, makes a personal choice to ingest EO after doing their own research who are you going to blame? I agree with another commentor that I've never seen anyone say Take 10 drops or some asinine amount Internally. 1-2 drop per 2 liter. Medicine and prescription drug overdoses have seriously hurt, damaged and killed many more people than natural medicine ever has. Have you visited the Young Living farms? Actually seen how the oils are picked and distilled? Know that the farms and seeds are organic (by at least 10 years if not more). Do you know anyone who actually uses used oils from YL or DT? Do you know where these companies get their ingriedents and why it eould make a difference of Owning the farms versus buying from a third party? Do you look up to big pharma when they make asthma drugs that cause aggression and suicidal ideations in children? Or antidepressants that could cause suicidal or homicidal thoughts in adults? You think the people who get thode side effects shouldn't have any other options? Where does your hate come from? How have you been harmed personally? Please share your agenda instead of scaring people away from a natural alternative.

After buying several carrier oils and essential oils on Amazon, I’m now wondering if I’ve wasted my money. It’s just sad that consumers can’t get honest information regarding a product. While not all EO’s and carriers have to be expensive, it’s weeding out the ones that are pure vs. cut/synthetic that’s the hardest. I think this is what turns some newbies off from using EO’s for Therapeutic purposes… they buy an EO expecting a certain result, see none, and then, understandably, think they “just don’t work.”
Young Living frequently cites GC/MS testing to verify both the purity of their essential oils and to verify their claims of the existence of impure oils on the market. Their reps educate consumers about inferior quality oils by noting the price of the oil, and conjuring up the frightening idea that some oils could be intentionally adulterated with toxic additives and then mislabeled as pure. These two reasons are then used to reassure nervous customers that the straight consumption of essential oil is safe, but only if they are Young Living's high priced, "therapeutic grade" oils.
Here is a list from one hospital of what they use the oils for:We regularly treat gout, neuropathy, carpel tunnel, sinusitis, headaches, abdominal pain, kidney stone pain, neuralgia, tennis elbow, arthritis, back pain, leg cramps, post-op hip and knee pain and whatever else comes our way. Each patient’s need, including which Young Living Essential Oils were used, is documented in our electronic charting so we can track their outcomes. We always have a good stock of Young Living lavender, peppermint, Peace and Calming, lemongrass, Thieves and plenty of single oils to make blends for gout.
I have to give an honest review for this. I have spent one full week spending hours trying to search for the "best" essential oils to use especially that I am just a beginner. I read so much about the top brands like doTarra, and Young living etc, but also read great stuff about this brand which is not as popular. I decided to give it a try 4 things to mention
What would be more accurate is that the more “pure” the oil is the more caution you should use in internal dose (“consumption”) – which is one of the least effective ways to use essential oils because they are broken down by the liver before absorption into the blood stream. If an oil is closer to a synthetic flavoring, like that used in chewing gum, then it would be deemed safer for consumption. I assume what YL sells as pure for use in consumption is similar to pure synthetic flavoring.
I personally do not believe EVERYTHING written by companies regarding their products. I research, and sometimes try things out myself, for the truth. I too, have heard and read online the issues regarding YL and doTerra products. As others have mentioned, YL founder has been through the legal system regarding the claims of his products. ( At the same time, our government does not seem to be happy that many are finding alternatives to modern medicine, and would rather everyone was on drugs… so). And that doTerra was started by three former employees of YL.

I had been using another brand of Frankincense prior to buying this product, and although I saw some evidence it was working on a suspicious-looking growth that appeared on my arm, it was a slow process. When I purchased this one and began applying it, the difference in quality was very evident. This certified organic Boswellia Serrata (Frankincense) is head and shoulders above any other Boswellia essential oil I have used. It is extracted from the resin.
Essential oils can be considered, fundamentally, as medication. Although derived from plants and natural resources they are still used as treatment for health ailments. The oil’s high concentration makes them very powerful and potentially dangerous substances if used incorrectly. It is imperative that you do thorough research before using any essential oil, because if used improperly they can cause serious health issues like allergic reactions, rashes, burns and long-term internal damage. The temptation to self-diagnose and self-prescribe can be a great influence in using essential oils, but without professional diagnosis and supervision you run a risk of causing yourself harm. With that in mind here are some very important guidelines to follow:
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

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.
For some reason my children and I have been the healthiest I can remember for several years running as well. I'm an herbalist so it may be that treating most of our ailments holistically is supporting our overall health as well. We diffuse EOs for stuffy noses and coughs. But we don't eat what's in those bottles. If you're going to present the idea that eating essential oils is improving your family's wellness, I have to counter with the idea that, as studies reveal, maybe it's simply contact with the vapors? Or maybe it has to do with having the most sanitary conditions we have ever lived in? Or the increased cost of healthcare? But not solely ingesting essential oils, which is what this article is about.

She was very kind to me and said she had been getting a lot of calls on the release due to essential oils’ popularity. She reported that the piece was meant to highlight her conversations with toxicologists on the increasing use of essential oils and exposure to children. The fact is children getting into the oils and swallowing large quantities is bad. However, this was the misuse of essential oils, not a safety issue with the proper dosing. She stated that she never meant for it to be spun and construed that essential oils were unsafe in general.
“Quality essential oils” can mean many things, depending on how you intend to use the oils. To a perfume formulator, geranium essential oil spiked with artificial chemicals to enhance the fragrance might be considered a “quality essential oil”. To a massage therapist, a natural lavender oil diluted in a soothing base might be considered a high quality essential oil. To a doctor addressing bacterial challenges, only a truly pure, medicinal strength, wild crafted oregano oil that is high in natural carvacrol content would be considered a quality essential oil.

I do have one BIG complaint about do-terra and it has nothing to do with the quality of their oils. They tell their young impressionable (and unlearned) people that their oils are so pure that they can be mixed with food, beverages, or put in capsules for anti-biotic use. Lets get two things straight here, “Antibiotic properties” are not the same as an “anti-biotic” and if you actually did ingest enough EO to actually do what they profess they can do, it would probably kill you as it would be so toxic.
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?
Second, don't assume you can use an essential oil for flavoring anything you're going to eat unless it's either food grade (usually labeled and more diluted to prevent injury), has been inspected by the FDA (these will have a nutrition label somewhere), or you know the oils are 100% pure with no additives and you know how to appropriately dilute them to make them edible. If there is no FDA label, there is a good chance that the oil is not 100% what it says it is - it most likely has some additives that are probably best not to consume. For these oils in particular, I personally would not consume them, despite the fact that the labels say they are 100% "insert oil here". The fact that the label specifically says "for external use only" helps that decision :P

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.
The ISO created quality standards for essential oils under the TC-54 Guidelines.  One of these quality guidelines is to use Gas Chromatography to test for the active phytochemical content of each oil and if it does not meet these minimum amounts, the oil is not considered of value.  Most essential oils companies do not even consult these guidelines when purchasing their oils, thus they cannot be of any theraputic value even though they may use that term as a marketing strategy. If an oil is not ISO certified, then do not buy it.
Thank yo so much for crating such a FINE description of how to approach/evaluate/use essential oils! Nicely done! I have been studying essential oils as a soul-level healing modality for about 5 years. I’m never without a sense of awe and wonder regarding the power of the plant at it’s essence…it’s oil. I will take baths with epsom salt and essential oils. The best way to do that is to put the epsom salt in a cup, add your drops of essential oil, let it sit for a few minutes, then dump it in your bath water. The salt helps to capture and diffuse the oil so that it doesn’t sit on the water like an oil slick. The hot water can also help to express the scent in a powerful way, so use your drops sparingly if you aren’t wanting to be overwhelmed by the scent. With genuine, highly crafted essential oils, the homeopathic rule of less is more powerful is the way to go, in my opinion and experience.
THE NEW AGE OF ESSENTIAL OILS. Feel the transformation with our standardized, 100% ISO certified, and Medicinal Oil Association approved essential oils. Essential oils are the power of mother nature in the palm of your hand. Only the purest of sources can give you an abundance of natural healing phytochemicals. Only ZEVA brings you the pure medicinal power of Mother Nature, giving you a truly unique experience that you won’t find from any other source. You’ll feel the difference with true medicinal grade essential oils from ZEVA- the new age of essential oils.ZEVA Oils are the only ISO Certified and USA Medicinal Oil Association Certified Essential Oil. There is nothing else like it. We ensure 100% potency and purity. Undiluted, ZERO Toxicity.

Hey! I akso struggle with acne of all sorts. The best thing I have found is tea tree oil and lavender. I used to dilute it in jojoba oil and that worked great, but not fast enough for my upcoming wedding, so I dilute it in water now until it clears up. The tea tree oil is great for skin and the lavender helps with the redness and inflammation.but, the best thing you can do for your acne is drink lots of water, green tea, and dilluted ACV, exercise, and cut out processed foods, starting with refined sugar.

In my article I explain why “such terms as pharmaceutical grade, therapeutic grade or food grade have no meaning in relation to the quality of essential oils for aromatherapy.” But, at the end of the article, you inserted a box, with: Read about therapeutic grade essential oils in “Powerful Tools in A Small Bottle”, by Dawn-Mari Yurkovic at www.massagemag.com/powerfultools. OK, I can take a hint, even if it’s thrust in my face.
Hi Linda! Just wanted to let you know that NAN oils are amazing! I have been using them for quite awhile and there is no comparison to any health store oils or most online. It’s fortunate that there is so much info out there today about EO’s as I bought the book that’s listed, “The Compete Book of Essential Oils and Aromatherapy” when it came out in 1991! That was before I even knew about the internet! Just a few things to keep in mind: NANs kits are a large collection and also 15mm, that’s why they seem so expensive. You can always buy just what you want, even in a 5mm. Nice size to try if your unsure. Also, do your OWN research instead of listening to sales pitches from paid representatives. A high percentage are gullible parrots. But to each their own. Just keep reading about EOs as you can never learn enough! I almost actually hate to bring this up, just remember I am NOT paid for indorsing – Read the articles in her blog, “wholenewmom”, about comparing EO companies. She really spells out differences between a lot of the well-known companies & what to look for in any. It’s Very informative! And I was blown away at the conclusion. Good Luck and Be Well!

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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