Tea tree oil! I did not even think of this as an essential oil product. It has been a staple of my bathroom cabinet for years as a shampoo additive. One or two drops in the bottle of shampoo and those pesky head lice (that I frequently encounter in elementary school settings) are goners! I have waist length hair, and after contracting lice a couple of times, I asked my primary physician what I could do besides keep my hair up (a possibility) or cutting it short (not happening).
Founded in 1993 with headquarters in Lehi (Utah) and offices in Australia, Europe, Canada, Japan and Singapore, Young Living has grown to become a world leader in essential oils. Their company structure is one of “MLM”, meaning multi-level-marketing. This is a type of revenue-sharing model where people become independent distributors and then sign up their friends and family members to shop through them.
The problem is, there aren't four grades of essential oils. There aren't any grades for essential oils at all. The reason is that no government agency or internationally recognized organization has a grading scale like this. While the International Organization for Standardization (ISO) and the AFNOR group are two prominent, internationally recognized organizations that develop, measure and publish international standards for substances, and do analyze the composition and promote the standardization of essential oils, there is no "grading scale" in place for the certification of essential oils. If this were the case, you would be able to find essential oils labeled as "Grade B", "C", and "D" quality. There aren't any. Either the oil is pure, or it's diluted and adulterated and no longer labeled as a bottle of "100% pure essential oil" by any reputable company.
Thanks so much for your article. I am having a huge issue battling against the whole “therapeutic grade” malarky put out by several big name companies. It seems even though it is a subjective title, and many other similar titles like it are in fact trade marked, that somehow people just buy into the idea that it MUST mean the oils are better. I am a huge proponent of high quality oils and knowing the company, their standards, distillation processes etc. But these empty titles really drive me nuts! Thanks for your writings!

In conventional research studies, it is important to be able to determine exactly what caused the outcome. In essential oil therapy, the oils are sometimes applied with massage, which makes it difficult to tell whether or not the outcome was due to the essential oil alone, or the massage, or the combination. Also, essential oils are composed of hundreds of chemical constituents, and it is hard to determine which ones may have produced the desired effect.


Have you ever wondered, “What are the best essential oil brands”? Who should you buy your essential oils from and why? Those are very good questions! There are variations in quality, standards of production, company culture, price, and product selection among many of the popular essential oil brands available today. I want to highlight what sets apart one essential oil company over another, and which ones would be the best essential oil brands to start buying from.
I have enjoyed reading the continued conversation on this thread. Thank you, Lindalu for your comment about YL not training their people in aromatherapy–but just their version. I have been frustrated about the same thing, as I am beginning to realize that there are a bunch of rookies all around me (myself included), that are almost mindlessly using YL essential oils–even in potentially harmful ways–without having a clue as to what makes them tick!

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.

Wow, there’s quite the controversy regarding the ingesting of oils and quality of oils. You know what would be amazing… a post that helps newbies in the EO world to know about the various EO distributors aside from YL and doTerra. I feel like the market is saturated with their jargon and I’d like to know about other suppliers so that I can make my own informed decision. Would love it if you could share any other links to companies, or resources, you might now of so I can further educate myself. TIA.


I myself have to wonder about a company who will register a trademark of “Certified Pure Therapeutic Grade” for no other reason than to imply that they have been certified in some way. Not knowing anything else at all about the company, that alone would make me suspicious. The unsuspecting public will take them at their word, when that particular word is meaningless, since they “certified” themselves. If their oils were as good as they say, why wouldn’t they just allow 3rd parties to prove it for them, instead of stooping to questionable marketing?

In short: DO NOT TAKE ESSENTIAL OILS INTERNALLY unless they have been prescribed to you individually by a qualified and clinically-trained medical professional or Clinical Registered Aromatherapist. When working with essential oils you are ultimately playing with chemistry; if you do not know the specific chemistry of the specific oils, and what that specific collection of chemical constituents in that oil can do to your body, then avoid internal administration and stick with the aromatic processes.
As any essential oil MLM representative will tell you, they sell 100% pure, undiluted, superior quality essential oils, typically designated as something like "Certified Pure Therapeutic Grade". They rationalize that because their oils are guaranteed to be "Certified Pure Therapeutic Grade," "Young Living Therapeutic Grade," "100% Pure Therapeutic Grade," or something similar, their oils are the only safe ones to ingest.
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.

I think it’s wonderful that you’re starting somewhere. I used the NOW brand for several years with great results. I’ve recently discovered Young Living and WOW way different. I’ve found that the brands in our local stores are cut with carriers and preservatives. Young Living is completely pure. I mean a small bottle of sandalwood from NOW costs about $15. Young Living’s cost well over $100. The difference is that YL offers completely pure oils. A closer look at my NOW sandalwood bottle showed that it was in a carrier oil. I prefer to buy my own carriers and mix my favorite oils into them on my own. Wishing you continued success!
From the United Kingdom, is my favourite (not affiliated to CE by the way) choice, NHR organic oils. They have the largest range of Soil Association Certified organic essential oils in the world. They also sell distiller kits for people who want to make their own oils at home and their selection of organic chocolates made with some of their oils are absolutely amazing.
Diethylenephalate isn't real, but if she's referring to diethyl phthalate, it's a common binding agent used in cosmetics and fragrances. These things are added to essential oils, but consequently they are no longer labeled as pure, "therapeutic grade" essential oils. Essential oils are a popular ingredient in many everyday household products like cleaners, soaps, and perfumes, and are blended with a variety of ingredients to serve their intended purpose.
I use Young Living Essential Oils. They are the most pure and best for anyone. Most articles say not to ingest them (that means that something hidden has been added). I would steer clear of those companies. Young Living can be ingested. I am motivated to use them because they do work. go to Young Living website and check it out. If you are interested in signing up, contact me. Signing up means buying at 24% discount. You are able to earn free products. Other oil companies are less expensive, that is because the process of producing it means cutting corners. I want the most pure. I will pay extra for the best.
Great resource! It’s so important to understand the difference between essential oils and “real” — oils, seed oils, carrier oils, fixed oils — are there other names? I’m not sure. Both are wonderful, but they are so so different in structure and application. I’ve noticed a fair amount of misinformation going around where essential oils and carrier oils written about as the same thing or interchangeable. Your clear description is super valuable.
As you can see, ingesting peppermint oil carries the risk of some serious side effects. If your essential oil sales rep doesn't mention that these are AT LEAST possible side effects, she's not giving you the whole story. And if you happen to mention it to her, she's likely to explain that those risks are associated with inferior and adulterated oils, like in the story that follows. But these are not the risks listed for inferior oils. These are the risks listed by the National Association for Holistic Aromatherapy regarding the ingestion of pure, unadulterated peppermint oil - for instance, the ones sold by Young Living that they instruct you to drop on your tongue, twice.
To find a therapeutic grade essential oil you will need to know its latin name and find it back on the bottle. The bottle also needs to have the name and address of the aupplier and a batch number. It is really not advised to use less than therapeutic grade in any skin, beauty or healthcare products as you are so much more likely to get adverse effects.
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.

Are they an eco-conscious company? One of the reasons I choose the essential oil (and herb) company that I use for my personal and business needs, is because of their sustainable practices. I am very passionate about being eco-friendly and when a business goes to such lengths to be a zero waste company as well as put time and money into other eco-conscious projects, I really have to take notice.
Each drop of essential oil out of the bottle is typically equal to 1/20th of a mL, or about 1/100th of a teaspoon. Using 1 to 2 drops per recipe, that means flavoring an entire dish usually meant to serve 6 to 8 people uses 1/100th of a teaspoon of essential oil, divided amongst the 8 dinner guests. So when you eat food containing essential oils, you're exposed to just over 1/1000th of a teaspoon of it. Each drop of essential oil straight out of the bottle is equal to 1/100th of a teaspoon, 10 times stronger than what you usually consume from food.
In the United States, aromatherapy is regulated by how it is intended for use: cosmetic, drug, fragrance, food additive for consumption, or “something else.” Therefore, if a claim is made by any natural substance or an essential oil that makes it appear as a drug, and it hasn’t gone through the FDA approval process for this, the claim is in violation of the drug standards. (This does not imply that the oil itself is unsafe, rather, that the proper protocol for approval was not adhered to.)
Unfortunately, this ignited and resurfaced some of the studies that are often quoted regarding the toxicity of essential oils and children. These sources for toxicity where some of the very same ones in which I reviewed and discussed the caveats to here. The sources that are referenced by the poison center also were lacking in some information I was seeking. They do not include the essential oil company, quality of the oil, and some where related to one isolated or synthetic constituent. The parts of an essential oil are not the same as the synergy of the whole essential oil.
Thank you so much for this excellent distillation! I’m just beginning to use EO’s, and have had such excellent results that I am encouraged to try more — thank you for helping me find reputable companies to purchase from. The pricing comparison was especially helpful. My only issue so far is with Aura Cacia — the lids are so hard to get off the bottles — my 71 year old hands just can’t exert that much pressure any more — I emailed the company thru their website, and was sent alternative bottle caps, that didn’t even fit the bottles. Alas, not buying from them any more, which is unfortunate, since they are readily available in local stores. However, online ordering is easy and quick. Thank you once again!
According to Avery, while specific dilutions can vary based on personal needs and individual essential oils, the general rule of thumb is to aim for a one to five percent dilution. "A one percent blend is six drops of essential oil per ounce of carrier, while a five percent blend would be 30 drops per ounce of carrier," she says. For specifics, check out Aura Cacia's handy dilution guide.
I have purchased from Edens Garden a number of times. I really enjoy your products. Before making a decision, I sent a number of inquiries to them about their oils. They are very good a sending back information to help you make your decision. From everything I have learned: They are 100% pure. They have cut out the middle man so they can lower the price and they have quick service. I have purchased the same thing from a couple different places and find I like the Edens Garden best. (I can afford these, not some of the other brands, too) I personally haven’t found any discrepancies.
I’m not so sure that the FDA is always spot on with their statements–sometimes they tend to under–or overreact in they synopsis of what is healthy and what isn’t. However, if methyl salicylate is indeed toxic and they are moderating how much goes into packaging stickers, then should Wintergreen oil be consumed at all (or does the methyl salicylate become more neutralized when consumed with all the constituents of the oil)?
Floracopeia’s goal is not only to offer great essential oils, but also to help create sustainable ecological, environmental and economical situations that support the small, rural farmers and distillers, as well as the planet. Their Eco-Projects, like the wild agarwood trees in Thailand, reduce illegal harvesting and help create a sustainable forestry system while supporting the livelihoods of the local villagers. And just like Stillpoint, David and Sara offer trainings and certifications in Aromatherapy.

Based on easily verifiable info on FDA.gov the FDA does not define the term essential oil. Therefore, a company could create a completely synthetic product and legally call it 100% Pure Essential Oil. The FDA also allows "incidental ingredients" in a product to not be disclosed on a label. This could be a chemical that is used during processing. Also YL reps are prohibited from making medical claims and YL has enforced this when they see noncompliant info online. I know someone who had gotten a warning and needed to remove content even though she was a certified aromatherapist and was speaking within the scope of her training. When I pass around peppermint at a YL essential oils class, it is diluted in carrier oil. That is how I was trained and that's what the instructions say to do right on the bottle! I do not condone casual internal use except for as a flavoring in food with a high fat content, which is safe. The fact Robert Tisserand recommends working with a trained aromatherapist before consuming (although I've read even more liberal writings of his on this) suggests that there is a place for safe internal use. EOs are powerful and like any other supplement (if you are using as such) should be used with caution. I wouldn't walk into a health food store and just pick up random bottles of supplements without doing research. That doesn't mean these supplements aren't helpful. YL's vitality line is approved by the FDA as a dietary supplement and is labeled as such. I appreciate wanting people to use caution. I'm just sick of all of the hype and making blanket statements about MLM companies and their reps.
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:
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.

Hi Karen, businesses with a multi-level (network) marketing structure need to have higher prices because so many people take a cut from each sale. That’s not to say the quality of the product is not good, but you can get the same quality for less. On the other hand, you can’t necessarily go for the cheapest either! Price is only a rough guide to quality. Check out this blog post: http://tinyurl.com/ler5shs. There are several grades of ylang-ylang oil, – extra, I, II, III and complete, but this does not apply to any other essential oil https://roberttisserand.com/2014/01/re-distilled-essential-oils/


I just wanted to let everyone know I get my Now brand EO’s at iHerb.com. You can read the reviews of the different essential oils before you buy. They even have a rewards program at their site. They have low shipping costs of $4.99 and shipping is always free with a $20 plus order (on everything not just oils). If you are a first time customer you can use my code at checkout –>HIW400 <– and you will get $5 off your first order http://www.iHerb.com
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.
I found this on pinterest so thanks for sharing! I personally love essential oils! I use Butterfly express oils and love them! I’ve been getting foot zones and using EOs. It has really helped! I really liked what the lady that does these explained to me about using Butterfly EOs. She said that the man who trained her to do foot zones used Younger Living oils at first and then started using Butterfly’s EOs because he felt they were more sincere in getting EOs out for all to use. I’m told that these EOs have different energies and I feel that this company truly wants all to experience all that they have to offer. I hope that this helps!

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)."
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Which essential oils help with nausea? There are many essential oils that might be beneficial for a range of symptoms. Lots of people use them to treat nausea. Researchers have studied several oils that may work, including ginger and lemon oil, but results remain inconclusive. Here, learn more about the best essential oils for nausea and how to use them. Read now
A great many essences are produced from the flowering tops of medicinal plants.  While these are not as homogeneous in their healing properties as other categories of oil source, literally all are anti-bacterial, and many are excellent for digestion, stress reduction, headaches, hormonal balance and colds/flu.  They help us get or stay in harmony, and are often purifying in nature.
Most common essential oils such as lavender, peppermint, tea tree oil, patchouli, and eucalyptus are distilled. Raw plant material, consisting of the flowers, leaves, wood, bark, roots, seeds, or peel, is put into an alembic (distillation apparatus) over water. As the water is heated, the steam passes through the plant material, vaporizing the volatile compounds. The vapors flow through a coil, where they condense back to liquid, which is then collected in the receiving vessel.
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