Ingesting essential oils for health benefits has been prescribed for centuries by experienced professionals. This process, when administered safely and correctly under supervision, can have profound healing effects on your body with issues like digestion, immune defense and hormonal imbalances. However, ingesting the wrong oils — or even the right oils in the wrong portions — can have disastrous and permanent effects on your internal tissues and overall health, and worst of all, you may not even realize any damage has been done until decades later in your life.
Do not take essential oils internally, especially oils like wintergreen and eucalyptus. While some essential oils may be used well-diluted in something like toothpaste with safety, it’s generally recognized that there’s no need to take essential oils internally. In fact, there are several toxic essential oils that should be avoided even through skin contact. Luckily, these are NOT common essential oils, and most of them you’ll never find in the store.
IF Your Bottle Of EO Says 100% Pure But Not For Internal Use It Isn’t Pure. If It Says Ok For InterNal Use It Is Pure. Young Living Did Some Testing On Another Lavender EO froM Another Company And It Tested That It hAd Vanilla In It. The Product Did Say 100% Pure On It. Well If It Was 100% Pure It Wouldnt Have Had Vanilla In It. I Use Yl Eo & I Love Them. I Take Them InternallY.Yes Their Expensive But Im A True BelieveR You Get WhAt You Pay For!

Thanks for the informative article on essential oils! I want to know if there are any essential oils that can be applied on my skin (face) just before my skin is exposed to direct sunlight? I know that the skin where citrus oils are applied should not be exposed to direct sunlight for few hours after application. That’s the only question that I am concerned with because I am very interested in concocting a facial oil moisturizer after reading an article of yours that is about making a “3-ingredient facial oil moisturizer”.
Mass Spectrometry is used together with Gas Chromatography to further determine the composition of an essential oil. In Mass Spectrometry, the constituents previously separated by GC are ionized and sent through a series of magnetic fields. Using molecular weight and charge, the amount of each constituent can be identified, providing additional insights into the potency of the essential oil.
Take peppermint for example. Peppermint is distilled from the whole peppermint plant and is sourced indigenously from the northwestern United States. The ratio of the constituents menthol to menthone is used as a marker for high quality peppermint oil. Certified Pure Therapeutic Grade® peppermint oil should always have a significantly higher proportion of menthol because menthol has been shown to improve the beneficial value of peppermint essential oil. One study tested the cleansing properties of peppermint essential oil from three different species. Peppermint from Mentha piperita was demonstrated to have the highest cleansing properties, which was attributed to its high amount of menthol and low amounts of menthone. Conversely, the Mentha aquatica species was shown to have significantly lower cleansing properties and also had a lower amount of menthol and a higher amount of menthone. (Mimica-Dukić N, Et Al. 2003)
These pure oils are "neat", meaning they have not been processed, diluted or manipulated in any way with solvents or other additives. Although a particular species of plant harvested and distilled for its essential oil during a particular growing season in a specific region may produce a fragrance that differs from the same species grown in a different region, many of the main chemical markers and physical specifications may be very similar.
Low Price. When it comes to essential oils, you get what you pay for. Growing, harvesting and distilling essential oils of the highest medicinal quality requires extra time and labor, requiring methods that are frankly slower and “less efficient” than modern large commercial producers. It’s the basic law of supply and demand: a small supply of a higher quality product will always cost more than a large supply of a lower quality product.
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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.


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.
“Aromatherapy grade” and “fragrance grade” means it not 100 percent pure essential oil, but has had other oils added, such as carrier oils and/or synthetic components of the natural oil. “To be considered a therapeutic oil, it must be completely free of any and all chemicals as well as slowly and carefully extracted via methods that keep the original compounds in its natural state,” says Dr. Axe. These healing scents will help you feel better.

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.
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.)
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.
"Essential oils, like supplements, are not regulated by the FDA, so it's very, very important to do your research before purchasing essential oils, and have confidence in the purity of your product," said Lauren Dunaway, registered dietitian, owner of Essential Simplicity and distributor of Young Living essential oils. "Make sure that the company you purchase essential oils from has a commitment to quality and purity, from the fields in which they plant their seeds to how they distill the oils."
Damaged, diseased, or inflamed skin is often more permeable to essential oils and may be more sensitive to dermal reactions. It is potentially dangerous to put undiluted essential oils on to damaged, diseased or inflamed skin. Under these circumstances the skin condition may be worsened, and larger amounts of oil than normal will be absorbed. Sensitization reactions are also more likely to occur.6

Adrienne Urban is the Founder and Owner of Whole New Mom. She has a background in research, journalism, insurance, employee benefits, financial markets, frugal living, and nutrition. Seeking a better life for herself and her family, she uses research and consults with many physicians and other practitioners to find solutions to the variety of issues they have dealt with including life-threatening food allergies and thyroid and adrenal concerns. WholeNewMom.com is the result of her experiences and knowledge gained throughout the process. Posts are reviewed and verified by the Whole New Mom team.


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.
The essential oils we use in Everyday Oil are of the highest quality and most tightly regulated in the industry.  They are in compliance with ISO 9001:2008 and come with Material Safety Data Sheets, Certificates of Analysis, and GC Reports. They are never tested on animals, and the ingredients that are Certified Organic are certified by the leading Independent organic certification company, QAI.  Every recommended quality control element is in place.  We don't call them "therapeutic grade" because that's not a real thing, and with Everyday Oil you will always get a very real thing.
Yes, of the 3 brands I am most comfortable using for therapeutic purposes the first is doTerra. Its testing exceeds everything else I’ve come across protecting against not just fillers and chemical extraction, but also against oxidation for potency levels. When air hits the oils for a period of time they oxidize slowly and if that happens they may be less quick and effective than if they had not had that time to oxidize. No other company tests the same number of times for this level of potency. I also love that the testing is done by a third party rather than in house testing.
This actually dates from May 2010, but judging from the related comments, has only recently been noticed. The statement that “Clary sage is the essential oil that is most widely used to treat vision problems” is not true, since there are no essential oils commonly used to treat vision problems. The only evidence for any essential oil treating any eye problem relates to tea tree oil and eyelash mites (see below). The reference to clary sage probably derives from 17th century European herbalists, but this refers to using clary sage seeds, or mucilage made from them, and not to clary sage essential oil: “The seed put into the eyes clears them from motes and such like things gotten within the lids to offend them, and it also clears them from any white and red spots which may be on them” (Culpeper 1652). Another common name for clary sage (Salvia sclarea) was “clear eye” because of this common use of the seeds, which probably pre-dated Culpeper by many years. “Clary” may derive from “clear-eye.”
So, between their “extra” or more extensive methods of testing, their control over growth and harvest, the use of their own labs and equipment (which Gary Young states are the only instruments in the world that are matched and calibrated to the instruments used at the National Center for Scientific Research in France), YL openly declares that their oils are “therapeutic” grade and no other oils but their own are fully safe to be used neat or internally.
One unfailing principal of science is that of naturally increasing entropy which relates to the 2nd Law of Thermodynamics. All things naturally head towards maximum entropy (disorder). Entropy is inescapable on this earth, and we all know it takes constant energy to fight against this natural degradation of all things. Left alone, things don’t naturally become more ordered over time, we all know this whether or not we are familiar with the term entropy. Entropy is why you cannot create a perpetual motion machine, why your houses naturally get messy over time, why your car engine eventually breaks down, why your body eventually can no longer sustain itself and you die and why the earth must eventually come to an end.
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The truth is that there are MANY therapeutic grade standards. The problem is, which one do you trust? It’s important for people to realize that all of these standards are INTERNAL standards developed by companies selling oils and may or may not include quality control by a third party lab. Furthermore, if a third party lab is used, does this lab really know what they are doing? It’s also important to know what the company defines as being “therapeutic grade” does it simply mean that the oil is pure or does it mean something beyond purity and carry with it a quality standard as well? Let’s face it, an oil can be pure as the driven snow but still be low quality, I see this on a daily basis in the samples I analyze for my clients in order for them to make good buying decisions. Judgments about essential oil quality take more than just good chemists and good equipment, they require many years of experience in odor evaluation and knowing what specific minor components are desirable in an oil and not just focusing on the major components.
Oh, my, I need to apologize. I evidently left my reply/question before the entire page of this thread had loaded. I didn’t see that you and others had mentioned doTERRA. That is the company I’m with and I do trust them very much. As I indicated before, much of that trust is based on my experience of their oils compared to other oils I’ve used over the last 20 years.
There are a few essential oils that are generally recognized as safe to use undiluted. Of course, there has to be a few exceptions to the rule. Again, in Organic Body Care Recipes, the author points out that the only essential oils that are widely acknowledged as safe to use undiluted (sparingly) are: lavender, German chamomile, tea tree, sandalwood, and rose geranium.

Our writer and researcher for this article is a holistic health practitioner studying nutrition, human anatomy, physiology, spirituality, as well as aromatherapy. After over a month of research and evaluation, we have determined that Stillpoint Aromatics from Sedona, Arizona, offers the best essential oils. They source the finest plants and make the greatest effort to preserve the oils’ pristine quality by keeping them in cold storage, capped with nitrogen. Plus they hand-pour every bottle to order. Stillpoint Aromatics’ unsurpassed quality will give you the greatest freshness and a superior caliber of oils that you can depend on for years and years. Running a close second — and for half the price — Floracopeia’s essential oils smelled very fresh and quite similar to Stillpoint’s, but they lacked the energetic quality we noticed in Stillpoint Aromatics’ products.
Essential oils can be altered to achieve standardization (for example, a certain chemical that was found to be at a lower concentration in the whole oil in a particular year can be added to make it the same percentage as last year's batch). The problem with standardized essential oils is that they are no longer natural, genuine, and authentic. This variability in essential oils by time, place and conditions is a big challenge to conducting valid research. Currently the International Standards Organization sets standards for each essential oil that include a range of acceptable concentrations for its major chemical constituents.
The essential oils industry is not regulated by the FDA, making comparison shopping quite difficult. Some essential oil brands use certain terminologies, others use different names for the same thing. A huge question lately is whether or not you can safely ingest essential oils. Some brands advertise internal use of essential oils, and others advise against it. I recommend to spend some time and get to know an essential oils brand first before you get their products through your door and trust them with the well-being of yourself and your family.
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?

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This is non-sense. Essential Oils are regularly used in cuisine around the world, particularly Asia. There is an FDA approved list for GRAS (Generally Recognized as Safe) essential oils, provided that they are pure and without any carrier oil or impurities – and have been produced without solvents. You don’t need a trained health care practitioner to consult with – and “aromatherapist” hardly qualifies as a health care practitioner anyways. Please tell me what an aromatherapy course teaches regarding digestion and internal biology in relation to essential oils? Stop spreading fear about the use of essential oils for food and beverage preparation.

Nicole – this has been a controversial issue for most of my lifetime, and still is – so there’s no simple answer. Let me put it this way – I know someone who died needlessly because she thought she could treat herself with essential oils. But generally, I don’t have a problem with people self-treating. What I do have a problem with is people treating others medicinally when they don’t understand the pharmacology and toxicology of essential oils, or the pathology of disease. Some of the risks include mucous membrane irritation, fetal damage in pregnancy, drug interactions, and seizures. When oils are taken orally, or otherwise used intensively, these risks all increase.
RC and Raven (YL Blends) are a few that I have used for myself and family for breathing issues. And Digize (also a Young Living Blend) is excellent for digestion, acid, and upset. Peppermint and Fennel are also options to look into. As far as best brand, you will have to do your research. I have been very happy with Young Living, but I know many will find the “best” from various sources to make up their essential oil cabinet. You will not want to use a vaporizer for your oils, I would suggest purchasing a diffuser which is designed to disperse your oils, over time essential oils will breakdown plastic tubing. A search on Amazon or Abundanthealth.com is a place to start looking at diffusers. You can also get a free one in premium kits sold by Young Living. Please feel free to contact me.

Microbial testing involves analyzing a batch of essential oils for the presence of bio-hazardous microorganisms such as fungi, bacteria, viruses, and mold. The process involves drawing a sample and then adding that sample to a sterile growth medium in an enclosed dish or plate. The sample is incubated for a period of time and then observed for microbial growth. This test is performed on product entering the manufacturing facility and on finished products prior to distribution to ensure that the product has not been contaminated during the filling process.
Somebody asked about the relationship between doTERRA and Young Living, since their claims regarding their respective oils are so similar. Funny thing about that. There was originally only one company – I think Young Living, although I am not sure – but those folks got in a squabble among themselves and a group broke off and formed doTERRA. Hence, the nearly identical hype.
Hi, danelle. I have a daughter name danielle, but anyway, I’m marilyn. I love your post. I am a EO user for 3 yrs now. Learning more and more about this world of EO’s and loving them. I too, suffer now with degenerative problems and excruciating pain at time. My question, did u have a daily routine and what oils were u using. I’m trying to get away from conventional meds unless extreme situations. EO’s are absolutely amazing! Thank you.
We offer a wide range of USDA Organic Certified and Conventional Essential Oils to many of the flavor, fragrance, pharmaceutical and cosmetic industries worldwide. Our Company works with farming partners that have been in business for over 30 years, harvesting the finest, most naturally grown seasonal crops, and in turn producing the purest 100% natural essential oils through steam distillation and cold pressed extraction. In addition to being ISO 9001:2008 & WHO GMP Certified, our farming partners are Kosher and Halal Certified.
Using a special type of Mass Spectroscopy, it is possible to determine which isotopes are present in an essential oil constituent and at what amounts. If sourced from the same location, every constituent in an essential oil should have the same ratio of isotopes. If a particular constituent has an isotopic profile different than that of the other constituents, then the quality control analyst will know that the oil contains an adulteration.
“The other important thing to understand is that any synthetic or improperly distilled component of the oil is very toxic! Because true essential oil constituents are so amazing at delivering nutrients to the cells (even pharma is using them for 100-4000X + increased absorption) that any synthetic, additive or improperly distilled oil components will get driven deep into the brain and cells by the real oil components making them very toxic.”
I have been using, ingesting and inhaling these oils for 10 years, and have had arthritis pain minimized, cholesterol levels lowered, my husband’s BP lowered in 20 minutes, been able to sleep without taking a drug, had excruciating reflux diminished and often eliminated in minutes. I don’t know what they can do for you…each person is different, you have to “play” with them until you find what works for your body chemistry. God created the plants for healing, not pharmaceutical companies. Sometimes there may be a need for a pharmaceutical for a limited time, but mostly…I’LL STICK WITH MY OILS and herbs thank you!
The concern with oils not being pure is a valid one. For many reasons, often related to a distiller or supplier wanting to make more money, adulteration of essential oils is a serious problem.  Oils are adulterated at various stages of their production, and in many different ways. Finding an honest retailer who specializes in essential oils will minimize or remove your risk of purchasing an adulterated essential oil. Retailers who specialize in selling essential oils will be more likely to provide pure essential oils, as they will be more involved in the essential oil trade, and more likely to be concerned that their product be valid, since it is their primary source of business and reputation.

I am new to essential oils. I just purchased a diffuser and Callily essential oils sampler pak. I’m following all directions for the diffuser, and adding 3–5 drops of oil, but I really cannot even smell them! I was hoping to use the eucalyptus for my sinuses at night, but sadly I’m getting no benefits or noticing anything healing. Any advice from anyone? It says do not overuse oils in diffuser, but I feel like I need to add more to actually smell them in the air! Thanks for any advice!
“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.

Hi there, I just started using an e,extranio cigarette, read that if you make your own e liquids, (there’s a few kits out there) you can get read of the only scientifically detected ingredient that might pose a threat to health, this is not nicotine it’s called propylene glycol. I want to make my own liquid using just vegetable glycerin and for the aroma, I thought I could use a tiny amount of essential oils. My doubt is, a Swiss just bottle of lets say thyme, is it a 100% the me extracted oil? Or is there any other ingredient? Do you think for vaping essential oils are ok?

In the holistic use of essential oils, the focus is on bringing the body back into natural balance and harmony. Disease is seen as merely an outward symptom of a deeper, underlying imbalance in the body, mind and spirit. Holistic medicine sees the body as a self-healing mechanism. The body is capable of healing itself of disease by bringing the whole person back into balance. Therefore, the holistic use of therapeutic essential oils focuses on restoring balance in the body, mind and spirit. Success is gauged equally on the relief of symptoms and the improvement of overall wellness, vitality and happiness.


Botanical Name. High quality essential oils should have the botanical or “scientific” name (genus and species of the plant) listed on the label. Beware that inferior oils will blend certain plant essential oils together that do not make a “healthy mix” and are therefore not good for your health. It is also common for some oils to be made from cheaper or less therapeutic plant species and then misleadingly labeled as “therapeutic” grade oil. Lavender oil is a prime example, where hybrid “lavandins” are often used instead of the genuine and authentic Lavandula augustifolia vera.

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.

Vibrational energy in molecules refers to the the vibration of bound atoms within a particular molecule. For example, if we look at a very simple molecule like carbon dioxide, we can measure the vibration or frequency of what is referred to the carbonyl stretch (the stretching motion of the double bond between the carbon and the oxygen atoms). The larger the molecule is the more vibrational motions it will have. Molecules in essential oils would have many different bond vibrations going on because even the smaller molecules (monoterpenes) consist of 10 carbon atoms and 16 hydrogen atoms. Thus all essential oil molecules would have many different vibrations going on simultaneously and each different type of vibrational motion in each different bond would have its own characteristic frequency. These vibrational frequencies in molecules are measured using infrared (IR) spectroscopy because energy in the IR range of the electromagnetic spectrum is what is required to cause these vibrations. The magnitude of Infrared radiation is in the 10,000,000,000,000 to 400,000,000,000,000 Hertz range!

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?
Another added benefit of diffusion is its ability to clean the air. When the air in a space is stagnant, smelly and unclean — like in the winter when your home is closed up — there can be infectious airborne bacteria, viruses and spores floating about ready to make you sick. But when the right essential oil is diffused, in the correct amount, you can actually kill those little buggers in the air before they get to you.
As far as I can tell, ‘wintergreen oil’ is not listed anywhere by the FDA. Methyl salicylate IS permitted by the FDA as an indirect food additive, when is is a constituent of an adhesive. It is not on their ‘regular’ indirect food additive list – only the one that applies to adhesives. But I can’t see it on any negative list, and I can’t see a maximum permitted amount.
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