Some essential oils qualify as GRAS flavoring agents for use in foods, beverages, and confectioneries according to strict Good Manufacturing Practice (GMP) and flavorist standards.[48] Pharmacopoeia standards for medicinal oils should be heeded. Some oils can be toxic to some domestic animals, cats in particular.[49] The internal use of essential oils can pose hazards to pregnant women, as some can be abortifacients in dose 0.5–10 mL, and thus should not be used during pregnancy.[citation needed]
I agree heather- I LOVE DoTERRA oils!!!  I use them every day and we have never been healthier!  We have never had a bad reaction to them on our skin, even our little kids, because they are PURE.  I used YL all growing up and always had reactions to them, but the DoTERRA are amazing.  I also love that you can take most of them internally!  I used Oregano to kill strep throat I got last spring!  Can’t say enough good about them.  I especially love how the company is so in to education and helping you keep yourself and your family healthy. 
Hi Francis – Food grade oils are approved for use as food flavorings, though it’s a mistake to believe that they are therefore also approved as internal medicines. They are known by the designation FCC (Food Chemicals Codex). Pharmaceutical grade oils are usually known by the designation BP (British Pharmacopoeia) or USP (U.S Pharmacopeia). The two standards are the same. None of the grades particularly applies to the use of essential oils in aromatherapy, and many pharmaceutical grade oils are only approved as flavorings – to make a medicine taste better. Therapeutic grade is a great idea, it just doesn’t exist yet!

Hi. Faith. Thanks for sharing about NOW essential oils. In the last two months, I have been learning about EOs and bought several NOW oils at GNC, with the initial intent of using them in more natural cleaning products, getting away from many that are chemical-based and hard to breathe when using. I cannot say that they have had any health benefits for me yet, as I am fortunate to not be prone to a lot of illness, but I have bought NOW grapeseed oil and have used lavender in it on my skin, and have used peppermint for headaches, but I am still learning. I did, however, just purchase the NOW diffuser, two actually, which just arrived this past Saturday afternoon, and I have been enjoying blending oils for scent.

Tomato Leaves are toxic, never ingest them or use for skincare products. Strictly aromatic purposes are okay, like candles, however, Tomato Leaf EO or Absolute is very expensive for such a venture. The fresh leaves loose their wonderful aroma once dried, I tried it already 🙂 Best choice will be a fragrance oil if you want to really capture that smell, I know…not natural, but these are the facts. Good luck!
I’m familiar with EO at one time I used YL the only problem with that is they were to expensive in my opinion. So I quit for awhile. I deal on a daily basis with fibromylgia,osteoarthritis and anxiety. Due to all this my doctor took me off of a sleeping pill said I was sleeping to much in the day plus I went to the library for a free class about sleeping patterns and I was told to get off the OTC sleeping meds. Wow want to talk about a withdraw plus the lack of sleep I was getting. I was like an owl still sleeping in the day up at night. I had to do something. My sister told me about piping rock that’s where she’d been getting her essential oils. So I got my Lavender and Bergamont and at reasonable prices.Their great I sleep well now.
Some angel person told me to sniff peppermint oil! The relief was instant and comparable to throwing water on a fire. Now, this is not to say that it worked 100% of the time. I don’t expect these things to be infallible. Sometimes, if you’re going to be sick, there’s no going back, but seriously, this was nothing short of a miracle for me. I kept several bottles so that they would always be handy.
The Ananda Apothecary may be a slightly lesser-known name and strangely hard to pronounce. However, it’s a company of true essential oils people where you can buy almost any type and variety of essential oil you can imagine. Most importantly, they offer wild crafted essential oils, which are oils made from wild harvested plant materials and not plants grown on farms. You can also purchase organic oils certified by both the USDA and Ecocert ICO, and specially AGED essential oils. If all of these things are new to you, find more details in my full brand review here.

I believe, and know from experience that if essential oils have to comply with the TGA, it is not possible to sell pure, authentic, genuine essential oils. The TGA has excellent standards for safety and efficacy – however they insist that essential oils comply with British Pharmacopeia (BP) monographs. This often means that the oil has to be rectified or adulterated. Off course, the essential oil producer always claims that their oils are totally natural and have not been modified.


Just to give anyone interested a typical example analysis, the picture below is of a certified organic lavender that I recently analyzed for a customer. As you can see the peak at 26.435 shows camphor present at 0.25%. Also, if you want peer reviewed literature references showing that camphor should indeed be in lavender, just login to my EO Chemical Reference database and you will see plenty of detailed reports, with journal citations, confirming exactly what I am talking about.
Among the crunchy set, essential oils have a reputation as catch-all solutions to major health problems. Have a fever? Rub peppermint oil on your feet. Suffering from shoddy memory? Put some rosemary oil in a diffuser. It doesn’t help that woo-woo bloggers are running around the internet touting the glory of essential oils in the same breath as some pretty paranoid fantasies ("This is what Big Pharma doesn’t want you to know!!!111").

I do have one argument to a rather fabulous post. Please do not use UNDILUTED oils…ANY of them. I accidently poured some lavender on my neck and felt nothing…til 10 days later I had a dozen or more hard nodules under my skin. NONE of them are safe. I’m not allergic; I’m not on any meds to counteract them. The oil is Nature’s Sunshine and very great quality. Just be safe and use a carrier oil always.

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!
CBD doesn’t intoxicate you. This means that people can enjoy the benefits of medicinal marijuana without having their daily lives impacted. More importantly, CBD does not decrease psychomotor skills or psychological functioning. THC acts on CB1 receptors, the pathways that are responsible for the psychoactive effects of marijuana, whereas CBD does not. The way CBD interacts with receptors also makes it non-addictive. It’s safe to use CBD salve for pain, mental disorders, and inflammation without the fear of undesirable side effects.

Janice – no, it’s not at all junk science, and this is what ISO standards are all about – the maximum and minimum ranges of key constituents. This does of course vary with different chemotypes, as well as different species, and it can also vary with geographical origin. So there is an ISO standard for peppermint oil from the USA, and a different one for the rest of the world. (this is not elitism – ISO standards are not US-based.)


I really think i would’ve enjoyed reading your article and i think i may have gotten a lot out of it. However, trying to read around the block with “FOLLOW and icons for Facebook, Twitter etc.,” was infuriating!! I attempted to read your site on two different occasions and soon gave up both times. The second time i tried to get rid of the more than bothersome block by clicking on ea icon and choosing one of the actions to just get it out of my way, but no luck.

Hi I like this post but I’m still confused so 100% essential oil is not to be ingested? The reason I’m asking this is I am wanting to make raw chocolates with peppermint oil a lady and she is not qualified at all she just works at a organic shop she told me that it’s fine to use the oil in very small amounts! Like peppermint and that’s just it i use 100% eucalyptus oil for cleaning my bathroom and it states on the bottle POISON!
In a quote from aromatherapy expert, David Crow, he writes, “[T]he antimicrobial effects of essential oils are most potent not when the oil is used in liquid form… but when pathogens are exposed to the vapors of the oils.” Not only do the oils clean the air and get into your nose, but they are also penetrating your skin, getting into your bloodstream, protecting and healing you.
From the cultivation of aromatic plants to shipping, we are acutely conscious of environmental sustainability, conservation of natural resources and recycling options. We promote biological cultivation as an investment in our children‘s future and work with regenerative energy from Greenpeace Energy. Shipping is climate-neutral. We prefer to use FSC® or PEFC-certified raw materials from climate-neutral and sustainable cultivation for packaging, brochures and this catalogue.

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Standardized oils are those which have been altered from their naturally balanced state. They can be adulterated with all natural constituents. An example of this would be Lavender. True Lavender is Lavandula angustifolia. Most of the flowers and oil from France are actually a cross between Lavandula angustifolia and Lavandula latifolia and should more properly be referred to as Lavandin (Lavandula x intermedia). Additionally, Lavandin essential oil may be combined with chemical constituents of Lavender or other species, such as linalyl acetate from Mentha citrata, for example, to produce a Lavender 40-42 essential oil, a 40 to 42% standardization of linalyl acetate and linalool content. This oil is most widely presented as a Lavender oil but is not acceptable in the practice of Aromatherapy.
The good news is that the guessing work will be gone in the next few years. Gary Young, founder of Young Living has been asked by the FDA to set up a standards for the United States. So it will not matter what the customer service or distributors say as we will be able to refer to the FDA classify the oil. This will make the true pure oils to stand up and be noticed but also for safety for our health to take the purest of the pure oils for our medicines!
The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) classifies essential oils as food supplements, not drugs. This means producers of essential oils are not allowed to market the compounds as medicine. In fact, they must clearly state the product is “not intended to diagnose, treat, cure or prevent any disease.” According to the Dietary Supplemental Health and Education Act of 1994, this classification also means the FDA is not allowed to regulate the sale or use of essential oils unless they can prove a particular product poses a serious threat.
The information provided on this site is for informational purposes only and is not intended as a substitute for advice from your physician or other health care professional or any information contained on or in any product label or packaging. You should not use the information on this site for diagnosis or treatment of any health problem or for prescription of any medication or other treatment. Always consult with a healthcare professional before starting any diet, exercise or supplementation program, before taking any medication, or if you have or suspect you might have a health problem. You should not stop taking any medication without first consulting your physician.

For example, Peppermint Essential Oil is used primarily as a flavoring for candies (i.e. Candy Canes), chewing gum and ice creams. It is often referred to on food ingredient labels as Oil of Peppermint or simply as Peppermint Oil. Because large food/candy manufacturers must produce a consistently flavored product, the intensity, aroma and overall flavor of the peppermint oil they use must remain consistent between each lot of oil that they purchase. Peppermint Oil manufacturers/distributors, therefore typically standardize the essential oils that they sell by establishing a blueprint of the percentage that each important constituent should reach within each essential oil. They then test the oil and then adjust the oil by adding or removing constituents until the resulting oil meets the ideal percentage.


Essential oils are extracted by several methods including distillation (water, steam, water and steam), cold pressing, enfleurage, solvent extraction and CO2 extraction. The choice of extraction method varies according to the chemical constituents, the delicate nature of certain plant materials, or the desired result. For example, fractioning, a distillation technique, separates specific chemical constituents, owing to their varied boiling points and evaporation rates. This is particularly useful in the perfume and flavor industries.
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.

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.
There is no evidence to suggest essential oils are effective (or safe) as the primary treatment of diseases and symptoms that fall outside the mind-body connection. Remember, when you use an essential oil and expect a specific outcome, you are relying on the biochemical activity of the compound in question. Many plants are biochemically active in humans and classified as drugs. These “natural” products have undergone rigorous scientific study to prove they work and determine what dangers they pose.

Essential oils are in fact NOT oils at all, they’ve simply acquired that name because they do not mix with water, just like regular oils. They are a vital liquid present inside living plants — a natural solution of various complex chemical constituents. Scientifically, essential oils are concentrated aromatic volatile plant compounds (‘volatile’ meaning they can change state or evaporate very easily). They are mostly derived from the flowers, leaves, stems and fruits of plants, while some are extracted from the bark and even the sap of trees.

I’m not hear to debate semantics on the exact meanings behind doTERRA’s CPTG rating on their oils. Weather it’s a “trademark” or “certification” in the legal sense does not concern me. What I learned is that the tests are being done and they are extensive. Because of that the company can then give you their promise that they are what they say. There really are extensive test, and they are being done by companies other than doTERRA. I trust the oils because of this and the miraculous results I’ve experienced with them. I DO NOT claim that these are the only pure oils on the market. I believe what I’m reading from other bloggers who stand behind oils that give them amazing results. I think that’s wonderful and I for one hope the market for pure oils will continue to grow. I’ve found that things progress much better when “we all get along”. Working together for the highest, healthiest, outcomes is always going to go a lot further than wasting time on hostilities. The oils on the market that are not pure will eventually weed themselves out among those who use EO’s because they simply do not supply the needed results. For those of you who are new at EO’s, take the time to find ones that work, because the good ones DO work wonders. I prefer to talk about amazing, positive progress in natural health care. I do no care to argue about things that have many issues that have many sides that we may have only partial information about. Natural selection will take care of most of the problems. I will not get caught up in the blogging hostilities that pit this company against that company. I want to spend my time on the positive.


“companies creating there own standards” is why we have certifying organizations; to ensure truth in advertising and obtainable measureable repeatable standards. If it were ok to have every company creating their own standards we’d have more problems. Oh yeah we do, Sallie and Freddie, Enron… That’s why we voted for Obama because this type of side stepping around responsibility and being honest is not acceptable. Thank you Robert, I was trying to figure out where I got this notion of “therapeutic grade” when I couldn’t find a certifying body that provided that term. I am fairly sure I got it from some YL distributor. It’s one of the reasons I value having found you and bought your books etc. You cut through the cr_p out there. Thank you.
All of the reputable essential oil companies in this comparison are ones that have made a name for themselves in at least half of the States. I didn’t chart brands that are only known vaguely in a few States. All of the essential oil brands on this map are popular, well-established, and trustworthy. Now the question only is: will they work for you?
As far as uses to avoid when pregnant, use a reputable resource. No essential oils have been scientifically proved to be harmful to a developing fetus. There are some you should consult with your physician and some you should use caution with. You can use E.O’s during 1st trimester with caution. Here’s a good source to look at. It is a website based on Doterra Oils. http://www.everythingessential.me/Hints/ProperUse.html
After much internet research I found that high doses of magnesium helped. I currently take 1 tablespoon of “Calm” magnesium powder diluted in a cup of warm water every night before bed. Magnesium also helps with sleep. The magnesium has not been a cure all for me. I’ve also been going to an acupuncturist for the past 5 months which has also helped greatly but I still get the night cramps occasionally which is very upsetting. I’ve also found that caffeine and alcohol make matters worse so be careful with consumption of both.

Susie, yes, I have seen most of the Do Terra essential oils, and yes, it’s almost all hype. There are many suppliers to the aromatherapy community, who provide essential oils that are at least as good as Do Terra, and often cost less because they don’t have the whole multi-level marketing structure to finance. I think it’s very sad that the MLM companies find it necessary to resort to negative marketing in order to sell their essential oils.


Ellen – Im sorry but you are mistaken. Essential oils ARE able to be ingested in their purest, natural form. The FDA even acknowledges this and has its OWN list of Essential Oils Generally Recognized as Safe for human consumption. If needed I can gladly link you. The FDA has in fact gone after them, not for “practicing medicine”, but for some of the uneducated reps who made claims that EO’s cured Ebola. At the same time, Dr Bronners people among OTHER companies received the same letters. They also did not file anything, they have sent them letters with “their demands” and now these companies need to meet them. Do not make a mountain out of a mole hill. I am with Young Living oils- because I care where my product comes from.
Essential Oils are the real deal. They have therapeutic actions, they have been tested and studies have been done on them. Check out pubmed, http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed. In the search engine, type in an essential oil and you will see that studies have been done. I am a certified aromatherapist. I have gone to college to get my training in aromatherapy and herbal studies. This is a viable option for medical treatment. Just like any other medical field, the person needs to be certified before they can start suggesting the oils. They need to know the complications and contraindications of the oils. Essential oils are 70 TIMES MORE potent than the plant material itself. What scares me as an aromatherapist is that people or companies like those mentioned above are not certified to suggest the use of these oils. They do also push more expensive such as immortelle, sandalwood, & frankincense. They are all wonderful oils, but you can use more cost effective oils for with similar results. There is sustainability issues with sandalwood & frankincense right now & into the foreseeable future. They are not the most ethical oils to buy, until they can propagate the trees back from near extinction. It takes at least 30 to 50 years for the sandalwood “heart” oil to be harvested from the tree. Unfortunately, most physicians don’t know about essential oils or herbs. Aromatherapy has been around since 5,000 BC. It has a long documented history, along with herbal medicine. Just keep that in mind.
In Gas Chromatography, an essential oil is vaporized and passed through a long column to separate the oil into its individual components. Each component will travel through the column at a different speed, depending on its molecular weight and chemical properties, and is measured as it exits the column. Using this testing method, quality control analysts can determine which compounds are present in a test sample.

I’m still a beginner but I know that for many essential oils, you need what is called a carrier oil. These carrier oils mixed with the essential oil are what make it safe for skin. I suggest looking into getting the book ( aromatherapy for beginners) if you are serious about it. I’m still reading it but it has a tone of info, meanings, recipes and helpful terms of understanding. Also, it has a handy section in the back about resources online and in books to learn more and to find your essential oils. Good luck. 😀
"Synthetic essential oils may seem like a bargain," says Rupinder Mangat, CEO of Mevei. "It can be difficult to tell the difference between a synthetic oil or a real one. But be careful—chemically reconstructed oils seldom include all the trace chemicals that are found in the real plant. Price can be an indication that an oil is synthetically reproduced or extended."

It’s been a few months since you posted, and I hope you are feeling better! My youngest is now 10 and I am JUST now, as I am learning about my peri-menopausal experience, getting an understanding on my postpartum experience. I struggled for months with each kid and now I am pretty sure the base-line physical issue was hormonal imbalance. I have been taking a product from Young Living called Progessence Plus, and it has been a life-saver– I wish I had it when I was postpartum. Look it up, theres a PDF by Dr. Dan Purser talking about the product that answers a lot of questions and helped me a lot when I was researching. There are other oils from YL that help a lot with hormonal issues, Dragon Time, Schlaressence, Lady Schlerol. (Use my distributer #1112524 🙂 if you want to buy from YL)
I apologize that this is vague, but again, when you email customer service and get a response from legal counsel, or have a phone call scheduled with their communications lead and the call is controlled by legal, well, it's best to say less. And really, it's not that important when we start to look at what we actually want in our essential oils: top quality, pure oil.
I have nothing to do with this company. Furthermore, I did not spend much time writing about doTerra – and by the way, the term “bashing” is generally reserved for propaganda, i.e., baseless claims based on no evidence, such as yours. As a health care provider, when I come up against an anti-science claim that could be dangerous for consumers, I do take a good look at the evidence and the claims – and when the opportunity arises, I do let people know what I found.

•THE MOST RARE & PRESTIGIOUS OF ANCIENT ESSENTIAL OILS: Only the most delicate extraction methods have been used using Steam Distillation to preserve the unique signatures from the Boswellia tree RESIN that re-energize your Body, Mind & Soul. BEWARE OF CHEAP BIG BOTTLES they can be watered down, diluted and often use the leaves Not the Resin! which will not give you the true Frankincense Essential oil experience.
I have never used either YL or DoTerra and am not affiliated with either company but I have some very serious concerns about the claims made by YL and their representatives, as well as their owner/founder and his moral standing. There are disagreements within the aromatherapy industry as to how oils can and should be used but I know several QUALIFIED aromatherapists and they all advise that NOT all oils should be taken internally or applied undiluted directly to the skin.
We stand behind the quality of our diffusers and will take back any unit that is no longer functional. Bring it into any location or connect with our Customer Experience team, and we will happily repair or exchange it — it’s our lifetime efficacy guarantee. In order to protect the environment and reduce waste, we do not accept returns on previously used functional units.

you said eo’s should not be taken internally, yet I have been using doterra’s GX Assist for my 33 year old handicapped daughter who has a lot of trouble with yeast and bacteria and GI problems ( all typical of her handicap which is 22q13 deletion syndrome) I’m only giving her one capsule a day and even though it’s a 10 day course I may continue with this for a while as I am seeing a calmer happier person that meds just haven’t been able to achieve…any advise? I am new to eo’s and want to learn all I can and use them wisely as I suspect I have found something much better for her than all the stuff that has been prescribed by her good doctors over the years.
You seem to be a bit touchy about research. I would suggest that you go to PubMed and search for “essential oils.” You will definitely find some scholarly research that has been published on the subject….but not nearly enough. (If you need a comparison, do a search for your favorite pharmaceutical drug). Given that publications are the currency for academic research, this would suggest that there aren’t as many researchers studying these essential oils as you seem to think.
A pure, natural essential oil is an oil that is extracted from one species of plant from one specific geographical area.  The aroma profile for these oils will vary slightly from season to season and from geographical location to geographical location.  For example the lavender essential oil we sell at Moon Haven is a high altitude lavender grown and distilled in the mountains of France and we feel this is the best quality oil with the most appropriate and consistent scent profile of the plant Lavendula angustifolia.
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#1- Therapeutic Grade is just a selling gimmick. If EO’s are pure, they are equal to any other. There are only a few distillery’s so many of the EO’s come from the same distillery then sold under several names. You should always buy from a company that is willing to give you the GC/MS reports regarding the Lot your EO bottle is from. That tells the constituents of the EO and would indicate if adulterated in any way.
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.
Let’s be clear that my beef isn’t with the product – it’s the misleading marketing done by the MLM’s that has led to their gross misuse. Essential oils are fantastic and their biggest benefit is when they are used in an olfactory sense – that is inhaled and smelt. Diffusing essential oils works wonders for stress, anxiety, and moods. Using diluted oils on the skin can be great for relaxation, to relieve pain, reduce inflammation and just to smell nice! They are a very powerful medicine and when used in these safe and non-invasive ways can help to balance the body and promote healing.

Simple smells such as lavender, chamomile, and rosewater may help keep you calm. You can breathe in or rub diluted versions of these oils on your skin. Scientists think they work by sending chemical messages to parts of the brain that affect mood and emotion. Although these scents alone won’t take all your stress away, the aroma may help you relax.
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