EOs that you are able to ingest have been noted to help the body and are forced through your gut allowing the body to use them differently from EOs that enter your body via the skin. Those that are not recommended for ingestion have been noted to cause irritation to the GI tract and have been noted to have a negative response. An example of this, though slightly unrelated, is marijuana – smoking it vs ingesting it. It enters the lungs and thus the bloodstream while an edible source has to enter your stomach and then the bloodstream. The stomach acts as the buffer just as the lung tissue acts as a buffer but different responses and levels of THC are achieved.
Hello Ellen,I just started using YL and I started puttimg straight frankencense on a skin cancer that was needing cut out.Ive allready had one taken out the size of my thumbnail.The new spot is now gone but im still putting oil on til i feels safe.My freinds totally acned out face is now totally clear.Yes its costly,but you have the alternative to be a salesman(like marykay etc).+ work from home.As far as their license?have no clue though I dont see how a 9 country operation could be so careless .I love love their products,but i still find great natural products at cheaper cost.All i know is I found something that really works and still cheaper than a doctor for now.

Essential oils have long been used for enhancing the flavor of food and are commonly used internally for their therapeutic purposes. However, I must stress that anyone who recommends the oral use of essential oils for therapeutic purposes should be suitably qualified. This means that they should have suitable training in physiology, pharmacology and aromatherapy chemistry and should have a minimum level diploma qualification in aromatic medicine or a medical herbalism diploma.

Hi Robert – I know I’ve read that more than a few times in some of the main stream aromatherapy books and think I was told that in my aromatherapy classes – about the 2% thing. So, it is a perception that I myself also have and have, therefore, spent long hours trying to determine if my sources are selling me what they say they are and who my sources should be – long hours and dollars spent to attend conferences to rub elbows with those who should know. However, at that time in 2006, organic essential oils were not readily or at all available. I have also read and have been told by those who should know, that just because an oil is certified organic, there is still no guarantee that said essential oil is not adulterated or for that matter really organic. The argument that I was given was that no one stays around to make sure that the material actually placed into the still was the same that was grown in the organic soil. We live in a world of distrust and for good reason as we look around at the greed in high places. I know this doesn’t address your issues about your article but was and always will be interested in any discussion concerning what constitutes an unadulterated oil. That being said, I would think there are certain things to consider when purchasing an oil and the chances it may or may not be adulterated. Some oils are naturally inexpensive and there would be nothing gained by adulterating them. If you look at how many acres of a particular oil are said to have been grown for a particular year and for that same year there was a great more essential oil sold than could have been produced – then you know you probably have an issue. I know that you know far more about this issue than I do, but I would like to see more discussion concerning what things would throw up a red flag when purchasing an oil from a particular supplier. The internet is now so absolutely full of people selling essential oils and copying and pasting the same old information that it is a bit overwhelming. My concern is the same as other clinical aromatherapists and that is that people will try a particular oil, find that it doesn’t work because it is either adulterated or the person selling the oil really doesn’t have a clue which oil or chemotype should be used for a particular purpose, so the client then assumes that any and all claims made by the aromatherapy industry are false or vastly overstated. This is true in research studies that have been done as well. Is there an answer? I would like to see an article by someone as knowledgeable as yourself that gives you a list of possible red flags and things to consider when looking for suppliers, particularly bulk suppliers.

You see with the rise in the popularity and increasing understanding of the effectiveness of the use of essential oils in aromatherapy, several large  direct and multi-level marketing (MLM) companies have moved into the field.  As with any company of this type, they have a very real need to differentiate themselves one from others in the field as well as from traditional businesses.
However, a small variation in price differences on the higher end will NOT mean a better essential oil. It will just mean a higher price. (A little birdie also told me that there are also only a handful of essential oil distilleries in the world, which means that most essential oils come from the exact same places – thus there is little difference in quality between the more “typically priced” EOs.) What I’m saying here is: Understand that you DO have to pay for quality, but that if you’re just using essential oils in non-therapeutic fashions, it’s okay to use less expensive oils (like the Beeyoutiful ones pictured at the top of this post, or NOW brand essential oils). But if you want high quality, I suggest using an ethical supplier that offers organic essential oils (grown without pesticides or toxic fertilizers).

The oils are steam-distilled or mechanically pressed from flowers, trees, shrubs, fruit, roots, rinds, resins and herbs. Each plant's essential oil has a different chemical composition that affects how it smells, how it is absorbed, and how it is used by the body. Even the essential oils from different varieties of the same species may have different chemical compositions, and can vary when the same plants are grown or harvested in different ways, or in different locations.
I am trying to make up my own mixture of Deep Blue for my cousin who is 70 years old, and who is not on any type of medication as well as for a lady who is 80 after they suffered from a nasty bout of a virus from a mosquito in the caribbean which cause inflammation and joint pains – I have bought all the ingredients, including wintergreen, which you said is poisonous – could you tell me the dosage of the different oils being used namely wintergreen, camphor; peppermint; blue tansy; german chamomile; helichrysum and osmanthus – in the synergistic mix – how many drops of all these oils to make up the mix? I will make up the mix and the post it in a 10 ml bottle to my cousin with specific instructions. I should appreciate your advise.
Essential oils aren’t really oils in the true sense of the word. They are complex mixtures of aromatic compounds extracted from plant material. They have distinct odors, poor solubility in water (a trait they share with true oils), and are extracted from plants by distillation and cold pressing. Common examples include lavender, peppermint, tea tree and eucalyptus, but you’ll find hundreds more.
^ Aizpurua-Olaizola, Oier; Ormazabal, Markel; Vallejo, Asier; Olivares, Maitane; Navarro, Patricia; Etxebarria, Nestor; Usobiaga, Aresatz (2015-01-01). "Optimization of supercritical fluid consecutive extractions of fatty acids and polyphenols from Vitis vinifera grape wastes". Journal of Food Science. 80 (1): E101–107. doi:10.1111/1750-3841.12715. ISSN 1750-3841. PMID 25471637.
I am confused on your list of EOs to avoid while nursing or pregnant. Many of these oils I have never heard being issues. I use Lemon oil regularly and ginger as well, as a nursing mother. Could you perhaps list effects of each oil for breastfeeding mothers ? I know peppermint reduces production but confused on most of the others…. you listed ” Aniseed, cedarwood, chamomile, cinnamon, clary sage, clove, ginger, jasmine, lemon, nutmeg, rosemary, sage” I use several on this list currently and was about to put in a YL order for clary sage
They are actually a very dark shade of violet. We are proud to use patented premium violet glass bottles that offer the greatest degree of protection from the damaging UV rays. Timeless and protective qualities of violet glass are traceable back to the ancient Egyptian civilization, when valuable essences and healing elixirs were kept in gold and violet glass containers. The unparalleled quality of our bottles ensures freshness and gives our oil an extended lifespan. Like a fine wine, some oils age gracefully when encased in violet glass walls.
Anyway, on to my question…I am basically interested in the most basic of oils. Peppermint, lavender, lemon or orange and possibly tea tree as my daughter has severe scalp (dandruff ?) issues. I also have recently started to make soap and am looking dor something natural yet affordable to scent them with. Where would u recommend I get these oils for this use?
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.
Use the tips within AromaWeb's How to Buy Essential Oils article to guide you on what to look for when considering suppliers. Companies that use the terms "therapeutic grade" and "aromatherapy grade" may simply be trying to quickly convey to you that their oils were carefully chosen and tested for use by those practicing holistic aromatherapy. Some companies still have no idea that these terms are confusing.
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”.
So if you are among those in the denial crowd please rethink your position about TG. You may not like the promotion of TG but that doesn’t mean it doesn’t exist. I think a better response instead of just saying “there’s no such thing” would be to say that “while many companies promote their own therapeutic grade standard, one should be aware that there is no independent body that certifies essential oils as therapeutic grade.” That is a fair statement that makes you look like a rational, logical and thoughtful human being instead of knee-jerk MLM hater. If you want a make a difference to people who are being fed a bunch a garbage by a narcissistic EO messiah then you must remain as objective, scientific and as non-emotional as possible. If you come off antagonistic it will be a barrier to productive dialog. I hope my friends in the traditional aromatherapy communities don’t take offense at this and look at it as just some friendly advice. I am not taking any sides here, the only side I am on is the side of truth. Read Dr. Pappas responses to the comments on this myth 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.

The unfortunate thing is that the information is just passed from rep to rep down the MLM sales chain and the layperson doesn’t question if it is correct or if it could do harm. How easy would it be to assume that you could put a drop of wintergreen oil in a glass of water to relieve pain because you can with all of the others right? Ingesting wintergreen oil is like taking a large quantity of aspirin – highly toxic. However, these oils are sold as harmless, safe and natural. They couldn’t hurt you, right?
As the vaporized microscopic particles come into contact with the soft and moist tissue inside your nose and sinuses their beneficial properties enter directly into your bloodstream and get dispersed throughout your body. At the same time they travel up the olfactory nerve (the one that operates your sense of smell) to the limbic region of your brain where you process feelings and emotions. This is also an important area of the brain involved in memory. Smell and memory are processed through the same part of the brain; that’s why when you smell cookies baking in the oven you may have flashbacks of childhood.
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
In aromatherapy and perfumery, Frankincense Essential Oil is considered an exclusive and highly desirable ingredient. Since ancient times, it has been used as incense and perfume, and as an exquisite cosmetic ingredient. It is considered the most valued oil for skincare products. This oil retains the sweet, warm and woody notes of the resin from which it is extracted.
“Peppermint is an interesting plant in that it yields more oil than most others. As such, large farms and distilleries extract a bunch of oil from the peppermint plant.  Smaller farms do a first distillation of peppermint that they sell to oils companies for the highest price. The peppermint is then re-distilled at a higher pressure and higher temperature for a 2nd distill, and the resulting oil is sold for less money to soap companies, and the like, that want a lower cost oil, but still desire a slightly “herby” smell. The plant is then re-distilled one more time at a yet higher temperature and pressure for a 3rd distill, which is sold to companies wanting the candy-cane smelling oil.”
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.
An essential oil does not have to be adulterated to be inferior. Plant quality, climate, location, growing conditions, harvest, and production technique have a lot to do with quality. Of course, environmental conditions directly affect the percentages of each component of the essential oil. Botanical variety and Chemotype identification also play a part in quality determination. Like organic, ‘wild crafted’ is another overused term. Many imported essential oils come from non-plantation sources.
The Mountain Rose Herbs essential oil company strives to sell the absolute finest quality of essential oils. All of their products are certified organic, and an attitude of “People and Planet before Profit” runs through their whole company. Their sustainability principles range from Zero Waste Certification to an Energy Efficiency operations program that helps reduce their company’s carbon footprint.
Greetings! I'm Wendy Robbins, the founder, curator and writer for AromaWeb. I've been working with essential oils for nearly 25 years, have completed over 400 documented hours of education in the field of aromatherapy, am a Certified Aromatherapist and am a Professional Level Member of both the Alliance of International Aromatherapists and the National Association for Holistic Aromatherapy. Learn more about my background and credentials.

Young Living is a legit company, though their founder has been in a bit of trouble and maybe isn’t of the best moral character, thus Dr. Pappas’ last comments on oil myth #10. (The story is out there. It may take a bit of searching to find it if interested) Young Living has spent a lot of their energy bashing your favorite brand in hopes to destroy their reputation, also speaking volumes about the character of the company and many of their reps.

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.

We've covered a lot about aiding mood and mentality, but what about the more physical healing benefits of essential oils? Many plants are natural antiseptics, anti-inflammatories, antimicrobials, and antivirals, so when concentrated into essential oil form, they can function as highly effective remedies for acne, muscle soreness, sore throats, and more. Take ever-versatile peppermint oil, for example. "It's cooling, and can be found in formulated muscle care products along with eucalyptus, wintergreen, and German chamomile essential oils to name a few," Avery says. Try her go-to recipe for a DIY leg rub: "Add 10 drops of peppermint essential oil to one ounce of sweet almond oil, and rub it into leg muscles and feet."
I’m sensitive to many sources and when my acupuncturist applied peppermint oil to an aching shoulder it sent me right into orbit. Anxiety and blood pressure were out of control for several days. I have always been able to eat peppermint with no problem but the oil while applied to the skin was way too intense. Now just the scent of it sets me off. Be careful.

In fact, the doTerra peppermint oil contained ethyl vanillin which is a synthetic compound used for odor! So much for unadulterated oils. You cannot tell how potent, pure, or good an oil is by how beautiful it smells. Some don’t smell anything like you would expect. All of the peppermint essential oils that I have owned smelled like the peppermint that you find in a garden while doTERRA’s peppermint essential oil smells like peppermint candy.
Can you treat psoriasis with essential oils? Psoriasis is a common skin condition in which scaly plaque build up on the skin. There are some herbal oils that are said to have healing effects on patches of psoriasis. Learn how essential oils and natural remedies may be used to treat psoriasis. MNT also examines what psoriasis is and what its causes. Read now

Tisserand and Balacs further point out that “the only likely risk would be from prolonged exposure (perhaps 1 hour or more) to relatively high levels of essential oil vapor which could lead to headaches, vertigo, nausea and lethargy”. With regard to internal use, NAHA does not support the indiscriminate internal use of essential oils. Click here for more information.

This is truly what I look for in lavender! I use lavender every single day, so having a great quality oil with value pricing is so important. I do wish shipping was done differently - I paid almost $9 for Shipping, and received my items in a USPS flat rate box that I know costs less than $6, so that was disappointing. The oils, however, never disappoint!
Hi! Is it necessary to dilute an oil if you’re going to inhale the vapor, rather than use it topically? I’m asking because I had been rubbing a drop of frankincense on the palms of my hands and then inhaling to treat asthma. After awhile, I developed a reaction on my skin. Now I’m applying the oil to a piece of paper in a ziploc bag and inhaling from that to avoid skin contact.
Thank you so much for the objective, thorough information! I have some questions about “organic certification”. My understanding, with plants or foods that are produced organically, is that 100% organic is impossible because of cross contamination. So in the case of EO’s is organic less important because any chemical (ie pesticides, herbicides) that is not part of the oil is removed in the distillation process, or it is considered adulterated? For example, a company might state their oils are “certifiably organic” but they could still be contaminated because this certification allows a small percentage of contaminants. Any clarification would be greatly appreciated!

Hi Zach – yes true, if you make a syrup with honey (or other sugary substance) then the EOS will dissolve much better, which makes taking them safer. I think whether EOs are “safe” to take internally depends – on who, how, how much, how often, why, etc. So for me, there’s not a simple answer. Sometimes it’s fine, sometimes not. I will write more about this on my blog.

Ok I don’t usually make comments on articles but I just had to on this one. To the author: I’m sorry but this blog is poorly researched and full of errors. If you are going to put out information that people take as truth or at the very least as suggestions because they like you, you need to know what you are talking about. I highly suggest you take this blog down, re research essential oils and rewrite one that is accurate.

i am affiliated with a like minded company, Essante Organics. every item is toxic free, non gmo, and small green footprint. having doterra, young living, and essante oils and comparing same types, i am positive essante is the better of the three. essante’s company philosophy is better also. check them out. EssanteOrganics.com/julieparks i’m confident you will be impressed.

I love essential oils! I use NOW Oils because they are affordable and easy to find. I think Young Living and DoTerra are over priced marketing scams. I tell everyone I use NOW. I have great success using the more reasonable priced oils and they even make some of their own blends. Highly recommend but everyone needs to find what brand works for them.

Therapeutic essential oils or medicinal essential oils must be of the highest quality, potency and purity for demanding medicinal applications and maximum effectiveness. Therapeutic essential oils must also be well balanced, natural and of high energy for holistic applications. The following are qualities to look for in a true therapeutic or medicinal essential oil:

I strongly encourage you to get a copy of Higley’s book “Reference Guide to Essential Oils” as it will help you learn about what oils you can and cannot use with children, which oils have been noted to help with which conditions and which oils are considered Generally Regarded as Safe for ingestion. There are other books out there, lots of testimonials by users of EOs, and lots of suggestions on pinterest. Please do not let naysayers like Jena frighten you away from EOs and do your research, learn all that you can. Also bear in mind that each person responds to and smells the oils differently so take time to get to know your response to each oil and how much carrier you need to prevent skin irritation. This is a learning experience that can positively change your life if you let it!
Florasol is another solvent used to obtain essential oils. It was originally developed as a refrigerant to replace Freon. Although Florasol is an "ozone-friendly" product, it has a high global warming potential (GWP; 100-yr GWP = 1430).[11] The European Union has banned its use, with a phase-out process that began in 2011, to be completed in 2017.[12] One advantage of Florasol is that the extraction of essential oils occurs at or below room temperature so degradation through high temperature extremes does not occur. The essential oils are mostly pure and contain little to no foreign substances.[citation needed]