The old adage, “you get what you pay for” is generally quite true when it comes to essential oils. Producing and distributing high quality essential oils is a time consuming and expensive process. If you find an essential oil at a price significantly lower than most major brands, you’re not getting a good deal, you’re probably getting a fake product.
Safety involves a state of being free from risk or occurrence of injury, harm, or danger. Individuals who practice aromatherapy need to be aware of the safety issues involved with using essential oils in order to avoid potential adverse effects. According to Burfield, “Although many essential oils are potentially hazardous materials, if handled in the appropriate manner, the risks involved in their use can be very small. So therefore, most commercially offered essential oils are safe to use for the purpose intended in a domestic/ professional or clinical environment.”1 The informed use of essential oils may create occasional irritation or minor discomfort, but it is extremely unlikely to create serious injury or lasting physical problems,2 particularly when basic guidelines are followed.
P.S. To respond to the one poster who said attributes are personality traits, such as courage, etc.. and that you can’t get those from the oils. You are right! It is my belief that the energy of the oils helps clear the blockages in the energy of the person to have more of those attributes. That may seem unclear or woo-woo, but that is the way I feel about it. 🙂
Infants, toddlers, and young children are more sensitive to the potency of essential oils and safe dilutions generally range from 0.5 - 2.5% depending on the condition. Certain essential oils should either be avoided, used in highly diluted form under the guidance of a knowledgeable professional, or included as a minor percentage in a professionally-formulated essential oil blend. For example, special caution should be exercised with potentially toxic essential oils such as Birch and Wintergreen which are both high in methyl salicylate, Eucalyptus which is high in 1,8 cineole and Peppermint which is high in menthol. Elderly clients may have more skin sensitivities so a reduced concentration/dilution may be indicated.
The only types of essential oils that should EVER be used are THERAPEUTIC GRADE essential oils. Otherwise, all the benefits of the essential oils are lost to the SYNTHETIC PETROCHEMICALS that are in MOST essential oils (even the ones you get at the health food store… I wont name brands)There are only two name brands that I know of that sell therapeutic grade essential oils.(there could be more) Those brands are Young Living ( Which I highly recommend) and Doterra. More expensive does mean better. Young Living does not sell any of its oils to any other company. There are only a handful of distilleries in the world that’s why most E.O’s are poor imitators. They are not all getting the oils from the same place. They are made in a lab instead.
Estrogenic and antiandrogenic activity have been reported by in vitro study of tea tree oil and lavender essential oils. Two published sets of case reports suggest the lavender oil may be implicated in some cases of gynecomastia, an abnormal breast tissue growth in prepubescent boys.[44][45] The European Commission's Scientific Committee on Consumer Safety dismissed the claims against tea tree oil as implausible, but did not comment on lavender oil.[46] In 2018, a BBC report on a study stated that tea tree and lavender oils contain eight substances that when tested in tissue culture experiments, increasing the level of estrogen and decreasing the level of testosterone. Some of the substances are found in "at least 65 other essential oils". The study did not include animal or human testing.[47]
I know nothing about using EOs so I am trying to do some research. I live in Missouri and there is a company here called Jordan Essentials all of their products are all natural. They recently came out with an essential oil line. My friend is a consultant for them and I am considering but some. Although I trust her, I don’t know what information the she has been told to say without really knowing what the quality is of their EO is (if that makes sense lol)If anyone know anything about their EOs please let me know 🙂

In answer to your daughters eczema problem, I am a first time mother of an 8 month old. I just took her to an herbalist because I thought she had a rash and he told me it was eczema. She started out with it on her leg and within a couple weeks in spread all over her torso. He suggested I start giving her “Kali sulph” It is a homeopathic remedy used for various skin conditions. He recommended I give her two tablets three times per day. That was two weeks ago and there has been a significant change in her eczema! I do not know much about essential oils though I full heartedly believe they work but I am just a mom wanting to help another mom. I hope you find something for your daughter.
I have been bothered by yeast infections in past yrs(vaginal) knowing that most essential oils have antibacterial properties I did the following; In 1 cup bottled water I put 8 to 10 drops Rosemary essential oil, stirred it up, wet a washcloth with it and bathed the area. I had immeadiate relief from the horrible itching. If it came back do it again..It only took 2 treatments for me. that was a Godsend to me.

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 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.

TAOASIS works close with local manufacturer together which produce with loving handwork scent flowers, scent woods and vases. Especially products from german manufacturers are successful on the market at home and abroad. More and more customers are looking for a special quality, appreciate the transparent production process and the possibility to receive individual certificates.
In response to my request for testing results, the company I reached out to explained that they do testing each month, but if I wanted to review the tests I would need to sign a non-disclosure agreement owing to the proprietary information in the results. I am also guessing that they were not willing to share the results of their testing for other privacy reasons given how competitive this market has become. To receive this information, I would also be required to grant them access to a private Facebook group I manage where the discussion had first sparked my questioning. (I can only assume one of the members of this group approached the company directly asking the questions that were being raised.)
Great post! I am a lover/addict of essential oils and I found it interesting that you said NOT to take essential oils internally.  There are several oils that I take internally daily, in fact, it is highly recommended per Young Living to do so.  The oils I use are from Young Living and I put them in my water, coffee, on a piece of bread and I cook with them since they are more potent than herbs and their frequency is greater.
Hello, I've only been using essential oils for the last year and I've been doing a lot of research trying to buy from the safest place because I know the Sham on the grades and how therapeutic is just a term. My question to you is do you know anything about (Bulk Apothecary) brand? I was buying from them for almost a year and then it was recently I asked them for three of their C of A's they sent them to me, but he gave me a problem when I told him one of the brands they sell of henna was bad. I don't know what I'm supposed to look for on this certificate which I'm trying to research to find out. One of the essential oils it says that complies all the way down the other two it says it complies and then it gives it some type of percentage. I guess I would just like to know if you think that they are real or if you've heard of them they do offer all of the information like you say in your blog to look for, such as the bontanical name how it's been distilled and even the history. I know the smell on every single essential oil we've gotten from them has been very potent. Thank you and anything would help even linking me to the right direction.
How do you know which are the best essential oil brands? After all, this is an industry that isn’t regulated by the FDA. Oil quality can vary based on the distillation process. It also matters if the manufacturer dilutes the pure plant oil with bases or additives. But many of the most popular companies do rigorous testing to prove their oils’ purity.
I’m wondering.. I was thinking about trying the oil cleansing method (I have grapeseed oil and sunflower oil in my cabinet) and I was considering adding lemon essential oil just to see what it does and I read in this post not to use lemon if you’re nursing…why is that? I can’t imagine that lemon would hurt. Especially since I would just be putting a drop or two on my face, not drinking large quantities (I know, not possible, but I threw it out there as a referential visual lol). But yes, I’m never happy when I see “do not use” or “consult a medical professional” when breastfeeding on just about every product out there but none of them ever say why.. I’m very interested in the why’s of things, if you could help answer this one for me 🙂 thanks!
Dr. Pappas is the President/Technical Director at Essential Oil University. Founded in 1999 by Dr. Robert S. Pappas, EOU is an educational/informational institution dedicated to essential oil production, chemistry and uses and has the largest online database for essential oil chemistry in the world. Dr. Pappas is also an adjunct Professor at Indiana University. Dr. Pappas work has made him a much-sought-after consultant for companies and individuals all over the world because the information he provides helps with quality assurance and with learning how an essential oil might be useful. Dr. Pappas created the Facebook page Essential Oil University which is dedicated spreading accurate information concerning essential oils and dispelling the myths that have been hyped over the years.
#3. EO’s if diluted properly (not neat) and ONLY certain EO’s are safe for children. Peppermint is not safe until at least 6 years of age, some say older, as it can be a mucous membrane irritant. Eucalyptus has a 1,8-cineole content, its not recommended for children until the age of 10. Very important for childrens safety to do due diligence…these are just a few that come to my mind right of way and why they aren’t safe for children. I know there is plenty of other oils that are safe for children diffused. Once older, then ok for application, diluted in carrier oil. I was told 2-10 years old is when you can start adding more EO’s to your child(ren) library, as they age, you can add more. Of course I know this is hugely a hot topic. It depends on who you ask when you can introduce EO’s to babies and children. I know the MLM say put them neat on babies feet. No ones feet (bottom) will absorb EO’s as we have glands on the bottom of our feet, not pores to absorb the EO’s.

Bergamot Essential Oil has a fresh and delightful citrus aroma with strong citrus notes and a hint of the exotic, and has been made popular by Earl Grey Tea. This refreshing essential oil is suited for aromatherapy and induces a more relaxed and happy feeling, while reducing oiliness of the skin. Widely used in the perfume industry, it is also used in cleansers and toners.
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.

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.

My extensive collection of essential oils contains many produced from wood, bark and/or heartwood, including Amyris, Cade (Prickly Juniper), Buddha Wood, Balsam gurjun, Peru Balsam, Atlas Cedarwood, Himalayan Cedarwood, Texas Cedarwood, Virginia Cedarwood, Cinnamon  Bark, Blue Cypress, Emerald Cypress, Balsam Fir, Guaiacwood, Ocean (Maritime) Pine, Ravensara aromatica, Ravintsara, Rosewood, Indian Sandalwood, Australian Sandalwood, Fijian Sandalwood, and Zanthoxylum.
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.
Know how the plant was distilled and what part of the plant is being used. Ideally you're working with a trusted and trained aromatherapist so they can do this digging for you. How an oil is distilled is important to the quality. As well, some distillers may use more abundant/cheaper parts of a plant, but you're getting subpar product. For example you always want cinnamon bark, not cinnamon leaf. Another example is German Chamomile (Matricara chamomila). It is often adulterated with Blue Tansy (Tancetum annum), which is a lovely oil but it's not German Chamomile. 

Whilst the product is very nicely packaged I am very disappointed with the contents. The essential oils are awful, they smell and behave no better than those cheap £1 store ones, I don't believe that they are 100% pure as they smell so awful, cheap and synthetic. I have tried most of the oils in the box and will not be bothering with the rest as they are so bad.
The potential danger of an essential oil is sometimes relative to its level or grade of purity, and sometimes related to the toxicity of specific chemical components of the oil. Many essential oils are designed exclusively for their aroma-therapeutic quality; these essential oils generally should not be applied directly to the skin in their undiluted or "neat" form. Some can cause severe irritation, provoke an allergic reaction and, over time, prove hepatotoxic.
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