The International Organization for Standardization (ISO) is a worldwide federation of national standards bodies from over 100 countries, one from each country. ISO is a non-governmental organization established in 1947. The mission of ISO is to promote the development of standardization and related activities in the world with a view to facilitating the international exchange of goods and services, and to developing cooperation in the spheres of intellectual, scientific, technological and economic activity.
Storage: Once they receive their shipments directly from the distiller (no middlemen) they immediately pour them into amber-colored bottles, then they remove the oxygen by filling the remaining space in the bottles with nitrogen before placing them in cold storage; this drastically reduces oxidation and greatly enhances the shelf-life and vibrancy of the oils. And if that weren’t special enough, Joy and Cynthia literally hand-pour every bottle to order. What this means is, the essential oil stays in cold storage, with nitrogen, until you place your order, only then will the oil be poured custom into the tiny 15mL amber bottle, just for you! No one else takes such pride and care.
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.

Getting in touch with customer service at NOW Health Group is a little bit less straight-forward. Their website lists all of their corporate offices (with phone numbers), but there is no one toll-free line mentioned for customer service or order inquiries. You can check online FAQ’s, fill out a product feedback form, or fill in an email inquiry form. For those of us who don’t like to deal via email, this could be the deciding factor between choosing NOW or another reputable brand that possibly offers easier access to talking to a real person. That said, NOW is definitely one of the bigger companies overall, and possibly they’d have huge call volumes if they opened their doors with a toll free line.
I would love to know more about essential oils to avoid concerning environmental impact. Because it takes so much plant material to create a small amount of extract, it would be handy to have a list of oils that come from plants that are endangered or being irresponsibly harvested. I’m having trouble finding a comprehensive list online. Any suggestions?
^ Arenholt-Bindslev, D; Jolanki, R; Kanerva, L (2008). "Diagnosis of Side Effects of Dental Materials, with Special Emphasis on Delayed and Immediate Allergic Reactions". In Schmalz, Gottfried; Arenholt-Bindslev, Dorthe. Biocompatibility of Dental Materials. Springer. p. 352. doi:10.1007/978-3-540-77782-3_14. ISBN 9783540777823. Archived from the original on May 18, 2016. Retrieved March 5, 2014.

“V-6” is a proprietary blend of vegetable oils. The above implies that using these oils on a daily basis is likely to have a healing effect in cases of cataract, macular degeneration or failing eyesight. Although the article continues to describe various effects of the essential oils, none of them have any relationship with any of these conditions. So the question arises – how to weigh potential benefits against potential risks?
None. Essential oils are wonderful, but I would never recommend taking them internally unless you are being treated by a Clinical Aromatherapist. Since most EOs are antimicrobal you can really upset your gut flora by taking them long term. And since 85% of your immunity is in your gut, that’s really something you don’t want to do unless you are under the treatment of someone with the above-listed training.
Hi Robert, Thanks for all of this information. I am looking to use Essential Oils internally. I am looking to use the citrus oils (orange, lemon, lime) to mix into beverages with water and sugar like a fruit punch. I understand that unless ingested shortly after stirring, I will need an emulsifier to keep the oil from separating and concentrating. I am still a bit hesitant however due to the amount of articles online warning against ingestion. Provided a reasonable dose is used, is there really anything to be afraid of. And do you know of any good sources for edible oils (organic or not) besides the 2 MLMs who make their meaningless “therapeutic grade” claims? Cheers.
Inhalation: With oils that are safe to use on the skin (know before you try), you can also take a single drop into one of your hands and rub your hands together to warm them up and spread the oil. Then cup your hands around your nose and take in a deep breath. Doing this, you can achieve the same mood and emotional benefits as with diffusion. A little goes a long way.

If you're feeling confused, stick with the basics. "Lavender oil is a great EO for beginners. You can inhale it before sleeping, pour a few drops into a diffuser, or rub it onto your pressure points (neck, wrists, and other places where your pulse is most prominent). Plenty of studies have been done on lavender oil to demonstrate its efficacy," Trattner says.


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. 😀


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.
Recently, there was an article from Vanderbuilt Medical Center stating that the Tennessee Poison Center reported a doubling of children and essential oils exposure in recent years. The article did not state an increase in hospitalizations or side effects. Furthermore, I couldn’t find a source for actual numbers. (The full original article can be found here). Therefore, as soon as I read the press release and did my unsuccessful search, I contacted the reporter.
It’s not just the purity of the essential oils that determine if an essential oils should be used internally. Even unadulterated, organic & wildcrafted essential oils shouldn’t be used internally unless you’ve been evaluated by a health care practitioner trained at an appropriate clinical level. According to the Association for International Aromatherapy, “An appropriate level of training must include chemistry, anatomy, diagnostics, physiology, formulation guidelines and safety issues regarding each specific internal route (oral, vaginal or rectal).” Just doing so because Young Living said it’s ok doesn’t make it ok. You need to talk to someone who has evaluated you specifically, AND has clinical aromatherapy training.
Topical use: Another effective way to use essential oils is topical application, since essential oils easily penetrate the skin. Once absorbed, they stay in the areas where applied. While essential oils are easily absorbed, using a light massage motion can help increase the blood flow to the area in which essential oils are applied. Likewise, using a carrier oil can also help increase essential oil absorption, especially for dry or flaky skin.
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”.
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The ISO created quality standards for essential oils under the TC-54 Guidelines.  One of these quality guidelines is to use Gas Chromatography to test for the active phytochemical content of each oil and if it does not meet these minimum amounts, the oil is not considered of value.  Most essential oils companies do not even consult these guidelines when purchasing their oils, thus they cannot be of any theraputic value even though they may use that term as a marketing strategy. If an oil is not ISO certified, then do not buy it.
Hi Megan I just started using Frankincense oil I bought from Walmart the Guruanda brand. I bought it for focus and memory. I have a test coming up this week and started using the oil for concentration. I believe its been helphing me but I have been told that Rosemary oil is better. What do you think of Guruanda. Recently I attended our Az State Fair and ran into a doTerra rep who swears their product is the best.
In the world of essential oils there is an enormous amount of controversy and competition, with some companies accusing other companies of being less pure, while others claim trademarks and exclusivity on their products. All of this noise creates plenty of confusion for the average consumer to sift through, especially since there is no official regulation or oversight on the essential oil industry, federal or otherwise.

Organic essential oils are not only good for sustainable agricultural practices, they also have the greatest healing properties, says Josh Axe, D.N.M, C.N.S., D.C. founder of DrAxe.com, best-selling author of Eat Dirt, and co-founder of Ancient Nutrition. “Having nothing else added in during the extraction process is the only way to guarantee they are unprocessed and sourced directly from the plant,” says Dr. Axe. Organic is definitely more expensive than conventionally grown, but you’re also getting a superior essential oil.
The FDA considers essential oils either cosmetics or drugs, depending on their intended use. The FDA makes decisions concerning the regulation of essential oils on a case-by-case basis. For example, if a company claimed that the aroma of an essential oil promoted attractiveness, the FDA would most likely regulate the product as a cosmetic. If a company claimed that an essential oil was effective as an aid for quitting smoking or in treating or preventing any other condition or disease, the FDA is more likely to regulate the product as a drug.
By the time I first learned about holistic aromatherapy, a number of companies, including those that I otherwise find highly reputable, were also using the terms therapeutic grade and/or aromatherapy grade. I didn't see anything malicious with these terms and the terms seemed to act as a way to quickly convey to consumers that the seller's essential oils were carefully sourced specifically for use by those seeking oils for holistic aromatherapy use.
#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.
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.)
Should you change your mind and wish to permit me to include three consecutive months of testing for your pure peppermint oil please send it to me this week. I will be very straightforward in saying that my intention is to share the results as if the results are what your trainers and trainees believe them to be, there would only be benefit to the company.
Not only is there no evidence that any essential oil can help with vision problems, age-related or otherwise, but placing any essential oil “in the eye” is extremely dangerous advice. Almost any undiluted essential oil coming into contact with the ocular membranes will be corrosive, possibly causing scarring of the cornea, and certainly causing significant pain.
doTerra is a Young Living rip-off, but they are still better than most. I got off 4 Rx drugs with Young Living Essential Oils, I use them daily on my skin undiluted and take them internally several times per week. Thanks for your article on oils — just a note that there is a VAST difference between most oils sold in health food stores and cheap online venues vs. true therapeutic-grade oils. =)
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Some oils can be applied directly to the skin, this is called using the oil “neat”. That does not mean to say that you shouldn’t dilute the oil in certain cases. Always dilute when applying to children and always check instructions from the company on how to apply the oil. Some need to be diluted to prevent skin irritation like peppermint. Those oils are considered “hot” and the irritation they cause is unpleasant to say the least. Research the oil before using and allow your body time to respond to each new oil before introducing a new one. Your body will tell you if you need more or less dilution with each oil If you give it enough time to respond.

Nat, I will back you on this. Young Living and DoTerra distributors are confidently spreading lots of false information on essential oils. I would trust Crunchy Betty’s information above over anything YL and DoTerra sellers say. A good friend of mine became entranced by YL a couple of years ago and is convinced that YL is the only company that sells “therapeutic” grade essential oils. As Nat says, do your research, read the best books you can find and caveat emptor.
Certain essential oils are safe to use during pregnancy, but care must be taken when selecting quality and brand.[51] Some essential oils may contain impurities and additives that may be harmful to pregnant women. Sensitivity to certain smells may cause pregnant women to have adverse side effects with essential oil use, such as headache, vertigo, and nausea. Pregnant women often report an abnormal sensitivity to smells and taste,[52] and essential oils can cause irritation and nausea when ingested. Always consult a doctor before use.
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