Essential oils are volatile and liquid aroma compounds from natural sources, usually plants. They are not oils in a strict sense, but often share with oils a poor solubility in water. Essential oils often have an odor and are therefore used in food flavoring and perfumery. They are usually prepared by fragrance extraction techniques (such as distillation, cold pressing, or Solvent extraction). Essential oils are distinguished from aroma oils (essential oils and aroma compounds in an oily solvent), infusions in a vegetable oil, absolutes, and concretes. Typically, essential oils are highly complex mixtures of often hundreds of individual aroma compounds.
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.

To answer your questions I have to answer #2 first. Jena is right – there are a limited number of distilleries, D. Gary Young owns 1/3 of them. The products distilled to make EOs are like the contents of tea – they can be distilled multiple times but each time you do so the product you get is progressively weaker. Companies like doTERRA and Young Living only take the 1st distillation which is the strongest and most pure. They label their product therapeutic grade and 100% pure because they have run it through a mass spectrometer and have calculated the constituents in each bottle. Young Living actually refuses to sell any bottle of EO that does not meet their requirements for purity. Less expensive companies use the 2nd, 3rd, and even 5th and 6th distillation. They also dilute their products before marketing them. So it is important to know about the company you are buying from and what distillation they use. Not all distillations are equal.

I am a part of a different MLM essential oil company that I trust very much. They have their own “standard” of quality which makes sense to me. They are clear in their communications that the standard is developed by them but tested outside the company (independent verification of their standard). One of the things they measure is the quantity of the various constituents of each oil. My understanding from them and other sources is that the constituents do need to be at a particular level or within a particular range in order to produce the desired benefit. Is this also “junk science?”
When working with children ALWAYS dilute the ois moderately to heavily. If it says 1:4 dilution meaning 1 drop of EO to 4 drops of carrier then you want to double or triple it for the child. Do your research – you can use most oils in children of all ages provided you dilute them properly. My DD had immunizations not too long ago and I used moderately diluted lavender, heavily diluted lemon, and heavily diluted peppermint to combat the fever she had and some Heavily diluted Panaway which is a YL blend to control the pain. They worked wonderfully and she was a happy camper by that evening. The next day which is typically the worst she was her normal self and you couldn’t tell that she had been given shots the day before.

The statements contained herein have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. Neither Rocky Mountain Oils nor its products are intended for the purpose of diagnosing, treating, curing, or preventing any disease. If you are pregnant, nursing, taking medication, or have a medical condition, consult your physician before using these products.
 As one of the largest suppliers of Lavender Oil in the USA we believe that we offer the best prices and service in the industry. We do realize that many people aren't interested in switching suppliers though so we put together some tips to assist you when buying your oils. First make sure that you deal with a reputable supplier. Essential oils are one of the easiest and most common items that suppliers cheat on. Very often they cut their oils with a much cheaper carrier. This saves them big money and allows them to sell their product far below market prices. However you end up buying a watered down product that ends up costing much more in the long run. By staying clear of smaller less reputable suppliers you can protect yourself. Second, ask for a C of A for any oils that you purchase. Even though you feel like you are buying from a reputable supplier, it still might be tempting for them to try to cheat and make more money off you. Don't simply buy from a company because their prices are higher. That doesn't always mean they have a better quality. We can honestly say that our essential oils are absolute top quality and have the C of A's to back it up. We simply sell at wholesale prices because we are a high volume importer.
Founded in 1993 with headquarters in Lehi (Utah) and offices in Australia, Europe, Canada, Japan and Singapore, Young Living has grown to become a world leader in essential oils. Their company structure is one of “MLM”, meaning multi-level-marketing. This is a type of revenue-sharing model where people become independent distributors and then sign up their friends and family members to shop through them.
Wonderful information! I just started researching oils and I want to use him for my classroom I’ve also wondered about using them around my cats I know some essential oils are not safe for cats I would never put them on topically, however I diffuse them in my bedroom and they sleep with me Do you have any insight on this topic? Thanks again for such great information !!

Typical research studies involve testing two groups-one group gets an experimental substance and another group gets a placebo substance (this group is referred to as the "control" group). When using aromatic substances, it is very difficult to conduct a blinded study. Some researchers have used masks or other barriers to blind participants. Other researchers have used alternate scents assumed to have no therapeutic properties as controls. These approaches are problematic, however, because people associate smells with past experiences. Thus, it is difficult to account for individual variation in how essential oils affect people.
Sadly there is a wide discrepancy in the quality that is reflected in the price. The less expensive brands I have ended up using for cleaning the house. Edens Garden oils smell like they are old and dirty. I love Young Living and yes, I have not tried DoTerra. Only because there selection was so limited and I felt there wouldn’t be much differenance between them and Young Living.
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.
No, both our pure and natural essential oils and our certified organic essential oils are never diluted or watered down in any way. We do offer a variety of essential oil blends, some of which are combined with carrier oils such as jojoba, but these blends are manufactured specifically as blends and are clearly labeled as such to avoid any confusion.
I submitted an article, which you published as a Guest Editorial on page 22 of your March 2010 issue, entitled Essential Oils: Premium Quality Yields Premium Results. On page 10, your Contents Page, this was listed as: Guest Editorial: Read about therapeutic grade essential oils in “Powerful Tools in A Small Bottle”, by Dawn-Mari Yurkovic, at www.massagemag.com/powerfultools. Don’t you agree this is a little weird? One person writes a two-page article, and a completely different person/article is listed on the Contents page of the magazine?
There is no difference between wintergreen oil toxicity and methyl salicylate toxicity. Methyl salicylate is one of the ingredients in Listerine, so many people use it daily in a mouthwash, and very small amounts may be ingested. As always, toxicity is in relation to dose. I would suggest that wintergreen oil is not one that should be taken orally as a medicine, unless under the supervision of a doctor or herbalist. There have been many fatalities from (accidental) overdose, and there are a number of toxicity issues – it’s fetotoxic, there are several reasons why it could be problematic in children, it’s extremely blood-thinning, and should be avoided by people with GERD. So it’s not just a question of how much is toxic – it’s also about individual sensitivity. It should absolutely never be taken during pregnancy. Like all salicylates, it causes fetal malformations. Even externally, it can cause problems. I believe it has now been taken out of Tiger Balm because so many people in Asia were experiencing blood-thinning problems (internal bruising in people on blood-thinning drugs).

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.
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.
“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.
Plant Therapy – (This is my other favorite brand!) Plant Therapy is another great brand that I love to use. They promote safe practices of essential oil use, give fair prices for high-quality essential oils and even created a Kid Friendly line! In the summer of 2014, Robert Tisserand joined them and helped them to create a line of safe essential oil blends for children. As one of the leading educators in the world right now, for aromatherapy and safety, I was very excited to see him join up with Plant Therapy.
Developing essential oil standards for essential oil therapy/aromatherapy has been discussed in several circles over the years, but because of cost of administration, setting up labs, certifying them and the analysis cost all by itself, it has turned out to be an overwhelming task and cost that only a well-organized and well funded organization could handle. But, an organizational attempt to deal with the analytical and administrative challenge for self-regulation would be desirable before essential oil therapy/aromatherapy looses its “therapy” from an overdose of bad oils.

With a fresh zesty scent of citrus and fruity top notes, Grapefruit Essential Oil is popular when scenting facial cleansers and toners. Grapefruit Essential Oil is used in aromatherapy to bring about a cheerful feeling. There is no difference between the quality of the White and Pink varieties, but the Grapefruit Pink Essential Oil is generally considered the sweeter of the two oils. Grapefruit oil is also sometimes added to creams and lotions as a natural toner.
After dong much research and reading many reviews. Native American nutritional’s is the choice of most that use essential oils commercially. Do terra is 2nd and young living is right up there. Most professional’s don’t even want to touch young living and other pyramid marketing companies. A friend sells young living so I did get a bottle of valor from her. I have a variety of brands that i found through research just to try them. From what I’ve read, young living and doterra are so expensive because of how they are marketed. Not because they are superior.
I bought frontier brand cinnamon flavoring at a health food store. Is this cinnamon considered an essential oil? It says to use a few drops in baking cookies, cakes and other recipes, or 2 Tbsp. in a quart in a quart of simmering water with cloves and cinnamon sticks for relaxation. I have been using 1/4tsp. to 1/2tsp and sometimes more several times a day on cereals, tea and other foods thinking it might help control my blood sugar which was edging up in the pre-diabetes range. Is it safe to be consuming this much (organic sunflower oil and cinnamon oil are the 2 ingredients listed on bottle) in this manner?
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.
After buying several carrier oils and essential oils on Amazon, I’m now wondering if I’ve wasted my money. It’s just sad that consumers can’t get honest information regarding a product. While not all EO’s and carriers have to be expensive, it’s weeding out the ones that are pure vs. cut/synthetic that’s the hardest. I think this is what turns some newbies off from using EO’s for Therapeutic purposes… they buy an EO expecting a certain result, see none, and then, understandably, think they “just don’t work.”

"Untrained lay people, especially in the multilevel marketing (MLM) business, will say anything to make a sale," Trattner explains. Some folks, especially MLM bloggers—and even some big companies—suggest methods for essential oil use, without informing people of the dangers of using essential oils incorrectly. They’ll say that you can use them anytime, anywhere. In demonstrations, they might dab some on their wrist or talk about how oils can be used in capsules.
Processing: Because of the growing popularity of essential oils and aromatherapy, there are many products on the market that may not be suitable for clinical use. They can be found nearly everywhere, from health food stores to discount stores to the Internet. These products may include pure essential oils, but sometimes they are adulterated or diluted. Such adulterations are difficult to identify.
"When you smell an essential oil," says Tony Ferrari, Ph.D. in chemistry, "its constituents bind to receptor sites in the nose, which read the aroma molecules and send signals through the olfactory nerve to the limbic system and amygdala in the brain. There are more than 5,000 chemical compounds that make up commonly used oils, each of which binds in a different way to different receptors, so their effects can vary widely."

Thank you for sharing your knowledge with us. I’m researching essential oils for treatment of an ear infection in my little one, and I wondered about “pharmaceutical grade” vs. other types, and your posts here have given me my answer. Your well-written responses to other people above have given me some great insight. I’ll do my due diligence before using anything on my daughter. You’ve done a great job of underscoring the need to know in order to have a safe and desirable outcome. Thank you.

The problem with dermal sensitization is that once it occurs with a specific essential oil the individual is most likely going to be sensitive to it for many years and perhaps for the remainder of his/her life. The best way to prevent sensitization is to avoid known dermal sensitizers and avoid applying the same essential oils every day for lengthy periods of time. Sensitization is, to an extent, unpredictable, as some individuals will be sensitive to a potential allergen and some will not.8

All information on The Hippy Homemaker is meant for educational and informational purposes only. The statements on this website have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. Products and/or information are not intended to diagnose, cure, treat, or prevent any disease. Readers are advised to do their own research and make decisions in partnership with their health care provider. If you are pregnant, nursing, have a medical condition or are taking any medication, please consult your physician.
Chirality, a word derived from the Greek word “hand,” is a term used to describe the 3D orientation of a molecule. Just as you have two hands, chiral molecules exist in two forms, distinguished as either the right or the left hand. You may visualize this principle by looking at your hands; when placed side by side, they are mirror images of each other. However, when placed on top of each other, no matter how you turn them, you cannot get them to line up exactly. In molecules, each “hand” has different chemical properties, which affects their physiologic interactions in the body. One hand is produced predominantly in nature. However, in a laboratory environment, the ratio of right- to left-handed molecules is always 50/50 due to their structural similarities. The ratio of right- to left-handed constituents can be determined through a special type of Gas Chromatography. Although not commonly performed on a batch-to-batch basis, this testing method is used to ensure that no synthetic elements are present.

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.
I realize that it’s been a while since you posted this question, but hope this information helps anyway. My poor husband had the same problem with leg cramps. Took supplements for potassium and ate bananas and oranges like crazy. No difference. Heard then that the deficiency that causes these cramps is more likely related to magnesium, so he started taking a magnesium supplement. Still no difference.
When you compare the environmental impact of growing feed corn, thousands of TONs are grown by a single farm just to feed a few cows. Estimates of what we grow so we can eat beef or drink milk are as follows: 2800 lbs of corn to get a single cow to slaughter weight of approx 12-1300 lbs. Or, in the case of hay being fed to milkers, it takes 28 lbs of 88% dry matter to feed one 1200 lb lactating cow a day or 3.2 tons for one herd of 200 cows a day! And most feed corn is grown using pesticides, herbicides, and fertilizer along with regular watering during periods of low precipitation. I’m no expert but my guess is that as long as essential oils do not become a “priority” industry with outrageous claims, we are only enjoying what the planet has to offer in a sustainable level. Buy more local vegetables/fruits, eat organic, and consume less meat and you will be helping the environment much more that the average US citizen does. 😉
Exposure to essential oils may cause a contact dermatitis.[20][21][22] Essential oils can be aggressive toward rubbers and plastics, so care must be taken in choosing the correct handling equipment. Glass syringes are often used, but have coarse volumetric graduations. Chemistry syringes are ideal, as they resist essential oils, are long enough to enter deep vessels, and have fine graduations, facilitating quality control. Unlike traditional pipettes, which have difficulty handling viscous fluids, the chemistry syringe, also known as a positive displacement pipette, has a seal and piston arrangement which slides inside the pipette, wiping the essential oil off the pipette wall.
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