Dr Mike Patrick is an Assistant Professor of Pediatrics at the Ohio State University College of Medicine and Medical Director of Interactive Media for Nationwide Children's Hospital. Since 2006, he has hosted the award-winning PediaCast, a pediatric podcast for parents. Dr Mike also produces a national podcast for healthcare providers—PediaCast CME, which explores general pediatric and faculty development topics and offers free AMA PRA Category 1 Credit™ to listeners.
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.
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.
Look for oils that are organic as a first choice. Any pollutants on the plants can be more concentrated in the essential oil. This is especially important for citrus essential oils, as they are traditionally heavily sprayed with pesticides. The term “organic” means different things in different countries, but it is one more possible indicator of quality. Some retailers also carry oils that are “unsprayed,” where the farms are not certified as organic, but they do not spray their crops, and many high quality oils are also wildcrafted.
All companies and marketing aside, how do YOU most effectively use essential oils and do you have a resource to recommend that gives good guidelines to the beginner (i.e. which oils can be used topically and internally, and recommended dilutions, etc.) I have heard of a big reference book called The Complete Book of Essential Oils to be good–are you familiar with this title?

Frankincense can be used for depression, inflammation, immunity, and to increase spiritual awareness.Today, scientists, physicians and researchers are beginning to return to the use of essential oils as a way to naturally and holistically heal our bodies. Frankincense actually has a history of medicinal use and could be quite helpful in your medicine cabinet.
A rash or burn from an essential oil is basically your skin screaming at you “hey, stop that and stop it now!” This is why you should always do a patch test on a small area of skin and wait a while to see what happens before you go all crazy and start bathing yourself in an essential oil that you have not used before. I know many aromatherapist recommend that you dilute the essential oils in a carrier oil for skin use. But no matter what concentration you use them at you should still do a patch test first for any new oils before moving on with the oil. Remember these are very concentrated solutions of organic molecules, let’s be safe rather than sorry.
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.

There are always a few bad seeds to a group. Its is not the fault of the company that some people out there are giving false info or claiming an oil to be a cure all in the name of making a buck. These 2 companies have been and are actively talking steps to prevent this from happening further. I find it unfair to point the finger at the company when its individuals who have made bad choices. I use EO and when asked I will share what has worked for me, and I always tell people to do their own research.
“Fractioning” or re-distilling which takes place at low pressure and can isolate certain constituents or produce, for instance, a terpeneless oil. Some terpenes oxidize rapidly, which changes the aroma, longevity and solubility of the oil. One should take care when encountering these terpeneless oils because the natural synergy of the oil has been changed. It now has a higher percentage of the other constituents.
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]

Anjou Top 12 Essential Oils Set is an aromatherapy medicine chest and beauty box in one. Lavender, Sweet Orange, Tea Tree, Eucalyptus, Lemongrass, Peppermint, Bergamot, Frankincense, Lemon, Rosemary, Cinnamon, and Ylang-Ylang Essentials Oils can be used with a carrier oil for soothing, healing skin and hair, digestion, headache and congestion relief, and massage therapy. Used with a diffuser or humidifier, the calming or invigorating fragrances create stress-relieving home and office atmospheres

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.
THIS TOOL DOES NOT PROVIDE MEDICAL ADVICE. It is intended for general informational purposes only and does not address individual circumstances. It is not a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis or treatment and should not be relied on to make decisions about your health. Never ignore professional medical advice in seeking treatment because of something you have read on the WebMD Site. If you think you may have a medical emergency, immediately call your doctor or dial 911.
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. 🙂
According to Wildwood, “A common myth in aromatherapy is that massage oils containing essential oils such as Clary sage, rose or even rosemary can cause a miscarriage and hence should be avoided throughout pregnancy." Authors such as Ron Guba, Kurt Schnaubelt, and Chrissie Wildwood have all pointed out that there have been ‘no recorded cases of miscarriage or birth defect resulting from aromatherapy massage using therapeutic applications of any essential oil.”12
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.
What I found most impressive is that they control their product right from the very botanical seeds; cultivating, harvesting and distilling many of their essential oils right on their very own farms across the world. This gives Young Living the unique ability to verify their quality standards at every step of the process. For more information on this, check out their proprietary Seed to Seal production process.

This is a great resource. I’ use a variety of essential oils. I have a drawer full. Some from Young Living, Simply Earth, Do Terra and Isagenix. There are many good brands but I think people get nervous about trying new brands especially when they’ve heard from well-meaning friends that only the MLM versions are safe. While I do think MLM brands are tested extensively because they are held to very high standards and don’t want to get shut down there are some non-mlm oil brands you can safely buy especially if you plan to use them in your diffuser. I wouldn’t ingest an oil unless the bottle specifically states you can. For ingesting the brands I use right now are Isagenix and Young Living (I’m sure there are others that are safe but these state they are ingestable). I’ve written many posts about how to use oils and I switch out brands depending on my needs and what I have on hand.
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.
The truth is that essential oils are an end product of the plants metabolism and emitted by the plant not circulating within the plant like blood in the body (see magnified picture of oil glands on Roman chamomile leaf). Think about what some of the end products are from human metabolism and, if you want a more accurate analogy, well you get the idea. I realize it wouldn’t be as marketable to use a tag line like “the excrement of the plant” but that would be more accurate than the “life’s blood.” But this does not mean that these end products, these secondary metabolites known as essential oils, are not extremely useful for the survival of the plant as well as being extremely beneficial to humans.

I might suggest keeping them in a drawer, a box with a lid or somewhere safe like that. I use them daily…one mix for my pillow cases for whatever I feel like balancing in my “self” overnight. The diffuser on my husbands side of the bed (he has had sinus problems) has detox, immune system builders and things for respiratory relief. He sleeps like a baby now. Also helped him with headaches.
Some essential oils can be taken internally. The specific one I am thinking of is peppermint EO. It is known to treat IBS in several studies and can be taken also to combat headaches as well. Of course a topical application near the stomach and tummy is also known to be effect and application to the bottom of the feet can help reduce fever. I am currently in the process of making a guide based on symptoms to help people pick essential oils based on application.
Mountain Rose Herbs – (This is the brand that I use for my business and my home) All organic & pesticide-free, wild-crafted (if available), a wonderful company with great smelling essential oils, for really decent prices. This company strives to help the environment in every way and is a zero waste company. They are certified organic by OTCO and they source their essential oils from reputable distillers that they know personally and trust.
Now Foods – great price, OK essential oils for cleaning house and scenting your room. You can find these at your local Whole Foods or Central Market or for the best price, on Amazon. They even have a few organic ones as well. I only use this brand for my cleaning needs because I don't like using my precious Mountain Rose Herbs essential oils on something like cleaning. You also have to pay close attention to their labels as they do sell oils that are already diluted with a carrier oil and their Jasmine oil is cut with fragrance oil to save them money, but they DO label it. (Jasmine is very expensive on its own. Don't buy their Jasmine oil because fragrance oils are what you are trying to avoid.) You can read more about NOW Foods on their FAQ page.
Inside the living plant, essential oils serve several purposes, one of which is defense. Acting like the plant’s immune system, the oils help it fight off fungus or bacterial infection, and protect it from insects and animals. Another purpose is reproduction; the pleasing aromas attract pollinating insects like bees and butterflies. We’re not the only animals who like the smell of flowers.
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.
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.
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.
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.
The purity of an essential oil is its most important characteristic. An essential oil that isn’t pure means you run the risk of putting germs, heavy metals, or adulterants onto or into your body, which can provoke irritation, adverse effects, or even sickness. Without an accepted standard for essential oil quality, doTERRA created its own testing process, calling it CPTG Certified Pure Therapeutic Grade®. The CPTG process certifies that there are no added fillers, synthetic ingredients, or harmful contaminants in their essential oils that would reduce their efficacy. doTERRA even goes a step further, putting all their products and the packaging through a battery of tests to ensure a long and effective shelf-life. This protocol ensures potency, purity, and consistency batch to batch.

The Mountain Rose Herbs essential oils actually come in a variety of price ranges. I’ve found some of them quite approachable, but certain oils are again on the expensive side. It depends which one(s) you’re looking for, so the best thing you can do is have a look at their website and shop for the oils you’d like. Keep in mind, this will all be certified organic that you’re purchasing, so the extra dollars spent may be worth the investment.


I love do terra oils. I have been usining the oils and suppliments internally, neat, and with carriers for over 5 years now. I haven’t died yet, nor my kids or extended family. Network marketing is a great way to market essential oils, because you want to talk to people face to face about the oils and how to use them. There are several companies that I’m sure offer quality essential oils, for me , Doterra has been sufficient for my needs, and I trust the company.

Most oils do degrade with age due to oxidation but there are some oils, such as sandalwood, vetiver, patchouli, etc. that actually get better with age, at least to a certain point (I am not sure anyone knows what sandalwood looks like after say 5000 years and I am pretty sure well before then the oil would “resinify” and become solid). Its typically the heavier oils that are high in sesquiterpene alcohols that get better with age. However, most oils, especially the citrus oils and the blue oils will degrade with age (at least within human lifetimes). Citrus oils are especially prone to degradation due to the high levels of limonene which oxidizes relatively easily. Even very small amounts of limonene oxide formation can totally destroy the odor of a once good citrus oil. In addition, wax formation in citrus due to monoterpene polymerization is also quite common over time. For this reason its best to go through citrus oils within a year, if possible.
The Young Living Speech you give is completely inaccurate and part of the genius marketing used by YL. Oils that have “do not consume” are protecting themselves from lawsuits, it’s a reasonable label statement. I am an educator at a major US University teaching essential oil studies. I have worked in production and quality control of essential oils.
The popular multi-level marketing companies, dōTERRA and Young Living didn’t make our top picks for several important reasons: their high retail prices, their lack of organic certification for all of their oils, and their insistence that most of their essential oils are safe to take internally not giving any regard to the potential health hazards of self-prescribing without professional clinical supervision.
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

The notion of using essential oils as a replacement for standard medical therapy is not new. Today’s essential oils are yesterday’s herbal remedies. They’re your grandmother’s swamp root, your great-grandmother’s liver pills and your great-great-grandmother’s snake oil (hey, at least we made it back to oil). And as in those days, somebody’s getting rich selling their wares. Why? Because there will always be folks who claim they work and others who buy into the claim looking for a quick fix. My question for believers in the crowd: how do you know the remedy really did the job? Runny noses get better. Coughs and bellyaches go away. Rashes clear up, skin heals and behavior fluctuates.
The reason why is that the ISO standard was developed as a very narrow qualification test for the fragrance industry, keeping "undesirable" but naturally occurring compounds such as camphor low because they're not ideal in ingredients used specifically for formulating expensive perfumes, where purer scent notes are more useful than more complex ones. However, the original cultivars of lavender actually had considerably more camphor - and other complex components - than the two cultivars that ISO recommends for perfume industry use. For example, the presence of more naturally occurring camphor, 1,8-cineole, and/or boreal is expected in a blend of the four major cultivars, but not in the two cultivars preferred by perfumers and reflected in the ISO standard prepared for that industry. Perhaps these very compounds in higher amounts may be at least partially responsible for the historical uses and good reputation of lavender oil.
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.
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.

What are the best essential oils for allergies? Essential oils may help treat some allergies, especially when the reaction leads to breathing problems or affects the skin. Find out more about the best oils to use for different types of allergies, how to use them, and the side effects. Always check first with a doctor, to make sure the oil is safe for you to use. Read now
Examples of these types of essence include:  Cajeput (White Tea Tree), Cedar Leaf, Cinnamon Leaf, Eucalyptus Blue Gum, Eucalyptus Blue Mallee, Eucalyptus (Mint), True Eucalyptus, Laurel Leaf (pictured), Tea Tree, Mandarin Petitgrain,  Lime Petitgrain, Orange Petitgrain, Manuka, Magnolia Leaf, Niaouli, Nerolina, Rosalina, Purple Sage and White Sage.

No point on your feet, sweat glands on your feet, nothing that would actually absorb, only thing you are doing by putting it on your feet is inhaling it as you put it on your feet, but you are already doing that putting it on your chest, why waste it. Just google are there pores on your feet–dermatologist articles all over saying bottom line just what I said.

Most eucalyptus oil on the market is produced from the leaves of Eucalyptus globulus. Steam-distilled eucalyptus oil is used throughout Asia, Africa, Latin America and South America as a primary cleaning/disinfecting agent added to soaped mop and countertop cleaning solutions; it also possesses insect and limited vermin control properties.[38] Note, however, there are hundreds of species of eucalyptus, and perhaps some dozens are used to various extents as sources of essential oils. Not only do the products of different species differ greatly in characteristics and effects, but also the products of the very same tree can vary grossly.[39]
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