Some consumers add essential oils to their baths, or use them as home remedies, such as inhaling eucalyptus vapors to relieve congestion.Others may place the oils in a diffuser to scent the air — peppermint is promoted for stimulating alertness, and lavender is often listed as a way to promote calmness, although there are no rigorous studies to support such claims.
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.
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The practice of taking essential oils internally, by mouth, has been a heated debate within the essential oil community. Since the recent rise of the multi-level-marketing essential oil companies, and other brands claiming that their oils are pure enough to eat, the idea of freely ingesting essential oils has plagued the minds of the average consumer.
Another ridiculous claim by people who understand basically nothing about chemistry. I am not sure I know of anything that will last even as long as the earth remains, with perhaps the exceptions of diamonds and human ignorance LOL. The truth is that while the oil may last in the sense that it “exists” for a long time, there is no question that most oils, pure or otherwise, will eventually go bad due to oxidation reactions that are unavoidable unless you could somehow store them in an oxygen free atmosphere (basically impossible for most people). Even if stored in an inert atmosphere there is still the possibility of some EO molecules reacting with themselves over long periods, changing the oil, many times for the worse.
Smell plays a big role in how essential oils may affect the body: When breathed in, these plant oils stimulate smell receptors in the nose that send chemical messages through nerves to the brain's limbic system, which affects moods and emotions, and may have some physiological effects on the body, according to the National Institutes of Health (NIH). (When used on the skin, the oils are absorbed into the bloodstream.)

I’ve enjoyed reading this site. There is a lot of good information and banter (though some isn’t so friendly, chill guys). I myself have only been using EO’s for a little under two years. Yes, they have changed my life and for the first time I feel empowered and able to be in charge of my own health care. I am healthier now than I’ve been in a very long time. I’m one of those persons who will take the time to check things out. My daughter told me about EO’s and a fairly new company, doTERRA. I wanted to believe all the wonderful things she was telling me, but not without checking out the company and putting the products to the test. At a lot of expense for me I did some investigating. So far I’ve found the company to be sound and based on ethical principles. I checked into the CTPG cirtification and found it to be sound also. Though the company pays for these extensive tests, they themselves do not perform them. It is third party and I believe available for other companies. With how extensive these tests are it may not be cost prohibative for many companies, however. I hope that others will follow suit eventually cause I know there are many very good EO companines out there. I do believe in EO’s now as I’ve had remarkable results for many health concerns and haven’t had to go to the doctor since I’ve been using them. I’m glad there is a standard finally set up (you guys should check out testing, it’s remarkable)that insures complete purity so that I may feel safe using these oils in a variety of ways, including internally. And yes, they are safe in their PUREST form for internal use. Other companies that follow suit will just give me more choices and give doTERRA healthy competition. HEALTHY competition is a good thing in my book. These oils are starting to ease their way into western medicine. The coming together of a variety of health care choices is what’s needed in this country, and it’s about time. Keep up the good work everyone in taking charge of your own health and the health of your families. Let’s hear it for the family!!!!

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.


If you do your research you will find that the ISO spec for lavender lists the acceptable camphor up to 1.5% , depending on origin, and the British Pharmacopoeia lists camphor at max 1.2%. My standard at EOU is that camphor, 1,8-cineole and borneol should all be about 1% or less in true lavender essential oil. My standard is based on samples taken from all over the world as well as from many distillations that I have personally done on many different varieties of Lavandula.
Most essential oils are distilled and standardized (adulterated) for use in other industries, so those carefully sourcing and selling essential oils intended for aromatherapy and therapeutic applications understandably do want a way to convey the suitability, purity and quality of their oils for therapeutic uses. Soil conditions, seed quality, climate, altitude, growing conditions, harvesting, the care during distillation, bottling and storage can all play a part in the resulting quality of an essential oils. These are all factors that conscientious suppliers pay close attention to. Using these two-word terms seemed to be a concise way for suppliers to designate that their oils were suitable for use by those seeking oils for use in holistic aromatherapy.

Hello! I enjoyed your post and it was very informative. I tried the construction paper test with my Mountain Rose Herbs oils and there was a residue! Tried with peppermint and with fennel. Sigh. I have ordered my oils from this company for years. Any thoughts? I feel like they are a legit company, no multi-level marketing schemes going on, no president with a shady psychotic past. What to do, what to do???

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.
Marketing …ain’t it grand?! I totally agree with Amanda. But that doesn’t matter, because Young Living (and DoTerra) disciples won’t listen to science, or people with proper chemical/alternative medical training. On every forum, YL users, nay followers, stating with absolute certitude that only YL oils are pure: oddly people using Mountain Herb, Now…or other brands, don’t really care if others use ”their” brand or another, because they don’t have a stake in selling that brand unlike YL, no compensation plan. These people have a financial stake in YL. Every one of us uses our favourite brands, however we retain critical thinking therefore are open to suggestions/improvements unlike these aforementioned disciples of YL, that cannot see anything beyond ”their” brand. That in itself is a red flag.
Have you ever wondered, “What are the best essential oil brands”? Who should you buy your essential oils from and why? Those are very good questions! There are variations in quality, standards of production, company culture, price, and product selection among many of the popular essential oil brands available today. I want to highlight what sets apart one essential oil company over another, and which ones would be the best essential oil brands to start buying from.
And, I’m not at all sure where the idea that “less than 2% of essential oils sold in health stores are appropriate for aromatherapy” comes from. This is quite simply pure and unadulterated fantasy! Perhaps the most common retail brand is Aura Cacia, and if you go to their website you will find 27 organically certified essential oils listed. A very high percentage of essential oils now sold for use in aromatherapy is organically certified, and some of the ones that are not are simply not available as certified organic oils. This not only applies in the USA, the same is true in most regions. Is an organically certified essential oil not suitable for aromatherapy?
The concern with oils not being pure is a valid one. For many reasons, often related to a distiller or supplier wanting to make more money, adulteration of essential oils is a serious problem.  Oils are adulterated at various stages of their production, and in many different ways. Finding an honest retailer who specializes in essential oils will minimize or remove your risk of purchasing an adulterated essential oil. Retailers who specialize in selling essential oils will be more likely to provide pure essential oils, as they will be more involved in the essential oil trade, and more likely to be concerned that their product be valid, since it is their primary source of business and reputation.
Every one of the oils we tested offered their own unique signatures of aroma, and with this very subjective task we have undertaken, it made finding the best essential oils an extremely difficult project. Our criteria was strict and our noses were ready for the challenge. When it comes to your health we didn’t want to let money be a deterrent for finding you the truly best.
In Gas Chromatography, an essential oil is vaporized and passed through a long column to separate the oil into its individual components. Each component will travel through the column at a different speed, depending on its molecular weight and chemical properties, and is measured as it exits the column. Using this testing method, quality control analysts can determine which compounds are present in a test sample.
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.
I just came across Organic Infusions and am curious as to how you like them. I haven’t seen that you’ve come back to this post and would love to hear some review on this company. I will go ahead and place an order for a couple things, (geranium and lavender) and see how they compare to Aura Casia that I’ve used for years. I also like Oshadhi, but it’s not a direct company. I have to agree on the doTerra and YL issue, very sketchy indeed and I’ve stayed away from them, more because I don’t feel that the people selling the product are trained enough. We shouldn’t be ingesting EO’s, that’s not what they’re for. I hope one of you will come back and review this company. Thank you =)
I highly recommend it. If you will take the time to read his information, he clearly shows that many of the “leading” EO companies utilize deceptive marketing to push impure or adulterated EO’s for therapeutic use. He also gives (and references) many non-standard use instructions as well as use in conjunction with herbs. Very good info even if you choose not to purchase EO’s from the site.

No, DoTerra has NOT “done research. They are a multi-level marketing company using false claims about products. They pretend their products are the “most pure”, they invented a phrase indicating they are certified when they are not, and they are actually telling people – against ALL evidence that this is safe – to INGEST some of the oils. Stay away.
What are the top essential oils for constipation? Constipation is a common problem which affects more than 60 million Americans. With the increasing popularity and use of essential oils, many people are turning to these powerful plant extracts for relief from constipation and other digestive complaints. Essential oils can be rubbed into the skin or inhaled. Read now

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.
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The Cedarwood Essential Oil is widely used in commercial soaps, cosmetics, perfumes, and especially in men's colognes. Atlas Cederwood is the most popular variety and has a woody, sweet, scent that is very sharp. The Cedarwood (Chinese) Essential Oil generally has a lower cedrol content than the Atlas, hence it is used more for its fragrance. Also, try our other varieties: Himalayan, Texas, Virginian.
Couldn't of arrived at a better time. I fell ill with the flu the day after I received them, researched appropriate oils that help with boosting immune system an help sickness etc. Used certain ones in the diffuser and my bath and even with a carrier oil (coconut oil) on my skin and my symptoms lessened. I noticed this because the one day I didn't use the oils or diffuser my symptoms became horrendous as the day went on and I was bedridden. Again the following day I went back to using oils and the flu symptoms eased and cleared within two days. Absolute god send. Love them especially frankincense that's my fave. Thank you.

ISO (International Organization for Standardization) is an independent, international standard standing organization headquartered in Geneva, Switzerland that promotes the development of standards in the areas of intellectual, scientific, technological and commercial activity. For essential oils, ISO provides guidelines for packaging, conditioning, storage, labeling, sampling, testing and quality standards for individual essential oils.
Thank you so much for this. I am being bombarded by doterra reps right now. I believe in essential oils but dislike mlm companies because they are so overpriced to pay down tge food line. I do have a few purchased from some others you have mentioned above and some not. Now I have a good place to start to build my own kits and feel confudent it will be a good oil. Thank you again.
Storage: Essential oils should be stored in tightly closed, darkened glass containers in a cool place to ensure lasting quality (Buckle, 2003; Tisserand & Balacs, 1995). We recommend writing the date on the bottle after opening it so you can keep track of your own essential oils. Oxidation rates vary, but most essential oils can be safely used for 1-2 years or more after opening.
Love this article and your references!! Much appreciated from someone who is new to the aromatherapy world and wanting more information. I hope to understand how to use EO for my family. I signed up with DoTERRA to get training and so far a month in haven’t received much training. So now I look for articles like this…wish I had a friend who was certified in aromatherapy so I can help my whole family understand what to use and how to use it with different problems. Reading articles helps but I definitely get overwhelmed with all the information…anyways love this article! Thanks!!
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?

Good question. I wonder what the moisture content of the estimated weights are (HUGE difference as water makes up the majority of a plants’ weight). Nevertheless, I would guess that the environmental impact is minimal to none as most of these plants are numerous compared to harvesting other plants such as hardwoods, rain forest plants, and even corn. Take lavender for example, if it takes 100 lbs to extract 1 lb, that is barely nothing when you consider that lavender grows wild and is abundant. One acre of lavender would probably produce over a ton of plant parts in one mowing for oil extraction (I am guessing based on my experience with a variety of different plant “harvesting”). And it grows fast. To compare weight, imagine mowing a one acre field of mixed weeds 3 ft tall down to 6 inches, you would have a few thousand pounds of plants that would quickly and naturally grow back in a couple weeks. The rose petals are at the extreme ratio but are expensive and used far less than the common oils.
I am trying to write an essay for a public health post grad course, the role of the public health worker.. I won’t bore you with the details… I’m trying to tentatively suggest that education is a major role….non antibiotic therapies for infectious disease, for example tea tree in the treatment of staphlococcal…. can you suggest any reading/authors/doctors I can explore?
If you do your research you will find that the ISO spec for lavender lists the acceptable camphor up to 1.5% , depending on origin, and the British Pharmacopoeia lists camphor at max 1.2%. My standard at EOU is that camphor, 1,8-cineole and borneol should all be about 1% or less in true lavender essential oil. My standard is based on samples taken from all over the world as well as from many distillations that I have personally done on many different varieties of Lavandula.
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.

Great resource! It’s so important to understand the difference between essential oils and “real” — oils, seed oils, carrier oils, fixed oils — are there other names? I’m not sure. Both are wonderful, but they are so so different in structure and application. I’ve noticed a fair amount of misinformation going around where essential oils and carrier oils written about as the same thing or interchangeable. Your clear description is super valuable.
In a Chinese study, an ointment containing 5% tea tree oil was used by patients whose eyelash follicles were infested with “eyelash mites” (Demodex folliculorum). The ointment was applied to the lid margins with eyes closed, daily for 4 weeks after washing the face, and resulted in considerably less itching and fewer mites. Two of the 24 patients experienced slight irritation from the ointment. The 5% concentration was arrived at after preliminary testing using various dilutions on rabbit eyes (Gao et al 2012).
I myself have a preference for a particular company because of my own personal results and the consistent reports of my clients. I am also passionate about quality due to the way I use oils. I do stick with what has worked for me and my clients consistently. However, when reporting the information on this blog, I try to keep the facts and put my experience and company suggestions in a separate section and on a different website clearly delineated.
The best carrier oils for essential oils Carrier oils are used to dilute essential oils so that they do not irritate the skin of those who use them. There are many different plant-based oils that people can use, including coconut, rosehip, and jojoba oils. In this article, we look at several options and how they can be combined with essential oils. Read now
“companies creating there own standards” is why we have certifying organizations; to ensure truth in advertising and obtainable measureable repeatable standards. If it were ok to have every company creating their own standards we’d have more problems. Oh yeah we do, Sallie and Freddie, Enron… That’s why we voted for Obama because this type of side stepping around responsibility and being honest is not acceptable. Thank you Robert, I was trying to figure out where I got this notion of “therapeutic grade” when I couldn’t find a certifying body that provided that term. I am fairly sure I got it from some YL distributor. It’s one of the reasons I value having found you and bought your books etc. You cut through the cr_p out there. Thank you.
On the bright side, dōTERRA sources their essential oils from growers across the globe who use a distillation process of low-heat steam distillation or cold extraction for select essential oils. Their global botanical network encompasses farmers and distillers in 40 different countries. dōTERRA offers full insight into the consumer journey from essential oil sourcing to delivering the bottle to a consumers’ hand, on their website Source to You. GC/MS quality reports are also available for download on this website.
Because standards for quality control of essential oils do not currently exist in the United States, it is important to find reputable sources that sell good quality essential oils if you are planning to use them for health-related purposes. Whether you buy essential oils in a store, from an individual, or from the internet, be sure to read any information provided on the label or website, or ask questions about quality.
There are 260 single pure essences of the highest vibrational frequencies available. These plant and tree devas help to raise the body’s frequency, facilitating our own healing and raising our own consciousness spiritually, emotionally and physically. The human body’s immune system is truly a healer of self when facilitated and supported with these essentials. Everything we can do to truly support our immune system will bless our physical bodies and denote our spiritual and emotional health as well.
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!
These 10 myths vs facts might be too difficult for a lot of people who are currently using essential oils heavily, like when you mention ‘first pressing’ ‘first distillation’, i’m sure a lot of people don’t even know the few methods to produce essential oils! That said, it’s good to give another lens to any oil advocates who are simply brainwashed by all those MLM reps.
The only oils on the market safe to ingest are by a company called Young Living. If you are not a member you can obtain Eucalyptus oil by typing in Young Living Essential Oil Eucalyptus on an ebay or amazon search engine to try it out. One you do, you will surely want to become a member of this company. I use these oils on myself and children and am being healed of YEARS of chronic illness with these products. I am not a salesperson. I feel obligated to get EVERYONE with health issues this REAL AND TRUE HEALING MEDICINE that heals rather than just treating symptoms.
I have bought dozens of essential oils from Piping Rock. Their prices are simply the best, especially considering the free shipping and “Crazy Deals” they offer and change almost daily. You can get 15 ml of 100% neroli oil for about $15, and it’s lovely! They also have a 15 ml bottle of 100% West Indian sandalwood for $39.95, and it smells GREAT. A 15 ml bottle of 100% pure cistus oil is about $13 or $14. It can’t be beat! Many of the normally cheaper oils (peppermint, orange, cedarwood, tangerine, tea tree, pine etc.) are wonderfully priced too -almost a steal. Their rose, jasmine and tuberose blends did not disappoint scent-wise (they weren’t too weak at all). Their oils come in glass bottles with stoppers and pretty labels. I was scared at first because of how cheap their prices are, but I’m glad I took the chance. On top of the great products, they ship SUPER FAST, package well, and my orders are always complete and correct. So happy with this company. Lastly, by signing up with the http://www.mrrebates.com website (it’s free), and accessing piping rock from there, you will get a %10 discount on your purchase, which you eventually receive as a refund in cash that you can have added to your PayPal account. I’ve earned over $50 in refunds! I’ve seen this % go up and down by a little from time to time, but the average is 10% (which it is as of today, 5/8/14). Maybe wait for a “free shipping day” and try some of the cheaper oils to test the waters first. Even when you have to pay for shipping (for orders under $40), the shipping is a flat $3.95 rate!
Supercritical carbon dioxide is used as a solvent in supercritical fluid extraction. This method can avoid petrochemical residues in the product and the loss of some "top notes" when steam distillation is used. It does not yield an absolute directly. The supercritical carbon dioxide will extract both the waxes and the essential oils that make up the concrete. Subsequent processing with liquid carbon dioxide, achieved in the same extractor by merely lowering the extraction temperature, will separate the waxes from the essential oils. This lower temperature process prevents the decomposition and denaturing of compounds. When the extraction is complete, the pressure is reduced to ambient and the carbon dioxide reverts to a gas, leaving no residue.
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