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
Thanks so much for your article. I am having a huge issue battling against the whole “therapeutic grade” malarky put out by several big name companies. It seems even though it is a subjective title, and many other similar titles like it are in fact trade marked, that somehow people just buy into the idea that it MUST mean the oils are better. I am a huge proponent of high quality oils and knowing the company, their standards, distillation processes etc. But these empty titles really drive me nuts! Thanks for your writings!
This is the biggest and most hotly argued aspect of the unregulated essential oil market. Be aware, there are no official legal bindings to the terms, “Pure”, “100% Pure”, “Natural”, and “Therapeutic Grade”; in fact there are no grades at all regarding essential oils. If you see any of these, or similar terms on essential oils, they are completely meaningless marketing slogans.
“USE ESSENTIAL OILS TO HELP YOUR MOOD. Lavender, peppermint, grapefruit, chamomile, lemon, ylang-ylang all help produce happy, joyous moods. Clary sage helps with PMS (although there have been reports that overuse of clary sage can lead to intoxication). Rosemary increases focus and concentration. Don’t forget the mood benefits of essential oils. Here’s an information packed aromatherapy reference chart to refer to.”
ISO (International Organization for Standardization) Their mission is to promote the development of standardization in the areas of intellectual, scientific, technological, and economic activity. For essential oils, they provide guidelines for packaging, conditioning, storage, labeling, sampling, testing, etc. ISO also provides, for a fee, quality standards for individual essential oils.
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.
As far back as A.D. 1000, healers used mechanical presses or steam to extract essential oils from fragrant plants. Today, practitioners can rub oil-infused lotions on the skin, where the compounds are absorbed into the bloodstream. Or they can diffuse them into the air where, once inhaled, they bind to smell receptors and stimulate the central nervous system, says Joie Power, PhD, a neuropsychologist and aromatherapist who has taught nurses how to use the oils for decades.

Additionally, inhaling scents bring the chemical - healing plant chemical,  or toxic synthetic chemical - straight into our lungs, while also bypassing the blood brain barrier and this can have nearly immediate effects on our neurological health. Again, this is one of the reasons why oils can be so powerful. We are able to utilize their healing benefits without needing to digest and assimilate anything. Easy entry. This is also why I advise using top quality oils for all oil applications, whether it's on your body or in your home.

Janice, I hope we are not at odds. For the record, whenever people ask me about either Do Terra or Young Living, I tell them that they are very good quality oils, which they are. I mean it when I say I’m glad you are happy with your supplier. And don’t take this as an attack on you – it isn’t – but I don’t subscribe to the MLM business model for aromatherapy. Maybe I am generalizing too much, but what I see is some problematic bending of facts (see above discussion) in order to sell product. And some flirtation with the boundaries of safety that make me uncomfortable. When selling product is your motivation, this is perhaps not surprising. As for me, I do not receive a paycheck from Tisserand Aromatherapy, and almost never mention the company.
A genuine therapeutic grade standard for essential oils is a great idea, it just doesn’t exist at this point in time. What does exist is the ISO standard, for many essential oils – http://www.iso.org/iso/home.html – and for organic certification, an organization called IFOAM – http://www.ifoam.org – the International Federation of Organic Agriculture Movements, which was formed in 1972. Certified organic essential oils have been available since the 1980s. Maybe not in your local health store, but they were being produced.
doTerra is not an ethical company, if it was, they wouldn’t propogate lies for profit… The “CTPG” that you refer to is NOT a “certification” for EO’s, as they would have you believe. It is a “Registered Trademark”, signified by the little circled R behind the “CTPG”… There are many other things of which I could address, but that is for another day.
I use peppermint EO after brushing my teeth on my tongue…it lasts so much longer than mouthwash, but is it safe to do this? I just take a couple of drops and rub it all over my tongue. I was concerned, however, after reading this article. Is the way I’m using it considered taking it internally? And, is it dangerous to do this since the oil has not been diluted in a carrier oil? Thanks!!
So if you are among those in the denial crowd please rethink your position about TG. You may not like the promotion of TG but that doesn’t mean it doesn’t exist. I think a better response instead of just saying “there’s no such thing” would be to say that “while many companies promote their own therapeutic grade standard, one should be aware that there is no independent body that certifies essential oils as therapeutic grade.” That is a fair statement that makes you look like a rational, logical and thoughtful human being instead of knee-jerk MLM hater. If you want a make a difference to people who are being fed a bunch a garbage by a narcissistic EO messiah then you must remain as objective, scientific and as non-emotional as possible. If you come off antagonistic it will be a barrier to productive dialog. I hope my friends in the traditional aromatherapy communities don’t take offense at this and look at it as just some friendly advice. I am not taking any sides here, the only side I am on is the side of truth. Read Dr. Pappas responses to the comments on this myth here.
In our scent tests the Stillpoint’s oils started off smelling mild and fresh, but then after a minute or two they magically blossomed and became very rich, deep, vibrant, stronger and more clear; almost like a fine wine opens up after being uncorked for some time. And for those who may be sensitive to subtle energies, these oils possessed a very clean and high vibration, which is an enormous benefit when using the oils for spiritual practice. No other oils we tested performed this way.

Hi Julie, it is entirely possible that you have had an allergic reaction to one of the essential oils you ingested. It is possible that that the lemon oil might have oxidized in the bottle in the store, and this increases the risk of allergy. It’s also possible that you are simply allergic to one of those oils. It has nothing to do with detoxing – that’s a total myth.
I used the NOW brand along with many others that I picked up easily at my local health food store for years. I would use what you bought. I say this with caution though, because when using oil that has not undergone testing to prove its purity and that has been held to a high standard, you risk synthetic chemicals, fillers, and less potency. With so many companies out there using unethical practices to extend their oils it can be scary and even toxic to the user. This is why I have now switched to a new provider. I researched about 50 companies thoroughly and only found 3 that I would actually feel fully safe using for both me and my kids. I chose the one I felt like was the best for me and I have been so excited to see how much quicker and more effectively they do their work to help my families bodies in all kinds of situations. I still have some of my old oils like the NOW brand and I will use them until they are gone, but I have switched to not using them directly on my body, and instead just use them for when I am making homemade cleaning products. Examples would be my floor cleaner, my laundry, etc. Never use any NOW oils internally (it says so on the packaging) but if you’re not worried about extra toxins then using a small amount in a diffuser or on trouble areas is something I did with some positive results (though those results were not as pronounced or quick as the results I see now).
Actually John, that isn’t entirely true. Unlike many products EOs are not required to list everything that is in them. Some grocery and drug store brands of EOs come already diluted only this isn’t mentioned on the bottle. You can unknowingly over dilute your EOs by adding additional carrier because you think the product you have gotten from the drugstore is pure.
MEVEI was founded out of our pure passion for premium and luxury essential oils. The benefits of essential oils extend far beyond aromatherapy. Instead of focusing only on the therapeutic value of the oils and competing purely on price, we differentiate on providing an exceptional experience to your daily beauty routine. The ancient civilizations had long ago perfected the art and science of extracting and harnessing the natural benefits of the worlds most treasured botanical ingredients and our mission is to demystify those golden secrets; and to craft extraordinary products of sophistication as an unforgettable addition to your lifestyle. Our all-natural products aim to inspire and deliver a touch of glamour to make your every day special.

This post is the second in a weekly, multi-part series on Using Essential Oils. Last week we discussed Basic Essential Oils for Daily Living – how to get started using essential oils in your daily life. Here we will explore considerations to help you choose high quality essential oils. What should you look for? How can you guarantee an essential oil is pure? What does that even mean? What about cost? We invite you to learn how to choose an essential oil here and then join us weekly for additional articles on topics ranging from essential oil safety, using essential oils in herbalism, and carrier oils.


“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?
Thank you Holly! I’m happy to see someone stand up and clarify the fact that doTerra does stand behind their oils. To state such a statement of an oil to 100% certified pure therapeutic grade does mean something….especially is you consider using them internally or for cooking. If you are considering using essential oils instead of over the counter drugs, which contain many chemical ingredients (by the way, they use the same plants to create their drugs only they change them chemically and add other things), why not go all the way and eliminate ALL toxic and chemical additions to your body?? My suggestion, do your homework and research! Don’t take someone’s word for it in a comment. Buy a few bottles of the same oil (I hope you’ll consider doTerra) and compare how you feel.
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.

Hi, I was wondering if anybody knows where I can get Korres organic essential oils. I bought a lavender and a geranium last year on vacation in Greece but it seems that they’re only sold there. I can’t find them anywhere on the internet which seems really odd. The quality was amazing and I really want to try the others and restock on the lavender and geranium. Please help!
Are you using it for aromatherapy? If so you should try chamomile or neroli EOs. Another thing that’s great for anxiety is taking orange blossom water (sold in glass bottles either in the import section of your grocery store, or at a store that sells middle eastern cooking supplies) and put it into a spray bottle with a few drops of lavender–they smell amazing together. Shake it up well and use it as a room spray. It can also be used on furniture and fresh laundry, and spraying down your pillows helps great for insomnia caused by anxiety. Hope that helps!
I am new to essential oils. I just purchased a diffuser and Callily essential oils sampler pak. I’m following all directions for the diffuser, and adding 3–5 drops of oil, but I really cannot even smell them! I was hoping to use the eucalyptus for my sinuses at night, but sadly I’m getting no benefits or noticing anything healing. Any advice from anyone? It says do not overuse oils in diffuser, but I feel like I need to add more to actually smell them in the air! Thanks for any advice!
The third and most shocking thing that I learned (this was most shocking because I really felt like I had been lied to when I found this) is that the words that these companies use such as “Certified Pure Therapeutic Grade”, are TRADEMARKED PHRASES by their corresponding essential oil company. This means that the reason each of these companies claims that “no other company can say….”, it's because their company has trademarked the words…from the doTERRA website:”CPTG Certified Pure Therapeutic Grade is a registered trademark of dōTERRA Holdings, LLC representing internal standards of quality assessment and material control. The CPTG protocol is not administered by government or industry regulatory agencies and does not imply regulatory approval of dōTERRA products.”
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.
Ellen – Im sorry but you are mistaken. Essential oils ARE able to be ingested in their purest, natural form. The FDA even acknowledges this and has its OWN list of Essential Oils Generally Recognized as Safe for human consumption. If needed I can gladly link you. The FDA has in fact gone after them, not for “practicing medicine”, but for some of the uneducated reps who made claims that EO’s cured Ebola. At the same time, Dr Bronners people among OTHER companies received the same letters. They also did not file anything, they have sent them letters with “their demands” and now these companies need to meet them. Do not make a mountain out of a mole hill. I am with Young Living oils- because I care where my product comes from.
Essential oils are highly concentrated oils that have a strong aroma. Sometimes they are called volatile aromatic oils because of their high concentration of the aromatic compounds. For example, the oil of “absolutes” is obtained from delicate flowers by either enfleurage or solvent extraction. Absolute oils often mimic the natural aroma of the plant and are also more colored and viscous than essential oils. (1)
First let me say if you are using terms like “first pressing” then you’ve really got some catching up to do on your essential oil education. Most all essential oils are steam distilled, in fact this is inherent to the very definition of an essential oil. The only oils that are considered to fall under the definition of the term “essential oil” and are not produced by steam distillation are the citrus oils, which are cold pressed from the citrus peel (and if its done properly there would not be any oil left in the peel for a second pressing LOL). So when one refers to the so called “first pressed” essential oils they do not even portray an accurate method of production of almost every essential oil out there, since almost every oil is produced by distillation, not by pressing. Please avoid this “pressing” terminology unless you want to just sound like a complete novice to the field. When the pressed method is applicable, in the industry we use the terms COLD PRESSED or EXPRESSED to describe the production of citrus oils (some citrus are also distilled but that’s another issue). So this brings us to the whole issue of the claimed “multiple distillations” of the same plant material. Consider this quote from a popular blog:
The worst deception is when poor companies use synthetic fragrances mixed into vegetable oil and pass it off as true essential oil. This is where the real danger to your health can come: the National Academy of Sciences reported that the 95 percent of synthetic fragrances come from petroleum and have the potential to cause cancer, birth defects, central nervous system disorders and allergic reactions.

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.


So just to be clear – there is no “therapeutic grade” for any essential oil that relates to AFNOR, the EC, or ISO, and there are no separate essential oil standards set by AFNOR or the EC. So we are left with one thing – YL conforms to ISO standards. Great, that’s a good thing, but it’s far from unique. I think I already said most of this in the article that these comments derive from.
Many essential oils are produced from seeds, berries and beans, among them: Argan Oil (Moroccan Oil), Cardamon Seed, Carrot Seed, Celery Seed, Coffee (Absolute), Coriander Seed (pictured), Cucumber Seed, Cumin Seed, Dill Seed, Foraha, Grapefruit Seed Oil, Sweet Fennel, Juniper Berry (Drome Valley), Litsea Cubeba, Parsley Seed, Rosehip Seed, Nutmeg, Sugandha kokila (White Cinnamon), and Vanilla.
It's not an instant favorite (unlike Artemisia pallens and Inula graveolens), although I typically grow to like EO's once my body has had a chance to think them over and assimilate the new information. I gave it 5 stars for three reasons: It is unbelievably intense and lasting, which is how it is described around the web. It smells nothing like valerian, which I've heard people complaining gets substituted for the more-expensive vetiver. I've smelled a lot of valerian, and I just don't detect any of that here, so I'd say this hasn't been cut with anything. And despite washing with (unscented) soap and rinsing with isopropyl alcohol, the fragrance has not changed, it has only gotten a little weaker--I can't stand scents that change when they are watered down.
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. =)
Hi there! I know in your list of 21 facts you said these oils should not be ingested…I have heard otherwise about a few specific brands. What were your true thoughts on this? Do you or have you used any oils internally? Or anyoneelse on here maybe? Really wanting to heal from the inside as well as using these topically. Thanks in advance! I’m still pretty new at this so any input or advice would be great!
SMH at all of these Young Living Distributors saying their oils are the most pure and safe to be ingested. People, do your research please before being scammed by these distributors. There are third party sites that test the oils from different companies. Young Living oils are not more “pure” nor are they safe to be ingested without consulting a certified aromatherapist who is trained to know what amount of what oils can safely be ingested and by who. Some ages or people with certain conditions cannot ingest this or that oil. 1 drop of Lemon EO is equivalent of consuming like 1000 lemons. Young Living and Doterra and any other MLM company’s oils are more expensive not because they are pure but because they have to feed MANY mouths down the MLM chain. There are many companies out there that have pure oils without additives that are WAY more affordable. I am not a seller or a certified aromatherapist. I am just tired of all these MLM distributors spreading lies just so they can make a buck.
So just to be clear – there is no “therapeutic grade” for any essential oil that relates to AFNOR, the EC, or ISO, and there are no separate essential oil standards set by AFNOR or the EC. So we are left with one thing – YL conforms to ISO standards. Great, that’s a good thing, but it’s far from unique. I think I already said most of this in the article that these comments derive from.
Ingesting essential oils daily will damage your microbiome, in my opinion. Is there a study to prove this? No, as the doTERRA advocates will point out. Is there one showing that it does not. Ummm no. But there is research showing how powerful these oils are at killing bacteria. And we know that they will make contact with the microbiome. It isn’t rocket science, you ingest a powerful antibacterial and you will kill your bacteria.
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.
The products that ZEVA Essential Oils offers are 100% ISO certified essential oils derived from plant sources, and manufactured to contain active phytochemicals from plants without fillers or chemicals. ZEVA only uses oils certified by the Medicinal Oil Association, and we source our plants from quality suppliers throughout the world. However, because of the differences in organic certification from country to country, and even from one state to another in the U.S., it is not possible to acquire raw materials that are all certified organic. We do check our plant supplies for chemical residues in the form of solvents, herbicides, pesticides, and extenders so we can offer products that are as pure as possible, often exceeding the standards for certified organic products.

“Peppermint is an interesting plant in that it yields more oil than most others. As such, large farms and distilleries extract a bunch of oil from the peppermint plant.  Smaller farms do a first distillation of peppermint that they sell to oils companies for the highest price. The peppermint is then re-distilled at a higher pressure and higher temperature for a 2nd distill, and the resulting oil is sold for less money to soap companies, and the like, that want a lower cost oil, but still desire a slightly “herby” smell. The plant is then re-distilled one more time at a yet higher temperature and pressure for a 3rd distill, which is sold to companies wanting the candy-cane smelling oil.”


The Ananda Apothecary operates business hours of Monday – Friday, 9am – 5pm MST. You can call 1-303-440-3766 for Customer Service or contact custserv@anandaapothecary.com. This brand also offers a newsletter, social media channels, and a neat “Aroma Science” section where you can learn a whole bunch of detailed essential oil information from their staff chemist (who is also their most active writer).
We found that boswellic acids contents depended on hydrodistillation duration and temperature (Table? 2). Essential oils prepared from longer distillation time and higher distillation temperature contained greater amounts of boswellic acids. For example, boswellic acids contents in Fractions III (19.6%) and IV (30.1%) were higher than those detected in Fraction I (0.9%) or II (0.8%) essential oil.

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
The essential oils we use in Everyday Oil are of the highest quality and most tightly regulated in the industry.  They are in compliance with ISO 9001:2008 and come with Material Safety Data Sheets, Certificates of Analysis, and GC Reports. They are never tested on animals, and the ingredients that are Certified Organic are certified by the leading Independent organic certification company, QAI.  Every recommended quality control element is in place.  We don't call them "therapeutic grade" because that's not a real thing, and with Everyday Oil you will always get a very real thing.

They tell me this is a myth that quite a number of people are spreading but its hard for me to believe that there are people out there who are actually accepting this as a viable explanation. But I guess there must be a significant amount of people believing it because a number of you have asked me to address this. I suppose it comes from the desperate attempt for people to come up with some kind of positive explanation for any adverse reactions that natural products might cause us. I mean we all know that if something is natural that it must be good for us, right?
An essential oil that exhibits this quality will cause burning or skin pigmentation changes, such as tanning, on exposure to sun or similar light (ultraviolet rays). Reactions can range from a mild color change through to deep weeping burns. Do not use or recommend the use of photosensitizing essential oils prior to going into a sun tanning booth or the sun. Recommend that the client stay out of the sun or sun tanning booth for at least twenty-four hours after treatment if photosensitizing essential oils were applied to the skin. Certain drugs, such as tetracycline, increase the photosensitivity of the skin, thus increasing the harmful effects of photosensitizing essential oils under the necessary conditions. Table 3 lists some common essential oils considered to be photosensitizers.
I signed up to be a DoTerra Essential Oils consultant about a year ago, and I couldn’t be happier with my choice. I get high quality 100% pure therapeutic grade oils for a good price. I’ve used Frankincense and Lavender undiluted on my son since he was born. I’ve also taken advantage of my diffuser. My favorite blends to diffuse are their Breathe (which has been a lifesaver when my babe is congested -and the rest of the family too) and their On Guard. We diffused On Guard last fall quite often and nobody in our house caught so much as a cold. Which was so nice, considering the new baby in the house -and considering Hubby is a teach and typically brings bugs home at the start of new school years. My personal favorites are Lemon and Peppermint. I add a drop or two of lemon to my drinks when I feel a sore throat coming on, or when I feel like I need a bit of a mood/ energy lift. And peppermint works well for headaches and aches in general. 🙂 If you’re interested in DoTerra let me know. I live in the Colorado Springs area and I teach EO classes occasionally.
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.

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.
Essential oils, however, are distilled and used not only in holistic aromatherapy, but as mentioned previously, are also distilled for use in the personal fragrancing, home fragrancing, cosmetic and in the food/beverage/flavoring industries. In these industries where purchasers of essential oils use them for mass production, there is far less need for "pure" essential oils and far greater need for consistent, standardized essential oils that do not change from shipment to shipment.
Citrus Essential Oils are often thought of for their light, summery aromas, but I love using citrus oils all year round. My use of the citrus oils increases during the colder months as I find them energizing and help to uplift the spirits. They are the perfect complement to blends that fight off the winter blues, "cabin fever" and depression. Read about the aromatic properties of each of the citrus essential oils.
USE ESSENTIAL OILS TO HELP YOUR MOOD. Lavender, peppermint, grapefruit, chamomile, lemon, ylang-ylang all help produce happy, joyous moods. Clary sage helps with PMS (although there have been reports that overuse of clary sage can lead to intoxication). Rosemary increases focus and concentration. Don’t forget the mood benefits of essential oils. Here’s an information packed aromatherapy reference chart to refer to.
No, we advise against it. Skin irritation is possible with some essential oils, including Cassia or Cinnamon. Though many people do use our oils in a variety of ways, due to the powerful nature of steam distilled pure essential oils we label these products with cautions and suggest that you follow them and, as needed, consult an aromatherapist or health professional for proper use. There are also many good reference books on using essential oils safely.
Diffusing any EO would not be safe for the children or adult coming into your classroom as there are tons of allergies and Pharmaceutical Drug interactions you would not be aware of which could potentially be very dangerous. I would definitely do more research before investing in EO’s, especially with YL or any MLM indicating they can cure illnesses. YL, doTerra and Natural Solutions were cited by the FDA in September 2014 for doing just that. Mountain Rose Herbs is a great company, Plant Therapy offers even Children Safe single Oils and Synergy Blends.
Any essential oil business that cares about selling only pure essential oils will have their oils tested with at least two tests, usually run simultaneously, the gas chromatography and mass spectrometry tests, or GC/MS.  Responsible essential oil vendors will run these tests on every batch of oil they receive from a distiller. Many of these vendors provide batch-specific GC/MS reports on their websites, and some others will provide them on request, sometimes for a nominal fee. Some high quality essential oil vendors do not provide these reports, but those that do are prefered by trained aromatherapists.
Essential oils can be altered to achieve standardization (for example, a certain chemical that was found to be at a lower concentration in the whole oil in a particular year can be added to make it the same percentage as last year's batch). The problem with standardized essential oils is that they are no longer natural, genuine, and authentic. This variability in essential oils by time, place and conditions is a big challenge to conducting valid research. Currently the International Standards Organization sets standards for each essential oil that include a range of acceptable concentrations for its major chemical constituents.
Essential oils are highly concentrated oils that have a strong aroma. Sometimes they are called volatile aromatic oils because of their high concentration of the aromatic compounds. For example, the oil of “absolutes” is obtained from delicate flowers by either enfleurage or solvent extraction. Absolute oils often mimic the natural aroma of the plant and are also more colored and viscous than essential oils. (1)
Ellen – Im sorry but you are mistaken. Essential oils ARE able to be ingested in their purest, natural form. The FDA even acknowledges this and has its OWN list of Essential Oils Generally Recognized as Safe for human consumption. If needed I can gladly link you. The FDA has in fact gone after them, not for “practicing medicine”, but for some of the uneducated reps who made claims that EO’s cured Ebola. At the same time, Dr Bronners people among OTHER companies received the same letters. They also did not file anything, they have sent them letters with “their demands” and now these companies need to meet them. Do not make a mountain out of a mole hill. I am with Young Living oils- because I care where my product comes from.
You seem to be a bit touchy about research. I would suggest that you go to PubMed and search for “essential oils.” You will definitely find some scholarly research that has been published on the subject….but not nearly enough. (If you need a comparison, do a search for your favorite pharmaceutical drug). Given that publications are the currency for academic research, this would suggest that there aren’t as many researchers studying these essential oils as you seem to think.
This kind of statement has always left me scratching my head. Sometimes it is also stated as “….EOs are the most OXYGENATED substances on earth.” Whether its meant to be OXYGENATING or OXYGENATED the statement is just plain wrong. Yes essential oils contain oxygen but that doesn’t equate to be “oxygenating” or the “most oxygenated.” Those of you taking my Chemistry of Essential Oils course already know that, 99+% of the time, when we are talking about essential oil molecules, we are concerned only with 3 elements of the periodic table: Carbon, Hydrogen and Oxygen. The molecules in essential oils are mainly mono and sesquiterpenes and their oxygenated derivatives. Essential oils are volatile organic liquids. There are absolutely NO HORMONES (at least not human hormones) OR VITAMINS in essential oils. In addition, of these 3 most common EO elements, Oxygen is the LEAST frequently occurring. If you are just counting types of atoms in the essential oil molecules, Hydrogen is the most prevalent atom followed by Carbon, then Oxygen (again just counting numbers of atoms, not a weight comparison). A large percentage of all essential oil molecules are hydrocarbons (monoterpenes and sesquiterpenes) and don’t even contain Oxygen at all. When the molecules do contain Oxygen, the ratio typically ranges from 1 or 2 atoms of Oxygen to say 10 to 17 atoms of Carbon and 18 to 26 atoms of Hydrogen (for the most common cases of oxygenated mono and sesquiterpenes). Furthermore, the Oxygen in essential oil molecules is BOUND OXYGEN not really available to be delivered in the form of free oxygen radical or oxygen molecules (of course there an infinitesimal amount of dissolved oxygen molecules in just about any liquid but this is insignificant) and thus not very “oxygenating.” It is still unclear to me what the basis for these claims concerning essential oils are coming from and would love to know the literature sources that the claimants are citing as their support. I could go on more about this topic but Robert Tisserand has already written an excellent response to the “Oxygenating” myth on his website, so rather than re-invent the wheel I will refer all of you to read his comments there.
I personally do not believe EVERYTHING written by companies regarding their products. I research, and sometimes try things out myself, for the truth. I too, have heard and read online the issues regarding YL and doTerra products. As others have mentioned, YL founder has been through the legal system regarding the claims of his products. ( At the same time, our government does not seem to be happy that many are finding alternatives to modern medicine, and would rather everyone was on drugs… so). And that doTerra was started by three former employees of YL.
In any form, using essential oils as green pesticides rather than synthetic pesticides has ecological benefits such as decreased residual actions.[30] In addition, increased use of essential oils as pest control could have not only ecological, but economical benefits as the essential oil market diversifies[29] and popularity increases among organic farmers and environmentally conscious consumers.[28]
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