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.
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.

While I hope very much that the essential oils that they sell are of high quality, the fact that they are creating this misleading marketing scheme does not give me high hopes for their credibility as a company.  As a general rule of thumb, I would think twice before sourcing from a company that claims their essential oils are "certified therapeutic grade."  They are either completely naive and pretending to have a certification that doesn't exist, or they are not naive and are pretending to have a certification that does not exist.  Either way, not promising.  
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.
Our Lavender oil is genuine Lavandula angustifolia oil from various L. angustifolia cultivars, pure and undiluted, with no additives. It has only the naturally occurring ratios of natural constituents and is not put through any secondary distillation to manipulate its component profile. This is a blend of selected cultivars, rather than only the specific subspecies that are specifically and narrowly suited to perfume formulation. In this way, we produce the highest quality Lavender oil that meets the needs of aromatherapy consumers and professionals alike, rather than offering it as a limited use fragrance ingredient per the ISO standard.
"Essential oils are highly concentrated, volatile plant extracts," explains Avery. "We obtain essential oils through a few different extraction methods, and the part of the plant we get the essential oil from can be different depending on the oil but is typically the most aromatic part. Rose oil, for example, comes from the petals of the rose, while citrus oils come from the rind."
I kept seeing the term "therapeutic grade" or "certified therapeutic grade" in relation to essential oils.  After researching and speaking with numerous experts in the field, it became apparent that this was simply a marketing term that was coined in the 90's, and does not have any real meaning.  Essential oils are inherently therapeutic, and while there are specifications for what constitutes an essential oil, set by the International Organization for Standardization, there is not a set of specifications that would define an essential oil as "certified therapeutic" and no independent bodies that certify essential oils as such. 
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.)
Lavender 40/42 (Standardized) – This essential oil is the most common choice for applications in glycerin soap, candles, perfume, and cosmetics. The “40/42” refers to the balance of Linalool and Linalyl acetate esters, which is what gives it such a consistent floral scent but also means it is standardized.  For this reason some aromatherapists regard this oil as something that is not considered 'therapeutic grade" or "pure grade" since it is does not come directly from the plant in this form.  Instead this oil is standardized in a lab to ensure consistency in smell. It also has a balsamic woody undertone with a floral, herbaceous fresh scent.

Janice – no, it’s not at all junk science, and this is what ISO standards are all about – the maximum and minimum ranges of key constituents. This does of course vary with different chemotypes, as well as different species, and it can also vary with geographical origin. So there is an ISO standard for peppermint oil from the USA, and a different one for the rest of the world. (this is not elitism – ISO standards are not US-based.)
I have always wondered why I have to pay so much more for do terra than AuraCacia oils and for that reason I am a fan of Aura Cacia. I recently learned that there are 1,2,3 and complete distillation and that first is the best. I unsure what either brand uses and don’t really know how to find out unless I get In direct contact with each company (not that hard). I want to buy some helichrysum italicum oil that through do terra is $100, Native American Nutritionals is $150 and aura cacia is $40. How can a consumer know if the $40 oil is just as good as the $150 oil? I believe they are all the same size. Are these companies taking us consumers for a ride? Thank you for your information.
Let’s address the issue of ‘health advocates’ giving out prescriptive advice of essential oils. I mentioned that I will sometimes prescribe internal essential oils for short periods of time.  As a qualified health herbalist and naturopath, I have an intricate understanding of human anatomy, physiology, and metabolism. I can look at research and decide on the safety profile of a new medicine before I prescribe it to my patients. Although essential oil health advocates are well-meaning (I truly believe they are) they simply are not qualified to be giving out health advice. I’m actually fine with them recommending certain oils and blends for diffusing, but I’d even be cautious to take advice on topical applications from someone who was not trained in aromatherapy. I’ve seen countless facebook posts of well-meaning advocates recommending everything from the neat (undiluted) use of essential oils on children, essential oil ‘cocktails’ with 2-3 drops of each oil (I’m not kidding). I’ve also heard countless horror stories of rashes, irritations, diarrhea and headaches from use.
For example, Peppermint Essential Oil is used primarily as a flavoring for candies (i.e. Candy Canes), chewing gum and ice creams. It is often referred to on food ingredient labels as Oil of Peppermint or simply as Peppermint Oil. Because large food/candy manufacturers must produce a consistently flavored product, the intensity, aroma and overall flavor of the peppermint oil they use must remain consistent between each lot of oil that they purchase. Peppermint Oil manufacturers/distributors, therefore typically standardize the essential oils that they sell by establishing a blueprint of the percentage that each important constituent should reach within each essential oil. They then test the oil and then adjust the oil by adding or removing constituents until the resulting oil meets the ideal percentage.
Oh, my, I need to apologize. I evidently left my reply/question before the entire page of this thread had loaded. I didn’t see that you and others had mentioned doTERRA. That is the company I’m with and I do trust them very much. As I indicated before, much of that trust is based on my experience of their oils compared to other oils I’ve used over the last 20 years.

Thank you so much for all of your information that you share. It seems like when I google something about essential oils, I frequently end up on your site. I am new to essential oils and not sure what to expect. It seems like when I use them in lotion, roll-on, or even a eucalyptus steam the scent dissipates relatively quickly. I am not sure if I am not adding enough essential oils, if I am buying lower quality essential oils, or if I am expecting too much. For instance, a 8 oz batch of lotion (I used 30 drops total of essential oil)that I made last week no longer has a scent to it (at least to me). Any insight on this?


Peer reviewed published research on the use of essential oils in the U.S. is limited; most U.S. clinical trials using essential oils have studied their effect on people who are sick - such as those undergoing chemotherapy - with some showing improvement in nausea, blood pressure, pulse and respiratory rates, as well as mood, anxiety and pain. Studies of essential oils have found that they have antibacterial and antiviral effects when used topically, and that different essential oils can be calming or energizing.
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. =)
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.
"Synthetic essential oils may seem like a bargain," says Rupinder Mangat, CEO of Mevei. "It can be difficult to tell the difference between a synthetic oil or a real one. But be careful—chemically reconstructed oils seldom include all the trace chemicals that are found in the real plant. Price can be an indication that an oil is synthetically reproduced or extended."

Our writer and researcher for this article is a holistic health practitioner studying nutrition, human anatomy, physiology, spirituality, as well as aromatherapy. After over a month of research and evaluation, we have determined that Stillpoint Aromatics from Sedona, Arizona, offers the best essential oils. They source the finest plants and make the greatest effort to preserve the oils’ pristine quality by keeping them in cold storage, capped with nitrogen. Plus they hand-pour every bottle to order. Stillpoint Aromatics’ unsurpassed quality will give you the greatest freshness and a superior caliber of oils that you can depend on for years and years. Running a close second — and for half the price — Floracopeia’s essential oils smelled very fresh and quite similar to Stillpoint’s, but they lacked the energetic quality we noticed in Stillpoint Aromatics’ products.
Hi i have just recently seen doTerra but have been using Amazing Scents for a while. I would like to know how they compare. They both claim they source their products from around the world where they are best produced. They say doTerra is safe to consume internally whereas Amazing Scents are only for external use. Can someone give me some insight about Amazing Scents and whether EO are safe to ingest.
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.
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?
I want to thank you for writing this piece. As a newbie to oils, I appreciate the time, effort, and education. While for some time, I knew there were things to be gained from EOs, the MLM companies pushing them just didn’t sit right with me. They were expensive and only get cheaper once you become a distributor. Sounds kind of like a pyramid scheme to me.
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.

” Essential oils are wholly natural and cannot be patented; which means that you’ll never see an essential oil in a pharmaceutical drug. As such, you can expect that the vast majority of mainstream healthcare practitioners will never recommend essential oils as therapeutic alternatives to drugs. More importantly, because essential oils cannot be patented, drug companies will not waste money studying them. This limits our scientific knowledge of essential oils GREATLY, and the majority of what we know about them are things that have been passed down through thousands of years of personal use and experimentation.” So how can any claim to be “therapeutic”….? WE all know they work but….
The brain plays an important role in the modulation of many symptoms and side effects, such as nausea, pain and stress. Aromatherapy can help patients cope with these problems. In fact, the Massage Therapy Team at Nationwide Children’s Hospital uses several essential oils, including lavender, sweet orange, peppermint and lemon/lime to support the well-being of patients. I’m taking advantage of the mind-body connection right now, diffusing a mixture of spearmint and a proprietary blend called “Breathe” as I write this post. I’m not sure it’s really keeping me on task, but I sure do enjoy the smell.
Oh, and there’s no such thing as “Therapeutic grade” essential oils.  All that means is oils that haven’t been adulterated by adding carrier oils, etc. to them.  It’s a marketing ploy to make the oils seem purer than they are.  Really, “pure” essential oils are the bottom level of purity/safety.  Wilfcrafted and organic are the safest and most beneficial.
“Quality essential oils” can mean many things, depending on how you intend to use the oils. To a perfume formulator, geranium essential oil spiked with artificial chemicals to enhance the fragrance might be considered a “quality essential oil”. To a massage therapist, a natural lavender oil diluted in a soothing base might be considered a high quality essential oil. To a doctor addressing bacterial challenges, only a truly pure, medicinal strength, wild crafted oregano oil that is high in natural carvacrol content would be considered a quality essential oil.
I just made some really nice cleaner using a spray bottle of 1/2 vinegar, 1/2 water and 6 drops citrus oil and a few peppermint oil (DoTerra). Cleaned the bathroom & under the sink areas (reorganizing day). It smells wonderful in there! And I really appreciate not having the chemicals in the house. Little by little I’m getting there. Wishing you well.
“Quality essential oils” can mean many things, depending on how you intend to use the oils. To a perfume formulator, geranium essential oil spiked with artificial chemicals to enhance the fragrance might be considered a “quality essential oil”. To a massage therapist, a natural lavender oil diluted in a soothing base might be considered a high quality essential oil. To a doctor addressing bacterial challenges, only a truly pure, medicinal strength, wild crafted oregano oil that is high in natural carvacrol content would be considered a quality essential oil.
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.
The essential oil information provided on AromaWeb is intended for educational purposes only. The references to safety information, constituents and percentages is generalized information. The data is not necessary complete and is not guaranteed to be accurate. The essential oil photos are intended to represent the typical and approximate color of each essential oil. However, essential oil color can vary based on harvesting, distillation, age of the essential oil and other factors. Profiles for several absolutes are included within the directory, and are denoted as such.
To find a therapeutic grade essential oil you will need to know its latin name and find it back on the bottle. The bottle also needs to have the name and address of the aupplier and a batch number. It is really not advised to use less than therapeutic grade in any skin, beauty or healthcare products as you are so much more likely to get adverse effects.
Although, there is a method to extract essential oil into a carrier oil. It’s called “infusion”. Herbs are placed in a jar, and the jar is filled with just enough oil to cover the herbs. After at least 2 weeks, the herbs are strained out and you’re left with an infused oil! Sometimes, fresh herbs are placed into the infused oil to make it extra-strong. Infusion produces a very mild oil, though, and there’s no need to dilute it.

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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