I’m trying to decide which EOs to buy, to start out with, and where to buy them from. I’ve noticed that many of doTerra’s oils are MUCH more expensive than those from Mountain Rose Herbs. Why is that? Is one vastly superior over the other one? I’m on a budget and would prefer to spend less, if possible, but don’t want to sacrifice purity or quality, either.
As we mentioned earlier, the FDA generally classifies essential oils as cosmetics, but they can also sometimes be considered drugs. In a quote direct from the US Food and Drug Administration website, “The law doesn’t require cosmetics to have FDA approval before they go on the market.” In addition, if a product claims to affect the health and function of the body, such as relieving anxiety, aiding digestion or calming sore muscles, the product must be approved by the FDA as a drug, which is a very long and costly process.
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.
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.
Developing essential oil standards for essential oil therapy/aromatherapy has been discussed in several circles over the years, but because of cost of administration, setting up labs, certifying them and the analysis cost all by itself, it has turned out to be an overwhelming task and cost that only a well-organized and well funded organization could handle. But, an organizational attempt to deal with the analytical and administrative challenge for self-regulation would be desirable before essential oil therapy/aromatherapy looses its “therapy” from an overdose of bad oils.
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?
Absolute essential oils are similar to their pure distilled and cold-pressed counterparts, but for various reasons the extraction process is more involved and requires the use of chemical solvents that are removed later in the production process. NOW Solutions offers two absolutes, Rose and Jasmine, which are extracted with solvents and clearly listed as such on our product labels. These two absolutes are produced by using the solvents hexane and ethanol in sequence, which are then actively reclaimed and removed via a stripping distillation process that leaves the essential oil portion intact.
I love essential oils! I use NOW Oils because they are affordable and easy to find. I think Young Living and DoTerra are over priced marketing scams. I tell everyone I use NOW. I have great success using the more reasonable priced oils and they even make some of their own blends. Highly recommend but everyone needs to find what brand works for them.
Olbas Oil may cause problems even when not applied directly to the eyes. The mother of a 4-month-old boy placed several drops of Olbas Oil in his right nostril in an attempt to help his respiratory infection, not realizing that the product warns against use in infants. The child immediately showed signs of respiratory distress, and was taken to the emergency room. Two hours after admission his eyes became inflamed, and examination revealed bilateral superficial corneal scarring. He also had conjunctivitis, and could not open his eyes. They were flushed with saline over four days, and he recovered with no residual scarring (Wyllie and Alexander 1994).
In the article above this blog there is a link that will take you to 19 essential oils that can be used on babies and children. I looked at it, and the URL is http://www.abundanthealth4u.com Everything I have read about using essential oils on children stresses the importance of proper dilution. Be careful if you decide you want to do this. The word “therapeutic” is tossed around like pizza dough, and it really doesn’t have a scientific meaning when applied to EO’s.
I am still confused about this whole internal taking thing. how can several companies say their eos are 100% and yet some be safe to take internally and others not. also, I have been using NOW eos for a couple of years. you state that they are ok for cleaning but not for therapeutic reasons. can you explain this further? they say they are 100% pure and they seem to be working. would these other companies eos work better or differently? thanks
700 Children’s features the most current pediatric health care information and research from our pediatric experts – physicians and specialists who have seen it all. Many of them are parents and bring a special understanding to what our patients and families experience. If you have a child – or care for a child – 700 Children’s was created especially for you.
Organic Farms. These farms practice organic cultivation, yet are not independently monitored. This is usually due to the lack of an agency in the area. Farms in more remote areas are usually unable to purchase the herbicides and fertilizers due to their cost. Personal contact with the farm is required to confirm that their cultivation is organic and clean, producing quality essential oils.
Bath: Avoid dripping your essential oil directly into the bath water; you always want to mix it first with a natural emulsifier like honey, milk, a carrier oil, or even sea salt. Doing this will help emulsify and disperse the essential oils into the water. If you don’t do this, the oils will simply sit on the surface of the water and come into direct contact with your skin, possibly causing burns and dermal toxicity.
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.
So, between their “extra” or more extensive methods of testing, their control over growth and harvest, the use of their own labs and equipment (which Gary Young states are the only instruments in the world that are matched and calibrated to the instruments used at the National Center for Scientific Research in France), YL openly declares that their oils are “therapeutic” grade and no other oils but their own are fully safe to be used neat or internally.
Certified Organic: Not officially certified because sourcing happens across a wide variety of countries that don’t all have US matching quality control standards. Same as with the Young Living Oils, they’re not US “certified organic” because of all the rules in the different source countries. Yes – Some of their product line-up is USDA certified organic. Not all of their oils are. 6 out of their 150 essential oils are USDA certified organic. Edens Garden offers both a certified organic line of essential oils, and a conventionally sourced lineup.Both an in-house laboratory and independent labs and consultants perform analyses for product quality.
Low Price. When it comes to essential oils, you get what you pay for. Growing, harvesting and distilling essential oils of the highest medicinal quality requires extra time and labor, requiring methods that are frankly slower and “less efficient” than modern large commercial producers. It’s the basic law of supply and demand: a small supply of a higher quality product will always cost more than a large supply of a lower quality product.
On speaking to Karen Menehan and Stanford Erickson, two of your editors, I was told that one role of a publication was to present alternative viewpoints. A fair point in principle, but I have read dozens of editorials, guest and otherwise, and don’t remember a single one that presented opposing views in this way. And, I’m still confused as to how my article was listed as someone else’s.
Inhalation: With oils that are safe to use on the skin (know before you try), you can also take a single drop into one of your hands and rub your hands together to warm them up and spread the oil. Then cup your hands around your nose and take in a deep breath. Doing this, you can achieve the same mood and emotional benefits as with diffusion. A little goes a long way.
Typical research studies involve testing two groups-one group gets an experimental substance and another group gets a placebo substance (this group is referred to as the "control" group). When using aromatic substances, it is very difficult to conduct a blinded study. Some researchers have used masks or other barriers to blind participants. Other researchers have used alternate scents assumed to have no therapeutic properties as controls. These approaches are problematic, however, because people associate smells with past experiences. Thus, it is difficult to account for individual variation in how essential oils affect people.
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.
I’m going to put it out there that the short-term use of some essential oils in a therapeutic setting and prescribed by a qualified practitioner, is safe. For example, if I am undertaking an anti-candida protocol with a patient, I may use products which have essential oils in them such as oregano to help to reduce the fungal overgrowth. However, I weigh up the use of these oils and use it carefully in combination with probiotics and other supplements so that it does not do more harm than good.
In the follow up email that I received, it stated that they have never found any adulteration in their oils, that perhaps a compound of the oil was misidentified, and that they couldn't contact the lab that had done the testing and shown adulteration because they are located in France. I know they speak French in France, but they do have phones and email.
IF Your Bottle Of EO Says 100% Pure But Not For Internal Use It Isn’t Pure. If It Says Ok For InterNal Use It Is Pure. Young Living Did Some Testing On Another Lavender EO froM Another Company And It Tested That It hAd Vanilla In It. The Product Did Say 100% Pure On It. Well If It Was 100% Pure It Wouldnt Have Had Vanilla In It. I Use Yl Eo & I Love Them. I Take Them InternallY.Yes Their Expensive But Im A True BelieveR You Get WhAt You Pay For!
Then we purchased bottles of Lavender (Lavandula angustifolia), and Lemon (Citrus limon) from each of the seven companies we selected to perform our in-house testing. We gathered a group of four people from our office and administered a formal blind smell test to evaluate which oils smelled the best and which smelled the worst out of the selections.
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.
Essential oils are usually lipophilic (literally: "oil-loving") compounds that usually are not miscible with water. They can be diluted in solvents like pure ethanol and polyethylene glycol. The most common way to safely dilute essential oils for topical use is in a carrier oil. This can be any vegetable oil readily available, the most popular for skin care being jojoba, coconut, wheat germ, olive and avocado.