Insects have been pollinating flowers for over 200 million years. Insects, like humans, are attracted to specific plants for one of three possible reasons: its aroma, its color, or its morphology or physical structure. Scent appears to be more ancient than flower color as an attractant to insects.3 Various insects, including bees, butterflies, and even beetles, are known to be attracted by the aroma of a plant.4a
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.

After buying several carrier oils and essential oils on Amazon, I’m now wondering if I’ve wasted my money. It’s just sad that consumers can’t get honest information regarding a product. While not all EO’s and carriers have to be expensive, it’s weeding out the ones that are pure vs. cut/synthetic that’s the hardest. I think this is what turns some newbies off from using EO’s for Therapeutic purposes… they buy an EO expecting a certain result, see none, and then, understandably, think they “just don’t work.”
EO’s also can have pharmaceutical drug interactions, such as essential oils which are high in eugenol or methyl salicylate should not be used by persons on anticoagulant drugs. Methyl salicylate can also cause problems for asthmatics or those with aspirin allergies. Another for instance, inhalation of EO’s high in menthol, such as peppermint, will cause increased lung permeability of nicotine. Menthol also slows the ability to clear nicotine from the body. If you are a smoker, allow several hours to elapse between cigarette use and inhalation of high menthol EO’s. Those with renal or liver disease, compromised immune systems, or those taking multiple medications should consult with a qualified professional aromatherapist before attempting to self-medicate with essential oils. I also know Blue Tansy and Grapefruit have pharmaceutical drug interactions as well, I just can’t remember exactly off the top of my head. I am sure there are others, but these are more common EO interactions and can be serious. Your example of selling Mary Kay really is like comparing Apples to Oranges given Cosmetics are having to follow FDA restrictions and guidelines. There is not a governmental agency that oversees the safety of Essential Oils. Essential Oils if not used properly and safely can poison you, CAN kill you. Sally, it frightens me you feel just because YL or doTerra (their largest competitor) operate in 9 countries, they are a “good and / or safe” company. Yes, in September 2014 the FDA cited YL & doTerra & Natural Solutions for advertising EO’s as being “the cure-all” for certain illnesses? If you do your due diligence, you’ll see why YL is NOT acting in a safe manner. Another example I can give you, putting EO’s in your water to drink, such as Lemon EO. Firstly, Oil and Water do not mix, secondly ingesting Lemon EO can burn your digestive tract horribly. Have you seen what Lemon EO can do to plastic? If not, I suggest again you do your due diligence and see what it does, I wouldn’t want that going down my throat, in anyway. Also Sally, I hope you don’t have any Cats in your home. Did you know EO’s can significantly cause serious health risks not limited to death in felines? Dogs you ask? Yes, they are not exempt, not as severe as cats but can harm them as well. Again Sally, due diligence is why Ellen was suggesting their practice is about the mighty dollar, not people and their health and sharing what the beauty of EO’s can truly be, IF USED SAFELY AND PROPERLY.
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.

Do not use essential oils internally unless directed by a qualified practitioner or using a professionally formulated blend labeled for internal use. Safety Guidelines for dilution and use must be followed. Any essential oils used must be pure and genuine. NAHA recommends purchasing from a reputable supplier who analyzes their oils by GC/MS. Please visit NAHA's approved schools to explore education in aromatherapy.
This is a must-have dietary or culinary oil, Febuary said. They both recommend starting your day with lemon water, using a drop of lemon oil and a tiny pinch of salt. Add a drop to savory foods like fish or chicken recipes that call for lemon juice, and use it to create vinaigrettes and marinades to add a bright flavor to summer salads and grilling.
As for “therapeutic grade” essential oils, I agree with Dawn-Mari that synthetic or toxic chemicals are best avoided in aromatherapy. (Though I would add that these terms are not synonymous, and some essential oils naturally contain toxic constituents.) Also, I totally agree with the sentiment that essential oils used in aromatherapy should be of a grade suitable for the task. I’m just saying that there is no independent, industry standard that is known as “therapeutic grade.”
The Aromatherapist generally desires to use the whole, naturally balanced, pure, natural oil. Pure essential oils may contain trace constituents, which may not as yet have been detected or identified which make up the totality of the oil. These would not be present in a reconstructed or synthetically produced oil. It is perhaps best to trust that nature will provide the correct balance. We are, after all, dealing with the soul of the plant, and who among us can reconstruct such a thing?

Teresa, I’m an audiologist, and it sounds like you have intermittent tinnitus. Using oils on your neck isn’t going to affect your Eustachian tube, your Eustachian tube drains up by your adenoids. Intermittent tinnitus is pretty common, but it wouldn’t hurt to get a baseline audiogram done. If you have it only in one ear, it would be a good idea to get it checked to ensure it isn’t a symptom of a bigger concern. Good luck!
The medicinal use of therapeutic essential oils can be very helpful and may support the body to bring rapid and welcome relief from a great variety of symptoms. However, the medicinal use of essential oils provides only a part of the many unique and powerful benefits of these complex plant essences. Therefore, the medicinal use of essential oils is best used as part of a larger, more holistic context of health and wellness, which can include mainstream medicine.
General safety guidelines include: avoid application of known dermal irritant essential oils on any inflammatory or allergic skin condition; avoid undiluted application; avoid application on open or damaged skin; and dilute known dermal irritants with appropriate vegetable oil or other carrier. If you suspect a client has sensitive skin, perform a skin patch test. Table 1 lists some common essential oils considered to be dermal irritants.
Diffusion: This is the healthiest, safest and most effective method of use. The fragrances from essential oils that are detected through your sense of smell actually have profound effects on your body, mood and behavior. When the oils are diffused into the air the healing properties of the essences enter your body through your nose while you appreciate the pleasant smell. The best way to achieve these benefits is by using an essential oil diffuser. We reviewed these diffusers in-depth and found the Smiley Daisy to be the best.
The information on this website has not been evaluated by the Food & Drug Administration or any other medical body. We do not aim to diagnose, treat, cure or prevent any illness or disease. Information is shared for educational purposes only. You must consult your doctor before acting on any content on this website, especially if you are pregnant, nursing, taking medication or have a medical condition.
I’m sensitive to many sources and when my acupuncturist applied peppermint oil to an aching shoulder it sent me right into orbit. Anxiety and blood pressure were out of control for several days. I have always been able to eat peppermint with no problem but the oil while applied to the skin was way too intense. Now just the scent of it sets me off. Be careful.

The online Aromatherapy Certification Program includes exclusive access to training videos that cannot be found elsewhere. In the ACP video library, Lead Instructor Andrea Butje will guide you through Essential Oil chemistry, Q+A sessions, blending exercises, the business of Aromatherapy, and much more. You may view each video as many times as you like.
It’s been a few months since you posted, and I hope you are feeling better! My youngest is now 10 and I am JUST now, as I am learning about my peri-menopausal experience, getting an understanding on my postpartum experience. I struggled for months with each kid and now I am pretty sure the base-line physical issue was hormonal imbalance. I have been taking a product from Young Living called Progessence Plus, and it has been a life-saver– I wish I had it when I was postpartum. Look it up, theres a PDF by Dr. Dan Purser talking about the product that answers a lot of questions and helped me a lot when I was researching. There are other oils from YL that help a lot with hormonal issues, Dragon Time, Schlaressence, Lady Schlerol. (Use my distributer #1112524 🙂 if you want to buy from YL)
What I found most impressive is that they control their product right from the very botanical seeds; cultivating, harvesting and distilling many of their essential oils right on their very own farms across the world. This gives Young Living the unique ability to verify their quality standards at every step of the process. For more information on this, check out their proprietary Seed to Seal production process.
Used the right way, they can help you feel better with few side effects. For example, you may feel less nauseated from chemotherapy cancer treatment if you breathe in ginger vapors. You may be able to fight certain bacterial or fungal infections, including the dangerous MRSA bacteria, with tea tree oil. In one study, tea tree oil was as effective as a prescription antifungal cream in easing symptoms of a fungal foot infection.
With the exception of one of our jasmine oil blends, which is clearly labeled as synthetic, all NOW Solutions essential oils are naturally derived. Pure, natural jasmine oil is hard to source and very expensive even at wholesale, which translates to exorbitant retail pricing. Synthetic jasmine is much less expensive and its aroma is equivalent to that of pure jasmine, which is why we offer this option to our customers. We also carry a pure jasmine absolute blended with carrier oil as a natural alternative.
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.
AFNOR (Association Francaise de Normalisation) Their "New Approach" provides directives and standards for members of the European Union states to facilitate intra-community trade. All companies wishing to exchange goods within Europe are therefore obliged to comply with their directives. For essential oils, they provide guidelines and information on various topics including determination of water content, chromatographic profiles, determination of acid value, content of phenols, etc.
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?

According to the FDA, an essential oil only has to be 5% pure to label themselves as 100% pure. That’s why some say they are safe for internal use while others aren’t. The ones that say that you should not take them internally most likely have other things in them that make them unsafe for taking internally. For therapeutic reasons, and internal use, you should find a company that actually uses 100% pure oils. Also, undiluted essential oils do not expire. It’s the ones that have other contaminants in them that expire. If it has an expiration date or says you should not take any of their oils internally, those would be warning signs.
As far as uses to avoid when pregnant, use a reputable resource. No essential oils have been scientifically proved to be harmful to a developing fetus. There are some you should consult with your physician and some you should use caution with. You can use E.O’s during 1st trimester with caution. Here’s a good source to look at. It is a website based on Doterra Oils. http://www.everythingessential.me/Hints/ProperUse.html
Dr. Robert Pappas is the President/Technical Director at Essential Oil University. Founded in 1999 by Dr. Robert S. Pappas, EOU is an educational/informational institution dedicated to essential oil production, chemistry and uses and has the largest online database for essential oil chemistry in the world at www.essentialoils.org. Dr. Pappas is also an adjunct Professor at Indiana University. Dr. Pappas work has made him a much-sought-after consultant for companies and individuals all over the world because the information he provides helps with quality assurance and with learning how an essential oil might be useful. Dr. Pappas created the Facebook page Essential Oil University which is dedicated spreading accurate information concerning essential oils and dispelling the myths that have been hyped over the years.
“Many aromatherapists have unfortunately become unwitting victims of a marketing ploy by essential oil traders that advertise ‘approved’ essential oils of ‘therapeutic grade. Let us be quite clear on this – there is no such thing as a ‘therapeutic grade essential oil, and no quality standards for the authentication of essential oils specifically exist in aromatherapy.”
Hi there, I just started using an e,extranio cigarette, read that if you make your own e liquids, (there’s a few kits out there) you can get read of the only scientifically detected ingredient that might pose a threat to health, this is not nicotine it’s called propylene glycol. I want to make my own liquid using just vegetable glycerin and for the aroma, I thought I could use a tiny amount of essential oils. My doubt is, a Swiss just bottle of lets say thyme, is it a 100% the me extracted oil? Or is there any other ingredient? Do you think for vaping essential oils are ok?

Thanks for the informative article on essential oils! I want to know if there are any essential oils that can be applied on my skin (face) just before my skin is exposed to direct sunlight? I know that the skin where citrus oils are applied should not be exposed to direct sunlight for few hours after application. That’s the only question that I am concerned with because I am very interested in concocting a facial oil moisturizer after reading an article of yours that is about making a “3-ingredient facial oil moisturizer”.


Secondly, if we look at the structure of sclareol shown below we will see that it actually has very little in common with the structure of any of the estrogen molecules, E2 being the one that it would have the most in common with because both are what we would call “diols” meaning there are two alcohol groups. Sclareol is not a steroid but what would have to be termed a diterpene diol, not even remotely close to the necessary steroidal backbone.
The first thing to look for to determine essential oil authenticity is that each oil is identified with the plant’s scientific or botanical name, and in appropriate cases, the chemotype. A chemotype is when the same plant, e.g. rosemary (Rosmarinus officinalis), will have a different chemical profile based on where it is grown. Only some plants have chemotypes. Country of plant origin, extraction process used, and either a distillation or expiration date are also important.
A Clinical Aromatherapist IS a healthcare practitioner. They are trained in chemistry, anatomy, diagnostics, physiology, formulation guidelines and safety issues regarding each specific internal route (oral, vaginal or rectal). Taking them internally can have serious health effects if you don’t know what you are doing. Other countries have a culture of using EOs and therefore know how to use them appropriately and safely. We do not have that here. I’ve known several people who have listened to their Young Living or doTerra Reps and taken EOs internally and ended up with serious health problems.

Chemical constituents of Boswellia sacra essential oil fractions were dependent on duration and temperature of hydrodistillation. For example, when essential oils collected from 0–2 h (Fraction I), 8–10 h (Fraction II), and 11–12 h (Fraction III) at 78°C were compared, longer distillation produced higher percentages of sesquiterpenes, between alpha-copaene and caryophyllene oxide (Table? 1). All three fractions were primarily composed of monoterpenes (82.77-90.67%), including alpha-thujene, beta-pinene, and myrcene. Among the monoterpenes, alpha-pinene was the major compound present in all essential oil fractions, ranging from 65.49% to 78.45%. As anticipated, the abundance of alpha-pinene decreased with longer and higher temperature distillation due to its highly volatile nature. Compounds such as borneol, dimethyl ether orcinol, allo-aromadendrene, gamma-cadinene, and caryophyllene oxide were only present in Fraction III essential oil…
I have heard not to use essential oil peppermint around certain ages. That it can interfere with specific ages and their breathing. So if I made an Essential Oil peppermint lotion would I not be able to wear it outside the home incase I came into contact with a person who shouldn’t be exposed to peppermint essential oil OR is this just meant not to diffuse around a child under a certain age. I was on a website that was given the ages of people who shouldn’t be exposed to specific essential oils. I believe peppermint essential oil was one. Others were pointed out as well. So is it ok to wear the diluted essential oil on your skin if that specific essential oil is not recommended for little children? Or are they speaking of diffusing only?
Topical applications: massage oils, and bath and skin care products are absorbed through the skin. Massaging the area where the oil is to be applied can boost circulation and increase absorption. Some argue that areas that are richer in sweat glands and hair follicles, such as the head or the palms of the hand, may absorb the oils more effectively.
Our bodies generally tell us when we need something or should stay away from something, especially when it has to do with things that can harm us. In fact, the ability to smell was probably among the most valuable of senses to early humans and those who had a good nose along with the intelligence to listen to their nose had a competitive advantage for survival over those who lacked such ability. The ability to smell and know when a plant is poisonous or when food was spoiled would have been paramount to survival in early humanity. To say that if you don't like the smell of something it means your body needs it is basically saying that the built in protective system that God gave us (our ability to to smell and recognize odors) is flawed and the opposite of what it should be. Of course the converse to this is not always true, we can be conditioned to like things that are not good for us, usually because man has used chemistry to manipulate odors in his favor, such as adding synthetic flavor and odor enhancers (synthetic versions of things found in nature) to fast food that is not so good for us. But when our bodies are telling us to stay away from something we should generally listen.
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.

The essential oil should be labeled with the common name and its Latin one. Remember the example above about chamomile? “The presence of the Latin name of the plant on the label is an added assurance of what you are getting,” says Dr. Burke. There may be few standards for essential oil quality but there are standards set by the Federal Trade Commission about what a company can put on a label. “If you put ‘chamomile’ on the label, you can sell either German Chamomile (Matricaria chamomilla) or Roman Chamomile (Anthemis nobillis). If you put ‘matricaria chamomilla’ on the label, you must be selling exactly that,” says Dr. Burke.
The only types of essential oils that should EVER be used are THERAPEUTIC GRADE essential oils. Otherwise, all the benefits of the essential oils are lost to the SYNTHETIC PETROCHEMICALS that are in MOST essential oils (even the ones you get at the health food store… I wont name brands)There are only two name brands that I know of that sell therapeutic grade essential oils.(there could be more) Those brands are Young Living ( Which I highly recommend) and Doterra. More expensive does mean better. Young Living does not sell any of its oils to any other company. There are only a handful of distilleries in the world that’s why most E.O’s are poor imitators. They are not all getting the oils from the same place. They are made in a lab instead.
Massage: Place several drops of your diluted oil mixture into your hand and rub them together. Then spread that oil onto your skin — or your partner’s skin — with long strokes. The warmth and friction of your hands will dispense the oil directly into the skin, muscles and bloodstream. Using the right essential oils can relax tension, relieve sore muscles and even improve your skin. Plus it just feels so darn good to get a massage.
I’m sensitive to many sources and when my acupuncturist applied peppermint oil to an aching shoulder it sent me right into orbit. Anxiety and blood pressure were out of control for several days. I have always been able to eat peppermint with no problem but the oil while applied to the skin was way too intense. Now just the scent of it sets me off. Be careful.
Lots of it! The Aromahead team is a dedicated community of educators that are ready to assist you and offer guidance when you need it. All of our teachers are Certified Aromatherapists, and have been in the profession for many years. You’ll have access to Aromahead’s online forum, where you can ask questions, participate in discussions and learn from other Aromatherapists. Starting after Lesson 3, you’ll be assigned an individual instructor who is there to support your case studies throughout the remainder of the program. Plus, you can email us anytime, and your emails will always be answered right away.
In response to my request for testing results, the company I reached out to explained that they do testing each month, but if I wanted to review the tests I would need to sign a non-disclosure agreement owing to the proprietary information in the results. I am also guessing that they were not willing to share the results of their testing for other privacy reasons given how competitive this market has become. To receive this information, I would also be required to grant them access to a private Facebook group I manage where the discussion had first sparked my questioning. (I can only assume one of the members of this group approached the company directly asking the questions that were being raised.)
Cosmetics and drugs are regulated very differently. Although a few researchers have obtained FDA approval to conduct research on essential oils used therapeutically (as drugs), most essential oils are not considered drugs by official agencies. Thus, they are available to anyone without a prescription and questions of quality are handled as for cosmetics, foods, and flavoring agents.
You’ll often see companies advertising their "therapeutic grade," "aromatherapy grade," or "medicinal grade" oils. Unfortunately for them, no such thing exists. "There is no formally approved grading standard used consistently throughout the essential oil industry," Lortscher says. Simply put, anyone who says that they have therapeutic grade or "certified" essential oils is lying. "That seal is nothing more than a commercial trademark. It isn’t backed by any scientific body."

Thank you for the information you shared, it is great. Although, I am wondering why the company I am going through says you can consume their oils internally, and use it on your body as it is. Furthermore, I am informed that this company sells the purest form of oil out there. I found oils on Puritan’s Pride, and they say the oils there are 100 per cent pure. I certainly love their prices. I will be checking out the list you have above. I am new to this, so I need as much information as possible, and if you can help me with the above concerns, I will be so grateful. Thank you in advance.
“If you want to make a difference to people who are being fed a bunch a garbage by a narcissistic EO messiah…”, it makes me question whether the negative things you say about Young Living and the quality of their oils has any true basis, or if you have unresolved anger over your former relationship with Young Living which leads to your bashing the company and their products.
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.  
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.
Myrrh has been used in rituals, anointing blends and perfumery since ancient times, and was felt to enhance spirituality during sacred rites. The oil has a rich and warm, woody yet bittersweet scent which is pleasant to use during meditation. We offer a premium quality Myrrh, and a more cost-efficient selection from India that is softer and sweeter, to cover your product needs.
×