Yes, essential oil adulteration exists, though this doesn’t always involve synthetic chemicals. One of the most common frauds is to add lavandin oil to lavender oil, though this is not difficult to detect with GC analysis. But, the idea that virtually all essential oils that are sold in health stores are, by definition, adulterated, is baseless. There is no evidence for it, and there never has been any.
The word “experiment” in the above seems appropriate. Eyesight problems are difficult to treat, and once damage has occurred, recovery is not always simple. A 3% dilution may not be sufficient to cause corneal erosion, but on the other hand there is no evidence of any benefit. One concern is that the wrong dilution may be used, and the risk of this is substantial. For example, it would be easy to confuse “tbsp” with tsp”, resulting in a dilution of about 10% instead of 3%.
Beyond their story, though, I really like the MLM way of getting the word out. I firmly believe that every household should know about and have essential oils on hand and word of mouth marketing and education just works…most of the time. I am also aware that I can attend an educational event with a friend and come away with different “information” than he or she did. I’m really fortunate to live in New Mexico where we have a large but tight-knit doTERRA community. If we hear someone making statements that are obviously misinterpretations or misrepresentations of the company and/or the product, someone will reel them in. Likewise, they will be reeled in if they’re heard to be prescribing what someone should use.
I have enjoyed reading the continued conversation on this thread. Thank you, Lindalu for your comment about YL not training their people in aromatherapy–but just their version. I have been frustrated about the same thing, as I am beginning to realize that there are a bunch of rookies all around me (myself included), that are almost mindlessly using YL essential oils–even in potentially harmful ways–without having a clue as to what makes them tick!
These pure oils are "neat", meaning they have not been processed, diluted or manipulated in any way with solvents or other additives. Although a particular species of plant harvested and distilled for its essential oil during a particular growing season in a specific region may produce a fragrance that differs from the same species grown in a different region, many of the main chemical markers and physical specifications may be very similar.
According to Wildwood, “A common myth in aromatherapy is that massage oils containing essential oils such as Clary sage, rose or even rosemary can cause a miscarriage and hence should be avoided throughout pregnancy." Authors such as Ron Guba, Kurt Schnaubelt, and Chrissie Wildwood have all pointed out that there have been ‘no recorded cases of miscarriage or birth defect resulting from aromatherapy massage using therapeutic applications of any essential oil.”12
One of the things I like about that group is that the folks who belong to it regularly collect their pennies and have TRULY independent testing done on the brands and “flavors” of oils the group, not just an individual, selects, typically the same oil from three different sources at a time. Someone in the group buys the oils themselves and sends them, along with the fee, to an independent lab outside the US. They have tested both organic and inorganic oils. They have tested all sorts of brands, including doTERRA and Young Living. The results of those tests are posted on her website. GO READ THEM FOR YOURSELVES!
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.
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Second, don't assume you can use an essential oil for flavoring anything you're going to eat unless it's either food grade (usually labeled and more diluted to prevent injury), has been inspected by the FDA (these will have a nutrition label somewhere), or you know the oils are 100% pure with no additives and you know how to appropriately dilute them to make them edible. If there is no FDA label, there is a good chance that the oil is not 100% what it says it is - it most likely has some additives that are probably best not to consume. For these oils in particular, I personally would not consume them, despite the fact that the labels say they are 100% "insert oil here". The fact that the label specifically says "for external use only" helps that decision :P
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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.
100% Pure. Oils that say “pure” or “100% pure” are allowed to have as little as 51% essential oil by law! Isn’t that amazing? Therefore, “pure” on the label doesn’t really mean pure. And, even if an oil is “pure” in the sense of not being diluted, it may still be adulterated with synthetic chemicals, residual pesticides and with solvents, or it may be of mediocre medicinal quality.
Aura Cacia essential oils are packaged in amber glass bottles, which ensures that light does not disrupt the oils’ integrity and individual properties. The essential oil products are also 100% pure, not containing any additional bases, fillers, or additives. While not all of their oils are certified organic, they do have some certified organic oils in their line-up. If organic is important to you, shop for those specific product and look out for the correct “certified organic” label.
To answer your questions I have to answer #2 first. Jena is right – there are a limited number of distilleries, D. Gary Young owns 1/3 of them. The products distilled to make EOs are like the contents of tea – they can be distilled multiple times but each time you do so the product you get is progressively weaker. Companies like doTERRA and Young Living only take the 1st distillation which is the strongest and most pure. They label their product therapeutic grade and 100% pure because they have run it through a mass spectrometer and have calculated the constituents in each bottle. Young Living actually refuses to sell any bottle of EO that does not meet their requirements for purity. Less expensive companies use the 2nd, 3rd, and even 5th and 6th distillation. They also dilute their products before marketing them. So it is important to know about the company you are buying from and what distillation they use. Not all distillations are equal.
I hate to be harsh here but what an utter load of pure NONSENSE!!! First let me say that I live in Indiana, one of the largest mint producing states in the country. I have visited mint distilleries and farms on several occasions (you can see some photos of one of my visits in the album entitled "Mint Farm in Northern Indiana"). NOBODY STEAM DISTILLS THE SAME MINT LEAVES MORE THAN ONE TIME!! The plant is distilled for basically 2 hours and its done, no more oil is coming out so they shut the still down. Its absolutely ridiculous to think that the distiller, after watching his oil come over, seeing that his oil level is not growing, shuts the still down and then later thinks to himself “gee, I bet if I fire this still back up (wasting thousands in feul and labor) we can get some more oil out of that spent mint leaf we distilled yesterday.” Where do people come up with this stuff!!?? Now the MINT OIL can, and often is (thank God), taken for some further redistilling and/or fractional vacuum redistilling that can take place to further improve the quality of the oil by removing nauseating components of the whole oil (just tiny amounts of very bad smelling components get removed in this process). But NOBODY distills the mint biomass a second or third time. This is generally true, not just for mint, but for essential oil distillations in general. When I tried to explain it to the person posting this rubbish she basically did not believe me because her “research” of talking to retailers of essential oils apparently was of higher credibility. If people would just use some common sense they could look at this kind of misinformation and come to the conclusion that none of it makes sense. From an energy standpoint, why would anyone plan to shut down their distilling process just to start it up again later? The amount of energy required to get massive amounts of water boiling and enough steam generating to liberate the oil from large vats of biomass is quite astonishing and costly. Why not just keep distilling and just start collecting the oil produced at the tail end of the distillation in a separate container, if you want to collect what you think might be a different quality at the end of the run than at the beginning (by the way this is done with Ylang Ylang oil which is why there are the different grades of extra, I, II, III and complete). But aside from ylang ylang most all essential oil distillations are collected in one combined lot. And the only time I have ever seen a distiller shut down his process and restart it later was because of mechanical problems, running out of fuel, or just getting too physically tired to continue (in the case of sandalwood for example the distillation can go on for more than 24 hours and oil is still in the wood). I hope that this post will finally do some damage to this myth that has been circulated for decades now and we can finally put it to bed. Please share this post with as many people as you can and firmly admonish anyone who continues to state that “my oils only come from the FIRST distillation.” Yeah right buddy, just like everybody else’s oil. LOL
Essential oils are all the rage. You know the ones I’m talking about. In fact, you’ve probably been invited to a product party where little vials with expensive price tags promise a wide range of health benefits. You’ve also heard the stories. Essential oils cure warts and ear infections. They soothe rashes and bellyaches. They reduce fever and fight the common cold. Virtually any ailment you suffer has a corresponding dose of liquid magic.
Now, for the rest of the story. Yes its true that isolated individual molecules are universally the same regardless of who are what synthesized them. But this in no way means that essential oils can be re-constructed, molecule by molecule, in a lab. The reason this would be virtually impossible is because of the vast complexity of essential oils. Essential oils are almost always a collection of hundreds of molecules when you look at all the minor and trace components. The problem becomes infinitely more complex when you consider that almost every one of those components has an enantiomeric form to worry about as well. So, for example, while peppermint oil consists of 40-50% menthol and 99%+ of the menthol is the L form, there is also a small amount of its mirror image (D-menthol) in there as well. Not to mention that menthol has not one, but 3 chiral carbon atoms, so when you consider all of the diastereomers (things like iso-menthol, neo-menthol, neo-iso-menthol) along with their mirror images, there are a total of 8 menthol isomers to worry about! And this is just the molecular system of menthol (one out of close to hundred different compounds in peppermint) trying to exactly recreate the correct ratios of every enantiomer and/or diastereomer of every molecule in an essential oil would be a monumental task that is basically impossible from a practical standpoint.
Essential oils will last for at least 5 years (if not 10), so one bottle could literally last you a decade. Hopefully that thought will help mitigate the cost involved in purchasing some essential oils. Because they are SO concentrated and only a tiny amount is needed in anything you do, they’ll last you a very, very long time. The only exception to this rule is citrus oils, which will see a reduction in potency after a year or two.