The ISO/AFNOR standard for lavender essential oil recommends two cultivars used to meet the specific needs of perfume manufacturers. Their recommended composition of lavender oil favors the low camphor Reya and Munstead types for fine fragrance use precisely because these do not have the depth, nor complexity of constituents, that other legitimate lavender oils commonly used in aromatherapy have. That standard notably does not allow the use of all four of the major cultivars of Lavandula angustifolia (formerly known as Lavandula officinalis) used by aromatherapists: the Vera, Munstead, Silver and Raya cultivars. It also excludes many minor subspecies of L. angustifolia.
I believe that the reason some (not necessarily all) E.O.’s are not ok to ingest is that some are extracted by means of chemicals as they are difficult to extract otherwise. You can find this out, or SHOULD be able to find this out via the source of your EO’s. Mountain Rose Herbs lists the extraction method and country of origin on each and every EO they sell. I like MRH as they are a local business here in Oregon and I like to support local business. They have also been wonderful about helping answer questions regarding their products, and are wonderful people as I have met them personally while picking up my orders. (NOT affiliated, just a huge fan!)
Damaged, diseased, or inflamed skin is often more permeable to essential oils and may be more sensitive to dermal reactions. It is potentially dangerous to put undiluted essential oils on to damaged, diseased or inflamed skin. Under these circumstances the skin condition may be worsened, and larger amounts of oil than normal will be absorbed. Sensitization reactions are also more likely to occur.6
I found this on pinterest so thanks for sharing! I personally love essential oils! I use Butterfly express oils and love them! I’ve been getting foot zones and using EOs. It has really helped! I really liked what the lady that does these explained to me about using Butterfly EOs. She said that the man who trained her to do foot zones used Younger Living oils at first and then started using Butterfly’s EOs because he felt they were more sincere in getting EOs out for all to use. I’m told that these EOs have different energies and I feel that this company truly wants all to experience all that they have to offer. I hope that this helps!
Hi Francis – Food grade oils are approved for use as food flavorings, though it’s a mistake to believe that they are therefore also approved as internal medicines. They are known by the designation FCC (Food Chemicals Codex). Pharmaceutical grade oils are usually known by the designation BP (British Pharmacopoeia) or USP (U.S Pharmacopeia). The two standards are the same. None of the grades particularly applies to the use of essential oils in aromatherapy, and many pharmaceutical grade oils are only approved as flavorings – to make a medicine taste better. Therapeutic grade is a great idea, it just doesn’t exist yet!

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)
Thank you for taking time to answer my questions. I still feel a bit muddled about the subject, and still don’t feel that I have confident, validated proof to stand up to my YL friends and acquaintances, but maybe things will become more clear if I am able to study things out more for myself. There are so many differing opinions out there about how to use essential oils–would be nice to just have some straight, hard facts.
Inside the living plant, essential oils serve several purposes, one of which is defense. Acting like the plant’s immune system, the oils help it fight off fungus or bacterial infection, and protect it from insects and animals. Another purpose is reproduction; the pleasing aromas attract pollinating insects like bees and butterflies. We’re not the only animals who like the smell of flowers.
Jane Buckle comments “the use of essential oils in pregnancy is a contentious subject, especially during the vital first 3-month period. It is extremely unlikely that a nightly bath containing a few drops of essential oils will cause any problems for the unborn child” and later states “there are no records of abnormal fetuses or aborted fetuses due to the ‘normal’ use of essential oils, either by inhalation or topical application.”11

I apologize that this is vague, but again, when you email customer service and get a response from legal counsel, or have a phone call scheduled with their communications lead and the call is controlled by legal, well, it's best to say less. And really, it's not that important when we start to look at what we actually want in our essential oils: top quality, pure oil.
There is no difference between wintergreen oil toxicity and methyl salicylate toxicity. Methyl salicylate is one of the ingredients in Listerine, so many people use it daily in a mouthwash, and very small amounts may be ingested. As always, toxicity is in relation to dose. I would suggest that wintergreen oil is not one that should be taken orally as a medicine, unless under the supervision of a doctor or herbalist. There have been many fatalities from (accidental) overdose, and there are a number of toxicity issues – it’s fetotoxic, there are several reasons why it could be problematic in children, it’s extremely blood-thinning, and should be avoided by people with GERD. So it’s not just a question of how much is toxic – it’s also about individual sensitivity. It should absolutely never be taken during pregnancy. Like all salicylates, it causes fetal malformations. Even externally, it can cause problems. I believe it has now been taken out of Tiger Balm because so many people in Asia were experiencing blood-thinning problems (internal bruising in people on blood-thinning drugs).
Hi, I am new in this EO thing, and your info was very helpfull, thank you, I started to get some of my oils from swiss just, don’t know if you have heard about them, until now I think they are good, some other oils from Do Terra and Native American NUtrionals, don’t know how good in quality they are, just started to experiment, so far I think my favorites are swiss just and N.A.N., hope I can get to learn and know them better. Any suggestion, on how to use palmarosa EO? Is it good for wrinkles on the face? If not which one do you recommend? Thank you. Mother of one.
doTERRA wanted to create a purity level that goes above and beyond organic. So they created an internal standard called Certified Pure Therapeutic Grade that is verified by 3rd party testing laboratories. They test their oils 7 different ways to make sure that they are pure and safe for therapeutic use. Even though doTERRA essential oils are not “certified organic“(read why in next paragraph), you can be assured that they are a step above organic.

I believe, and know from experience that if essential oils have to comply with the TGA, it is not possible to sell pure, authentic, genuine essential oils. The TGA has excellent standards for safety and efficacy – however they insist that essential oils comply with British Pharmacopeia (BP) monographs. This often means that the oil has to be rectified or adulterated. Off course, the essential oil producer always claims that their oils are totally natural and have not been modified.

Dr Mike Patrick is an Assistant Professor of Pediatrics at the Ohio State University College of Medicine and Medical Director of Interactive Media for Nationwide Children's Hospital. Since 2006, he has hosted the award-winning PediaCast, a pediatric podcast for parents. Dr Mike also produces a national podcast for healthcare providers—PediaCast CME, which explores general pediatric and faculty development topics and offers free AMA PRA Category 1 Credit™ to listeners.
Of course it's amazing to see essential oils go mainstream, but it's the responsibility of the companies creating this mass market to ensure they are harvesting responsibly and sustainably. And unfortunately, this is not the case. Give back programs to support the environment are kind of the same as big oil companies having to pay after major spills. One positive action doesn't undo a destructive one. Maybe this is just a different type of big oil.
A few can be used on cats, but in general I’d go with the advice of Doing Research On Everything First. If my boys don’t like the smell of something (like my fingers after using an oil and before I can get to washing up…funny story there from when my boys were young) there is no way I’ll us it on them. But there’s also the fact that their systems do react differently.
The Aromatherapy profession is growing quickly, and Aromahead is right there on the leading edge of that growth! It’s an exciting time and YOU can be a part of helping it evolve. Certification shows people that you have applied yourself – it’s an external validation by other professionals in the field. Being a Certified Aromatherapist gives your students and clients a reference point; it helps people understand your dedication and gives them a sense of security. It evokes trust in you when people are just getting to know you.
"When you smell an essential oil," says Tony Ferrari, Ph.D. in chemistry, "its constituents bind to receptor sites in the nose, which read the aroma molecules and send signals through the olfactory nerve to the limbic system and amygdala in the brain. There are more than 5,000 chemical compounds that make up commonly used oils, each of which binds in a different way to different receptors, so their effects can vary widely."

It’s very important for people to understand that the essential oil makes up only a tiny minority of the overall chemistry of the plant that gets distilled. The EO is composed of the smallest, most volatile molecules in the plant that are not soluble in water, primarily terpenes and derivatives thereof. The herb, on the other hand, contains many other types of molecules, both water soluble and non-soluble. The real truth about plants and the molecules in them that are most useful to humans, is that the really good stuff, the really hard hitting chemically active parts of the plant that most effect humans ARE NOT IN THE ESSENTIAL OIL. Does this mean essential oils are not useful? Of course not. But most plant bio-actives, the really serious ones, are the molecules that are too large and too heavy to come over in a steam distillation process. Essential oils certainly have their therapeutic place, but they don’t contain the types of molecules that can do things like directly fight cancer for example, at least not in vivo (of course many essential oil molecules can destroy cancer cells if you put them in contact in a petri dish, but so will many synthetic aroma chemicals and that is a totally unrelated scenario than fighting cancer in the body). Essential oils are not drugs, but other heavier molecules in plants certainly can be, cannabis is a perfect example. The cannabis essential oil, while it has its own very nice therapeutic uses, contains no cannabinoids (THC, CBD, etc.) which are the real heavy hitters in terms of biological activity and are, in fact, natural drugs (change the actual physiology of the body). This is why one cannot get “high” from inhaling the vapors of diffusing or burning cannabis essential oil.
“More and more people are choosing to use alternative medicines to treat minor illnesses rather than taking a prescription. Putting essential oils in or near the eyes isn’t something that is widely known about, but there are several that can aid in the treatment of eye problems. Before using essential oils for your eyes, always contact your doctor.

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).
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.
No essential oil retailer carries every single aromatherapy essential oil, so over time you may find yourself buying from several different retailers. When you check the GC/MS reports to determine which retailers have the oil with the constituent profile you want, and then compare price (do not forget shipping), availability, customer support, and any other criterion that is important to you, you will be better able to determine which oils you wish to buy from the various high quality oil suppliers.
Hi. I have been buying my eos from a wholesaler called Bulk Apothecary at a very cheap price. They claim to be very pure and high quality, but the labels on products are pretty vague and I dont have much to compare the quality to, as I have never spent the extra money on more expensive ones. I cant. but I am a firm believer in using them, and am trying to build my collection. Do you know much about this company and their supply of eos? I would appreciate any feedback. Thank you.
If a bottle states not for ingestion or internal use, you should put the bottle down and walk away because there are toxic chemicals in it. You CAN and SHOULD be able to ingest your oils and is exactly why you should ONLY use therapeutic grade E.O’s. Things that go on your skin become absorbed into your bloodstream just the same as if you take it internally but it by passes the digestion process which means its even more important to make sure whatever you put on your skin is pesticide free, chemical free and natural.
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.
If you get green lights for all of the above, and you trust the brand and company, you’re likely going to be very happy when your essential oils kit arrives in the mail. If red flags raise up for you, whether by someone else’s review or simply by your own intuition, perhaps look into another brand. There are multiple professional, trustworthy, and reputable essential oil companies out there that are willing to sell you a great essential oil. It’s not just one company that has it all.
Let’s re-visit one point – if distillation is too long – this can increase the toxicity of the oil. This is because there will be a greater concentration of low-boiling fractions, and sometimes these include relatively toxic substances. Yet how often have I heard that commercial distilleries “shorten” distillation times for profit reasons? That genuine, therapeutic grade essential oils have to be distilled for longer, in order to extract all the important trace constituents?

I’ve been taking Aura Cacia lavender oil internally – a couple of drops sling with do terra lemon and peppermint in water – swishing then swallowing. Is it a bad idea for me to take the Aura Cacia internally like this? I’ve been completely ignorant! I’m doing this to stay away from pharmaceuticals so definitely don’t want to be causing any worse problems. Thanks in advance…

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.
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.
HOWEVER, I am bombarded on all sides by YL folks (or doTerra folks, etc.) who emphatically state that I will be poisoning my body if I use anyone else’s oils TOPICALLY or INTERNALLY–even if these smaller companies claim high, organic, rigidly tested standards. I am no chemist or scientist and I am at the mercy of believing (or not believing) what all these essential oil companies tell me.
Most common essential oils such as lavender, peppermint, tea tree oil, patchouli, and eucalyptus are distilled. Raw plant material, consisting of the flowers, leaves, wood, bark, roots, seeds, or peel, is put into an alembic (distillation apparatus) over water. As the water is heated, the steam passes through the plant material, vaporizing the volatile compounds. The vapors flow through a coil, where they condense back to liquid, which is then collected in the receiving vessel.
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