“companies creating there own standards” is why we have certifying organizations; to ensure truth in advertising and obtainable measureable repeatable standards. If it were ok to have every company creating their own standards we’d have more problems. Oh yeah we do, Sallie and Freddie, Enron… That’s why we voted for Obama because this type of side stepping around responsibility and being honest is not acceptable. Thank you Robert, I was trying to figure out where I got this notion of “therapeutic grade” when I couldn’t find a certifying body that provided that term. I am fairly sure I got it from some YL distributor. It’s one of the reasons I value having found you and bought your books etc. You cut through the cr_p out there. Thank you.
Most flowers contain too little volatile oil to undergo expression, but their chemical components are too delicate and easily denatured by the high heat used in steam distillation. Instead, a solvent such as hexane or supercritical carbon dioxide is used to extract the oils.[10] Extracts from hexane and other hydrophobic solvents are called concretes, which are a mixture of essential oil, waxes, resins, and other lipophilic (oil-soluble) plant material.
Estrogenic and antiandrogenic activity have been reported by in vitro study of tea tree oil and lavender essential oils. Two published sets of case reports suggest the lavender oil may be implicated in some cases of gynecomastia, an abnormal breast tissue growth in prepubescent boys.[44][45] The European Commission's Scientific Committee on Consumer Safety dismissed the claims against tea tree oil as implausible, but did not comment on lavender oil.[46] In 2018, a BBC report on a study stated that tea tree and lavender oils contain eight substances that when tested in tissue culture experiments, increasing the level of estrogen and decreasing the level of testosterone. Some of the substances are found in "at least 65 other essential oils". The study did not include animal or human testing.[47]
They're made from parts of certain plants like leaves, herbs, barks, and rinds. Makers use different methods to concentrate them into oils. You may add them to vegetable oils, creams, or bath gels. Or you might smell them, rub them on your skin, or put them in your bath. Some research shows that they can be helpful, if you know how to use them the right way. Always check the label and ask your doctor if you’re not sure if they’re OK for you to use.

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.
For past few years, there is a rapid expansion of natural products in food and beverage industries. It is expected to contribute a great economic ratio in upcoming years. No matter, you want an effective massage, aromatherapy, relaxation therapy or any other treatment, organic essential oils will work as the best stimulation remedies for you always.
"Essential oils, like supplements, are not regulated by the FDA, so it's very, very important to do your research before purchasing essential oils, and have confidence in the purity of your product," said Lauren Dunaway, registered dietitian, owner of Essential Simplicity and distributor of Young Living essential oils. "Make sure that the company you purchase essential oils from has a commitment to quality and purity, from the fields in which they plant their seeds to how they distill the oils."
I love all the information being shared on here! There are several diffusers out there that you can purchase but make sure it doesn’t heat the oils. You loose several of the natural benefits once heated. I personally use the young living diffuser with Thieves, RC, and Eucalyptus Radiata for any sinus/respiratory problems in my family. Those oils diluted in olive oil on the feet at bedtime also helps with sinuses. I have used several brands of essential oils in my massage therapy business clients love them!
The practice of taking essential oils internally, by mouth, has been a heated debate within the essential oil community. Since the recent rise of the multi-level-marketing essential oil companies, and other brands claiming that their oils are pure enough to eat, the idea of freely ingesting essential oils has plagued the minds of the average consumer.
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.
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.

The International Organization for Standardization (ISO) in their Vocabulary of Natural Materials (ISO/D1S9235.2) defines an essential oil as a product made by distillation with either water or steam or by mechanical processing of citrus rinds or by dry distillation of natural materials. Following the distillation, the essential oil is physically separated from the water phase.


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?
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.)
I was just barely speaking with a girl who is a certified aromatherapist and she said that people need to be very careful with wintergreen because it is such a strong blood thinner. I think this may be part of why it specifically is deemed unsafe for internal use (whether its pure or not). When it says wintergreen oil on ingredients lists I’m willing to bet it is a synthetically created oil or other form of it rather than the essential oil because of its therapeutic properties.

In short: DO NOT TAKE ESSENTIAL OILS INTERNALLY unless they have been prescribed to you individually by a qualified and clinically-trained medical professional or Clinical Registered Aromatherapist. When working with essential oils you are ultimately playing with chemistry; if you do not know the specific chemistry of the specific oils, and what that specific collection of chemical constituents in that oil can do to your body, then avoid internal administration and stick with the aromatic processes.
“Young Living owns the 4 largest distillers, partners with the next 2 largest, distills on 5 continents, farms much of their own production, is the first company to use oils Intra-muscularly, the first company to use oils intra-venously, the first company to use oils as dietary supplements, is the only company that is AFNOR, EC and ISO certified Therapeutic Grade, their oils never expire, are used topically neat even on day old infants etc…”
When washing clothes I use regular soap (haven’t looked into home made yet), and then put about 2 tablespoons of Epsom salt scented with a few drops of essential oils into the bottom of the washer before adding clothes. Then instead of using fabric softner I fill the dispenser with regular white vinegar. It keeps the washer from getting that funky smell and my clothes come out way softer. At first I was worried you would be able to smell the vinegar, but I have been doing this for 6 months now and you really can’t smell it! The Epsom salt doesn’t really have to have essential oil in it, the scent seems to rinse out in the wash but I like the little burst of scent you get when you dump it in, and use fairly cheap oils like citrus for it. If you want your clothes to actually smell of the oils you can get some wool dryer balls and add an oil of your choice before drying.

The International Organization for Standardization (ISO) in their Vocabulary of Natural Materials (ISO/D1S9235.2) defines an essential oil as a product made by distillation with either water or steam or by mechanical processing of citrus rinds or by dry distillation of natural materials. Following the distillation, the essential oil is physically separated from the water phase.
For the chemistry of a blend to be different depending on the order of the mixed ingredients there would have to be chemical reactions taking place at each stage of the blending to cause such differences. But since most essential oils contain components that are common to many different oils, gladly this is not typically a possibility under normal conditions. Think about it, if these reactions occurred upon mixing different oils then one would also expect to see the molecules within a single oil reacting with each other, under normal conditions, in very short periods of time as well. Wouldn't that be a tragedy!
There is some concern about pesticide residues in essential oils, particularly those used therapeutically. For this reason, many practitioners of aromatherapy buy organically produced oils. Not only are pesticides present in trace quantities, but also the oils themselves are used in tiny quantities and usually in high dilutions. Where there is a concern about pesticide residues in food essential oils, such as mint or orange oils, the proper criterion is not solely whether the material is organically produced, but whether it meets the government standards based on actual analysis of its pesticide content.[50]
I can understand why the media is often critical of therapies that tout “quick-fix cures” for serious conditions such as cancer. Unfortunately, the media tends to mock or criticize the entire aromatherapy industry for this, not just the companies making outrageous claims. I do believe that aromatherapy organisations need to be more active to ensure that the true holistic benefits of aromatherapy are responsibly communicated to the community. This certainly will be a topic for future discussion.
If you dilute an essential oil with a carrier oil to do the “patch test” to see if you are sensitive to the essential oil, and you get a reaction, you could be reacting to the carrier oil. Whatever essential oils you use, you should follow the information that comes with it. If it doesn’t come with any guidelines on the label, I would not use it at all. Some are safe to ingest, some are not. Some need to be diluted, some do not (except on babies and small children, when you should dilute).
The term ‘therapeutic grade” essential oils is both false and misleading. The term ‘certified therapeutic grade’ was actually created by um… doTERRA, who then registered the name and then told the world that all other essential oils were not as ‘pure’. They even go so far as to call them ‘better than organic’. And just to point out, their oils are NOT organic, which would make them free from pesticide residues,  genetic modification or irradiation. There are many oils on the Australian market that are just as good if not better quality than those sold by doTERRA and Young Living. This does not make them universally safe to ingest, which brings me to my next point.
LEGAL: Medicinal ESSENTIALS products are manufactured using the highest grade of materials that are grown organically, contain no pesticides, no residual solvents, no heavy metals and no mildew or mold. All our Phytocannabinoid rich products we package or distribute are derived from 100% federally legal Industrial Hemp that is registered with the Department of Agriculture. This Industrial Hemp conforms fully to the 2014 US Farm Bill section 7606 which federally legalized the cultivation of Industrial Hemp under certain federal mandated conditions. All Industrial Hemp products we produce, manufacture, market and distribute are fully compliant with all 50 states.
If you do your research you will find that the ISO spec for lavender lists the acceptable camphor up to 1.5% , depending on origin, and the British Pharmacopoeia lists camphor at max 1.2%. My standard at EOU is that camphor, 1,8-cineole and borneol should all be about 1% or less in true lavender essential oil. My standard is based on samples taken from all over the world as well as from many distillations that I have personally done on many different varieties of Lavandula.

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EXCELLENT BUY!! As a herbalist and soap maker, I use a variety of oils from various companies all over the world. The price for these was SO low that I thought, at the very least, I could use them for aroma therapy. They arrived in a beautifully designed box - professionally labeled and WOW was I STUNNED - the fragrance of each one showed very little difference from my finest oils that I have paid MUCH more for! As I am not a chemist - I cannot vouch for the percentages of each constituent, but I can tell you that the oils from the set that I have used thus far - have shown themselves to be just as effective as the high dollar bottle I have bought elsewhere! EXCELLENT Job - I sure hope they restock soon - I am buying MORE!
Unfortunately, this ignited and resurfaced some of the studies that are often quoted regarding the toxicity of essential oils and children. These sources for toxicity where some of the very same ones in which I reviewed and discussed the caveats to here. The sources that are referenced by the poison center also were lacking in some information I was seeking. They do not include the essential oil company, quality of the oil, and some where related to one isolated or synthetic constituent. The parts of an essential oil are not the same as the synergy of the whole essential oil.
In the case of the blue oils we see evidence of oxidation when the blue color becomes green over time. This is due to the degradation of chamazulene, the hydrocarbon responsible for the blue color in things like German chamomile, blue tansy, yarrow, etc. Its for these reasons that I always recommend that people refrigerate any of the blue oils and be sure to always keep a minimum amount of airspace in the bottle that you are storing these oils in so that the “greening” effect will be slowed down. Of course keeping airspace to a minimum is a good practice for all the essential oils but its absolutely crucial for the blue oils and for citrus oils.
There exists so many conflicting opinions touted as facts on the internet that they overshadow our friend of science, PubMed. I’m sure you’ve experienced the same eye-crossing results on Dr. Google when searching for something relating to essential oils. Furthermore, I was a little disappointed in my friendly database for “essential oils quality.” I found some very diverse finds, shown here. Not exactly what I was looking for. (Remember with any blog, including this one, check the references. If there aren’t any, distinguish between an opinion, experience, and a fact.)
Now, before we dig in, it’s important to remember that just because something is regulated, approved, standardized, or widely available doesn’t mean it is inert, especially when misused. This means for the safe use of any substance, natural or synthetic, following the instructions for intended and proper use, not over-dosing, using common sense, and considering the individual’s unique biochemistry and health history are all paramount.
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?
Initially and up to this day, the necessity of testing is that most worldwide production of essential oils is for flavor and fragrance materials. The essential oil/fragrance industry has a long tradition of altering essential oils in the form of “standardization” and/or “extending” them. Purity is a problem with many big producers and distributors. Even the smaller essential oil producers and distributors are found to have quality problems too. Very few aromatherapy companies know what is in their oils because no one in the supply chain is analyzing their oils or in some cases outright doctoring their results. There are practical considerations; analysis is expensive, complex and takes years of experience.
Wondering how those great smelling essential oils are made? Turns out, essential oils aren’t “made” at all. They ARE “extracted” from plants, herbs and spices. But just because they are extracted from plants doesn’t mean the way they’re sourced is all the same. In fact, the way they’re extracted from the plant or herb can have a big impact on the quality. Here’s a quick rundown of the two primary ways essential oils are extracted from the plants.
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!)

This is a great resource. I’ use a variety of essential oils. I have a drawer full. Some from Young Living, Simply Earth, Do Terra and Isagenix. There are many good brands but I think people get nervous about trying new brands especially when they’ve heard from well-meaning friends that only the MLM versions are safe. While I do think MLM brands are tested extensively because they are held to very high standards and don’t want to get shut down there are some non-mlm oil brands you can safely buy especially if you plan to use them in your diffuser. I wouldn’t ingest an oil unless the bottle specifically states you can. For ingesting the brands I use right now are Isagenix and Young Living (I’m sure there are others that are safe but these state they are ingestable). I’ve written many posts about how to use oils and I switch out brands depending on my needs and what I have on hand.
Recently, there was an article from Vanderbuilt Medical Center stating that the Tennessee Poison Center reported a doubling of children and essential oils exposure in recent years. The article did not state an increase in hospitalizations or side effects. Furthermore, I couldn’t find a source for actual numbers. (The full original article can be found here). Therefore, as soon as I read the press release and did my unsuccessful search, I contacted the reporter.
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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.

We found that boswellic acids contents depended on hydrodistillation duration and temperature (Table? 2). Essential oils prepared from longer distillation time and higher distillation temperature contained greater amounts of boswellic acids. For example, boswellic acids contents in Fractions III (19.6%) and IV (30.1%) were higher than those detected in Fraction I (0.9%) or II (0.8%) essential oil.


“This study is a re-analysis of Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) data pertaining to the relationship of autism incidence and the age at which children got their first measles-mumps-rubella (MMR) vaccine. Statistically significant relationships were observed when African-American males were considered separately while looking at those individuals who were vaccinated prior to and after a 36-month age cut-off. CDC officials observed very similar relationships as early as November 2001, but failed to report them in their final publication. In addition, a relationship is seen when specifically considering children who received a diagnosis of autism without mental retardation. Although this was reported in the original 2004 paper, it was not discussed, nor was any follow-up study conducted. Preliminary results also suggest the possibility of a synergism between thimerosal exposure and MMR timing leading to a greater risk of autism.”

CBD doesn’t intoxicate you. This means that people can enjoy the benefits of medicinal marijuana without having their daily lives impacted. More importantly, CBD does not decrease psychomotor skills or psychological functioning. THC acts on CB1 receptors, the pathways that are responsible for the psychoactive effects of marijuana, whereas CBD does not. The way CBD interacts with receptors also makes it non-addictive. It’s safe to use CBD salve for pain, mental disorders, and inflammation without the fear of undesirable side effects.
Essential oils were once a small market product available mainly through trained aromatherapists and medicine men and women. With the massive production scale we are now seeing in oils, many are being grown as mono-crops requiring heavy amounts of pesticides, mass harvesting and in some cases irresponsible harvesting. This can both endanger plant species and hike the prices.

After dong much research and reading many reviews. Native American nutritional’s is the choice of most that use essential oils commercially. Do terra is 2nd and young living is right up there. Most professional’s don’t even want to touch young living and other pyramid marketing companies. A friend sells young living so I did get a bottle of valor from her. I have a variety of brands that i found through research just to try them. From what I’ve read, young living and doterra are so expensive because of how they are marketed. Not because they are superior.
Certain essential oils have also been used by midwives to help reduce fear and anxiety during childbirth. A 2007 study in the Journal of Alternative and Complementary Medicine suggests that women who used aromatherapy during labor reported less pain overall and were able to use fewer pain medications. (2b) In fact, a 2016 study published in Pain Research and Treatment showed that “aromatherapy can successfully treat pain when combined with conventional treatments.” (3)
The truth is that there are MANY company-developed therapeutic grade standards. The problem is, which one do you trust? It’s important for people to realize that all of these standards are INTERNAL standards developed by companies selling oils and may or may not include quality control by a third party lab. Furthermore, if a third party lab is used, does this lab really know what they are doing? It's also important to know what the company defines as being "therapeutic grade." Does it simply mean that the oil is pure or does it mean something beyond purity and carry with it a quality standard as well? Let's face it, an oil can be pure as the driven snow but still be low quality, I see this on a daily basis in the samples I analyze for my clients in order for them to make good buying decisions. Judgments about essential oil quality take more than just good chemists and good equipment, they require many years of experience in odor evaluation and knowing what specific minor components are desirable in an oil, not just focusing on the major components.
I do have one BIG complaint about do-terra and it has nothing to do with the quality of their oils. They tell their young impressionable (and unlearned) people that their oils are so pure that they can be mixed with food, beverages, or put in capsules for anti-biotic use. Lets get two things straight here, “Antibiotic properties” are not the same as an “anti-biotic” and if you actually did ingest enough EO to actually do what they profess they can do, it would probably kill you as it would be so toxic.

Mountain Rose Herbs also holds quite a few certifications and awards pertaining to their product sourcing, including non-GMO project certification, and the 2013 Best Green Business’s To Work For In Oregon. Overall, this company is making quite a few awesome commitments to better, green business practices and if you like this ideology, this is your company to support.

Thank you so much for posting this. I had a reaction to my pure, therapeutic grade Frankincense on my skin and it left me with an itchy rash for over a week. It left me really wondering about the claims the MLM supporters make. I have had great experience in using my oils, but it is foolish to claim they can do no harm. I really appreciate a scientist’s take on all of this.
These scents are all wonderful. And they are all strong enough that if you sniff them out of the bottle they may singe your nose haha. My favorite is probably sweet orange, but they all have useful medicinal purposes. If anyone in my house gets a head or chest cold I am sure the eucalyptus will be used. The peppermint seems to have a positive impact on my sinuses. I actually just used some of the tea tree oil for a hair and skin care recipe using olive oil and essential oils. It worked out very well, especially for my skin. I tend to have very dry, irritated skin in the winter time, and lotions just don't seem to help for very long. I started using olive oil and then thought, why not try adding the essential oils in the recipe? You can tell the difference between just using olive oil versus using olive oil mixed with this tea tree oil. Therefore, while the olive oil works great, the tea tree oil from this sampler definitely adds to the positive effect it has on my skin.

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.
We carry several varieties of Chamomile Essential Oil. The German variety is considered to be the most popular of all the Chamomiles and has an impeccable reputation among holistic practitioners. The German Chamomile is believed to be one of the most highly reputed oils for topical use. Chamomile Essential Oil contains azulene, which gives the oil a beautiful deep blue color. The scent of this oil is mild and sweet, similar to apples, and often has a medicinal aroma with very faint bittersweet notes.
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