Safety involves a state of being free from risk or occurrence of injury, harm, or danger. Individuals who practice aromatherapy need to be aware of the safety issues involved with using essential oils in order to avoid potential adverse effects. According to Burfield, “Although many essential oils are potentially hazardous materials, if handled in the appropriate manner, the risks involved in their use can be very small. So therefore, most commercially offered essential oils are safe to use for the purpose intended in a domestic/ professional or clinical environment.”1 The informed use of essential oils may create occasional irritation or minor discomfort, but it is extremely unlikely to create serious injury or lasting physical problems,2 particularly when basic guidelines are followed.
Finally learned that mag isn’t well absorbed in the gut and can have unwanted side effects if you take enough to help the deficiency, but that it’s very well absorbed through the skin. Epsom salts baths help some people, but we only have a shower. Besides, magnesium *chloride* (ES is mag sulfate) is a much better type of magnesium and has quicker effects on the deficiency. Absorption through the skin doesn’t have the same side effects as taking it into the gut.
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.
I highly recommend it. If you will take the time to read his information, he clearly shows that many of the “leading” EO companies utilize deceptive marketing to push impure or adulterated EO’s for therapeutic use. He also gives (and references) many non-standard use instructions as well as use in conjunction with herbs. Very good info even if you choose not to purchase EO’s from the site.

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.
Thank you so much for this excellent distillation! I’m just beginning to use EO’s, and have had such excellent results that I am encouraged to try more — thank you for helping me find reputable companies to purchase from. The pricing comparison was especially helpful. My only issue so far is with Aura Cacia — the lids are so hard to get off the bottles — my 71 year old hands just can’t exert that much pressure any more — I emailed the company thru their website, and was sent alternative bottle caps, that didn’t even fit the bottles. Alas, not buying from them any more, which is unfortunate, since they are readily available in local stores. However, online ordering is easy and quick. Thank you once again!
DoTerra and Young Living are both Multi Level Marketing companies, making the oils more expensive. All pure essential oils are therapeutic. Young Living tried to copyright the term to set them apart. DoTerra is run by people who left Young Living. These two companies, as well as many others, get their oils from the same suppliers. They make their own blends, but there are some standard blends that are very similar from company to company. Ingesting oils is not necessary because they are so easily absorbed through the skin. I get my oils from a smaller company who uses the same suppliers and I get a lot more for my money!

It’s not just the purity of the essential oils that determine if an essential oils should be used internally. Even unadulterated, organic & wildcrafted essential oils shouldn’t be used internally unless you’ve been evaluated by a health care practitioner trained at an appropriate clinical level. According to the Association for International Aromatherapy, “An appropriate level of training must include chemistry, anatomy, diagnostics, physiology, formulation guidelines and safety issues regarding each specific internal route (oral, vaginal or rectal).” Just doing so because Young Living said it’s ok doesn’t make it ok. You need to talk to someone who has evaluated you specifically, AND has clinical aromatherapy training.
This is where DoTerra RADICALLY differs: A vast majority of their oils are safe for ingesting. The reason is because they are Certified Pure Theraputic Grade Essential Oils (CPTG). The oil industry has been very unregulated for a long time – in fact, the FDA only requires oil companies to put 10% oil in a bottle and then they can put anything else in that they want (kind of like how perfume companies can get away with putting phthalates in their chemical cocktails). DoTerra has a very strict standard, and as many people state, they can tell this almost immediately with how powerful they smell.

Should you change your mind and wish to permit me to include three consecutive months of testing for your pure peppermint oil please send it to me this week. I will be very straightforward in saying that my intention is to share the results as if the results are what your trainers and trainees believe them to be, there would only be benefit to the company.


If you’re not happy with a product for any reason, you have a 60 day refund window available to you, starting from the date of the invoice. You can ask for a refund or replacement. Products are also sold in “real” stores (not just online), so you are able to talk to a real person as well. For assistance with all returns please start by calling Customer Service at 1-800-669-3275.
This is yet another claim apparently made by people who lack a fundamental understanding of chemistry and how molecules work in biological systems. As any sophomore biology or chemistry major in college knows, molecules in biological systems work the way they do because of VERY specific “hand-in-glove” type relationships between active molecules and receptor sites in the living systems. Molecules are three-dimensional structures and many times this perspective is lost to the untrained eye looking at two-dimensional representations of these structures on paper. The structure of the molecule basically determines whether or not it can perform the action of interest, this is why 3D computer molecular modeling is so vital in the drug discovery field. If a molecule doesn’t have the right shape and size to fit where it needs to fit, then its not going to be a candidate to meet the specific need that is being researched.
I am trying to write an essay for a public health post grad course, the role of the public health worker.. I won’t bore you with the details… I’m trying to tentatively suggest that education is a major role….non antibiotic therapies for infectious disease, for example tea tree in the treatment of staphlococcal…. can you suggest any reading/authors/doctors I can explore?
That's right, you read it correctly, its not a mistake and I know its going to be hard for some of you to accept that this is in fact a myth, but I assure you it most certainly is. But, as always, there is more to this story that just leaving it there without further explanation and the truth really takes nothing away from the specialness of natural products and the complexity of essential oils over synthetic fragrances.
From the best that I can understand it, YL claims that their method of testing goes far and beyond almost any other in the US. They state that the GC column length should be at least 50-60 meters in order to allow “double-phased ramping–which makes it possible to identify constituents that occur in very small percentages by increasing the separation of compounds.” YL states that almost all US labs only use a 30-meter column in their testing. The extent of this testing apparently is able to spot possible toxins that would be damaging to the brain, etc. at a molecular level.
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.
The truth is that as long as you are mixing each oil in the EXACT same percentage in each trial, the order of blending each component would almost never reveal a significant effect. When people do claim to notice differences in blends based on order of component addition, its typically because they do not have the ability to conduct the experiment with quantitative accuracy. For example, it would not be a scientific experiment to do various blends using drops of essential oil from orifice reducer bottles or even by counting drops from a pipette. The reason being that drops are often drastically inconsistent, even when using the same oil with the same dropper. The only way to accurately put together the blends is to use a digital scale, I recommend one that can weigh out to at least 0.001 gram. If all the components are added to blend in the exactly the same amount each time the blend is made and the components mixed thoroughly then the odor and chemistry should be identical each time, regardless of order they were added to the blend.

Diffusion is the process of dispersing essential oils so that their aroma fills a room or an area with the essential oil fragrance. Therefore, a diffuser is a device that diffuses the essential oil into the air. There are several types of diffusers available on the market in 2018, and many have reviews that may help you decide which one may be right for you, if you are interested in getting a diffuser.

All of the reputable essential oil companies in this comparison are ones that have made a name for themselves in at least half of the States. I didn’t chart brands that are only known vaguely in a few States. All of the essential oil brands on this map are popular, well-established, and trustworthy. Now the question only is: will they work for you?
Love this article and your references!! Much appreciated from someone who is new to the aromatherapy world and wanting more information. I hope to understand how to use EO for my family. I signed up with DoTERRA to get training and so far a month in haven’t received much training. So now I look for articles like this…wish I had a friend who was certified in aromatherapy so I can help my whole family understand what to use and how to use it with different problems. Reading articles helps but I definitely get overwhelmed with all the information…anyways love this article! Thanks!!
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.”
None. Essential oils are wonderful, but I would never recommend taking them internally unless you are being treated by a Clinical Aromatherapist. Since most EOs are antimicrobal you can really upset your gut flora by taking them long term. And since 85% of your immunity is in your gut, that’s really something you don’t want to do unless you are under the treatment of someone with the above-listed training.
In many industries (healthcare, agriculture, etc., as you are probably very familiar), there are Independent Certification Bodies, Accreditation Services, that are generally not-for-profit and independent—watchdogs who make sure that what companies say is happening is actually happening.  With every certification there are specific parameters that the product must meet: So for instance, in the US, the USDA sets the standards for organic agriculture, and any certifying bodies must be approved by the USDA to be credible. This system creates multiple levels of independent evaluation—and a company can't just claim that its products are organic, at least on packaging, unless it's been certified so by this system of certification. 

From the United Kingdom, is my favourite (not affiliated to CE by the way) choice, NHR organic oils. They have the largest range of Soil Association Certified organic essential oils in the world. They also sell distiller kits for people who want to make their own oils at home and their selection of organic chocolates made with some of their oils are absolutely amazing.

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?

Having said the above, let’s look at some chemical structures and hopefully anyone can plainly see why its impossible for clary sage oil, or any essential oil for that matter, to act as an estrogen in the human body. There are three main estrogens in humans known as estrone or E1, estradiol or E2 and estriol or E3. All three of these molecules belong to the general class of molecules known as steroids. Steroids are defined by the four joined ring structures which include three six-membered rings and one five-membered ring arranged as in the structure shown below which is known as estradiol. Think of all steroids as three hexagons and one pentagon joined together, they must have this basic structure to be a steroid with the specific steroid of interest being defined by the various functional groups that are attached to this basic quad-ring system. Without this basic backbone structure, the molecule cannot be a steroid, nor can it behave as a steroid would in biological systems.
Using a special type of Mass Spectroscopy, it is possible to determine which isotopes are present in an essential oil constituent and at what amounts. If sourced from the same location, every constituent in an essential oil should have the same ratio of isotopes. If a particular constituent has an isotopic profile different than that of the other constituents, then the quality control analyst will know that the oil contains an adulteration.
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.  
Although, there is a method to extract essential oil into a carrier oil. It’s called “infusion”. Herbs are placed in a jar, and the jar is filled with just enough oil to cover the herbs. After at least 2 weeks, the herbs are strained out and you’re left with an infused oil! Sometimes, fresh herbs are placed into the infused oil to make it extra-strong. Infusion produces a very mild oil, though, and there’s no need to dilute it.

You will need some supplies in order to try the blending exercises and complete your case studies in this program. You may use your own supplies or purchase them (supplies are not included in your tuition). Aromatics International has designed some beautiful kits with all the essential oils, carrier oils, and bottles you’ll need. These kits are optional and sold separately through Aromatics International. You may also begin the class without supplies, but eventually you will need a small collection of essential oils, carriers and bottles to complete your case studies.
Rocky Mountain Oils (RMO) is a company based out of Orem, Utah, operating since 2004 and one of the leading essential oil brands available today. Not only can you buy essential oils at RMO, you’ll also find a comprehensive line-up of skin care, cleaning, wellness, body care, natural supplements, or aromatherapy blending supplies on their online shop.
Thanks so much for your article. I am having a huge issue battling against the whole “therapeutic grade” malarky put out by several big name companies. It seems even though it is a subjective title, and many other similar titles like it are in fact trade marked, that somehow people just buy into the idea that it MUST mean the oils are better. I am a huge proponent of high quality oils and knowing the company, their standards, distillation processes etc. But these empty titles really drive me nuts! Thanks for your writings!
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Bergamot Essential Oil has a fresh and delightful citrus aroma with strong citrus notes and a hint of the exotic, and has been made popular by Earl Grey Tea. This refreshing essential oil is suited for aromatherapy and induces a more relaxed and happy feeling, while reducing oiliness of the skin. Widely used in the perfume industry, it is also used in cleansers and toners.
According to Dr. Brian Lawrence “for an essential oil to be a true essential oil, it must be isolated by physical means only. The physical methods used are distillation (steam, steam/water and water) or expression (also known as cold pressing, a unique feature for citrus peel oils). There is one other method of oil isolation specific to a very limited number of essential oil plants. This is a maceration/distillation. In the process, the plant material is macerated in warm water to release the enzyme-bound essential oil. Examples of oils produced by maceration are onion, garlic, wintergreen, bitter almond, etc.”.2
Hi Julie, it is entirely possible that you have had an allergic reaction to one of the essential oils you ingested. It is possible that that the lemon oil might have oxidized in the bottle in the store, and this increases the risk of allergy. It’s also possible that you are simply allergic to one of those oils. It has nothing to do with detoxing – that’s a total myth.
I work for an MD and upon seeing it he’s taking out his Rx pad. I told him I wanted to try this first and if I had trouble I would call. The hand was all swollen when he saw it in the AM, but by that evening when he came back the swelling had gone down. Because he believes in toxic drugs, he wouldn’t say anything the remarkable response I was getting.

"Essential oils are highly concentrated, volatile plant extracts," explains Avery. "We obtain essential oils through a few different extraction methods, and the part of the plant we get the essential oil from can be different depending on the oil but is typically the most aromatic part. Rose oil, for example, comes from the petals of the rose, while citrus oils come from the rind."

Recently, terms such as “therapeutic grade” or “clinical grade” have been used by essential oil suppliers to claim the superiority of their oils over other suppliers’ oils. These terms are not standardized and mean whatever the supplier using them wants them to mean. These suppliers are not necessarily being misleading about their essential oils, yet the terms they are using are not standardized within the industry to meet any specific criteria.
^ Aizpurua-Olaizola, Oier; Ormazabal, Markel; Vallejo, Asier; Olivares, Maitane; Navarro, Patricia; Etxebarria, Nestor; Usobiaga, Aresatz (2015-01-01). "Optimization of supercritical fluid consecutive extractions of fatty acids and polyphenols from Vitis vinifera grape wastes". Journal of Food Science. 80 (1): E101–107. doi:10.1111/1750-3841.12715. ISSN 1750-3841. PMID 25471637.
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