They point out that we do already naturally consume essential oils when we ‘sprinkle cinnamon on our oats’. Yes but these amounts are tiny comparatively and are in a whole food form.  I mean if you look at the doTERRA website, for example, you’ll see that they are the ones pointing out that it takes A LOT of plant material to make a small amount of essential oil. This is why they are so pricey. Taking an isolated constituent will have a different effect on the body to taking the entire plant part, as the sum of all of the constituents determines how that medicine will work in the body. I asked doTERRRA for the well-documented history of internal safety.  They haven’t replied.
I'm updating this post years later to add important information. I do not have all of the information in this series on why I didn't choose certain companies so I would appreciate you not accusing me of coming to silly conclusions. I have gotten threatening emails (some of they cryptic threats), and have been warned about being sued if I published certain things.
She was very kind to me and said she had been getting a lot of calls on the release due to essential oils’ popularity. She reported that the piece was meant to highlight her conversations with toxicologists on the increasing use of essential oils and exposure to children. The fact is children getting into the oils and swallowing large quantities is bad. However, this was the misuse of essential oils, not a safety issue with the proper dosing. She stated that she never meant for it to be spun and construed that essential oils were unsafe in general.
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).
I did a price comparison from various oil companies, including doTerra and Mountain Rose Herbs. The price differences seem to focus primarily on country of origin, followed by whether they were fair trade. doTerra, for example, sells Frankincense from Oman, and the wholesale price for 15ml is almost $70. Mountain Rose sells USA Frankincense at $20 for 15ml. Eden Botanical sells Frankincense from Somalia at $16 for 15ml. Scents of Earth sells Frankincense from Oman at $45 for 10 ml (or $67.50 for 15 ml).
One very public example of this came in September of 2014 when the FDA cited both dōTERRA and Young Living, multi-level marketing essential oil companies. FDA agents found clear evidence that some of Young Living and dōTERRA reps were making claims that their oils could prevent and cure Ebola and many other illnesses! The situation was quickly remedied.
However, a small variation in price differences on the higher end will NOT mean a better essential oil. It will just mean a higher price. (A little birdie also told me that there are also only a handful of essential oil distilleries in the world, which means that most essential oils come from the exact same places – thus there is little difference in quality between the more “typically priced” EOs.) What I’m saying here is: Understand that you DO have to pay for quality, but that if you’re just using essential oils in non-therapeutic fashions, it’s okay to use less expensive oils (like the Beeyoutiful ones pictured at the top of this post, or NOW brand essential oils). But if you want high quality, I suggest using an ethical supplier that offers organic essential oils (grown without pesticides or toxic fertilizers).
i am affiliated with a like minded company, Essante Organics. every item is toxic free, non gmo, and small green footprint. having doterra, young living, and essante oils and comparing same types, i am positive essante is the better of the three. essante’s company philosophy is better also. check them out. EssanteOrganics.com/julieparks i’m confident you will be impressed.

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.
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.
Hi! I suffer from connective tissue disease (similar to lupus or RA in pain), and I use lemongrass DILUTED in coconut oil. It is amazing how well this works for pain. Peppermint is awesome for headaches as well as nausea, and marjoram is another pain med. Some oils don’t do much for me except smell really good, but those three have been invaluable. I get mine from doTerra, but I’m going to check out the other site mentioned by Crunchy Betty. Thanks!
Thank yo so much for crating such a FINE description of how to approach/evaluate/use essential oils! Nicely done! I have been studying essential oils as a soul-level healing modality for about 5 years. I’m never without a sense of awe and wonder regarding the power of the plant at it’s essence…it’s oil. I will take baths with epsom salt and essential oils. The best way to do that is to put the epsom salt in a cup, add your drops of essential oil, let it sit for a few minutes, then dump it in your bath water. The salt helps to capture and diffuse the oil so that it doesn’t sit on the water like an oil slick. The hot water can also help to express the scent in a powerful way, so use your drops sparingly if you aren’t wanting to be overwhelmed by the scent. With genuine, highly crafted essential oils, the homeopathic rule of less is more powerful is the way to go, in my opinion and experience.

The good news is that the guessing work will be gone in the next few years. Gary Young, founder of Young Living has been asked by the FDA to set up a standards for the United States. So it will not matter what the customer service or distributors say as we will be able to refer to the FDA classify the oil. This will make the true pure oils to stand up and be noticed but also for safety for our health to take the purest of the pure oils for our medicines!
Essential oils aren’t really oils in the true sense of the word. They are complex mixtures of aromatic compounds extracted from plant material. They have distinct odors, poor solubility in water (a trait they share with true oils), and are extracted from plants by distillation and cold pressing. Common examples include lavender, peppermint, tea tree and eucalyptus, but you’ll find hundreds more.
So if you are among those in the denial crowd please rethink your position about TG. You may not like the promotion of TG but that doesn’t mean it doesn’t exist. I think a better response instead of just saying “there’s no such thing” would be to say that “while many companies promote their own therapeutic grade standard, one should be aware that there is no independent body that certifies essential oils as therapeutic grade.” That is a fair statement that makes you look like a rational, logical and thoughtful human being instead of knee-jerk MLM hater. If you want a make a difference to people who are being fed a bunch a garbage by a narcissistic EO messiah then you must remain as objective, scientific and as non-emotional as possible. If you come off antagonistic it will be a barrier to productive dialog. I hope my friends in the traditional aromatherapy communities don’t take offense at this and look at it as just some friendly advice. I am not taking any sides here, the only side I am on is the side of truth. Read Dr. Pappas responses to the comments on this myth here.

Frankincense calms the digestive and nervous systems, and relieves anxiety and emotional upsets, just rub a few drops behind your ears and on wrists to ease stress. Use a diffuser in your room to uplift your mood. Frankincense is a great essential oil to help heal burns, scrapes, cuts, and oozing sores. Just add a few drops to a base such as coconut oil and rub into the broken skin. Add a few drops to a handkerchief and inhale to relieve nasal congestion.
If you find yourself counting sheep on a nightly basis, it may be high time that you consider some aromatherapy—there are countless studies that detail just how beneficial certain scents can be for getting quality shut-eye, even in highly stressful situations. For example, one study found that when ICU patients sniffed lavender, chamomile, and neroli, their anxiety levels dipped significantly, and their sleep quality did just the opposite. Another found that the scent of lavender increased slow-wave (deep) sleep, particularly in women. Just taking a whiff of any sleep-inducing oil before bed can help, but to reap the benefits all night long, consider keeping an open jar of an oil dilution on your nightstand or using a pillow spray.

Sr. Vice President A 20 year industry veteran, Laura joined Essential in 2004. and brings her extensive knowledge of raw ingredients and compounding process to create safe and effective products our customers will love. Laura is a Certified Cosmetic Formulator, Licensed Aesthetician and Reiki Level II practitioner. She brings her enthusiasm, expertise and creativity to our customers’ projects, and leads our internal R&D team to create fabulous products. Laura spearheads our sustainability initiatives and is responsible for Procurement, R&D, Compliance, and Production.
“Organic” and “Wild Crafted” are just labels that have limited meanings when it comes to actual purity and therapeutic properties of the oil and sustainability of the source. Just because a plant is grown under organic conditions doesn’t mean that it’s pure or at therapeutic levels once its oil is put into a bottle. Organic only means the plant is grown without synthetic pesticides, chemical fertilizers, etc. The testing that most EO companies do only tests to ensure that certain required constituents are present in the oil and does not test for things that shouldn’t be there (ie weeds which can also be organic) or test that the constituents which are present are actually at therapeutic levels. That’s where it’s important to have 3rd party tests and that the results are certified (meaning that I can take that bottle of oil to a chemist and have it tested and it will be exactly what the company says it is and what I expect I paid for). Also the label “wild crafted” only means that the plant was grown in the wild. Again, it doesn’t ensure purity or potency of the oil. Also, being wild crafted doesn’t guarantee the oil comes from a plant that was sustainably grown and harvested. Many illegal cuttings are causing the extinction of plants in some regions. doTERRA’s certification of their oils to be 100% pure (nothing in them but the oil of the plant intended and no weeds organic or otherwise or anything else) and at therapeutic levels, backed up by 3rd party testing, means they put their reputation on the line that every bottle of their oils can be tested anywhere by anybody and what’s in the bottle will be exactly what they say it is; only what they say it is and at the therapeutic levels they say it is. So the question is, why do all other EO companies NOT certify their oils to be 100% pure and at therapeutic levels?
I’m not sure what you mean when you say “gras” but I wouldn’t recommend using just any essential oil, especially when you are putting it in your mouth. American standards only require 2% essential oils in a bottle that is labeled “100% Pure”. It’s really unfortunate we have such lax standards. Be Young uses the International standards for essential oil purity (E.O.B.B.D.)
Organic Farms. These farms practice organic cultivation, yet are not independently monitored. This is usually due to the lack of an agency in the area. Farms in more remote areas are usually unable to purchase the herbicides and fertilizers due to their cost. Personal contact with the farm is required to confirm that their cultivation is organic and clean, producing quality essential oils.
The truth is that there are MANY 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 and not just focusing on the major components.

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]
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