Lavender oil is claimed to have a slew of a health benefits, with aromatherapy practitioners using it for anxiety, restlessness, insomnia, depression, headache, upset stomach and hair loss. Some small studies on using lavender for anxiety have yielded mixed results, and some studies suggest the oil may work in combination with other oils to fight a hair-loss condition called alopecia areata, according to the NIH. However, "there is little scientific evidence of lavender's effectiveness for most health uses," the NIH says.


Low Price. When it comes to essential oils, you get what you pay for. Growing, harvesting and distilling essential oils of the highest medicinal quality requires extra time and labor, requiring methods that are frankly slower and “less efficient” than modern large commercial producers. It’s the basic law of supply and demand: a small supply of a higher quality product will always cost more than a large supply of a lower quality product.

I was wondering if you had any blends you recommend for his bottom? He has has staph before as well. I have researched a LOT and soo many pages referrals to the brand Young living primarily, their RC blend, lemongrass, and Theives Oils to help kill bacteria. However, there are so many indepented distributors.. I have no idea what I am reading is real or just another marketing scam….. so my question is if you heard of that particular brand? or better yet own any?
Plus, I don’t care how wonderful an EO is, I don’t think a certain combo is going to make someone “Thankful” or give them “Couraqe.” Those are personality traits, not a response to treatment. Seems a bit hokey to me. I just gave her the catalog back and didn’t say much. The MLM system is designed to make people antagonize their friends into feeling obligated to purchase stuff.
Another French contemporary, Dr. Jean Valnet, used therapeutic-grade essential oils to successfully treat injured soldiers during World War II. He then went on to become a world leader in the development of respected aromatherapy practices. The modern use of essential oils has continued to grow incredibly rapidly as health scientists and medical practitioners continue to research and validate the benefits of therapeutic-grade essential oil.
Refreshing and radiant, we carry several varieties of Lemon Essential Oil. Two of our most popular sellers are the regular Lemon and the Lemon 5 Fold, for their long-lasting, pleasant fragrance. The aroma is intensely citrusy and fresh, with wonderful zesty top notes. The Lemon 5 Fold is highly concentrated which makes it especially desirable for cosmetics, as well as soap and candle manufacturing.
Janice – no, it’s not at all junk science, and this is what ISO standards are all about – the maximum and minimum ranges of key constituents. This does of course vary with different chemotypes, as well as different species, and it can also vary with geographical origin. So there is an ISO standard for peppermint oil from the USA, and a different one for the rest of the world. (this is not elitism – ISO standards are not US-based.)
Most avid essential oil aficionados understand that there is no independent standard for “Therapeutic Grade” that is universally recognized. Let’s be honest, it’s hard to even pin down exactly what does “therapeutic” entail in the first place, at least in any quantifiable aspect. And while you may not like the promotion of Therapeutic Grade by various companies, it’s not really correct to say that “thereis no such thing as Therapeutic Grade” because companies do have the freedom to make up any grading system they want. It’s just important to be aware that these grading standard are largely just marketing ploys by most companies. I think a better response to those promoting such an idea would be to say"while many companies promote their own therapeutic grade standard, one should be aware that there is no universally accepted independent body that certifies essential oils as therapeutic grade." That is a fair statement that is factually correct and nobody can refute. Using this language will not cause dialog to shut down between those on the MLM side and those on the more traditional side of aromatherapy.
One thing I wonder though (couldn’t find it on the websites you listed either) – My grandmother loves the smell of tomato leaves and I ran across a hand cream that was tomato leaf scented once when I was overseas but it was too much liquid to bring home. Is there somewhere I can find an essential oil or make one or something like it to make a nice handcream for her?
Partly true. If an essential oil is distilled at too high a temperature, too low a temperature, or for too long, this *can* increase the concentration of toxic components or artifacts. But to say that *any* improperly distilled component is toxic is simply not true. Toxicity is not determined by whether a substance is a genuine essential oil constituent. Toxic constituents can also be formed during normal distillation, hydrocyanic acid (“cyanide”) being the classic example – in bitter almond oil.

Just wanted to take a moment to thank you. I’ve found this article and others by you to be some of the most clear and truly informative I’ve come across! I’ve used essential oils at times during my almost 12 years as a massage therapist, but I’ve recently started to use them more to benefit the well-being of my family. I’ve been hearing a lot about neat and internal use lately, and I wanted to be sure I know how to use them safely. Thanks to your information, I now feel I know how to do so. So, again, thank you for providing such good information. I truly appreciate it! It’s refreshing to read about essential oils and not feel like I have to read between the lines or cut through loads of bias to get to the truth!
One of my biggest frustrations of late has been a MLM company, I won’t name names and start a whole “thing”, but they state that they have a patent on “certified therapeutic grade”. In actuality, if you research the information, the only thing that is patented, is the logo that states “certified therapeutic grade”. It has nothing to do with the actual product, just the advertising.
In response to my request for testing results, the company I reached out to explained that they do testing each month, but if I wanted to review the tests I would need to sign a non-disclosure agreement owing to the proprietary information in the results. I am also guessing that they were not willing to share the results of their testing for other privacy reasons given how competitive this market has become. To receive this information, I would also be required to grant them access to a private Facebook group I manage where the discussion had first sparked my questioning. (I can only assume one of the members of this group approached the company directly asking the questions that were being raised.)

Knowing which of the many different species of a given plant will provide the most profound therapeutic health benefits is the first step in producing the highest quality essential oil. Relying on the expertise of botanists, chemists and wellness practitioners, botanical materials are carefully selected for their natural concentrations of active aromatic compounds.
Thank you for all this info. While a patient in the hospital, I would sprinkle a mix of lavender, eucalyptus, and peppermint oils in my pillow. It helped with my headaches and allowed me to relax. The nurses kept coming into my room just to inhale the wonderful scents. They took such great care of me that, after I was discharged, i went home and made 50 bottles of the same mixtures in cobalt blue bottles with roller balls. They loved them so much! They use them at home and at work. Being a nurse myself, I understand what they go through on a daily bases and how much these oils will benefit them. Even one of my doctors took several bottles I’ve made to give to patients!
A mucous membrane irritant will produce a heating or drying effect on the mucous membranes of the mouth, eyes, nose, and reproductive organs. It is recommended that mucus membrane irritating essential oils not be used in the bath unless they are adequately diluted in a dispersant such as natural bath gel base, polysorbate or vegetable oil. Bay, clove, cinnamon bark, lemongrass, and thyme ct. thymol essential oils should be avoided in baths completely. Table 5 lists some common essential oils considered to be mucous membrane irritants.
“Peppermint is an interesting plant in that it yields more oil than most others. As such, large farms and distilleries extract a bunch of oil from the peppermint plant.  Smaller farms do a first distillation of peppermint that they sell to oils companies for the highest price. The peppermint is then re-distilled at a higher pressure and higher temperature for a 2nd distill, and the resulting oil is sold for less money to soap companies, and the like, that want a lower cost oil, but still desire a slightly “herby” smell. The plant is then re-distilled one more time at a yet higher temperature and pressure for a 3rd distill, which is sold to companies wanting the candy-cane smelling oil.”
Hi there! I know in your list of 21 facts you said these oils should not be ingested…I have heard otherwise about a few specific brands. What were your true thoughts on this? Do you or have you used any oils internally? Or anyoneelse on here maybe? Really wanting to heal from the inside as well as using these topically. Thanks in advance! I’m still pretty new at this so any input or advice would be great!
I was looking for a high quality, professional level training that was self-paced and that I could complete at home. I tried correspondence courses in the past and found them difficult and too isolating. Aromahead's structure is totally superior! The Forum has been and still is a lifeline for me. Watching the webinars and blending videos makes me feel like I'm in a classroom learning from Andrea in person. Studying at Aromahead has been an all-around fantastic experience.
Hello! I enjoyed your post and it was very informative. I tried the construction paper test with my Mountain Rose Herbs oils and there was a residue! Tried with peppermint and with fennel. Sigh. I have ordered my oils from this company for years. Any thoughts? I feel like they are a legit company, no multi-level marketing schemes going on, no president with a shady psychotic past. What to do, what to do???
Look for oils that are organic as a first choice. Any pollutants on the plants can be more concentrated in the essential oil. This is especially important for citrus essential oils, as they are traditionally heavily sprayed with pesticides. The term “organic” means different things in different countries, but it is one more possible indicator of quality. Some retailers also carry oils that are “unsprayed,” where the farms are not certified as organic, but they do not spray their crops, and many high quality oils are also wildcrafted.

The global essential oil market is expected to reach 11.7 billion by 2022. There is a danger in the mass popularity of essential oils and not just because of the way in which they are being used (or in many cases, overused), or that they are being sold widely by people whose only training is from  the companies that stand to profit directly off mass consumption of these oils.  There is also the impact this production is having on the environment.


Essential oils are the fragrant soul of a plant. They are the characteristic scent or odor of a plant. Many chemical constituents make up this volatile oil. Peppermint essential oil (Mentha x piperita), for example is made up of menthol, menthyl acetate, menthone, cineole, pulegone, limonene, phellandrene, pinene, beta-bisabolene & beta-caryophyllene. It is these chemicals, in a combination determined by nature, which produce the scent of Peppermint.
I was diagnosed with ESOPHAGITiS!!! do you know what that is!? ULCERS all up and down your esophagus! After YEARS of prilosec and about 9 other pills prescribed by doctors, I was so sick of taking pills I was desparate enough to try ANYTHING. THANK GOD I TRIED YOUNG LIVING. I drink their oils internally (daily) along with their Ningxia Red and my chronic gut problems for YEARS are improving daily. Even my husband and children are now using this stuff due to the immediate difference they saw in me after I threw the prescribed meds away and replaced them with this stuff. Never swallowed something that harmed me yet and I already HAD the holes to start with and they are getting better and better, yet ZERO prescribed meds. I used to have chronic diahreea, chrnoic nausea, IBS and more. I was also diagnosed with leaky gut. ALL OF THESE PROBLEMS ARE GOING AWAY after my doctor (who is a TOP gastro specialist at the University of Michigan ha!) laughed at me when I told him I was giving up the prilosec and all the rest for distilled plant material. He told me I would be back on the meds in two weeks. That was MORE THAN A YEAR AGO AND I HAVE NEVER HAD TO GO FOR A RETURN VISIT WITH HIM SINCE. Burns your insides, what are you thinking???? Clearly you have never used Young Living. If you did, you would remove your ridiculous post.
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
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.
Rebecca – Wintergreen oil is 96-99% methyl salicylate, and neither the oil nor the compound is listed under GRAS (generally recognized as safe) or FA (permitted food additive). However, it is on a list of indirect food additives (substances that are permitted to be present in trace amounts only, and not added intentionally), as a constituent of adhesives used in food packaging.
Thanks for the informative article on essential oils! I want to know if there are any essential oils that can be applied on my skin (face) just before my skin is exposed to direct sunlight? I know that the skin where citrus oils are applied should not be exposed to direct sunlight for few hours after application. That’s the only question that I am concerned with because I am very interested in concocting a facial oil moisturizer after reading an article of yours that is about making a “3-ingredient facial oil moisturizer”.
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In the holistic use of essential oils, the focus is on bringing the body back into natural balance and harmony. Disease is seen as merely an outward symptom of a deeper, underlying imbalance in the body, mind and spirit. Holistic medicine sees the body as a self-healing mechanism. The body is capable of healing itself of disease by bringing the whole person back into balance. Therefore, the holistic use of therapeutic essential oils focuses on restoring balance in the body, mind and spirit. Success is gauged equally on the relief of symptoms and the improvement of overall wellness, vitality and happiness.
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?

Aromatherapy is an ancient practice of natural healing and plant medicine that has been documented in human civilizations around the world for over 6,000 years. The use of prescribing aromatic plant extracts for massage, for bathing and for mental, emotional and spiritual imbalances has proven benefits through both practical and scientific evidence.


Hello, I've only been using essential oils for the last year and I've been doing a lot of research trying to buy from the safest place because I know the Sham on the grades and how therapeutic is just a term. My question to you is do you know anything about (Bulk Apothecary) brand? I was buying from them for almost a year and then it was recently I asked them for three of their C of A's they sent them to me, but he gave me a problem when I told him one of the brands they sell of henna was bad. I don't know what I'm supposed to look for on this certificate which I'm trying to research to find out. One of the essential oils it says that complies all the way down the other two it says it complies and then it gives it some type of percentage. I guess I would just like to know if you think that they are real or if you've heard of them they do offer all of the information like you say in your blog to look for, such as the bontanical name how it's been distilled and even the history. I know the smell on every single essential oil we've gotten from them has been very potent. Thank you and anything would help even linking me to the right direction.


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.
Kendra Kirkham wrote a really great article a few years ago for the IFPA Journal “In Essence” about the lack of any formal essential oil “grading” system for aromatherapy and provided clear information about the topic, as well as explain the use of the words “therapeutic grade” as a marketing tool for a certain MLM essential oil company. It’s a shame that many others now elect to coin the bogus term. I understand the thought is to express that their oils may be of higher quality or perhaps used in clinical settings, but use of such terms only adds to consumer confusion. Thanks for bringing this to the attention of the masses.
In the United States, herbal products are considered dietary supplements, and unlike drugs they do not need approval by the Food and Drug Administration before they come to market. However, the FDA can take action to recall a product if it is found to be unsafe after it hits the market. (in other words, THAT is how companies can put other things in herbal supplements without telling you)
There are many popular, quality essential oils, including those that are Certified USDA Organic, therapeutic grade and 100% pure—with no fillers, bases or additives. For example, being Certified USDA Organic is important for some people because the organic certification can be traced back clear to the seed and plant. Every handler of the product must be certified as well. Additionally, no prohibited pesticides or other toxins are used for Certified USDA Organic products.

Don't many of us have that "crazy uncle" or other relative who is constantly spreading emails with headlines like "New legislation requires a microchip in the brain of every newborn by 2025" or similar craziness? Then we do a simple google search and in 30 seconds send them a link to snopes or some other myth debunking site that shows clearly why its not true. These kinds of emails are so annoying to the thinking person I wish that these people could see how they are coming off to anyone with half a brain. It's so unnecessary and they could have saved themselves from looking like a tool by just by spending a little effort to check things out.
“from what I’ve read” – Just remember that everyone has an agenda – Even the person who wrote what you read. Young Living at least has something to show for what they charge. They own farms around the world, grow everything organically, pay people to hand weed the crops before harvest so they don’t have to use weed killers… they have and operate their own distilleries and labs and have giant warehouses with lots of employees. And yet a bottle of lemon oil still only costs $11. There are groups of people in the Aromatherapy world who dislike Young Living because they follow the French model of aromatherapy and the other groups follow the English and German models. The camps dislike each other and there is so much negativity. The French have shown that if the oil is pure you can ingest it with no problems. The other models have studies and histories of oils harming people but their oils came from the perfume industry and were polluted with synthetics. Most Aromatherapists don’t even know about the different models and are taught from a one-sided view and have a “we are right” attitude and turn their noses up at Young Living because it is MLM. Yet Young Living actually is a wholesale membership club a lot like Sams or Costco. Only 5% of it’s members actually run it like a MLM. Most just join and buy their own oils.
Anyway, on to my question…I am basically interested in the most basic of oils. Peppermint, lavender, lemon or orange and possibly tea tree as my daughter has severe scalp (dandruff ?) issues. I also have recently started to make soap and am looking dor something natural yet affordable to scent them with. Where would u recommend I get these oils for this use?
One unfailing principal of science is that of naturally increasing entropy which relates to the 2nd Law of Thermodynamics. All things naturally head towards maximum entropy (disorder). Entropy is inescapable on this earth, and we all know it takes constant energy to fight against this natural degradation of all things. Left alone, things don't naturally become more ordered over time, we all know this whether or not we are familiar with the term entropy. Entropy is why you cannot create a perpetual motion machine, why your houses naturally get messy over time, why your car engine eventually breaks down, why your body eventually can no longer sustain itself and you die and why the earth must eventually come to an end.
In my ever growing quest to find the healthiest options in my life, I began to wonder what about my essential oils? It's true that with the help of essential oils (and a healthy GMO-free diet), my family hasn't actually been sick in about a year and a half. That is a LONG time!!!! Before essential oils entered the picture, I was constantly fighting off sinus infections, colds, the flu….you name it, and I was possibly experiencing it. Essential oils have become my go-to every time I have had something come up; from cleaning, to medical, to emotional, each time I have found success in my quest to keep my family healthy. Only now, am I asking, “What about my essential oils?”
The use of essential oils during pregnancy is a controversial topic and one that is yet to be fully understood. The main concern during pregnancy appears to be the risk of essential oil constituents crossing over into the placenta. According to Tisserand and Balacs, crossing the placenta does not necessarily mean that there is a risk of toxicity to the fetus; this will depend on the toxicity and the plasma concentration of the compound.9 It is probable that essential oil metabolites cross the placenta due to the intimate (but not direct) contact between maternal and embryonic or fetal blood.10
I’m still a beginner but I know that for many essential oils, you need what is called a carrier oil. These carrier oils mixed with the essential oil are what make it safe for skin. I suggest looking into getting the book ( aromatherapy for beginners) if you are serious about it. I’m still reading it but it has a tone of info, meanings, recipes and helpful terms of understanding. Also, it has a handy section in the back about resources online and in books to learn more and to find your essential oils. Good luck. 😀
Fair for Life goes beyond traditional fair trade by applying fair trade principles also to relevant domestic or regional trade and by requiring ethical working conditions along the entire trade chain. Fair for Life certified products are only handled by companies that demonstrate decent working conditions for all their staff. Fair for Life brand holder companies commit to fair sourcing practices and responsibilities towards their primary producers down the commodity chain. Fair for Life certification of products also confirms traceability of all certified products from production to sales.

To help us get a more clear understanding of what to look for in essential oils we spoke with Clinical Registered Aromatherapist, Anna Doxie. She is the founder of the Institute of Holistic Phyto-Aromatherapy. She’s the Director Coordinator and Director of the Southern California Region of the National Association for Holistic Aromatherapy (NAHA) and an esteemed Aromatherapy instructor. We’ve also combed through NAHA’s educational materials, consulted the prolific writings of Dr. Robert Pappas — a highly respected name in essential oil testing and education — and sought many other independent sources of information to present to you some guidelines for finding the best essential oil:
doTerra is a Young Living rip-off, but they are still better than most. I got off 4 Rx drugs with Young Living Essential Oils, I use them daily on my skin undiluted and take them internally several times per week. Thanks for your article on oils — just a note that there is a VAST difference between most oils sold in health food stores and cheap online venues vs. true therapeutic-grade oils. =)
The Young Living Speech you give is completely inaccurate and part of the genius marketing used by YL. Oils that have “do not consume” are protecting themselves from lawsuits, it’s a reasonable label statement. I am an educator at a major US University teaching essential oil studies. I have worked in production and quality control of essential oils.
Now Foods – great price, OK essential oils for cleaning house and scenting your room. You can find these at your local Whole Foods or Central Market or for the best price, on Amazon. They even have a few organic ones as well. I only use this brand for my cleaning needs because I don't like using my precious Mountain Rose Herbs essential oils on something like cleaning. You also have to pay close attention to their labels as they do sell oils that are already diluted with a carrier oil and their Jasmine oil is cut with fragrance oil to save them money, but they DO label it. (Jasmine is very expensive on its own. Don't buy their Jasmine oil because fragrance oils are what you are trying to avoid.) You can read more about NOW Foods on their FAQ page.

In order to know if an essential oil is pure and true it must be tested in a chemistry lab. The Gas Chromatography and Mass Spectrometry (GC/MS) test is a standard in the industry. This test separates and analyzes the chemical compounds while confirming the elemental composition within a sample, helping chemists to determine whether or not the essential oil has been tainted. Good companies will have third-party GC/MS reports for every batch of oil available for you to read.


Contrary to what several essential oil companies recommend, the oils generally should not be swallowed, Power says. The body absorbs more this way, boosting the chance that they will interact with medications or cause an allergic or toxic reaction. Even continued exposure to small amounts (a few drops a day in a water bottle) can lead to fatigue and headaches. Taking in larger amounts of certain oils -- like tea tree oil, wintergreen, and camphor -- can lead to throat swelling, a racing heart, vomiting, and even seizures, says the Tennessee Poison Center, which saw the number of toxic essential oil exposures double from 2011 to 2015.


^ Arenholt-Bindslev, D; Jolanki, R; Kanerva, L (2008). "Diagnosis of Side Effects of Dental Materials, with Special Emphasis on Delayed and Immediate Allergic Reactions". In Schmalz, Gottfried; Arenholt-Bindslev, Dorthe. Biocompatibility of Dental Materials. Springer. p. 352. doi:10.1007/978-3-540-77782-3_14. ISBN 9783540777823. Archived from the original on May 18, 2016. Retrieved March 5, 2014.
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