This is a general summary for people who are using essential oils on a casual basis. 🙂 I didn’t want to muddy the waters here. However, I would gladly revise my statement if the oils were taken internally under the care of a naturopath or other professional. I just don’t think people should, willy nilly, run around taking them internally, due to their potency.


If you are seriously interested in diving into the world of essential oils, get trained. Start with a workshop in your local area taught by a trained aromatherapist. Whether you are using the oils purely for personal use or really want to get into the business of selling oils and sharing your knowledge, unbiased aromatherapy training from a certified aromatherapist and/or herbalist is invaluable.
The essential oil information provided on AromaWeb is intended for educational purposes only. The references to safety information, constituents and percentages is generalized information. The data is not necessary complete and is not guaranteed to be accurate. The essential oil photos are intended to represent the typical and approximate color of each essential oil. However, essential oil color can vary based on harvesting, distillation, age of the essential oil and other factors. Profiles for several absolutes are included within the directory, and are denoted as such.

Happy customers are of ultimate importance to Lisse essential oils. You can easily reach their customer service team Mon – Fri, 9 AM – 4 PM PST at 1-800-280-1973 or using the email contact form through their website. I’ve personally had great success talking with Lisse essential oils so I can say for sure there are real people with real passion behind this company.
People, you have to start questioning everything nowadays because there is a certain segment of the population who does not care about fact checking and will basically believe whatever they are spoon fed by their gurus and repeat it like parrots, especially if it helps their sales numbers. Before any of you go spreading any information out there without doing some fact checking (outside of the organization feeding you the "facts" who is also selling you something), you might want to pause for a minute and reflect upon what you are doing. If you decide to spread information publicly it is your responsibility to check it out and verify it before putting it out there. If you can't verify it then don't repeat it, it's that simple. If you put something out there without doing some checking to verify and it turns out to be false then what you have done is equivalent to lying. At the very least its spreading false gossip, which I personally believe is the same as lying, even if you don't know its a lie, because you haven't done due diligence to check it out. It is amazing to me how many "religious" people who claim to be so against lying or spreading gossip for religious reasons will not think twice about posting some crazy nonsense on their Facebook page, website or mass emailings without doing even a single google search to try and figure out if what they are about to spread is actually true.
You’ll find essential oils offered everywhere from gifts shops to large retailers, and, of course, online. You may want to start your search for essential oils with reputable companies such as DoTERRA, Young Living Essential Oils, Ancient Apothecary, Living Libations and Edens Garden. Keep in mind, essential oils break down over time, so check your expiration dates; you’ll want one that’s two to three years out from the time of purchase. Make sure you avoid these essential oil safety mistakes.

I realize that it’s been a while since you posted this question, but hope this information helps anyway. My poor husband had the same problem with leg cramps. Took supplements for potassium and ate bananas and oranges like crazy. No difference. Heard then that the deficiency that causes these cramps is more likely related to magnesium, so he started taking a magnesium supplement. Still no difference.
Essential oils rich in aldehydes (e.g., citronellal, citral) and phenols (e.g., cinnamic aldehyde, eugenol) may cause skin reactions. Essential oils rich in these constituents should always be diluted prior to application to the skin. According to Schnaubelt, “diluting such oils so that the resulting solution becomes non-irritant, may require diluting them to concentrations much lower than in normal circumstances. Another option is to blend such irritant oils asymmetrically with other essential oils, which mitigate their irritant effects.”3
Used the right way, they can help you feel better with few side effects. For example, you may feel less nauseated from chemotherapy cancer treatment if you breathe in ginger vapors. You may be able to fight certain bacterial or fungal infections, including the dangerous MRSA bacteria, with tea tree oil. In one study, tea tree oil was as effective as a prescription antifungal cream in easing symptoms of a fungal foot infection.

Retailers may also indicate other affiliations and memberships that show they care about essential oils and the essential oil industry. Some sources may partner with distilleries or growers to form cooperatives or other sustainability initiatives. (Keep your eyes on this website for an upcoming article addressing the critical issues regarding sustainability and the essential oil industry.)

I used lavender essential oil with water as a body spray- it turns out THAT was what my skin reacted to– I thought I had hives on my chest, but it didn’t go away. Fortunately, since I had replaced my toiletry items with natural/homemade, it was easy to determine the lavender as the cause by process of elimination. That has to be the biggest reason to go natural– especially if your skin is sensitive…it allows you to personalize and customize while ensuring that you know every particle of what you are using 🙂 Thanks for everything!
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.
As the vaporized microscopic particles come into contact with the soft and moist tissue inside your nose and sinuses their beneficial properties enter directly into your bloodstream and get dispersed throughout your body. At the same time they travel up the olfactory nerve (the one that operates your sense of smell) to the limbic region of your brain where you process feelings and emotions. This is also an important area of the brain involved in memory. Smell and memory are processed through the same part of the brain; that’s why when you smell cookies baking in the oven you may have flashbacks of childhood.
With do-Terra all you are doing is “buying into” the name and the fad; not getting a better oil. I am not saying their oil isn’t good, it may be. EO and their uses have been around for 1000’s of years and do-Terra has just marketed a way to create a “new awareness” for a younger or less knowledgeable generation to, in effect, make them seem the “experts” and the “best” company out there There are plenty of companies out there that sell the same thing, same pureness at a lesser price (because you are not paying for the hype). If you are not using them for sales then why are you buying into all hype. They have to pass on the cost of their great marketing to someone and that’s you, the customer.
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.
PRODUCT WARRANTY. Company hereby represents and warrants (the “Limited Warranty”) that the Products shall conform to their applicable food label, and be fit for human consumption for the applicable shelf lift for each particular Product (as applicable, the “Warranty Period”).  COMPANY HEREBY DISCLAIMS ALL OTHER WARRANTIES REGARDING THE PRODUCTS, EXPRESS OR IMPLIED, INCLUDING, BUT NOT LIMITED TO, ANY IMPLIED WARRANTIES OF MERCHANTABILITY, FITNESS FOR A PARTICULAR PURPOSE, OR NONINFRINGEMENT.
If it is possible for you to give me any of the documented information from which you have been speaking, or direct me to those sources, I would be grateful. I do not doubt what you are telling me, but I’m sure you would agree that telling others “Robert Tisserand says…” may not be as convincing as “Robert Tisserand provided this documented evidence that says…”
No point on your feet, sweat glands on your feet, nothing that would actually absorb, only thing you are doing by putting it on your feet is inhaling it as you put it on your feet, but you are already doing that putting it on your chest, why waste it. Just google are there pores on your feet–dermatologist articles all over saying bottom line just what I said.
I use Young Living Essential Oils. They are the most pure and best for anyone. Most articles say not to ingest them (that means that something hidden has been added). I would steer clear of those companies. Young Living can be ingested. I am motivated to use them because they do work. go to Young Living website and check it out. If you are interested in signing up, contact me. Signing up means buying at 24% discount. You are able to earn free products. Other oil companies are less expensive, that is because the process of producing it means cutting corners. I want the most pure. I will pay extra for the best.
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.
Know how the plant was distilled and what part of the plant is being used. Ideally you're working with a trusted and trained aromatherapist so they can do this digging for you. How an oil is distilled is important to the quality. As well, some distillers may use more abundant/cheaper parts of a plant, but you're getting subpar product. For example you always want cinnamon bark, not cinnamon leaf. Another example is German Chamomile (Matricara chamomila). It is often adulterated with Blue Tansy (Tancetum annum), which is a lovely oil but it's not German Chamomile. 
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.

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.
Thanks for the info. What does it mean exactly when they say an essential oil should be avoided during pregnancy? Does that mean that if my wife is pregnant I also can’t use those oils because she might smell it and be negatively effected? What can and can’t you do with the ‘avoid during pregnancy’ oils while your spouse is pregnant? Thanks a lot, Jim
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.
Holly is correct on the words! One of the best ways to tell if oils are safe and pure is if the common bottles do have “do not consume” or a similar statement on them! I don’t care what the distributor or customer care person says! I have tried over 10 of the top companies oils and all but one has said do not consume. That is a key for you to know the purity. I am allergic to petrochemicals so many I find have them in them! Many of the other dry out the back of many hand. Pure oils should do neither of those. One of these day I will have to do a video for you tube to show this reaction and the brands that do that!
Standardized oils are not always clearly marked as such. Additionally, some essential oils are tampered with, also known as adulterated, in order to give the illusion that the oil is of an higher quality than it is, or to extend more costly oils in order to make more money on the sale of the oil. For example, the pricey Japanese citrus Yuzu Essential Oil resembles a combination of grapefruit and mandarin essential oils. Some sellers may be tempted to blend grapefruit and mandarin essential oils together and market the blend as the more expensive Yuzu Essential Oil. Patchouli Essential Oil is sometimes extended with the addition of less costly balsams or cedarwood. Lavender Essential Oil is sometimes adulterated by the addition of more linalyl acetate.
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)
Microbial testing involves analyzing a batch of essential oils for the presence of bio-hazardous microorganisms such as fungi, bacteria, viruses, and mold. The process involves drawing a sample and then adding that sample to a sterile growth medium in an enclosed dish or plate. The sample is incubated for a period of time and then observed for microbial growth. This test is performed on product entering the manufacturing facility and on finished products prior to distribution to ensure that the product has not been contaminated during the filling process.
This is several months too late, but not even Young Living and doTerra eucalyptus are safe to ingest. I distribute doTerra and it is listed as NOT for internal use. When it is used as an ingredient for an internal blend or lozenges, the amount is incredibly small. It is safer to use eucalyptus as an inhalant or in a diffuser, or dilute in a chest rub.
People who are new to natural, alternative or holistic medicine may have a bit of a learning curve in using essential oils in holistic ways. Based as much on intuition as hard and fast techniques, the holistic use of essential oils can sometimes be more art than science. Addressing the underlying cause of disease can be slower, less direct and more ambiguous than focusing solely on the symptoms. However, addressing the root cause of disease holistically holds the promise of true and lasting healing. It is therefore best to combine both medicinal and holistic medicine together, using one to complement the other.

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!
Robert you are the MAN! Thank you for being a voice of reason and knowledge. More importantly, thank you for calling people on their BS! To often people will be reluctant to speak up when confronted with individuals or companies spreading misinformation to further their agenda (and profit motive). Fact and fiction are not differences of opinion. Massage magazine should be ashamed. Instead they give an idiotic response, in essence saying, “we don’t know anything so it’s inappropriate that we educate ourselves before we send info out the our industry”.
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.
I had psoriasis for years & kept on getting different creams & lotions from the GP but none of them worked. So 1 day I read up fully on the EO’s I had for cleaning & making face masks. I made myself a blend of oils, carrier oils, butters, vit E & I mixed that with some bees wax to make a balm. I couldn’t believe it within a week it had started to work. I thought I might of just been me getting less stressed so it es going on its own but I’ve since given the blend to 2 friends who suffer from psoriasis badly whom also couldn’t get any help from the GP. Now they both call it a miracle oil & have told me I should sell it. However I would like to do an aromatherapy course first so I could make other blends to help people & I have no idea on selling my products, so I’d have to look into that as well.
It's not an instant favorite (unlike Artemisia pallens and Inula graveolens), although I typically grow to like EO's once my body has had a chance to think them over and assimilate the new information. I gave it 5 stars for three reasons: It is unbelievably intense and lasting, which is how it is described around the web. It smells nothing like valerian, which I've heard people complaining gets substituted for the more-expensive vetiver. I've smelled a lot of valerian, and I just don't detect any of that here, so I'd say this hasn't been cut with anything. And despite washing with (unscented) soap and rinsing with isopropyl alcohol, the fragrance has not changed, it has only gotten a little weaker--I can't stand scents that change when they are watered down.
Hi Clint, the Aura Cacia oregano oil is not solvent extracted. In fact, no essential oils are extracted with solvents. Only absolutes like Jasmine and Rose are solvent extracted, and absolutes are not essential oils. Oregano oil is safe to ingest, so long as you take care to avoid mucous membrane irritation by only taking it in capsules that also contain a vegetable oil.
At NOW® we’ve established long-standing relations with our essential oil vendors, and we purchase our oils in large quantities that qualify for bulk discounts, which we then pass on to consumers in the form of everyday low pricing. We also sell direct to retailers instead of going through distributors, which can add as much as 30% to a product’s cost.
There are many companies out there, even popular, big name essential oil companies, whose oils have been independently tested by consumers with GC/MS and other processes, and have been found to include synthetic and other ingredients within their apparently “pure” essential oils. That is why it is so important to have batch-specific tests for every oil, and to buy from a company you really know and trust.

Most oils do degrade with age due to oxidation but there are some oils, such as sandalwood, vetiver, patchouli, etc. that actually get better with age, at least to a certain point (I am not sure anyone knows what sandalwood looks like after say 5000 years and I am pretty sure well before then the oil would "resinify" and become solid). Its typically the heavier oils that are high in sesquiterpene alcohols that get better with age. However, most oils, especially the citrus oils and the blue oils will degrade with age (at least within human lifetimes). Citrus oils are especially prone to degradation due to the high levels of limonene which oxidizes relatively easily. Even very small amounts of limonene oxide formation can totally destroy the odor of a once good citrus oil. In addition, wax formation in citrus due to monoterpene polymerization is also quite common over time. For this reason its best to go through citrus oils within a year, if possible.

He suggested an “old wives tale” remedy of tea tree oil in my shampoo. He is not typically an alternative medicine sort of guy, so I was surprised that he even suggested it. By golly it works! I have been a teacher for over thirty years –28 of them head lice free. I shared this idea with several colleagues and parents, and they all report the same results.

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.

First and foremost, the grading systems companies use to grade their products are all relative because there is no regulation of the grades. So when it says "therapeutic grade", that just means it's that companies idea of therapeutic grade. That's not to say they are misrepresenting their products, but there will be variance between products because there is no standard, so finding a brand you trust is important.


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.
The concern with oils not being pure is a valid one. For many reasons, often related to a distiller or supplier wanting to make more money, adulteration of essential oils is a serious problem.  Oils are adulterated at various stages of their production, and in many different ways. Finding an honest retailer who specializes in essential oils will minimize or remove your risk of purchasing an adulterated essential oil. Retailers who specialize in selling essential oils will be more likely to provide pure essential oils, as they will be more involved in the essential oil trade, and more likely to be concerned that their product be valid, since it is their primary source of business and reputation.

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).
Hi. I’m hearing conflicting opinions regarding using lavender oil on my children. I have a 10 yr. old son & 7 yr. old daughter. I love to use the lavender with peppermint & lemon for my son’s allergies. I will also rub some on his temples for a headache. I will also apply to my daughter’s temples for a headache or put a couple drops in her bath. Is this OK? I’ve heard especially in boys that you should not use lavender because it has estrogen in it.
After much internet research I found that high doses of magnesium helped. I currently take 1 tablespoon of “Calm” magnesium powder diluted in a cup of warm water every night before bed. Magnesium also helps with sleep. The magnesium has not been a cure all for me. I’ve also been going to an acupuncturist for the past 5 months which has also helped greatly but I still get the night cramps occasionally which is very upsetting. I’ve also found that caffeine and alcohol make matters worse so be careful with consumption of both.
People who are new to the world of essential oils typically find it easier to use oils medicinally, at least at first. The idea of using a particular essential oil because it supports the body to relieve a particular symptom is fairly straightforward and familiar to most people. The medicinal use of oils is familiar, comfortable and easy to understand because it fits into the same simplistic cause and effect model as does mainstream, Western medicine.
Because of email disclaimers, I cannot share the response I received without infringement. What I can say is that the company responded quickly, and included a proclamation from an apparent "third party expert". I sent this to an essential oil expert I have worked with and trust who confirmed that much of it was fancy language to confuse consumers, but it didn't respond to the query of whether a batch of their oils had been contaminated and what is being done to ensure this is no longer happening.
Massage: Place several drops of your diluted oil mixture into your hand and rub them together. Then spread that oil onto your skin — or your partner’s skin — with long strokes. The warmth and friction of your hands will dispense the oil directly into the skin, muscles and bloodstream. Using the right essential oils can relax tension, relieve sore muscles and even improve your skin. Plus it just feels so darn good to get a massage.
Historically, gas chromatography was sufficient to identify individual components in an essential oil. However, as more sophisticated methods for developing synthetic essential oil products formed, further validation methods were needed. Over time, additional testing methods such as mass spectroscopy, chiral analysis, FTIR Scan, carbon isotope analysis and others have been developed to more accurately identify each individual essential oil constituent.
Knowing the average cost of a good quality oil needs to be taken into consideration when purchasing from large companies with large marketing agendas. Marketing costs a lot of money, as do quality essential oils, so be certain that every dollar of your hard-earned money is going fully into the quality of the essential oil rather than its promotion, advertising and salespeople.
So why is clary sage oil said to have estrogen like properties? It all has to do with a component found in the oil called Sclareol. So why is sclareol not a good candidate to have estrogen like properties? First of all sclareol is actually a very minute component of the essential oil of clary sage despite some authors claiming that sclareol is present in clary sage oil at 1.6-7.0%, an utterly ridiculous claim. Almost all steam distilled clary sage oils on the market (I would say 99.9% of them) have less than 0.5% sclareol content. As sclareol is a relatively heavy molecule, its really very difficult to get sclareol above that level with conventional steam distillation. To get the level higher, some proprietary distillation processes have to be implored and most companies will not go to that trouble because the sclareol is a valuable precursor to a very important molecule in the synthetic fragrance industry and not deemed important to the essential oil.
For those coming to this blog from the UK (we seem to be a bit behind in the information stakes in the UK. most sites i come across are US based, and so places of purchase and some terminology is non applicable for us), a good ethical and organic place to buy your oils is from G Baldwins (based in London). they don’t have as big a range in oils as you might want or find elsewhere, but after reading reviews and doing some research on other oil providing companies (and it is a minefield: hard to be assured of the authenticity) they came out best for me.

The truth is that while indeed the camphor should be low (less than 1%) there is almost always a little bit of camphor in true lavender oil, its basically unavoidable. I have analyzed literally thousands of samples of true lavender oil, including many samples I that have distilled myself and I can tell you, as any other analyst who knows what he is doing will tell you, that if small amounts of camphor are not present then it would be an EXTREMELY unusual exception. Honestly, I cannot even say that I have ever seen a lavender without some small amount of camphor, at least not that I can remember.

This is something that should be readily available. For example, the company Aromatics International lists their oil data right on the respective product pages. Most often, you won't often find this posted on websites, but upon request, you should be able to receive it. According to Aromatics, "Gas Chromatography (GC) is a method of separating the volatile compounds in essential oils into individual components and produces a linear graph that charts these components. Mass Spectrometry (MS) identifies each of these components and their percentages. This process is used to identify any adulteration of the essential oil tested. The precise breakdown of the chemical components in individual oils given to us by GC/MS reports are important as the therapeutic benefits and safety issues of essential oils are, in large part, determined by their chemical makeup." (Source)
I apologize that this is vague, but again, when you email customer service and get a response from legal counsel, or have a phone call scheduled with their communications lead and the call is controlled by legal, well, it's best to say less. And really, it's not that important when we start to look at what we actually want in our essential oils: top quality, pure oil.
From what I have read on various websites and blogs there is no such thing as “therapeutic grade” since there is no system in place in this country to determine the grade of an essential oil. Since any brand of essential oils can be used for aromatherapy then all essential oils would technically be therapeutic grade since aroma therapy is a therapeutic use of essential oils.
Research has shown that essential oils have potential as a natural pesticide. In case studies, certain oils have been shown to have a variety of deterring effects on pests, specifically insects and select arthropods.[27] These effects may include repelling, inhibiting digestion, stunting growth,[28] decreasing rate of reproduction, or death of pests that consume the oil. However, the molecules within the oils that cause these effects are normally non-toxic for mammals. These specific actions of the molecules allow for widespread use of these green pesticides without harmful effects to anything other than pests.[29] Essential oils that have been investigated include rose, lemon grass, lavender, thyme, peppermint, and eucalyptus.[30]
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