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.

FAST FACTS: Blended with peppermint, eucalyptus, cypress, lemon, and elemi essential oils, which have been traditionally used to open airway passages; unclogs nasal congestion and allows a more in-depth breathing experience; clears the sinuses and makes you breathe better; medicinal grade; ISO certified; certified by the USA Medicinal Oil Association


So, the thing to take away from this is that there is nothing magical about a molecule simply because its made in "nature" (a meaningless term to me because what is not natural? Basically, if it exists its natural, you cannot separate man from nature). The "magic" if you will, is in the complexity that plants construct their COLLECTION of molecular mixtures that humans in a lab cannot even come close to exactly reproducing, at least not yet. Understanding the science doesn't it make it any simpler or less interesting, in fact, if you really understand whats going on, you realize that how incredibly complex and intricate things are and the more you know, the more you know you don't know about the universe. The complexity of nature is the real “magic,” not nature itself.
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.
Lavender 40/42 is a blend of Lavenders consisting of Lavandula angustifolia (English Lavender), Lavandula hybrida (Lavandin Grosso), Lavandula latifolia (Spike Lavender), Lavandula stoechas (Topped Lavender), etc. The producer of Lavender 40/42 will select oils distilled from these various Lavender species, blending them together to produce an oil that both meets the 40/42 standard, as well as one that economical, which is the other attraction of Lavender 40/42. As lovers of Lavender know, the cost of Lavender oil can run very high some years. If the harvest of Lavandula angustifolia in Bulgaria or France is 25% less than expected, the price skyrockets, driving up everyone’s costs and eating into all of our profits. Selective blending of these various Lavender species allows for the production of Lavender oil with a cost less affected by an unpredictable fluctuating market.

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

I learned a lot scanning the Blog about EO’s. Was considering gathering 3-4 I use a lot and sharing with the family as Xmas gifts. The Blog site really helped – especially Crubchy Betty’s list of 21 essential bits of info.I have only bought at GNC (ugh) but nice to have more options as fas as quality and price. I use peppermint EO just a drop iunder my nose at night to open up my sinuses and it works great! The peppermint is also helpful on temporals and behind the ears for sea sickness! And when I can’t sleep, the lavendar works wonders. Ginger is also a powerful anti-nausea EO for me.

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)
Essential oils are widely used in food flavorings, and many of our foods naturally contain them anyway. So small amounts – up to one drop – are not a huge issue, thohg you still need to be aware that gastric irritation is a possibility, so make sure the oil is properly dispersed in whatever the food or excipient is. Taking oils is water is a no-no for this reason.
Essential oils can have multiple benefits - and multiple oils can benefit similar conditions - so it may be easier to start with a pre-made blend, experts said. Many companies - including Elizabeth's Essentials (available locally at Earth Savers) and Young Living essential oils - offer a variety of blends of oils specifically formulated to treat a broad range of conditions ranging from arthritis to sleep to anxiety.
FAST FACTS: Blended with peppermint, eucalyptus, cypress, lemon, and elemi essential oils, which have been traditionally used to open airway passages; unclogs nasal congestion and allows a more in-depth breathing experience; clears the sinuses and makes you breathe better; medicinal grade; ISO certified; certified by the USA Medicinal Oil Association
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!
Never use an undiluted essential oil on a baby or child. Children have much thinner, more delicate skin than adults have, and tend to be very sensitive to the potency of essential oils. In fact, even if you do use essential oil in a recipe for children, only use half of the essential oil recommended in the recipe. That’s all they’ll need, anyway. (Here is a list of 19 essential oils that are safe for babies and children.)
Other essential oil manufacturers/distributors sell certified organic oils; DoTerra does not. other essential oil manufacturers do not use MLM scams to sell their products; DoTerra does. Other essential oil companies tell people up front that the FDA has not “approved this” info; DoTerra does not. Other companies warn people, as the association for aromatherapists does, that these oils should NEVER be ingested: DoTerra tells people to ingest them (BTW, there IS no “safe dose”; the “safe dose” is “none”). Other companies do not pretend to have scientific evidence when there isn’t any. Other companies don’t make up fake “certifications”. Your ridiculous comparison of tylenol or ibuprofen is just that: those are MADE to be ingested, and essential oils are NEVER meant to be ingested.

We offer a wide range of USDA Organic Certified and Conventional Essential Oils to many of the flavor, fragrance, pharmaceutical and cosmetic industries worldwide. Our Company works with farming partners that have been in business for over 30 years, harvesting the finest, most naturally grown seasonal crops, and in turn producing the purest 100% natural essential oils through steam distillation and cold pressed extraction. In addition to being ISO 9001:2008 & WHO GMP Certified, our farming partners are Kosher and Halal Certified.
Hi Linda! Just wanted to let you know that NAN oils are amazing! I have been using them for quite awhile and there is no comparison to any health store oils or most online. It’s fortunate that there is so much info out there today about EO’s as I bought the book that’s listed, “The Compete Book of Essential Oils and Aromatherapy” when it came out in 1991! That was before I even knew about the internet! Just a few things to keep in mind: NANs kits are a large collection and also 15mm, that’s why they seem so expensive. You can always buy just what you want, even in a 5mm. Nice size to try if your unsure. Also, do your OWN research instead of listening to sales pitches from paid representatives. A high percentage are gullible parrots. But to each their own. Just keep reading about EOs as you can never learn enough! I almost actually hate to bring this up, just remember I am NOT paid for indorsing – Read the articles in her blog, “wholenewmom”, about comparing EO companies. She really spells out differences between a lot of the well-known companies & what to look for in any. It’s Very informative! And I was blown away at the conclusion. Good Luck and Be Well!
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?

No, it’s not true that “other” essential oils are harmful, and should not be used internally or externally! Has someone told you that there is something impure about certified organic essential oils? Both Young Living and Do Terra buy many of their essential oils from the same industry suppliers that some of the companies listed above buy from. How do I know? Because I have been in the industry since 1974, and suppliers talk. And anyway, there are only so many producers of certain oils.
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.)

This kind of statement has always left me scratching my head. Sometimes it is also stated as “….EOs are the most OXYGENATED substances on earth.” Whether its meant to be OXYGENATING or OXYGENATED the statement is just plain wrong. Yes essential oils contain oxygen but that doesn’t equate to be “oxygenating” or the “most oxygenated.” Those of you taking my Chemistry of Essential Oils course already know that, 99+% of the time, when we are talking about essential oil molecules, we are concerned only with 3 elements of the periodic table: Carbon, Hydrogen and Oxygen. The molecules in essential oils are mainly mono and sesquiterpenes and their oxygenated derivatives. Essential oils are volatile organic liquids. There are absolutely NO HORMONES (at least not human hormones) OR VITAMINS in essential oils. In addition, of these 3 most common EO elements, Oxygen is the LEAST frequently occurring. If you are just counting types of atoms in the essential oil molecules, Hydrogen is the most prevalent atom followed by Carbon, then Oxygen (again just counting numbers of atoms, not a weight comparison). A large percentage of all essential oil molecules are hydrocarbons (monoterpenes and sesquiterpenes) and don’t even contain Oxygen at all. When the molecules do contain Oxygen, the ratio typically ranges from 1 or 2 atoms of Oxygen to say 10 to 17 atoms of Carbon and 18 to 26 atoms of Hydrogen (for the most common cases of oxygenated mono and sesquiterpenes). Furthermore, the Oxygen in essential oil molecules is BOUND OXYGEN not really available to be delivered in the form of free oxygen radical or oxygen molecules (of course there an infinitesimal amount of dissolved oxygen molecules in just about any liquid but this is insignificant) and thus not very “oxygenating.” It is still unclear to me what the basis for these claims concerning essential oils are coming from and would love to know the literature sources that the claimants are citing as their support. I could go on more about this topic but Robert Tisserand has already written an excellent response to the “Oxygenating” myth on his website, so rather than re-invent the wheel I will refer all of you to read his comments there.
I found this on pinterest so thanks for sharing! I personally love essential oils! I use Butterfly express oils and love them! I’ve been getting foot zones and using EOs. It has really helped! I really liked what the lady that does these explained to me about using Butterfly EOs. She said that the man who trained her to do foot zones used Younger Living oils at first and then started using Butterfly’s EOs because he felt they were more sincere in getting EOs out for all to use. I’m told that these EOs have different energies and I feel that this company truly wants all to experience all that they have to offer. I hope that this helps!
The old adage, “you get what you pay for” is generally quite true when it comes to essential oils. Producing and distributing high quality essential oils is a time consuming and expensive process. If you find an essential oil at a price significantly lower than most major brands, you’re not getting a good deal, you’re probably getting a fake product.
No, we advise against it. Skin irritation is possible with some essential oils, including Cassia or Cinnamon. Though many people do use our oils in a variety of ways, due to the powerful nature of steam distilled pure essential oils we label these products with cautions and suggest that you follow them and, as needed, consult an aromatherapist or health professional for proper use. There are also many good reference books on using essential oils safely.
Hi Crunchy Betty, I love your blog and recently bought a whole bunch of carrier oils along with Lavender 40/42 essential oil . I didn’t realise this wasn’t the same as Lavender essential oil and used it (diluted with jojoba oil) on my face – the next morning I had tiny bumps all over my face which were red and very itchy, with slight swelling! Do you know what the difference between these two different oils are, and if the 40/42 is more dangerous to use than the other?  
A 2009 report from an ophthalmologist in Bristol UK, describes partial loss of corneal tissue (ie erosion) when a 73-year-old man dripped Olbas Oil into his left eye (he had no right eye) because he thought he was using eye drops (see picture above). He was “considerably incapacitated”, but recovered after a week of treatment with “topical antibiotics and lubricants”. On checking, the author found that just his hospital, in the previous 18 months, had seen 12 patients who had mistakenly dripped Olbas Oil into one eye. He describes the result as a chemical burn, though he found that Olbas Oil in tears was pH neutral (most chemical burns are caused by substances that are strongly acid or alkaline). All “Olbas Oil patients” recovered fully within one week following intensive treatment (Adams et al 2009).

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Hi Linda! Just wanted to let you know that NAN oils are amazing! I have been using them for quite awhile and there is no comparison to any health store oils or most online. It’s fortunate that there is so much info out there today about EO’s as I bought the book that’s listed, “The Compete Book of Essential Oils and Aromatherapy” when it came out in 1991! That was before I even knew about the internet! Just a few things to keep in mind: NANs kits are a large collection and also 15mm, that’s why they seem so expensive. You can always buy just what you want, even in a 5mm. Nice size to try if your unsure. Also, do your OWN research instead of listening to sales pitches from paid representatives. A high percentage are gullible parrots. But to each their own. Just keep reading about EOs as you can never learn enough! I almost actually hate to bring this up, just remember I am NOT paid for indorsing – Read the articles in her blog, “wholenewmom”, about comparing EO companies. She really spells out differences between a lot of the well-known companies & what to look for in any. It’s Very informative! And I was blown away at the conclusion. Good Luck and Be Well!
Processing: Because of the growing popularity of essential oils and aromatherapy, there are many products on the market that may not be suitable for clinical use. They can be found nearly everywhere, from health food stores to discount stores to the Internet. These products may include pure essential oils, but sometimes they are adulterated or diluted. Such adulterations are difficult to identify.
Another ridiculous claim by people who understand basically nothing about chemistry. I am not sure I know of anything that will last even as long as the earth remains, with perhaps the exceptions of diamonds and human ignorance LOL. The truth is that while the oil may last in the sense that it "exists" for a long time, there is no question that most oils, pure or otherwise, will eventually go bad due to oxidation reactions that are unavoidable unless you could somehow store them in an oxygen free atmosphere (basically impossible for most people). Even if stored in an inert atmosphere there is still the possibility of some EO molecules reacting with themselves over long periods, changing the oil, many times for the worse.
I made a blend for a friend going through chemo treatments she hasn’t been using it long enough for me to know the results yet but I will share it if you want to try it. It’s: lavender, cedarwood, rosemary, Clary sage and cypress 10 drops of each in a2 ounce glass spray bottle and top with distilled water. You can add tea tree, lemon and ginger for itchy scalp if needed. Hope this helps.
An absolute is a fragrant liquid that is extracted from the plants using chemical solvents, like alcohol. Though the solvents are removed after the extraction process, there still remains a tiny amount of the chemical in the final product. Absolutes are much thicker and more concentrated than essential oils, and because of this they are often used in skin care products and lotions.
This is an easy place to start. The pricing of oils depends on the yield of oil from the plant.  Some flowers like rose or neroli (orange blossoms) take loads more plant matter to make one drop of pure essential oils.  For example, it takes 60 roses to make one drop of rose essential oil.  For this reason, it would make sense that a more abundant oil like Lavender might be priced between $20 and $30 and a Rose Otto be closer to $80 for the same volume. Be wary of oil brands that are a single price across the board.
The quality of essential oils can vary widely. As a consumer (and even as an aromatherapist), it is difficult to assess quality. Essential oils come from all over the world, and suppliers or companies usually obtain oils from farmers or wholesalers whose practices and integrity they have come to trust over time. The end consumer would not be aware of (or have the capability to assess) those relationships and practices. For those interested in learning more about regulating bodies and certifying organizations, some information and links are provided below.

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. 
“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.”
 Recognizing this, and so as not to overload the already over-loaded well-child inoculation schedule, perhaps he CDC (the Big Pharma-subsidized and vaccine cheerleader Centers for Disease Control and Prevention) will be adding shots to the in-hospital and irrational Hepatitis B shot that it recommends be given on day one – when vulnerable mothers are too exhausted and emotionally confused to give truly informed consent.
This is a great resource. I’ use a variety of essential oils. I have a drawer full. Some from Young Living, Simply Earth, Do Terra and Isagenix. There are many good brands but I think people get nervous about trying new brands especially when they’ve heard from well-meaning friends that only the MLM versions are safe. While I do think MLM brands are tested extensively because they are held to very high standards and don’t want to get shut down there are some non-mlm oil brands you can safely buy especially if you plan to use them in your diffuser. I wouldn’t ingest an oil unless the bottle specifically states you can. For ingesting the brands I use right now are Isagenix and Young Living (I’m sure there are others that are safe but these state they are ingestable). I’ve written many posts about how to use oils and I switch out brands depending on my needs and what I have on hand.
There are a few essential oils that are generally recognized as safe to use undiluted. Of course, there has to be a few exceptions to the rule. Again, in Organic Body Care Recipes, the author points out that the only essential oils that are widely acknowledged as safe to use undiluted (sparingly) are: lavender, German chamomile, tea tree, sandalwood, and rose geranium.

I get turned off by the organic certification label. Hey I am all for organics, I raising my own organic produce. But, when a label claims to be USDA organic certified, a red flag goes up. Manufactures use this as a marketing too, and nothing and you really do not know what you are getting unless you have a state of the art laboratory to analyze your products.
Sadly there is a wide discrepancy in the quality that is reflected in the price. The less expensive brands I have ended up using for cleaning the house. Edens Garden oils smell like they are old and dirty. I love Young Living and yes, I have not tried DoTerra. Only because there selection was so limited and I felt there wouldn’t be much differenance between them and Young Living.
There were only a few things I was unhappy with, but they weren't important enough to lower my rating. First, I had to use a lot of cinnamon bark oil, and I mean A LOT, in my diffuser for it to really be noticeable. It's only been two weeks, and I'm three-fourths of the way through a 30 ml bottle! As others have mentioned, the oil comes out of the droppers really fast. You have to be extra careful. Lastly, I don't care for the residue that the cinnamon bark oil leaves in my diffuser. It has turned the inside a yellow, goopy mess, and I dripped the oil onto the front of my diffuser and it completely erased the ink to all of the words and numbers!
Essential oils are all the rage. You know the ones I’m talking about. In fact, you’ve probably been invited to a product party where little vials with expensive price tags promise a wide range of health benefits. You’ve also heard the stories. Essential oils cure warts and ear infections. They soothe rashes and bellyaches. They reduce fever and fight the common cold. Virtually any ailment you suffer has a corresponding dose of liquid magic.
Crunchy Betty, I have a question. I am new and learning about using essential oils and loving it, but having a problem with the scents not lasting as a perfume on my body. I mean not lasting even an hour. I am using essential oils purchased at one of the reputable companies that you recommend above. I am using a base of Jojoba and then blending other essential oils to make a scent. What am I doing wrong?
Today, the processors (distillers) of essential oils carefully blend proprietary mixtures of L. angustifolia subspecies and cultivars to produce a combination of true lavender oils that have a more consistent aroma, rather than providing only the low-camphor Reya and Munstead subspecies as specialized perfume ingredients. These other lavender essential oils are as true and pure as the two cultivars used by perfumers, but with four cultivars they provide a wider palette of scent and a more diverse scope of practical application due to their wider range of natural constituents.
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.)
One thing I like about Rose Mountain and Organic Infusions is that I can get 30 ml bottles for the EO’s that I use most frequently. They also, both, have a large selection of other products and I’ve found their oils to be good quality. Organic Imfusions labels its products as Certified Organic or just organic, meaning the farm hasn’t been certified. Rocky Mountai Oils has a good selection of oils and blends but not a lot else. Some of their singles I really love but I got a peppermint that smells like cat pee to me. For what it is worth, I still use all 3 of these companies.
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.
I’m pleased to hear that you are happy with your supplier. Personally, I prefer certified organic oils, and I don’t look to essential oil purveyors for information about aromatherapy. We already have a problem with conventional health care being controlled by pharmaceutical companies, and going down the same road with essential oils doesn’t feel right to me.
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.
#3. EO’s if diluted properly (not neat) and ONLY certain EO’s are safe for children. Peppermint is not safe until at least 6 years of age, some say older, as it can be a mucous membrane irritant. Eucalyptus has a 1,8-cineole content, its not recommended for children until the age of 10. Very important for childrens safety to do due diligence…these are just a few that come to my mind right of way and why they aren’t safe for children. I know there is plenty of other oils that are safe for children diffused. Once older, then ok for application, diluted in carrier oil. I was told 2-10 years old is when you can start adding more EO’s to your child(ren) library, as they age, you can add more. Of course I know this is hugely a hot topic. It depends on who you ask when you can introduce EO’s to babies and children. I know the MLM say put them neat on babies feet. No ones feet (bottom) will absorb EO’s as we have glands on the bottom of our feet, not pores to absorb the EO’s.
I am the "oil queen" and have been around! I love young living but felt as though there had to be good quality oils that were actually affordable. I have tried about 10-15 different oil brands and let me tell you, this is at the very top. I can smell a low quality oil from a mile away. I have researched my brains out and this company has all the right info I needed to find in an oil in order to purchase. I've also bought lavender and I thought well the smell of lavender is just lavender, but this lavender smell is heavenly!!!!!! Keep providing good quality oils at affordable price and I'm a customer for life!
I loved the entire Aromatherapy Certification Program, and learned so much. It has helped me with product development, and knowing that what I am creating is at a safe dilution (and not phototoxic, for example). The chemistry and science that we learned in the course has given me so much more diversity in 'reading' an essential oil, and now I’m much more clued up on how to work out substitutes, what components are helpful for what ailments, and which oils are the best for skincare in general.

I am new to essential oils. I just purchased a diffuser and Callily essential oils sampler pak. I’m following all directions for the diffuser, and adding 3–5 drops of oil, but I really cannot even smell them! I was hoping to use the eucalyptus for my sinuses at night, but sadly I’m getting no benefits or noticing anything healing. Any advice from anyone? It says do not overuse oils in diffuser, but I feel like I need to add more to actually smell them in the air! Thanks for any advice!


HOWEVER, I am bombarded on all sides by YL folks (or doTerra folks, etc.) who emphatically state that I will be poisoning my body if I use anyone else’s oils TOPICALLY or INTERNALLY–even if these smaller companies claim high, organic, rigidly tested standards. I am no chemist or scientist and I am at the mercy of believing (or not believing) what all these essential oil companies tell me.

Essential oils are volatile and liquid aroma compounds from natural sources, usually plants. They are not oils in a strict sense, but often share with oils a poor solubility in water. Essential oils often have an odor and are therefore used in food flavoring and perfumery. They are usually prepared by fragrance extraction techniques (such as distillation, cold pressing, or Solvent extraction). Essential oils are distinguished from aroma oils (essential oils and aroma compounds in an oily solvent), infusions in a vegetable oil, absolutes, and concretes. Typically, essential oils are highly complex mixtures of often hundreds of individual aroma compounds.
The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) classifies essential oils as food supplements, not drugs. This means producers of essential oils are not allowed to market the compounds as medicine. In fact, they must clearly state the product is “not intended to diagnose, treat, cure or prevent any disease.” According to the Dietary Supplemental Health and Education Act of 1994, this classification also means the FDA is not allowed to regulate the sale or use of essential oils unless they can prove a particular product poses a serious threat.
Amy, organic crops may be contaminated by pesticides from nearby farms, but 100% organic is not impossible, and contamination is the exception. Distillation probably does reduce the proportion of a biocide, but most of them do carry over and will be present in the corresponding essential oil, usually in the 1-10 ppm range. You will get very much more biocide into your body by eating non-organic foods than you ever could from a few drops of essential oil containing 2 ppm of a biocide. Getting back to your question, most certified organic essential oils are biocide-free, but some may contain biocides, and the only way to be sure is to analyze the oils. The presence of a biocide would be regarded as a contaminant, not an adulterant. (An adulterant is a substance intentionally added for profit reasons.) The bottom line is that a certified organic oil is, on average, very much lower in biocide contamination than one that is not certified. Having said that, some oils are biocide-free but are not certified. You might find this website helpful: http://www.ifoam.org/about_ifoam/standards/index.html
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:
Essential Wholesale & Labs offers a high quality sweet and floral French Lavender 40/42. For those who prefer a pure Lavandula angustifolia we offer a beautiful certified organic Buena Vista Lavender oil distilled here in Oregon. The Buena Vista Lavender oil is a relatively recent addition and has been a great success. Since we first added it to our offerings in September 2011 we have sold out four times and purchased progressively larger volumes with each order to meet increasing demand. It is our plan to continue adding more certified organic oils to our catalogue. I can only hope they are as well received as well as the Buena Vista Lavender. 
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The ISO created quality standards for essential oils under the TC-54 Guidelines.  One of these quality guidelines is to use Gas Chromatography to test for the active phytochemical content of each oil and if it does not meet these minimum amounts, the oil is not considered of value.  Most essential oils companies do not even consult these guidelines when purchasing their oils, thus they cannot be of any theraputic value even though they may use that term as a marketing strategy. If an oil is not ISO certified, then do not buy it.
There are so many essential oil brands on the market today it is indeed a huge industry. However, not all oils are created equal, and in fact most brands are simply not pure. They are often made synthetically, offering no benefits to your health and with some experts saying that they are in fact very toxic. Many “natural” smelling products don’t contain anything natural – no pure oils at all, just fake scents made in a lab.
The last century has seen a tremendous amount of change in the field of aromatherapy and essential oil use. A general trend to move away from synthetic chemicals back to more natural cleaning and health products have brought essential oils to the forefront and made them more readily available. With the many different essential oils to choose from, and the many brands, both in our stores and over the Internet, choosing a high quality essential oil can seem a daunting task. As a consumer, what should you look for to help guide your choice?
More importantly, the founders and owners of the companies will have personal relationships with the farmers so they can be certain of what they are getting. There are many tiny, locally operated farms around the world who can’t afford the extremely high costs of organic certification, yet they still practice organic farming which includes: no use of chemical pesticides, herbicides or fertilizers, no genetically modified seeds, and healthy crop rotation to protect the soils. That is what is meant by Unsprayed.
Speaking of “pure” essential oils, what exactly does that mean? Unfortunately, since there is no official or standardized definition of purity, it means very little with regards to the therapeutic value of any essential oil. Even an oil that is 100% pure may not have been processed correctly and may not provide more than a mild, pleasant fragrance.  Perfumery oils, fragrance oils, and flavorings often provide a stronger pleasant fragrance, but do not offer the therapeutic benefit of true essential oils. The amount of therapeutically effective chemical constituents in essential oils can vary from season to season, from year to year, or vary based on where the plant is grown. The essential oil extraction process also affects how this chemical balance is maintained from the time of plant harvesting to having the essential oil arrive in your home.
Inside the living plant, essential oils serve several purposes, one of which is defense. Acting like the plant’s immune system, the oils help it fight off fungus or bacterial infection, and protect it from insects and animals. Another purpose is reproduction; the pleasing aromas attract pollinating insects like bees and butterflies. We’re not the only animals who like the smell of flowers.
Allelopathy occurs when a plant releases chemicals to prevent competing vegetation from growing within its area or zone. An often-cited example is in southern California, home to the dominant shrubs Salvia leucophylla (sage bush) and Artemisia californica (a type of sage). Both species release allelopathic terpenoids, eucalyptol and camphor, into the surrounding area, which effectively prevents other plant species from growing around them. This is allelopathy. Chemicals that deter competing growth (terpenes, for example) are referred to as allelochemics.
Certified organic manufacturers must undergo annual audits to ensure they’re adhering to established government standards for organic product production, including sourcing of raw materials and testing. Manufacturers who sell non-organic products as organic are quickly identified and their certification is revoked. NOW is a responsible manufacturer and adheres to all organic certification requirements for the manufacture of organic products.
I found this on pinterest so thanks for sharing! I personally love essential oils! I use Butterfly express oils and love them! I’ve been getting foot zones and using EOs. It has really helped! I really liked what the lady that does these explained to me about using Butterfly EOs. She said that the man who trained her to do foot zones used Younger Living oils at first and then started using Butterfly’s EOs because he felt they were more sincere in getting EOs out for all to use. I’m told that these EOs have different energies and I feel that this company truly wants all to experience all that they have to offer. I hope that this helps!

It’s been a few months since you posted, and I hope you are feeling better! My youngest is now 10 and I am JUST now, as I am learning about my peri-menopausal experience, getting an understanding on my postpartum experience. I struggled for months with each kid and now I am pretty sure the base-line physical issue was hormonal imbalance. I have been taking a product from Young Living called Progessence Plus, and it has been a life-saver– I wish I had it when I was postpartum. Look it up, theres a PDF by Dr. Dan Purser talking about the product that answers a lot of questions and helped me a lot when I was researching. There are other oils from YL that help a lot with hormonal issues, Dragon Time, Schlaressence, Lady Schlerol. (Use my distributer #1112524 🙂 if you want to buy from YL)


I have purchased from Edens Garden a number of times. I really enjoy your products. Before making a decision, I sent a number of inquiries to them about their oils. They are very good a sending back information to help you make your decision. From everything I have learned: They are 100% pure. They have cut out the middle man so they can lower the price and they have quick service. I have purchased the same thing from a couple different places and find I like the Edens Garden best. (I can afford these, not some of the other brands, too) I personally haven’t found any discrepancies.
All companies and marketing aside, how do YOU most effectively use essential oils and do you have a resource to recommend that gives good guidelines to the beginner (i.e. which oils can be used topically and internally, and recommended dilutions, etc.) I have heard of a big reference book called The Complete Book of Essential Oils to be good–are you familiar with this title?
WRONG. I am NOT a distributor. Not a marketer. Not an advertisement. How cynical Brigitte, that you do not think there are people who exist in this world who actually care about dedicating some simple free time here and there to CARING ABOUT, HELPING OTHERS, and SHARING their experiences. It worked for me. I am not saying it will work for everyone. But I do feel obligated to share my healing experiences after more than 7 years of chronic illness and pain. I make ZERO funds from young living. ZERO ZERO ZERO. I am not a salesperson. I am not a distributor. I purchase for myself and my children and husband. No one receives compensation from young living unless they have people signed up under them which I do NOT NOT NOT and that is a fact that could be proven in a court of law somewhere, unlike much of the dribble that is written here by you. Moreover, I know SEVERAL others like me who order from Young living and have NO interest in selling it and make no money from it. No gimmicks. I have used other oils. I am sharing info about my EXPERIENCE with what has worked best for me in the hopes that others can also do their own research based on my opinion and then make educated choices about what is best for themselves. However, we can clearly see YOUR motives of money money money. Gross! and that is just my OPINION. Not a bought and paid for tribute to “MY’ brand.
Of course it's amazing to see essential oils go mainstream, but it's the responsibility of the companies creating this mass market to ensure they are harvesting responsibly and sustainably. And unfortunately, this is not the case. Give back programs to support the environment are kind of the same as big oil companies having to pay after major spills. One positive action doesn't undo a destructive one. Maybe this is just a different type of big oil.
Chemical constituents of Boswellia sacra essential oil fractions were dependent on duration and temperature of hydrodistillation. For example, when essential oils collected from 0–2 h (Fraction I), 8–10 h (Fraction II), and 11–12 h (Fraction III) at 78°C were compared, longer distillation produced higher percentages of sesquiterpenes, between alpha-copaene and caryophyllene oxide (Table? 1). All three fractions were primarily composed of monoterpenes (82.77-90.67%), including alpha-thujene, beta-pinene, and myrcene. Among the monoterpenes, alpha-pinene was the major compound present in all essential oil fractions, ranging from 65.49% to 78.45%. As anticipated, the abundance of alpha-pinene decreased with longer and higher temperature distillation due to its highly volatile nature. Compounds such as borneol, dimethyl ether orcinol, allo-aromadendrene, gamma-cadinene, and caryophyllene oxide were only present in Fraction III essential 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!
I have had a beginer/intermediate training in aromatherapy and my teacher then and a current certified teaching aromatherapist I know now, do not reccomend ‘neat’ or undiluted applications unless the oil is high in linalol (a chemical you should be familar with if you’re versed enough to be giving classes) and only on small scrapes, occasionally. NEVER neat applications on a baby, many are not reccomened for babies or young kids at all. The only way it wouldn’t have given them a reaction is if they were diluted and or inferiorly distilled. If you had training in aromatherapy (an actual class w/ anatomy/physiology, chemistry, etc.) you would know that, as well as how dangerous ingestion of EO’s can be to the mucous membranes and not telling the uneducated to just ‘go ahead and drink it’ nor would the company you get them from if they were ethical. Honestly I know you’re not trying to harm anyone, but please get more education under your belt first (a certification would be best) before you do harm someone. This goes for anyone anywhere, remember we live in a sue happy culture!
The first thing to look for to determine essential oil authenticity is that each oil is identified with the plant’s scientific or botanical name, and in appropriate cases, the chemotype. A chemotype is when the same plant, e.g. rosemary (Rosmarinus officinalis), will have a different chemical profile based on where it is grown. Only some plants have chemotypes. Country of plant origin, extraction process used, and either a distillation or expiration date are also important.

Hi, I am new in this EO thing, and your info was very helpfull, thank you, I started to get some of my oils from swiss just, don’t know if you have heard about them, until now I think they are good, some other oils from Do Terra and Native American NUtrionals, don’t know how good in quality they are, just started to experiment, so far I think my favorites are swiss just and N.A.N., hope I can get to learn and know them better. Any suggestion, on how to use palmarosa EO? Is it good for wrinkles on the face? If not which one do you recommend? Thank you. Mother of one.
As we mentioned earlier, the FDA generally classifies essential oils as cosmetics, but they can also sometimes be considered drugs. In a quote direct from the US Food and Drug Administration website, “The law doesn’t require cosmetics to have FDA approval before they go on the market.” In addition, if a product claims to affect the health and function of the body, such as relieving anxiety, aiding digestion or calming sore muscles, the product must be approved by the FDA as a drug, which is a very long and costly process.
Please don't fall into the old frequency trap that has been circulating around the internet since the 1990s. The problem with all this is that 99% of people don't understand quantum mechanics well enough to be able clearly see through the scam, or if they do suspect its a scam they don't have the background to articulate why Its a scam so they just don't comment at all. It is well known in science that molecules are constantly absorbing and emitting electromagnetic radiation of various types and many different frequencies. But the way that the typical eo frequency scam is described makes no scientific sense at all. I think part of it started as a way to sell high priced and useless frequency measuring equipment.
Founded in 2007, NATRUE is a Brussels based international non-profit association committed to promoting and protecting Natural and Organic Cosmetics worldwide. The NATRUE Label allowsconsumers to identify authentic Natural and Organic Cosmetics wherever they are. It is based on strict criteria publically available on the NATRUE website. Each product carrying the NATRUE Label has undergone an independent certification process carried out by third party certification bodies.
The essential oils we use in Everyday Oil are of the highest quality and most tightly regulated in the industry.  They are in compliance with ISO 9001:2008 and come with Material Safety Data Sheets, Certificates of Analysis, and GC Reports. They are never tested on animals, and the ingredients that are Certified Organic are certified by the leading Independent organic certification company, QAI.  Every recommended quality control element is in place.  We don't call them "therapeutic grade" because that's not a real thing, and with Everyday Oil you will always get a very real thing.
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. =)
Information offered on Herbal Academy websites is for educational purposes only. The Herbal Academy makes neither medical claim, nor intends to diagnose or treat medical conditions. Links to external sites are for informational purposes only. The Herbal Academy neither endorses them nor is in any way responsible for their content. Readers must do their own research concerning the safety and usage of any herbs or supplements.

Hi, I was wondering if you have heard of White Lotus Aromatics? If so what are your thoughts on them? I’m somewhat new to the essential oil life, I just bought a couple of oils from Rocky Mountain Essential Oils, but I’m going further down the rabbit hole in my research for the best essential oils out there. I’ve been reading a lot on White Lotus, but will also be checking out Native Americans.

If you’re looking for German chamomile, which promotes tranquility and relaxation, don’t just buy any bottle with the word “chamomile” on the label. “The specific species of the plant the oil comes makes a big difference in some cases,” says Dr. Burke. For example, plants in the chamomile group have different chemical compositions. Take German chamomile (Matricaria chamomilla) for instance; it has a different chemical composition than Roman chamomile (Anthemis nobilis).”If it just says ‘chamomile’ then you should assume it is a mixture of the cheapest chamomile available,” says Dr. Burke. These are the best essential oils for fighting colds and flu.
If you’re looking for German chamomile, which promotes tranquility and relaxation, don’t just buy any bottle with the word “chamomile” on the label. “The specific species of the plant the oil comes makes a big difference in some cases,” says Dr. Burke. For example, plants in the chamomile group have different chemical compositions. Take German chamomile (Matricaria chamomilla) for instance; it has a different chemical composition than Roman chamomile (Anthemis nobilis).”If it just says ‘chamomile’ then you should assume it is a mixture of the cheapest chamomile available,” says Dr. Burke. These are the best essential oils for fighting colds and flu.
This is the first time I've smelled this oil. I recall someone in a bookstore telling me once that this was the smell they used in that store but this oil does not smell like that too me. Perhaps it's not the exact oil as there seems to be 3 variations that I've read so far. But none the less it does not stink or have a heavy soap smell like most oils and I am happy to add it to mu collection. It seems like a very thin oil which will come in handy. It also arrived quickly and packaged well so I do recommend this seller. As to the actual quality of the oil, I have no clue as I'm no expert but happy to have it and look forward to using it more...
Clary sage is the essential oil that is most widely used to treat vision problems. It is placed in the eye, so advice from an optometrist is important before use. Clary sage is used as a cleanser for the eyes. It can also be used to clear eye sight due to foggy vision or an injury to the eyes. Clary sage can also be used to brighten the eyes and improve vision. Finally, it can have beneficial results for people with eye issues related to aging.”

I am trying to make up my own mixture of Deep Blue for my cousin who is 70 years old, and who is not on any type of medication as well as for a lady who is 80 after they suffered from a nasty bout of a virus from a mosquito in the caribbean which cause inflammation and joint pains – I have bought all the ingredients, including wintergreen, which you said is poisonous – could you tell me the dosage of the different oils being used namely wintergreen, camphor; peppermint; blue tansy; german chamomile; helichrysum and osmanthus – in the synergistic mix – how many drops of all these oils to make up the mix? I will make up the mix and the post it in a 10 ml bottle to my cousin with specific instructions. I should appreciate your advise.
I just made some really nice cleaner using a spray bottle of 1/2 vinegar, 1/2 water and 6 drops citrus oil and a few peppermint oil (DoTerra). Cleaned the bathroom & under the sink areas (reorganizing day). It smells wonderful in there! And I really appreciate not having the chemicals in the house. Little by little I’m getting there. Wishing you well.
A reputable company will test the oil to meet the standard of the plant species. “Ideally, purchase your oil from a company or manufacturer who performs gas chromatography and mass spectrometry testing,” says Dr. Axe. This kind of testing measures the mass within the oil samples and identifies the compounds. Read the company’s website or call the customer service line to find out about its testing before you purchase the essentials oils.
I have spent a lot of time on here debunking the myths put forth by glassy eyed cult followers and over zealous MLM reps and the main stream aromatherapy community loves it when I do this. But turnabout is fair play. Now its time to clear up a myth on the other side of aromatherapy. I see almost daily where people say things like “therapeutic grade” doesn’t exist or there is no such thing as a therapeutic grade standard. But to say there is no such thing as a TG standard is like saying there is no such thing as essential oils.
Topical use: Another effective way to use essential oils is topical application, since essential oils easily penetrate the skin. Once absorbed, they stay in the areas where applied. While essential oils are easily absorbed, using a light massage motion can help increase the blood flow to the area in which essential oils are applied. Likewise, using a carrier oil can also help increase essential oil absorption, especially for dry or flaky skin.
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