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.
These pure oils are "neat", meaning they have not been processed, diluted or manipulated in any way with solvents or other additives. Although a particular species of plant harvested and distilled for its essential oil during a particular growing season in a specific region may produce a fragrance that differs from the same species grown in a different region, many of the main chemical markers and physical specifications may be very similar.
Heavy Metal testing shows the amount of heavy metal content in the essential oil. When properly distilled, essential oils should not contain heavy metals. ICP-MS testing uses a high-energy medium called Inductively Coupled Plasma (ICP) to ionize the sample. The sample is then run through a mass spectroscope, which separates the sample into its elemental parts and provides a reading about which elements are present and at what quantities.
To answer your questions I have to answer #2 first. Jena is right – there are a limited number of distilleries, D. Gary Young owns 1/3 of them. The products distilled to make EOs are like the contents of tea – they can be distilled multiple times but each time you do so the product you get is progressively weaker. Companies like doTERRA and Young Living only take the 1st distillation which is the strongest and most pure. They label their product therapeutic grade and 100% pure because they have run it through a mass spectrometer and have calculated the constituents in each bottle. Young Living actually refuses to sell any bottle of EO that does not meet their requirements for purity. Less expensive companies use the 2nd, 3rd, and even 5th and 6th distillation. They also dilute their products before marketing them. So it is important to know about the company you are buying from and what distillation they use. Not all distillations are equal.
A few can be used on cats, but in general I’d go with the advice of Doing Research On Everything First. If my boys don’t like the smell of something (like my fingers after using an oil and before I can get to washing up…funny story there from when my boys were young) there is no way I’ll us it on them. But there’s also the fact that their systems do react differently.

"Oral ingestion results in ten times the amount of absorption into the bloodstream of an essential oil compared to topical application," Ferrari says. "This type of application is usually used for short-term treatment of more serious ailments, like bacterial infections (some essential oils are effective against the MRSA bacteria, for example), viral infections, and even cancer."
In Dawn-Mari’s pitch (she’s basically selling her classes and her essential oils) she makes the following comment: Only therapeutic grade essential oils should be used to ensure safety and that there are no synthetic or toxic chemicals being introduced to the body. Unfortunately, less than 2 percent of the essential oil found in health-food stores and the like are actually therapeutic grade, even though the label might say something like “100-percent pure”.
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.
Anjou Top 12 Essential Oils Set is an aromatherapy medicine chest and beauty box in one. Lavender, Sweet Orange, Tea Tree, Eucalyptus, Lemongrass, Peppermint, Bergamot, Frankincense, Lemon, Rosemary, Cinnamon, and Ylang-Ylang Essentials Oils can be used with a carrier oil for soothing, healing skin and hair, digestion, headache and congestion relief, and massage therapy. Used with a diffuser or humidifier, the calming or invigorating fragrances create stress-relieving home and office atmospheres
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?  
The only oils on the market safe to ingest are by a company called Young Living. If you are not a member you can obtain Eucalyptus oil by typing in Young Living Essential Oil Eucalyptus on an ebay or amazon search engine to try it out. One you do, you will surely want to become a member of this company. I use these oils on myself and children and am being healed of YEARS of chronic illness with these products. I am not a salesperson. I feel obligated to get EVERYONE with health issues this REAL AND TRUE HEALING MEDICINE that heals rather than just treating symptoms.
Much of this statement is quite misleading and not very well researched. There are a few marketers of EO that have actual farms where the plants are grown and harvested…some may even distil their own oils. There is only one producer of EO that controls the entire process from beginning to market. There is one large co. that claims to be pure and has been proven in court to have been making false statements and claims of purity. There are several companies that own no land and only a building where they do the paperwork and perhaps receive and reship their products because they source it all from someone else.
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?
Essential oils are wholly natural and cannot be patented; which means that you’ll never see an essential oil in a pharmaceutical drug. As such, you can expect that the vast majority of mainstream healthcare practitioners will never recommend essential oils as therapeutic alternatives to drugs. More importantly, because essential oils cannot be patented, drug companies will not waste money studying them. This limits our scientific knowledge of essential oils GREATLY, and the majority of what we know about them are things that have been passed down through thousands of years of personal use and experimentation.
It is important to note that Lavender has been prized for perfumery, cosmetics and natural medicine for thousands of years in many nations. Lavender was one of the fragrant herbs used to make the anointing oil mentioned in the Bible. However, this would have been Lavandula stoechas, not Lavandula angustifolia. The Romans used Lavender in perfumes, cosmetics and herbal remedies. In fact, the word Lavender comes from the Latin “lavare”, meaning “to clean”. However, the Romans would more likely have been using Lavandula latifolia than Lavandula angustifolia.  Lavender was also prized for its scent as well as for its medicinal properties in ancient Persia, but the Persians had Lavandula coronopifolia, not Lavandula angustifolia. When Tutankhamen’s tomb was opened, urns were found which were believed to contain cosmetics scented with Lavender. Lavender was indeed used in ancient Egypt and across northern Africa, but it would more likely have been Lavandula multifida than Lavandula angustifolia. Egyptian Lavender was good enough for the personal care products the Pharoah would be using for all eternity…how inferior to Lavandula angustifolia could it possibly be? If one was to research the use of Lavender throughout the ages, I am confident that most of the information found would refer to Lavandula species other than Lavandula angustifolia.
Lavandula angustifolia has definitely become the gold standard for Lavender in modern times, but this seems to have had the effect of reducing the other 38 species of Lavender to “second rate” status, even when it is reluctantly conceeded that they aren’t adulterated or synthetic. The belief that Lavender 40/42 is low quality, unsuitable for aromatherapy or perfumery and only good enough for soap or candle making is an unaccountable viewpoint that seems not to take into consideration how highly valued all these different species of Lavender have been to diverse cultures throughout the ages. It is the Lavandula genus in general that has been so important to the history of perfumery and natural medicine, and in no way Lavandula angustifolia in particular. The celebration of so-called “True Lavender” is a relatively new fad in the very long history of natural medicine and aromatic art. Even if Lavandula angustifolia is the finest Lavender, and it may very well be so, why Lavender 40/42, which is really just a blend of these wonderful Lavender oils from around the world should be so scorned, I cannot say. 
Thank You SO MUCH for this article. I recently saw something on tv !@ essential oils- I have been using essential oils for a couple of years – in a diffuser, in baths, roll-ons, etc.. I have been on the computer ‘googling’ for hours-this is the most informative & helpful information I have found-THANK YOU – YOU LISTED EVERYTHING I WAS LOOKING FOR!! (that being said, I am now throwing out the majority of my various botles of essential oils (diff. brands) because they contain synthetics WHICH IS ABSOLUTELY THE LAST THING I WANT OR NEED (I have CFIDS/FM) Thank You Again,

An essential oil that exhibits this quality will cause burning or skin pigmentation changes, such as tanning, on exposure to sun or similar light (ultraviolet rays). Reactions can range from a mild color change through to deep weeping burns. Do not use or recommend the use of photosensitizing essential oils prior to going into a sun tanning booth or the sun. Recommend that the client stay out of the sun or sun tanning booth for at least twenty-four hours after treatment if photosensitizing essential oils were applied to the skin. Certain drugs, such as tetracycline, increase the photosensitivity of the skin, thus increasing the harmful effects of photosensitizing essential oils under the necessary conditions. Table 3 lists some common essential oils considered to be photosensitizers.
If you’re not happy with a product for any reason, you have a 60 day refund window available to you, starting from the date of the invoice. You can ask for a refund or replacement. Products are also sold in “real” stores (not just online), so you are able to talk to a real person as well. For assistance with all returns please start by calling Customer Service at 1-800-669-3275.
Our writer and researcher for this article is a holistic health practitioner studying nutrition, human anatomy, physiology, spirituality, as well as aromatherapy. After over a month of research and evaluation, we have determined that Stillpoint Aromatics from Sedona, Arizona, offers the best essential oils. They source the finest plants and make the greatest effort to preserve the oils’ pristine quality by keeping them in cold storage, capped with nitrogen. Plus they hand-pour every bottle to order. Stillpoint Aromatics’ unsurpassed quality will give you the greatest freshness and a superior caliber of oils that you can depend on for years and years. Running a close second — and for half the price — Floracopeia’s essential oils smelled very fresh and quite similar to Stillpoint’s, but they lacked the energetic quality we noticed in Stillpoint Aromatics’ products.
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In mainstream medicine, often called allopathic, rational or Western medicine, doctors use drugs primarily to alleviate symptoms. In this approach, the core problem is seen as the symptoms. The disease symptoms are viewed as the target and locus of treatment and a treatment is chosen to directly address the symptoms on the physical level. Success is measured by the slowing or remission of the disease or by the reduction of symptoms in the body.
In a Chinese study, an ointment containing 5% tea tree oil was used by patients whose eyelash follicles were infested with “eyelash mites” (Demodex folliculorum). The ointment was applied to the lid margins with eyes closed, daily for 4 weeks after washing the face, and resulted in considerably less itching and fewer mites. Two of the 24 patients experienced slight irritation from the ointment. The 5% concentration was arrived at after preliminary testing using various dilutions on rabbit eyes (Gao et al 2012).

I don’t know much about EOs yet…I’m just learning. However, there are some vitamin B1 patches that are sold as bug repellants. They must be put on 2 hrs before exposure. Just a thought, as you work out your recipe for repellant. A natural vitamin supplement is a gentle way to keep the bugs away. Also, anyone who is bitten will usually become sensitized to bedbug bites about 2 weeks after the first time they get bitten. After that, their skin will start to react to bites just like yours does.

I would highly recommend that anyone who is interested in essential oil toxicity to read this article regarding safety, including ingestion or neat application. I found it to be very helpful. It is a comprehensive article that was also published in an aromatherapy journal. Ron Guba, the author, is a well known Australian aromatherapist. http://www.agoraindex.org/Frag_Dem/toxicitymyths.html
When the 4 p.m. slump strikes, reboot by sniffing an invigorating scent blend—or better yet, spritzing yourself with an oil-infused face mist. Take your pick of scents that can help you double-down on the rest of the workday: One study shows that sniffing rosemary can increase memory by 75% while peppermint has also been associated with recall as well as sustained focus. Other research has shown that peppermint, basil, and helichrysum help with burnout and mental fatigue.
Although they may not be the perfect replacement for all synthetic pesticides, essential oils have prospects for crop or indoor plant protection, urban pest control,[31] and marketed insect repellants, such as bug spray. Certain essential oils have been shown in studies to be comparable, if not exceeding, in effectiveness to DEET, which is currently marketed as the most effective mosquito repellent. Although essential oils are effective as pesticides when first applied in uses such as mosquito repellent applied to the skin, it is only effective in the vapor stage. Since this stage is relatively short-lived, creams and polymer mixtures are used in order to elongate the vapor period of effective repellency.[27]
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