Topical applications: massage oils, and bath and skin care products are absorbed through the skin. Massaging the area where the oil is to be applied can boost circulation and increase absorption. Some argue that areas that are richer in sweat glands and hair follicles, such as the head or the palms of the hand, may absorb the oils more effectively.
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Oh, my, I need to apologize. I evidently left my reply/question before the entire page of this thread had loaded. I didn’t see that you and others had mentioned doTERRA. That is the company I’m with and I do trust them very much. As I indicated before, much of that trust is based on my experience of their oils compared to other oils I’ve used over the last 20 years.
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.
Our commitment is to provide the highest quality 100% natural products in the world. If something isn’t working for you, we want to make it right. Formulations that do not take care of your wellness needs can be refunded with the original receipt. Without receipt, we will happily exchange your item for an alternative blend that better supports your wellness or issue a gift card.
This great information provided by all. I don’t believe the originator of this blog is stating the oils are good or bad, but stating that FDA has them approved. I have been purchasing essential oils from several companies, and before I do I find out if there are additives, water downed (yes someone told me they water down their oil to make it go further). In my research, there is NO FDA approval for internal or external use. All my companies have a disclaimer stating same whether in oils, bath salts or incense. There are standards the FDA puts out, but not ‘approvals’.
I know nothing about using EOs so I am trying to do some research. I live in Missouri and there is a company here called Jordan Essentials all of their products are all natural. They recently came out with an essential oil line. My friend is a consultant for them and I am considering but some. Although I trust her, I don’t know what information the she has been told to say without really knowing what the quality is of their EO is (if that makes sense lol)If anyone know anything about their EOs please let me know 🙂
Thanks for this article! I’m glad that there are balancing voices out there to educate people about what is right and what is wrong. I’ve heard of too many BS from people who don’t do their research before spreading and sharing any advises, and most of them don’t care about the fact that they don’t even have the most basic training or education on aromatherapy! That’s simply irresponsible to me.

Kendra Kirkham wrote a really great article a few years ago for the IFPA Journal “In Essence” about the lack of any formal essential oil “grading” system for aromatherapy and provided clear information about the topic, as well as explain the use of the words “therapeutic grade” as a marketing tool for a certain MLM essential oil company. It’s a shame that many others now elect to coin the bogus term. I understand the thought is to express that their oils may be of higher quality or perhaps used in clinical settings, but use of such terms only adds to consumer confusion. Thanks for bringing this to the attention of the masses.
Thanks for your comments. The claims were on the DoTerra company website, as stated above, whether your distributor made such claims to you herself. It is still a misleading statement by the company itself, as I said and others commenting on this blog post. The criticism is not aimed at mlm’s specifically, however, when mlm companies teach their distributors erroneous information, it travels down the chain and is harder to correct later on. I believe all people should independently investigate for themselves, not depend on one company or teacher. The fact that so much misinformation abounds is irritating to those who have formally studied aromatherapy, using chemistry and science, not anecdotal or religious information, which most often is subjective and not based in fact. My next blog post will focus on how to evaluate a supplier of essential oils. Watch for it.
Thank you for all this info. While a patient in the hospital, I would sprinkle a mix of lavender, eucalyptus, and peppermint oils in my pillow. It helped with my headaches and allowed me to relax. The nurses kept coming into my room just to inhale the wonderful scents. They took such great care of me that, after I was discharged, i went home and made 50 bottles of the same mixtures in cobalt blue bottles with roller balls. They loved them so much! They use them at home and at work. Being a nurse myself, I understand what they go through on a daily bases and how much these oils will benefit them. Even one of my doctors took several bottles I’ve made to give to patients!

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And while it may be true that scents can be calming and pleasing to people, Pam Dalton of the Monell Chemical Senses Center says that “they likely aren’t working due to any pharmacological or biological effect, [but] rather a sensory/psychological effect.” For instance, the scent of mint may make you feel more alert because it stimulates a nerve that allows you to perceive irritation and pain (or lack thereof).
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Hi Robert – I know I’ve read that more than a few times in some of the main stream aromatherapy books and think I was told that in my aromatherapy classes – about the 2% thing. So, it is a perception that I myself also have and have, therefore, spent long hours trying to determine if my sources are selling me what they say they are and who my sources should be – long hours and dollars spent to attend conferences to rub elbows with those who should know. However, at that time in 2006, organic essential oils were not readily or at all available. I have also read and have been told by those who should know, that just because an oil is certified organic, there is still no guarantee that said essential oil is not adulterated or for that matter really organic. The argument that I was given was that no one stays around to make sure that the material actually placed into the still was the same that was grown in the organic soil. We live in a world of distrust and for good reason as we look around at the greed in high places. I know this doesn’t address your issues about your article but was and always will be interested in any discussion concerning what constitutes an unadulterated oil. That being said, I would think there are certain things to consider when purchasing an oil and the chances it may or may not be adulterated. Some oils are naturally inexpensive and there would be nothing gained by adulterating them. If you look at how many acres of a particular oil are said to have been grown for a particular year and for that same year there was a great more essential oil sold than could have been produced – then you know you probably have an issue. I know that you know far more about this issue than I do, but I would like to see more discussion concerning what things would throw up a red flag when purchasing an oil from a particular supplier. The internet is now so absolutely full of people selling essential oils and copying and pasting the same old information that it is a bit overwhelming. My concern is the same as other clinical aromatherapists and that is that people will try a particular oil, find that it doesn’t work because it is either adulterated or the person selling the oil really doesn’t have a clue which oil or chemotype should be used for a particular purpose, so the client then assumes that any and all claims made by the aromatherapy industry are false or vastly overstated. This is true in research studies that have been done as well. Is there an answer? I would like to see an article by someone as knowledgeable as yourself that gives you a list of possible red flags and things to consider when looking for suppliers, particularly bulk suppliers.
I've been a member of the National Association of Holistic Aromatherapy (NAHA) for a number of years. Upon renewing my membership several years ago, I spotted that their membership application/renewal form, at that time, prohibited membership to those companies that use these terms. It was that policy that lead me to then take a fresh look at the terms therapeutic grade and aromatherapy grade and realize how confusing these terms can be to consumers. Having said that, I have noticed that NAHA, under different leadership, no longer includes the statements on their applications that prohibit membership to companies that use these terms.
The findings of the new study are consistent with earlier work. For example, a 2011 study of 131 herbal tea products found that 33 percent were contaminated. Still, the estimates from the new study should be interpreted with caution, and refined with further research, because the study tested products from just 12 out of the 1,000 companies that make herbal products.
Myrrh has been used in rituals, anointing blends and perfumery since ancient times, and was felt to enhance spirituality during sacred rites. The oil has a rich and warm, woody yet bittersweet scent which is pleasant to use during meditation. We offer a premium quality Myrrh, and a more cost-efficient selection from India that is softer and sweeter, to cover your product needs.
Hence the need to inform their prospective customers that they are the only reliable source of the best, purest and most effective products available.  They will self certify their own products as Therapeutic Grade.  If you take a look at one of their claims they will usually say something like  “this essential oil is “insert Company Name” Certified Therapeutic Grade.  Which means exactly that… their company has “certified” that particlar oil to their own standards.
In short: DO NOT TAKE ESSENTIAL OILS INTERNALLY unless they have been prescribed to you individually by a qualified and clinically-trained medical professional or Clinical Registered Aromatherapist. When working with essential oils you are ultimately playing with chemistry; if you do not know the specific chemistry of the specific oils, and what that specific collection of chemical constituents in that oil can do to your body, then avoid internal administration and stick with the aromatic processes.
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Only pesticide residues that are hydrophilic, thermostable, and volatile can be carried over into an essential oil during distillation. Few pesticides possess these characteristics, so pesticide levels found in distilled oils are typically insignificant. In one large database, out of 73,541 analytical results on distilled essential oils, only 0.55% had positive results for pesticide detection.
There are some essential oils that can be ingested in very small amounts. For example peppermint oil capsules, which help IBS symptoms. I have used Young Living essential oils and they are of very high quality. Whatever people decide to do it is important to remember that essential oils do not disperse into water and therefore even the ones that are safe to ingest need to be taken with a dispersant drink, like milk or within special capsule. It is advisable to consult a professional in any case. All the best.
For the last 15-20 years, essential oil therapy’s demand for clean, high quality oils has been stimulated by scientific analysis and research. The community has made some impact on the production and distribution practices of the worldwide essential oil industry. Everyone using essential oils in therapies as integrative medicine are creating a niche market for a new generation of essential oils. Analysis by and for therapists will continue to have positive influence on essential oil purity, quality, discovery and treatment.
We apologize if one of our consultants has mislead you in anyway (sic).  All of our oils are FDA approved as being Certified Pure Therapeutic Grade (CPTG). DoTERRA’s, CPTG essential oils are 100% pure natural aromatic compounds carefully extracted from plants.  They do not contain fillers or artificial ingredients that would dilute their active qualities and are free of contaminants such as pesticides or other chemical residues.  All of our products are taken through a series of tests including  AFNOR and ISO standards for purity, and all of our manufactures must maintain a GMP certification.  Therefore, we are passing government regulations.  The FDA has provided us with the label of CPTG. We hope we have resolved your concern.
Yes you can mix Tea Tree and Rosemary EOS (essential oils). And while using less expensive brands for cleaning might make sense to some,they will not disinfectant the way pure oils will. I would only use a proven pure EO on my body internally and externally. Anything you put on your skin goes into your body in 26 seconds. Young Living owns their own farms, everything is beyond organic, they distill in their own distilleries which are open along with the farms world wide for any member to visit and learn from. The oils are 3rd party tested. By law an EO manufacturer can put 100% pure on their bottles and only have 5% pure EO, they don’t have to say what the other 95% is. My recommendation… Do your homework!
My 15 yo daughter has suffered severely from eczema. She’s been on steroid pills, creams and every prescribed topical ointment on the market. I am desperate to approach this skin issue with a more natural/healthy method. The steroid pills she takes are not at all healthy on her system but I dont know what else to do. I would love your recipe for the psoriasis mixture as this may help with my daughter. Thanks so much!!
Why Does MLM Appeal to Distributors? It offers the promise of direct income from sales; the chance to piggyback on the sales of others; the dream of making it rich; the opportunity to sell a product they believe in; and a way to make money in a pleasant way, at home, with their own hours, with a lot of social contact, and no need to apply for a job.
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.
Most essential oils on the market shouldn’t be taken internally because they aren’t pure.  I second the statement made by someone up above — I use Young Living oils internally (and externally) on a daily basis!  I was able to get off four different prescription drugs I was on with Young Living oils.  I teach people how to use them for emergency preparedness/collapse medicine purposes, as well as day-to-day.  I don’t want to self-promote, but if you want to see my website send me an email!  [email protected]
Sarah, the Améo products have revolutionized the health and wellness world and changed the way people look at taking care of mind, body and soul. All Améo Essential Oils are CERTI-5™ validated, meaning that they’ve passed extensive testing for quality, purity, and usability. We also take additional steps to make sure that each oil is cell active and permeable for maximum results and is the same or better quality than oils used in clinical testing. Améo Essential Oils are unlike any essential oil in the marketplace.
The International Organization for Standardization (ISO) is a worldwide federation of national standards bodies from over 100 countries, one from each country. ISO is a non-governmental organization established in 1947. The mission of ISO is to promote the development of standardization and related activities in the world with a view to facilitating the international exchange of goods and services, and to developing cooperation in the spheres of intellectual, scientific, technological and economic activity.
As for “therapeutic grade” essential oils, I agree with Dawn-Mari that synthetic or toxic chemicals are best avoided in aromatherapy. (Though I would add that these terms are not synonymous, and some essential oils naturally contain toxic constituents.) Also, I totally agree with the sentiment that essential oils used in aromatherapy should be of a grade suitable for the task. I’m just saying that there is no independent, industry standard that is known as “therapeutic grade.”

FAST FACTS: Treats a variety of skin problems, such as acne, psoriasis, eczema, and dermatitis; removes warts and skin tags; wards off infection from piercings, scrapes, bruises, cuts, bites, or burns; great for shaving or razor bumps; kills and prevents mold in your homes; prevents cavities and gum disease; can be easily added to your shampoo or conditioner or other hair care products; medicinal grade; ISO certified; certified by the USA Medicinal Oil Association
Purity is a major issue when using essential oils, particularly if you are using them therapeutically, internally or topically.  The most important issue is to know your company.  What type of testing do they do?  Do they test all batches?  Are the oils grown indiginously?  How are they harvested?  If your oil company cannot answer these questions to your satisfaction, then use another company.  In my opinion, there are a few companies that have consistently high quality oils.  Good luck!
I just started working with doTERRA EOs….Last night I tried a glass of water with one drop of lemon and one of lime to curb a sweet craving. I woke up with terrible heart burn and it’s been bad all day. I’ve never had stomach acid shooting up into my esophagus before. It’s very painful. I’m burping and getting loads or burning… Is there anything i can do? I thought they were safe to ingest…
If you dilute an essential oil with a carrier oil to do the “patch test” to see if you are sensitive to the essential oil, and you get a reaction, you could be reacting to the carrier oil. Whatever essential oils you use, you should follow the information that comes with it. If it doesn’t come with any guidelines on the label, I would not use it at all. Some are safe to ingest, some are not. Some need to be diluted, some do not (except on babies and small children, when you should dilute).

I am confused on your list of EOs to avoid while nursing or pregnant. Many of these oils I have never heard being issues. I use Lemon oil regularly and ginger as well, as a nursing mother. Could you perhaps list effects of each oil for breastfeeding mothers ? I know peppermint reduces production but confused on most of the others…. you listed ” Aniseed, cedarwood, chamomile, cinnamon, clary sage, clove, ginger, jasmine, lemon, nutmeg, rosemary, sage” I use several on this list currently and was about to put in a YL order for clary sage
I’ve been taking Aura Cacia lavender oil internally – a couple of drops sling with do terra lemon and peppermint in water – swishing then swallowing. Is it a bad idea for me to take the Aura Cacia internally like this? I’ve been completely ignorant! I’m doing this to stay away from pharmaceuticals so definitely don’t want to be causing any worse problems. Thanks in advance…
Currently organic essential oils are perceived as the answer to these purity and quality problems, but choosing an “organic” essential oil does not mean it is pure or even good quality. Organic herbs and food is an ideal that is worth striving for and it positively impacts our health. Unfortunately, regulating and verifying the organic status of essential oils is not so clear because there are no developed guidelines and routine analytical procedures.
You’ll often see companies advertising their "therapeutic grade," "aromatherapy grade," or "medicinal grade" oils. Unfortunately for them, no such thing exists. "There is no formally approved grading standard used consistently throughout the essential oil industry," Lortscher says. Simply put, anyone who says that they have therapeutic grade or "certified" essential oils is lying. "That seal is nothing more than a commercial trademark. It isn’t backed by any scientific body."
Essential oils have long been used for enhancing the flavor of food and are commonly used internally for their therapeutic purposes. However, I must stress that anyone who recommends the oral use of essential oils for therapeutic purposes should be suitably qualified. This means that they should have suitable training in physiology, pharmacology and aromatherapy chemistry and should have a minimum level diploma qualification in aromatic medicine or a medical herbalism diploma.
These scents are all wonderful. And they are all strong enough that if you sniff them out of the bottle they may singe your nose haha. My favorite is probably sweet orange, but they all have useful medicinal purposes. If anyone in my house gets a head or chest cold I am sure the eucalyptus will be used. The peppermint seems to have a positive impact on my sinuses. I actually just used some of the tea tree oil for a hair and skin care recipe using olive oil and essential oils. It worked out very well, especially for my skin. I tend to have very dry, irritated skin in the winter time, and lotions just don't seem to help for very long. I started using olive oil and then thought, why not try adding the essential oils in the recipe? You can tell the difference between just using olive oil versus using olive oil mixed with this tea tree oil. Therefore, while the olive oil works great, the tea tree oil from this sampler definitely adds to the positive effect it has on my skin.
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.)
I’m not hear to debate semantics on the exact meanings behind doTERRA’s CPTG rating on their oils. Weather it’s a “trademark” or “certification” in the legal sense does not concern me. What I learned is that the tests are being done and they are extensive. Because of that the company can then give you their promise that they are what they say. There really are extensive test, and they are being done by companies other than doTERRA. I trust the oils because of this and the miraculous results I’ve experienced with them. I DO NOT claim that these are the only pure oils on the market. I believe what I’m reading from other bloggers who stand behind oils that give them amazing results. I think that’s wonderful and I for one hope the market for pure oils will continue to grow. I’ve found that things progress much better when “we all get along”. Working together for the highest, healthiest, outcomes is always going to go a lot further than wasting time on hostilities. The oils on the market that are not pure will eventually weed themselves out among those who use EO’s because they simply do not supply the needed results. For those of you who are new at EO’s, take the time to find ones that work, because the good ones DO work wonders. I prefer to talk about amazing, positive progress in natural health care. I do no care to argue about things that have many issues that have many sides that we may have only partial information about. Natural selection will take care of most of the problems. I will not get caught up in the blogging hostilities that pit this company against that company. I want to spend my time on the positive.
Proper methods of growing, harvesting, and distilling are also crucial to maintaining purity. Poor production practices and the development of synthetic essential oil variations suggest that it is impossible to accurately identify a pure essential oil without scientific analysis. Appropriate analysis of the constituents within an essential oil is one of the most challenging and detailed aspects of quality assurance.
As for Doterra being an “off shoot” of Young Living, that statement is quite misleading. I was troubled by that when I read it and so I called my doterra consultant who told me that some of the owners were in fact with Young Living, but chose to leave YoungLiving for “ethical” reasons….maybe that lawsuit you pointed out was part of that reason!!! And as for whether or not someone is truly an “expert” or not doesn’t necessarily mean that they are blasted all over the internet. My local homeopath IS VERY WELL KNOWN but he does not have a computer, or a website, or an email address. Yet his practice is booming through word-of-mouth and people seek him from all over the globe. I have read several books by Dr. Hill and have found him to be very informative, and his expertise is evident in his writings.
Jasmine Oil: Dabbing a little jasmine essential oil over your heart at bedtime will provide a deep sleep filled with positive dreams. It helped six White Sox players improve their batting average.  The NMCD disagrees. It says “There is insufficient reliable information available about the effectiveness of jasmine.” Anyway, I can’t help but wonder how something that makes you sleep could improve batting prowess except in a dream.
The 4-ounce bottle of Eucalyptus essential oil from NOW Foods is a bargain when you compare its price to what you’d pay for a much smaller bottle from a different company. But the 100% pure and natural oil comes from steam-distilled leaves and branches of the Eucalyptus Globulus tree. There are no shortcuts in the manufacturing process or fillers in the bottle.
Once again, we have a very fit and healthy YouTube vegan bodybuilder, Nimai Delgado, an International Federation of BodyBuilding and Fitness (IFBB) Pro. He documents his journey with the IFBB on his YouTube channel and shares tips and tricks with his followers, including his workout routine. He beliefs in maintaining strength and flexibility, and not necessarily just gaining more muscle mass for aesthetic purposes. Definitely check out his YouTube channel to learn more about how this lifestyle could work for you as well!
I agree heather- I LOVE DoTERRA oils!!!  I use them every day and we have never been healthier!  We have never had a bad reaction to them on our skin, even our little kids, because they are PURE.  I used YL all growing up and always had reactions to them, but the DoTERRA are amazing.  I also love that you can take most of them internally!  I used Oregano to kill strep throat I got last spring!  Can’t say enough good about them.  I especially love how the company is so in to education and helping you keep yourself and your family healthy. 
Low Price. When it comes to essential oils, you get what you pay for. Growing, harvesting and distilling essential oils of the highest medicinal quality requires extra time and labor, requiring methods that are frankly slower and “less efficient” than modern large commercial producers. It’s the basic law of supply and demand: a small supply of a higher quality product will always cost more than a large supply of a lower quality product.
Contrary to what several essential oil companies recommend, the oils generally should not be swallowed, Power says. The body absorbs more this way, boosting the chance that they will interact with medications or cause an allergic or toxic reaction. Even continued exposure to small amounts (a few drops a day in a water bottle) can lead to fatigue and headaches. Taking in larger amounts of certain oils -- like tea tree oil, wintergreen, and camphor -- can lead to throat swelling, a racing heart, vomiting, and even seizures, says the Tennessee Poison Center, which saw the number of toxic essential oil exposures double from 2011 to 2015.
Floracopeia’s goal is not only to offer great essential oils, but also to help create sustainable ecological, environmental and economical situations that support the small, rural farmers and distillers, as well as the planet. Their Eco-Projects, like the wild agarwood trees in Thailand, reduce illegal harvesting and help create a sustainable forestry system while supporting the livelihoods of the local villagers. And just like Stillpoint, David and Sara offer trainings and certifications in Aromatherapy.
I’ve also been plagued with terrible leg cramps for about 3 years now. So bad at times i couldn’t go up or down steps without cramping. They started like yours at night while I was trying to sleep. They would wake me from a sound sleep with excruciating pain and I couldn’t even move to get out of bed to try to relieve them. Drs could not give me any help they only prescribed muscle relaxers which I didn’t take.

Organic certification varies from country to country and state to state. doTERRA essential oils are sourced all over the world, so that is why organic certification is not possible. One of the ways they ensure their oils are free of pesticide, herbicide, extenders and solvents is through the GC/MS analysis process, which is one of the 7 ways they test the purity of their oils.
The 4-ounce bottle of Eucalyptus essential oil from NOW Foods is a bargain when you compare its price to what you’d pay for a much smaller bottle from a different company. But the 100% pure and natural oil comes from steam-distilled leaves and branches of the Eucalyptus Globulus tree. There are no shortcuts in the manufacturing process or fillers in the bottle.
This post is the second in a weekly, multi-part series on Using Essential Oils. Last week we discussed Basic Essential Oils for Daily Living – how to get started using essential oils in your daily life. Here we will explore considerations to help you choose high quality essential oils. What should you look for? How can you guarantee an essential oil is pure? What does that even mean? What about cost? We invite you to learn how to choose an essential oil here and then join us weekly for additional articles on topics ranging from essential oil safety, using essential oils in herbalism, and carrier oils.
Low temperature and low pressure play an important part of collecting the highest quality essential oil. When plant matter is placed into a chamber and steam is injected, the plant’s essential oil is released into the air. The steam and essential oil are carried out of the chamber and cooled. The oil and water are then allowed to separate for collection.
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