I live in Australia and am currently studying full-time for my Diploma of Aromatherapy. Originally, it was Young Living Oils that initiated my love of essential oils and this lead to me to study. My diploma course is fully accredited and recognised by both government and health insurance organisations and obviously has no affiliation with any particular essential oil company.
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!
The main reason I will not buy essential oils from any of the MLM companies is because they lead their customers to believe that when they say their product is “Certified Pure Therapeutic Grade”, that means something of value in the essential oil and aromatherapy world. There were three shocking things that I learned to lead me to steer clear of these
Thank you for asking this question! I have spent countless hours researching this very question, and have even contacted Young Living to get their response, all to no avail! I feel like someone is not being honest, and while I want to just go with YL, the fact that at first they didn’t respond and when the finally did (through a consultant who was on a live chat), the response was vague. It just makes me question if there is corruption in the EO industry like so many others. Would LOVE for someone to respond to this question!
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
During distillation the plant material is placed upon a grid inside the still. Once inside, the still is sealed, and, depending upon the above methods, steam or water/steam slowly breaks through the plant material to remove its volatile constituents. These volatile constituents rise upward through a connecting pipe that leads them into a condenser. The condenser cools the rising vapor back into liquid form. The liquid is then collected in a vehicle below the condenser. Since water and essential oil do not mix, the essential oil will be found on the surface of the water where it is siphoned off. Occasionally an essential oil is heavier than water and is found on the bottom rather than the top, such as with clove essential oil.
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
DoTERRA, LLC is yet another multi-level marketing natural products company based in Utah who has applied through the U.S. Patent Office to “own” (exclusive use) a registered word mark.  This registered word mark has not been provided to them by the FDA as they claim and is meaningless in proving that an outside certifying body has declared or designated that DoTERRA’s essential oils are certified pure therapeutic grade.  DoTERRA, LLC owns the right to exclusive use of the mark (however not the exclusive right to the actual words “Certified Pure Therapeutic Grade” which is revealing)  This seal or word mark is nothing more than a commercial trademark that they have registered and paid a fee for.  However, DoTERRA is purposefully misinforming potential customers and down liners by email by claiming FDA approval and that the FDA has provided them with the label that they, themselves registered and own.  The FDA does NOT certify the quality of essential oils by therapeutic grade and they do not provide a certifying label as claimed.  Following is an email from DoTERRA sent to a potential customer:
Thank you for sharing your knowledge with us. I’m researching essential oils for treatment of an ear infection in my little one, and I wondered about “pharmaceutical grade” vs. other types, and your posts here have given me my answer. Your well-written responses to other people above have given me some great insight. I’ll do my due diligence before using anything on my daughter. You’ve done a great job of underscoring the need to know in order to have a safe and desirable outcome. Thank you.
Some people with underlying health conditions might experience problems. A 2013 study she authored, focused on fragranced household items, confirms this. “In an open air environment, if you whiff an aroma, maybe it doesn’t cause negative issues,” she says, “but if you have asthma, it can have a negative impact. It can either be an irritant effect or an inflammatory effect.”
As far as I can tell, ‘wintergreen oil’ is not listed anywhere by the FDA. Methyl salicylate IS permitted by the FDA as an indirect food additive, when is is a constituent of an adhesive. It is not on their ‘regular’ indirect food additive list – only the one that applies to adhesives. But I can’t see it on any negative list, and I can’t see a maximum permitted amount.
I’ve enjoyed reading this site. There is a lot of good information and banter (though some isn’t so friendly, chill guys). I myself have only been using EO’s for a little under two years. Yes, they have changed my life and for the first time I feel empowered and able to be in charge of my own health care. I am healthier now than I’ve been in a very long time. I’m one of those persons who will take the time to check things out. My daughter told me about EO’s and a fairly new company, doTERRA. I wanted to believe all the wonderful things she was telling me, but not without checking out the company and putting the products to the test. At a lot of expense for me I did some investigating. So far I’ve found the company to be sound and based on ethical principles. I checked into the CTPG cirtification and found it to be sound also. Though the company pays for these extensive tests, they themselves do not perform them. It is third party and I believe available for other companies. With how extensive these tests are it may not be cost prohibative for many companies, however. I hope that others will follow suit eventually cause I know there are many very good EO companines out there. I do believe in EO’s now as I’ve had remarkable results for many health concerns and haven’t had to go to the doctor since I’ve been using them. I’m glad there is a standard finally set up (you guys should check out testing, it’s remarkable)that insures complete purity so that I may feel safe using these oils in a variety of ways, including internally. And yes, they are safe in their PUREST form for internal use. Other companies that follow suit will just give me more choices and give doTERRA healthy competition. HEALTHY competition is a good thing in my book. These oils are starting to ease their way into western medicine. The coming together of a variety of health care choices is what’s needed in this country, and it’s about time. Keep up the good work everyone in taking charge of your own health and the health of your families. Let’s hear it for the family!!!!
As Canada's leading supplier of quality Essential Oils, we offer the largest selection of 100% Pure, Certified Organic and Therapeutic Grade Essential Oils and Aromatherapy Products at Wholesale Prices. Essential Oils (Aromatherapy Oils) are the highly concentrated, volatile, aromatic essences of plants. All the countries of the world provide essential oils, making aromatherapy a truly global therapy. New Directions Essential Oils are pure, undiluted essences extracted directly from a variety of flowers, fruits, leaves, barks, roots, herbs, and spices.
Mountain Rose Herbs also holds quite a few certifications and awards pertaining to their product sourcing, including non-GMO project certification, and the 2013 Best Green Business’s To Work For In Oregon. Overall, this company is making quite a few awesome commitments to better, green business practices and if you like this ideology, this is your company to support.

Hello! I enjoyed your post and it was very informative. I tried the construction paper test with my Mountain Rose Herbs oils and there was a residue! Tried with peppermint and with fennel. Sigh. I have ordered my oils from this company for years. Any thoughts? I feel like they are a legit company, no multi-level marketing schemes going on, no president with a shady psychotic past. What to do, what to do???
Well said, Marcia. I sell essential oils and I am so tired of people with their “therapeutic grade” and purity labels when they have absolutely no evidence of a sort. Recently, I was on Facebook where a gentleman leveled that he buys from only one source because all the essential oils in stores are adultrated. Hate to say this, but many people don’t bother checking things out. They hear the right lingo and they put doctors and other so-called professionals. Having had so many people I know try to suck me into one MLM scheme or another, I know well their basic set up. They patent these phrases and whatnot, but actually, the emphasis is on bringing people in, not quality. Anyone can slap a patented label on an oil, but I sincerely doubt that they’ve done any kind of real research into the oils they sell. Sounds like they’re trying to elbow in on Young Living territory. Most people who set up MLMs are about money, they amble from one idea to the next. The get a few know-it-alls to back them up, if they’re that lucky, and they sucker people in with making money. I have a friend suckered into this Juice Plus stuff and the fluff she spouts about it. Anything to sell a product. When you research most of their claims they’re chocked full of misstatements, fabrications and outright lies. They haven’t done nearly the amount of research they claimed to have, they just put a lot of money into making the videos and charts. I’m sick of it all.

In Gas Chromatography, an essential oil is vaporized and passed through a long column to separate the oil into its individual components. Each component will travel through the column at a different speed, depending on its molecular weight and chemical properties, and is measured as it exits the column. Using this testing method, quality control analysts can determine which compounds are present in a test sample.

d?TERRA does not claim that the FDA, AFNOR or ISO has certified, registered or somehow approved its essential oils. Although AFNOR and the ISO have monograph standards for certain plant extracts in different industries, it is my understanding that they do not have standards for grades of essential oils. In fact, there are no current regulatory standards for the use of the descriptor “therapeutic grade” in the industry. Anyone can use the term to describe their essential oils regardless of their purity or potency.

If you are seriously interested in diving into the world of essential oils, get trained. Start with a workshop in your local area taught by a trained aromatherapist. Whether you are using the oils purely for personal use or really want to get into the business of selling oils and sharing your knowledge, unbiased aromatherapy training from a certified aromatherapist and/or herbalist is invaluable.


Lori, I am relatively new to the essential oils world, but I do remember reading somewhere (check planttherapy.com or edensgarden.com) that essential oils are the pure life essence of the plants from which they are derived. An essential fragrance is often obtained with solvent or alcohol distillation which make the essential fragrance a better choice for making fragrances as they are usually less expensive.
The E.O.B.B.D standard is not a certification, and it is a not a regulatory agency. Instead, it is a definition of a set of standards and processes that should be used on every batch of essential oils. It guarantees that the essential oil has been subjected to a series of test that confirms all of the characteristics, molecular fingerprint, and botanic definition has been properly done and can be traced back to the producing country, specific location, species of plant, and if applicable the chemotype. These standards were first introduced in France in the 1970's and have since become a standard for evaluating pure essential oils. These standards along with additional standards we require at Be Young make up our 14 step process and our guarantee to you for the highest and most potent essential oils we can offer. 

Eco-Control is an inspection agency and a certification authority for ecological products and quality assurance system in the non-food area. They certify and control standards for natural and organic cosmetic. Part of it are e.g. NaTrue, ICADA, Demeter and the BDIH standard. The Eco-Control developed their own seal for ecological raw materials and quality assurance systems for producers of raw materials and natural cosmetic. The ecological quality of a product is certified, e.g. essential oils. They are pursuant to “EG BIO” and pursuant to ISO 9235 or aroma regulation proved with regard to the manufacturing process.
No, don’t use it on your skin without diluting it. You can mix a drop or two into your moisturizer or into an oil like olive or coconut. Also, for acne and blackheads you also need to look at toxins in the other products you are using and make sure you are exfoliating several times a week. A green clay mask will also help pull toxins out of the skin. Just using rosemary oil without looking at the root causes of acne and blackheads will only go so far.
CBD doesn’t intoxicate you. This means that people can enjoy the benefits of medicinal marijuana without having their daily lives impacted. More importantly, CBD does not decrease psychomotor skills or psychological functioning. THC acts on CB1 receptors, the pathways that are responsible for the psychoactive effects of marijuana, whereas CBD does not. The way CBD interacts with receptors also makes it non-addictive. It’s safe to use CBD salve for pain, mental disorders, and inflammation without the fear of undesirable side effects.
I’m a distributor with Young Living Essential Oils – have been for 4 years. I’ve always used the oils NEAT and my children and I ingest them daily without problem. You’re being very narrow minded with your comment, as you should know (as an aromoatherapist student) that there are a number of different aromatherapy methods out there to which aromatherapist follow…these methods include:

Hi Julie, it is entirely possible that you have had an allergic reaction to one of the essential oils you ingested. It is possible that that the lemon oil might have oxidized in the bottle in the store, and this increases the risk of allergy. It’s also possible that you are simply allergic to one of those oils. It has nothing to do with detoxing – that’s a total myth.
Though common in skincare and household cleaning products today, essential oils have long been revered for their healing powers and are used for health and medicinal purposes such as alleviating anxiety or curing the common cold. In fact, a cursory glance at the web results for “essential oils” tells the story of a magical cure-all — one most vehemently told by the multi-level marketing companies that sell them.
TAOASIS works close with local manufacturer together which produce with loving handwork scent flowers, scent woods and vases. Especially products from german manufacturers are successful on the market at home and abroad. More and more customers are looking for a special quality, appreciate the transparent production process and the possibility to receive individual certificates.
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.

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.
A few preliminary studies have suggested that peppermint oil may help with irritable bowel syndrome. Although the oil is touted for working as a decongestant and reliving headaches and muscle pain, "there is no clear-cut evidence to support the use of peppermint oil for other health conditions," the NIH says on its website. Capsules of peppermint oil may cause heartburn.
In my aromatherapy certification studies, I have learned you should be very careful about the essential oils that you are ingesting, as they are VERY POTENT. One drop of essential oil can be equivalent to drinking 75 cups of tea of the same herb. It is best to consult a certified aromatherapist for internal use of essential oils. I personally do not suggest using essential oils for internal consumption. In the US, certified aromatherapists can't find insurance for ingestion in their practice because it's considered a medical practice. If you go further and test to get your RA (Registered Aromatherapist) you are prohibited from including ingestion in your practice because it can't be insured unless you are a certified medical professional. It can be very dangerous taking essential oils internally because they can mix with your current medications, your current medical state, and more. Just like taking pharmaceuticals, you  need to consult a professional so that you don't accidentally create a toxic situation.

I might suggest keeping them in a drawer, a box with a lid or somewhere safe like that. I use them daily…one mix for my pillow cases for whatever I feel like balancing in my “self” overnight. The diffuser on my husbands side of the bed (he has had sinus problems) has detox, immune system builders and things for respiratory relief. He sleeps like a baby now. Also helped him with headaches.
Anyway, I found a local store that makes (distills?) their own. I enjoy going there to pick out and purchase my oils. Plus I love to support my community. However, I’m still stuck on the idea of food grade. My local place says their EOs are not food grade and shouldn’t be ingested. So do those MLMs do something to their oils to make them safe to consume or is my local place just saying that to cover their butts?
I agree with Leili. Not that there aren’t other essential oils out there that are pure, but after researching other companies, I only use YL. Only. The level of quality and consistency of the oils is unsurpassed, they have set the world standards for quality and purity. They are the leading producer of Therapeutic Grade oils in the world. Never any fillers added, never anything synthetic. I use them topically and internally on myself and my children with amazing results. IMHO, you can’t go wrong there. I am a YL distributer if you want more info, contact me. 🙂
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 Dave, So sorry to hear about the medical issues your family is facing. There is quite a bit written about using essential oils for cancer though I don’t have the info at my finger tips. I would be happy to see if I can find more info on where to direct you if you haven’t already found it. If you have an email or Facebook or some other way to be reached it might be a better way to converse. But either way one place you can go to get some ideas about other peoples experiences with various oils is oil-testimonials.com you can sign up for the free membership and then do searches on whatever you would like.”leukemia” “child leukemia” “Crohns” etc. It was formed for people using YL oils to share so some of the blends mentioned will be YL but it doesn’t mean you have to use YL to get the results. High quality oils are high quality oils, that said quality is so important especially when talking about treating something as major as the things you are and in my experience YL does produce high quality oils. I myself have treated Tertiary Chronic Lyme and having used both traditional antibiotics (IV, pills, suspension and sometimes all at the same time) and essential oils and can attest to the oils working as well as any other protocol I have been on without the side effects…well you probably see where I’m going. That doesn’t mean Young Living is the only company producing oils of that quality, they aren’t, nor does it mean I’m advocating the MLM approach, signing up was worth while for me to receive the discount since I order so many oils and I will sometimes order for other people at my discount but I have never pursued the business end of it. I also have and do use other companies oils and think investigating and having several sources is wise for various reasons. Anyway, sorry to go on so much your situation just struck a nerve. Feel free to contact me if you would like.
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.
Hi Zach – yes true, if you make a syrup with honey (or other sugary substance) then the EOS will dissolve much better, which makes taking them safer. I think whether EOs are “safe” to take internally depends – on who, how, how much, how often, why, etc. So for me, there’s not a simple answer. Sometimes it’s fine, sometimes not. I will write more about this on my blog.
I’ve enjoyed reading this site. There is a lot of good information and banter (though some isn’t so friendly, chill guys). I myself have only been using EO’s for a little under two years. Yes, they have changed my life and for the first time I feel empowered and able to be in charge of my own health care. I am healthier now than I’ve been in a very long time. I’m one of those persons who will take the time to check things out. My daughter told me about EO’s and a fairly new company, doTERRA. I wanted to believe all the wonderful things she was telling me, but not without checking out the company and putting the products to the test. At a lot of expense for me I did some investigating. So far I’ve found the company to be sound and based on ethical principles. I checked into the CTPG cirtification and found it to be sound also. Though the company pays for these extensive tests, they themselves do not perform them. It is third party and I believe available for other companies. With how extensive these tests are it may not be cost prohibative for many companies, however. I hope that others will follow suit eventually cause I know there are many very good EO companines out there. I do believe in EO’s now as I’ve had remarkable results for many health concerns and haven’t had to go to the doctor since I’ve been using them. I’m glad there is a standard finally set up (you guys should check out testing, it’s remarkable)that insures complete purity so that I may feel safe using these oils in a variety of ways, including internally. And yes, they are safe in their PUREST form for internal use. Other companies that follow suit will just give me more choices and give doTERRA healthy competition. HEALTHY competition is a good thing in my book. These oils are starting to ease their way into western medicine. The coming together of a variety of health care choices is what’s needed in this country, and it’s about time. Keep up the good work everyone in taking charge of your own health and the health of your families. Let’s hear it for the family!!!!
Bergamot Essential Oil has a fresh and delightful citrus aroma with strong citrus notes and a hint of the exotic, and has been made popular by Earl Grey Tea. This refreshing essential oil is suited for aromatherapy and induces a more relaxed and happy feeling, while reducing oiliness of the skin. Widely used in the perfume industry, it is also used in cleansers and toners.
×