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.
Note on Boiling Point: The boiling point represents the temperature at which a liquid is converted to a gas at a specified pressure. The fundamental nature of steam distillation is that it enables a compound or mixture of compounds to be distilled (and subsequently recovered) at a temperature substantially below that of the boiling point(s) of the individual constituent(s). Essential oils contain substances with boiling points up to 200°C or higher, including some that are solids at normal temperatures. In the presence of steam or boiling water, however, these substances are volatilized at a temperature close to 100°C at atmospheric pressure.3
“The absence of regulatory standards regarding the use of the terms ‘essential oil’ and ‘therapeutic grade’ are the very reason for developing a higher standard of quality control we have branded CPTG Certified Pure Therapeutic Grade®. Although there are good essential oils available to consumers, many products claiming to be essential oils often are not pure aromatic extracts and often contain fillers and non-aromatic compounds. The d?TERRA name and CPTG registered trademark represent our guarantee of 100% pure essential oil extracts and accurate product labeling.”
To give you an example the perfume industry requires a standardised scent profile for most of the oils that it uses so that the perfume that they manufacture has a reliable scent.  So  the oils supplied to the perfume industry are usually standardised accordingly. Lavender 40/42 is  where two of the main constituents in lavender oil, linalool and linalyl acetate, are added to the oil to make up 40/42% of the oil.
In answer to your daughters eczema problem, I am a first time mother of an 8 month old. I just took her to an herbalist because I thought she had a rash and he told me it was eczema. She started out with it on her leg and within a couple weeks in spread all over her torso. He suggested I start giving her “Kali sulph” It is a homeopathic remedy used for various skin conditions. He recommended I give her two tablets three times per day. That was two weeks ago and there has been a significant change in her eczema! I do not know much about essential oils though I full heartedly believe they work but I am just a mom wanting to help another mom. I hope you find something for your daughter.
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,

With do-Terra all you are doing is “buying into” the name and the fad; not getting a better oil. I am not saying their oil isn’t good, it may be. EO and their uses have been around for 1000’s of years and do-Terra has just marketed a way to create a “new awareness” for a younger or less knowledgeable generation to, in effect, make them seem the “experts” and the “best” company out there There are plenty of companies out there that sell the same thing, same pureness at a lesser price (because you are not paying for the hype). If you are not using them for sales then why are you buying into all hype. They have to pass on the cost of their great marketing to someone and that’s you, the customer.
You may have seen some "multi-level marketing" companies that sell essential oils and recruit independent sellers to vend on their behalf—and recruit more sellers beneath them in a sales strategy that resembles a pyramid :)  One of these multi-level marketing companies puts a "certification seal"on their packaging that says "CPTG" or Certified Pure Therapeutic Grade.  This private company actually trademarked this particular term and seal, and designed it to resemble the seals that are from independent bodies.  Since they trademarked it, they are of course the only ones who can use it. Basically, they are pretending like "CPTG" is an official, independent certification, which of course it isn't. 
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)
If it is possible for you to give me any of the documented information from which you have been speaking, or direct me to those sources, I would be grateful. I do not doubt what you are telling me, but I’m sure you would agree that telling others “Robert Tisserand says…” may not be as convincing as “Robert Tisserand provided this documented evidence that says…”
Nat, I will back you on this. Young Living and DoTerra distributors are confidently spreading lots of false information on essential oils. I would trust Crunchy Betty’s information above over anything YL and DoTerra sellers say. A good friend of mine became entranced by YL a couple of years ago and is convinced that YL is the only company that sells “therapeutic” grade essential oils. As Nat says, do your research, read the best books you can find and caveat emptor.
For example, Peppermint Essential Oil is used primarily as a flavoring for candies (i.e. Candy Canes), chewing gum and ice creams. It is often referred to on food ingredient labels as Oil of Peppermint or simply as Peppermint Oil. Because large food/candy manufacturers must produce a consistently flavored product, the intensity, aroma and overall flavor of the peppermint oil they use must remain consistent between each lot of oil that they purchase. Peppermint Oil manufacturers/distributors, therefore typically standardize the essential oils that they sell by establishing a blueprint of the percentage that each important constituent should reach within each essential oil. They then test the oil and then adjust the oil by adding or removing constituents until the resulting oil meets the ideal percentage.
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.

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…
I’ve read the other blog about homemade deodorant and im looking to give it a shot. recently ive had painful reactions to deodorant and antiperspirant (all types and brands, even natural or organic like toms and green beaver) so im trying to get down to fewer and fewer ingredients. i have some essential tea tree oil and mixed it with some coconut oil but i still stink 🙁 . Im looking for an oil that i can use that will be strong but relatively “neutral” in smell ( im a guy so im not too interested in smelling like lavender), but it has to be able to be put on my skin without any reactions. Anyone have any suggestions?

It's not an instant favorite (unlike Artemisia pallens and Inula graveolens), although I typically grow to like EO's once my body has had a chance to think them over and assimilate the new information. I gave it 5 stars for three reasons: It is unbelievably intense and lasting, which is how it is described around the web. It smells nothing like valerian, which I've heard people complaining gets substituted for the more-expensive vetiver. I've smelled a lot of valerian, and I just don't detect any of that here, so I'd say this hasn't been cut with anything. And despite washing with (unscented) soap and rinsing with isopropyl alcohol, the fragrance has not changed, it has only gotten a little weaker--I can't stand scents that change when they are watered down.
Tea tree oil! I did not even think of this as an essential oil product. It has been a staple of my bathroom cabinet for years as a shampoo additive. One or two drops in the bottle of shampoo and those pesky head lice (that I frequently encounter in elementary school settings) are goners! I have waist length hair, and after contracting lice a couple of times, I asked my primary physician what I could do besides keep my hair up (a possibility) or cutting it short (not happening).
How do you know which are the best essential oil brands? After all, this is an industry that isn’t regulated by the FDA. Oil quality can vary based on the distillation process. It also matters if the manufacturer dilutes the pure plant oil with bases or additives. But many of the most popular companies do rigorous testing to prove their oils’ purity.
The practice of taking essential oils internally, by mouth, has been a heated debate within the essential oil community. Since the recent rise of the multi-level-marketing essential oil companies, and other brands claiming that their oils are pure enough to eat, the idea of freely ingesting essential oils has plagued the minds of the average consumer.
The essential oil should be labeled with the common name and its Latin one. Remember the example above about chamomile? “The presence of the Latin name of the plant on the label is an added assurance of what you are getting,” says Dr. Burke. There may be few standards for essential oil quality but there are standards set by the Federal Trade Commission about what a company can put on a label. “If you put ‘chamomile’ on the label, you can sell either German Chamomile (Matricaria chamomilla) or Roman Chamomile (Anthemis nobillis). If you put ‘matricaria chamomilla’ on the label, you must be selling exactly that,” says Dr. Burke.
Ingredients 5mL Lavender Essential Oils; 5mL Sweet Orange Essential Oils; 5mL Tea Tree Essential Oils; 5mL Eucalyptus Essential Oils; 5mL Lemongrass Essential Oils; 5mL Peppermint Essential Oils; 5mL Bergamot Essential Oils; 5mL Frankincense Essential Oils; 5mL Lemon Essential Oils; 5mL Rosemary Essential Oils; 5mL Cinnamon Essential Oils; 5mL Ylang-Ylang Essential Oils
For those coming to this blog from the UK (we seem to be a bit behind in the information stakes in the UK. most sites i come across are US based, and so places of purchase and some terminology is non applicable for us), a good ethical and organic place to buy your oils is from G Baldwins (based in London). they don’t have as big a range in oils as you might want or find elsewhere, but after reading reviews and doing some research on other oil providing companies (and it is a minefield: hard to be assured of the authenticity) they came out best for me.

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I have heard you can take essential oils in water if you mix honey in first. Is this true. Also what is your though on the neat use of oils and the internal use of many oils that some MLM companies say its ok. Is it safe. Is there research showing its safe. I would really love to know this because I have heard so many different opinions. Thanks in advance. 🙂
Like other complementary and alternative medicines (CAM), the essential oil market is unregulated. But several years ago, the Food and Drug Administration, which regulates prescription medication, issued a warning about Young Living’s marketing. After reviewing the company’s websites and social media accounts, the FDA found that the company was mislabeling and misbranding their products as drugs even though they were not approved as such.
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.

Good question. I wonder what the moisture content of the estimated weights are (HUGE difference as water makes up the majority of a plants’ weight). Nevertheless, I would guess that the environmental impact is minimal to none as most of these plants are numerous compared to harvesting other plants such as hardwoods, rain forest plants, and even corn. Take lavender for example, if it takes 100 lbs to extract 1 lb, that is barely nothing when you consider that lavender grows wild and is abundant. One acre of lavender would probably produce over a ton of plant parts in one mowing for oil extraction (I am guessing based on my experience with a variety of different plant “harvesting”). And it grows fast. To compare weight, imagine mowing a one acre field of mixed weeds 3 ft tall down to 6 inches, you would have a few thousand pounds of plants that would quickly and naturally grow back in a couple weeks. The rose petals are at the extreme ratio but are expensive and used far less than the common oils.
I do have one argument to a rather fabulous post. Please do not use UNDILUTED oils…ANY of them. I accidently poured some lavender on my neck and felt nothing…til 10 days later I had a dozen or more hard nodules under my skin. NONE of them are safe. I’m not allergic; I’m not on any meds to counteract them. The oil is Nature’s Sunshine and very great quality. Just be safe and use a carrier oil always.
Finally we performed a common and simple test for purity. Since essential oils are not truly oils they respond differently when they come into contact with blotting paper. When pure essential oils are dropped onto a piece of blotting paper they will impregnate the paper and then evaporate leaving no obvious trace. However, if you place a drop of diluted essential oil on blotting paper, the vegetable oil used to stretch the original will leave an oily stain on the paper.
“Young Living owns the 4 largest distillers, partners with the next 2 largest, distills on 5 continents, farms much of their own production, is the first company to use oils Intra-muscularly, the first company to use oils intra-venously, the first company to use oils as dietary supplements, is the only company that is AFNOR, EC and ISO certified Therapeutic Grade, their oils never expire, are used topically neat even on day old infants etc…”

Our Lavender oil is genuine Lavandula angustifolia oil from various L. angustifolia cultivars, pure and undiluted, with no additives. It has only the naturally occurring ratios of natural constituents and is not put through any secondary distillation to manipulate its component profile. This is a blend of selected cultivars, rather than only the specific subspecies that are specifically and narrowly suited to perfume formulation. In this way, we produce the highest quality Lavender oil that meets the needs of aromatherapy consumers and professionals alike, rather than offering it as a limited use fragrance ingredient per the ISO standard.

100% Pure. Oils that say “pure” or “100% pure” are allowed to have as little as 51% essential oil by law! Isn’t that amazing? Therefore, “pure” on the label doesn’t really mean pure. And, even if an oil is “pure” in the sense of not being diluted, it may still be adulterated with synthetic chemicals, residual pesticides and with solvents, or it may be of mediocre medicinal quality.

Unfortunately, this ignited and resurfaced some of the studies that are often quoted regarding the toxicity of essential oils and children. These sources for toxicity where some of the very same ones in which I reviewed and discussed the caveats to here. The sources that are referenced by the poison center also were lacking in some information I was seeking. They do not include the essential oil company, quality of the oil, and some where related to one isolated or synthetic constituent. The parts of an essential oil are not the same as the synergy of the whole essential 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…
Black bean brownies are a delicious and nutritious twist to a traditional chocolate brownie. You might be nervous about baking with black beans, but don’t be – they have a very mild flavor and are extremely rich, creamy, and full of protein. You can also boost the flavor of your brownie with essential oils such as Peppermint, Wild Orange, Cinnamon, or even Lavender.
It is important that people research the oils they are using – as not all EO’s are created equally and MANY on the market can be harmful when used improperly. Industry standards are very lax and an EO is only required to have a minimum of 2% essential oil in the bottle to be classified as pure – the rest can be synthetics or fillers. I chose Young Living Essential Oils because I know – without a doubt that from the minute the seed is planted to the minute it goes into the bottle – proper care and precision has been taken to ensure only the highest quality oil on the market. Young Living is the ONLY company in the world who has taken it one step further by having our own farms, doing our own harvesting, cultivating, distilling, testing and bottling of our products as well.

Supercritical carbon dioxide is used as a solvent in supercritical fluid extraction. This method can avoid petrochemical residues in the product and the loss of some "top notes" when steam distillation is used. It does not yield an absolute directly. The supercritical carbon dioxide will extract both the waxes and the essential oils that make up the concrete. Subsequent processing with liquid carbon dioxide, achieved in the same extractor by merely lowering the extraction temperature, will separate the waxes from the essential oils. This lower temperature process prevents the decomposition and denaturing of compounds. When the extraction is complete, the pressure is reduced to ambient and the carbon dioxide reverts to a gas, leaving no residue.
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