Inside the living plant, essential oils serve several purposes, one of which is defense. Acting like the plant’s immune system, the oils help it fight off fungus or bacterial infection, and protect it from insects and animals. Another purpose is reproduction; the pleasing aromas attract pollinating insects like bees and butterflies. We’re not the only animals who like the smell of flowers.
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.
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.
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!
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.

We use cookies and similar technologies to improve your browsing experience, personalize content and offers, show targeted ads, analyze traffic, and better understand you. We may share your information with third-party partners for marketing purposes. To learn more and make choices about data use, visit our Advertising Policy and Privacy Policy. By clicking “Accept and Continue” below, (1) you consent to these activities unless and until you withdraw your consent using our rights request form, and (2) you consent to allow your data to be transferred, processed, and stored in the United States.
Essential oils have a complex composition. One single oil may contain hundreds of individual constituents from a variety of chemical families. Although this complexity may seem overwhelming to all but the most advanced scientist, it is actually a vital part of the therapeutic value of essential oils. Every different class of constituents offers unique biochemical properties that allow them to react in a certain way. Together, a variety of constituents work together as a complete synergistic unit to maximize the functionality of the oil and in turn, enhance its applicable beneficial properties. In plants, this allows the plant to be dynamic and adaptive in its environment by conferring certain protective and reproductive benefits. In humans, this allows essential oils to have endless applications to health and wellness. A single essential oil may have many functions because of their complex chemical profiles. For example, lemon oil is renowned for its powerful purifying properties and is useful as a cleaning agent. On the other hand, it has also been demonstrated to have powerfully uplifting effects on mood.
The medicinal use of therapeutic essential oils can be very helpful and may support the body to bring rapid and welcome relief from a great variety of symptoms. However, the medicinal use of essential oils provides only a part of the many unique and powerful benefits of these complex plant essences. Therefore, the medicinal use of essential oils is best used as part of a larger, more holistic context of health and wellness, which can include mainstream medicine.
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:
Crunchy Betty, I have a question. I am new and learning about using essential oils and loving it, but having a problem with the scents not lasting as a perfume on my body. I mean not lasting even an hour. I am using essential oils purchased at one of the reputable companies that you recommend above. I am using a base of Jojoba and then blending other essential oils to make a scent. What am I doing wrong?
Today, the processors (distillers) of essential oils carefully blend proprietary mixtures of L. angustifolia subspecies and cultivars to produce a combination of true lavender oils that have a more consistent aroma, rather than providing only the low-camphor Reya and Munstead subspecies as specialized perfume ingredients. These other lavender essential oils are as true and pure as the two cultivars used by perfumers, but with four cultivars they provide a wider palette of scent and a more diverse scope of practical application due to their wider range of natural constituents.
By stratifying data for African-American males by birth year, Dr. Hooker also found a statistically significant higher risk of an autism diagnosis in children who had received the first MMR vaccine 1 year earlier, only in children born in 1990 or later. Thimerosal exposure increased in the early 1990s, and it was not removed from most pediatric vaccines until 2001-2004. Dr. Hooker suggests the possibility that there may be some interaction between increased mercury exposure and early MMR vaccination. Further study would be needed to explore this possibility.
This is really a good synopsis of important things to know, good job!! Just wanted to correct one point though. According to essential oil expert Robert Tisserand, being allergic to , say, ginger tea does NOT necessarily mean you’d be allergic to ginger essential. Plants and their corresponding EO’s do not necessarily have the same properties or actions. A patch test can be done if one is concerned about the possibility of being allergic to an essential oil.

As oils are commonly used for inhalation and in combination with carrier oils for transdermal absorption, meaning rubbed into the skin in diluted forms, they are bypassing many of the body's natural protective mechanisms and detoxification channels. Substances rubbed directly into the skin can go straight into the bloodstream and begin circulating - the good and the bad. Ideally, we only want the good entering our bodies in this method. Let our beauty care become our medicine.
I have a question about allergies. I am not actually allergic to any food but I have oral allergy syndrome from having hay fever. Certain fresh veggies and fruits cause burning and itching in my mouth and sometimes other worse symptoms. I can’t eat avocados. Generally when these foods are slightly cooked or overly ripe I can have them. I’ve been wondering about using essential oils with avocado oil. I’ve had weird reactions with raw almonds but not roasted. It’s so weird! I’m weary of using almond or avocado carrier oils but I like the skin benifits

Wonderful information! I just started researching oils and I want to use him for my classroom I’ve also wondered about using them around my cats I know some essential oils are not safe for cats I would never put them on topically, however I diffuse them in my bedroom and they sleep with me Do you have any insight on this topic? Thanks again for such great information !!
Thank you so much for the work you put into this . I found it very helpful. I’m just getting the oils and haven’t even purchased anything because I had no idea where to start. I started researching and was shocked at all the brands out there. I want to use a good oil but my funds are limited. I also started making candles and wanted a good brand that will hold the scent all the way to the end of the candle.

Per ATTN’s reporting, the FDA sent similar warnings to doTERRA and another company, and FDA spokesperson Lindsay Meyer informed the outlet that consumers should be wary of fraud and scams that involve claims to prevent, treat or cure health conditions. “Health fraud scams waste money and can lead to delays in getting proper diagnosis and treatment. They can also cause serious or even fatal injuries,” she told ATTN.
Dermatologist Diane Berson, who recently spoke at a conference about essential oils as a cosmeceutical trend, says they’re typically okay to use in skincare products if you don’t have an allergic reaction to them. Many people use them since they’re advertised as “botanicals,” but she says there’s no evidence that these are any better than ingredients made synthetically.

Although an extensive trade of odoriferous material has been shown to have occurred in the ancient Orient and ancient Greece and Rome, the oils used were not essential oils per se, “rather they were obtained by placing flowers, roots, and other plant material into a fatty oil of best quality, submitting the glass bottles containing these mixtures to the warming influence of the sun and finally separating odoriferous oil from the solid constituents”.2
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.
Diffusing any EO would not be safe for the children or adult coming into your classroom as there are tons of allergies and Pharmaceutical Drug interactions you would not be aware of which could potentially be very dangerous. I would definitely do more research before investing in EO’s, especially with YL or any MLM indicating they can cure illnesses. YL, doTerra and Natural Solutions were cited by the FDA in September 2014 for doing just that. Mountain Rose Herbs is a great company, Plant Therapy offers even Children Safe single Oils and Synergy Blends.

H.E.B.B.D (known as E.O.B.B.D in the US) is enhanced with a quality-assurance system with standards for therepeutic use. This process evaluates trace of lots, botanical description, organoleptic characteristics, extraction method, and full physical and chemical analyses (GC/MS coupling) on every batch of oil. These controls are made under the responsibility of a J.C. Chalcat Ph.D. 

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.
Yes, all our products are either steam distilled or cold pressed from premium natural botanical ingredients. Everything from our Select Series essential oils to the natural skin care oils in our Forever collection are sourced from our global network of diligently handpicked farmers, who produce our ingredients naturally and sustainably to our exacting standards. Different plants are native to different parts of the world, and because our oils are species-specific, we source them indigenously to ensure that their natural properties are exceptional.
There are several different extraction methods and they vary depending upon the essential oil desired. Dry steam with minimal pressure is the desired process for 90% of essential oils. Cold expression, however, is ideal for citrus oils. For fragile, flower-based essential oils, such as rose and ylang-ylang, hydraulic distillation in a water bath is best. The process used to extract oils from the plant matter impacts the final quality of the essential oils and, if done correctly, preserves their longevity. 
You sound so anti-DoTerra that you lose all credibility. You sound like you’ve invested so much in time and effort in bashing DoTerra, that you’d keep bashing them no matter what research was done on their oils. I don’t really care what your background is, you’ve lost all credibility by the way that you’ve vehemently bashed the DoTerra company completely. Do you know what Medical Doctor’s do as research? They try out things, and look at the results. My results in using DoTerra oils compared with other oils is that they have worked better. I haven’t used all the different brands, but out of the ones I’ve used, DoTerra have given me the best results. It’s not unsafe to ingest certain essential oils, at all. It’s like saying that it’s unsafe to ingest tylenol, or ibuprofen. It’s not unsafe when done in the proper quantities. You’re ignorant by denouncing a companies’ product just because of the way that they’ve chosen to market it. By the way, DoTerra has grown into a company with more than 100 million dollars in sales per year in just 6 years, marketing the way that they do. I think they’ve made wise business decisions up to this point by marketing the way that they have. I don’t sell DoTerra, because I’m not interested in doing sales, at all. But, their oils work really well, and I personally have seen great benefits from using them.
I did a price comparison from various oil companies, including doTerra and Mountain Rose Herbs. The price differences seem to focus primarily on country of origin, followed by whether they were fair trade. doTerra, for example, sells Frankincense from Oman, and the wholesale price for 15ml is almost $70. Mountain Rose sells USA Frankincense at $20 for 15ml. Eden Botanical sells Frankincense from Somalia at $16 for 15ml. Scents of Earth sells Frankincense from Oman at $45 for 10 ml (or $67.50 for 15 ml).
I’m trying to decide which EOs to buy, to start out with, and where to buy them from. I’ve noticed that many of doTerra’s oils are MUCH more expensive than those from Mountain Rose Herbs. Why is that? Is one vastly superior over the other one? I’m on a budget and would prefer to spend less, if possible, but don’t want to sacrifice purity or quality, either.
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?
Therapeutic essential oils or medicinal essential oils must be of the highest quality, potency and purity for demanding medicinal applications and maximum effectiveness. Therapeutic essential oils must also be well balanced, natural and of high energy for holistic applications. The following are qualities to look for in a true therapeutic or medicinal essential oil:
Someone in the audience then asked him about his connected to YL. He was clearly thrown by the question, and said in the end that he wanted to move onto other toipcs but that he had left the company, because he did not like what they were doing. He also told a few stories concerning patients of his that had cancer, including a man called John that was given two weeks to live, and how he had felt so sad that as a doctor John would have been one of his first patients that would die. Until someone in the audience mention that ‘John’ was also the man in his book that miraclously recovered. This seemd to jog Dr. Hill’s memory, and he said yes that the man had no signs of cancer and was cured. Ummm….
Their products are intended to be used in various ways: to smell, to apply to the skin, and to take internally. Claims for individual oils are vague: to soothe sore muscles and joints, to ease breathing, as a cooling agent for the skin, for calming, cleansing, mood-enhancing, to relieve menstrual discomfort, to supply antioxidants, digestive support, supporting a healthy insulin response, supporting localized blood flow, beautifying legs and hips, immune support, cleansing the air, regenerative properties, fighting off seasonal bugs, “calming the skin” (?). Any claim that begins to sound specific is asterisked to the usual FDA disclaimer.  (“These statements have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. This product is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent disease.”)

EOBBD evaluators shine lights through the liquid oil and measure the angle of refraction. Why? Essential oils that are sealed and created under the correct parameters will refract light at a very specific index. If oils are diluted, this refraction angle changes. The refraction index is a very reliable measurement of whether or not an essential oil is pure and unadulterated.
To find a therapeutic grade essential oil you will need to know its latin name and find it back on the bottle. The bottle also needs to have the name and address of the aupplier and a batch number. It is really not advised to use less than therapeutic grade in any skin, beauty or healthcare products as you are so much more likely to get adverse effects.

Use the tips within AromaWeb's How to Buy Essential Oils article to guide you on what to look for when considering suppliers. Companies that use the terms "therapeutic grade" and "aromatherapy grade" may simply be trying to quickly convey to you that their oils were carefully chosen and tested for use by those practicing holistic aromatherapy. Some companies still have no idea that these terms are confusing.
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.
~ I still worry a little about the internal and undiluted use of the oils but due to their purity I am less worried and have not seen or heard about any adverse events associated with these uses. doTERRA does encourage dilution for specific oils such as Wintergreen and Oregano and using the oils on the bottom of the feet, especially for children and the elderly or frail, since the skin is tougher there. Also, many of the people with doTERRA are very experienced using essential oils and because of this experience can say with a good deal of confidence that the oils are not dangerous to any particular group of people, including pregnant women and their babies. They also support valid scientific research on essential oils. I have checked their information with my professional aromatherapy texts and they are accurate.
Beyond their story, though, I really like the MLM way of getting the word out. I firmly believe that every household should know about and have essential oils on hand and word of mouth marketing and education just works…most of the time. I am also aware that I can attend an educational event with a friend and come away with different “information” than he or she did. I’m really fortunate to live in New Mexico where we have a large but tight-knit doTERRA community. If we hear someone making statements that are obviously misinterpretations or misrepresentations of the company and/or the product, someone will reel them in. Likewise, they will be reeled in if they’re heard to be prescribing what someone should use.
If you do your research you will find that the ISO spec for lavender lists the acceptable camphor up to 1.5% , depending on origin, and the British Pharmacopoeia lists camphor at max 1.2%. My standard at EOU is that camphor, 1,8-cineole and borneol should all be about 1% or less in true lavender essential oil. My standard is based on samples taken from all over the world as well as from many distillations that I have personally done on many different varieties of Lavandula.
“Part of our mission at d?TERRA is to be a leader and educator in the essential oil industry. We look forward to working with other responsible industry leaders and standard setting bodies to establish high standards for products labeled as pure essential oils. In the mean time, the d?TERRA name and CPTG registered trademark will continue to reflect our unyielding effort to provide you with the safest, purest, and most potent essential oil products available to consumers today.”

I can understand why the media is often critical of therapies that tout “quick-fix cures” for serious conditions such as cancer. Unfortunately, the media tends to mock or criticize the entire aromatherapy industry for this, not just the companies making outrageous claims. I do believe that aromatherapy organisations need to be more active to ensure that the true holistic benefits of aromatherapy are responsibly communicated to the community. This certainly will be a topic for future discussion.

Anyways… people often shy away from the idea of limiting their meat consumption or giving it up entirely because they believe that in order to be strong and lean they absolutely need protein from animal sources. Fortunately, for the sake of the animals and our health, this actually couldn’t be farther from the truth. There are plenty of vegan bodybuilders and athletes, many of which have claimed that their performance actually enhanced after cutting out animals and animal products from their diets. Here are the top 10 vegan bodybuilders.
I prefer Appalachian valley — they are a wholesale distributor as well but you can purchase small quantities from them as well. Use the code – roseotto and you can get their wholesale prices. If you purchase 5, 10, or 20ml bottles when you add them to the cart you will see a discount. I really love their products and got a sample of their frankincense – wow!! Love it.
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.

i am affiliated with a like minded company, Essante Organics. every item is toxic free, non gmo, and small green footprint. having doterra, young living, and essante oils and comparing same types, i am positive essante is the better of the three. essante’s company philosophy is better also. check them out. EssanteOrganics.com/julieparks i’m confident you will be impressed.

Thank you for sharing your knowledge! I am 36 weeks pregnant and came down with a nasty cough. I couldn’t take any medicine, but yet couldn’t sleep. I used eucalyptus oil on my neck and chest to clear up my cough. I read that eucalyptus oil is not advised for pregnant women to use, however, I could not find any reasons why. Do you happen to know the risks that eucalyptus oil might have on the unborn baby? I have since stopped using the oil, but definitely used it a few times. (I will be calling my doctor, but was curious about your input.) Thank you so much!
I do have issues with YL because they are not actually training their distributors in Aromatherapy, just their version. Having had a cousin die from ingesting Wintergreen when she was a toddler. Her mother had been responsible and placed the bottle in a very high cupboard but the older daughter helped her little sister climb up to get it. She was dead by the time her mum found her. By encouraging people to eat essential oils without the appropriate training to understand what oils are actually safe is irresponsible. Many essential oils which we consider to be GRAS are toxic if over-used as well as taken internally. For instance Eucalyptus, my understanding is that it wouldn’t take much when taken internally to kill you.

After buying several carrier oils and essential oils on Amazon, I’m now wondering if I’ve wasted my money. It’s just sad that consumers can’t get honest information regarding a product. While not all EO’s and carriers have to be expensive, it’s weeding out the ones that are pure vs. cut/synthetic that’s the hardest. I think this is what turns some newbies off from using EO’s for Therapeutic purposes… they buy an EO expecting a certain result, see none, and then, understandably, think they “just don’t work.”
Hi. I have a question. I have always read that in order to make essential oil you need tons of a plant to get a little bit of the the oil itself, like you mentioned in the article. So it seems like something that can only be made industrially. But I also see recipes for homemade essential oils. So, my question is: Are these homemade oils real essential oils? Or is there another name for those ones? Are they as good in terms of benefits for the skin and its scents properties?

In addition to their intrinsic benefits to plants and being beautifully fragrant to people, essential oils have been used throughout history in many cultures for their medicinal and therapeutic benefits. Modern scientific study and trends towards more holistic approaches to wellness are driving a revival and new discovery of essential oil health applications.
Essential Oils such as YlangYlang and Frankincense help reduce your stress by sending calming signals to your brain and improving your mood significantly. Essential oils can thus help relieve stress and anxiety by bringing mental as well as physical changes in your body that are likely to be reasons for your stress and anxiety. You can also apply a few drops of certain essential oils to your temples in order to get instant relaxation.
However, absolutes do have therapeutic value and are often used for psychological purposes and for animals, particularly horses. Many therapists incorporate absolutes, such as rose absolute, jasmine, and tuberose, as a valuable part of their therapeutic applications of aromatherapy. Ultimately the decision to use absolutes is up to the practitioner and his/her own personal preferences.
The primary constituents are listed, but not in any proportion and I haven’t the foggiest what specific gravity, refractive index, or optical rotation levels are appropriate for what I’m doing (natural perfumery). Steffen Arctander’s “Perfume and Flavor Materials of Natural Origin” is a big help overall, but I was wondering if you could comment on this.
The pharmacist have the possibility to vote the “best pharmacy partner” within the “OTC-Studie” every year. Gold, silver and bronce medals are distributed in 52 categories. The “OTC-Studie” of the “PharmaRundschau” analyse which products or product families the pharmacies recommend the most to their customers from chosen OTC-indication groups. The reputation of a company and the business policy is for industry, wholesaler and service partner important in the eyes of pharmacies. That’s why the question after the company the pharmacies work best with and would recommend is an indicator for satisfaction of the customers with their market partner.
Hello, I've only been using essential oils for the last year and I've been doing a lot of research trying to buy from the safest place because I know the Sham on the grades and how therapeutic is just a term. My question to you is do you know anything about (Bulk Apothecary) brand? I was buying from them for almost a year and then it was recently I asked them for three of their C of A's they sent them to me, but he gave me a problem when I told him one of the brands they sell of henna was bad. I don't know what I'm supposed to look for on this certificate which I'm trying to research to find out. One of the essential oils it says that complies all the way down the other two it says it complies and then it gives it some type of percentage. I guess I would just like to know if you think that they are real or if you've heard of them they do offer all of the information like you say in your blog to look for, such as the bontanical name how it's been distilled and even the history. I know the smell on every single essential oil we've gotten from them has been very potent. Thank you and anything would help even linking me to the right direction.
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.

However, absolutes do have therapeutic value and are often used for psychological purposes and for animals, particularly horses. Many therapists incorporate absolutes, such as rose absolute, jasmine, and tuberose, as a valuable part of their therapeutic applications of aromatherapy. Ultimately the decision to use absolutes is up to the practitioner and his/her own personal preferences.
The Greeks discovered the Egyptian’s methods and also used essential oils in their practices of therapeutic massage and aromatherapy. The ancient Romans also used essential oils to promote health and personal hygiene amongst their people. Chinese and Indian Ayurvedics also used aromatic herbs, and the Persians began to improve distillation methods for extracting essential oils from aromatic plants and herbs.
Just to give anyone interested a typical example analysis, the picture below is of a certified organic lavender that I recently analyzed for a customer. As you can see the peak at 26.435 shows camphor present at 0.25%. Also, if you want peer reviewed literature references showing that camphor should indeed be in lavender, just login to my EO Chemical Reference database and you will see plenty of detailed reports, with journal citations, confirming exactly what I am talking about.

This is a great resource. I’ use a variety of essential oils. I have a drawer full. Some from Young Living, Simply Earth, Do Terra and Isagenix. There are many good brands but I think people get nervous about trying new brands especially when they’ve heard from well-meaning friends that only the MLM versions are safe. While I do think MLM brands are tested extensively because they are held to very high standards and don’t want to get shut down there are some non-mlm oil brands you can safely buy especially if you plan to use them in your diffuser. I wouldn’t ingest an oil unless the bottle specifically states you can. For ingesting the brands I use right now are Isagenix and Young Living (I’m sure there are others that are safe but these state they are ingestable). I’ve written many posts about how to use oils and I switch out brands depending on my needs and what I have on hand.
Essential oils can be considered, fundamentally, as medication. Although derived from plants and natural resources they are still used as treatment for health ailments. The oil’s high concentration makes them very powerful and potentially dangerous substances if used incorrectly. It is imperative that you do thorough research before using any essential oil, because if used improperly they can cause serious health issues like allergic reactions, rashes, burns and long-term internal damage. The temptation to self-diagnose and self-prescribe can be a great influence in using essential oils, but without professional diagnosis and supervision you run a risk of causing yourself harm. With that in mind here are some very important guidelines to follow:
Thanks for the informative article on essential oils! I want to know if there are any essential oils that can be applied on my skin (face) just before my skin is exposed to direct sunlight? I know that the skin where citrus oils are applied should not be exposed to direct sunlight for few hours after application. That’s the only question that I am concerned with because I am very interested in concocting a facial oil moisturizer after reading an article of yours that is about making a “3-ingredient facial oil moisturizer”.
Janice, I hope we are not at odds. For the record, whenever people ask me about either Do Terra or Young Living, I tell them that they are very good quality oils, which they are. I mean it when I say I’m glad you are happy with your supplier. And don’t take this as an attack on you – it isn’t – but I don’t subscribe to the MLM business model for aromatherapy. Maybe I am generalizing too much, but what I see is some problematic bending of facts (see above discussion) in order to sell product. And some flirtation with the boundaries of safety that make me uncomfortable. When selling product is your motivation, this is perhaps not surprising. As for me, I do not receive a paycheck from Tisserand Aromatherapy, and almost never mention the company.
Any essential oil business that cares about selling only pure essential oils will have their oils tested with at least two tests, usually run simultaneously, the gas chromatography and mass spectrometry tests, or GC/MS.  Responsible essential oil vendors will run these tests on every batch of oil they receive from a distiller. Many of these vendors provide batch-specific GC/MS reports on their websites, and some others will provide them on request, sometimes for a nominal fee. Some high quality essential oil vendors do not provide these reports, but those that do are prefered by trained aromatherapists.

A trained expert in essential oils will understand all of the elements of any given oil, and recognize those qualities on sight. The viscosity, the color, the clarity, and other visible qualities of an oil indicate purity. Any appearance of inappropriate cloudiness, particulates or discoloration can reveal that the oil has been improperly extracted.
“Organic” and “Wild Crafted” are just labels that have limited meanings when it comes to actual purity and therapeutic properties of the oil and sustainability of the source. Just because a plant is grown under organic conditions doesn’t mean that it’s pure or at therapeutic levels once its oil is put into a bottle. Organic only means the plant is grown without synthetic pesticides, chemical fertilizers, etc. The testing that most EO companies do only tests to ensure that certain required constituents are present in the oil and does not test for things that shouldn’t be there (ie weeds which can also be organic) or test that the constituents which are present are actually at therapeutic levels. That’s where it’s important to have 3rd party tests and that the results are certified (meaning that I can take that bottle of oil to a chemist and have it tested and it will be exactly what the company says it is and what I expect I paid for). Also the label “wild crafted” only means that the plant was grown in the wild. Again, it doesn’t ensure purity or potency of the oil. Also, being wild crafted doesn’t guarantee the oil comes from a plant that was sustainably grown and harvested. Many illegal cuttings are causing the extinction of plants in some regions. doTERRA’s certification of their oils to be 100% pure (nothing in them but the oil of the plant intended and no weeds organic or otherwise or anything else) and at therapeutic levels, backed up by 3rd party testing, means they put their reputation on the line that every bottle of their oils can be tested anywhere by anybody and what’s in the bottle will be exactly what they say it is; only what they say it is and at the therapeutic levels they say it is. So the question is, why do all other EO companies NOT certify their oils to be 100% pure and at therapeutic levels?
In fact, the doTerra peppermint oil contained ethyl vanillin which is a synthetic compound used for odor! So much for unadulterated oils. You cannot tell how potent, pure, or good an oil is by how beautiful it smells. Some don’t smell anything like you would expect. All of the peppermint essential oils that I have owned smelled like the peppermint that you find in a garden while doTERRA’s peppermint essential oil smells like peppermint candy.

If you’re looking for German chamomile, which promotes tranquility and relaxation, don’t just buy any bottle with the word “chamomile” on the label. “The specific species of the plant the oil comes makes a big difference in some cases,” says Dr. Burke. For example, plants in the chamomile group have different chemical compositions. Take German chamomile (Matricaria chamomilla) for instance; it has a different chemical composition than Roman chamomile (Anthemis nobilis).”If it just says ‘chamomile’ then you should assume it is a mixture of the cheapest chamomile available,” says Dr. Burke. These are the best essential oils for fighting colds and flu.
The FDA considers essential oils either cosmetics or drugs, depending on their intended use. The FDA makes decisions concerning the regulation of essential oils on a case-by-case basis. For example, if a company claimed that the aroma of an essential oil promoted attractiveness, the FDA would most likely regulate the product as a cosmetic. If a company claimed that an essential oil was effective as an aid for quitting smoking or in treating or preventing any other condition or disease, the FDA is more likely to regulate the product as a drug.
Let’s re-visit one point – if distillation is too long – this can increase the toxicity of the oil. This is because there will be a greater concentration of low-boiling fractions, and sometimes these include relatively toxic substances. Yet how often have I heard that commercial distilleries “shorten” distillation times for profit reasons? That genuine, therapeutic grade essential oils have to be distilled for longer, in order to extract all the important trace constituents?
Finally, if the company’s products are sold through independent sales people, then there will always be some kind of misinformation. Maybe the person who replied to your email was new. People make mistakes! We are human! We need to give people a little more room for human error and not be so quick to judge. Not sure why you are so against this company, or their products., You should really try them, the proof is in the pudding!
Aura Cacia essential oils are packaged in amber glass bottles, which ensures that light does not disrupt the oils’ integrity and individual properties. The essential oil products are also 100% pure, not containing any additional bases, fillers, or additives. While not all of their oils are certified organic, they do have some certified organic oils in their line-up. If organic is important to you, shop for those specific product and look out for the correct “certified organic” label.
In fact, the doTerra peppermint oil contained ethyl vanillin which is a synthetic compound used for odor! So much for unadulterated oils. You cannot tell how potent, pure, or good an oil is by how beautiful it smells. Some don’t smell anything like you would expect. All of the peppermint essential oils that I have owned smelled like the peppermint that you find in a garden while doTERRA’s peppermint essential oil smells like peppermint candy.
Thank you so much for all of your information that you share. It seems like when I google something about essential oils, I frequently end up on your site. I am new to essential oils and not sure what to expect. It seems like when I use them in lotion, roll-on, or even a eucalyptus steam the scent dissipates relatively quickly. I am not sure if I am not adding enough essential oils, if I am buying lower quality essential oils, or if I am expecting too much. For instance, a 8 oz batch of lotion (I used 30 drops total of essential oil)that I made last week no longer has a scent to it (at least to me). Any insight on this?
This is a bit frustrating. I participated here to state my experience. I never anticipated being at odds with you or anyone else on this thread. I have read and studied many, many books, including information from you. Because someone is involved in an MLM doesn’t take away their intelligence nor their curiosity. Most people in the company I am with have at least a nodding acquaintance with a variety of alternative health practices, many are practitioners. I’m sorry if your experience of MLMs has caused you to lump them together. Not every company, MLM or not, can be categorized as the enemy. DoTERRA tests every batch of oils for purity and potency using gas chromatography and mass spectrometry and a variety of other tests. I am confident that these tested oils will match the purity of certified organic. Since you also sell essential oils, should we also distrust you? I know that you are stating your “preference” but seriously, you are Robert Tisserand, esteemed in the e.o. world, including being esteemed by at least some of the owners and many members of doTERRA. Also, if essential oils wiggle in to conventional health care or simply into our home health care, that does serve to disempower pharmaceutical companies. Talking “Big Pharma” is a topic for another time but staying small doesn’t really help the fight against legislation that’s funded by them via their lobbyists.
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.
He suggested an “old wives tale” remedy of tea tree oil in my shampoo. He is not typically an alternative medicine sort of guy, so I was surprised that he even suggested it. By golly it works! I have been a teacher for over thirty years –28 of them head lice free. I shared this idea with several colleagues and parents, and they all report the same results.
If you’re looking for German chamomile, which promotes tranquility and relaxation, don’t just buy any bottle with the word “chamomile” on the label. “The specific species of the plant the oil comes makes a big difference in some cases,” says Dr. Burke. For example, plants in the chamomile group have different chemical compositions. Take German chamomile (Matricaria chamomilla) for instance; it has a different chemical composition than Roman chamomile (Anthemis nobilis).”If it just says ‘chamomile’ then you should assume it is a mixture of the cheapest chamomile available,” says Dr. Burke. These are the best essential oils for fighting colds and flu.
Another added benefit of diffusion is its ability to clean the air. When the air in a space is stagnant, smelly and unclean — like in the winter when your home is closed up — there can be infectious airborne bacteria, viruses and spores floating about ready to make you sick. But when the right essential oil is diffused, in the correct amount, you can actually kill those little buggers in the air before they get to you.
I am adding cinnamon leaf and clover EOs to my mouthwash with peppermint and tea tree EOs. Before I felt safe using the undiluted EOs but with these new additions I feel like I need carrier. The other ingredients are water, aloe water, baking soda, xylitol and witch hazel. Should I add a carrier oil and which one do you recommend? I was thinking avocado, sesame, grapeseed or olive oil. If the witch hazel has alcohol could this act as a carrier? How much alcohol per how many drops? I’ve heard its about 3-5 drops per teaspoon carrier oil (3-5%). Great post!
EOBBD evaluators shine lights through the liquid oil and measure the angle of refraction. Why? Essential oils that are sealed and created under the correct parameters will refract light at a very specific index. If oils are diluted, this refraction angle changes. The refraction index is a very reliable measurement of whether or not an essential oil is pure and unadulterated.

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 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 important to note that essential oils are incredibly powerful and need to be used very very wisely. You need to know what can or can’t be put on skin directly, and only use internally under the care of someone who really knows what they are doing.  I’ve burnt myself using too many drops of certain oils in the bath and have been silly in the past putting some oils on my skin undiluted – ouch!


The worst deception is when poor companies use synthetic fragrances mixed into vegetable oil and pass it off as true essential oil. This is where the real danger to your health can come: the National Academy of Sciences reported that the 95 percent of synthetic fragrances come from petroleum and have the potential to cause cancer, birth defects, central nervous system disorders and allergic reactions.

I have been bothered by yeast infections in past yrs(vaginal) knowing that most essential oils have antibacterial properties I did the following; In 1 cup bottled water I put 8 to 10 drops Rosemary essential oil, stirred it up, wet a washcloth with it and bathed the area. I had immeadiate relief from the horrible itching. If it came back do it again..It only took 2 treatments for me. that was a Godsend to me.
People who are new to natural, alternative or holistic medicine may have a bit of a learning curve in using essential oils in holistic ways. Based as much on intuition as hard and fast techniques, the holistic use of essential oils can sometimes be more art than science. Addressing the underlying cause of disease can be slower, less direct and more ambiguous than focusing solely on the symptoms. However, addressing the root cause of disease holistically holds the promise of true and lasting healing. It is therefore best to combine both medicinal and holistic medicine together, using one to complement the other.

It seems to me that these companies almost disregard Aromatherapists as being unimportant and unnecessary in their global quest for financial gain and profit. I find this situation crazy as Aromatherapists are the only people truly trained in using Essential Oils!!! Aromatherapists can do so much more for people than what these companies sell, we personalise and individualise our treatments and products 100%. Some companies publish books on aromatherapy, however, it is only promoting their products – people are missing out on variety of other oils that are available!
Any changes in the ‘submitted’ order instructions are usually not allowed. However, as an exception any ‘addition’ to the order can be requested under some terms and conditions. However as an exception in rarity you can request for a replacement with the equal valued item and its weight, though the management reserves the right for entertaining your request.
There are several variables when growing plants for essential oils—weather, altitude, the time of year the plant was harvested, and even the time of day the plant was harvested. However, Dr. Burke says the processing of the oil is at least, if not more, important than growing the plant. There are specific processing procedures, depending on the species of plant. Steam distillation is the most common for extracting essential oils. “The expression method (or cold-pressing) is used to extract oils from citrus fruits because the heat from steam distillation damages the citrus oils,” explains Dr. Axe. A newer method growing in popularity is the carbon dioxide extraction, which uses carbon dioxide to carry the oil away from the plant. This method is used for oils such ginger, clover, turmeric, frankincense, and myrrh.
Thank you Holly! I’m happy to see someone stand up and clarify the fact that doTerra does stand behind their oils. To state such a statement of an oil to 100% certified pure therapeutic grade does mean something….especially is you consider using them internally or for cooking. If you are considering using essential oils instead of over the counter drugs, which contain many chemical ingredients (by the way, they use the same plants to create their drugs only they change them chemically and add other things), why not go all the way and eliminate ALL toxic and chemical additions to your body?? My suggestion, do your homework and research! Don’t take someone’s word for it in a comment. Buy a few bottles of the same oil (I hope you’ll consider doTerra) and compare how you feel.

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.

What about the claims that essential oils are perfectly safe to ingest? That’s not necessarily true. Essential oils are broken down in the liver into phytochemicals, and if they accumulate, they can become toxic to the body. While a study of one is hardly convincing evidence, a woman who ingested peppermint oil was brought to the hospital in a comatose state.
If you find yourself counting sheep on a nightly basis, it may be high time that you consider some aromatherapy—there are countless studies that detail just how beneficial certain scents can be for getting quality shut-eye, even in highly stressful situations. For example, one study found that when ICU patients sniffed lavender, chamomile, and neroli, their anxiety levels dipped significantly, and their sleep quality did just the opposite. Another found that the scent of lavender increased slow-wave (deep) sleep, particularly in women. Just taking a whiff of any sleep-inducing oil before bed can help, but to reap the benefits all night long, consider keeping an open jar of an oil dilution on your nightstand or using a pillow spray.
×