Standardized oils are not always clearly marked as such. Additionally, some essential oils are tampered with, also known as adulterated, in order to give the illusion that the oil is of an higher quality than it is, or to extend more costly oils in order to make more money on the sale of the oil. For example, the pricey Japanese citrus Yuzu Essential Oil resembles a combination of grapefruit and mandarin essential oils. Some sellers may be tempted to blend grapefruit and mandarin essential oils together and market the blend as the more expensive Yuzu Essential Oil. Patchouli Essential Oil is sometimes extended with the addition of less costly balsams or cedarwood. Lavender Essential Oil is sometimes adulterated by the addition of more linalyl acetate.
Rachael Armstrong, a 44-year-old mother of five from Omaha, NE, learned this the hard way last year. After weeks of rubbing grapefruit oil on her feet as an appetite suppressant and spiking her water and laundry detergent with lemon oil, she developed a severe sensitivity to the sun that left her with blisters and welts after just a few minutes exposed to its rays. “I admit I was probably overusing them,” she says. “But I don’t think people are aware that even though they’re natural products, they can do real damage.”
Very simply, you want to read on the label — or information page for every oil — the true Latin name of the plant from which the oil was extracted, as well as the country from which the plant was harvested. Some companies will go further and tell you the method of extraction, the farming quality and also the chemical family of the oil. Plus seeing the batch number on the bottle helps you match it with its testing.
I thought we had cleared up this misconception years ago, however, it seems there are a number of essential oil purveyors claiming to carry essential oils that are specifically certified as therapeutic grade by the FDA and show this seal below as proof. Don’t be fooled. They are not telling the truth. In reverse order, this is one path to their deception.
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.
This is the biggest and most hotly argued aspect of the unregulated essential oil market. Be aware, there are no official legal bindings to the terms, “Pure”, “100% Pure”, “Natural”, and “Therapeutic Grade”; in fact there are no grades at all regarding essential oils. If you see any of these, or similar terms on essential oils, they are completely meaningless marketing slogans.
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Peppermint supports healthy gut function and normal digestion, she says, and can be used topically to soothe sore muscles. "It's important to note that peppermint is a 'hot' oil, which means it needs to be diluted before applying to your skin," said Dunaway. "Before applying it topically, peppermint oil should be diluted with a carrier oil like coconut oil."
What many companies mean by Therapeutic grade essential oils is backed by science and not just made up. These oils go through a testing process called GCC for short. That will tell you every chemical part that makes up the oil. So when you have a pure EO, it only has certain chemicals, many distillers have dirt, weeds and many other items in the distilling process which ends up in the EO. When these oils are run throught a GCC test, the test shows there are new chemical parts in the oil that shouldn’t be in the EO. These oils are not pure, so came along the saying “Therapeutic Grade” meaning a pure EO. Without doing a GCC test you have no clue what level of purity your EO is. Also, many suppliers also cut the EO with carrier oils and therefore made other suppliers to come up with a new term “Therapeutic Grade” to make a clear distinction between all the different oils on the market. EO’s are like cars, not all cars are built to the same quality and EO’s are not all grown, distilled and diluted to the same quality. Just because there is one company pushing FDA certificate doesn’t mean the meaning “Therapeutic Grade” is not true. You need to learn what to except as truth or not. Just like this blogs article, anyone can say anything and with a little following people believe and you have hundreds of people believing it is not true and it is true.
Hi there, I just started using an e,extranio cigarette, read that if you make your own e liquids, (there’s a few kits out there) you can get read of the only scientifically detected ingredient that might pose a threat to health, this is not nicotine it’s called propylene glycol. I want to make my own liquid using just vegetable glycerin and for the aroma, I thought I could use a tiny amount of essential oils. My doubt is, a Swiss just bottle of lets say thyme, is it a 100% the me extracted oil? Or is there any other ingredient? Do you think for vaping essential oils are ok?
There are at least 30 + single plant essential oils that can be applied neat ( straight or undiluted) a far cry from a few. Most of the rest only need approx 1 to 1 dilution. Again the same goes for undiluted oils for babies and children. Now naturally their skin is more sensitive so you need to be more watchful and careful and possibly only place these oils on a babies feet and use a 1/4 to 1/2 drop of the oil instead of the full dose.
You’ll often see companies advertising their "therapeutic grade," "aromatherapy grade," or "medicinal grade" oils. Unfortunately for them, no such thing exists. "There is no formally approved grading standard used consistently throughout the essential oil industry," Lortscher says. Simply put, anyone who says that they have therapeutic grade or "certified" essential oils is lying. "That seal is nothing more than a commercial trademark. It isn’t backed by any scientific body."
Ellen – Im sorry but you are mistaken. Essential oils ARE able to be ingested in their purest, natural form. The FDA even acknowledges this and has its OWN list of Essential Oils Generally Recognized as Safe for human consumption. If needed I can gladly link you. The FDA has in fact gone after them, not for “practicing medicine”, but for some of the uneducated reps who made claims that EO’s cured Ebola. At the same time, Dr Bronners people among OTHER companies received the same letters. They also did not file anything, they have sent them letters with “their demands” and now these companies need to meet them. Do not make a mountain out of a mole hill. I am with Young Living oils- because I care where my product comes from.
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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!
“from what I’ve read” – Just remember that everyone has an agenda – Even the person who wrote what you read. Young Living at least has something to show for what they charge. They own farms around the world, grow everything organically, pay people to hand weed the crops before harvest so they don’t have to use weed killers… they have and operate their own distilleries and labs and have giant warehouses with lots of employees. And yet a bottle of lemon oil still only costs $11. There are groups of people in the Aromatherapy world who dislike Young Living because they follow the French model of aromatherapy and the other groups follow the English and German models. The camps dislike each other and there is so much negativity. The French have shown that if the oil is pure you can ingest it with no problems. The other models have studies and histories of oils harming people but their oils came from the perfume industry and were polluted with synthetics. Most Aromatherapists don’t even know about the different models and are taught from a one-sided view and have a “we are right” attitude and turn their noses up at Young Living because it is MLM. Yet Young Living actually is a wholesale membership club a lot like Sams or Costco. Only 5% of it’s members actually run it like a MLM. Most just join and buy their own oils.
I think it’s wonderful that you’re starting somewhere. I used the NOW brand for several years with great results. I’ve recently discovered Young Living and WOW way different. I’ve found that the brands in our local stores are cut with carriers and preservatives. Young Living is completely pure. I mean a small bottle of sandalwood from NOW costs about $15. Young Living’s cost well over $100. The difference is that YL offers completely pure oils. A closer look at my NOW sandalwood bottle showed that it was in a carrier oil. I prefer to buy my own carriers and mix my favorite oils into them on my own. Wishing you continued success!
A few drops of lavender essential oil has many properties for body and mind. Lavender essential oil is gentle enough to be applied directly on the skin and is commonly used by massage therapists and naturopaths. Also, lavender essential oil provides beneficial properties for dry and sensitive skin, has soothing properties that help reduce stress and has calming effects that help induce sleep.
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The only oils on the market safe to ingest are by a company called Young Living. If you are not a member you can obtain Eucalyptus oil by typing in Young Living Essential Oil Eucalyptus on an ebay or amazon search engine to try it out. One you do, you will surely want to become a member of this company. I use these oils on myself and children and am being healed of YEARS of chronic illness with these products. I am not a salesperson. I feel obligated to get EVERYONE with health issues this REAL AND TRUE HEALING MEDICINE that heals rather than just treating symptoms.
Most essential oils on the market shouldn’t be taken internally because they aren’t pure. I second the statement made by someone up above — I use Young Living oils internally (and externally) on a daily basis! I was able to get off four different prescription drugs I was on with Young Living oils. I teach people how to use them for emergency preparedness/collapse medicine purposes, as well as day-to-day. I don’t want to self-promote, but if you want to see my website send me an email! [email protected]
I have purchased from Edens Garden a number of times. I really enjoy your products. Before making a decision, I sent a number of inquiries to them about their oils. They are very good a sending back information to help you make your decision. From everything I have learned: They are 100% pure. They have cut out the middle man so they can lower the price and they have quick service. I have purchased the same thing from a couple different places and find I like the Edens Garden best. (I can afford these, not some of the other brands, too) I personally haven’t found any discrepancies.
well my encounter with a doterra sales rep was very interesting, and she informed me (me being qualified and acredited clinical aromatherapist) that doterra were the purest essential oils on the world and they are so pure you dont have to use as much as other companies essential oils and that they are pure theraputic grade essential oils for internal use!!!!!! well that is illegal here in australia unless you hold an advanced diploma in aromatic medicine, i asked her what training she had to make such a dangrous statement and she said she was a sales rep. i find with most MLM compaines like YL and doterra that none of their sales reps have any form of training in aromatherapy or clinical aromatherapy to make the clams and statements they do.
In the case of the blue oils we see evidence of oxidation when the blue color becomes green over time. This is due to the degradation of chamazulene, the hydrocarbon responsible for the blue color in things like German chamomile, blue tansy, yarrow, etc. Its for these reasons that I always recommend that people refrigerate any of the blue oils and be sure to always keep a minimum amount of airspace in the bottle that you are storing these oils in so that the “greening” effect will be slowed down. Of course keeping airspace to a minimum is a good practice for all the essential oils but its absolutely crucial for the blue oils and for citrus oils.
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?
The most important terms to look for regarding the way the plants are grown and harvested are: Certified Organic, Wild Harvested, or unofficially organic (sometimes called “unsprayed”). A reputable essential oil company will freely disclose all information about where and how their source plants are grown, and they’ll be proud of their organic choices.
So, what’s your take on companies like Young Living Oil, which basically give me the vibe of “our oil is the only true and pure one out there”. I’m not sold on the idea, and don’t know that I’ll be purchasing anything other than their Thieves blend, when it comes to EOs for my soaps, lotions, and salves. I know you’re mainly addressing aromatherapy and massage here, but would the same principles apply to homemade healthcare products, as well?
Essential oils are usually lipophilic (literally: "oil-loving") compounds that usually are not miscible with water. They can be diluted in solvents like pure ethanol and polyethylene glycol. The most common way to safely dilute essential oils for topical use is in a carrier oil. This can be any vegetable oil readily available, the most popular for skin care being jojoba, coconut, wheat germ, olive and avocado.