Known for demystifying chemistry, Joe Schwarcz, director of McGill University’s Office for Science and Society, explains that many plants’ compounds are volatile: “Some [are] destined to attract pollinators, others to ward off bugs that have the intention of making a tasty meal of the leaves. It is the volatile chemicals that are regarded as the plant’s essence and are the ones captured in the ‘essential oil.’”
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?
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.
Take peppermint for example. Peppermint is distilled from the whole peppermint plant and is sourced indigenously from the northwestern United States. The ratio of the constituents menthol to menthone is used as a marker for high quality peppermint oil. Certified Pure Therapeutic Grade® peppermint oil should always have a significantly higher proportion of menthol because menthol has been shown to improve the beneficial value of peppermint essential oil. One study tested the cleansing properties of peppermint essential oil from three different species. Peppermint from Mentha piperita was demonstrated to have the highest cleansing properties, which was attributed to its high amount of menthol and low amounts of menthone. Conversely, the Mentha aquatica species was shown to have significantly lower cleansing properties and also had a lower amount of menthol and a higher amount of menthone. (Mimica-Dukić N, Et Al. 2003)
Refreshing and radiant, we carry several varieties of Lemon Essential Oil. Two of our most popular sellers are the regular Lemon and the Lemon 5 Fold, for their long-lasting, pleasant fragrance. The aroma is intensely citrusy and fresh, with wonderful zesty top notes. The Lemon 5 Fold is highly concentrated which makes it especially desirable for cosmetics, as well as soap and candle manufacturing.
I was diagnosed with ESOPHAGITiS!!! do you know what that is!? ULCERS all up and down your esophagus! After YEARS of prilosec and about 9 other pills prescribed by doctors, I was so sick of taking pills I was desparate enough to try ANYTHING. THANK GOD I TRIED YOUNG LIVING. I drink their oils internally (daily) along with their Ningxia Red and my chronic gut problems for YEARS are improving daily. Even my husband and children are now using this stuff due to the immediate difference they saw in me after I threw the prescribed meds away and replaced them with this stuff. Never swallowed something that harmed me yet and I already HAD the holes to start with and they are getting better and better, yet ZERO prescribed meds. I used to have chronic diahreea, chrnoic nausea, IBS and more. I was also diagnosed with leaky gut. ALL OF THESE PROBLEMS ARE GOING AWAY after my doctor (who is a TOP gastro specialist at the University of Michigan ha!) laughed at me when I told him I was giving up the prilosec and all the rest for distilled plant material. He told me I would be back on the meds in two weeks. That was MORE THAN A YEAR AGO AND I HAVE NEVER HAD TO GO FOR A RETURN VISIT WITH HIM SINCE. Burns your insides, what are you thinking???? Clearly you have never used Young Living. If you did, you would remove your ridiculous post.

The miracles of science has transformed the Pharmacy as one of the most respected professions on the global horizon. India has one of the largest and most advanced & developing pharmaceutical industries in the world, which provides employment to millions and assures that essential drugs reach the needy at affordable prices. From simple pain killers to antibiotics and complex cardiac compounds, almost every type of drug is now available in India. Extensive research and development is continuously conducted in every department, which helps the pharma industry to progress and become one of the leading industries all across the globe.
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.

One of the problems with companies like doTERRA and Young Living, just as with the pharmaceutical companies, the chemical manufacturers, any other one cares to mention, is that, when they have testing done, they are the ones paying for it and, consequently, tend to receive the results they desire. Like it or not, the one who foots the bill controls the outcome of the studies. Both companies claim to have the ONLY truly pure, therapeutic grade oil. The truth is . . . . bull hockey! The reality is that there is no truth in that statement! Before you start throwing stones at me, please read the rest of what I am writing and make a truly informed decision of your own.
"Synthetic essential oils may seem like a bargain," says Rupinder Mangat, CEO of Mevei. "It can be difficult to tell the difference between a synthetic oil or a real one. But be careful—chemically reconstructed oils seldom include all the trace chemicals that are found in the real plant. Price can be an indication that an oil is synthetically reproduced or extended."
In Dawn-Mari’s pitch (she’s basically selling her classes and her essential oils) she makes the following comment: Only therapeutic grade essential oils should be used to ensure safety and that there are no synthetic or toxic chemicals being introduced to the body. Unfortunately, less than 2 percent of the essential oil found in health-food stores and the like are actually therapeutic grade, even though the label might say something like “100-percent pure”.
Ingesting essential oils daily will damage your microbiome, in my opinion. Is there a study to prove this? No, as the doTERRA advocates will point out. Is there one showing that it does not. Ummm no. But there is research showing how powerful these oils are at killing bacteria. And we know that they will make contact with the microbiome. It isn’t rocket science, you ingest a powerful antibacterial and you will kill your bacteria.
The popular multi-level marketing companies, dōTERRA and Young Living didn’t make our top picks for several important reasons: their high retail prices, their lack of organic certification for all of their oils, and their insistence that most of their essential oils are safe to take internally not giving any regard to the potential health hazards of self-prescribing without professional clinical supervision.
Young Living oils are therapeutic grade and some of them can be applied neat but many recommend at least a 1:1 with a carrier. Always research the oils and know how to dilute them but also understand that your body may tell you that 1:4 peppermint is too diluted and isn’t giving you the best benefits. Each person responds to oils differently and should allow their body time to respond to the oil. If after an extended time – YL recommends at least 25 minutes for their oils – you haven’t noticed any affect attempt the oil again with less dilution. Keep track of your responses to each oil and base your use on the notes you have taken.

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.
Additionally, Dr. David K. Hill, D.C., prominently featured on the DoTerra website, and who is identified as “a pioneering expert and dynamic leader in the field of integrative medicine with international acknowledgements (sic). His lecture, research and practice, incorporate Eastern and Western medical practices with emphasis on the use of essential oils. Dr. Hill has authored and published a number of very successful books, pamphlets and brochures and is a popular guest for radio and television. He maintains a high level profile in his field of expertise and is routinely invited to teach and work with other experts in academia, research and medical disciplines.” Strange, if you Google Dr. David K. Hill, D.C. Utah, you won’t find academic articles or information about his work with other experts and international lectures. In fact, what is most prominent is that he is named in a legal complaint in the District Court of Utah in 2005 when Dr. Hill was the managing director of the Young Life Clinic. This lawsuit was settled for an undisclosed sum. At the time of filing, Young moved his clinic to Ecuador, the assumption being to avoid prosecution. You can see this document at http://www.casewatch.org/mal/younglife.shtml.
For some years now I have been applying several drops each of undiluted pure essential oils patchouli, ylang ylang, sandalwood and cedarwood to my neck and throat after a shower, and the fragrance is wonderful, but as a bonus this same fragrance comes up from the toilet bowl every time I do a dump. To confirm I wasn’t imagining it, the first time it happened I smelt the loo paper after the first wipe and there was the fragrance of all those essential oils. Why is this, and has anyone else had the same experience ? I must be one of the very few people in the world who can say that not only does their shit not stink, but that it is exotically perfumed !
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.
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. 🙂

This post is a definite BOOKMARK for me…I love all the info. My favorite essential oil to put in my burner is sweet orange – it just makes me so HAPPY! I read your response above about YLEO. I received a package of them as a gift a few years ago from a friend. I love them and have them in my studio all the time, but honestly I would never pay those prices. MLM completely scares me off of them too…just sharing my agreement with you 🙂
I submitted an article, which you published as a Guest Editorial on page 22 of your March 2010 issue, entitled Essential Oils: Premium Quality Yields Premium Results. On page 10, your Contents Page, this was listed as: Guest Editorial: Read about therapeutic grade essential oils in “Powerful Tools in A Small Bottle”, by Dawn-Mari Yurkovic, at www.massagemag.com/powerfultools. Don’t you agree this is a little weird? One person writes a two-page article, and a completely different person/article is listed on the Contents page of the magazine?
To be clear, contamination or adulteration - whatever you want to call it - happens. It's happened with almonds, spinach, protein powders, supplements and seemingly daily with processed food. Obviously, we'd hope the brands we know and trust have systems worked out to ensure this doesn't happen. But sometimes it does. The important thing to pay attention to when it does happen is how the company handles it. Do they own it, take responsibility, and put motions in place to improve, telling their customers how they are going to do better? Or do they deny it and start placing blame elsewhere?

I made a blend for a friend going through chemo treatments she hasn’t been using it long enough for me to know the results yet but I will share it if you want to try it. It’s: lavender, cedarwood, rosemary, Clary sage and cypress 10 drops of each in a2 ounce glass spray bottle and top with distilled water. You can add tea tree, lemon and ginger for itchy scalp if needed. Hope this helps.


Most essential oils are distilled and standardized (adulterated) for use in other industries, so those carefully sourcing and selling essential oils intended for aromatherapy and therapeutic applications understandably do want a way to convey the suitability, purity and quality of their oils for therapeutic uses. Soil conditions, seed quality, climate, altitude, growing conditions, harvesting, the care during distillation, bottling and storage can all play a part in the resulting quality of an essential oils. These are all factors that conscientious suppliers pay close attention to. Using these two-word terms seemed to be a concise way for suppliers to designate that their oils were suitable for use by those seeking oils for use in holistic aromatherapy.
After using it for over a week I'm very impressed. I had also ordered other Frankincense oils from other vendors and this one is or has the highest antiseptic quality! I know this because I've used a few different brands on some skin abrasions and this one dropped me to my knees in pain. It really needs to be diluted, so far warning it's that powerful! It worked within days of using it on some reddish patch of skin on my face and worked well! I highly recommend this brand!
…moms, well educated and seemingly rational moms, will believe anything. This isn’t a big deal if we are talking about sugar pills trying to cure crying that has no cause. However, I recently attended a dōTERRA “talk” (aka pressure to buy) about how essential oils can cure everything and anything, including one woman’s mother’s skin cancer. I didn’t want to offend this mom by calling her a quack, so I walked away spending 60 bucks on oils to be polite (this was the least amount I could spend and I used these oils to make my home smell nice, even though they were intended to solve all sorts of skin and digestive problems. I didn’t want to use them without knowing if they actually worked).
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.”

Thank you all for your input and time. I too have been confused, frustrated, skeptical, and at times alarmed. What YL consultants don’t realize when they spout comments about micro and chemical biology, are the consequences that come with doing or not doing what they recommend. This is the grey area that is dangerous and the absolute reason and need for the FDA in the pharmaceutical industry. I am in the marketing industry, so I full well understand the MLM model or any other business model. I don’t blame them, for there is no difference between that and what Homeland does vs. Piggly Wiggly or Macy’s vs. JC Penney, or Walmart vs. Kmart… Thanks for helping me understand the real language and science involved.
A rash or burn from an essential oil is basically your skin screaming at you “hey, stop that and stop it now!” This is why you should always do a patch test on a small area of skin and wait a while to see what happens before you go all crazy and start bathing yourself in an essential oil that you have not used before. I know many aromatherapist recommend that you dilute the essential oils in a carrier oil for skin use. But no matter what concentration you use them at you should still do a patch test first for any new oils before moving on with the oil. Remember these are very concentrated solutions of organic molecules, let’s be safe rather than sorry.
So, between their “extra” or more extensive methods of testing, their control over growth and harvest, the use of their own labs and equipment (which Gary Young states are the only instruments in the world that are matched and calibrated to the instruments used at the National Center for Scientific Research in France), YL openly declares that their oils are “therapeutic” grade and no other oils but their own are fully safe to be used neat or internally.
In her New Yorker piece, Monroe goes into detail about Young Living (the self-described “World Leader in Essential Oils”) founder Gary Young’s questionable background, which includes opening a health center in Washington state in 1982 where his own daughter died from a birthing service in which she was submerged for an hour in a whirlpool bath; being arrested for practicing medicine without a license; and opening a clinic in Tijuana where he made false diagnoses to get patients to join a costly detox program.
Thanks for the feedback Heather. I’ve made two purchases with Ananda now and the customer service and shipping experience has been great. I guess after reading so many different blogs and sites about how easy it is to “sell” a low grade oil as a high grade oil, I am just hoping that is not the case with my purchases. I have nothing to compare oils to for now, other than reading. Crossing my fingers now and waiting out the time to see how the oils work for me.
In Dawn-Mari’s pitch (she’s basically selling her classes and her essential oils) she makes the following comment: Only therapeutic grade essential oils should be used to ensure safety and that there are no synthetic or toxic chemicals being introduced to the body. Unfortunately, less than 2 percent of the essential oil found in health-food stores and the like are actually therapeutic grade, even though the label might say something like “100-percent pure”.
While I hope very much that the essential oils that they sell are of high quality, the fact that they are creating this misleading marketing scheme does not give me high hopes for their credibility as a company.  As a general rule of thumb, I would think twice before sourcing from a company that claims their essential oils are "certified therapeutic grade."  They are either completely naive and pretending to have a certification that doesn't exist, or they are not naive and are pretending to have a certification that does not exist.  Either way, not promising.  

Processing times may vary slightly depending upon the season, but in almost all cases your online order will get processed in maximum 48 hours (read 2 business days). For any unforeseen reasons or unavoidable circumstances, the customer will be duly intimated with the reason for delay in the processing of order and an eventual delay in dispatch of same.
Know how the plant was distilled and what part of the plant is being used. Ideally you're working with a trusted and trained aromatherapist so they can do this digging for you. How an oil is distilled is important to the quality. As well, some distillers may use more abundant/cheaper parts of a plant, but you're getting subpar product. For example you always want cinnamon bark, not cinnamon leaf. Another example is German Chamomile (Matricara chamomila). It is often adulterated with Blue Tansy (Tancetum annum), which is a lovely oil but it's not German Chamomile. 
THE NEW AGE OF ESSENTIAL OILS. Feel the transformation with our standardized, 100% ISO certified, and Medicinal Oil Association approved essential oils. Essential oils are the power of mother nature in the palm of your hand. Only the purest of sources can give you an abundance of natural healing phytochemicals. Only ZEVA brings you the pure medicinal power of Mother Nature, giving you a truly unique experience that you won’t find from any other source. You’ll feel the difference with true medicinal grade essential oils from ZEVA- the new age of essential oils.ZEVA Oils are the only ISO Certified and USA Medicinal Oil Association Certified Essential Oil. There is nothing else like it. We ensure 100% potency and purity. Undiluted, ZERO Toxicity.
Color is a crucial element in evaluating essential oils. For example, coriander seed will have a slight color to it that is visibly different from the crystal clear coriander leaf oil.  The color of cinnamon bark oil is completely unlike the oil of the cinnamon leaf. The color of an essential oil identifies its producing organ, thus revealing the properties that oil possesses.
To date, there has been no company or organization that certifies essential oils. The MOA was established to fill this need. Companies who wish to have an independent organization test the quality of their oils for ISO compliance can contact the MOA to conduct independent testing and certification. Companies who pass these tests can then proudly state that their essential oil is of ISO quality and therefore is a true “Medicinal Grade” oil. Ethical companies will use this standard in their marketing literature. Oils produced only for fragrance need not apply.

Absolutes are highly concentrated aromatic substances and are obtained from delicate flowers by either enfleurage or solvent extraction. Absolutes will most often resemble the natural aroma of the plant and are normally more colored and viscous than essential oils. Absolutes are used extensively in the cosmetic and perfume industries due to their strong aromas. There are also different grades of absolutes. The top grade is the uncut, which can be a thick or semisolid substance, making them difficult to work with. Less expensive grades are diluted with alcohol to make them more user friendly, although often the strength of aroma is slightly diminished.
An essential oil does not have to be adulterated to be inferior. Plant quality, climate, location, growing conditions, harvest, and production technique have a lot to do with quality. Of course, environmental conditions directly affect the percentages of each component of the essential oil. Botanical variety and Chemotype identification also play a part in quality determination. Like organic, ‘wild crafted’ is another overused term. Many imported essential oils come from non-plantation sources.
Whilst the product is very nicely packaged I am very disappointed with the contents. The essential oils are awful, they smell and behave no better than those cheap £1 store ones, I don't believe that they are 100% pure as they smell so awful, cheap and synthetic. I have tried most of the oils in the box and will not be bothering with the rest as they are so bad.
#1- Therapeutic Grade is just a selling gimmick. If EO’s are pure, they are equal to any other. There are only a few distillery’s so many of the EO’s come from the same distillery then sold under several names. You should always buy from a company that is willing to give you the GC/MS reports regarding the Lot your EO bottle is from. That tells the constituents of the EO and would indicate if adulterated in any way.
There are a lot of valid (and invalid) comments here and all I can testify to is my personal experience. I first want to mention the supposed email from doTERRA at the top of this post- if you can take out the email address and other “protected” information, you can easily take out the word “don’t” or add some other statements to imply that doTERRA sent that email to you. Nobody here really knows if it really came that way so it really isn’t proof, but is an interesting start to the conversation. Second, each representative is responsible for their providing accurate information with integrity. I am sorry for those who were lied to or had overeager consultants making wrong claims because they didn’t research properly or just lied to make a sale. However, I have run into a few car salesmen that lied through their teeth in order to sell me a car. It doesn’t mean I walk or ride a bike just because of that one experience. Don’t throw out the baby with the bathwater!
In fact, Améo is the only company endorsed by Dr. Daniel Pénoél, a world renown doctor working in the field of aromatherapy since 1977, with an international reputation as an essential oil researcher, aromatic medicine practitioner, educator, and author. Essential Oils is a Trillion $ industry so there is lots of motivation for better health and wellness. I figure if people throughout the world are spending that kind of money they it MUST REALLY work. You can check it out here: http://www.gnnamerica.com/brand-new-ameo-essential-oils-all-oils-are-not-created-equal-you-dont-want-to-miss-this/

Aromatherapy is an ancient practice of natural healing and plant medicine that has been documented in human civilizations around the world for over 6,000 years. The use of prescribing aromatic plant extracts for massage, for bathing and for mental, emotional and spiritual imbalances has proven benefits through both practical and scientific evidence.
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.

The truth is that there are MANY therapeutic grade standards. The problem is, which one do you trust? It’s important for people to realize that all of these standards are INTERNAL standards developed by companies selling oils and may or may not include quality control by a third party lab. Furthermore, if a third party lab is used, does this lab really know what they are doing? It’s also important to know what the company defines as being “therapeutic grade” does it simply mean that the oil is pure or does it mean something beyond purity and carry with it a quality standard as well? Let’s face it, an oil can be pure as the driven snow but still be low quality, I see this on a daily basis in the samples I analyze for my clients in order for them to make good buying decisions. Judgments about essential oil quality take more than just good chemists and good equipment, they require many years of experience in odor evaluation and knowing what specific minor components are desirable in an oil and not just focusing on the major components.


I’m so glad I found this site when I googled “oils comparable to young living.” I have been using Young Living oils for a few months now, but can’t keep up with the prices. I absolutely love and believe that essential oils help me sleep better, relieve my headaches and improve my life! I have bookmarked your page so I can frequently refer to it. Thank you for putting the time into researching each of these brands and building this site (beautifully done!).
Second, don't assume you can use an essential oil for flavoring anything you're going to eat unless it's either food grade (usually labeled and more diluted to prevent injury), has been inspected by the FDA (these will have a nutrition label somewhere), or you know the oils are 100% pure with no additives and you know how to appropriately dilute them to make them edible. If there is no FDA label, there is a good chance that the oil is not 100% what it says it is - it most likely has some additives that are probably best not to consume. For these oils in particular, I personally would not consume them, despite the fact that the labels say they are 100% "insert oil here". The fact that the label specifically says "for external use only" helps that decision :P
This is what I think has happened. doTERRA executives were having a meeting. Someone says “People are loving these oils but they probably only go through 5-6 drops a day tops! That means a bottle of oil will last them 2 months. How can we get them to use more?” Then another sales executive says… “I know – why don’t we get them to start ingesting them? Putting drops into the water. Including them in food. That way we’ll sell way more product!!”. “Great idea! I’ll get the marketing plan on the way”.
From the United Kingdom, is my favourite (not affiliated to CE by the way) choice, NHR organic oils. They have the largest range of Soil Association Certified organic essential oils in the world. They also sell distiller kits for people who want to make their own oils at home and their selection of organic chocolates made with some of their oils are absolutely amazing.
GuruNanda sources 100% Pure & Natural Essential Oils From Farm to You® Nothing added, nothing removed. If you purchase an oil from our website and don't love it, we'll happily refund you for the cost of the product and state tax. If you purchase a Gurunanda essential oil from a retail store, we can replace it with a different essential oil for you! - No Questions Asked!
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