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.

Such great information! I wish I had read the “warning” about diluting EO’s before putting directly on the skin. I purchased some essential lemon oil as I heard it was a a great way to brighten up the skin, clean pores etc. This morning after getting out of the shower, I liberally dabbed some on a cotton ball for that fresh clean feeling. What a mistake! Within seconds my face felt on FIRE, nothing would soothe it, I spread coconut oil on it hoping that would calm it down, I think it made it worse. Then I splashed ice cold water on it which seemed to help, but it took a good 5 minutes for the pain to subside. I was almost afraid to look in the mirror, fearing I would see blistered skin, thankfully all was good, just very red and that too went away. So please, please don’t make this mistakes of using undiluted EO’s and never, never on freshly washed, open pored skin! A very painful lesson to learn.


If you are seriously interested in diving into the world of essential oils, get trained. Start with a workshop in your local area taught by a trained aromatherapist. Whether you are using the oils purely for personal use or really want to get into the business of selling oils and sharing your knowledge, unbiased aromatherapy training from a certified aromatherapist and/or herbalist is invaluable.
If it is possible for you to give me any of the documented information from which you have been speaking, or direct me to those sources, I would be grateful. I do not doubt what you are telling me, but I’m sure you would agree that telling others “Robert Tisserand says…” may not be as convincing as “Robert Tisserand provided this documented evidence that says…”
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.
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.
The uniformity and health of oil producing plants will significantly impact the value of the oil’s final chemical analysis. The EOBBD inspection of the plant and the crop that produce essential oils is extensive. It includes, not only the health of the harvested plant, but also an assessment of nearby plants that may impact the compounds within the final oil yield. 

Thank you for all the great info. Help me understand more about “ingestible” EOs versus “noningestibles”. If “noningestibles” are okay for use in soaps and other skin products, and the skin absorbs what’s put on it into the blood stream, then 1) why are “noningestible” EOs okay in skin care products, and 2) why can’t we ingest “noningestible” EOs under the tongue or diluted in a glass of water, for example?
I was wondering. I have a friend that has neuropathy. I do too. I use wintergreen diluted with fractionated coconut oil or a blend called deep blue, and sometimes peppermint oil for this. The friend asked the question, Can you mix all oils safely? As she has found on pinterest a recipe for it where you mix 8 different oils. I am not sure of the oils she has listed, but is this safe?
What a great post! I can’t tell how helpful this is and I will use it. I started to copy it, but the color cartridge on my computer is about empty, so I saved it and will copy it later. Thank you so much for all the wonderful information in this post, as well as all the others. I’ll be passing on the information to all my friends and family. I use essential oils, but you’ve put everything into such a concise and usable format that I they can use, too.
FDA regulations state that natural product labeling, including all website claims as well as product label content, cannot legally suggest that a product intended for topical or aromatherapeutic use be taken internally without labeling the product as food. NOW Solutions closely adheres to all federal regulations. See more Essential Oil Food Grade FAQs.
LEGAL: Medicinal ESSENTIALS products are manufactured using the highest grade of materials that are grown organically, contain no pesticides, no residual solvents, no heavy metals and no mildew or mold. All our Phytocannabinoid rich products we package or distribute are derived from 100% federally legal Industrial Hemp that is registered with the Department of Agriculture. This Industrial Hemp conforms fully to the 2014 US Farm Bill section 7606 which federally legalized the cultivation of Industrial Hemp under certain federal mandated conditions. All Industrial Hemp products we produce, manufacture, market and distribute are fully compliant with all 50 states.
Plant Therapy’s labels are a bit scarce in their information. They display the proper Latin names and the USDA Organic logo, but that’s it. Instead of including the country of origin and other important notes — which can be found on the website — they have a long description of what the oils could be used for and how to use it, followed by an FDA disclaimer so they won’t get in trouble.
Certified Organic:	Not officially certified because sourcing happens across a wide variety of countries that don’t all have US matching quality control standards.	Same as with the Young Living Oils, they’re not US “certified organic” because of all the rules in the different source countries.	Yes – Some of their product line-up is USDA certified organic. Not all of their oils are.	6 out of their 150 essential oils are USDA certified organic.	Edens Garden offers both a certified organic line of essential oils, and a conventionally sourced lineup.Both an in-house laboratory and independent labs and consultants perform analyses for product quality.

I keep reading comments about not Ingesting EO. I’ve researched young living brand EO and they are injestable. They are a therapeutic hospital grade. And their founder Gary young Takes many eo in capsules daily. Not all brands are. So I would only trust this particular brand because I’ve done the research on it. I know people who add YL lemon or grapefruit daily to water a drop is fine you don’t want to do more than that it can cause cramping and pain these oils are highly Concentrated. Make sure you do your research, for it is the only way you will be safe using these oils they are very powerful and in the wrong hands of someone who is not educating themselves can be very harmful. I attribute my nieces grades in school going up due to eo. They have helped her focus and help her attention. My moods have changes as well as my daily stress, anxiety and nervousness. I love eo and all they have done for my family.

An absolute is a fragrant liquid that is extracted from the plants using chemical solvents, like alcohol. Though the solvents are removed after the extraction process, there still remains a tiny amount of the chemical in the final product. Absolutes are much thicker and more concentrated than essential oils, and because of this they are often used in skin care products and lotions.
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Yes, of the 3 brands I am most comfortable using for therapeutic purposes the first is doTerra. Its testing exceeds everything else I’ve come across protecting against not just fillers and chemical extraction, but also against oxidation for potency levels. When air hits the oils for a period of time they oxidize slowly and if that happens they may be less quick and effective than if they had not had that time to oxidize. No other company tests the same number of times for this level of potency. I also love that the testing is done by a third party rather than in house testing.
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!
“Quality essential oils” can mean many things, depending on how you intend to use the oils. To a perfume formulator, geranium essential oil spiked with artificial chemicals to enhance the fragrance might be considered a “quality essential oil”. To a massage therapist, a natural lavender oil diluted in a soothing base might be considered a high quality essential oil. To a doctor addressing bacterial challenges, only a truly pure, medicinal strength, wild crafted oregano oil that is high in natural carvacrol content would be considered a quality essential oil.
Lori, I am relatively new to the essential oils world, but I do remember reading somewhere (check planttherapy.com or edensgarden.com) that essential oils are the pure life essence of the plants from which they are derived. An essential fragrance is often obtained with solvent or alcohol distillation which make the essential fragrance a better choice for making fragrances as they are usually less expensive.
The International Organization for Standardization (ISO) is a worldwide federation of national standards bodies from over 100 countries, one from each country. ISO is a non-governmental organization established in 1947. The mission of ISO is to promote the development of standardization and related activities in the world with a view to facilitating the international exchange of goods and services, and to developing cooperation in the spheres of intellectual, scientific, technological and economic activity.

You’ll find essential oils offered everywhere from gifts shops to large retailers, and, of course, online. You may want to start your search for essential oils with reputable companies such as DoTERRA, Young Living Essential Oils, Ancient Apothecary, Living Libations and Edens Garden. Keep in mind, essential oils break down over time, so check your expiration dates; you’ll want one that’s two to three years out from the time of purchase. Make sure you avoid these essential oil safety mistakes.


doTerra is not an ethical company, if it was, they wouldn’t propogate lies for profit… The “CTPG” that you refer to is NOT a “certification” for EO’s, as they would have you believe. It is a “Registered Trademark”, signified by the little circled R behind the “CTPG”… There are many other things of which I could address, but that is for another day.

There’s a new kid on the EO block as of Oct 2014. Its called Ameo. Have you heard of it? They developed a patented technology that certifies the quality of every batch of oil as 100% cell permeable and all verified clinical grade. I highly recommend doing some research on it and if you are interested in sampling some of their oils, please get back with me and I will share some amazing stories and pictures of what these EOs can do…ingested, applied topically or diffused.
A first trademark has been registered (as a word mark) CPTG also by DoTERRA Holdings, LLC, 1145 South 800 East, Ste. 134,  Orem, UT 84057.  Filed on March 31, 2008, published for opposition on June 10, 2008 and official registration granted on May 9, 2009. Under the trademark registration, they show application to the following products: Essential oils; Essential oils for household use; Essential oils for personal use; Lavender oil; Massage oil; Massage oils; Natural essential oils; Aromatherapy oils; Bath oils; Body oils; Cosmetic oils; Cosmetic oils for the epidermis; Essential oils for flavoring beverages; Essential oils for food flavorings; Essential oils for use in manufacturing of gelcaps and other dietary supplements; Essential oils for use in the manufacture of scented products; Oils for cleaning purposes; Oils for toiletry purposes; Skin and body topical lotions, creams and oils for cosmetic use; Food flavorings prepared from essential oils; Oils for perfumes and scents; Peppermint oil; Perfume oils; Tanning oils.
I love essential oils! I use NOW Oils because they are affordable and easy to find. I think Young Living and DoTerra are over priced marketing scams. I tell everyone I use NOW. I have great success using the more reasonable priced oils and they even make some of their own blends. Highly recommend but everyone needs to find what brand works for them.

Why Does MLM Appeal to Manufacturers? It allows them to sell a product that could not compete in the open marketplace, at least not at those prices. It allows the big players to get filthy rich. It allows distributors to make claims the company can’t legally make in its advertising, such as: “It cured my mother’s skin cancer,” “It cured my child’s tonsillitis,” and “It keeps my kids from catching colds.” And that kind of testimonial from a friend is far more powerful than any advertising.
Thank you so much for this excellent distillation! I’m just beginning to use EO’s, and have had such excellent results that I am encouraged to try more — thank you for helping me find reputable companies to purchase from. The pricing comparison was especially helpful. My only issue so far is with Aura Cacia — the lids are so hard to get off the bottles — my 71 year old hands just can’t exert that much pressure any more — I emailed the company thru their website, and was sent alternative bottle caps, that didn’t even fit the bottles. Alas, not buying from them any more, which is unfortunate, since they are readily available in local stores. However, online ordering is easy and quick. Thank you once again!
Note on Boiling Point: The boiling point represents the temperature at which a liquid is converted to a gas at a specified pressure. The fundamental nature of steam distillation is that it enables a compound or mixture of compounds to be distilled (and subsequently recovered) at a temperature substantially below that of the boiling point(s) of the individual constituent(s). Essential oils contain substances with boiling points up to 200°C or higher, including some that are solids at normal temperatures. In the presence of steam or boiling water, however, these substances are volatilized at a temperature close to 100°C at atmospheric pressure.3
To test if you’re sensitive to an essential oil (which is probably best to do before using it in a skincare preparation): Combine one drop of essential oil with 1/2 tsp carrier oil (like olive, jojoba, or sweet almond). Rub this on the inside, upper portion of your arm and wait a few hours. If no redness or itching develops, you’re most likely not sensitive to that essential oil.
Or most important goal is to maintain the consistent quality of all our products. This has been proven in tests conducted by independent institutes throughout Germany. Tested TAOASIS products have received the highest rating from both the consumer organisation Stiftung Warentest and the magazine Ökotest! Aromacosmetic products are produced in accordance with the strict guidelines for natural cosmetics. We work in compliance with the GMP standard for medicines and pharmaceuticals and have been ISO 9001:2008 certified since 2002.
I’m newbie to EO. I’ve purchased Peppermint, Wild Orange, Lavender, Clove from Doterra to start with (quite pricey) and then I discovered a nice selection of EO in Marshalls (!). There i purchased Pine, Lemon and Eucalyptus from Plantlife ‘100 % pure aromatherapy grade’ at a fraction of the cost. Firstly, can you please explain the difference of quality with Doterra and Plantlife? And secondly, you say when rubbed onto the skin, the oils need to be diluted – but with what? And where do I find this? (Trader Joe’s perhaps?) What is the safest ‘dilution’ for someone in the journey of starting of a family? My acupuncturist made up a Doterra rollerball ‘Fertility blend’ with Cary Sage. Thanking you kindly.
*Please Note: The addition of essential oils to water is not at all the same as true hydrosols, and it is recommended that you read the ingredients label on products to ascertain whether or not you are getting a true hydrosol. When water and essential oils are mixed together with or without a dispersant, this is called a “spritzer” or “aromatic spritzer,” and this product should not be confused with a true hydrosol.
I wish that the essential oil market was more heavily regulated, however, this is not the case.  Many of the "essential oils" and plant oils sold on Amazon and other sites are synthetic,  and it is up to the consumer to do their homework and make sure to source from reputable companies that can provide paperwork and lab testing to back up their products.  It is up to companies to do their homework as well—and to be transparent with their customers.  A good rule of thumb is to ask companies to provide Certificates of Analysis and GC Reports when you order, any reputable essential oil supplier will be able to provide those.  
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!
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.
Because standards for quality control of essential oils do not currently exist in the United States, it is important to find reputable sources that sell good quality essential oils if you are planning to use them for health-related purposes. Whether you buy essential oils in a store, from an individual, or from the internet, be sure to read any information provided on the label or website, or ask questions about quality.

I've been a member of the National Association of Holistic Aromatherapy (NAHA) for a number of years. Upon renewing my membership several years ago, I spotted that their membership application/renewal form, at that time, prohibited membership to those companies that use these terms. It was that policy that lead me to then take a fresh look at the terms therapeutic grade and aromatherapy grade and realize how confusing these terms can be to consumers. Having said that, I have noticed that NAHA, under different leadership, no longer includes the statements on their applications that prohibit membership to companies that use these terms.


From the best that I can understand it, YL claims that their method of testing goes far and beyond almost any other in the US. They state that the GC column length should be at least 50-60 meters in order to allow “double-phased ramping–which makes it possible to identify constituents that occur in very small percentages by increasing the separation of compounds.” YL states that almost all US labs only use a 30-meter column in their testing. The extent of this testing apparently is able to spot possible toxins that would be damaging to the brain, etc. at a molecular level.


There is no difference between wintergreen oil toxicity and methyl salicylate toxicity. Methyl salicylate is one of the ingredients in Listerine, so many people use it daily in a mouthwash, and very small amounts may be ingested. As always, toxicity is in relation to dose. I would suggest that wintergreen oil is not one that should be taken orally as a medicine, unless under the supervision of a doctor or herbalist. There have been many fatalities from (accidental) overdose, and there are a number of toxicity issues – it’s fetotoxic, there are several reasons why it could be problematic in children, it’s extremely blood-thinning, and should be avoided by people with GERD. So it’s not just a question of how much is toxic – it’s also about individual sensitivity. It should absolutely never be taken during pregnancy. Like all salicylates, it causes fetal malformations. Even externally, it can cause problems. I believe it has now been taken out of Tiger Balm because so many people in Asia were experiencing blood-thinning problems (internal bruising in people on blood-thinning drugs).
I have read quite a bit about YL and DoTerra and several other companies. The information available seems to suggest that Mr Young (founder of YL) is of questionable repute and has been caught out as a fraud selling a few different “natural” healing methods in the past. The people who founded DoTerra used to work for YL but were fired (or chose to leave) when they began to question YL practices, including the establishment of the Ecuadorian processing plant. No accusations were made but there were implications that perhaps what YL are actually doing is not aligned with what they are preaching. I was very interested to read the earlier comment that YL oils left stains on construction paper using the testing method suggested in the article.

"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."

I really like DoTerra brand essential oils. I have many of them and find them high quality. All essential oils that are sold are in business. Whether it’s MLM or not. I don’t have a problem with that at all (but maybe it’s just me). Young Living was once considered by many to be the “best” but now that DoTerra’s been on the market (I don’t know, maybe five years or so?) they have competition. Apparently people from Young Living (I’m not sure if that’s the name) broke away and started DoTerra. In any case, if it’s purity and therapeutic grade I personally think both are good companies. Some like DoTerra more so that’s what got me started on them.
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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’m totally new to thr essential oil world. All I’d heard is Young Living is the only pure one and the only way to go. I was skeptical and I don’t know why. Have started reading and now I’m even more confised that when I started lol! Who do/can I trust. It’s hard to trust some of these big companies out there cause I feel they will tell you anything to sell you something. I wish we lived in a world of mom and pop places where u knew and trusted the person you bought from. Sigh….

Thank you for this wonderful information! I have been inundated with the numerous brands of essential oils on the market. I have read reviews, but by far your information has helped me the most. I have been using oils for my Chronic pain & Neurosarcoidosis, always worried if the oils we’re harvested safely. This information will now allow me to make better decisions on my therapeutic treatment in the future! Thank you for your lengthy research!
I first heard of essential oils years ago in connection with Gary Young, described on Quackwatch as “an uneducated huckster with a track record of arrests for health fraud.” Gary Young and his Essential Oils are still in business despite the devastating critique that has long been featured on Quackwatch. The record of misdeeds there makes for painful reading. Among other things, he practiced medicine without a license, was arrested repeatedly, did bogus lab tests, and contributed to the death of his own child by performing an underwater delivery and holding the newborn infant underwater for an hour. His judgment about medical matters is obviously not very trustworthy.
Additionally, inhaling scents bring the chemical - healing plant chemical,  or toxic synthetic chemical - straight into our lungs, while also bypassing the blood brain barrier and this can have nearly immediate effects on our neurological health. Again, this is one of the reasons why oils can be so powerful. We are able to utilize their healing benefits without needing to digest and assimilate anything. Easy entry. This is also why I advise using top quality oils for all oil applications, whether it's on your body or in your home.
I will address one more point – AFNOR is an organization that sets standards (for foods) in France, but it does not certify essential oils, nor does the EC. The EC has safety regulations, and any cometic product sold in an EC member country has to abide by those regulations which include, for example, a maximum of 0.1% for cinnamon bark oil. I wonder if all YL products adhere to EC guidelines? There are (international) ISO standards for many essential oils, and almost all essential oil wholesalers and suppliers the world over conform to the ISO standards. None of these have anything to do with a so-called “therapeutic grade” which only exists in the minds of MLM companies.
“Aromatherapy grade” and “fragrance grade” means it not 100 percent pure essential oil, but has had other oils added, such as carrier oils and/or synthetic components of the natural oil. “To be considered a therapeutic oil, it must be completely free of any and all chemicals as well as slowly and carefully extracted via methods that keep the original compounds in its natural state,” says Dr. Axe. These healing scents will help you feel better.
The Lime Essential Oil has a fresh, sharp citrusy scent that revitalizes the atmosphere, and is popular in facial cleansers, toners and splashes wherein it acts as an astringent and can be used on oily skin. Key Lime is less sweet and is frequently used in many products, whereas the Tahiti/Persian Lime variety has a uniquely spicy fragrance and is commonly used in aromatherapy.
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