Whether you are brand new to essential oils, or a long time user, chances are that you have already been exposed to some of the “brand battles” about which essential oil company to buy from, and which to avoid like the plague. If you want to simply locate factual and credible data to base your decision on, keep reading….
Can someone please tell me which essential oils company is the best based off of FACTS?
When I first became interested in essential oils I was literally OVERWHELMED with the abundance of unhelpful, inaccurate, unscientific, and extremely biased claims about the “best” essential oils company! I personally understand the challenge of trying to sort through the opinions of friends, family members, co-workers, and neighbors, and the seemingly endless google searches and warring opinions… yep! I’ve been there and I’d love to help you out of it all!
I have done extensive research to provide you with the information you need to make informed decisions about essential oils. This information is not simply based on my own opinions and experiences, but is factual data I have collected from respected aromatherapists and other objective essential oils sources.
I’m giving you my simple tips of how to choose the best essential oils.
And just for the sake of full disclosure….no, I am not a certified aromatherapist or a chemist. I’m a crunchy, naturally minded mom who loves essential oils and wanted to put together some simple straightforward information about selecting quality essential oils. Because honestly, finding simple and straightforward information about essential oils is like finding a needle in a haystack! I love oils, I love reading and research, and I thought I would compile the information I spent many hours pouring over, into a helpful quick blog read for you. I am providing you with an objective set of criteria to measure ANY OILS COMPANY against to see if they should earn your oil purchasing power and your loyalty as a customer. If you want to discover for yourself which essential oils brand is best, I suggest you give this a read…
Why is the quality of an essential oil important?
With the growing popularity of essential oils, the market is flooded with an overwhelming number of options to choose from. Fragrance grade, food grade, therapeutic grade, organic, 100% pure….. This can leave you wondering what all of the labels mean, and which one should you buy?
Although there are some organizations that provide guidelines for essential oils, there is no FDA certified standard for the grading of essential oils. This means that most of the labeling of essential oils is simply a marketing tactic.
“Many aromatherapists have unfortunately become unwitting victims of a marketing ploy by essential oil traders that advertise “approved” essential oils of ʻtherapeutic gradeʼ. Let us be quite clear on this – there is no such thing as a ʻtherapeutic gradeʼ essential oil, and no quality standards for the authentication of essential oils specifically exist in aromatherapy.” Burfield and Kirkham (“The ʻTherapeutic Gradeʼ Essential Oils Disinformation Campaign”.
The determining factor of if that “therapeutic grade”, “100% pure” essential oil is really a quality oil is determined not just by the labeling, the purity of an essential oil is dependent on the standards of quality set by the company.
I don’t know about you, but I have no motivation to buy low quality essential oils that are limited in their use. I want oils that provide actual therapeutic benefits and that I can use with confidence in my home and in caring for my family.
Tip: Buy oils that are therapeutic grade, but look at other criteria for quality as well.
The chemical constituents of an essential oil will not only impact the smell of it, but will determine its effectiveness in applications. The unique properties of each essential oil are what make it effective to offer specific support to the human body and to experience the desired outcome.
“For those who practice holistic medicine, it becomes crucial to find the best unaltered product available that possesses the optimal ratio of natural constituents so that the synergistic effect between all the components within the plant remain intact and help support the primary therapeutic function of the botanical.” – Rebecca Park Totilo, author of “Therapeutic Blending with Essential Oils”
Determining that the chemical composition of an essential oil is optimal is done through various analysis of each oil at various stages. I will cover this in more detail later.
How does adulteration impact essential oil quality?
You may be rather shocked to learn that the FDA only requires an oil to contain 10% essential oil in order to be labeled, “100% Pure”. (Rebecca Park Totilo, Therapeutic Blending with Essential Oils).
According to experienced aromatherapist Robert Tisserand in his book Essential Oil Safety, “The purpose of adulteration is to increase profits by adding either odorous or non-odorous substances in order to dilute an essential oil or absolute.” Adulteration is done to most oils on the market, and you need to be aware of it and know how to recognize which oils to avoid.
Adulteration can occur through any of these methods:
- Combining high quality and a low quality essential oils together
- Adding natural or synthetic constituents
- Adding synthetic oil to enhance the aroma
- Adding vegetable oil
Adulteration is one of the major contributors to the low quality essential oils being sold today. Other factors to consider are the source, harvesting, and distillation of an essential oil. I will go into this in greater detail later. It also is worth noting that combining several essential oils together in a “blend” and even including a carrier oil to dilute the blend for safe use is commonly done. As long as the bottle is labeled appropriately and the consumer knows what they are buying, this is both ethical and can be convenient for the consumer.
Tip: Read the label! Don’t trust a “100% pure” oil claim until you have read the label to see if it contains other ingredients.
Low cost essential oils usually means low quality essential oils
I found a 1oml bottle of organic, 100% pure, therapeutic grade frankincense essential oil on amazon for $9. I read the product information very carefully online, but there was no mention of a carrier oil added, so I couldn’t confirm it was adultered.
But this is where you do some homework to figure out what the average price is for a particular essential oil. A 15ml bottle of high quality, pure, unadultered, frankincense essential oil can cost around $100. So to find one for 1/10th of that price means you more than likely are getting 1/10th the amount of essential oil.
To quote a savvy amazon reviewer, “Folks, it is IMPOSSIBLE to buy 10 ml unadulterated Frankincense oil for $9.99. Think about that.”
Yes, think about that! Also keep in mind that it isn’t just WHAT you buy, but WHERE you buy it from! I love buying anything I possiblly can from Amazon, but I will not purchase essential oils from Amazon. There is absolutely no guarantee that even a name brand essential oil has not been tampered with and adultered in some way by the third party seller. I also caution against purchasing essential oils from a health food store, organic grocery store, and especially from Walmart!
This is simple math my friends, low cost = low quality
And if your wallet is protesting at purchasing higher quality oils, keep in mind that high quality oils are powerful and potent and will require you to use less oil compared to what you would need from a lesser quality, adultered essential oil.
Tip: Be a smart shopper and do your research. If the price seems too low, it is probably an adultered essential oil.
First, you should know that what the bottle looks like is important. To prevent oxidation and a lessened effectiveness of oils, quality oils should be sold in sealed, dark, glass bottles.
The following information should be on the bottle of oil, or on accompanying product information from the company.
- Common name: (example: Lavender).
- Latin name with exact genus and species: (example Lavandula angustifolia).
- Country of origin (example: France).
- Part of plant processed (example: Flower).
- Type of Extraction: (example: Steam distillation).
- How it was grown (example: organic, wild-crafted, traditional) if it doesn’t say, research the company to determine their growing conditions and practices.
- Main Chemical Components (example: Linalool, linalyl acetate).
- Expiration date or the date it was distilled.
- Aromatic Description- -not necessary, but helpful: (example: Powdery, floral, light).
- Is it an oil that is Generally Recognized as Safe (GRAS) to use internally? If yes, it will give supplement details on the bottle.
Tip: Your essential oil bottle should be made of dark colored glass and contain most of the information above. If you can’t find the information on the bottle, look for it elsewhere.
Now it is time to talk more about what is really INSIDE the bottle!
>>>>>>>>>>Read the 2nd part of this blog series “Which Essential Brand is Best (Part 2)” <<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<
Learn more about essential oils here and to get an inside scoop of how I use essential oils in my home, read my blog post here. You can also follow me on Facebook and find me on Instagram @shessonaturaloils