When you walk into a Health Store or even Walmart or Target you will find essential oils for sale. Most of these oils are very inexpensive. Many are labeled as PURE or 100% Pure Essential Oils. But how can this be? Why are they so cheap when other companies sell their essential oils for almost double or triple the cost? Should you even use them?
Are these 100% PURE Essential Oils really pure? That is the question!
Essential oils are not regulated by the FDA and there are NO guidelines for essential oil companies to follow. The plants that many essential oils come from more than likely have not been properly cultivated, harvested, distilled, and they may have been adulterated (have additives, synthetic chemicals or other fillers like carrier oil added) or even gone through a refinement process (removing compounds). All of these important steps will determine whether or not an essential oil has the correct constituents to give you the desired results you are looking for.
An essential oil company can say that their essential oils are 100% PURE even if it doesn't contain 100% essential oil(s) THROUGHOUT the entire bottle. This includes essential oils labeled as organic! There MAY BE SOME essential oil in the bottle that is pure or organic but, it can still contain other ingredients! The oils may contain pesticides, fungicides, herbicides or who knows what other ingredients from the way the plants were grown! Those chemicals not only react with the essential oil but they can become concentrated in the oil as well.
How can companies get away with practices like this? It's a Marketing trick and technically they are not lying. As long as there is some PURE or ORGANIC essential oil in the bottle they can put that it contains 100% PURE essential oil the label! Deceiving right? Remember the essential oil industry has no regulations. It's a sneaky way of labeling to sell more product. If you look at some of our food labels today, they also make claims like this. For example, a box of cereal might say that it is organic on the front of the box because the flour used IS organic. Flip over the box to read the list of ingredients and you'll find many times that most of the other ingredients are NOT organic.
Many essential oil companies will cut corners to make a larger profit too. One way they do this is by distilling plants at higher temperatures for shorter periods of time. This enables them to get a larger batch of essential oil in a shorter period of time to sell it cheaper to you! These so called essential oils are much less effective which requires you to use many more drops per application to come even close to the effectiveness of other essential oils made by companies that do produce essential oils properly. In the long run you are wasting your money. 1-2 drops of a high quality truly pure essential oil is usually all that is needed. We all like a great deal but, at what cost? Kind of sounds like making money is their bottom line.
Another short cut essential oil companies will take when distilling plant materials is to use synthetic chemical solvents like hexane, acetone, di-methylene-chloride and others to extract the essential oils. The essential oil will then end up with residual amounts of the solvent in the end results. This is the most likely reason why a bottle labeled as 100% Pure might also say NOT for INGESTION or NOT for TOPICAL application. It has synthetic chemicals in it which you do not want IN or ON your body! They are labeled purely for aromatic use only. Know that when you use these oils aromatically you are still getting those synthetic chemicals IN your body through your olfactory system when you breathe them. Synthetical chemicals are known to cause endocrine disruption, respiratory issues, and many other health problems. I don't want to breathe in those nasty chemicals! Do you?
To make a true 100% pure therapeutic essential oil the end result should come from carefully selected robust seeds which are cultivated properly, the plants must be harvested at the correct time, and those plants must then be distilled for the correct amount of time at the proper temperature/pressure which is different for each individual species of plant. If these steps are not followed properly the oils' constituents will not be where they're needed to be to do what they are supposed to do for our bodies. They may have a pleasant smell but, they won't do anything for you as far as your health & wellness.
So what can you do? It's very important to ask the essential oil company you are thinking of purchasing from a few questions to know if the oils they sell are worth buying.
1. Does their company own any farms on which to raise herbs for oils? And if they do, are they new farms on land formerly polluted with herbicides, pesticides, and chemicals that contain residuals from the past, or are they farming land that is clean, which has never been cultivated or has been untilled for at least the last 50 years?
2. Does their company have their own fully equipped testing laboratory to verify an oil's composition?
3. Do they have anyone on staff with a trained nose who can analyze oils by their smell? (There are less than 200 people in the world with noses sufficiently trained to discern the chemistry of a fragrance.)
4. If their company purchases oils from outside suppliers, do they visit the distilleries and farms of those suppliers periodically to observe if the herbs are grown organically, i.e. without pesticides, herbicides, or chemical fertilizers?
5. Do they know if the grower has a testing laboratory on the farm to determine when the crop is at its peak for oil harvesting?
6. Do they know if the crops were actually harvested at their peak time and, if so, was there an inordinate delay in taking them to the still and into the cookers?
7. Do they know if their distillery personnel understand the art and science of distilling, exactly how to pack the cookers, how to administer the steam, how to maintain minimum temperatures and pressures throughout the cooker, and how to continuously monitor the process throughout distillation to make sure the oil produced contains all of its components in the proper proportions?
8. If their supplier makes a mistake in the distillation or harvesting processes that results in an inferior grade of oil, does that supplier sell the oil anyway or do they discard it?
9. Do they know if the the cookers in the distilleries of their suppliers have domed lids or cone shaped lids? Most stills use dome-shaped lids. Cone topped cookers deliver a better grade of oil than dome tops. Are the stills made of non-reactive materials like stainless steel or are they made of aluminum which you do not want?
10. Do they know if their suppliers supplement the distillation process with solvents to extract additional oil from the plant matter?
11. Do they know if their suppliers bottle their oils directly from the distillery without modifying the composition of the natural oil by adding anything or taking anything away?
12. Do they know if their company has tested their company's oils? And if so, where is the data?
This is not a comprehensive list of questions you could ask, but if the answer to any or most of the above is "no," or "I don't know," then keep looking!
(List compiled by by David Stewart)
I only know of one company that goes to these great lengths to guarantee you are getting the most purest potent essential oil possible or it they don't make it available to you! I only trust Seed to Seal.
Where can you get these oils too? HERE!