We get this question a lot and the answer really depends on what you want the essential oil for. While some work best for aromatherapy others are made specifically for therapeutic purposes. How do you know that you are purchasing from a reputable dealer? Well, it is impossible to separate all of the good essential oil companies from those that are not. We can give you a few guidelines to help you make the best decision. Let’s take a look at what’s out there.
As we all know aromatherapy oils are mixed with carrier oil so that they can be applied topically. There are now thousands of companies out there selling aromatherapy oils! You can find aromatherapy oils that have a combination of essential oils mixed in to create a unique scent sold exclusively by that company. It really is up to you, what kind of aromatherapy oil you choose. For those who are making something like a hand cream or body scrub; you are probably looking for an aromatherapy grade essential oil. All the work is already done in preparing the oil for topical application and you get to enjoy a wonderful fragrance.
- Some of the most popular and trustworthy brands of aromatherapy grade essential oils are: Mountain Rose Herbs, Plant Therapy, and Aura Casia all have wonderful quality aromatherapy grade essential oils.
- Make sure you read labels! Not every essential oil out there is fit for human consumption. You must take the time to find out whether the oil you are purchasing is fit for that purpose. We will delve into this a little deeper later on.
Therapeutic grade essential oils are those oils that have not become diluted by the introduction of any other product. These oils can be added directly to a diffuser but must be cut with a carrier oil before they are applied topically, in most instances. There are a few exceptions, such as Lavender or Peppermint essential oil, but you need to do a little research and find out. There are again many vendors selling therapeutic grade essential oils; a few that have excellent reputations include Aromatics International, Florihana, and Stillpoint International.
- Therapeutic grade does not automatically mean fit for consumption. Again, you must do your homework to determine if the essential oil you are purchasing is meant to be ingested.
- Therapeutic grade simply means the essential oil you are purchasing is undiluted by any other product.
Cost is a good indicator as to whether you are getting a good quality product, in most cases. The production of essential oils takes a lot of work, not to mention a lot of product! It takes 250 pounds of rose blossoms to produce just 1 ounce (30ml) of Rose oil. So, if you are new to the world of essential oils; don’t always shy away from the more expensive brands. There are other considerations but cost should not be the deal breaker.
As we all know, not everyone is completely honest…..sadly that is also true in the world of essential oil production. Some companies will try and sell you on the point that their therapeutic grade essential oil is considered therapeutic grade because it has passed FDA inspection and testing. That is not so! The FDA does not regulate or test essential oils; when you see that type of advertisement on any website or in any store for that matter, run away. Another misunderstanding is the “not for human consumption label”. Some companies have to use this label because the plant where they are processing their essential oils do not meet the standards for facilities that process human food. Generally, these oils have less fragrance than higher quality oil and may be mixed with something other than an all natural carrier.
Why Are There Two Categories of Oils?
The advent of the terms aromatherapy grade and therapeutic grade was not to be deceptive at all. Very reputable companies, who take a great deal of time and care with developing both types of oils, came up with the term to differentiate the two very different processes for these oils. Therapeutic oils, like we said, are 100% essential oil with no other additive. These crops are monitored very closely, to produce the highest quality product. That is why therapeutic grade essential oils can be more costly. Their aromatherapy brands are also high quality but are already cut with an all-natural carrier ingredient. Reputable companies will label their oils and stand behind them. Some are even willing to refund customers who receive broken product packages or develop a negative reaction to them. We cannot stress enough; reputable companies are not trying to hide behind a lie when they state they carry one grade or the other. It is their way of identifying one type of product from another.
When Is an Essential Oil Consumable?
Any good essential oil vendor will be able to tell you which or if any of their products are consumable. It really is best to ask them before you make a purchase. If you have a hard time getting someone on the phone, that is a good indicator to look elsewhere for a good supplier. And as always, check with a physician before you start ingesting essential oil.
What Should I Look for on a Label?
When looking for top quality oil, look for those that have been tested and approved by their distiller. Vendors who have absolute faith in their product will run gas chromatography and mass spectrometry tests, or GC/MS on every batch of product and most will post these test to their website. They will also include information like the botanical name and if warranted chemotype, distillation date, and expiration date on every bottle of their product. Chemotype is the chemical profile of a plant, based on where it grew. Not every plant has a chemotype and this may not be on every label.
When delving into purchasing essential oils is really is worthwhile to know what you are getting. Yes, there are those who are selling inferior products but there are vastly more who are doing an amazing job, providing you with a product that will serve the purpose you are looking for with stellar results.