Questions to ask when evaluating therapeutic Essential Oils

Not all Essential Oil manufacturers are created equal.

Any company can say that they have only pure, therapeutic essential oils – and many of them do.  However, we know that anyone can put a label on a bottle, but when it comes to the safety of my family, I want the dollars I spend to be invested in a company I can rely on.  So, here are the questions that every person should ask before investing into essential oils:

  1. How long has the company been in business?  

Having a library of essential oils and it’s effects is a critical component to the quality of an essential oil company.  If a company has not been in business more than 10 years, there isn’t a sufficient amount of time to evaluate the efficacy of the research, data and information that is so critical to the safety of an essential oil.

  1. Does the company have studies published?  

PubMed.gov is the go to site for scientists and medical doctors.  This site has thousands of peer-reviewed studies.  For instance, Frankincense has been widely studied and you can find them on this site.  This is a game changer for me.  If there is significant research on the effectiveness of essential oils (find out for yourself), I want to know!  Since we are talking about therapeutic grade essential oils, we are interested in restorative health – not fragrance!  I don’t want an essential oil to make my house smell good, I want one that will effectively support my body’s natural healing.  

  1. Which “school” of essential oils does the company follow?

Who knew that there were “schools” of essential oils?  There are mainly two:  French and British.  The British school determines their findings using diluted, adulterated oils that do not have consistent constituents to effectively evaluate essential oils.  They use oils for aromatherapy use only.  Most “aromatherapy” organizations and schools use the British school.  The French school focuses on an undiluted method of applying oils, inhalation as well as ingesting pure, therapeutic grade essential oils.

  1. Does the company have their own farms?  

This is a very important question!  If a company does not have its own farms then they are using brokers and suppliers.  The essential oil brokers and suppliers are interested in profits first, which means that there is no guarantee that you are getting a pure oil.  Adulterating the oil with fillers and chemicals is common practice.  Some even use a petroleum product called ethyl vanillin to help the eo smell sweet and have a better “fragrance”.  Label laws are very lax and an oil can have as much as 70 percent of chemicals and still be labeled “pure therapeutic grade”.   If I am investing in essential oils because I want to get away from chemicals for my family then I better be getting 100% pure unadulterated essential oil!

  1. Does the company guarantee 100% of the constituents are in the bottle that I purchase?

Why is this important?  Any quick glance through social media and you will quickly find the many articles on the safety of essential oils – some say that they should never be used with children under 10, others say never to take them internally and the list goes on.  For those of us who want to make sense of all this and want to be able to use essential oils for children without concern for risk, here is the bottom line:  100% of the constituents of an oil must be present for that oil to be safe.

ONCE YOU TAKE OUT (ISOLATE) A CONSTITUENT FROM AN OIL THE SAFETY IS COMPROMISED.  For example, methyl salicylate is the constituent taken from Wintergreen plant and has historically been used as pain relief in many of the OTC meds.  Methyl salicylate becomes toxic when isolated and therefore can be even deadly when taken in access.  HOWEVER, as with everything that God designs, when that constituent is kept in the "family of constituents" that God intended, methyl salicylate is no longer toxic because it is balanced by the other constituents that God intended for it to have.  Therefore, Wintergreen essential oil can be a great benefit for occasional discomforts and is one of the ingredients in our Pain Relief Cream.

  1. Does the company have false certification?  Is their certification trade-marked?

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A sure sign that a company is just interested in profits and not in your health is to see if they have official certification.  GRAS certification is an authentic certification (Generally Regarded As Safe).  The process by which a company goes through to get GRAS certified is a tedious one, rightly so.  It also is a costly one and most companies cannot afford to go through the process.  It takes time and time is money to most companies.  So, these companies are depending on your ignorance.  They often trademark their certification – which means that they have protected the right to use their “term” or their acronym.  It means nothing when it comes to the quality of their oil in regard to science, chemistry, historical standards etc.  

There are many more questions that should be asked.  But these are a good start.  There are many companies out there making many claims, I would rather just look at the facts and then decide!  No company will ever say they are adulterated or “not pure” and they rely heavily on our ignorance as consumers.

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