Ask an Aromatherapist: Is There a "Best" Essential Oil Company?
I've had people tell me "I know [insert brand here] essential oils are the best but what essential oils do you use? People often ask me if a particular essential oil is "good". And if you look at marketing or brand loyalty many will advocate that their brand is "the best". But all marketing aside, what do aromatherapists think?
Many companies claim to have the “best” and “purest” essential oils — so how do you choose? The truth is there are many amazing essential oil companies out there as well as artisan essential oil distillers that produce top quality essential oils. Companies that claim to be the "best" or that they produce a special therapeutic grade of essential oil might produce a decent quality essential oil but their claims are often simply marketing tools.
I began my essential oil journey by joining a multi level marketing essential oil company. They were all about brand loyalty, claiming their oils were "the best", "the purest", and "better than organic". But as a scientist, consumer I knew this simply wasn't true. And once I became a certified aromatherapist, joined professional aromatherapy organizations, and delved deeper into the world of aromatherapy I was better able to discern how to choose quality essential oils.
Here are my tips for evaluating and choosing quality essential oils:
Avoid marketing hype by looking for transparent testing.
There’s no organization that grades essential oils — so terms like therapeutic grade, medical grade, high grade don’t actually mean anything.
Essential oils are either pure or impure. The most reliable way to test an essential oil’s purity is with Gas Chromatography and Mass Spectrometry tests (GCMS testing)
Essential oil companies that post GCMS results easily accessible on their website assure consumers that the essential oils are pure.
Look for organic, organically grown, or wildcrafted essential oils.
Certified organic means the plants were grown by farmers who have completed an organic certification process.
Organically grown is a good option where certification is cost prohibitive or unavailable. Farmers follow organic practices such as eliminating synthetic pesticides and herbicides from their farms.
Wildcrafted is a method to find plants in the wild. This practice produces high quality oils where plants grow best naturally. It is important that when wildcrafting to leave enough plant and re-seed to assure sustainability.
Essential oils are highly concentrated aromatic compounds from plants. If growers are not using pesticides or obtaining material from pristine areas then unwanted compounds should not show up in the essential oils.
Sustainable practices. Look for a company that is transparent in finding distillers who value quality, purity, and sustainable practices over profit.
Some other things to look for:
Is the company run by a certified aromatherapist?
Does the company have a personal connection with their distillers?
Do they provide clear information about their essential oils such as safety precautions, batch dates, and aromatherapy usage?
Do they have a positive reputation?
How long have they been in business?
Do they provide GCMS data for each essential oil?
While it’s easy to get caught up in marketing terms or company claims and become confused — following the suggestions above will help you stay on track.
Additional cautions: look out for resellers of popular and expensive essential oils on Amazon and Ebay and the like. While there are many reputable sellers some people dilute essential oils to unsuspecting buyers.
Aromatherapy and essential oils have been around long before the current essential oil reawakening. Prudent use of essential oils is important to sustaining this precious resource.
If you have questions about essential oil quality, contact Tricia or your favorite certified aromatherapist or clinical aromatherapist.
And if you are looking to become more confident in choosing and using essential oils be sure to join me and my friend Shanon Mayberry, a clinical aromatherapist at An Optimal You and Rock Rose Apothecary for our "Make Every Drop Count Challenge" hosted on FaceBook, where we'll help you feel more confident using essential oils. Request to join the challenge here: https://www.facebook.com/groups/679136359683226
Aromatic blessings friends,