The great essential oil debate part 2

Welcome back! I hope you enjoyed part 1. It touched a few nerves and that is when you know things just got real! Lets continue.

I want to get the elephant out of the room first.
Before I hear from another MLM oil user let me preface with this. I understand your loyalty; however, there are other fantastic options out there to use. Pounding in the heads of newbies that YOUR oils are THE BEST is not only creepy but it makes us oily mommas look crazy for using any oils. Give them your facts, then tell why you use that brand and after that let them do their own research. Please. It's ok to use more than one brand. Its called preference and as my momma likes to say "options".

I know that despite popular belief essential oils and aromatherapy has been around a lot longer than the last 60 years. Its true. Egyptians used them around 3500 BC. At the same time China and India were using and doing the same thing along with Romans, Gratian's, Arabs... The list goes on and on. It appears it has been an art that has been lost to modern medicine. (Just an observation) It also appears that societies go in cycles and this has finally made its round back into society.

We left off talking about what oils I used and what I thought about them. I got a few messages that made it perfectly clear that this is more than about using a single brand of oils, but this is about opinions and loyalty.

When I was first introduced to oils I couldn't get sufficient answers to my questions so I went to researching.

My biggest question was "How do I know its a pure oil?" When really all you have is the companies word.

What makes a good oil?
Can I tell by the smell?
How do you KNOW its good?
As a newbie how do you know for sure you are buying a quality oil?
What types of things do I need to know before I spend my hard earned money on oils?
Why should I even use them?

First let me give you a brief run down on a few things before we get on the fact train.

Essential oils are a product of the plant in which it claims to be from. This is the most potent and extremely concentrated form of oil. If you have a "pure" oil it can be extremely dangerous if you consume the wrong ones! (Despite popular recommendations you should never EVER ingest them. Most certified aroma therapist will tell you that. There may be food grade oils, but they are not the same thing.)That is not my opinion that is facts.
Fact--Applying the oil to the spot in which you need to use it is the fastest most potent way of insuring it gets to where it needs to be.  Fact--If you swallow something it has to travel to your gut...which you can throw off the balance of your gut and cause even more problems...then it gets absorbed...loosing all effectiveness. Stop.Swallowing.Your.Oils!!!

Here is the million dollar question.

How do I know its a pure oil?
First lets start with: There is not an industry "standard". Did you know that? The FDA has not "approved" oils so there isn't a third party checking or monitoring the claims of all the companies. (Nor do we need anyone poking their nose into this) You pretty much have to go by their word. Literally the only way you can be 100% sure you are getting quality oils is by having it sent to a lab and having it tested. This process is extremely expensive. Each GC/MS test done costs at a minimum of $150 per oil! I don't know about you, but I KNOW I can't afford to spend $150 per oil BEFORE I purchase them just to determine their authenticity and or purity!

The other way is to ask the company for the most recent batch they are selling and the testing they had done on it. If they are defensive and wont give it need to be worried about what they are hiding. That is the only way to know for sure.

This is Blue Tansy that was tested and Passed. This oil came from Plant Therapy.
1. What makes a good oil?
Purity. How it is processed. Where the plants come from. (Which has been a huge debatable topic)

 We talked about how to test for purity in the last paragraph. Here are a few other tidbits...

When people start talking about  "first distillation" they are full of garbage! I will say it again. It does not exist. Ask someone that does this as a living or is a chemist and they will roll their eyes. Its something that the MLM companies (and I have heard other companies say this also) have come up with to sell you oils. Don't believe me?...Do your own research.

Essential oils are obtained by steam distillation. Cold-pressed citrus oils are the only exception to the distillation rule.

The plant, in which the oil comes from, should be from the region in which the plant is indigenous to and should be the correct color and I HIGHLY recommend you have its Latin name on the bottle as well. Take German Chamomile for example or Matricaria chamomilla. It grows best in Hungary, Germany, England - mainly Europe . That should be where the plant is from. When it is in essential oil form it is a deep blue. Not green. (despite the oil companies claims it isn't green. EVER. If you have this and it is green it is either not German Chamomile or it is bad.)

I heard this the other day in reference to plants being grown in the place they are indigenous to. Think about the plants as wine grapes. Where they are grown, what soils they are in and what climate they are subject to has an effect of how the wine tastes. Does that give you a better visual? Plants that are going to be used for essential oils need their original properties in order for it to test good and to be effective.

"High altitude Lavender grown in French Alps of Haut Provence is considered the Lavender by which all other Lavenders should be measured (the benchmark)." Kenneth Miller.

2. Can you tell by the smell.

Unless you are a dog and have perfect sense of smell. No. The sniff test does not work. You can not sniff out chemical properties. You can not tell color by smell.

3. How do you KNOW its good?

Unless you have done the things we mentioned above there is no definitive way. You can do a quick test at home... If you drop your essential oil on white paper and there is a residue left over its not pure. Some oils depending on the high, middle and low notes (referring to their smell) will determine how fast they disappear...don't worry if it takes a little bit longer for others to dry, but if it is dry and you have a ring or a residue...its not pure.

4. As a newbie how do you know for sure you are buying a quality oil?

Here is where the trust factor needs to come in. You need to find people you trust. This isn't necessarily people in the MLM groups, but actual people who are in that field of work or people who are certified (have gone to school)  in aroma therapy. (Even then it is just opinions you are dealing with) Although reputation is not something to take lightly, there is always room for error. If you find a company and you want to spend your hard earned money or email them and ask them tough questions. Like: Where does the plant come from? (The oil in which you want to purchase. That should already be on their website) Who does your testing? (If it is in house, question it. There is always room to be fudged) Do you have the most recent batches tested and if so may I see the results? Then wait for the response.  That is a telling sign as well. People who don't want to share their information about their oils are hiding something. Move on and go else where.

5. What types of things do I want to know about an oil before I spend my hard earned money on oils?

I think we have covered a bulk of that in the paragraphs above. There are a few other things you do want to consider. the date packaged on the bottle?? If it isn't can you find out??? Did you know essential oils have a shelf life???? (Neither did I!) Did you know that there are oils that need to be refrigerated??? (Neither did I!!!) You should NEVER keep your oils in the hot sun. Make sure you know about the oils that you are getting and how to counter act them if you have an allergic reaction. Are you pregnant? Are you nursing? Do you have sensitivities to certain plants? Are they safe around pets? Are they safe for the ages of your children? These are all questions you need to answer or have answered about the oils before you purchase them. There are oils that you MUST have in a carrier oil because they are considered "Hot" oils and could "burn" your skin. Those are some of the very basic questions you need to answer.

6. Why should I even use them?

Oh gosh. This isn't a fact question. This is probably going to be where my opinion kicks in. I consider myself fairly intelligent in some cases, (until I get around my mother and then I don't feel so smart.) so when I was reintroduced to essential oils they honestly seemed like a no brainer to use. For one, I am of the opinion that God does everything better than people, sooooooo if there is a way for me to have a "Godly" option FIRST then I go that route.  This encompasses my food as well. Plants, like herbs, have medicinal properties and when used correctly can heal. This goes for essential oils as well. They do, however, need to be pure.

I also want to talk about varieties in another blog. Like the differences between blends, hydrosols and absolutes. Something else I think is important is the reputation of a specific company and the way they handle not only their business, but customer complaints. Stay tuned.

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Permission granted to use the results from Essential Oils University test from Kenneth Miller.

1 comment

  1. It was a very good post indeed. I thoroughly enjoyed reading it in my lunch time. Will surely come and visit this blog more often. Thanks for sharing.