This post follows on from Which essential oil do you use for what?
My sole reason for incorporating essential oils into my Life Design is to move away from potentially harmful products. That being said, not all essential oils are equal. As with all things, quality matters.
Upon doing research into which oils would be right for me, I learned there are 8 aspects I should be concerned about.
You know the expression we are what we eat? Well, the same is true for plant life. A plant is what it ‘eats’.
The terrain and soil an essential oil plant is sourced from is important. Obviously, a field sprayed with chemicals, or chemicals added to the soil will alter the chemistry of the plant. The same is true of extraction if toxic solvents or chemicals are used.
This is an extension of sourcing. Essential oil companies must responsibly partner directly with honest growers and distillers in order to be assured of the quality of the essential oil compounds.
There is limited regulation and standards for essential oils. “Therapeutic grade” is not an indication of quality, and there are two permissible forms of oils:
- compromised sourcing – allows for the use of chemicals in the growing and distillation processes. It also allows for synthetic additives.
- holistic healing – uses unprocessed oils that are sourced directly from nature with no chemical or solvent intervention.
To truly be deemed therapeutic and of superior grade, essential oils must be tested and certified against the following:
- Authentic – the composition of the oil is equal to the plant identified on the label and is not a mixture of plant species (unless otherwise specifically denoted as being a blend of essential oils). For example, an essential oil is not cross-contaminated with other plant species found in the same growing region.
- Genuine – this simply means the essential oil is 100% from a single plant species and contains no additives of any kind, be it natural, chemical or synthentic.
- Potent -chemical impacts aside, even the climate and soil can impact an essential oils potency. It is important that plants are grown and harvested in their native habitat.
Sidenote: be careful of the word pure associated with essential oils. An oil can be ‘purely’ from a single plant specie, but the plants could be unhealthy or inferior, or the distillation process could have caused damage.
Harvesting and extracting essential oils seems to be a combination of science and art. Suppliers not only must follow exacting procedures, but also be dedicated to building knowledge and wisdom about a single specie. To become one with the plant, so to speak. Distillation must be done gently, slowly and skillfully. Incorrect pressure and heat can oxidize or destroy the oils.
The oils aren’t out of the woods yet. They are then moved to distribution companies or to brokers. The more chains in the link, the less control the essential oil company has over the quality. Ideally, companies work directly with growers, cutting out all the middlemen.
Sidenote: essential oils are comprised of carbon, hydrogen and oxygen. That’s it, that’s all. Any essential oils claiming to contain viatmins, minerals, fatty acids or hormones have additives and are not pure.
The nose knows. In general, the more pure and sweet the aroma of the essential oil, the greater the purity with a higher standard of sourcing.
7. Supplier Responsibility
As consumers, our front line is the distributing company. It is the responsibility of that company to ensure that all of the above has been rigorously taken into consideration and acted upon. Look for companies that test the processes and quality multiple times from harvesting through distribution.
8. Personal Responsibility
Yep, this is an important one, and I am all about personal responsibility. It is up to each of us to do our own research. dōTERRA® is certainly not the first essential oil company that has crossed my path. However, once I got serious about incorporating essential oils into my life, I used all the above research criteria and dōTERRA ‘made the grade’.
I absolutely encourage you to do your own research. Being an informed consumer on something as important as our wellness is critical.
Stay curious, my lovelies!
Our Life. Our Passions. Our Way.
Interested in incorporating essential oils into your own Life Design? I am pleased to help you as a Wellness Advocate for dōTERRA®. You can contact me directly: CONTACT ELIZA, or click on the below image to explore my Wellness Advocate website.