Essential Oil Quality
There are a growing number of products claiming to be, or to contain, essential oils.
They range greatly in price and quality, and we them in skin care, cosmetics, aromatherapy and other products. They may be sold at health food stores, grocery stores, spas, and direct through company distributors.
Unfortunately, many of these products do not use pure essential oils. Sometimes they are not even essential oils at all! Often, fragrant synthetic chemical substitutes are used to dilute or replace more expensive essential oil extracts, to make the product cheaper.
Because there are no current regulatory standards for the descriptive use of “therapeutic grade” for products labeled as essential oils, it can be very difficult to know whether the product actually contains a real essential oil, a diluted oil, or just some synthetic copy made in a lab.
That’s why it is so important for us to do a little research and choose a therapeutic grade essential oil that is a pure and natural aromatic compound, not a synthetic formulation.
Dr. Robert Pappas is the world leader in essential oil chemistry and oversees the quality of dōTERRA essential oils. This educational presentation by Dr. Pappas’s took place the dōTERRA 2014 Aspire Global Convention and discusses essential oil adulteration and what to look for in essential oil chemistry.
To be sure that the essential oils we use will be potent and give us the results we want every time, we only use oils that have been subjected to quality testing that ensure the correct composition of the active natural compounds found in each oil.
Why does this matter?
Adulteration of oils is common in the essential oil industry. Even when an essential oil may be 100% pure, if the right species or part of a plant has not been used, if the plant has not been grown in the right environment or harvested at the right time, or it has not been distilled under the right conditions, the chemical makeup of the oil may be unpredictable. What this means for us is the oil may be lacking in potency or therapeutic benefit. In some cases, the wrong plant harvested at the wrong time may result in an oil that contains harmful levels of some constituents.
What oil should you choose?
- You want a pure, natural essential oil – not a synthetic oil created in a lab.
- Choose an oil that does not contain fillers or artificial ingredients that would dilute its active qualities.
- You also want an oil obtained through proper extraction and undergoes quality control methods. These are critical in insuring the essential oils are free of any synthetic compounds, contaminants such as pesticides, or other chemical residues.
- Its important to be confident in the oils you choose and the company that provides them.
Reputable essential oil companies will regularly test their oils to ensure they are of high quality. A few companies will go above and beyond that standard and actually have every batch tested by independent testing laboratories.
doTERRA essential oils are subjected to not only mass spectrometry and gas chromatography testing, but several additional tests, to ensure they meet high standards for both purity and potency. We recommend you insist on the same standards with the oils you purchase and use with your family.