The most common question I get about oils is “What oil should I use for….?”
The more important question is whether you're using the best essential oils to give you the benefits you're looking for without doing harm.
Rest assured, if you are a bit weary of hearing a bunch of hype about which brand of oil to use, you won’t find that here. I’ll give you my honest opinion without doing any brand bashing. What I won’t be doing is elevating any one brand to the almighty one and only.
Obviously, I can’t be an expert in each and every brand of essential oil out there. Sometimes people ask me about certain brands- I’m not familiar with all the brands and what their quality control is. How do you know if an essential oil is a good one?
First, here’s a little background on various quality of essential oils…
-Perfume Grade- essential oils are used to scent just about anything you can think of. There is essentially no quality standard for these oils- they are used only for their scent.
-Food Grade- essential oils are also used to flavor many of the foods we buy. In order for essential oils to be used in food, they have to be deemed GRAS (generally recognized as safe) by the FDA. All GRAS means is that a certain additive (in this case, a given oil) is safe to put in food. It doesn’t have anything to do with whether or not an essential oil is pure or has any health benefit.
-Therapeutic Grade Essential Oils-These oils are distilled
in a way that ensures there is health benefit to using the oil. Unfortunately,
this is where things get tricky. Believe it or not, “therapeutic grade
essential oil” isn’t actually an official term, so "therapeutic grade" doesn't automatically mean they are the best essential oils. So... is the term "Therapeutic Grade" a bunch of BS?
Does it really matter where you buy oils? The bottle says it’s 100% pure, so it must be good, right?
You can buy oils anywhere- the dollar store even carries them. What gives? What most people don’t realize is that many of the oils on the market are actually synthetically made. It’s not even real essential oil from the plant.
Compounds that are known
to be in a given essential oil can be re-created in labs and labeled as essential
oils. Many of the compounds in essential oils that are known to be beneficial are even synthetically manufactured to be used in drugs we take.
Take wintergreen for example. Wintergreen contains a compound called methyl salicitate, which has been long known to be a great pain reliever. Methyl salicitate is widely manufactured (synthetically) in labs and used in over the counter pain rubs.
So, what’s the difference between a pure, unadulterated oil and a synthetic one? Well, essential oils have many different compounds, not just one, which means one single oil can have multiple effects on the body. Essential oils just cannot be recreated in a lab and still offer the same benefit- nature simply cannot be recreated like that.
It doesn’t take a genius to figure out that synthetically created “essential oils” are much cheaper, hence the huge price difference you see between different essential oil brands.
What about that “100% Pure” label? Oil companies can slap that label on an oil even if it has barely any actual essential oil in it. They can have all sorts of additives in them and still claim to be 100% pure. The label isn’t enough.
You’ve probably heard about some of the amazing things you can use oils for. They are awesome, to be sure, but unless you’re using truly pure and unadulterated oils, you aren’t likely to get the benefits you’re looking for. What’s worse is that you may get results you don’t like- headaches, reactions, rashes, etc. Check out my family’s horror story here. I’ve seen firsthand how important it is to find the best essential oils!
There are good oils out there. You just need to be aware of what to look for. I've created a checklist of sorts to help you find great, high quality oils more easily.
If you've got questions, I'd be happy to help. Contact me here and I'll get back with you right away :)