I love Essential Oils, they have been around for thousands of years as a medicine to heal mind body and soul. Unfortunately, in today’s society where profit and big business take priority over real healing, adulterated oils have flooded the market, putting the uninformed buyer at a health risk without even knowing it. I have been blessed with the opportunity to study oils for two years in a certified healing school, and I have been a Oil Practitioner and certified Aromatherapist for many years. The most frustrating thing I run into when I talk and teach about how to use the Oils, is how to buy a good Oil. People naturally want the best deal, and I am the same….however, when it comes to pure Essential Oils, cheap is risky business. It is expensive to make Oils that have a high percentage of actual plant substance in them. So, how do you know what you are buying? The answer will shock you.
The answer is NO…. Currently, there is no government agency that is responsible for certifying the quality of Essential Oils. The only recognized indication for oil quality is the AFNOR or ISO standards. AFNOR stands for (Associated French Normalization Organization Regulation.) ISO is the International Standards Organization which has set standards fro Essential Oils adopted from AFNOR. By using these standards, many oils can be checked to see if they do indeed contain the correct chemical constituents to be labeled as a pure essential oil. If some are too high or too low, then the product can not be certified. Oil companies are not required to send their oils out to these two agencies for evaluation. I personally, only know of two companies that pay the extra money for quality control, and they are Young Living and DoTerra.
You will be stunned to know that……IT ONLY TAKES 5% ESSENTIAL OIL IN A BOTTLE TO BE LABELED AS A PURE OIL. They may even say 100% organic or 100% therapeutic….it’s a lie!
Yes, you read that correctly…… ONLY 5%. When you only have 5% of the actual healing oil in your product, there is zero way you are getting any kind of benefit from your purchase. The rest of the 95% is chemicals that are used in perfume to make it smell like the plant and water. A human chemist can not copy what Mother Nature has provided for us. Companies sell adulterated oils so they can mass produce them, and sell them at a lower cost. All the while, lying to the buyer about the actual quality of the oil, and it is allowed.
The majority of Lavender Oil in the US is fake. Plain and simple….it is fake. I am sure this will ruffle many feathers, but it is true. What people are actually buying is called Lavadin, which cut with synthetic linalyl acetate to improve the fragrance. It is nothing more than a chemical perfume labeled as a Oil. Real Lavender can be used on open cuts and abrasions, as well as heal burns. It is a medicine. If you use fake lavender on an open cut you will have adverse effects with zero healing. Would you put perfume on an open cut or burn? Of course not, but without the proper information people are doing just that. Frankincense is another oil that is highly faked. Sadly, when these precious oils are adulterated with synthetics they lose all healing capabilities, and cause skin irritations. There are many oils, (if they are pure), that can be applied to the bottoms of your feet and other parts of the body without diluting. Pure Oils are made from the plasma of plants. Our own blood plasma is almost an exact match, this is why oils work so well…they have the ability to enter the blood stream directly. This is why adulterated oils are so dangerous. The chemicals in the fake oils will attach themselves to the 5% real oil and will enter your blood stream. This presents a real danger for the consumer. ADULTERATED OILS WILL OVERLOAD THE KIDNEYS AND LIVER WHEN THEY ARE CUT WITH SYNTHETIC CHEMICAL EXTENDERS. People are doing damage to their liver and kidneys, while they are using a fake oil, and they are completely unaware. This has to stop.
How was it discovered that Oils were being adulterated? I am glad you asked….
A female Oils practitioner received a bottle of Blue Tansy, and it did not smell they way it should. So, she decided to send it to a lab where a Gas Chromatography Test was performed. The results were astounding, she found out her oil was mostly chemicals and not pure Blue Tansy. Once this story was circulated, many other Aromatherapist sent out their oils for the same testing, and got the same results. It was shocking to see the GC/MS test results indicating that several Oils were either completely synthetic or adulterated.
What is CG/MS Testing?
The best way to assure purity and quality of each batch of oil is by testing with Gas Chromatography/Mass Spectrometry (CG/MS)
GC is a method of separating the volatile compounds in essential oils into individual components. The result is a linear chart showing the chemical constituents. MS identifies each of the components and their percentages. This process is used to identify any adulteration of the essential oil tested. Adulterated oils or perfume oils will not offer the therapeutic effects and may in face cause allergies, headaches and chemical sensitivities.
The precise breakdown of the chemical components in the individual oils provided by the GC/MS reports is important as the therapeutic benefits and safety issues. Essential oils are, in large part, determined by their chemical make-up. Testing each batch of oil with GC/MS technology assures purity and gives us the exact chemistry of each oil. This process is vital for medicinal blending and for quality assurance.
You should purchase oils from companies that can provide you with an honest GC/MS report for every oil they sell and they should be batch specific for that particular bottle of oil. The old saying is, “You get what you pay for.” This is true in the essential oils industry.
Please be careful when purchasing Essential Oils. They are one of the treasures we have available to us from Mother Earth to heal our mind body and soul. They should be used only in their purest form. You have a right as a consumer to know what is going into your body. If a company will not supply the proof of real testing, then do not buy from them. Buyer Beware!
Lisa Rising Berry
Here is a great reference book on Essential Oils…..