5 Very Important Aspects to Consider When You Choose an Essential Oil Brand
Not all essential oils are created equal. Just as it matters to your health whether you choose to eat out at McDonald’s versus Chipotle or Jack in the Box versus a farm to table steakhouse that serves organic, grass-fed beef, the brand of oil you choose to bring into your life can positively or negatively affect your health. Only using the best brands of essential oil will result in powerful benefits and mitigate any safety concerns.
People are always asking what brand of essential oil is the best and what should they look for in choosing the best brand of essential oils. I want to submit to you that there are only a few select brands of essential oil that meet the following criteria which I am going to share with you. There are only a few trusted and worthy brands.
When you are deciding which brand of oil you want to bring into your home and spend your hard earned cash on, it’s vitally important you can answer every single one of these questions and know each of these facets to make your decision.
Disclaimer: In answering the questions below, our family has chosen the best brand of oil. We have used this brand for over 5 years and the company exceeds our standards as well as industry wide-standards. This post is not necessarily to lead you to the brand we use (although they truly are the best and we strongly recommend them) but rather give you some important questions to ask and critical points you need to consider about the company you are looking at.
#1 Ask About Their Farming Practices
Plant farming for producing essential oils is a very specialized process. Excellent terrain, optimal climate, nutrient-dense soil and toxicity (or lack thereof) is essential for producing a quality essential oil.
Does the company work with knowledgeable farmers? The farmers our favorite company partners with have been growing the same plants for generations. These farmers know not to use toxins, they always allow the plants to grow to maturity and they know the perfect time to harvest the plants to get the best potency. Sometimes that harvest has to happen within a few hours of peak maturation for the best results. Only experienced farmers know this stuff.
Does the company you are considering grow all their plants indigenous – where God planted them? Just like here in America we don’t grow bananas because they don’t grow best here, we shouldn’t try to grow a Frankincense tree here because it won’t grow correctly. It doesn’t have what it needs here in the climate, soil and terrain for optimal growth and constituents.
Take for example this study that was done on wild Alaskan blueberries. The research showed that wild Alaskan blueberries contained 3-5 times more antioxidants than conventional blueberries grown in the lower 48 states. That’s profound and shows directly why growing indigenously matters to the plant chemistry and therapeutic value.
Growing indigenous = wild environment, no chemicals, ideal climate, plants grow to maturity in nutrient-rich soil and they get natural sunlight as well as pure, clean water.
If the company you’re looking at does not do the above you should not use them because the quality of the oil will be compromised. The best essential oil brands source their essential oils from all over the world, not in a few select places.
The second facet of farming that’s equally important is that that the best companies will place high importance on quality over quantity. That means that profit isn’t their bottom line. The company would rather have the best quality essential oil and less of it rather than more oil to sell to make the profit but the oil is mediocre (or dangerous) quality. Does the company you’re considering place the highest value on quality?
It takes as many as 500-2,000 pounds or more of raw plant material to produce one pound of essential oil. For example It takes 75 lemons to produce 1-15ml bottle of lemon essential oil. It takes 60 roses to make 1 single drop of rose essential oil. It takes 27 square feet of lavender plants to make 1-15ml bottle of lavender essential oil.
It’s important to work with a company that emphasizes quality over quantity and takes into consideration the sustainability of the plants they are growing. Demand is high for essential oils but that doesn’t mean a company should go around in greed, deplete the soil, grow crappy plants and work farmers to death just to make a buck. Steer clear of any company that does this. You have to dig deep to find this info but you can find it.
The best quality essential oils are free from chemicals, molds, heavy metals, funguses and GMO’s and are carefully extracted to keep the original plant compounds in their natural state.
#2 Learn Their Extraction Processes
Only the best companies extract essential oils from plants using the following three methods. They should never use solvents to extract an essential oil from a plant.
- Steam Distillation
- Cold Pressing (mostly for citrus oils)
- Co2 Extraction
If a company is not willing to be open with you about their extraction processes then it’s a red flag that you should not purchase their essential oils.
#3 Examine the Packaging
You may not think that packaging of an essential oil matters that much but it is key to the safety of the oil for the consumer and keeps the essential oil from getting damaged or contaminated with molds, funguses, etc.
- For essential oils, the bottle needs to be in dark glass bottles to protect the oil from oxidation and damaging sunlight.
- The company’s stock of oils must be stored in cooled warehouses where high heats cannot damage the oils.
- Each bottle must be labeled with the Latin plant species name. This is important for consumer safety.
Here’s an example of why species name is important: L. angustifolia (a.k.a true lavender) is not the same as L. intermedia (a.k.a lavendin). True lavender has almost no camphor whereas lavendin can have up to 40% camphor. This matters because camphor is stimulating, yet lavender essential oil is known to be calming. If you use a lavender that has lavendin in it, you’ll likely be stimulated rather than calmed. Species name is always VERY important. You must see it on the label.
Are the bottles tested for contaminants like molds and funguses before the oil is placed in them and after? I don’t know about you but I do want to put those damaging toxins on my skin or in my body. If the company in question does not do these simple tests then you are risking getting concentrated levels of molds and funguses on and in your body. Trust me, mycotoxin poisoning is not something you ever want to deal with.
#4 Know the Grade of Essential Oil They Sell
There are three Grade levels of essential oils. Grade 1 only is what you should be using on your body and internally for health benefits. There are companies out there that mix grade 3 oils (because they’re cheaper) with grade 1 oils which make a dangerous solution to put on or in your body. Be aware!
Grade 3 – Synthetic and Altered Oils
Now you know as well as I do that a company is not going to choose to slap these words “synthetic” or “altered” on the side of their bottle. They are not required to at all. This is why it’s important to know the companies farming practices, distillation procedures, packaging processes and testing protocols.
Synthetic oils are created chemically in labs and are the lowest grade of oil. These are man-made constituents made to resemble plants. They are dangerous and toxic to our health.
Grade 2 – “Natural” or “Pure” Oils.
These are the second level of essential oils and are still inferior if you are using oils for your health. The words “natural” and “pure” in this day have many loopholes. The bottle can be labeled 100% pure or 100% natural and contain lavendin which is synthetic and will give you the adverse stimulating effects we talked about above.
Additionally, seeing these two words on a label does not mean that filler ingredients are not in the bottle. It could be 75% GMO vegetable oil and 25% essential oils and still be labeled 100% Pure or 100% Natural.
Fact: In the U.S., you are required to have only 5% essential oil in a bottle to label it “Pure.”
Grade 1 – Therapeutic Grade Oils with Third Party Validation
These are the top tier and highest grade essential oils. Understand that just because the company puts the words “Therapeutic” on their bottle or in their brand doesn’t mean anything. When “therapeutic” actually means something is when the company can back up this word with third party (no conflict of interest) testing that validates the oil is truly potent and the highest quality with no contaminants. In like manner, when you examine the farming practices of the company they should match the points discussed above about where a therapeutic high-value, potent oil comes from.
Grade 1 oils are:
- Third-Party tested and verified to be unadulterated
- Have the greatest health-promoting properties
- Are from plants grown only indigenously verified by a third party to have no contaminants
- Plants were harvested at peak times
- There is not an endless supply
These oils are always 2-4 times the price of the lower grade oils we talked about. *If the variety of oils a company sells are all $20 and below, for instance, you can guarantee they are not highest quality. They are grade 2 or 3 or a mixture of grade 1, 2 & 3.
#5 Company Ethics
You know how important it is to buy food or clothing that comes from companies who have good ethics and don’t employ children or sweat shop workers, right? Well, the same attention needs to be given when buying essential oils. This is a list of things you need to consider about the company you are considering.
Does the company care about quality over quantity?
How about profit (or bottom line) over consumer? Will they (or have they) cut corners to save a buck and put their customers at risk?
Do they work with brokers whose bottom line is profit, not purity and sustainability of plants or ethical treatment of farmers?
Is the company transparent? For example, do they share their GC/MS testing with anyone who asks on every single lot of oil they sell? This is a test that reveals additives and you need to know if there are additives in your oils.
Does the company use third-party testing and how many tests do they perform? Any company can say their oils are the best but those words only mean something when they’re validated by an external (no-conflict of interest) company who’s testing and finding the oils to truly be the best. Our favorite brand performs up to 14 different tests on every single lot of essential oil.
Does the company give back? Are they generous? For example, the company we absolutely love has a foundation called Healing Hands™ where (with profits) they go into needy areas and build schools and medical clinics as well as help girls with feminine hygiene and give to companies in the battle to stop sex-trafficking. Our favorite essential oil company also created Co-Impact Sourcing® which guarantees fair and on-time pay for the farmers (get’s rid of the brokers) and truly partners with their growers.
Is the company reputable? This question can be a bit subjective but the brand we love is the number one company in the world for a reason. Of course, even if they aren’t number one, but meet all the other criteria in this post, they can still be a good brand to use.
How Do You Get This Information From Companies?
My best answer is to call them or some companies even do live chat. Only work with companies that you can ask any and every one of these questions, who will give you a forthcoming and transparent answer. If the company is not transparent then they have something to hide. Don’t work with them. I use these same transparency parameters for the food and other products we purchase. We vote with our dollars and only purchase from companies who are honest and transparent and who truly want the best for their consumers as well as their producers.
Though the internet can be a black hole for research, there are some unbiased places to go to find testing on different brands of oil. See link at the end of the post for a group I love for truthful, unbiased info on different brands.
Remember to Use These 5 Aspects to Determine if the Essential Oil Brand You are Considering is a Good One
When you are considering using a brand of essential oils, please don’t just go pick one up at the grocery store. I beg you not to do this. Essential oils, good or bad, can profoundly affect our well-being and are not to be used without proper education and understanding. Do your research on companies before you purchase. Be sure to look into their farming practices, extraction processes, internal and outsourced testing and packaging protocols. Be sure to evaluate the grade of essential oil as well as the company ethics. If you want to use essential oils safely and for health benefits, these 5 very important criteria are integral to finding the best essential oil.
If you would like a great group to follow that will show you testing on various brands of oils then I highly recommend this group.
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