What exactly is an essential oil?
According to doTERRA (one of the most popular essential oil suppliers), essential oils are “naturally occurring volatile aromatic compounds found in the seeds, bark, stems, roots, flowers, and other parts of plants.” In turn, these “aromatic compounds are small organic molecules that tend to change quickly from their solid or liquid state to a gas at room temperature.” In addition, these oils are quite buoyant and can swiftly travel through the air bee lining it into our nasal olfactory receptors. Lastly, the unique characteristics of essential oils are their smells and therapeutic usages depending upon which aromatic compounds it possesses.
To put the prices in perspective
Now that you know what an essential oil is, have you ever wondered the ratio of plant or flower to mL’s of essential oil? Well to put it into perspective, doTerra states that: “approximately 3 pounds of lavender flowers are required to produce just 15mL of lavender essential oil, approximately 105 pounds of rose petals are required per 5mL of rose essential oil, 63 pounds of the melissa plant per 5mL of melissa essential oil, and 50 lemons per 15mL bottle of lemon essential oil.” With this being said, the prices of any essential oils you purchase should vary based upon the output generated by the plant or flower. If the prices of an essential oil supplier are all uniform, I would question its authenticity.
So what does it mean when an essential oil is labeled, ‘certified pure therapeutic grade?’ Naturally, you would believe you were receiving top-notch essential oils if you read this on the label right? Well in actuality, there is no executive board issuing certifications for essential oils nor is there a grading system in place. In fact, using this description on an essential oil label is simply a trademark phrase. However, doTERRA initiated its own personal testing system known as CPTG (Certified Pure Therapeutic Grade). This doTERRA process “certifies that there are no added filters, synthetic ingredients, or harmful contaminants in their essential oils that would reduce their efficacy.” Therefore, you can have peace of mind knowing that doTERRA certifies its own essential oils before placing them in mainstream economy.
According to dictionary.com, botanical name is defined as “the Latin scientific name of a plant,” and it signifies its type and classification of plant. In addition, this name can explain how it was cultivated and its chemo type which plays a part in the aroma and therapeutic aspects of the plant. Some examples of botanical names include Lavandula anguvstifolia or officinale (Lavender), Citrus limonum (Lemon), and Rosemarinus officinalis (Rosemary). With all this being said, check the labels on essential oils for their botanical names in order to verify you’re receiving the most authentic ingredients.
Distillation process/relationship with their distillers
According to doTERRA, “the majority of their oils come from exclusive agreements where the growers and distillers will only sell to doTERRA. So if anybody is telling you they have the same quality essential oil as do TERRA, or that they get their essential oils from the same producers, that simply isn’t the case.” From what I’ve read from multiple resources, the relationship an essential oil supplier has with its distillers is important to the quality of the essential oil by-product. With this being said, doTERRA, for example, does business in over 40 countries with distillers and believes in working with the local farmer who has years of wisdom and proficiency in the process. In addition, doTERRA has initiated a Healing Hands Foundation which strives to improve upon the conditions in the underdeveloped countries that cultivate the essential oils. Through this foundation, amenities that we take for granted every day, as well as access to further education is provided to the natives of these countries.
Gas chromatography/Mass spectrometry testing
Before an essential oil is released to the consumer, a series of tests are conducted on the oil to include gas chromatography and mass spectrometry. Both of these tests are performed in order to closely examine the oil’s make-up. DoTERRA explains mass spectrometry as “samples being vaporized, ionized, and then each individual compound in a sample measured by weight.” Furthermore, this testing process, “provides insight to the purity of an essential oil by revealing the presence of non-aromatic compounds, such as heavy metals or other pollutants,” per doTERRA. In other words, you can rest assured knowing that there is a process in place with doTERRA (not all suppliers can provide this information) to verify that the oils are not contaminated with chemical debris such as pesticides and thus, validate its purity.
As you can tell, I am an advocate of doTERRA essential oils for all the above mentioned reasons. Obviously, the choice is ultimately up to you, but I wanted to provide you with a ‘checklist’ to help you identify quality essential oils. I hope you enjoyed reading my article and here’s to living your best life ever! Please feel free to leave me a comment or any insight you may have on this topic.
doTERRA. “Global Botanical Network.” DōTERRA Essential Oils, DoTERRA International , 8 Sept. 2017, www.doterra.com/US/en/difference-global-botanical-network.
doTERRA. “Part 3: The Plant Perspective.” DōTERRA Essential Oils, DoTERRA International , 3 Oct. 2017, www.doterra.com/US/en/essential-oil-safety-and-application-plant-perspective.
doTERRA. “Pure DoTERRA Essential Oils Through CPTG Quality Testing.” Pure Essential Oils Through CPTG Quality Testing | DoTERRA Essential Oils | DōTERRA Essential Oils, DoTERRA International, 22 Aug. 2017, www.doterra.com/US/en/cptg-testing-process.
doTERRA. “What Is an Essential Oil?” DōTERRA Essential Oils, DoTERRA International , 8 Sept. 2017, www.doterra.com/US/en/what-is-an-essential-oil.