How do You Know Which Essential Oil Companies to Trust?
Essential oils and the companies that sell them are confusing. Everybody says they’re the best, the purest, and a lot of folks practically scare you to death about not using anything less than their “therapeutic” grade oils. Ever feel this way?
Me too. Especially when I was first getting into oils.
So, I’m gonna share with you some of the things, that over time, I’ve sorted out about buying EO’s.
“Therapeutic Grade” is a marketing term started and trademarked by one of the big EO companies to sell their products. Nothing wrong with that, but it gives the impression that there’s an official system of ‘grades’ for EO’s …and there’s no such thing in effect anywhere.
That’s not to say there’s something wrong with a company marketing their product. We allow for that every time we watch a commercial on tv and buy into the little sing-songy marketing jingle. It’s how the world works. And it’s fine. But, that’s all the words “therapeutic grade” amount to: a sales pitch. It’s a marketing gimmick.
There is NO OFFICIAL STANDARDIZED SYSTEM OF GRADING essential oils as better or worse than one another. That’s not to say “therapeutic grade” oils can’t be pure, but the point is neither do those words guarantee it in any way.
In actuality there’s very little regulation of anything in aromatherapy in the United States. So you do indeed want to be careful who you buy from, but you can’t decide that just by the words on the bottle.
Essential Oil Testing?
A lot of EO companies have purity testing reports on their websites, and claim to test every oil. This too is good, and it might be true and completely honest (and I’m not suggesting otherwise), but the problem comes when the testing is done by the company themselves. How does one really know whether they are true? Unless third-party testing is done, and published, by an independent source —completely without the company’s involvement, there’s always the possibility that it could be falsified.
So, such testing is indeed good, but it still doesn’t really help the consumer to know absolutely 100% if the oils are truly pure.
Which comes down to… there isn’t any real way for the average consumer to be able to know that they’re getting a pure, quality oil. Unless— they’re willing and able to spend $200-300 for an independent GC/MS (purity) report to test each one. That’s THE only way that anyone can guarantee the essential oils they’re buying are truly pure.
And so we’re back to the same question….
How do You Know Which Essential Oil Companies to Trust?
Who Not to Trust
Well, let’s look at it backwards, and start with what to definitely not trust…
1. Don’t buy “oily” oils. While essential oils are called “oils”, you shouldn’t find them oily in the slightest. EO’s do have various textures, but “oily” isn’t one of them. So, if they have any oily feel to them, then they’re likely diluted with some kind of vegetable or nut oil.
You can do a paper test to help determine this. Put a drop of each EO on a piece of construction paper, and let it evaporate for several hours. There may be slight color from the oil left behind, but there shouldn’t be any kind of oily ring left. If there is, it might be cut with a veggie or nut oil.
2. Don’t buy oils that smell “off”. If it has an alcohol smell to it, then it could be diluted with alcohol. If there’s a chemical smell to it, then it may be synthetic and a copy of the oil’s fragrance instead of a true EO.
Your nose can tell you a lot. Some oils, like peppermint for instance, smell different from different regions of the world, but if it smells too good to be true (exactly like a peppermint candy, for instance), then it’s possibly a synthetic fragrance.
3. Don’t buy oils only according to cost. In other words, just cuz it’s expensive doesn’t mean it’s pure, and just cuz it’s cheap doesn’t automatically mean it’s not pure. Do some research and comparisons between several companies from which you’re considering to make a purchase. Pay attention to the size bottles of oils that you’re purchasing too.
4. Beware of any company (or spokesperson) that makes you feel pressured to buy their oils. If they’re trying to sell you something (so that they can get ahead in their company?) rather than having you and your actual health in mind, then their position is compromised. Maybe that’s just my personal opinion, but think about it….
5. Don’t buy from a company that isn’t concerned with safe use of EO’s. I know…. everybody says their advice is safe, but using EO’s undiluted on your skin (called, “neat”) is not considered safe from any aromatherapist’s thought. It can be done in an emergency situation, but should generally be avoided. Internal consumption can be done, but not just whenever you feel like it. It should be done with the advice of an aromatherapist trained in internal uses. EO’s are herbal medicines with medicinal effects and not just fragrances to play around with, and you don’t want to buy from a company or individual that doesn’t have clear cut respect for that medicine and its safety issues.
6. Don’t buy oils that don’t work. Duh. That sounds dumb, but if after you purchase (several) oils from a company and they don’t seem to be doing much, then you might suspect they’re diluted. There could be other reasons for this, (like that oil doesn’t jive with your chemistry), so don’t base your opinion on just one oil.
7. Don’t buy from a company you don’t trust. Again, Duh. But, if you have that little niggle of doubt in your mind about a company and their honesty and integrity, pay attention to it. Our gut instincts about things are often real.
The Next Obvious Question
These are the things I consider when purchasing oils for myself and our business. So the question begs: should you trust Jordan’s Crossing’s essential oils?
Here’s the truth about our oils: we cannot guarantee the oils we sell are 100% pure. We just don’t have $200-300 to spend for testing each of our oils. We purchase from wholesale companies that meet the above criteria in this article, and whom we feel have proved to us a high integrity and professionalism in the way they do business. Also, by how they’ve treated us as individuals and as a small company whom they aren’t making a whole lotta money off of compared to bigger companies.
The companies that supply us have always made right whatever might have been wrong with an order, are quick to disclose testing reports when asked, and they answer any and all questions with courtesy and without any sense that they’re covering up anything.
Beyond those things, we personally use each and every oil to obtain our own “organoleptic” feel for it. Organoleptic is a fancy-pants word that basically means we’ve been our own guinea pigs and actually, physically used the oils on our own selves. For comparison’s sake, we’ve used oils from the bigger EO companies and feel our oils compare well with them, and even exceed some of them in effectiveness.
No Brow Beating or Fear Tactics
We will never brow beat you with “only our oils are the purest”, nor use fear tactics to sell them. Jordan’s Crossing is a blog, not necessarily an EO company. Our heart is to herbally, naturally, and in a whole-person way help people on their health journies. If buying our oils helps you with that, then we’re happy. If you find another company that you prefer to buy from, we’re still happy. We want you to get better, enjoy living, and find health freedom– more than we want to line our pockets with your money.
So how do we keep our prices low? We buy in bulk, keep our bottle sizes small, and stay within our financial means. Which means we’ve not taken out any loans, nor used credit cards to support JsCrossing. If we don’t have the cash to buy it, we don’t make it. We have zero overhead, no factory or storefront costs. It’s just us in our home making stuff. Also, because we’re normal not-rich people, our main focus is oils that are common and so less expensive (though we can get pretty much any oil for you).
Our thought is basically that pure essential oils don’t matter if you can’t afford them. Everybody is SO UP IN ARMS about purity. Yes, it’s important. I’m not saying it’s not. It’s even VERY important. …But it’s not everything. One’s wallet is important too.
Conscience and integrity are also important.
But! ….That’s a discussion best left for some other time.
First printed in Healthy Healing Digest #20
To see our line of herbal products visit our Herbal Connections Store.