If you’re like me, I didn’t give essential oils a second thought, at least beyond them being something people used to make potpourri or candles. Nice smell (or sometimes not), but nothing more. I had NO IDEA that essential oils were valuable resources for health and wellness as well as cleaning and household needs. Since discovering the power of essential oils in my own life, my opinion has greatly improved. But what are essential oils, anyway? And why would any of us care?
Essential Oils are Naturally Occurring Aromatic Compounds Found in Nature
Essential oils are the naturally occurring aromatic chemical compounds found in plants, flowers, roots, bark and seeds. You’ve most likely experienced the aromatic qualities of many essential oils if you’ve ever enjoyed the fragrance of a flower garden, or freshly chopped herbs. But essential oils are much more than a fragrance. They actually serve to protect the plants from disease (strengthening the plants immune system) and even aid in pollination, oxygenation and regeneration.
Essential Oils are Aromatic
Essential oils, by nature, have a strong aroma associated with them.
Besides smelling nice (usually—not all of them have a pleasant aroma),
they can clean and purify the air.
Essential Oils Support the Body for Optimal Wellness
Essential oils have an amazing ability to strengthen the immune system
and support the body for continued optimal wellness, all while restoring
balance to the body at the same time.
Essential Oils are Complex
Essential oils are very complex. In fact, many of the chemical constituents that make up the different EOs have yet to be identified. For example, an EO can easily contain 800 different compounds, with only 200 of them identified by science.
This diverse complexity aids EOs in their effectiveness by making it difficult, if not impossible, to build up an immunity to a specific oil. (Unlike the simple compounds found in synthetic products.)
Essential Oils Shelf Life
Essential oils will remain viable for years, if not forever, as long as they’re properly cared for. Keeping them in dark, sealed bottles and out of extreme heat. Some people store their EO's in the refrigerator. Citrus oils have the earliest shelf life because they can oxidize quickly. Some oils, like Myrrh and Patchouli, often get better with age, if stored properly.
Okay, that’s the short, simplified list of what essential oils ARE…but how do you get from a plant to a potent oil that does all this great stuff??
How Essential Oils are Extracted?
To obtain essential oils from a plant or other natural source, they must go through a distillation process. The process itself, if done improperly, will destroy the health benefits of the oil. For example, many EOs are used in the cosmetic industry, but distilled by extreme heat (which is easier and cheaper). This process retains the scent, yet destroys any therapeutic value. The distillation process must contain low temperatures and a steam process to be effective for anything other than a nice smell.
Once the EO of the plant is extracted, it becomes a highly concentrated substance, up to 50-70% more concentrated than if you’d dried the plant or herb and used it that way. (For example, one drop of peppermint EO is as concentrated as 28 cups of peppermint tea). A little oil goes a long way.
Essential Oil Grades
There are several different grades (qualities) of essential oils available on the market. The most common grade is synthetic. This is often the essential oils that are used for perfumes and other health and beauty products. This grade of oil can be a mix of natural EOs and chemicals, with other additives. The EOs are extracted in the cheapest (heat) way possible, destroying the therapeutic benefits of the oils while retaining the aromatic qualities.
The second largest grade of EOs is food grade. These oils are used for flavorings in food, without any concern over the therapeutic qualities of the oils. These also can contain chemicals and almost always are cut with a carrier of some sort, to ‘stretch’ the oil (remember, they’re very concentrated in and of themselves, so even cutting them with oil or alcohol can still makes them seem ‘strong’ to the smell).
Why does this matter? For one, the general practices in the essential oil industry allows for things like bottle labels to say “100% pure oil” even if diluted or adulterated, or even if the field of plants was sprayed with a chemical before harvesting. Because of this, if you plan on using essential oils, it’s important to pay attention to your source.
It often takes a massive amount of plant material it takes to obtain a pure essential oil, which is why so many companies practice diluting the oils in order to ‘stretch’ the amount of oil they have. To give you an example of quantities, consider Melissa oil, which is made from lemon balm. It takes 3 tons of plant material to extract one pound of pure essential oil. That one pound of pure oil sells between $9,000-15,000. You can see, then, how tempting it would be to double that pound of oil by adding filler oils (such as coconut or almond oil), and reducing your cost by nearly 50%. Often, there’s no way for a consumer to know if the oil they purchased is pure and un-diluted or not because the label says, 100% oil…but, what KIND of oil is it?
Where to Get Essential Oils
Because of the many ways to obtain EOs, it’s important to know the source from which you’re obtaining your oils since you can’t always trust the label.
The good news, doTERRA, is a company with certified pure, therapeutic grade oils. You can trust that you are getting the best quality essential oil on the market.
If you’re interested in buying certified pure therapeutic grade oils at a wholesale discount, please contact us or fill out this short form.If you’re like me, I didn’t give essential oils a second thought, at least beyond them being something people used to make potpourri or candles. Nice smell (or sometimes not), but nothing more. I had NO IDEA that essential oils were valuable resources for health and wellness as well as cleaning and household needs. Yes, I’d heard the old, old story of the three wise men bringing frankincense and myrrh to baby Jesus, but it just left me wondering if the wise men were really all that wise. What kind of baby shower gifts are those, after all? And what in the world would new mother do with them?
Since discovering the power of essential oils in my own life, my opinion of the wise men greatly improved. It was actually a genius idea! But what are essential oils, anyway? And why would any of us care?
A much smaller percentage of essential oils are considered therapeutic grade. These oils can be diluted with other fillers, cut with cheaper EO's, and can be a lesser quality essential oil.
The smallest grade of oil is considered Certified Pure Therapeutic Grade (CPTG), and make up only about 1% of the essential oils available on the market. These oils are certified to contain ONLY the essential oils from plant, nothing more, nothing less. Each batch of oil is tested by 3rd party labs to ensure the purity.
HOLISTIC HEALTH & ESSENTIAL OILS