Monday, March 30, 2009

EO Facts #4 : Essential Oil Labeling

I am an avid label reader, anyone who shops with me can testify to that fact! When it comes to aromatherapy it sure can be confusing to figure out WHAT is actually in the bottle you are purchasing. In the previous installment of EO Facts I have explained that all aromatherapy is NOT created equal. We must obtain the purest therapeutic grade essential oils if our intention is to use them for medicinal/therapeutic purposes and achieve the results we desire. I have seen many people "quit" aromatherapy because they were using inferior oils that yielded little to no results.

When it comes to labeling, essential oil producers can legally state that the bottle contains "100% pure essential oils" if the bottle does contain SOME essential oils that are 100% pure and the rest of the contents can be who knows what.

A common practice of adulteration or stretching of EOs is the use of essential oils from another similar smelling species of plant or synthetically produced substances created in a lab that mimic certain chemical characteristics of the essential oils.

Remember that it is the chemistry of EOs that gives them their therapeutic properties. True lavender produced according to the therapeutic grade standard contains around 400 different therapeutic molecules. Synthetic lavender contains about 7. We can't expect a product with 393 types of molecules missing to offer the same results as the pure plant oil!

Some examples of essential oil labeling that I have encountered over the years:

  • 100% Pure Essential Oil ( how much of it is pure and is it produced for therapeutic use?)
  • Certified Organic Essential Oil (grown without pesticides-not necessarily therapeutic quality)
  • Analyzed Essential Oil (huh?)
  • 100% Natural Essential Oil (natural doesn't mean therapeutic)
  • Wildcrafted Essential Oil ( from wild plants, not necessarily therapeutic quality)
  • 100% Guaranteed Essential Oil (guaranteed what?)
In the following posts we will explore what sets Young Living Therapeutic Grade essential oils apart from these and other EOs that may even be labeled as "therapeutic grade".

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