It’s sometimes hard to know what company is the best, or which ones sell oils you can trust with your health and well-being. It’s been a long journey, but I’ve developed some standards to help me choose where I get my oils. To understand those methods, it’s important to understand the terms used on essential oil labels, brochures, and sales pitches. Let’s look at some of the most common sales terms and what they really mean.
There is no private board or government agency that regulates the definition of a “therapeutic grade” essential oil in the United States. A company can label an oil that contains very little essential oil as “therapeutic”. Any “badge” or label with these words is likely something copyrighted by the company. There is also no grading standard.
Some companies do publish the standards and definitions they use, so those words don’t indicate that a company is being sinister. Look for definitions and standards to back up the label.
This is another commonly-used buzzword on essential oil labels. Again, there is no legal definition for this when it comes to essential oils. An essential oil can be labeled “pure”, and still contain very little of the quality oil or components you are expecting.
I’ve reviewed oils that were contaminated with solid bits of what I assume is plant matter, that were labeled “pure”. I’ve bought essential oils that were obviously adulterated with carrier oils, labeled “therapeutic grade”. And they’re all legally sold in the US without running afoul of labeling or advertising laws.*
As you might have guessed, “natural” also has little meaning when it comes to the quality of essential oils for aromatherapy. Scent oils or food-grade oils for flavoring might need this label, to show that there are no lab-created components. But on an essential oil bottle, you have to keep in mind that a whole lot of things we would call contaminants are still very natural.
Since you’re here, and you do care about essential oil quality, what should you think of those labels and words? Not much. When I was an active Amazon reviewer, it always frustrated me to see reviews that hailed a product because of the “therapeutic grade” or “pure” labels, or ripped a product to shreds because it didn’t say “natural”. Really, none of that matters. What matters is what’s actually in the bottle, and whether the company is willing to tell you.
Have I made you 100% LESS certain you know how to find great oils? Good. If you were relying on that stuff, you’ve come to the right place. There are ways to ensure you’re getting a top-quailty oil, and I hope to help you figure out what to look for. To keep learning, check out the links below!
Choosing Quality Essential Oils Pt. 2: Purity vs Quality. How and Why “Pure” Isn’t Always “Best”.
Choosing Quality Essential Oils Pt. 3: The Scent of an Oil. A strong scent pr pleasant aroma doesn’t always mean an oil is of high quality. Find out why, and some of the things you should look for when you first smell an oil.
After all that, how about my favorite essential oil blend for peace and tranquility? More detailed instructions below the handy Pinnable graphic!
Peace and Zen Blend
- 15 Drops Tangerine
- 15 Drops Orange
- 5 Drops Ylang Ylang (I used Extra, Complete would work fine)
- 7 Drops Patchouli
- 3 Drops Blue Tansy
Blend in a small empty dropper bottle, and add the amount indicated by the type of diffuser method you are using. I use an ultrasonic diffuser, and add 3-4 drops of the blend per 100ml of water. Your needs will vary.
Natural remedies, like prescription drugs and almost all products, work differently for different people. This one puts me to sleep if I’m at all tired. Some folks find it great for meditation, or before a massage, but for me, this one is reserved for when I want to really sleep, and it works incredibly well.
This is my riff on a popular blend sold by one of the MLM Essential Oil companies. To come closer to their blend, double the Ylang Ylang and use only five drops patchouli and two of blue tansy. I prefer the grounding, earthy scents in this blend, but definitely experiment with your own likes and dislikes.
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I happen to be cool with not having another government agency, or adding the policing of essential oils to an existing part of the machine. It’s the liberty thing. Let the crappy companies sell junky “oils” – I’ll call them on it when I write a review, and you’re here learning how to avoid them. As with food, electronics, and pretty much everything else, some folks really care about knowing what they buy, and others don’t. For example, if I consulted an expert, I’d find that the headphones I bought are junk. I might have guessed that since I picked them up for $3 from a clearance bin, or because they don’t produce amazing sound, but I don’t use them enough to care.
Some folks like essential oils because they smell nice. They aren’t concerned about medicinal components or just want to make crafts. In my perfect world, we all get to be responsible for our choices, and are free to choose what works best in our lives. I’m also super-happy when people say “Hey, this company is doing the wrong thing”, and spread that message. It’s OK to keep people looking to make a quick buck from doing so out of your wallet, or that of your friends and family!
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