What is Aromatherapy?
Aromatherapy is the use of essential oils from plants (flowers, herbs, or trees) as a complementary health approach.
For over 5,000 years, many different cultures have used these healing plant oils for a variety of health conditions. They are often used for relaxation, beauty care, home cleaning and most often used as natural medicine.
Essential oils are extracted directly from the bark, flower, fruit, leaf, seed or root of a plant or tree, and just one drop can have powerful health benefits. They are typically created through the process of distillation, which separates the oil and water-based compounds of a plant by steaming.
There are many marketing ploys used to make you think you should buy one particular brand of oils. There are direct selling companies selling essential oils, there are grocery stores selling essential oils. So you ask, what should I buy? After having used essential oils for personal use and in my products for 15 + years, and selling essential oils through a direct selling company, I was on a quest to learn about the difference between, therapeutic grade, organic, pure and different classifications I was seeing on company websites. I wanted to assure my customers that I was using the very best oils I could in the products they were purchasing.
As always, you should do your own research and question everything (even me!!). When I began my journey into using and selling essential oils, I ALMOST fell for the ploy that what I was using was the absolute BEST money could buy. I got really excited because I felt like I was about to embark on a journey into the world of “top quality essential oils”. I thought that the lines I was being fed about these oils being “Certified Pure Therapeutic Grade” (or “CPTG”), “100% pure therapeutic grade”, and “therapeutic quality” meant that these essential oils HAD TO BE THE BEST. I was about to find out that all of these descriptions meant nothing in the eyes of the FDA and the aromatherapy world; they were just that, descriptions.
The first shocking thing that I learned is that there is no governing body that certifies essential oils. The second shocking thing that I learned is that there are no grades of essential oils based upon their quality. There is no grade A, B, C, nor is there an actual classification in the aromatherapy world for “therapeutic grade”. The third and most shocking thing that I learned (this was most shocking because I really felt like I had been lied to when I found this) is that the words that these companies use such as “Certified Pure Therapeutic Grade”, are TRADEMARKED PHRASES by their corresponding essential oil company. This means that the reason each of these companies claims that “no other company can say….”, it's because their company has trademarked the words. These classifications are merely trademarked names that individual companies have purchased the right to use.
So which essential oils should I buy?
As you can see, the choice for the right essential oil brand can be very convoluted. There are so many brands on the market, it can be hard to sift through the duds to find the right ones. The key is taking a step back and listening to what the companies are saying. You should also make sure to read the labels, your essential oil label should say 100% pure or organic and not “blend” or “with jojoba/almond” as that means they are already diluted and not just pure essential oil. According to The East-West School For Herbal and Aromatic Studies, some of the qualities that you want to look for in an essential oil supplier are:
the supplier is on the small size and not a large corporation.
the supplier is owned by an aromatherapy practitioner or essential oil specialist
the supplier has relations with his/her distillers, if possible
a supplier who can readily supply a batch-specific MS/GC spec report on each essential oil it sells
a supplier who is readily able to provide material safety data sheets (MSDS) as needed
a supplier who has a strong unquestioned noncontroversial reputation in the field
a supplier who has preferably been in the field for a number of years and is well known to other aromatherapy practitioners and/or educators
There is a lot of misinformation on the web, in books and by word of mouth, about the use of essential oils. No matter the brand that you choose to use, using essential oils safely is the most important factor. ALL essential oils (no matter their brand) can be dangerous if not used with caution and care. Do your due diligence and make wise decisions.
The information on NasCia Naturals is provided for informational purposes only. It is not intended to be substituted for the advice provided by your doctor or other health care professional. If you rely upon or use any of the products and services made available by or through the use of our website for decision making, without obtaining the advice of a physician or other health care professional, you do so at your own risk. The information on our website is not intended to cure, diagnose or treat medical conditions, nor is it a substitute for medical advice. Please consult with a physician before beginning this or any other new health care program.
The views expressed on NasCia Naturals Blog and website have not been evaluated or endorsed by the FDA or any other private or public entity. The information provided here is in no way intended to replace proper medical help. NasCia Naturals, LLC is an independent, privately run business separate from any other organization.