Here I am 3 lessons and about 75 hours into my Aromatherapy course, and I cannot believe how much I have already discovered. I am also so happy to have a good solid base of essential oil knowledge from Jay and I’s research and hands on experience over the years. However its still shocking how much more there is to learn. My goal is to be able to share this knowledge with you, so that we are able to help educate and create knowledgeable essential oil users. Today however I just want to ease you into this beautiful and wonderfully smelly world by addressing our most commonly asked question:
“Are your oils Therapeutic Grade?”
I once asked this question too and thought that a simple yes meant I was get top quality totally pure oils. Then through research I discovered that the term Therapeutic grade is not a term used by professionals to rank oils, it is just a very smart marketing term used by MLM companies (one of which has the term “Certified Pure Therapeutic Grade” trademarked) to convince you that these are the highest “grade” oils out there, which in turn justifies a huge price spike. But this is in no way a term that is monitored, and is certainly not an industry standard for oils. I think what people really want to know when they ask this is, “how pure is your essential oil really?” And that happens to be a very important question.
So how can you find this out? First, I feel its important to clarify what is meant by Therapeutic grade. Typically when people are asking this question they want to make sure the oil they are buying is unadultered, pure and free of additives. There are many companies that will add synthetic components to their oils to “stretch” their oil and increase profits. The only way you can tell if this has been done is through special testing called GC/MS. GC/MS testing is performed by independent companies to test that the components in the oil are naturally occurring and not synthetic and that the oil is indeed what it is being sold as.
GC/MS testing is incredibly important for aromatherapists and people making topical blends as the components that make up the oil all have very different effects on the body. We want to know which components make up our oils and that they are real, so that we can create the best blend for what it is we are treating. If we are using essential oils that are not quite what we think they are, they can have adverse effects, or just not perform the way we expected. I always make sure that my supplier has this test available to me, and I suggest that people ask if they are able to obtain the GC/MS testing on their oil prior to using it for therapeutic purposes.
Another thing I always look for when I am buying our oils is if the supplier is a member of NAHA you can read more about the NAHA here . The short story is they are a member based organization that promotes safe use and scientific evidence for oils. They are not associated with any one company, distiller or brand. They have the highest ethical code for using oils and are all around an AMAZING source of information about oil safety.
Another way many people say they can tell if the oil is pure is simply by smelling it, but this just isn’t the case and even the best noses in the world have been fooled by synthetic additives. So when you are choosing your oils and want to make sure it’s the best always ask if you are able to obtain a GC/MS report. If a company cannot or will not provide one or tells you they trust their supplier they don’t need one, you may want to think twice. Pure oils do not have to cost a fortune, just check out our store. You can get great oils and products for reasonable prices, you just have to know where to look and ask the right questions.
Just remember no matter where your oils come from, you should never ingest them, always dilute before topical application and be mindful of what oils you are using with children. I am looking forward to sharing more and more knowledge with you as I dive deeper into this course.