You want real plant material with minimal adulterations in the bottle of essential oil you are purchasing. So, what are some things you should look for when reading an essential oil bottle’s label?
An essential oil bottle’s label should answer:
- What are the Latin name(s) as well as the common names of the plant species of essential oil(s) included? For example, lavender’s Latin name is Lavandula angustifiolia.
- Is the essential oil diluted in a carrier oil? This is more common with expensive essential oils such as rose, jasmine, ylang ylang, and chamomile.
- Which part(s) of plant were used and what was the distillation method?
- What is the company, website address, and country / city of origin?
- What are appropriate safety and usage instructions?
- What is the date and batch number of processing?
- If the product it is truly organic, it should have both the official USDA organic logo as well as a 3rd party certifying body logo.
Terms not regulated by any governing body…
The United States does not have a regulating body that oversees essential oil production. There are a few terms commonly associated with essential oils, but they really don’t mean anything because they are not regulated by any governing body. They may have a nice marketing ring, but that’s about it. Here’s the list:
- Therapeutic grade
- Food grade
- Pharmaceutical grade
- Medical grade
- Certified pure
- From farm to you, from seed to label
Reputable essential oil brands care about providing you with quality, natural, and safe products. Here are a few pointers.
- Provide complete chemistry documentation with a third party GC-MS Report. This can show if an essential oil has been adultered with cheaper botanicals, synthetic chemicals, or extenders.
- Do not recommend the internal use of essential oils for at home users. Seek an expert for the safe and effective use of essential oils internally.
- Do not recommend the use of essential oils undiluted. Dilution makes the use of essential oils safer and more effective, with less likelihood for irritation/reactions and improved absorption.
By: Kathy Sadowski, MS in Aromatherapy, RA (ARC), Professional NAHA and AIA Member, LMT