The Great Essential Oils Showdown ~ Which Essential Oils Company is Best? – Part 1

Wondering Which Company Has the Best Essential Oils? I was wondering the same thing after I first started using them. So many companies say that theirs are the best, so who are you to believe? Come find out what I learned when I started asking questions. Things got a little dicey, and you'll probably be surprised by my conclusion.

Essential oils are all the rage these days.  People say that they can do everything from being a natural ear infection remedy, to helping with weight loss, to healing eczema, and more.

Most of you tuned in for my recent posts on essential oils in which I talked about:

From all the comments and enthusiasm about this giveaway and the other posts, I can tell you are just as interested in learning about essential oils as I am.

I think you could also tell by those posts that I am a skeptic at heart and pretty detailed when it comes to sorting through all the information out there to find out what really works.  One of my readers (a friend of mine) once called me an “investigative reporter” of sorts.  My husband says that I “second guess everything.”

Well, not everything :-).

In one sense, second guessing is a good thing.  I’ve saved our family a lot of money by avoiding problematic purchases.

But sometimes I can go overboard and spend waaaaay too much time analyzing a product or purchase.  (Kind of like driving all over town to save a few pennies.  Not smart, especially as I saw gas at $4.11/gallon coming home from church last night.  Deep sigh.)

With the essential oils issue, I tried not to be too analytical at first.  But then…..

You read in the Are Essential Oils a Scam? – A Skeptic Looks at Thieves Oil, how I held off trying really any oils at all for years before trying Thieves.

(Well, truth be told, I do have a few old bottles of essential oils in my linen closet.  One bottle each of orange, eucalyptus, tea tree oil, and rose oil, which I bought for topical use to brighten up my laundry [ended up never using it] and for my Homemade Decongestant Rub and Homemade Rose Water Spray [which I love, by the way].)

This time around, before buying the Thieves oil and signing up as a Young Living Distributor, I dug around a little, but not too much.  I asked about all the rumors surrounding Gary Young, the founder of Young Living and I also asked some questions about purity of their essential oils

I got some satisfactory answers and I figured that well, this stuff worked really well. And I was thrilled to have great resources in my natural health care arsenal.  I mean, who wants to put more toxins in your body if you don’t have to, right?

However, after my post on Young Living’s Thieves and the other oils (Wintergreen and Peppermint, etc.), a number of readers started asking me about other oil companies–if they were good enough, or not that great.  And so I started wondering.

At first, I thought, “This stuff (Young Living) works great, and I’m pretty worn out right now, so I am just going to leave this alone.”

But the “investigative reporter” in me just couldn’t leave. it. alone.

So I started poking around.

Today I’m sharing with you the beginning of my investigation.

There were some essential oils companies that I knew of, and some that a few readers recommended to me.

One of my readers was a doTERRA rep who said I really should check out their company to see how it measured up to Young Living.

Little did I know what lay ahead of me.

The world of essentials oils is big.  Very big.

It did start out quite small for me, however.  Just a small list of companies.  I started out looking into these companies, but the list quickly grew as the series went on and as more and more readers commented and as I went down more and more rabbit trails.  I think you will find the whole thing interesting and I hope you will learn a thing or two about essential oils and the companies that sell them.

Wondering Which Essential Oils Company is Best? What about the "Therapeutic Grade" claims the MLM oils companies make? Come find out all you ever wanted to know about oils companies and more!

The Competitors: 

(UPDATE:  A lot changed after I started this series. Please follow the links at the bottom of this post to see how interesting everything got  – you can hop on over to read Part 2 of “The Best Essential Oils” here. 

To start off, following are the essential oils companies that were “on my radar” and so I started with these, wondering if I should stick with Young Living or switch to another company to be my family’s “best essential oils company” of choice.

  • Heritage Oils
  • Native American Nutritionals
  • North American Herb and Spice
  • Mountain Rose Herbs
  • Aura Cacia
  • DoTerra
  • Young Living (the one being challenged)
  • and more.  Truth is, I called a TON of companies and read up on others.  These all included NOW oils, Butterfly Express, Spark Naturals, Edens Garden, and on and on.  My head really started to spin with all of the phone calls and notes I was taking, but I started with just the 7 listed above and went from there.

There are a TON of essential oils companies out there.  After writing this series I felt like I really opened a can of worms, but these are the companies that I started with.  Hang with me – it gets pretty interesting from here on out.

The Challenge:

1. HERITAGE OILS

A few readers mentioned this company in the comments section of my post on Are Essential Oils a Scam ~ A Skeptic Looks at Thieves Oil.  They said that their oils were very high quality and inexpensive.

Since high quality and inexpensive are right up my alley (but they typically don’t go together, right?),  I looked them up.

Problem #1.  No phone number. (UPDATE: A few readers have mentioned that they do have a phone number on their site. I did not take a screenshot of their site so I am not able to prove one way or another that there was or wasn’t a phone number on the site.  It’s possible that there was and that I missed it or that it was a long distance phone number and we didn’t have free long distance at the time so I didn’t want to pay to call (being the frugalista that I am :)).  In either case, I tried to contact them a different way.)

Oh well, I tried to contact them through their Contact Form.

Still – over two weeks later–no response.

THE VERDICT:  Since I couldn’t get a timely response, I decided not to go with this company.

Why?

  • I’ve had allergic reactions to a few oils and Young Living has promptly refunded my money over the phone.
  • I’ve also had 2 bottles of oil leaking on arrival and I’ve gotten replacements for them on the spot.

I LOVE good customer service and I am willing to pay extra for it.

Also, customer service aside, if a company is that hard to get a hold of, then I really don’t feel comfortable using their oils internally on mine or my children’s bodies.

UPDATE:  Several readers have commented that Heritage has great customer service and that I made unfair comments about them.  First, that they do indeed have a phone number on their site, and secondly that they have fabulous customer service.

First of all, I only reported what happened to me.  I contacted Heritage on 3/12/2012 and didn’t hear back from them until 5/22/12, well after the publication of this post. I have the emails in my inbox from them to prove it. I am sure you can understand that I felt that I didn’t receive good customer service. Linda, the owner, was very kind when she responded and said her response had been sitting in her draft folder.

Regarding them not having a phone number, I can only say that I didn’t notice one. It is possible that they put it up later. It is also possible that I didn’t notice it or that it was a toll call and I didn’t have free long distance at the time. I do not like paying for phone calls and really didn’t at the time of this posting.

I hope this clears everything up.

2.  NATIVE AMERICAN NUTRITIONALS

When I first contacted this company, I thought that their prices seemed a little high for a non MLM (multi-level marketing) company, but the more I talked to them the more interesting it all got.  

You’ll have to read more in the series to see what happened.

THE VERDICT:  Probable high quality with no apparent earnings opportunity.   Need to check into this company more.  

 3.  NORTH AMERICAN HERB AND SPICE

From all I could figure out, this is a great company.

Trouble is, all they make is oregano oil.

So if you just want oregano oil, then this is a good place to turn.

THE VERDICT:  Oregano is a pretty amazing oil, but I want more than just that in my natural healing arsenal.

4.  Mountain Rose Herbs

I like Mountain Rose Herbs’ mission and have a few bottles of their oils.  When I contacted them they told me that they did not recommend internal use of their oils as they were not produced in a food grade facility.  Much later (after this whole series was done) I contacted them again and they said that this was not the case.  I need to do more looking in to their sourcing, etc.

5.  Aura Cacia

Aura Cacia is adamant about not using their oils internally.

I personally have a number of Aura Cacia’s oils that I bought prior to really digging into oils.  I can’t say anything except for my personal experience which is that they don’t smell as potent as some of the other oils that I have.  I do like the company and I purchase from Frontier Co op regularly, but I’m not choosing to get my oils from them.   That being said, I think that they have a lot of great information about oils and their use.

Well, this is a long enough post already – thanks for sticking with me!

Onto the other competitors in the next post and see what happens!

Looking for more information on Essential Oils?

There are sooo many books out there.  I have a bunch, but this one, Advanced Aromatherapy, is in my shopping cart at Amazon now.  Comes very highly recommended.

Advanced Aromatherapy

The Rest of the Best Essential Oils Series:

– Best Essential Oils – What a Good Oils Company Should Have – Part 2
– Which Essential Oils Company is Best – Troubles with the Oils Industry – Part 3
– Young Living vs. doTERRA – Part 4
– Are Multi-Level Marketing Oils Worth It? – Part 5
– Distillation, Bias, Vomit and More Concerns – Part 6
Announcing “the Best” Essential Oils Company – Part 7***

or read this post on Essential Oils Testing which gives you the company I went with.  Some readers are having issues reading the last post so you can try here if need be.

**Finally, you can get my Report on Essential Oils, 10 Things You NEED to Know BEFORE You Buy for FREE by visiting here and signing up for my newsletter.**

What are your thoughts?
The information here is for entertainment purposes only. Please consult a medical professional before changing your diet, exercise program, or before trying any natural remedies.

These comments do not necessarily reflect the opinions of Whole New Mom.

Comments

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  1. I use and sell Ameo oils through Zija. Their oils are amazing, Beyond therapeutic grade-they are clinical grade.

    • They can be injested, topical, or placed in a diffuser,

      • I do not recommend internal use unless under the care of a professional. This is the official recommendation of the company that I recommend:

        We recommend you consult with a professional before ingesting any essential oils. Consult a Medical Doctor, Naturopath, or clinically trained Aromatherapist who knows you and is aware of your medical history, as well as any medications you are on. With this information, the professional can tailor a regimen that works for your body.

        • So glad that someone piped up about NOT recommending internal use. I have been really disturbed by the multilevel marketing companies that promote this use of essential oils. Not wise, especially for an amateur. One can do serious damage to the liver and beyond, so beware & don’t believe everything you hear/see/read. Also – a good source of info to be trusted is the National Association for Holistic Aromatherapy (naha dot org), which also cautions against using oils internally, unless an experienced or licensed professional is involved.

    • I’m glad you found a company that you like, but the terms clinical and therapeutic grade are just terms construed by marketing people and they are not accepted across the industry. I have more on that in this report: http://wholenewmom.com/10-things-you-need-to-know-about-essential-oils-before-you-buy/ I hope that is helpful.

  2. Loved your blog. Gave me a lot of info which was appreciated. Only problem for me was I think more companies needed review. I get the whole time conundrum, but I don’t know if your recommendation is complete as I’m not sure if the major players were evaluated. I’m not even sure of who they are. For example, I’ve heard of sparks but what about them? Could they be superior to rmo? I need more. 🙂

    • Thanks, Mary. The thing is, a bunch of companies became bigger players since I started writing the series. So they weren’t on the radar at all back in 2013. It’s also hard when the companies continually revamp themselves. Some have been found to have problems with their oils. Then they start buying from elsewhere and suddenly they have “good” oils. Others used to sell synthetic oils too and then they stop doing it when they realize that it isn’t what most of the public wants know. The game is regularly changing. The industry is becoming more difficult as more players enter the game – there is possibly more adulteration going on as it becomes harder to source certain oils. Hope that helps. If I remember correctly, Spark is one of the those companies that was selling synthetic scents when I did this series.

      • Thanks for your prompt response. Your response makes sense. It however gives me no comfort in selecting a company with all the variables you mention. I do appreciate your honesty nonetheless!

        • I know- it’s very hard. For me too. I’m sticking w/ the one I chose and I am using some NYR oils as well. I could possibly consider other companies but there are some I just would not use.

  3. Can anyone tell me about PeLoHa Essential Oils. I purchased some but I am not sure if they are therapeutic grade. The ingredients are not listed on each bottle. I did develop a rash when leaked on my skin from the diffuser necklace. I am not sure of the quality and would like to know if anyone else has used them.

    • Never heard of them and therapeutic grade is something that isn’t regulated. I would be careful about something w/ no ingredients. I hope you are ok!

      • I am fine, however, I believe I am going to just use Young Living. I know they are expensive but I have heard nothing but great testimony about them. You get what you pay for.

        • There are other things out there than just good reviews. About any company. I do agree that price can be an indicator of quality – but not always :).

  4. Hi! I am just wondering what company (ies) offer people to sell their products other than YLEO..I’m looking for the most pure/organic 100% oils and am interested in wanting to sell them just not sure which ones offer it. Thanks in advance.

    • Hi Rebecca. I personally looked at what I think is all of the Direct Sales essential oils companies and I didn’t care for any of them. Now, that being said, MLM companies are getting into the essential oils business all the time since they see what a hot market it is, so I could spend a lot of time chasing new companies as they go into new markets.

      I did, however, get a nice surprise recently when I had to leave a direct sales personal care company, Ava Anderson, due to rampant mislabeling and ethics issues. I spent a lot of time researching other companies, including direct sales and non direct sales. I just really wanted something that would be quality skincare and haircare, etc. (I really want good things on my skin that makes it look good) and something that I could recommend to my readers with confidence. I ended up choosing a company that happened to have an aromatherapy arm, and their ethics are impeccable. So if you really would like a company that you can make money with selling oils, I would give them a good look. They have amazing skincare to boot: http://wholenewmom.com/neals-yard-remedies-nyr-organic/

      Happy to answer any questions you may have.

    • Hi Adrienne……….I have personally looked into the oils closest to me ….neighbor sells DoTerra and my beloved sister in law (mother of 11 /never liked using prescription drugs or OTC)………..is a Rep for GoDesana. After using
      the two separate brands of oils that were supposed to treat the same situation…………..we’ve definitely decided on the GoDesana brand……………and so have our neighbors. DoTerra did not seem to work as quickly or last as long in this arthritis pain scenario. If you know someone around you representing the GoDesana brand……I would visit with them or if we can answer any of your questions, please let me know as I’m still in a “learning curve” and will be glad to offer my sister in laws expertise if it would help you. Go Desana is also coming out with a new line of oils specifically for animals……….excitedly attending a class on that the end of thie month.

    • Virginia Lopez-Bunnemeyer says:

      Hi Rebecca: I did a lot of looking into essential oils a few years ago. I am a child & adolescent psychotherapist and needed the highest quality oil to diffuse in my office at a school clinic. I found the oils really helped my clients, the school staff and me! Because the oils worked so well I decided to explore the business and loved what I learned about the company so I started to teach people about oils! . My business has grown so large that after working as a therapist for 20years, I was able to quit and work my EO business full time… If you have any questions let me know… .. I know it can get a bit overwhelming with all the info out there. I can let you know what I found in my search and why I chose doterra over the other companies…

  5. ann Keiper says:

    What about bulk apocrypha I don’t think that’s how you spell it

    • Bulk Apothecary? I buy cocoa butter from them (bought a HUGE amount b/c it was reasonable in bulk) but I don’t buy oils from them. I think buying from a company that sells artificial fragrance too isn’t a good practice.

  6. Love you blog!!!!
    I have been involved with Young Living for many years now, and this is why I chose them…….
    They are a 100% non-secular. I am a strong woman of faith, and I want to support other believers, especially businesses, that stand up for and proclaim the majesty of the Creator. All of their literature and publishings show the science, and even though it may seem a bit “out” there, brings it back to the perfection of creation, and the one who created it all. I appreciate that, and will continue to support a company that not only provides great products, but great customer service, and a great message!!!

  7. I have also tried many different companies with essentials oils and i fell in love with the Young Living line and their Guarentee of “Seed to Seal” and that they guarantee 100% and the own their farms and dont buy from brokers. The changes in my home gave been amazing.

    • Hi there. My understanding is that they do not own all of the farms that they get their oils from. Perhaps you can check on that. Thanks.

      • Shannon says:

        I believe YoungLiiving owns all their farm land. Doterra and Ameo do not. However, my understanding is that while Doterra outsources to get their oils, Ameo gets them directly from the farmers and trains the farmers on how to harvest the plants properly.

        • According to this page, YL owns “many” of their farms. It says “Because we cultivate, harvest, and distill many of our essential oils ourselves, we can verify their purity from start to finish. ” So possibly they mean that they might own the land and not harvest or distill it, I would suspect that this means that they do not own all of their farm land.

  8. I have also been doing a lot of research lately. Apparently YL has some batches of tainted/adulterated oils out on the arrest right now. I have seen reports of 3 different batches. One report read that Cinnamon Bark Oil had 56% fossil fuel derivatives.
    This makes me question the seed to seal guarantee. I used to believe they had quality oils…

  9. What are your thoughts on Eden’s Garden? I had a chiropractor that recommended them along with Young Living. I’m an infant in my knowledge, but ready to educate myself and want to select a good company. Obviously I’m more attracted to the price of Eden’s Garden. Any advise is appreciated!!!

  10. Stephaney says:

    Did you do a review on Doterra and I just missed it? Would really love to see a side by side of the two biggest companies for EOs

  11. Do not ingest!!! Unless you want to destroy all gut flora!!!
    Only consider ingesting if you ‘real working with a dr.
    MLM ?

  12. Does anyone know about the itworks oils? A friend sell itworks and i thought about trying the oils. I ah e never used any oils so I didnt know how safe thses would be.

    • I see they have BHT in their wraps and that has been linked to cancer. I’m also not a fan of phenoxyethanol that is in there as well. I guess you have to make your own decision about what kind of company you want to work with.

  13. Carolyn S says:

    Was reading through your posts and was curious if you had heard of or tried Beautycounter? I became a consultant for them in November. Their mission is fantastic, the products are safety tested in house and independently, extremely high performing and 100% transparent. Thanks for doing some leg work on oil companies. It is so confusing and overwhelming. I am thankful for people who put their findings out there so we all don’t have to start researching from scratch.

    • Hello Carolyn,

      Yes I actually signed w/ Beautycounter around when they were new here. I haven’t been promoting them much recently. Trying to figure out what to do as I am not comfortable w/ phenoxyethanol that is in many of their products. I went with NYR Organic recently for skincare (long story — more info here: http://wholenewmom.com/neals-yard-remedies-nyr-organic/) and have just found a startup natural cosmetic company that is also transparent, doesn’t have phenoxyethanol and is honestly the best foundation that I have ever used. It’s very new so we’ll see what happens! Trying to make the best decision going forward.

      You are welcome. The whole field is very confusing and so is the personal care industry. NYR has a 35+ year history and has won loads of awards including that they were named the #1 ethical company in the world in 2014.

  14. grace berger says:

    so is aura cacia your faviorite. I personally love them they helped me a lot with my congestion. I have a terrible allergy season and the inly thing that worked was their lavender and tea tree oil blend and it smells amazing. They are just a little pricey.

  15. Oh, Adrienne. Hats off to you for doing all the legwork on the front end, and for continuing to deal with everyone’s questions, opinions, and remarks. You’ve got to be an amazing lady! 😉 THANK YOU – I’ve enjoyed it all and am switching to RMO’s for now. You’re right, the game is always changing. I will continue to research and pay close attention to all the details and issues you’ve pointed out!!!

    • Thanks, Holly! The game changes all the time, but RMO has only gotten better. I am not an amazing lady, however. Feeling that especially today – being a mom is hard!!!! Hope to see you around again. More to come!

      • Don’t tell yourself that! You ARE amazing! Having hard mom days only makes us more amazing. We are surviving and growing. Period. Thriving is the goal but just because it doesn’t happen everyday doesn’t change anything. WE ARE AMAZING MOM’S AND WOMEN!!! XO

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