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.

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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.

Comments

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  1. I am a preferred customer for Melaleuca. You can research them at Melaleuca.info. They have essential oils and some of the best green products. They are not a MLM business, but teach you how to shop for better products. No middleman. They have a 95% reorder rate which is pretty awesome. If interested let me know at my email address. lunstrah@gmail.com

    • Hi there. Thanks for commenting. I am not sure why you state that they are not an MLM b/c they most certainly are. I am concerned about many of the ingredients in their products including artificial fragrances, artificial flavors, acesulfame potassium, and more. Were you aware that those ingredients are in their products? Thanks!

      • Melaleuca is not an MLM. They do not meet the definition of an MLM and that is according to the FTC and many states Attorney Generals Offices. Not sure where you are getting your artificial favors and fragrances information either.

        • Hi there. I am not sure why exactly you say that they are not an MLM. Can you tell me what exactly makes them not one? Thanks. http://onemorecupof-coffee.com/melaleuca-review-yeah-its-actually-mlm-guys/

          As for the artificial colors and fragrances, the Melapower has “fragrance” in its ingredients and “fragrance” is a code word for all kinds of things. Here is the information from an Ava Anderson Non Toxic brochure: “Fragrance can be legally hidden in hundreds of ingredients in “fragrance” or “parfum”: a “trade secret” in the industry. More than 75% of the time if you have fragrance, you have legally hidden phthalates (THAT ates), known endocrine disruptors, that are linked with birth defects, breast cancer, infertility, liver, cancer, diabetes, obesity, and now with autism and ADHD in pregnancy by Dr. Philip Landrigan, Mt. Sinai, Children’s Environmental Health Center.

          Other products from Melaleuca that have “fragrance” in them are:

          Lemon Brite 3 Pack. This one not only has “fragrance” but also “colorants” and preservatives. I would guess that these colorants are not natural, otherwise they would likely be listed as such. Do you have information about what they exactly are?

          Diamond Brite – has fragrance and preservatives

          Melapower Lavender has fragrance as well

          I could list more, but let me know what you think. Thank you!

  2. I am a novice. I am being overwhelmed with information. Everyone has their opinions and I don’t want to get involved in pyramid scams. I have some health issues would like assistance dealing with this issues. What is best for detoxification, hbp, diabetes? Every body has their answers and I am getting bombarded with brands that jump higher, go faster, and more pure then other products. Who do you pick? Still haven’t figured out whats better….HELP!!!!

    • Leisa Kosanke says:

      I am just learning about essential oils and appreciate the posts. Adrienne, I’m responding to your comment about pyramid scams. I’ve learned a pyramid scam is a company that does not have a product to sell….like pie in the sky. Companies who do sell products, the Direct Selling Association is a good reference, cut out television, radio and other forms of advertising. It is a direct to consumer model.

      After researching this, network marketing or multi level marketing is just another business model and there are excellent companies with superior products. There are also unethical companies with less that reputable products. It all starts with doing your homework as I’m doing with how and where to buy essential oils. I’ve been selective and have been very happy with products using the MLM model.

    • I’ve been a Young Living user for two years and absolutely love their products and customer service. My husband and I use these oils every day and have had remarkable success. Do research on the companies before deciding. I chose Young Living because they own the majority of farms their oils come from. They are a true seed to seal company. Make sure the oils are 100% essential oil.

      Good luck on your oil journey.

    • Leslie Cullers says:

      Melayna.
      Oils are great to treat many symptoms of illness. Have you looked at your food, hydration and envirnomnet to get your body healing from these aliments.

      Leslie
      pearlcullers@mac.com

  3. Hello there – I am very interested in learning more about essential oils and where to buy them from but always get overwhelmed looking into it and decide I’ll look later. :) So thank you for posting so much detailed, thorough information on essential oils!! Do you have any insight on Lisse Essentials? Thank you in advance!!

  4. I love NAN and love their companies back story! I think their oils are the best around and I myself have tried and researched MANY companies!! I will say I do go the Edens Garden for a few things that I just diffuse and don’t put on my skin for the lower price but anything I put on skin I use NAN!!! Love them!!
    -Amber Rizzo

  5. Donna von Gunten says:

    I use SwissJust essential oils – an 85 year old company from Switzerland. Very high quality and 100 % pure and undiluted. Hope you give them a try.

  6. Lori Pedersen says:

    The above mentioned book….you say it appears that it does not recommend that you ingest essential oils. Funny how some people still choose to do exactly what educationally researched people say not to, (not to mention the book is written by a doctor!!! I have taken an essential oil class from Aromahead Institute, they also recommend that you DO NOT ingest most essential oils. There are very few oils that are ok for consumption. I would never ingest an essential oil just because a blogger who has done personal research and is also selling a product tells me it is safe to. Aromahead Institute is very informative, they are college educated, teach courses on Aromatherapy. The teach you what type of products to look for to purchase, but not to specifically buy something from them. Real education is the key.

    • Hello Lori.

      I am glad you emailed – that part has been removed from the post. I am familiar with Aromahead and have friends who have taken their course. I don’t know what you mean by only a few oils being OK for consumption, however. My understanding is that a few are toxic but that it is best to only take oils internally with the advice of a professional. For me, I think that the internal use can change the microbiome and that that is one of the biggest risks out there. I would be interested in hearing what you learned about the very few oils. I have done quite a bit of reading about this and never saw it restricted to a few oils. Thanks.

      I have come out in these comments against the big names in the oils industry that talk about taking oils internally very regularly which is something that I never advocated so I think you possibly misunderstood me. Thank you and I hope that clarifies things.

  7. I’ve become a big fan of DoTerra since my friend introduced me to the line. You put it on your list here but you never get to it in your actual review. I’d be curious what your opinion of it is compared with the other brands. Their cedarwood and rosemary oils are my lifeblood now! Before I used to just buy whatever was cheapest on Amazon.

  8. The world of essential oils is both fascinating and confusing – thank you for all you do to help keep us users educated. I currently use Native American Nutritionals and have been happy…… but am always looking to learn more about the marketplace. Recently have been reading of Florihana oils – do you know anything about them? The company certainly sounds good on paper. Thank you!!

  9. @adrienne can u send me your webpage info

  10. Dissapointed to say the least that I wasted 20 minutes of my life that I will never get back reading your part1 and part2 of your post/blog for you not to deliver the company you prefer within that post. I don’t have any more time to waste with the ‘suspense’ and clicking from one link to the next and getting nowhere. Can you please just comment with the Company that you prefer and recommend. I am torn between DoTerra and Young Living and I didn’t get from part2 what was promised in part1.

  11. Teresa lee says:

    Ive been reading these comments about essential oils. I love the fact that you have taken the time to research the varying essential oils companies. I kept looking but i didnt see any info on Ameo Essential Oils, a division of Zija International, which are clinical grade oils not therapeutic grade. They are alot stronger. Look them up. Im not tryg to promote my business or anything but i left my website information should you desire to check it out as well. Thank you for all the work youve done! Very impressive! )(site deleted by blog owner)

    • HI there. Those terms of “clinical” vs “therapeutic” are subjective terms. Also, I am sorry but I deleted your site from the comments b/c of course it is promoting your site to leave it here and I don’t want this series to be a place where folks can piggy back to get followers. I didn’t chose Ameo for several reasons. I am glad you found a company that you like, however.

  12. Thank you so much for verifying what I already knew…. So much for bullies…. Keep blogging and telling the truth… To many Devils out there these days trying to steal money from the innocent/middle class/hard working

  13. I finally began using Native American Nutritionals oils after much consideration and due to your generous research, for which I thank you. However, not long after, they merged into Rocky Mountain Oils. How do you feel about the new company?

    • Hi Brenda. Good question. If anything, the quality is better. I have more coming on the merger but you can buy w/ confidence. Thanks and hope to see you around again!

  14. I dug into Melaeuca’s company and almost muse a huge mistake because I didn’t thoroughly research first. Melaeuca’s ingredients are not a good choice for your body. For example check out the children’s protein powder. I don’t remember the exact ingredients off the top of my head but it was not whole foods. For such a large a progressive company who stands by their research why can’t they be more like Garden of Life for instance? Don’t buy into these companies until u read the labels or acquire a reputable sample.

    • I totally agree. I don’t see a child’s protein powder, but they have artificial colors and fragrances and acesulfame potassium so it’s a lot of not good stuff.

  15. Thank you so much for all the time you’ve invested in all this research and for sharing it all with us! A year or so ago I had pretty much decided to use Native American Nutritionals, and after reading your series of blogs, my desicion was much easier. So thank you!
    I feel like somewhere you mentioned where you like to buy your diffusers from. I could be wrong. Do you also get them from Rocky Mountain or is there another place that your prefer?

    • I LOVE their diffuser. I personally have the AromaCloud Spa going now. I have only tested 1 from doTERRA and I didn’t care for it. I had a YL one but I never used it. I hope to try out some more soon. I have tried the AromaCloud Home, but it’s too small for my purposes. Hope that helps.

  16. hi there.
    i, too, have read the disturbing articles regarding gary young. what did you read that changed your mind? i have also read some third-party blind studies with results that show both young living and doterra (among others) are not the level of purity they claim to be. i just want to find a good company that has oils that are pure and people i can feel ok supporting. any info you have would be so helpful!
    thank you.

  17. Hi! I just finished reading your last part to this series. Before I read this I had just recently purchased some Essential oils from Plantlife. Did you happen to look into them at all. Thanks!

    • Hi there. I didn’t look at them, but I just did. I really can’t evaluate companies but you can use my report and post to do so. I will be writing more about the companies I chose soon. I did notice that they don’t have country of origin noted at present. Just region.

      http://wholenewmom.com/10-things-you-need-to-know-about-essential-oils-before-you-buy/

      http://wholenewmom.com/health-concerns/toxic-overload-health-concerns/essential-oils-testing-is-it-reliable/

      • You mentioned Heritage Oils, now called Hopewell Oils. They in fact do have a phone number. I called and talked to the owner of the company at length. Her name is Linda. She spoke about her company in detail. . The oils that they use are very safe. They can be ingested, as well. I have been a distributor for Young Living Oils for several years but I am going to switch to Hopewll Oils because I feel they are just as reputable, pure and therapeutic. They are not a multilevel marketing company, so you do not have to pay the higher prices. Their shipping costs are less, as well.
        Please check out their website. You can find the phone number to contact them there.

        • Hi there. I would be very very careful about ingesting.

          This is the statement of the company that I work with:

          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.

          If Hopewell / Heritage is still recommending it I would be careul.

          I did read that their peppermint tested to have ethyl vanillin in it. Did you see that? Thanks.

  18. Your Opinion please of:

    ‘Florihana’ sold by Tropical Traditions
    and
    UpNature Essential Oils

    Thank for your time.

  19. I figured out why the oils are different prices. The only company that sells oils from Seed to Seal is Young living. Other companies don’t grow their own plants to make the oils. No quality control! Some of the less expensive oils may say pure grade however they dilute their oils so you are not getting 100% oil. It may be 30% essential oil diluted with plain oil……. Know what you are paying for and where the oils are coming from and who is growing the plants and distilling them. Plus if you get an oil from France for example it will be grown in a different soil and the end product will smell differently. If you are curious like me, I ordered the same oil from all the manufactures and concluded that the Young Living smelled the best to me…….Do your own test to see the difference before you invest…….Bottom line, I feel I am getting quality and what I am paying for as well as great customer service. I love this site, everyone has such great information to share. Thank you

    • Hi there. There are a lot of other companies out there. And there are companies that cost more than Young Living, but not many. As for YL, they do not grow all of their own oils, as far as I know. And there are pros and cons to growing your own vs not. Some say that if you grow your own you are not having them grow in their indigenous areas.

      Of course diluted oils are less valuable in some ways, but if disclosed that way, they are more convenient for topical use. If the dilution is hidden, it’s a big problem.

      I’m interested in what you think by the rest of the posts. Thanks and hope to hear from you again!

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