Most of you tuned in for my recent posts on essential oils in which I touted the amazing effects of:
- Young Living’s Thieves Oil (where I talked about thinking the oils were a scam) and
- Peppermint, Wintergreen, and Young Living’s Pan Away blend (with more of my skeptical thoughts)
From all the comments and the enthusiasm about the Peppermint Oil Giveaway, I can tell you are just as interested in learning about 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 in my linen closet. One bottle each of orange, eucalyptus and tea tree 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 mean, I asked about all the rumors surrounding Gary Young, the founder of Young Living, because there is some not-so-nice stuff about him on the web.
I also asked some questions about purity.
I got some satisfactory answers and I figured that this stuff worked really well and I was thrilled to have great resources in my natural health care arsenal. I mean, can you argue with how well the stuff worked?
At first, I thought, “This stuff works great, and I’m pretty worn out right now, so I am just going to leave this alone.”
But I guess the “investigative reporter” in me just couldn’t do it.
So I started poking around.
Today I’m sharing with you the beginning of my investigation. The rest will come later.
(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.
- Heritage Oils
- Native American Nutritionals
- North American Herb and Spice
- Mountain Rose Herbs
- Aura Cacia
- 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.
I know – there are a TON of essential oils companies out there. Believe me, I know. 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.
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.
Oh well, I tried to contact them through their Contact Form.
Still – over two weeks later–no dice.
THE VERDICT: No matter how inexpensive (well, I guess if they sold the oils for $.10 per bottle or something like that, I’d be interested in working with them maybe), I am not interested in dealing with a company that has non existent customer service.
- 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. No one to ask questions of? No way.
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 :).
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.
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.