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.

It appears that this book does NOT recommend internal usage of oils, something which I personally think can be beneficial when done safely, so just keep that in mind.

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 first came across your Essential Oils series about a year ago, when I knew nothing about eos but was ready to learn. I can’t tell you how many times I’ve ended up rereading it as I’m doing various research. Thank you for sharing your research with others. Your posts have been invaluable to me.

  2. I was really excited to hear you compare DoTerra (because they DO recommend using their products internally) and Young Living since you and a few other blogs have mentioned this as a high quality brand. However, you did not mention either…pretty disappointed, sorry.

  3. I have been using essential oils for a number of years and I so appreciate your series regarding different oils. I first began using Aura Cacia as theywere less expensive. I have tried DoTerra and others that were just too expensive for me. I was curious if anyone has tried http://www.betteressentials.com and what you thought about them? I tried their Best Friend blend and I really liked it. Thanks for your feedback.

  4. I’ve been reading your research on essential oils off & on the past several weeks, and you’ve been quite inspirational as I’m just starting out. And tenacious! Good for you and the way you’ve handled the nasties. Anyway, have you done any research on Plant Therapy? Thanks.

  5. Hi,
    Thanks so much for the great research you have done with finding the best essential oil company. I am currently ordering my oils from Native American and love them, however I am wondering if you ever did any follow up research on Mountain Rose Herbs. I have been looking around for a backup supplier when Native American is out of a specific oil I am looking to purchase. In looking over Mountain Rose site they seem too good to be true. They have a very large selection at a very good price. Do you have any input?

    Thanks,
    Debbie

  6. richard rowland says:

    hi I am in Australia.. I was with YL for 12 years and switched over to do terra. I am not a business type person so it is only product I am interested in when I research. I do buy off little companies and also my neighbour distils lemon myrtle an up and coming oil in Australia.. each week i have a whole lemon with a blend of seasonal fruit and greens..this is don tolmans( the usa nutritionist fellow who visits our land with so much knowledge) answer to most challenges clean the tubes he says and its the lemon skin that does that..and there is essential oil in the skin..so the body is not foreign to essential oils it is the moderation of all things that one must feel into, and i say feel as we are all different in our healing journey. i too was moved by addrienes photo) clear energy..kind and caring… i also go by the energy of the oils with my dowser friend who is 3 rd generation dowser and checks land for energy lines , heals animals, so using this I find do terra oils energetically, with his help, the best overall, YL still has good oils they probably buy from the same large sellers from the oils country of origin, and that is important energy wise, the country of origin. every one knows there true home plants included. plant kingdom of spirits also.. i agree with one person saying EO effect your gut flora and also believe that they attack only the bad guys, so i use probiotics along the ingestation of the oils, oregano i do not ingest rub it on my knees to counter attack the bio film (bacteria/fungi bad guy) and was my hand later as the face will sting if touch with small amount of oregano. this could be reason of one persons blog on having itchy /sore eyes. biofilm..i also agree with the blogger who stated that the EO can be too strong with the liver…so when using EO the tip of a toothpick i use in food/yoghurt to test what my body can take..love all the comments that share knowledge of how great the oils are for us just as the Egyptian peoples used with colour therapy years and years ago.. our indigenous people in Australia also distilled their oils also the popular one being the melaleuca.. last month a little firm in Byron bay brought out a rose melaleuca indigenous tree to our area…do terra emails i get are all about sharing what the oils do and how to cook with them , recipes for so many things..very positive.. my local dentistry uses doterra in clinic..be great to have a EO hospital, my friend said if his invention comes off with hydrogen replacing petrol for cars he may acquire a building for such..health researcher on stem cells mostly at the moment..

  7. Cristi Hinderer says:

    I have a question about the whole marketing of do terra. It is a Direct selling company, or a Marketing company. I want the cash. Not a % down the line that ends up only 2% . What ever happened to good old fashion sales. You sell the product , you make $. You don’t have to have so much PV a month etc etc. I did In-Home sells for years and the plan was not as complicated as this. Do You Make $

  8. Melissa says:

    My issue with doTerra is they are casually condoning the internal use of EO’s, not to mention some of the other lies they tell people. They have EO supplements, these people are taking these supplements every day not realizing the long term effects of taking EO’s internally. The liver can and will get Cirrhosis of the liver. But doTerra never mentions that! I am just starting my aromatherapy certification, do not take internally unless prescribed by an certified aromatherapy practitioner, and this is only case by case and temporary. The body can adequately absorb the oil through the bottom of the feet, and of course oils should ALWAYS be diluted (another lie doTerra tells, they say they don’t have to be diluted.) There is a reason that peppermint tea is less strong then peppermint oil. The body positively reacts to low doses of the herbal compound, when the body is exposed to too much, there are negative reactions! Cristi Hinderer, deTerra brain washes people into thinking they have their own oil business. But they don’t, they make a smaaallll % of what they sale. Everyone at doTerra wants to say yay you get 5% of what this person makes and 10% of what that person makes, or 2-7% of what that person makes. What about the other 85-98% of the profit. That goes to the people at the top,the big dogs. Yes, you can make money, but I decided not to sign with them because there have been reports made that their lavender and peppermint have synthetics and that the deep blue rub has chemicals, and they are affiliated with their so called third party testing. The way I see it, getting paid should never be THAT confusing. I have had the system explained to me by a consultant for 5 hours. It’s still confusing. What about just get 50% of what you sell, always. Easy. At the end of the day doTerra is shady and I don’t trust their brand nor their company.

  9. Cristi if you buy at wholesale prices and larger quantities.. 60 or 120 or 500 mls for example, you can put together small amounts like the 5 and 15 or 25 or blends with a variety of carrier oils and sell them directly .

    Also if buy samples for 2 or 3$ with a few drops to a couple of mls, you can put together 5ml blends for sale easily

  10. Kristie Boleski says:

    Take a look at Genesis Pure. Organic, wonderful nutritional products. 100% pure, USDA Certified Organic, pharmaceutical grade essential oils. The wonderful thing about this company is it is GROUND FLOOR opportunity in a 6 year old, debt free company that is now in 13 countries. Elite products. Food based nutrition. Bar none the best compensation plan I have ever seen in a direct sales company. It is the real deal. You have options for a buy in package. 100 points, or 200 points a month for autoship. I use more than that in organic sulfur, organic liquid vitamin, coral calcium (liquid), etc… for my family. Our essential oils are the icing on the cake!! They are amazing. If you are still interested in learning more, just reply to this post, and I can get you more information for you to evaluate the products. Have a wonderful day.

  11. Hi Janet. I buy the 15 mls sometimes and do that myself – it works great :).

  12. Do you know where good oils can be purchased in 60 or 120 ml quantities? Neither NAN or RM sell larger than 15ml.

  13. I am sorry but I don’t know that. I think NAN and RMO used to sell larger quantities, but for me the savings isn’t quite enough =- I find the small bottles to be more convenient. What do you think?

  14. Can’t vouch 100% for sure but the looked good. Organic Pure Essential Oil Aromatherapy Blends | Organic Infusions

  15. Hi there. Sorry for not responding to this sooner – I’ve been swamped. I am sorry also, but I don’t allow my blog to be used for marketing purposes for other companies or reps. I don’t mean to be exclusive, but this is something I have worked very hard to build and although there might be a format in the future I don’t think it’s right for people to use my platform as an advertising method. I hope you can understand. Thank you.

  16. Tiferes Perluss says:

    HI!
    Thank you so much for all your research. I feel so much more calm about my choice. I was considering joining Doterra today. It’s amazing to note that the companies that have white lies and neg energy are making people feel compelled to spend more then they should and are thus fighting while the two honest companies are more wholesome, enexpensive and joining. Where thier honestly there’s peace. I really am so excited at NAN
    My two questions are:
    1) we know that Nativa American is not a multi- level marketing. HOwever, I did read that you said that every time that someone joins NA you get a commision. How does that work if it’s not MLM. I’m only asking because you have been so beautifully honest and i’m sure there’s a way that works.
    2) I sAW SOMEONE ASK A question that i didn’t see a response to which is -is there a wholesale price for people who are healthcare practitioners?

  17. Tiferes Perluss says:

    so while i’m asking questions here’s some more. (I also like asking questions and getting to the truth of things so that’s why i’m eternally grateful to you) WHat i’m wondering is -if NAN is not MLM then why is it that it’s so expensive and almost compareable prices. I know you answered that but i didn’t really understand fully. If 40% of the money i’m spending is going to reps then the oil itself is not so expsensive , although i know some of it is more bc of it’s rarity. So some things in NAN are even more expensive then dottera like cinnamon in dottera is 23 and in NAN it’s 35. This is not the only example . Maybe it’s best to always compare prices of the different companies and get the less expensive one if that is something of concern to us.

  18. Hi there. Thanks for your comment.

    I don’t have anything to say about white lies – I just wasn’t getting the information I needed from the companies.

    As for your questions, I am an affiliate for NAN / RMO, just like I am for Amazon and for other companies. If someone buys through my link I can make a commission. MLMs make money from referring people so if I recruit another distributor then I make money from that person’s sales too – and it has to be a number of levels deep for it to qualify as an MLM.

    As for wholesale, the company is strict about whom they will sell to at those prices b/c they only will sell to legitimate businesses — not just someone who wants to save money on some oils, etc.

    I hope that helps :).

  19. Joe White says:

    Research more. {link to MLM account deleted by blog owner}
    Clinical grade oils, way past therapeutic

  20. Tiferes Perluss says:

    ok and one more question for now that i’m thinking about all. dottera has a nice website where i just type in a problem and it tells me a protocal. Does NAN have something simialar( so we don’t need to ask about every problem here). I like that the head of the company answered here. Where else will she answer questions?

  21. Hi there. I really appreciate your comment. The expense structure for an MLM vs a private company are different. I can give a lengthy explanation at some point but the MLMs pay a lot towards advertising. Anyhow, I think you might be mistaken. The wholesale price of doTERRA’s cinnamon bark is $21 for a 5 ml bottle. NAN’s cinnamon bark is $17.50 for a 5 ml bottle and only $35 for a 15 ml bottle. So clearly the NAN option is less expensive. If you have another one for me to look at I am happy to do so. Take care.

  22. Hi there. Sorry for the delay in responding. Here is the response from the company:

    We have a new feature coming to the new website called “collections” which will be similar and I am working at adding them to the search index so they show up during search (there are technical complications with adding it, it can be done but just not straightforward). So collections will be things like “First Aid”, “Headahces”, “Skin Care”, “diffusing oils”, etc and anything else we want to make. When you open up a collection, it will show all of the applicable oils on a dedicated page about that collection and why it was selected.

    So that will be similar :) we are working on lots of new ways to help people “discover” new oils and make the experience much better.

  23. Wow, I use doTerra and love them. Seems this blog is all about trashing any essential oils that aren’t what you like.

  24. Hi there. I am sorry you feel that way. That isn’t at all what I meant. I was told by a doTERRA rep that I could make about $8000 per month with their company and my blog’s traffic, but when I couldn’t get the answers I wanted and felt I needed, I started looking at other companies. It was a really hard decision to make. I am glad you found something that works for you. Hope that clarifies things.

  25. Wow. I never got the impression that you were out to trash other essential oil companies! I’m sorry that Sharon was offended by your posts. I appreciate all the time and effort you put forth to bring all this valuable information to those who are seeking it. You saved me so many hours, and because of some of your other posts and helpful information you have shared, I trust your comments. However, as in all things, we must weigh what we read and hear and judge for ourselves. I also use doTERRA and Young Living, but I have been ordering more and more from NAN and have been very pleased with their products and service.
    Thank you!

  26. Thanks so much for the encouragement. Much appreciated and no, I set out to figure out which way to go. Never thought I would have ended up where I did. Thanks again!

  27. Hi Joe. I am sorry but I would appreciate your not using my blog as a platform for promoting your Direct Sales business. Thank you.