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

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!

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 What the Best Essential Oils Company Is? 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.

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, LLC.

Comments

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  1. Diane Barham says:

    Switched to you from Miracle oils as they are a rip off, stink, don’t work, double charge you, take months to deliver, screw up the order and anything else I forgot.

    • Hi Diane. Oh no! I am so sorry you had that experience. You were double charged? I so hope your experience with the company that I went with is much better. Please do come back if you can and share. If there is anything I can help with let me know.

  2. Hello. I have thoroughly appreciated reading your research on the highest grade most integral company from which to purchase your essential oils. I am on THE SAME QUEST! I am wondering if, on your journey, you happened to find an Australian based company (this would make my purchases easier if you did)? If I lived in the US, RMO would be my go to, but I would prefer to avoid excessive postage fees. Cheers, Cathy.

  3. I’ve been following for months…but I’m not seeing which company you actually went with….I’ve researched my ass off and am no further ahead then when I started….I’ve tried a few but I want the best bang for my buck….My 18 son suffered a brain injury a year and a half ago ..spent a year in rehabilitation and still has years to improve …money is tight bit I have witnessed essential oils work…please help…I’m am so tired..but need to help my boy

  4. I see that you have done lots of research with essential oils. I am new to them and Norwex just came out with essential oils. I was wondering if you would recommend them. They will be released in October, so not too much information is online about them yet.. Here is a video about them though: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CrHP6Nv0SHg

  5. What is your opinion of the brand Now essential oil it’s sold a lot?

  6. You didn’t even put the best oils up there. Nature’s Sunshine is the oldest herbal company in the USA with a stellar reputation and amazing oils. DoTerra makes claims that have gotten them into hot water with the Feds and as for the others; I find them to be little more than designer companies; out to make a buck before quality. Just because someone says something about an oil doesn’t make it a good oil. Do more research.

  7. Hi Adrienne, I read your article a few months ago. In the past I have purchased some EO from the health food store and some from YL. I”m somewhat new to EO’s and didn’t know what to look for. I knew I wanted as pure of an oil as possible. I loved your article and started looking at RMO website. This week I took the plunge and ordered 3 bottles from them. I ordered Lime and Ginger, in hopes to add a drop to certain beverages. I just received it in the mail today. (I will say they were very quick). I was so excited, that I immediately opened the bottles, BUT was very quickly DISAPPOINTED. They did not smell like Ginger and Lime, so I read the label and their website again. 🙁 This is what was listed for Ginger:
    Purity
    Ginger Root Essential Oil is extracted by steam distillation of the root of Zingiber officinale.
    The main constituents in Ginger Root Essential Oil are:
    ?-Zingiberene – provides a medium spicy aroma
    ar-Curcumene – provides a medium woody aroma
    Camphene – provides a medium woody aroma
    ?-Phellandrene – provides a medium minty aroma

    I compared to Young Living website. This is their ingredient list:
    Young living Oils
    Ingredients
    Ginger (Zingiber officinale)† root oil
    †100% pure, therapeutic-grade essential oil

    The YL smells like pure Ginger and Lime. I was expecting these oils to be the same. Unfortunately, I’m so new I didn’t know what to look for and didn’t scroll down far enough on the description to find this before ordering. At this point I will start ordering from YL, but wondered if you were aware of this information. I didn’t remember reading this in your article. Just wanted to pass along the information. BTW it was the same with the Lime, I found out key limes were used along with: Limonene – provides a high citrus aroma
    ?-Pinene – provides a high herbal aroma, ?-Terpinene – provides a medium terpenic aroma, Sabinene – provides a medium woody aroma, ?-Pinene – provides a high herbal aroma, The 3rd bottle I ordered was a blend, so I’m not mentioning this one. I will check to see if their is a customer satisfaction guarantee, but I have a feeling I’m out $50. Lesson Learned!

    • Hello Regin,

      Thanks for writing (and for reading!). As for the Ginger, the constituents that you list there are components of the oil. When a chemist looks at an essential oil, it isn’t just the oil, but it’s made up of many constituents. And those constituents that are found in one oil can be found in others as well — just in different proportions. For example zingiberene is the main component of ginger oil which is where the main constituent gets its name. Camphene is also in turpentine, cypress oil, camphor oil, citronella oil, neroli, and valerian oil. All of the constituents together are part of the whole oil with each contributing a different quality to the final oil.

      RMO adds that to their site for more information for the user whereas Young Living is only giving you the Latin name.

      It seems that you were thinking that the constituents of the oil is something that the company added, but it is not.

      I hope that helps. Their customer satisfaction on the Ginger and Lime oils has been very high. I am sorry you are not happy but if you still aren’t happy after reading my explanation I am sure that they will take care of you with a return. RMO does extensive 3rd party testing on their oils to assure purity and they even have a place where you can put your batch code in on their site and get a link to the GC/MS report for that very batch.

      I hope to see you around again. More to come on the oils and other topics. Take care.

    • I’ve been doing lits of research on EOs and the issue you brought up is one of the red flags that you did not purchase a pure essential oil. If you ordered ginger the ingredient should only include ginger along with it’s latin name for ginger as you indicated that YL shows on their label. If the ingredient shows a mixture if ither oils then you simple got a mixture of oils. True as Adrienne indicates a chemist will break down all the components, but when it comes to EO the only ingredient should only he its name( ginger oil comes from ginger- adding other ingredients to make it smell like ginger is just not delivering 100% ginger EO) this I learned the hard way. Also, I’ve learned that if a fatty oil (coconut oul, kernel oil, etc) is one of the ingredients in an EO this will cause the product to go rancid & this too I learned the hard way. So stick to EO that include only that one ingredient you want. I am no expert just learning like yourself, but this completely made sense to me when I read about it (sorry don’t recall the site I found it on) I hope this helps.

      • Hello Lyn.

        Thanks for commenting.

        The issue that the other reader brought up is not about ingredients, but constituents (which are part of the whole, not added ingredients). They are the parts of the oil that are supposed to be there. In fact, if they weren’t there, then it wouldn’t be the essential oil. There are components of all essential oils that are supposed to be there and when (if) a company does GC/MS testing on the oils, those components will show up on the test in different proportions. That is very different than ingredients. If a company were to put almond oil in with their essential oil then that would be (should be) disclosed on the label as an ingredients, not as a constituent. I hope that helps.

  8. Sheetal Patel says:

    Hi Adrienne,
    No, I am not a masseuse. I try to incorporate natural, organic products into my everyday life. NHR organic essential oils is not the same as NYR. It is a company based out of the U.K. In case your European readers are interested. They provide LC test as well as MSDS documents for each of the oils as well as batch nos. and dates. They use clear bottles so you’re able to see the oil colors and provide a tin storage for each.
    I also plan on looking into organic infusions’ products as well. They are also not into the MLM.
    My one question to you is, there are so many diffusers out there, are there any you’d recommend?
    Thanks you so much

    • Hi there. I did call Organic Infusions and they told me that they do not do GC/MS testing on all of their oils.

      I personally love the diffuser (Aroma Cloud) that RMO has. The NYR one is great as well. RMO will be coming out with more in the near future. The RMO ones have a 1 year warranty. Do make sure to clean them properly to extend their life.

  9. I stay away from most MLM companies at all costs, so I won’t be trying some of these brands. There is no such thing as “therapeutic grade” essential oils despite what many of them claim. I like a mid priced and strong oil and I tend to not buy them super cheap, and so far so good.

  10. Angie Chong says:

    Hello Adrienne, I find your review insightful. I am new to EO n have been doing lots of reading. Appreciate your views on this: Is it good enough to apply EO with carrier oil such as Jojoba oil as moisturizer on my face? I am trying to avoid using commercial products on my face n not sure by using just EO plus carrier oil is nourishing enough for my face. Thanks much.

    • Hello Annie and thanks for reading. You could do that but depending on your skin you may or may not like the results. I used jojoba on my face for oil cleaning for awhile and at first loved it, but later did not. So I think it all depends on your skin and its needs. If you are trying to simply avoid buying things that are premade then you might need to look at another product to make. However, if you are just looking for quality non toxic products I work with 2 companies that have quite clean ingredients that might be of interest. Happy to share more if the latter is the case.

      Here is my post on jojoba oil (it’s old so forgive me that it’s not a great post): http://wholenewmom.com/whole-new-budget/jojoba-and-rose-water-natural-facial-cleanser/

      Hope that helps!

  11. Shauna Myron says:

    I’ve used doTerra oils before (I have a huge stash!). I’m running low on a few and was looking into alternatives… Had never heard of RMO before, but I’m now on their site filling my cart. Thanks for the info, I look forward to trying RMO!

  12. Angelika Szabo says:

    Hey there Adrienne! I am 54 years old and can no longer work due to arthritis in my back. I have joined Avon, a company I love, for an income. I am looking at essential oils to increase my income and to expand on the products I sell.. I know you recommend RMO for essential oils and I agree, unfortunately, I need something that I can trust and make money on! Any suggestions for us MLM reps.? Thanks Angie

  13. I really don’t understand why you stopped in the middle of your article only to leave us hanging? I found Part 2, but you did not continue with your assessment of these companies? You did some good investigation, but didn’t finish or did I miss something? Why?

  14. I would like to say that there is a very informative video on YouTube explaining how to tell if essential oils are real or synthetic along with a lot of other vital information. Just type in ” how to tell real plant essential oil from synthetic” the man is from A-CAM.com. They also provide online classes.

    • Hi Monica,

      There are a number of concerns I have with this video.

      1. He mentions that some manufacturers say to not put the EOs directly on skin and that this is mainly b/c of the petrochemicals and that such a warning on the label is because the oil isn’t pure. This is not true. Many essential oils company are putting that on their labels because they are worried about sensitization caused by repeated undiluted use of the oils.

      2. Gargling with oils in water
      This is not a good idea. Oils do not mix with water and as such can cause irritation or worse to sensitive mucous membranes.

      3. Shelf Life – He states that if an oil company says it will expire then it’s not real. That might not be the case. Some oils do have shorter shelf lives.

      4. Candle – He states that you could use an impure oil in a candle and it’s not a big deal. I disagree. If you do that you are breathing in the impurities. Likewise using an impure oil in a diffuser isn’t a good idea either.

      There is more but this is enough to share for now. I would not trust this video. I will be sharing more in the future but this report should help for now: http://wholenewmom.com/10-things-you-need-to-know-about-essential-oils-before-you-buy/