Which Essential Oils Company is Best? Young Living and doTERRA – Part 4

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!

Here we are again – moving toward finding the Best Essential Oils Company.

To clarify, what I’m after here is the Best Essential Oils Company for the money.

So you can work on natural healing without breaking the bank–and I think I’ve found a good one.

Just being realistic:

I’m one person looking into a bunch of companies–with some help.  So I’m leaving the door open to the possibility that I might be wrong.

I’ve had to admit I was wrong about things before.
-  My thinking that Lilla Rose Flexi Clips were a waste of money (see my “changed my mind Lilla Rose review” here).
- or saying my Natural Dishwasher Rinse Aid was a great idea.

We need to be willing to admit we were wrong.

Was I wrong about Young Living?  Remember my enthusiastic posts about their Thieves and Peppermint and Wintergreen?

Let’s find out.

Today I’m going to share what happened as I looked into the “heavy hitters” in the Essential Oils Industry–

(Oh, and if you are jumping in in the middle of all of this, here is a link to Part 3.

Young Living and doTERRA.

If you’ve been looking into essential oils at all, chances are you have come across YL and DT (as I’ll affectionately call them ;-)).

You’ve had folks tell you “Young Living is the best!” or “doTERRA is the most pure”.

Or something like that.

I touched on some of these issues in Best Essential Oils Post – Part 1.  But here’s more.

First up–Young Living

Young Living Review

1.  Reputation and Ethics -  There are some pretty not-so-savory things on the internet about D. Gary Young.  Of course, the internet can be full of truths and lies.  But I still think these things are worth paying attention to.  Dr. Stephen Barrett has  written a load of unsavory things about D. Gary Young.  In fact, this information is a lot of what gave me pause when I initially was looking into signing up with YL.  I mean, the Thieves Oil worked great for me, but I really didn’t like what I was reading.

Some of the more “icky” stuff is:

a.  Death in Gary Young’s clinic
b.  Accusations of misrepresenting professional credentials.

You can read all of the not-so-savory details here.

Now, I do have my concerns about Mr. Barrett–mainly that he’s basically an “anti-alternative therapy” hound.  And I like alternative therapies.  Most of them, at least ;-).

I personally am very concerned about abuses in the alternative medical field.  But I’m also concerned about abuses in Western medicine.

My family and I have been harmed by the practices of traditional Western medicine (overuse of anti-biotics, over-use of prescriptions meds, doctors misdiagnosing acid reflux, etc.).  In some cases, we’ve been healed despite what mainstream doctors told us to do.

I know there are abuses on both sides.  But Quackwatch appears to be just targeting everything alternative:  Chiropractic, acupuncture, Chinese medicine….You name it.  If it’s alternative, it’s Barrett’s target.

I could go on and on about his site, but suffice it to say that I am not sure of all of Barrett’s accusations against Gary Young.

However, his writings about Young Living and Gary Young leave something to ponder.  Moreso in light of what else I found…

2. OSHA Violations – I found this interesting entry referring to Young Living OSHA violations.  I didn’t find any by the other oils companies, although I didn’t look them all up.  Now, Young Living is the oldest oils company, so they’ve had more time for there to be violations, and all of the violations appear to be of the same incident.

Of course, OSHA violations don’t mean that a company is bad.  If they cleaned up their procedures correctly, then possibly their new procedures are better than ever.

3.  Non-Indigenous Plants – Most of Young Living’s farms are located in the U.S.  I think that’s fine for a company being more “in control” of their product, but not great if you follow conventional wisdom that plants grow best (and have the best therapeutic qualities) when they are grown in their indigenous locations (where they are supposed to grow naturally).

If you read through the comments of Best Essential Oils Parts 2 & 3, you’ll see that Young Living reps tout the fact that YL farms are in the U.S. as being an advantage–that it gives Young Living control over the whole process.  Maybe, but other companies like doTERRA and most of the other companies I’ve looked into have their oils sourced from wherever the plants grow naturally for higher quality.

4.  What’s That Smell?

You know I like testing things before recommending them to you, like in my:

Best Cinnamon Sugar and
Best Eye Makeup Remover posts.

Then you won’t be surprised to know that we did this with essential oils as well.

I purchased YL, doTERRA, Mountain Rose Herbs, Aura Cacia, and 2 other companies’ oils and did a little “Smell Challenge” with my not-so-specially-trained Smell Testing Panel (a.k.a. my family).

THE CHALLENGE:

We had a blind smell test of 3-5 brands of the same oil.

In each instance, Young Living was singled out as having a chemical overtone.

Does that mean there were chemicals added?

Not necessarily, but….

 

doTERRA Review

I also bought a large kit of doTERRA’s oils to try them out against YL.  I asked doTERRA reps and corporate employees tons of questions, and I even used their oils exclusively for awhile.  (I have a big stash now.  You want some at cost?  Shoot me an email :).)

I really like their educational resources and their oils smell great.

But their great smell is part of what concerns me.

One thing I really don’t care for is that a lot of doTERRA reps (and corporate employees as well) say something like, “You’ll know it works by its smell.”

This from doTERRA’s website: “A 100% pure therapeutic-grade essential oil should have a balanced, broad fragrance profile and should smell crystal clean.”  I don’t know about you, but I don’t know what “crystal clean” means.

Before I go into more–I mentioned distillation techniques in one of my previous posts.  Basically, the going wisdom about essential oils is that you put the plant parts and water in a distiller and under low pressure and low temperature, you distill the essential oils out of the plant.

They travel down a tube and into a vat–along with the steam.  The oil collects on top of the water and is removed and–voila–you have essential oils.

The most coveted, and most expensive (and thought to be the most therapeutic) oil is that which is collected during the first part of the distillation period.  The resulting oil is called “first distilled.”

1.  PEPPERMINT

doTERRA’s peppermint smells good enough to eat–as in “candy cane” good.

But that’s a problem in my book.  Here’s why.

Most peppermint essential oils smell like the peppermint you find growing out in nature.

Candy-cane-smelling peppermint is from the second distillation or a complete distill (distilling for a long time).  The oils are either distilled for a longer time, or redistilled and some oils are taken out to give the oil a clean pepperminty candy smell. (Source).

This is exactly what doTERRA’s peppermint oils smell like.  So yummy, in fact, that if you have kiddos in the house, you’d best keep it out of arm’s reach.

Here is the response I got from doTERRA stating that their peppermint oil is, in fact, a “complete distill”:

You can let her know that our Peppermint uses complete
distillation.  There is 1st, 2nd, 3rd, and complete and we use complete.  (Source:  my email.)

So their peppermint oil isn’t top quality according to accepted thinking in the Essential Oil community.

2.  YLANG YLANG 

doTERRA prides itself on selling the top of the line quality.  Their ylang ylang, however, is also a complete distillation.  Some may say that this is a matter of taste, but in the essential oils industry, the first distill is more valued and therefore, a higher priced oil.  To their credit, doTERRA does call their ylang ylang a complete distill on their website.

Ylang Ylang first distill is typically considered to be the quality of oil that is most sought after / of highest therapeutic quality–not complete distillation.

3.  TERRASHIELD

Thanks to Kitchen Stewardship, I realized that doTERRA doesn’t disclose all of the oils in this bug repellant blend.  I will say that we have used this to treat after bite itching (and my son likes it), but I think that not including ingredients on a label is not preferable.

What I think is troubling here is that doTERRA makes a lot of claims about their oils being the best–top quality.  And their prices sure reflect that.  I don’t think I would purchase complete, 2nd or 3rd distillation oil for more than other companies are selling 1st distill for–would you?

Of course, there are other things to think about–purity, etc.  So we’ll keep the conversation going and touch on other companies as well.

I hope this all makes sense.  If not—ask away.  I hope to have my next post on the best essential oils up this coming Tuesday.

And thanks for your patience!  This has been a long road, but I promise, we are nearing the end.  As I said before, if you are desperate to order essential oils, please email me at wholenewmom at gmail dot com.  Otherwise, I hope to have the final post up this coming week.

The Rest of the Best Essential Oils Series:

Which Essential Oils Company is Best? – Part 1
 - What a Good Essential Oils Company Should Have – Part 2
Which Essential Oils Company is Best – Troubles with the Oils Industry - Part 3
Are Multi-Level Marketing Oils Worth It? – Part 5
Distillation, Bias, Vomit and Personal Attacks – Part 6
- Announcing “the Best” Essential Oils Company – Part 7 

I’d love to hear 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.
Shared at Frugally Sustainable, We Are that Family, and Day 2 Day Joys.

Comments

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  1. Again, thanks for all your hard work. I’ve been patiently waiting to hear more. Great comparison.

  2. GREAT job! Thanks for all of your hard work. I can’t thank you enough. I can’t wait for Tuesday now :) I have some Christmas $ and my birthday is next week too, so I was thinking about treating myself to some essentials oils. I keep hearing such good things about doTerra, it’s hard to resist all the hype.

    • Thanks!! I think you’ll be happy when it’s all done!

      • Adrienne, have you disclosed the best essential oil company yet? I have not seen it in all the posts or article. Tuesday came and went. I am assuming you got Mommy busy over there. : )

        • I got more than Mommy busy. I posted the MLM dilemma this week and I was getting attacked on a number of fronts. There are other issues I need to deal with now regarding the oils, it appears so I am going to do my best. I don’t want to let the questions go unanswered but know you all want to know what I have decided. Also, I am running all of this info by other sources to make sure I have made a solid decision. :).

  3. Wow, you have been doing a great job I have been impatiently waiting for whom is the best company,lol. Can’t wait for part 5.

  4. Michelle Sines says:

    Thanks so much for all your hard work! And thank your ‘testing panel’ as well! I’ve tested 3 or 4 different brands. and the ones that I want to purchase, because I do believe they have the best price/quality combination– well, I’m waiting for my tax return, because then… MRH (also my maiden initials, I just realized! LOL!) well, they will have a forever customer! Be blessed!

  5. I can’t wait to hear your final report!

  6. Dawn Santucci says:

    I really appreciate all your work on this and am DYING for the final answer! I have tried several brands, although never YL or DT. I don’t like MLM companies and they are insanely expensive, at the same time it is hard not t o wonder if I am missing out on something when I see constant posts from both YL and DT reps on many of the FB sites I follow. I am happy with the oils I have used and the price is better. Can’t wait to hear!

  7. Hi, Thanks for your research on this. I have also been doing a lot of comparisons/research for the past year. In my journey of learning increasingly more about these oils the one part that is most important to me is in the purity for being able to ingest them and use them internally ( the ones that you would be able to eat /ingest naturally as a plant). I have found that most essential oils out there use the perfume industry standard and synthetics which are highly toxic. I had ordered some organic Aura Acacia and then read the fine print that they are not for internal use. If I can’t ingest it then it is not worth my buying it…unless it is a plant by nature that is not meant for ingestion obviously. But just saying…you can eat a lemon so why would you want to put an essential lemon oil that is toxic to ingest on your body, in your home etc? I think it’s important to have oils that are rigorously tested and can be used medicinally without worrying about poisoning yourself or your family. Looking forward to seeing your next blog post on this.

    • doTERRA oils are safe enough to eat, apply and diffuse. They even say so on the bottle and you wont find purity like this in any other company.

      • Just a note – Native American Nutritionals oils are safe for ingesting as well. I appreciate that doTERRA states that about their oils, but again, I am very pleased that almost all of NAN’s oils are wild-crafted and/or organic and they have a direct relationship w/ the farmers, plus they do nothing to change their oils – heating, blending, or adding anything. In one case, with their Birch, they have one available to make it less photosensitive of an oil. Thanks for commenting.

      • Kerrie, you stated that you won’t find any purity like this in any other company in reference to being able to ingest the oils. I’m pretty sure all YL oils or ingestible… let’s be fair and balanced here.

        • I agree both companies (and Native American as well) state that you can ingest their oils. They are not ALL ingestible b/c some oils simply shouldn’t be ingested.

    • I think the recommendation to not use essential oils internally is because essential oils are quite potent. For example one drop of an Peppermint essential oil is the equivalent of 75 cups of the herbal tea of the same plant. No, a few cups of Peppermint tea a day wouldn’t hurt you but 75 cups a day or more multiple days in a row could hurt you. I have not read any books or any recommendations for taking essential oils internally except from the websites of YL and DT. Every book I have read or site I have been to cautions that unless you are a professional in the field and have insurance to cover any issues you should not take essential oils internally.

      • I have seen some other books stating it’s OK to use them internally but some people are more cautious than others. One thing to consider is stating that the “professionals” in the field are OK to state who can take them internally is setting them up for lawsuits since they aren’t medical professionals either.

  8. I personally use doTERRA and love the oils. My family all uses them for whatever they need it for as well as I make my own home remidies with them like chapstick, neosporin, deodorant.

  9. I love all the hard work and information you have provided. What I am wondering is, bottom line, who would you choose to go with? I am leaning towards doTerra because of the wonderful experience I have had with their peppermint beads. Obviously buying their Ylang Ylang and bug repellent is a no go. But over all which oils did you have a better experience with?

    • You’ll be finding out hopefully this next week :). I didn’t just want to share bottom line b/c then I sound like a commercial saying “buy this because…..” instead of sharing all the info. I hope that makes sense.

    • I used doTERRA’s bug repellent blend (TerraShield) extensively last summer on my family, as well as our animals, with great success. I guess the “proprietary” labeling doesn’t bother me a whole lot since that doesn’t necessarily mean they are putting a bunch of “bad” stuff in there. It just means that they are keeping some of the oils a secret so it can’t be copied. Kinda like your grandma’s “secret” cookie recipe.

      • I wasn’t sure what to make of it. Katie of Kitchen Stewardship was pretty upset as it could be an allergy issue. I hadn’t noticed it before. She apparently had horrible success w/ it. I am assuming it depends on the bugs you are facing. I think they could easily share “what” is in there w/o sharing how much but I understand. I am a real ingredient person so it bothers me. Having kids w/ life threatening allergies makes me more concerned about such things. If you read Katie’s post she had reader who had a serious allergy to Eucalyptus so it jumped out at her as being a problem. I get what you are saying to a point, but wouldn’t Gramma share the ingredients…just not the amounts? I am not sure. Thanks for sharing.

        • Just a note on the terra shield – I was troubled by the lack of disclosure as well – although I was looking so I could replicate using single oils :) they do say right on the product page that if you have allergies to certain oils you can call them and they will let you know whether one of those oils is in the mix. The also say its only oils and fractionated coconut oils, not any other additives. Thanks so much for this series of posts! I have just started with doterra after using oils all my life – this is great work!

          • I wasn’t insinuating that they were putting other things in the TS, but I think it’s odd to not have the oils listed right there. I’m actually really surprised that they did that. Must be something in there that they are concerned about other replicating, I guess.

  10. I have just in the past few months started using EOs. I too, did tons of research about different companies. I chose this one: http://www.beeyoutiful.com/hpaoeo Not sure if you have checked them out, but I felt comfortable with them. Worth a look if you haven’t already.

  11. Laura, do u mind sharing what other companies you’ve bought from that can be ingested?

    I, too, want to use an oil that is safe to ingest. I just started with Doterra a few mths ago. It’s hard to not continue ordering with them due to feeling safe that I can ingest them. The free frankincense and lemon oil for making a purchase this month seems too tempting to pass up and I’m starting to build up points so that I can get more free product… It’s so easy to get hooked with DoTerra.

    Adrienne, I’ll be interested to hear if you are going to order solely from this one company or do you think u might still order some favorites like Thieves oil from YL?

    Also, to clarify, if you’re saying that peppermint and Ylang Ylang are completely distilled they aren’t as strong/don’t have as many properties as some other/less $ oils? would be great to get an oil that is less $ and does more for us! i still struggle with finding oils that will help with certain ailments, like allergies. maybe it’s not the oils, but that DoTerra’s oils are weak?

    thx!

    • Yes, I am saying that they aren’t top quality. I’ll go back and clarify.

      • Adrienne,
        Are the peppermint and ylang ylang the only oils that are complete distillations? Or have you checked into the other varieties as well?

        • No, I haven’t. The peppermint and ylang ylang were the ones that jumped out as I was digging into their oils.

        • Hi again, Jill. I guess you may have read the other comments that now Robert Pappas is saying that he isn’t sure but suspects that the peppermint is redistilled. Just clarifying not just for you but for other readers who might be following along :).

  12. I commented about the Essential Oils Botanically and Biochemically Defined (E.O.B.B.D.) test in one (I think maybe the second) of your essential posts. You asked if I had documentation and so I wrote/emailed the European Food Safety Authority (EFSA) and then the Health & Consumers Directorate-General European Commission and neither have heard of the E.O.B.B.D. I’m not done with my inquiry as I have some others agencies to email. But thanks for making me go in search of the truth!! Sometimes we need a gentle challenge to stay sharp and not take everything we read at face value. Thanks for the work you’re doing with essential oils. I can’t wait for the next post, as I’m interested in what you’ve discovered.

  13. I am a registered aromatherapist through the Aromatherapy Registration Council. In order to take the 4 hour exam, you must have training through an approved educational institution, in my case, the American College of Healthcare Sciences in Portland, OR. Relying on information on the internet to steer you towards the best essential oil company is dicey. Essential oils are big business now and the marketing employed by essential oil companies are designed to get you to buy. “Pure” doesn’t mean anything in terms of defining a quality essential oil. I don’t buy from YL or DoTerra mainly because they are too expensive and they don’t have a good reputation within the aromatherapy community. I can buy a quality essential oil from Floracopeia or Mountain Rose Herbs and feel confident in my purchase. If you only remember one thing about purchasing essential oils it should be this: do not shop for essential oils by price alone. Some oils are simply too costly to produce and they are expensive for a reason (rose, neroli, melissa for instance.) For more discussion, I have found the Aromatherapy Group on LinkedIn has good information.

    • You are right about some oils just being extremely costly. I appreciate your comments.

    • Hello Caroline,
      Of all the posts I found yours the most helpful. :) I grew up in Europe and my mother and aunt always collected herbs and made their own teas, schnaps, lotions etc. etc. I am familiar with the use of essential oils. Fairly recently i discovered Young Living Oils and just yesterday I went to a presentation about doTerra oils. I am now trying to figure out from which company to buy. I have a dog rescue and I use the oils on my animals thus YL is attractive since they have a program for it. However, I have bought bulk spices and herbs from Mountain Rose and I am considering buying essential oils from them. I mainly use the straight oils such as lavender, peppermint, oregano. I am interested in becoming certified as I am thinking about incorporating essential oils into my “Nest Healing” business (nutrition, supplement behavior counseling for dogs). Unfortunatley from what I can tell, there is nothing offered in IN which is where I live. Any suggestions re credentials as herbalist, aromatherapist is appreciated. Thank you.

    • Valentina says:

      Most Aromatherapy training specifically teaches the British Module of Aromatherapy which is the practice and use of Adulterated Essential Oils which is why your teachings are to never ingest, nor use your Oils undiluted. I am trained in the French, British and German Module. French Module coming from the original teachings and uses of the French Aromatherapy Doctors of safe use of essential oils for internal use. I also was originally schooled in the British Module which the NAHA is a huge advocator of. These practices and teachings of Aromatherapy would not exit if Essential Oil companies would stop Adulterating their Essential Oils. Check out Energy Wellness Studios in Brampton, Ontario, CANADA owned by the CEO, Hon.Dr.Sabina DeVita. One of the only schools in North America that teaches the original teachings of Aromatherapy specifically called Aromatic Sciences. When it comes to Essential Oils, you buy cheap, you get garbage! You get what you pay for and that also includes with your Education. By the way, at the Institute of Energy Wellness Studies, they specifically ONLY teach with the Young Living Essential Oils and are completely oppose to the DoTerra Company due to their lack of honesty and integrity. The owners of DoTerra were the staff workers of Young Living Essential Oils and have been so underhanded and deceitful by STEALING all of their formulations and works from Young Living Essential Oils. Why would someone want to distribute and promote a company such as DoTerra that is based on theft, and deceit? Their Peppermint Oil has now been proven to contain adulterated chemicals that can seriously harm people in causing Paralysis! This information has now been legally documented to be true! Another lie and deceit coming from DoTerra that their Essential Oils are of Therapeutic Grade! Their claims of their Frankincense being of the highest quality. Another lie! DoTerra’s Frankincense is from the Boswellia Ferriani and inferer breed of Frankincense that is not considered to be Medicinal. Young Living’s Frankincense is derived from the Boswellia Carterri and Boswellia Sacra (which Young Living has exclusivity). Young Living grows ALL of their own Plants and does ALL of their own distillations. Do Terra does not!!!! D.Gary Young the CEO, of Young Living Essential Oils created the first SWAN Neck distilleries. He was the first North American Citizen that the French Aromatherapy Doctors trusted and was taught true French Aromatherapy. Everything that the owners of DoTerra learned was from D.Gary Young and his Young Living Essential Oil Company! D.Gary Young is a man of great belief in God and a man of the highest integrity and this has always been brought forth in his teachings and practices TRUE French Aromatic Sciences. D.Gary Young is a man that I believe has been touched by God’s Consciousness in proving the truth and is a complete genius as far as I am concerned. He was the creator of the Raindrop Technique incorporating the VitaFlex Technique that was inspired by an Elder of the Lakota Indians. He wrote many books regarding Aromatic Sciences including the Essential Oil Desk Reference. Him and his team of Doctors founded AIRASE (www.airase.org), which is a Non-Profit Organization devoted to provide valid research of Therapeutic Grade Essential Oils to provide the REAL TRUTH regarding Aromatic Sciences. In actual fact, it was D.Gary Young that was the original person that coined the term ‘Therapeutic Grade’. D.Gary Young and his Young Living Company is in the process of sueing DoTerra and I hope they kick their asses for all of their lies and deceit and for stealing ALL of Young Living’s work when they were employee’s of Young Living Essential Oils. They signed LEGAL documents when they worked for Young Living Essential Oils to never disclose nor STEAL any of the Young Living’s Companies Trade Secrets. I am praying that justice and the REAL TRUTH regarding the true colours of the DoTerra Owners to finally be disclosed and that Young Living sues them for the thievery of ALL of D.Gary Young’s work and years of training. Remember, the French Doctors trusted ONLY D.Gary Young, which is extremely rare being an American Citizen as they are familiar as to how Americans can bastarized the integrity of a teaching and natural Aromatic Science that came from God’s Consciousness. And that is exactly what the French Aromatherapy Doctors tried to avoid (as we all know that the French and English do not see things eye to eye). The British bastarized Aromatherapy by Adulterating their Essential Oils and now the American Company DoTerra has done the exact same thing by stealing the works of D.Gary Young who was the ONLY exclusive one that had the honour to be taught by the French Aromatherapy Doctors with the teachings of best true Therapeutic Quality (Stainless Steel Swan Neck Piping) Distillations. People need to wake up and get really educated in regards to what is truly going on! Shame on the owners of DoTerra! They are thieves and liers and the day will come when they will be completely revealed as to who they truly are! The truth will ALWAYS prevail! Young Living Essential Oils! I hope you sue them for every penny that they have because it truly belongs to the Young Living Company for they are profiting on all of D.Gary Youngs work and education. Just for this fact only is why you should NEVER be a distributor of DoTerra nor promote their questionable Therapeutic Grade Essential Oils!

      Take care of yourself and the one’s that you love!

      • Hello there. Thanks for commenting. Just a note, from all I have been learning, the “French vs. English” schools of oil use is something made up by the MLMs in the oils industry. I have only heard YL and DT reps talking about this.

        Also, I am very curious as to where this law suit will end up but the jury is still out.

        And please, I would appreciate it if you would refrain from placing self-promoting links in comments. I had to delete them all. I really enjoy having conversations, but this is not a place to gain links to your site and get traffic. I hope you understand. Thanks again.

      • This is all MLM spin and blatantly false information. Anyone reading this nonsense needs to step back and either contact NAHA or seek out reliable information from established aromatherapists. Robert Tisserand is a great resource and has his own website. He addresses many of these fallacies. Has some great things about the truth behind the idea of the “French, German, and English” methods (and it’s not what the MLMs promote).

        We always hear from YL and DT that everyone else is adulterating their oils. I never see any proof of this. As a matter of fact, a lot of the companies they blame for having low quality oils are glad to chalk up the paperwork to show you how the quality of their oils fared. But YL and DT like to also talk about how those methods…..the accepted standards worldwide in judging oil quality…..are not good enough.

        Please do your own research, contact a registered aromatherapist or NAHA if you have questions, and don’t listen to an MLM rep who has had nothing more than marketing training about how to safely use your oils!

        • Hi April Thanks for commenting. I do think that many companies ARE adulterating, but that depends on your definition. From what I wrote about DT, they are adulterating as well….redistilling or heating or vacuuming.

          I also think that there are those in the industry who differ w/ Tisserand on a few things and are still sharp. And I agree w/ you on his thoughts about the different methods of EO usage.

          I don’t think one needs to be a registered aromatherapist to have something intelligent to say about oils. Just like I don’t need to be an MD to have something intelligent to say about medical issues. Many an MD has wrecked many people and though I can’t give medical advice, the things natural moms like myself have shared have spared many people of many issues. I think it’s all in learning and growing and being your own advocate. And being smart about what you learn and what you listen to–and being willing to admit when you are wrong.

          It’s like this….the guy at the bottom of his class in med school is still called “doctor”. Just b/c you got a degree doesn’t necessarily mean you are right about everything.

          I hope that makes sense. I am getting a little frustrated about certs and degrees being the end all and be all. I will lean on officials when I have to and when I trust them, but the FDA and the AAP (american assoc of physicians) and the like have their agendas too. Thanks and hope to hear from you again!

          • Adrienne, I apologize. I had commented in response to Valentina. It posted in the wrong area. That was not in reference to your comment.

            I agree with you that people don’t have to meet certain credentials and that credentials don’t mean everything. But, that being said, a lot of the MLM hype is in blatant disregard of the safety information surrounding EOs. Self treatment is fine (and I can’t stand organizations like the AAP or FDA), but self treatment with knowledge. A lot of people have been hurt by misinformation with EO use, particularly through the methods recommended by consultants. Tisserand in particular has been very supportive of a person’s right to self treat. Responsibility is encouraged though.

            A lot of the MLM information is unfounded, esp. in the excessive consumption of oils. Example: People sometimes smoke hardcore for 65 years but don’t get cancer until they’re in their 90s. We don’t know the long term effects of excessive essential oil consumption. People always argue that they’ve done it for years and are fine. But the results can come way down the line. People have suffered organ failure and such from consumption. There is research discussing how EOs build up in the body when consumed.

            These are things ignored in large by MLM companies and consultants. The majority of the info spread around is very much misplaced.

            • No worries. I just want to make sure that folks don’t think that just b/c Pappas or Tisserand say it that that doesn’t mean it is the only viewpoint and is for sure correct. Tisserand has a lot of very bad chemicals in his products on his site which I find very disconcerting and Pappas’ treatment of me was reprehensible. I still assert that his comment about vomit is not true. I have never heard back from him on it. My husband has a PhD and he can be wrong about things as well. We need to be humble when appropriate and not follow anyone blindly, you know? Thanks!

    • Leonie Cent says:

      Thank you Caroline, for your intelligent and well thought out post. It was great to hear from someone who actually has credentials, and who is able to put the whole debate on EOs into perspective. Makes all the other posts seem irrelevant . All the best….

      • Hi again Leonie. Just because someone has credentials doesn’t mean that their comments are more relevant than others. I am putting together a post about stevia that blows “PhD’s research” out of the water. My husband is a PhD and believe me, there are plenty of folks w/ plenty of credentials that are totally wrong on issues. I do appreciate your comments, but it’s important that we pay attention to facts and not just what letters or courses are behind someone’s name. Thanks :).

  14. Thanks so much for this series. I cannot wait to hear which came out on top. Have a great weekend!

  15. According to Dr Robert Pappas, who tests essential oils for multiple companies, the first distillation isn’t always the best quality. doTERRA choses complete distillations based on components that are present in the final product, verses a first distillation that doesn’t have all the beneficial components. doTERRA was very much up front with all of this information, not trying to hide anything or present themselves as something other than what they claim. Adrienne was given this information when she was researching this within the doTERRA company, so that should have been presented. I know this because I saw her exchanges on the everythingdoterra google group.

    doTERRA and others companies of oils have been tested by a Dr at University of Colorado in Boulder and she has consistently found the doTERRA essential oils to have higher concentrations of chemical compounds, particularly the OnGuard. So, the doTERRA oils are not weaker or lesser as implied by this article.

    The information presented has been very disappointing. I keep waiting for some real scientific information to be presented, but it just looks like someone without any scientific or industry expertise slandering companies. The article began with, “To clarify, what I’m after here is the Best Essential Oils Company for the money.” Which is a fair statement, yet not validated with the attack the proceeds to come on companies deemed no longer good enough by this blogger. Even the marks against YL are provided and then retracted as though you had to find something negative to prove, yet couldn’t really find anything valid enough. However, once the negative information is presented, like any rumor, it is difficult to retract even if listed right after the negative. If you truly wanted to simply present a decent essential oil company that you felt was a good bargain, you should do that. Don’t malign other decent companies with half truths and information that is inaccurate. Sadly, you have now already cast stones at companies and even Moms who try to make a little money for their own families, promoting “natural healing” for their own family and others.

    • Dr. Pappas has his opinions and clearly he has been in the industry longer than I have :-). I still think that the majority of opinion in the oils marketplace is that this is not true. If you look across the board the third and complete distills command less money than the first so it seems strange to me that peppermint isn’t presented as such. Yes, they were up front about the ylang ylang, but believe me, I had to work pretty hard to get the email quote that I put in my post.

      I did work on getting to the bottom of the peppermint issue for a long time and it was really tough to come to the conclusions that I did. However, I read numerous articles about the issue and others I know looked into it as well.

      I didn’t retract anything about YL. I think it is important to not just take what one person says (Barrett) and take it as being “gospel truth”. He has his own biases and so do we all. However, I do think that the information on Gary Young is disconcerting.

      I was not presenting rumors. That information about YL is all over the internet. I knew about it well before I signed up with YL just like thousands of other folks did.

      If you think that there is something untrue then I would appreciate your telling me what it is. I felt it was important to bring these things out in the open and talk about them showing some more details that most do not. Most people just write nasty things about Mr. Young but don’t talk about Mr. Barrett and his biases–nor do they bring up how just a large OSHA violation might be a concern or might not.

      Believe me – I have received other information from several sources about numerous companies that I have chosen not to print because it would be too laborious and some of it I chose not to put in print because I couldn’t verify it.

      I hope that helps. Are you, by chance, a YL rep? I was— and had to think about these things. We all need to be willing to look at the facts and make up our minds about what to do about then.

      Thanks for reading and I would love to hear your thoughts about my response.

    • Hi Adele. I wanted to add one more thing. I think it wrong to say that my careful analysis is “maligning.” Any criticism of any company (product or otherwise) can, of course, hurt someone’s business. Mr. Young has hurt doTERRA’s reputation in the marketplace with his lawsuit and doTERRA has hurt Mr. Young with their statements by their founder as to why he left Young Living.

      I have honestly invested hours and hours into this research as well as hundreds of dollars (perhaps thousands). I am for sure not an expert in oils but I have spoken with some.

      I read your comment quickly the first time around and missed that you read my comments in the google group. Yes, I could have written why Mr. Pappas thought the complete distill is better. And maybe I will add that to the post. But I am sure you can understand that this has been a ton of information to “distill” down to where folks will read my posts and not be overwhelmed.

      From what I can tell from all of the interest in this subject this topic will go on for awhile. I will do what I can to address concerns and I am sure it is going to be fascinating for many people.

      I represent many companies as an affiliate and when I share about them there are readers who disagree with me. That is their right. As long as they do so with respect, they are welcome to share their viewpoints here. However, I may or may not change my mind. After doing all this research, I thought I should share what I learned w/ my readers about doTERRA’s distilling practices.

      One more thing I should add — and maybe I will put this in my next post — is that folks within doTERRA were not all up front about the peppermint. Maybe it was ignorance, but I initially had people telling me that the reason that the peppermint smelled so sweet was b/c it was from WA state. One of the founders is on video stating that. Clearly that is not the reason. Maybe it was an oversight but it seems strange to me that a founder of a large oil company would think that that is the reason that their oil smells that way and that it would take so long for me to find out the real reason.

      I hope that helps.

      • Christina says:

        Have you asked all other companies, including YL, if their Peppermint is first distillation? You might be surprised. I have heard from a lab and EO distribution center that if you distill Peppermint only once it is nothing like the Peppermints that you think of and actually smells bad and undesirable. I wouldn’t be surprised if all companies Peppermint is distilled more than once. Also, I have heard that tests have proved that DoTerra adds Vanillin to their Peppermint to make it smell that sweet.

        Just some thoughts…

        • Which lab and which EO distribution center, may I ask? I did ask a bunch of companies – and according to Mr. Pappas I don’t know what I am talking about b/c no one talks about distilling that way. Native American ages their 1st distill peppermint so the “more herby” smell dissipates. I hope that help. I did hear that about doTERRA. Not thrilled about it. And apparently Heritage oils has the same thing going on.

  16. Young Living Frankincense is sourced from Oman, YL are the only distillation facility in Oman.
    Is this not true? They say they are the only one who can do this Frankincense. Is this the truth? How do we know what oil company is telling the truth?

    • The Frankincense story is very muddled and I have been receiving emails about it even this week. I can’t pretend to be on top of it but hopefully someone will be available on my blog to my readers to make sense of it. The main issue appears to be the discussion about Boswellian something…I am now forgetting what the issue was… but doTERRA says that that isn’t in the oil. Right now I am swamped w/ personal and blog issues (this post mainly) and so I would love it if you could remind me of the issue. Thanks!

  17. here are some other places that YL has, is this not true? these are out of the US. This is on Gary Youngs Web site. Im so confused and some of the things you are saying and other stuff I am reading.

    Simiane-la-Rotonde, France

    Known for its rolling hills and farms of fragrant lavender, the region of Provence, France, is home to the only American-owned lavender farm in the country. This farm produces lavender, lavandin, rosemary, and clary sage.

    Guayaquil, Ecuador

    Since 2005, Young Living has used the Ecuador farm to harvest and distill eucalyptus blue, dorado azul, zaragosa, lemongrass, rosa morta, oregano, ylang ylang, basil, and many more. The Ecuador farm’s state-of-the-art distillery is the largest in South America.

    Salalah, Oman

    In 2010, Gary acquired farm acreage in Oman for cultivating Boswellia sacra. Now, for the first time in centuries, this precious oil is being distilled in Oman, and Young Living is the first and only company in the world to obtain permission to export it to the Western world.

  18. More on so called therapeutic essential oils
    http://www.aromaweb.com/articles/therapeuticgradeessentialoils.asp
    Hope that helps :)

  19. Ardena Newton says:

    Thank You for all the research you are doing. Can’t wait to see the outcome. Do you know anything about NOW essential oils? Like their other products and wondering your thoughts on their essential oils? Prices are very good on their essential oils.

  20. Have you researched Be Young EO’s?

  21. Thanks for taking the time to do such great research. I love getting opinions and outside information! For me personally, I let the oils do the talking. By that I mean, is it effective? Did it help my body heal? Did it cause an unusual reaction? Was the oil malodorous or offensive?

    To me, distillation is certainly very important but being a consultant for doTerra as well as a user (for well over a year before becoming a consultant), I do believe whole-heartily that doTerra does have some of, if not THE highest quality oils available to the public.

    Fact is, you can google any oil company name and find pros and cons, but until you experience your own tiny miracle, you’ll always be left wondering which is the right company for you and your family.

    • I do think experience is key–in some ways. There are lots of not-so-good-for-you things that still work, so we need to be careful just looking to efficacy alone to see if a product is worthy of our support. The same is true about reactions and odors. Thanks!

  22. Hi Again! I guess my main concern was hearing that some EO’s should not be ingested since they are “not food grade”. One company I read about said this was ridiculous… but the other ones say it is important. I know YL and DT are expensive and MLM and I wish that was not so… but how do we as Mothers discern which are acceptable to ingest? I appreciate your hard work here and I am sure you have covered this but I have a house full of very busy people and I have to still read back over everything to get the answer! Anyway, thank you so much for your help!! Oh– we tried your Oatmeal Cake recipe this am (soaked it for 24 hrs) and it was a HUGE HIT with all the kiddos! THANK YOU!!! God BLess!

    • I think more will be understood about internal uses in the next post. And maybe going forward as well. Hang in there! So glad you liked the cake! I had someone tell me this week it wasn’t a hit in their home :(.

    • I’m also very confused about which ones you can use NEAT and internally. Can’t wait for the next post!

  23. Before getting into my thoughts I would love to know who/what your source was behind this quote, “The most coveted, and most expensive (and thought to be the most therapeutic) oil is that which is collected during the first part of the distillation period. The resulting oil is called “first distilled.””

    Your other sources, in my opinion, are not reliable as they are soap and toiletry companies and do not specialize in essential oils.

    I’ve had a lot of contact with doTERRA reps and interaction with the company and have never heard one of them say that “You’ll know it works by its smell.” They may say that you can smell a difference from doTERRA and other EO companies but not that it “works” based on the smell. It works based on the results.

    For example, you know it works when a young Mom applies doTERRA’s oils on her daughter who is seconds away from being rushed to the emergency room because she can’t breath due to a severe case of Croup…and the oils not only help her breathe, but calm her daughter, and save the parents a load of money. They work when a baby smacks his eyelid on a sharp object and you stop the bleeding, swelling, and bruising with doTERRA’s Lavender & Helichrysum. Or as you stated yourself you know they work when the peppermint and lemongrass work to heal a groin injury that YL’s oils weren’t able to heal.

    The things you point out about why doTERRA isn’t the best seems trivial. You yourself said that the peppermint worked and then the next thing you say is that you question the therapeutic effect. That doesn’t quite fit together for me.

    On the bottle of peppermint it states that it is extracted from the leaf and flower tops. Most companies extract from the full plant. That is why doTERRA’s peppermint smells different. Which some people would claim that no company would go to those lenghts to only use the flowers and leaves. To that I would say “Just because you won’t doesn’t mean doTERRA doesn’t.”

    There is a reason that they have grown to be the largest essential oil company in the world in the four and half years that they have been in business – because you get results. They are also the only company that has been approved by the Taiwanese government as an essential oil that can be taken internally. Pretty sure that says more than what a toiletry company claims.

    To address your concern about TerraShield, from my information they are trying to get this blend patented…which would make sense as to why they aren’t releasing all the ingredients. It does state on the label that the ingredients are pure fractionated coconut oil, and a proprietary blend of 15 therapeutic-grade essential oils. It states that it does not contain artificial ingredients, fragrances, or chemicals such as DEET. It carries the CPTG label which means it has gone through the same rigorous process of all of their other oils.

    It isn’t that doTERRA isn’t the best company. At one point in your reviews you stated that, “At some point, I needed to be OK with a super good, reasonably priced company and call it a day.” It sounds like you have found the balance you were looking for. In that light…doTERRA isn’t the best company for you. That doesn’t mean that they aren’t the best though.

    While I understand and respect people’s choices to choose what they feel is best for their families, I also feel like more concrete proof behind your words is needed.

    • Christy,

      Sorry it has taken me awhile to respond to your comment. As you can see, things have gotten a little “tense” regarding this posting and I have had other things to attend to. Also, your comment is a little accusatory, and that kind takes me a little longer to deal with. Basically, I honestly need to think about whether and how I will respond. Often bloggers just delete comments like this, but in this case (and usually), I like to respond so that things are all out in the open and my readers can see what kind of things I have to deal with, who is saying them, and how I handle them. Also, I have a lot of things going on besides this blog, which you can see by perusing my other posts. I for sure don’t earn a full time income, which doesn’t mean I don’t care–but this is not a full-time job. And I am sure you can understand that this issue has been taking a lot more time than my regular posts. So–here goes.

      1. Regarding the sources that consider 1st distillation oils as being the most coveted, they are not just bath and soap companies. You can read this article about ylang ylang, put out by Aura Cacia to see what I am talking about. Simply the difference in pricing between 1st, 2nd, and 3rd distills are enough to show that the 1st distill oils are the most coveted. And it also makes common sense. The more potent oils come out first (in my understanding), and so they are the most desired. Now, of course, we all know that I am not an expert, but this is what I have learned. In fact, Aura Cacia is, I believe, the first place where I read about these different gradations of oils. The reason I sourced the other site in my post was so I wouldn’t confuse my readers by citing an EO company that was “in the mix” of companies I was evaluating.

      2. You mention the doTERRA reps not saying that doTERRA is great b/c it smells “different” or “great.” You say that they just say doTERRA oils are great b/c they work. This may be just a semantic issue, but in either case, the reps are wrong. When looking at essential oils, like I said in my first post, we are looking for purity AND efficacy. An oil could be pure and still not work. Likewise, it could work and not be pure. Both are important. This is not an either/or–it is a both/and necessity.

      And I heard plenty of times, in different venues, reps say that you could tell doTERRA oils were special because of their smell. Perhaps we have had different experiences, but that doesn’t make mine wrong. I can possibly even dig up the evidence if need be.

      I completely understand and appreciate your citing moms seeing doTERRA’s oils working. But again, that is not the only issue at stake here. I am looking for pure, efficacious, and unadulterated oils. And other thing, like I mentioned in my earlier posts. Pharmaceuticals work, but most of us don’t wish to use them because of their side effects.

      3. As I mentioned in my reply to Sherrie Wortel, yes, the doTERRA oils worked on my leg and I was thrilled. I started trying to recruit folks to work with doTERRA oils and I was promoting them on my blog. But then more things came up and I kept feeling unrest and kept asking questions. When my questions didn’t appear to be answered in a way that made sense, that disturbed me. However, I wasn’t willing to give up on doTERRA completely. I have emails to prove this as well.

      But again, I don’t believe I had ever used peppermint on my groin injury so it could just be that the peppermint helped b/c it was just that–peppermint. I am not–please hear me on this–I am not saying that doTERRA’s peppermint is rotten or lousy or doesn’t work. Or that it doesn’t smell good. I am just saying that I am not comfortable with the answers I have heard and am hearing about why it smells the way it does and what that means for the integrity of the oil.

      4. I don’t think that my pointing out that doTERRA might not be best is trivial. For most families, doTERRA’s prices, even at the distributor level, are out of reach. Or at least a stretch. Times are tight and families need to do their best to make sure that they aren’t wasting money unnecessarily. Why do you think this is trivial?

      5. Your statement about the leaves and flowers of peppermint being the reason why doTERRA’s peppermint smells different is one thing that I am not sure about. Emily Wright said it smells that way because it is from Washington. Dr. Hill said it’s because it is made from just the leaves, but now that video is missing from the internet. Support at doTERRA (Dr. Hill’s assistant, I believe) seems to be saying that it is b/c it is a complete distill. Dr. Pappas seems to be saying it’s b/c it has had noxious smells vacuumed off of it. I think I am getting all of these details straight…but the point is, I am hearing different stories from those who are “in the know” at doTERRA (and outside, in the case of Mr. Pappas) and that really is disconcerting.

      The fact that you mentioned that the label says it consists of the leaves and flowers doesn’t really mean anything to me, because labeling laws are very weak. You can, for instance, buy a bottle of “100% pure” vanilla extract that has sugar and water and alcohol in it, but it is still labeled 100% pure. From what I have learned about EO labeling, this information may or may not be dependable.

      6. Regarding Terra Shield, I agree w/ Katie of Kitchen Stewardship. And she has a lot more followers than I do. Ingredients are crucial to people with sensitivities and health issues and they should be disclosed. I would never have bought it if I knew that the ingredients weren’t there.

      I hope this helps you see where I am coming from. I never meant to end up here. I never thought I would be writing this post. 2 years ago I never would have thought that I would be using essential oils. Or dealing with people’s accusations against my character regarding how I am evaluating these companies.

      But things are different now. I am still open to more information and I might be wrong. But I will humbly state the truth and share what I have learned. If you think otherwise, please let me know, but in the future, I would appreciate a little more of a congenial presentation of your views.

      • No offense was intended and I’m sorry that you felt that your character was being attacked, by no means was that my intention. I know that you have put in a lot of time trying to uncover what you feel is the most affordable essential oil product for your family and others that are seeking your guidance.

        As you have probably found during your research, there is a lot of misinformation on essential oils. Since I had several of my consultants and prospects contacting me about this article I wanted to make sure that all the information that was given was from reliable sources.

        One last thought I wanted to leave was that your article doesn’t talk about the cost of the products and I just wanted to make clear that I don’t think that people’s financial struggles are trivial. I understand that many families are struggling to make ends meet in this economy. I try to help families everyday figure out ways to get these amazing oils in their homes, as they are a blessing.

        I’m glad that you have found a company you feel comfortable with and I wish you the best. :)

        • Hello Christy,

          Thanks for responding. I have been very concerned about the tone of the comments that I have read about my posting this—both here and in other places. I have spent tons of money and time on this and am only trying to share what I have learned.

          One thing that I have been reading is that people think that I have alterior motives–like trying to tear down MLM companies, or trying to “make a buck”. I am a blogger and it has become a job and there is nothing wrong with my getting paid for it. I will address these issue in a future post.

          Anyway, regarding cost, I do plan on talking about cost in the future postings, though I did discuss that a little bit already (in Part One of the series I talked about pricing needing to be something that we consider).

          Thanks again.

      • Kathryn says:

        Regarding point 5, couldn’t all those factors be true and combine to explain why doTERRA peppermint is the best? Perhaps they all say something different because that is the detail that excites them. Not because it’s wrong or anyone else was wrong. I understand that the different reasons for the peppermint smell left you unsatisfied, but that doesn’t mean that anyone has lied to you, right?

        I’m also wondering if you have scientific evidence about the difference between 1st distill and complete distill (forgetting 2nd, 3rd, etc for the moment). You’ve mentioned your preference and an unsupported general industry supported preference for first distill, but is this the case for every plant? I would assume different methods might be appropriate for different oils. Honestly, the chemical constituents are the important piece of information. The distillation method chosen by a given company probably is the best to yield the desiredchemical constituents. Again speaking only of first distill verses complete distill. If different companies value different chemical constituents that doesn’t make one better or worse, as long as the oil is pure and does what they claim. I’m curious about this and would love to know if you have sources about this.

        • Hi Kathryn, I never said anyone lied to me. I just found it very odd that so many higher ups in a company wouldn’t know what is going on w/ their peppermint when it clearly is their “signature oil” from how much they talk about it.

          I guess it’s possible it’s what excites them, but believe me, I pressed and pressed for this info with headquarters and with reps. It was a ton of work and I have all the emails to show for it. But not the phone conversations, of course. I didn’t record them. Anyway, what I am saying is that on top of that, Pappas says it’s likely redistilled and Mr. Dean says something different about peppermint and I haven’t found anything false or apparently misleading in what he has said.

          What kind of scientific evidence are you looking for? I have nothing but I can talk w/ Mr. Dean and get a response from him. It could be merely a therapeutic expectation or experience more than something that can be shown scientifically.

          It might be that a company chooses something to get what they think is important, but it could also be that they are doing what they do to save money. Or both. I think it’s important to think about all the angles and I really didn’t like the answers I got from Pappas about vomit and the peppermint. I never heard back from him but I really think he was wrong about his logic on that.

          Thanks!

      • Leonie Cent says:

        What I was thinking was that everyone has a different style of communicating, and so, just because some folks get straight to the point by airing their views in a clinical fashion which could easily be misinterpreted as anything from rudeness to incongeniality doesn’t necessarily mean that they are actually, either of those things. I have recently been introduced to the concept that we are free to interpret or perceive the actions of others, in any way we choose, and it got me thinking that it could seem logical and possibly even divine, to allow folks their quirks and nuances of personality, by forgiving them before reacting to them. And depending on one’s viewpoint of course, it could even be a way of displaying congeniality. Well, I could be on the wrong track here, but thanks for listening… And all the best!
        :-)

  24. I too love all your research. I have been a Young Living user for about 7 years and although I love them, they are costly. I do find the energy (they talk about the frequency) is ood. There is something about them that feel different. I have tried liking others but go back to YL, until I found Floracopeia. I love what David Crow stand for and the studies he has done. He is the real deal and I am slowly incorporating his oils. Although I may not give up YL altogether, I will mostly begin to use Floracopeia. When the time is right would love to take his Aromatherapy training in CA. Anyways, check him out and he also has an affiloiate site http://www.medicinecrow.com. I am partial due to being a Yoga teacher and Ayurvedic practitioner but many are loving his oils. Enjoy!!

  25. I’m so happy I found your blog. I’ve been TRYING to research essential oils the past few months and it’s SOO messy. The information just doesn’t seem accurate, there’s so many ‘claims’. It kills me. I just want to know the best to buy for the price. I don’t want to get tricked. I can’t wait for your final decision!

    There is something about untruthful claims that just gets me. I worked for an MLM for 9 years, so I know the marketing/product development methods they use. Not all bad of course, but can be misleading. Just like CPTG of DoTerra. The fact that they created that name themselves just irks me a little. Not saying they may not be the best-they could be. I just don’t like being mislead. Anyway, thanks again for your work!

  26. Also, have you looked into Truessence-Forever Green? My mother in law and sister in law have tried quite a few different oils and this is the one they landed on. I’m curious about what you think of them as well!

  27. Hi Adrienne,

    Thanks as always for all your digging! I’m still trying to sort out where to buy my next oils, and am definitely leaning toward your recommendations. But I am also curious to maybe buy some of my favorite oils from a few different brands to do my own little experiential smell test – things like peppermint, lavender, eucalyptus (that’s the one I’m officially out of and need… might take some of your stash if you have eucalyptus in that mix?).

    I went to a friend’s house this evening, who had just gotten some DT oils, and they all had this similar “sweet” under (or over?) tone smell to them, IMO. It was strange. Made me wonder why they would all smell similar in that way – even very different oils like peppermint and lavender? Was I smelling the plastic label on the bottles, or are they mixing them in all in one similar base to dilute them, or…? I don’t know. Just seemed odd. Though some of the blends didn’t smell like that and smelled quite lovely. I also notice their literature says “Certified Pure Theraputic Grade” and wondered “certified by whom and what is the exact standard?” Who does the certifying in the EO world? Is there one, internationally recognized standard, or is it like in the “organic personal care and cosmetic world” where there are a dozen or more different manufacturer-created standards vying to become “the” organic standard while all being far less strict than the food standards? I noticed that my friend’s MR oils had the USDA seal, but did you say something about them not being able to be used internally, or am I not remembering that correctly?

    The only oils I’ve ever had are from Narelle (so sad she doesn’t offer them anymore) and a handful I had gotten years ago – before I knew to dig like crazy into claims – at Whole Foods from some brand called Nature’s Alchemy. They say “100% Pure ____ Essential Oil” on the label but that type of claim always makes me wonder… Do they mean the contents of the bottle are 100% only that oil, or does the 100% refer to the nebulous word “pure” while the oils could be cut with some other oil(s)?

    Anyway! Phew! So many questions! I might have missed your part 3 post, so if I’m asking questions you already answered, please forgive me – I’m going to go back and read that now! Hugs! :)

    • Hi Lacey! Go ahead and smell if you like – have fun! I am going to write up a list of what I have from YL and DT and put it on my store page. At present I don’t think I have a bottle of Euc but I have a 2/3 (about) bottle. Those I can offer as well – discounted, of course. I don’t have peppermint or lavender, but I do have YL in all 3 I think.

      I felt the same way about DT’s oils – that sweet undertone. You are hitting on it.

      We will be touching on the CPTG. It is certified by doTERRA. No one else. They came up w/ a name for the testing that they do. There is no one source doing the testing. YL certifies their own and DT does their own. There is one other EOBBD certification that I hope to touch on as well. There are just certificates of testing that oils companies can produce if they need to, but then again….one needs to trust the company b/c they could get certificates for one batch and say it is for another :-(.

      MRH has a seal on it now? I talked w/ them and they said not to use their oils internally b/c they weren’t produced in a food grade facility. Other commenters said differently so I don’t know what to think.

      I will say, sadly, that I am not thrilled w/ their oils’ smells, but I didn’t test a ton.

      I don’t recall if I checked NA, but I don’t think so. Like I said to another reader – there is no oils company I have found yet admitting that they adulterate (add chemicals / fillers to…heat to change the fragrance, etc.). But I did just find a company that said that they mix different oils together to get a consistent fragrance. Which, by some in the EO community is considered to be adulterating. I need to learn more about that, but it seems to be so to me.

      I heard that the 100% pure doesn’t have to refer to everything in the bottle – just to the oil itself. But I don’t have that in print. I did find some documentation by CODEX that appeared to verify that but not all that I wanted.

      LMK if you have more questions!

  28. Thank you for all you do. I love your work. I have used young living oils. The thieves oil caused my neck and upper back to break out in a terrible rash. It still has not completely cleared up.
    I’m wondering if you know why it would do this. I tried it later on the inside of my arm to be sure and it did it there as well. Any suggestions would be helpful.

    • I don’t know. Detox? I think we’ll have time for Q&A later or maybe someone can chime in here? If you have more issues please email me.

    • Roxanne your probably having a detox reaction. That means your body is pushing something out that the oils found. this can be uncomfortable but keep in mind your body heals itself, the oils are going to support that. Drink lots of water and dilute next time until you are done expelling the toxins.
      For the record I love doterra and use them exclusively, but YL is a fantastic company that has helped thousands of people and deserves high respect.

  29. “I read a little about what she says in her blog but I’m not up to date on recent blog entries. I’ve talked to people a little about the whole first distill issue. What I remember from convention is that each plant has a specific way of being distilled that is best for that plant. So there’s a lot of confusion because there’s an assumption that every plant will produce the best product if it is done the same way as another plant. Each plant must be considered individually.”
    This comment was taken from a doterra user, thought it was interesting and you might want to look into that, as there are questions about the oils not being as potent if it isn`t 1st distill.

  30. and I just read some previous comments and saw that you have looked into the distilling issue, so never mind my previous comment!

  31. I am always looking for organic products, and wonder if you have researched any organic essential oils? I bought an organic peppermint oil at a health food store, brand name, Simplers. I used Young Living Peppermint for years, but ran out and tried this one. It seems to work the same as Young Living, but I know nothing about the company. Do you think that organic oils might be better for us overall, since the oil is so concentrated?

    Thanks for all your research! I look forward to your conclusion.
    Suzanne

  32. I am officially addicted to this site. I stay up late every nighafter putting children down, just to browse and read the blog. Always something new to cook or learn. I admire the selflessness of Adrienne and feel like my children waiting for Santa. I cant wait for part 5. Adrienne, You Rock!!!!!!

  33. doTERRA’s peppermint is from Washington state and only distilled from the leaves and flower tops as stated in the video that Adrienne mentions above but ommitted that bit of information. It is listed on every bottle of doTERRA’s peppermint as well. Most companies distill the complete plant yielding a much herbier aroma. And she admits that the lemongrass and peppermint healed her long standing groin issue in her previous essential oil post that was not healed by a previous brand. Maybe there is something special about complete distillations.

    • Hi Sherrie, I am open to looking at this issue again and just did more searching on the internet. There are numerous sites stating that peppermint is distilled from the leaves and flowers only. Others state that you use the whole plant. I am looking into this again, but nowhere does it state that the “candy cane smell” is a result of distilling just the leaves and flowers. Everywhere I look I find that that is the result of a complete distill or a redistill. It is true that my groin issue was helped greatly by doTERRA’s lemongrass and peppermint, but I hadn’t tried those oils on it before to my recollection. Actually, I just looked back at my emails to you about my injury and it said I had tried Palo Santo, Deep Blue (doTERRA) and Wintergreen (YL) and possibly come of YL’s peppermint. The Palo Santo did the most good.

      I know that this is a tough issue and you know that I, and one other rep, looked into this for a long time. Just because something is hard to understand doesn’t mean something isn’t right, but I did find it disconcerting that a founder of the company would say that the peppermint being from Washington state would yield that clean smell. I just reviewed the video of Emily Wright from doTERRA and at the beginning of it she states “the reason we chose the peppermint from the state of Washington is because of the high menthol content…that’s why that peppermint is so sweet when you put it in your mouth. Where peppermint sourced from other areas might be a little bit bitter.” I would be interested in hearing your thoughts about this. I personally have sampled other peppermint oils from Washington state and they have the distinct herby peppermint smell–just like peppermint growing in one’s back yard. It seems obvious to me that the peppermint being from Washington, nor the fact that it is distilled just from the leaves and flowers, has nothing to do with it. It seems that it is the complete distilling that is the difference.

      However, as always, I am open to admitting that I am wrong. Thanks.

      • I am confused by this candy cane smell – I guess I haven’t used many other brands of peppermint, but when I tried doterra peppermint I was surprised that it smells exactly like the peppermint I grow in my garden. It doesn’t smell sweet at all. Could they have changed something in the last 8 months?

  34. I’m sure you have tried all the essential oil companies, but wanted to mention Be Young. I have been using the oils from this company for 3 years and with very good results. They have helped me get off prednisone for rheumatoid arthritis, and healed my daughter of a MRSA infection that nothing else helped. They have other oils that we use for colds and flu too. I couldn’t be happier.

  35. Adrienne, go to the APPLE on the upper left of your screen, click on it, then choose shut down twice:-)
    Or (on a PC) hold the Windows key down and press “I” on the keyboard. Then shut down quick and efficiently.

    Just kidding…I love your courage. Don’t forget to build yourself an invisible imaginary security force-shield/field with pure love.
    Take your time for part 5,

    cheers, Mike from Austria

    • Very funny – I think. I guess you are telling me that I’m wading in troubled waters? I guess so. I have said this before – I might be wrong, but I have to be honest with myself and my readers. Thanks for the encouragement. Austria? I was there many years ago. My father is from Ireland and I took a not-well-planned tour of Europe w/ a backpack and little else after visiting relatives in Ireland. I had little money and had some very “interesting” adventures – including ending up at the Yugoslavian border unexpectedly. Ah…to have that hutzpah again. Well..maybe in some ways I do. ;-).

      I loved Austria and we just watched the 45th anniversary of The Sound of Music. My heart ached to go back again. :). Thanks for writing!

      • :-) Nice story:-)
        Dealing with snake oil salesmen (also intentionally good MLM people) is like swimming in a cesspool of half lies and can be energy intense, therefore I pray for your strength and protection ;.)
        And it’s just OILS here! Imagine if you stroll through the whole Food Industry. Or the Medical world (like I do). Yak. Take care! Good night (I’m pressing the sleep button right now:-)

  36. Thanks, Adrienne! I’d take your 2/3 bottle of Euc. :)

  37. I’m SO glad to find your series of these reviews. My mother-in-law and I are on a quest right now to figure out which essential oils to use for health. I’ve used Young Living for a couple of years, and been happy with the results. But cost and some other concerns have driven me to look for what’s the best option out there. I’ve been so confused trying to figure out the differences between doTerra, Rocky Mountain, Young Living and the others, and haven’t found any good sources for info. Your testing sounds like what I would do if I could. So thank you, and I can’t wait to see your next post! Could you please tell me how to find the first three of your articles about essential oils? I can only seem to find part 4. Thank you!

    • Thanks for the encouragement. I could use it right now :-). There are links to the earlier post(s) in pt 4 and each one should have links back. You can also use the search bar on the right side of my blog. It’s pretty accurate. I am hoping to get one w/ easier to read results when I get a redesign soon :).

  38. Robert Pappas says:

    Hi, just wanted to clear up some things concerning your comments about 1st, 2nd, 3rd distillations because this is an area of misinformation that, as far as I can tell, originates from the YL reps going back quite a number of years and just never seems to die down. As an EO chemist, its like fingers on a chalkboard when I hear people speaking about the multiple distillations or 1st, 2nd and 3rd “pressings”. Almost as bad as when I hear people refer to essential oils as the “life blood of the plant” LOL. Anyway, regarding peppermint (and essential oils in general for that matter), there typically is no such concept as a 1st, 2nd or 3rd distillation. To say this implies that the same botanical material is distilled, the distillation shut down, and then the used material is then distilled again at a later time. I think all the misunderstanding arises from the typical process surrounding one oil in particular and that is ylang yang oil. You see, ylang ylang is typically sold various qualities such as Extra, I, II, III and complete. The reason for these distinctions is because ylang ylang is a drastically different oil depending on when during the distillation the oil is collected. But typically even ylang ylang oil is collected, ALL GRADES, from one long distillation. To do multiple distillations would not make economic sense because there is cost involved in getting the still up to temperature in the first place. So how it works is that ylang is collected in fractions, from the same distillation. Basically the distiller will monitor the specific gravity of the oil as it comes off the still. The lightest oil comes off first and is collected within a narrow specific gravity range, this oil is called EXTRA and is regarded as the finest ylang for perfumery since it has the highest levels of the floral oxides and esters. Once the specific gravity goes higher than acceptable for EXTRA the distiller will then begin collecting the oil in a new container and this next oil is called ylang ylang I which has a characteristic specific gravity range defining it as well. As the oil continues to come over it gets thicker and less floral as the specific gravity increases. The next SG range would correspond to ylang ylang II, followed finally by ylang ylang III which is the least floral, most earthy smelling and heaviest fraction because its almost all sesquiterpenes at this point and has almost no floral components left in it. Ylang III is also the least expensive grade and each grade above it gets successively more expensive. If the producer proportionally combines all of the fractions this is sold as the ylang complete oil but a true complete should really be just one collection of all the oil in a single container during the entire distillation process rather than recombining the oil. So really, the true complete ylang is really the one most important for therapeutic use because it is the whole oil and not a chopped up version.

    As far as peppermint goes, it is also just one STEAM distillation process to obtain the oil. There is no 2nd or third “pressing” of the botanical as the MLM reps used to claim, and I guess still do. The thing about peppermint oil is that when its freshly distilled it contains very tiny amounts of some sulfurous components as well as some small aldehydes (namely isomers of isovaleraldehyde, also found in vomit) that, while minuscule in percentage, are such powerful components that you can smell them at ppm levels. The effects of these components can be minimized with age and evaporation because they are very volatile, but another way to get rid of these undesirables is to take the crude freshly distilled oil and then use a different distillation setup to fractionally vacuum distill away this tiny amount oil, thus giving the remaining oil a much better flavor, sweeter aroma and I would argue an even more therapeutically useful oil because the components that are removed are actually nauseating in pure form (and thats not just an opinion, the components have a physiologically nauseating effect). After the oil goes through the vacuum distillation to remove this very small amount of the overall volume, the oil is then classified as redistilled peppermint oil and there is no question it is the better oil than the original oil that comes fresh off the still.

    Anyway, hope this helps to clear up a few things and maybe this info will actually filter down to the reps who keep these myths alive.

    Sincerely,

    Dr. Robert S. Pappas

    • I am very interested in continuing the dialogue about all of this. However, I would like to say that I didn’t get any of my thoughts about various distillations from any MLM company. It was from my own readings and conversations. Thank you for coming by to chime in! I really appreciate it. I am sure I will have more questions, but can you address why Emily Wright stated in a talk in front of a very crowded room that the reason your peppermint smells the way it does is b/c it is from Washington state? That really puzzles me. Was she just mistaken? The other issues I will have to come back to–Unlike you, oils are not my full-time job. Hopefully blogging isn’t either b/c I sure don’t get a full time income from it :-). Again, I look forward to continuing to talk. I have been trying to get to the bottom of this for a long time.

    • Dr. Pappas,

      Thank you so much for chiming in on this conversation. I appreciate the more detailed discussion of the chemistry behind essential oil production from someone who has many, many years of experience in the industry.

      Given the size of doTERRA, I feel that there is bound to be miscommunication or misinterpretation of exactly how the oils are produced and how they work in some instances. I hope that this discussion has prompted/will prompt the company to clear up those incidences.

  39. I am super confused. We don’t live in a day and age where we need to rely on amateur “smell tests.” We actually live in a day where GC/MS testing can identify the exact constituents in an essential oil. I’m looking for science here, and I don’t see any! Clearly the PART of the plant you distill is going to hugely impact the constituents in the oil, among MANY other factors which are not discussed here. Did you interview Dr. Robert Pappas? Have you compared MS analysis of these various companies? I was really seeking truth here, but when you make a comment like “Boswellian SOMETHING” it is clear that you really don’t have expertise to be steering your 13,000+ followers in the direction of the “best.” If you’re really going to declare a true winner here, I sure hope you have more than smell tests and stories. If not, I think we should leave the analysis process to those in possession of the equipment that actually scientifically TESTS essential oils (i.e. world renowned PHD Chemists). The truth I see here is found in your beginning remarks, “I’m leaving the door open to the possibility that I might be wrong.” Sadly, I think you should have left it at that.

    • Sharla, frankly, from your response, it doesn’t seem to me that you are “confused” but that you are trying to attack my character and my motives. I will respond to each of your assertions here.

      1. I never asked my readers (and am not doing so myself) to rely on amateur “smell tests”. If you simply go back to all of my posts, you can see that our smelling different oils in a blind test was just one of the things that I used to see which oil company I wanted to go with. I also referred to the locations where the plants were grown, the character of the company “higher ups” and safety standards of the companies as reported by OSHA. I am also going to get into the GC/MS testing, cost, cost for shipping, and other aspects of the industry.

      2. I think that of course, science needs to be taken into account, but I am also sure that you realize that there are many other things going on in the essential oils industry that need to be considered like those that I mentioned. Additionally, there are plenty of people in the oil industry who know how to fool those doing the GC/MS tests and so just relying on those tests is simply not enough.

      3. The part of the plant distilled is important, but honestly, I don’t know that I trust that doTERRA’s peppermint is only distilled from the leaves and flowers. I am not sure what to think about that now, since David Hill’s assertion on that on a video has now been taken off of the internet. I am not positive about this, but I am almost positive that I loaded that video to view it after I had written Part 2 of my series and now it is gone.

      4. I did not interview Robert Pappas. I was trying to get in touch with officials in doTERRA because that seemed to be the best place to go–and since reading his reply to the comments in this thread, it is clear that I am likely right about doTERRA’s oil – that it is re-distilled or complete. (I was told by David Hill’s assistant that it is complete (that is who wrote the quote in my post and I will go and put that source in there). He said, “DoTerra does not tell me if their peppermint is crude or redistilled but I judging form [sic] clean and sweetness of the odor I would say its [sic] redistilled” and asked me who told me that their peppermint is “complete”.

      5. Yes, I am considering the GC/MS testing of the oils from the companies that I am looking at. That being said, I have heard of companies using other oils’ testing results fraudulently. What I mean is that they will get one certificate and then present it to the customer regarding a different oil, thereby misleading the customer. You can see that this is a big mess.

      6. My comment about “Bosellian something” was only because it was late at night when I was writing that and I wanted to respond to the commenter that I didn’t really intend to go into the Boswellian discussion and that it was a big conundrum in the EO industry. I have emails coming into my inbox with “experts” in the field dialoguing about the whole thing and I am sure that if my readers read it that most would wish I hadn’t even brought it up. It’s not clear that I don’t have any “expertise” b/c I put off a topic as being too confusing. In fact, it shows that I know my audience and my own limitations. I never put myself out there as an expert on this topic, however and I have over and over repeated that. What I am is a mom with a solid education and strong investigative skills who is trying to sort out the world of EOs as best I can. I am trying to rely on what those with more expertise say, but I am honestly finding it to be very difficult, especially in light of getting conflicting statements from some who do have positions of respect in the industry. Of course, it is possible that there has just been a lot of misunderstanding within doTERRA about their peppermint oils. And if so, I hope that this helps the communication to become more streamlined and consistent.

      7. I am aware that I have a lot of people following me on Facebook, but there are bloggers (like Katie of Kitchen Stewardship), who have way more subscribers to their blog than I do. Katie is the one who pointed out that the ingredients of the Terra Shield are not listed and she went into great detail in that and another post about why she isn’t thrilled with doTERRA. Her reasoning was based on efficacy. I didn’t notice her getting this kind of attacks on her blog so I do find it interesting considering her larger number of feed subscribers and the fact that she didn’t even get into the science at all. Do you have any thoughts on this?

      8. Again, I did touch on, and will again address, “more than smell tests and stories”. I hope you and others stay tuned.

      I hope to hear from you again, but I also hope that your comments are a little more charitable in the future and that I have cleared up your misconceptions. Thank you sincerely.

  40. Hi folks,

    I have been a huge fan of aromatherapy for over ten years and have used it extensively in my practice and in my home. I used to buy my oils from a variety of different places, including YL, but I switched over to Essential Oil University (Dr. Pappas’ company) [UPDATE: This edit was requested by Dr. Pappas and Carisa....Adrienne here clarifying that Dr. Pappas doesn't sell oils any longer.]and have never looked back. Dr. Pappas is a true expert in the field and their oils are always high quality and gas chromatography tested for purity. They are also sold at true wholesale prices, unlike MLM products.

    Dr. Pappas has also cleared up the whole “1st, 2nd and 3rd distillation” myth before, and hopefully we can clear it up hear again… because there is NO SUCH PROCESS. Here’s what Dr Pappas has to say about it:

    “I wanted to clear up some things concerning your comments about 1st, 2nd, 3rd distillations because this is an area of misinformation that, as far as I can tell, originates from the YL reps going back quite a number of years and just never seems to die down. As an EO chemist, its like fingers on a chalkboard when I hear people speaking about the multiple distillations or 1st, 2nd and 3rd “pressings”. Almost as bad as when I hear people refer to essential oils as the “life blood of the plant” LOL. Anyway, regarding peppermint (and essential oils in general for that matter), there typically is no such concept as a 1st, 2nd or 3rd distillation. To say this implies that the same botanical material is distilled, the distillation shut down, and then the used material is then distilled again at a later time. I think all the misunderstanding arises from the typical process surrounding one oil in particular and that is ylang yang oil. You see, ylang ylang is typically sold various qualities such as Extra, I, II, III and complete. The reason for these distinctions is because ylang ylang is a drastically different oil depending on when during the distillation the oil is collected. But typically even ylang ylang oil is collected, ALL GRADES, from one long distillation. To do multiple distillations would not make economic sense because there is cost involved in getting the still up to temperature in the first place. So how it works is that ylang is collected in fractions, from the same distillation. Basically the distiller will monitor the specific gravity of the oil as it comes off the still. The lightest oil comes off first and is collected within a narrow specific gravity range, this oil is called EXTRA and is regarded as the finest ylang for perfumery since it has the highest levels of the floral oxides and esters. Once the specific gravity goes higher than acceptable for EXTRA the distiller will then begin collecting the oil in a new container and this next oil is called ylang ylang I which has a characteristic specific gravity range defining it as well. As the oil continues to come over it gets thicker and less floral as the specific gravity increases. The next SG range would correspond to ylang ylang II, followed finally by ylang ylang III which is the least floral, most earthy smelling and heaviest fraction because its almost all sesquiterpenes at this point and has almost no floral components left in it. Ylang III is also the least expensive grade and each grade above it gets successively more expensive. If the producer proportionally combines all of the fractions this is sold as the ylang complete oil but a true complete should really be just one collection of all the oil in a single container during the entire distillation process rather than recombining the oil. So really, the true complete ylang is really the one most important for therapeutic use because it is the whole oil and not a chopped up version.

    As far as peppermint goes, it is also just one STEAM distillation process to obtain the oil. There is no 2nd or third “pressing” of the botanical as the MLM reps used to claim, and I guess still do. The thing about peppermint oil is that when its freshly distilled it contains very tiny amounts of some sulfurous components as well as some small aldehydes (namely isomers of isovaleraldehyde, also found in vomit) that, while minuscule in percentage, are such powerful components that you can smell them at ppm levels. The effects of these components can be minimized with age and evaporation because they are very volatile, but another way to get rid of these undesirables is to take the crude freshly distilled oil and then use a different distillation setup to fractionally vacuum distill away this tiny amount oil, thus giving the remaining oil a much better flavor, sweeter aroma and I would argue an even more therapeutically useful oil because the components that are removed are actually nauseating in pure form (and thats not just an opinion, the components have a physiologically nauseating effect). After the oil goes through the vacuum distillation to remove this very small amount of the overall volume, the oil is then classified as redistilled peppermint oil and there is no question it is the better oil than the original oil that comes fresh off the still.

    Anyway, hope this helps to clear up a few things and maybe this info will actually filter down to the reps who keep these myths alive.”

    Hopefully that will help clear up any confusion. I’m gonna go sniff some peppermint oil now…. :-)

    • I appreciate your sending this information to me. I am going to work on this as I can and try to get to the bottom of this. However, it is not true that DT’s oils are wholesale. There is a clear markup in their prices. They have to be doing that to afford the MLM aspects of the business. I am not sure what you meant by that.

      Regarding Pappas’ comments, of course he knows more about oils than I do. I just don’t understand all this info that I am reading about candy cane smells. I am not saying their oil can’t help and that it has no therapeutic quality. I am just saying that it doesn’t appear to be what they say and that it is troubling when Emily Wright says that the reason it smells sweet is b/c it’s from Washington state, but then DT says it is a complete distill and then you can find information on the internet saying that the smell is sweet b/c it’s been reheated or otherwise altered. This info from Aura Cacia (look part way down the page to where it says “Why do some peppermints smell different than others?) is interesting and is part of what I found when looking into this. What are your thoughts? I just don’t see how peppermint can smell like that when all other peppermints don’t. AC admits that they have a complete distill but theirs does not smell like candy canes. Let me know your thoughts.

      • I do stand corrected on one thing: I found out the Essential Oil University does not sell essential oils anymore. Dr. Pappas just does testing and consulting for other companies. I’m no chemist, so I can’t add anything else to Dr. Pappas’ explanation about the peppermint oil.

        If Dr. Pappas requests it, please do remove my previous comment, or correct it so that people don’t get the wrong idea that EOU sells essential oils. I think we are all hoping to clear up confusion, rather than create more!

    • Hi again, Carisa. Just to clarify….I don’t think that it should be said that Dr. Pappas has cleared up this issue, but I am glad you shared your comments. It should also be made clear that Dr. Pappas is not just working with Essential Oil University, but he is now working with / for doTERRA and used to work for Young Living.

      Therefore, he is saying one opinion and others are saying other things about distillation. I intend to continue looking into this but will have to hang it up for now since it is waaay too late on this end of the U.S.

  41. michelle thorwaldson says:

    Hi Adrienne!
    WOW!! i only read this part 4… i have been using essential oils for about the last 12 years… i started with YL and switched to DT last year – as a wholesale customer… i have recently been doing some of my own research and have learned a lot as well. i’m wondering if you have looked at Essante Organics. they claim their products are all 100% chemical free, organic, wild-crafted – they have a catalog of products, including essential oils. they have certificates and it all looks really great. i’m hoping that maybe you can shed some light on the topic for me. i don’t want to be spending money on products that i think are one thing and then find out another… which has happened with YL and DT :-(
    have you listed all of the companies that were part of your research?
    looking forward to part 5 – when will it come out?
    thank you so much for all of your work on this!!
    ~michelle
    btw – why was it wanting me to add a website to be able to leave a comment?

    • Hi there. I haven’t listed all of them. It’s been overwhelming. But I can try if I have time. I don’t believe i looked at them.

      I am hoping pt 5 is Tuesday :)?

      It’s just a way for bloggers to leave their site if they like.

  42. One other question…not that you don’t have a ton on your plate anyway. I’m having the hardest time researching first distill, redistill, and complete distill-and information about it. Do you have any links you can give me?

  43. Megan Henry says:

    I would suggest that the reason for the smell difference in the peppermint is the same as the smell difference of all plants and the taste difference of all plants. It all depends on where it is sourced. Not every plant sourced around the world is going to smell or taste the same. There are slight differences in peppermint sourced in the middle east from peppermint sourced in the US or peppermint sourced in South America. The effects of the ground soil, the water, the environment, when during the life-cycle the plant is harvested, etc. all play a part in the taste. So to say the Peppermint from one company smells different from the peppermint of another company and therefore one is of lesser quality is not a very valid point in my opinion.

    Complete oil = complete as in it is the result of the essential oils removed through the whole distillation process. Not the result of only one part of the oil. The term used, ‘complete’, is enough to explain that. I’m not sure where the confusion would come up there.

    With all this said, I am not a Chemist or an EO expert, but I do understand plants and I understand that there is understanding things and then over-thinking things. Sometimes its best to step away and look at it for what it is worth. These two things are pretty simple to understand.

    • I hear what you are saying but this is a HUGE difference. I think that also the information off the internet about sweet smelling peppermint makes it seem something other than plant variety is going on here. Do you agree? I shared more links in a comment above.

  44. I’ve seen several readers here rejecting oils because their labels read “not for internal use.” They SHOULD read “not for internal use.” The human body is not ‘engineered’ to metabolize large amounts of essential oils. The ONLY people I see recommending blanket internal use of the oils (as opposed to occasional medicinal use to treat a specific condition for a limited period of time) are the multi-level marketing companies. SAFE and APPROPRIATE use, as taught in every aromatherapy course I have seen consists of the external used of DILUTED essential oils..not undiluted topical use, and not blanket across the board internal use. The oils are most effective when used by inhalation…that is how they enter the blood stream, after all, not when taken internally.

    • Thank you. I have heard, instead, that the internal vs external usage of oils is due to different theories – English vs French schools of thought. Do you know differently? I am not “for” using them internally without warrant, but I would be interested in your thoughts on this.

      • Karen Clarke says:

        ((Chiming in here)) :) I do know for a fact that the French model of use recommends internal use for certain conditions. My family is from Europe… Grandma used oils internally all the time. She always said that they are just like medicine when used correctly. (I use peppermint for indigestion but in very small amounts because they are super concentrated.) The Westerners are all mixed up when it comes to their knowledge on herbal medicine!

    • Marge, thank you for bringing your knowledge to this conversation! Your post educated thus far. When we’re talking therapeutic, how can we not talk biology and chemistry? It is vital to this conversation.

  45. Karen Clarke says:

    Wow, this has been quite a journey for you! It looks like you’ve spent a lot of time and money on this topic…I wonder if you’ve gotten any sleep this week??? LOL!

    Other than testing the essential oils by “smelling” them, may I ask if you’ve had them tested in any other way? (I apologize if that was in your log somewhere, I’ve spent so much time reading all of the responses that i can’t even remember anymore!)It seems like just analyzing the oils based on smell alone is a bit shady. I am not trying to be sarcastic, but wouldn’t it make more sense to have them analyzed through a more scientific approach?? I mean, what if the oils have additives or fillers? As an average layman, we really have no way to discern that by smell alone…. (And I have to imagine that your sniffer is probably a bit worn out by now! LOL!)

    I’m sure that this blog is simply your opinion, and you’ll probably tell me that, but I suppose I am a bit of a skeptic and like to base my opinions off of some sort of scientific basis, or chemical analysis…. Otherwise, EVERYONE can say that their oils are the best, but how would we really ever know??

    • I’ve been talking and researching. Of course I am not going by smell alone :). That would be ridiculous. More next week I hope but this is getting a little too busy for my liking. :)

      • Karen Clarke says:

        Oh, wow… I can see that you are quite busy with this! :) Just wondered if you were having these analyzed or anything. How do you even know what you are comparing? I wouldn’t be sure where to start.

        I know that some companies have stated that they test their oils…it would seem like conducting some sort of lab test to identify and compare the actual chemical properties and compare the levels of purity (or however they deem the pure from unpure when it comes to essential oils) would be the best way to truly “compare”… I know you’ve mentioned some oils from different companies being “pricey”, but maybe they use a better quality plant to begin with. (I personally pay a LOT for organic, but I know it isn’t sprayed with pesticides…that all plays a part in how good the stuff is in the long run.)I also buy meat from cows who graze and are not pumped with pesticides. BETTER quality for sure, and a lot more $$. When it comes to these oils, how can we really compare apples to apples without having an actual scientific basis?

        I am very curious to know what company has the best oils, not the cheapest per se, but the best value for what I would be getting. I have used a lot of different brands over the years (but not all the ones you have tried) and tend to purchase the ones that smell the best and have good results for what i use them for.

        Not trying to add to your dilemma; but I would just LOVE to see and/or hear more of a scientific basis in order to draw a conclusion…. Not just based on information found on the internet (because as you even admitted that isn’t reliable) but something from a lab actually comparing the whole sha-bang from one oil to the next. LOL! Not like any of us would have the money to do that…but it would be the truest comparison!!!!

        Best of luck to you! Looking forward to the unveiling of your favorite (even though I am still a skeptic)

  46. Marge Clark says:

    Adrienne, you asked about “the French School and the English School”…straight from GY’s mouth. Okay… in France SOME MD’s prescribe internal use of the oils..again, for medicinal uses, to combat specific bacteria. Normally they will run specific tests testing specific essential oils against the specific strain of bacteria they are combating. Again, these are DOCTORS, using the oils to combat specific infections. I have mentors in France…none of them recommend daily ingestion of the oils. Even my French associates normally recommend that the oils be used diluted in a carrier oil or salve, or diffused in the air. Actually, for “internal use” they are more apt to recommend that the oils be made into a suppository and used rectally (to avoid metabolism by the liver.) This method is mentioned in Schnaubelt’s books, among others. The so called difference between “the French Method” and “the English Method” is truly as much a figment of Gary Young’s imagination as is “therapeutic grade.”

    • Hi Marge. This is very interesting to me. Honestly, the first I ever heard about the “English vs French” school was not from Young Living, but from someone in doTERRA. But that would make sense since they advocate a lot of internal usage as well. I personally don’t use a lot of oils internally. I thought I had seen documentation of this but now that I went back over my records, I can’t find it. This is the text from one of the emails I received from a doTERRA rep regarding this issue:

      Most people recommend a carrier oils because it’s part of the English protocol/method of Aromatherapy. Not sure if you know, but there are 2 schools of aromatherapy. The French are more into the therapy. They use oils neat (undiluted) and internally. They are very laisse faire about the whole thing. The English, on the other hand, are more into the aroma. They say that all oils should be diluted and advise against internal usage. The English are very uptight and would like to see regulations, etc. In the USA, the credentialing aromatherapy associations all have adapted the English method. This is why you see lots of advise to always dilute, dilute, dilute.

      Perhaps the originator of this info is misguided. It appears from a few other things I dug up today that the French use oils NEAT but English prefer them diluted…do you agree with that?

      • I was under the impression that there are actually three schools of aromatherapy.
        The German one which emphasizes inhalation which puts oil molecules directly into the blood stream through the alveoli of the lungs as well directly to the brain through the olfactory nerves which connect to the central brain.
        The English emphasize massage with neutral carrier oils containing 2-5 % essential oils as the best practice of aromatherapy. In the English school, skin is the primary organ of absorption for essential oils applied diluted in low concentration.
        The French emphasize taking essential oils orally, but in practice they utilize all four methods of administration, incl. oils applied neat (undiluted) on the skin. In reality, all four ways are valid, each with their advantages and disadvantages.

        • That might be, but I haven’t heard of that before. Maybe someone else can chime in. According to the other commenter, the French do not emphasize taking oils orally so I am not sure what to think now.

  47. Robert Pappas says:

    One thing I neglected to say regarding the rectification or redistillation of peppermint oil is that the vacuum distillation process can also be used to remove heavier “resinous” components as well so that the not only the top fraction is taken away but the bottom fraction is left behind as well and the final product is the majority in the middle. On Aura Cacia’s website they mention the removal of the heavier components but completely neglect the removal of the the very light components like dimethyl sulfide and small aldehydes (valeraldehyde, isovaleraldehyde, etc), which really has the most dramatic effect on cleaning up the odor of the oil. Hope this helps. So, if you were wondering, a sweet oil is not a bad oil, I would argue quite the contrary. But I can understand how if someone was used to unrectified oil all their life and then smelled a redistilled oil that they could be tempted into thinking that the oil smelled “too good to be true.” In addition, origin plays a big part in it. Indian oil is not as sweet as oil from the USA, which everyone pretty much regards as the best (except the Indians of course LOL).

    Finally, I would like to clear up the notion that I sell oils (as indicated above). As you can see from my websites Essential Oils (which has the largest online database for the chemical composition of essential oils and its completely free) and my Facebook site, my sites are all about information and education in essential oils. Starting January 10th I will be teaching The Chemistry of Essential Oils at Indiana University which is the only class of its kind in the country for college credit. If anyone here is in New Albany, Indiana area then stop by IUS one night and give us a visit.

    Dr. P

    • Hello again. I took care of her comment and added an update. I didn’t take it that you still were selling oils, but I can see how some readers might. Thank you.

      • Karen Clarke says:

        Where is the “LIKE” button??? Adrienne, this is the kind of stuff I was hoping to hear…chemistry genius research. Glad to see this guy chiming in. :P And now that this thread is getting beefy, I have to feed the baby. lol.
        Good night :)

        • I appreciate hearing others’ thoughts as well, but this is the chemical side–not the therapeutic. Also, I am not happy to see his followers attacking my character on his facebook page. I am going to do what I think is right, regardless of what others say. It’s the only way I can sleep at night. It is very discouraging to see people accusing me of things that just aren’t true and it appears he is participating in it as well.

          Thanks for hanging in there with me.

          • Karen Clarke says:

            I have been following this entire dialogue, and don’t get me wrong, I see that you are giving your opinions and all based on your preferences. It really does seem like you have something against either the doterra company or the Dr. Pappas who tests oils. I’m not trying to add to your grief, but I just don’t understand why you keep questioning the guy about his role with these companies….. You have to take what people say for face value. I guess I don’t understand why you don’t seem to trust the guy. I researched his website a bit and he seems to be quite legitimate, and I’m now super interested in essential oils more than ever. But why keep questioning them? And what’s so bad about an oil smelling good? I’m gonna order some doterra peppermint just so I can see what all the fuss is about.

            • Karen, I merely asked him so I could understand things better and hear them from his mouth–instead of what anyone else said. I knew he had roles at YL and DT but I wasn’t entirely clear what they were. I had heard, but I had forgotten. Did I “keep” asking him about his role? I thought I only did it once. Maybe I asked for more clarification? Show me, please if you saw repeated questioning about it.

              Now, however, there are personal attacks against me on his “university”‘s Facebook page and he at first tried to stop them but now they are getting ugly. He also just criticized me for having ads on my blog. Now I am finding that videos that I have referred to on my blog and on Facebook have been taken down by doTERRA. This is getting very interesting. I am now thinking I will have to address all of this in another post this week. And now I am going to be questioning even more.

              You can order their oils but I assure you I have more to say on this whole topic. I will always be honest with all of you. And if I make a mistake I will own it. Thanks for feeling free to ask. More to come….

          • Karen Clarke says:

            p. S. When you say, “this is the chemical side, not the therapeutic”, I thought that was the entire point of your comparisons. Am I missing something? I thought you were seeking to find the BEST essential oil……… O_o

            • Can you please clarify? They go hand in hand. Of course, chemically we can (sort of) find purity. Even sophisticated oils suppliers know how to trick the testing mechanisms now. But just b/c an oils is chemically “OK”, doesn’t mean it is more therapeutic in application. I think a good EO is one that is pure AND is highly therapeutic. What I am saying is that if you alter peppermint by heat or vacuum (taking something away), or by adding something to it, you are altering the oil and so it is a form of adulterating. The oil’s property has been changed. Does that make sense? I promise–more to come.

          • Karen Clarke says:

            I don’t understand how anyone can remove something from your blog without your consent, first of all. I was initially intrigued by this entire post, but it is getting a bit too kooky for me now. LOL.

            As for the ads, I don’t know what was said but I can personally tell you from a viewers perspective that they are very annoying. I’m sure you probably profit from them but they are a bit much.

            Finally, when I asked you, “When you say, “this is the chemical side, not the therapeutic”, I thought that was the entire point of your comparisons. Am I missing something? I thought you were seeking to find the BEST essential oil…” I wasn’t trying to be a jerk. I really wanted you to answer that so i knew how you were drawing your conclusion…LOL…then you answered my question with a question and asked me to please “clarify”? LOL! I’m looking to you for the answers, my dear! I can feel my blood pressure rising….I don’t know why I ever started commenting…….

            As for people discrediting you, don’t let that get you down. Just consider it a good lesson in life. It does seem as if you bit off a bit more than you can chew by opening up this discussion….unless I am a true EXPERT on something, I would never have started this. The question you just asked me about the peppermint (“What I am saying is that if you alter peppermint by heat or vacuum (taking something away), or by adding something to it, you are altering the oil and so it is a form of adulterating. The oil’s property has been changed. Does that make sense?”) …THIS QUESTION should probably be directed to an expert like the Dr. from the university. I am not an expert!

            • Karen, I think you are misunderstanding me. I wrote that the videos were removed from the internet. They’re just gone. They were referenced on my blog and on my Facebook page in comments.

              Regarding the ads, blogging is a big time commitment. I would like to do it for free, but frankly, I just can’t. I am sorry they bother you. The blog itself costs money and really, if I totalled up all the time I spend, I doubt I make a very envious hourly wage.

              I think, compared to other blogs, that mine aren’t so intrusive and I am hoping to look at other ads that are more tailor made to my audience. Only so much time to do all this stuff :). I still have a family, a special needs child and I still need to cook and stuff like that. ;-).

              I still am not sure what you are getting at regarding the chemical question. I am interested in both purity and therapy. Just b/c something works doesn’t mean it is pure. Just because something passes a chemical test doesn’t mean it’s the most therapeutic for the money.

              I don’t think I bit off more than I can chew. I think this is an honest evaluation of loads of time and money spent to make a solid choice for my family and so now I am sharing what I know with others. I could have just kept this all to myself and told a few folks in my local area, but frankly, a lot of them think EO’s aren’t worth buying. You and other readers know differently. I am hoping to spare others from wasting time and money and I think what I have learned along the way is very valuable.

              Finally, you said that I should ask “the Dr.” about the oils. By his writings it is clear he thinks it is fine and even a good idea to do this. I am not convinced….but as always, I am open to hear it. I was only asking you if what I was saying made sense to you.

              I would appreciate it if you would refrain from using all caps and writing rude comments when writing here. You are free to not read my evaluations and free not to follow what I suggest, but we need to all treat each other with respect. Thanks for reading and I sincerely mean that.

  48. I have been working with essential oils since around 1994. I was first introduced to Young Living back when the bottles had white labels with text on them. I knew people who worked with Gary and the stories of the beginnings of the company. I credit Gary Young with bringing essential oils to the attention of the public but that is about all I can give him at this point. In all these years I have never heard of him being spoken of with respect by others in the field.

    I was extremely happy when I found Essential Oil University and it’s wealth of information about oils. I bought oils from Dr. Pappas for years and have spoken with him personally. I saw big differences in quality with the oils he offered and those from some other distributors. I was dismayed when he decided to no longer sell oils but I am still grateful for his wealth of information and I wish he was offering his college course online!:)

  49. Robert Pappas says:

    Adrienne,

    Regarding the statement of Mrs. Wright concerning Washington state, I cannot reply as to why any leader in any MLM would say anything, it is not something within my control. And I am not sure why your asking me why should would say that about MY oil because its not my oil, its doTerra’s oil. I only test the oils for doTerra. What they say in their marketing is not something I concern myself with with, just as its not my concern what any other company who sends me samples for analysis does with their marketing descriptions. I think there is some fundamental confusion about my role here. I have been doing essential oil analysis for a long time now. If you want to know more about me please view my profile on LinkedIn.

    • I am not sure about what others think about your role, but I knew you were involved either as an employee or on a consultant basis for doTERRA. Maybe you could clarify here what you do for them and what other oil companies you work for. I, for one, would be very interested in what kind of testing you are doing and for whom, if you are able to disclose that.

      Also, do you do formulations still? And if so, do you use only oils or do you work with synthetics as well? It would appear to me, from your profile at Linked In that you consult in both the pure and synthetic oil arenas.

      I agree that you can’t control what they say, but it seems to me that for a company that continually talks about their oils being so different from other companies’ oils, particularly regarding how they smell (and notably, they do talk about their peppermint oil quite a bit, from what I can tell), it would appear to be something that they have done quite a bit of thinking and talking about.

      I appreciate your contribution and hope to deal with this more in the coming weeks. Thank you in advance.

  50. Robert Pappas says:

    Adrienne, I am not now, nor have I ever been an employee of doTerra. My role is in theGC/MS analysis of oil samples that they send me for them to make their purchasing decisions. I am not at liberty to disclose my complete clientele list, which is quite large after doing this for almost 17 years now. Most of my clients require strict confidentiality as you might imagine. I can tell people that I analyze for doTerra because for whatever reason they like to promote that I am doing their analytical work. But if you have a LinkedIn account you can log in and view my full profile and see all the companies and people there who have felt compelled to endorse me for various skills as well as make personal statements about the work they have done for me. You will see that I have a 99+ rating in the field of essential oils. Not to toot my own horn but I have never seen anyone on LinkedIn with that high of a rating in any subject area. But you have to be logged into your account before you can see these actual ratings.

    Yes I do formulation work but its pretty much in the natural arena only these days. As a chemist and former perfumer I am knowledgeable about both the natural and the synthetic side. I am probably the only independent analyst out there that has the extensive background on both sides in a addition to being a Ph.D. chemist. You seem to be implying that somehow this is a negative or suspicious side of my background. But I think the duality of my background is why so many companies want to use me to analyze their oils prior to making a purchase decision since knowing both the natural and synthetic side gives me an advantage in detecting adulteration. I would be interested to know why you would view this as not being advantageous? I think if you just do a little more research about me that you will find that I have quite a good reputation among the aromatherapy and essential oil communities at large. As far as I know, all the bias against me comes from one particular company and I believe that all that negativity comes from the fact that used to analysis for them and now do the analysis for their major competitor and they are not happy about that. There is deep resentment here and this company is going to extreme measures to malign anyone and anything that has to do with their competitor. But if you look at where are the negative statements are coming from, its pretty much one directional. The attacks are not retaliated. Hopefully you can make some more informed judgments after doing some more research. I encourage you to join the Essential Oils group on LinkedIn which now has over 2800 professional members from all over the world. I think you will learn a lot from being in that group.

    Finally, I will say that many of the companies I do analysis for have said things that would be ill advised if they had asked my opinion, but I am paid to do their analysis and how they run their companies, in the end, can’t be any of my concern. I do the job I am paid to do and I get to do in field I absolutely love, its not perfect but what more could I ask for?

    Dr. P

    • I don’t know, actually, that I am implying anything. Just asking the question. I can see how, on the one hand, it would be seen as a problem in one way (someone dealing w/ both synthetics and “the real thing”), but as an asset in another.

      I think I did join that group, actually, as I am receiving info about Frankincense in my inbox. However, perhaps there is another way to get that information. I am having issues with my LinkedIn account and need to get it straightened out.

      I completely understand, as I said before, that you are not in control of what companies say about their oils. It does give me pause that it has been very hard to get clear information about doTERRA’s peppermint oil, however, and I am still concerned that they claim to be so particular about their offerings, but their marketing information doesn’t appear to be accurate in this case.

      Actually, I did think of one more question. I felt, and others have voiced concerns as well, that doTERRA’s oils all (or many of them do) have a particularly sweet edge to them. I wonder if you could speak to this.

      Additionally, if what you are saying about the peppermint oil characteristics that doTERRA sells is true, that it is a high quality complete distill (that is what you are saying, correct?), then why wouldn’t many companies be selling it as well.

      By the way, it seems to me that you are concerned that I have been heavily influenced by Young Living. Is that what you are saying?

      Thank you.

      Mrs. U (wife of Dr. U) :-).

  51. Robert Pappas says:

    Sorry, mistake in the above comment. The statement in the first paragraph should have read:

    “But if you have a LinkedIn account you can log in and view my full profile and see all the companies and people there who have felt compelled to endorse me for various skills as well as make personal statements about the work that I HAVE DONE FOR THEM.”

  52. So as I have now read this whole comment section, it has convinced me that EO’s are an individual preference really. I know people who do DT, YL, Mountain Rose and other EO companies. They all say that they work medicinally. I think it is important for people to try all different brands and go for the one that is right fit for them. Go with what works! Use internally if you want or don’t. This is great groundwork but everyone needs to do their own investigations as we are all biologically different so different oils affect each of us differently. Just try essential oils!!

    • I dont know that I agree with this since we are all very concerned with purity and value for money – that is what we are mainly talking about, right? Not whether or not it is a good idea to try them. But I do agree I am happy that I tried them. :)

      • I agree Adrienne. I guess I meant reputable companies that are pure but maybe not perfect:) I do NOT think people should go to any old store on or offline and use the EO’s there. (I actually first put a certain store and then thought I might get in trouble). LOL Since oils are sourced from many different places and parts of the plant and different companies use different plants etc… One needs to try them to see what works. The value of price is if it works or not for you. Thanks!

        • I’m just not sure what to call a “reputable” company. And pure seems to be up for grabs with a number of the companies as well. This is all very interesting. Thank you!

  53. Hi, Adrienne
    I too am waiting with bated breath for the conclusions. For what it’s worth, I found this article by a professional who recommends some specific smaller companies.

    http://theida.com/ew/wp-content/uploads/2010/10/The-Quality-of-Essential-Oils-Journal.pdf

    Thank you for sharing your research.

  54. Marge Clark says:

    @ Adrienne “the firrst I ever heard about the “English vs French” school was not from Young Living, but from someone in doTERRA. But that would make sense since they advocate a lot of internal usage as well.

    Young Living has been using that as an explanation for their pushing neat usage and internal usage for years. It is inaccurate.

    “Not sure if you know, but there are 2 schools of aromatherapy. The French are more into the therapy. They use oils neat (undiluted) and internally. They are very laisse faire about the whole thing. The English, on the other hand, are more into the aroma. They say that all oils should be diluted and advise against internal usage. The English are very uptight and would like to see regulations, etc. In the USA, the credentialing aromatherapy associations all have adapted the English method. This is why you see lots of advise to always dilute, dilute, dilute.”"”

    And that is the standard MLM drivel… again.. are you going to buy more oils if you are told to dilute them and use small amounts, or if you are told to pour them on undiluted and drink them internally. Obviously I would sell MUCH more if I urged neat usage and internal use.

    to ME the person telling you that is showing total and complete DISRESPECT for the power of the oils.

    Perhaps the originator of this info is misguided. It appears from a few other things I dug up today that the French use oils NEAT but English prefer them diluted…do you agree with that?

    Practitioners in any country will UPON OCCASION use an oil neat..when the advantage is greater than the risk. It’s not a matter of French or Engish… or North American… it’s a matter of safe and appropriate use.

    But how often do you hear the term “Safety” from either MLM???

    I *occasionally* (ie, rarely) will use an EO internally, for a specific medical condition. Sometimes it’s appropriate. On a routine, daily basis…the oils are more effective in most cased when inhaled… and inhalation is as effective using a weak dilution topically as it is using the oils undiluted.

    Hope this helps. (for the record, I have been using the oils for over 25 years, and have been damaged by unwise neat use on broken skin. So I do know where-of I speak.)

    • thanks for the thoughtful reply. I haven’t read too much of either DT or YL’s literature. Guess I should have :-(. Most of my info was on the phone or via email with reps. I never felt completely comfortable with Gary Young so I didn’t lean on his information except to find oils to try for a certain condition.

      I hope that the person who shared this is misguided, but she is from doTERRA–a rep.

      I, too, got a bad burn from lemongrass used neat, but that was about it. Never again. Thanks again!!!

    • From all I know is that Young Living has been talking about the schools of aromatherapy for a long time and before doTerra came in to existence. There are actually three schools of aromatherapy. The German, the French and the English.

  55. Thanks so much for all this research. I’ve been researching essential oils for months now and know the chemistry behind them, but not specifics about brands. Glad to finally see some unbiased comparison. Can’t wait to learn your final pick!
    Also, do you have a list of oils for sale? You mentioned sailing some DT in your post.

    • My son is working on the list. Anything you are specifically interested in? Thanks for your words of encouragement. I promise I am really trying to dig into this.

  56. Robert Pappas says:

    Hi Adrienne,

    To answer your question about doTerra’s oils being particularly sweet, that is of course a subjective opinion. And sweet is a broad term, in perfumery we like to use more specific language. Do they all have the same note to you? DoTerra does not tell me if their peppermint is crude or redistilled but I judging form clean and sweetness of the odor I would say its redistilled, which is a good thing in my opinion because dimethyl sulfide and isovaleradehyde are not good things to smell for aromatherapy or good things to injest. A redistilled oil peppermint will always be a better quality oil than crude peppermint, for therapy and for odor. Who was it that told you their oil was “complete”? The word “complete” is not even a word that anyone in the essential oil industry would even use to describe a peppermint oil. Complete is used to describe a grade of Ylang Ylang oil and thats about it. Generally the best therapeutic oils also smell the best, at least thats been my experience. But again, smelling “good” is a subjective opinion and what smells good to me may not smell so good to you. For example, I love a good quality Bulgarian rose oil, which is one of the most expensive oils in the world at over $8000 kg now. But the average person who has never smelled rose oil will typically prefer an $8/kg synthetic rose fragrance over rose oil. Its all a matter of what you are used to.

    • Sorry it’s taken me awhile to respond to your comment. This “firestorm” about this series and some personal issues have gotten me pretty bogged down.

      I agree that the “sweet” smell is subjective, but you can see on this post that another reader, Lacey, feels the same way. And the “notes” that you refer to are subjective as well, correct? I think many of them do have that same “note”.

      I have a question for you, if I may. You mention “perfumery” — aren’t we talking about something different in the world of essential oils that one hopes to use for therapeutic purposes, or do those in the field refer to it as perfumery regardless of the use of the oils. Is it called “perfumery” b/c we are referring to the smell of the oil and not its use?

      I agree with you that, from what I have read, that it seems that doTERRA’s peppermint would likely be redistilled. I got the statement about their peppermint from Haylee Caplin of doTERRA Product Support who is David Hill’s assistant. I tried several times to get in touch with him and was once even told that the email I got was his (by a customer representative), but in fact it appears it was her email.

      I also agree that smell preference varies, but there are a number of folks in the industry who think that un-retouched oils are the most therapeutic.

      One other question I have is that it seems, from what I have found, that the 1st distills are the most expensive. Is there a case when they are not? And even if you (or others) think that the redistilled oils might smell better, it also seems to me that they are always less expensive than the original oils that are not redistilled. If so, then my statement that they are the “most valued” would stand.

      Thank you.

  57. @Adrienne, All I have to say, is hang in there :) I admire your tenacity and don’t let people get you down (or stop you). You are allowed to have your opinion and that is what this blog is… your opinion, based on your perspective. I am interested in reading other peoples’ opinions and it does not matter whether I agree with them or not, if I want my own opinion, I’ll write on my own blog.

    By the looks (from my perspective) you have Dr. Pappas in your court to help you decipher the technical information you are receiving in an unbiased manner (really, that rocks!) which should provide useful. You both have a common goal of wanting fact to be out there, so I hope to see a collaboration of sorts… fact from Dr. Pappas, relayed by Adrienne to her readers to clear up the myths about the chemistry of essential oils (like the fractions and distillation thing). It seems in this day and age, only the fiction gets any merit, unfortunately. So get the facts out there! :)

    • Thank you so much. Just to be clear, Pappas does test oils for doTERRA and other companies, but he for sure does know more about the chemistry of oils than I do. I might have to add some new things to my oils to-do list for this week but I will keep going. :-).

      • I am very familier with what Dr. Pappas does as I’ve known about him and followed him for many years now. He is your go-to man for the chemistry and understanding of what EO’s are and how they are produced, etc. He tests for authenticity and chemistry of the oils, not anything related to the marketing of the oils for the companies he contracts for. He is more than willing to answer questions about the chemistry and production for anyone willing to learn. I’m not saying he’ll aid in your final decision (or tell you what to go with), but he can help in explaining why some oils are one way, versus another, etc. Just keep it a blind study in any correspondence. Sample 1, Sample 2, Sample 3, Sample 4, etc if you have any hesitation about the unbiased part. You will receive fact about the sample numbers . Example, Peppermint Sample 1 (referring to your above comments) smells candy-cane-like, where sample 2, 3, 4 do not… why would this be? (I know too late now, but you get my drift… I hope). You have a wonderful resource at your fingertips and you have his attention (I know many that would be in heaven to get this opportunity)… and those of us that want to see and hear the truth of it all have you to look at for this as well. I am quite excited about it! To be honest!

        • Thanks, Randi. Are you suggesting I submit samples of oils for testing? I am not sure that I have that kind of option here, but it sure would be interesting. What really interests me is that I have been learning that even the oil distributors are smart enough to outsmart the oil testing procedures. There is information about this all over the internet. Chemicals or other oils are added to the oil to make it have the makeup that they are looking for. This is getting to be a really “slick business :-(.”

          • No, it would cost too much (although it would be awesome and concrete)… I mean just asking the right questions should get a lot of the info you are looking for.

  58. I think it’d be a shame for this conversation of essential oils to continue without taking a look at Aromatics International. A GCMS report is provided with each oil purchased and is available right on the website. Their essential oils are all organic or wildcrafted. Having the GCMS report takes the guesswork out of “pure” and “therapeutic”. When the chemical components present in the oil are available to the consumer, the oil’s therapeutic properties and safety be best understood. Aromatics International has a personal relationship with all of their distillers and has made the long travel to visit an impressive number of their fields and distilleries. They cut out the middle man to reduce the chances of adulteration AND provide a GCMS report to consumers. I hope to see them in the next installation of this blog!

  59. @Adrienne…re your burn from neat Lemongrass… of course…any high citral oil is a known skin irritant and should only be used topically in very low dilutions. HOWEVER…the answer most heard from representatives of either MLM if one cites cases of damage from neat use “you must have been using an inferior oil; a therapeutic grade oil can safely be used neat.” the fact that the basic chemistry of the oil causes it to be a strong irritant seems to be irrelevant.

    • Well, to give her credit, my sponsor from doTERRA told me that she has gotten burns from lemongrass and that she always used it mixed w/ another oil. It was on a sensitive area of my body–otherwise I don’t think I would have had the problem

  60. Thanks for the review …
    I would stick to using doterra essential oils if you want the purest oil…

  61. Thanks, Adrienne, for all your hard working and digging. Looking forward to your next post! It’s all good info and get me thinking more about what I am buying. Wondering if you know anything about Herb Pharm and their products?

  62. Have you explored how doterra was born out of theft?? There is a lawsuit pending. The five founders of doterra were trusted employees of Gary Young, who stole from YL. dt’s entire marketing strategy is all about discrediting YL. That is not the kind of company I trust with something as important as essential oils.

    Essential oils can pass the blood/brain barrier. They open cell receptor sites, they are in every cell in your body within minutes. They are way too important to trust to a company like doterra that has serious ethical issues from inception to distillation to marketing.

    Explore also the difference in their Frankincense, as one example of the inferior quality of doterra. They use a far inferior species shown to not have the same healing properties that the two species YL uses have. But they don’t tell you that!

    They do not own their plants, like YL does, so simply cannot have the same quality assurance YL does.

    I agree that the smell test is really impossible to anyone without a trained nose–and there are few in the world who do have such training and such sensitivity. Fortunately, of those who do, and those in the medical profession, all trust YL. In fact, one of the professionals doterra put on their website as endorsing them was suing doterra because they did not endorse them and wanted no association with the company once they discovered the quality.

    Bottom line: essential oils are way too important to trust to a company with such low ethics and integrity.

    • I appreciate your comment. I do think it might be possible to have good quality control without owning the oils. I also think it is possible to own the oils and not have good quality control, however. It all depends on who is doing the controlling and managing. Thanks!

    • My family and clients have used YL oils for many years. Inhaled, diffused, internally, diluted and mostly neat. All I can say is that if YL would not have such high quality oils, hospitals throughout the country would not be using YL oils. That means a lot to me.

      • Do you know what the hospitals look at when choosing oils? I have seen videos of them using doTERRA and I do think that the owner of another company told me this week that his company is going to be in hospitals as well. I hadn’t seen that info about YL.

    • By the way, I just realized that I didn’t reply to your question about the lawsuit. I did see that and I really didn’t dig into it. The YL reps are saying DT did everything wrong and the DT folks are saying the opposite so I decided to leave well enough alone. Has anything changed since the beginning of the lawsuit that the public has been made aware of? Thanks!

  63. I think you are going to have to blog about alternatives to oils. I feel there is a lot of ugly going on and maybe there isn’t anyway to get the whole truth about oils at all. I am truly grateful to you for the time and money and I’m sure, plenty of stress you have invested into your research. I needed to do so myself and so happy you have. All I truly would like to know is how they distilled the oils during the Bible times? To me that would be the true healing of oils. I am very grateful to you!

  64. KarinSDCA says:

    This is a fascinating multi-part essay on essential oils and the industry. I bet it has increased your blog traffic A LOT!!!! Good for you, too, because I am sure it has taken you a lot of time and effort to educate yourself and write about all of this coherently. I wish you all the best. :)

    My interest in this series is probably different than your average reader’s interest, if reading the comments is an accurate measurement device of such a statement. Most of your readers (before this engaging series) seem to be fairly new to EOs (0-5 years) and are truly hoping for a clear-cut answer for which company to trust with their money and EO-related health concerns. Many “new” readers (since this engaging series has caught attention in certain circles) seem to have ulterior motives for posting comments.

    I am a new reader, but I am not a new EO user (been using EOs since the ’90s). I did a lot of this same type of research many years ago (for myself, quietly, but blogging wasn’t in vogue back then) and again about 3-5 years ago (a little more publicly, but nothing as public as your adventure).

    I am very curious about how the industry itself has changed…the good, the bad, and the ugly. By reading the comments, I am quickly getting quite the ‘education’ on the “ugly” changes and it saddens me. On the other hand, I am enjoying the comments where readers are sharing new-to-me companies and the fact that more people seem to be using EOs or at least know about them. That part is exciting to me!

    I hope I have the right idea where your series is headed. Regardless, I think you are brave and resourceful and doing everyone a good service in delving into all this. :)

    • Thank you for stopping by. Actually, I don’t know that it has increased my traffic that much. Some of the oils posts are getting more attention, but I was shocked that my “saving money on food budget” short intro post had a lot more shares quickly than my oils one the other day. Go figure. :).

      I am curious where you think I am headed. Feel free to email me :-). I have more thinking to do so this is handled correctly. I have other “not so nice” comments to work through as well. Sigh.

  65. Adrienne,

    Stay strong! Being a skeptic myself, I appreciate all you are doing. It seems you have a lot of doTerra reps commenting, most negatively, about your findings. This is unfortunate. You are one person, one Momma, looking for the best for you and your family. I admire that!
    One item I would like to address: it is difficult to trust any company who tests their products in house or comes up with their own certification program. Even though it costs a lot of money to send your product to an outside agency to test and then have that product endorsed by said company, it is well worth the investment. Of course, this outside agency needs to be a reputable source as well.

    Anywhoo…hang in there. Stay strong. And know so many of us are thanking you for your courage and determination in pursuing this rather touchy subject. :)

    Hugs and Love to you.

    • Thanks, Tricia. This has become a lot more “hairy” than I expected. I hope to go back to all who commented — there are a few more dicey ones that I need to address that I haven’t approved yet b/c I need time to think about how to word my responses. But you have said what I wanted to say anyway. I had no agenda starting this whole “testing time” except to find what was best for my family and then to share that with others. What has evolved since then is just what has happened. Thanks.

      • Oh Adrienne, I am so sorry. It saddens me people do not understand your original interests in this line of product. To send negative and very hurtful comments is just so unnecessary. It makes one wonder if the MLM they are with has completely brainwashed them. People need to understand in today’s world one cannot trust everything that comes out of a businesses mouth, especially if you are the one making them (MLM) money. Research…research….research, which is exactly what you are doing.
        As much as the negativity may hurt you, please keep your head high. You are doing what many wished they had time, determination & courage to do. You go girl!
        From one Momma to another….hang in there. I will hold you close in prayer. Hugs.

        • I agree with you Tricia. I have enjoyed this as I am also looking for the “best bang for my buck”. I want the BEST for the LEAST amount of money. It makes me sick when people want to get so defensive about “their” product. Share your info then move along. Those who feel the need to constantly “defend” their product make me wonder if their product is what it’s cut out to be or it their underlying cause is the all mighty “dollar”. Keep up the nice work Adrienne! I have enjoyed it! And I can’t wait to see the results :D

        • AGREE!!!

  66. Wow! I’m debating whether to send you some hip boots to wade through the muck people are flinging in your direction! Clearly, people can get unruly when they ride their agendas whilst wearing blinders.

    I normally don’t comment on blogs, but I really felt the need to reiterate what most of us are thinking- WE APPRECIATE AND SUPPORT YOU! Thanks for tackling this topic for your family and readers. Thank you for the significant amount of time & money spent and frustration endured, & for whatever else it takes that I’m not putting words to. Thank your family as well! Also, don’t feel the need to respond to and/or post every negative comment. Your readers get the gist so far, so no need to worry about being fair, you have been more than so thus far!

    This is my first visit to your blog and I have been looking for this information for a while. With the ever-pervasive need to be right, many of us lose sight of what we are really committed to: Healing ourselves and our loved ones. I wish to know more about oils so I can raise my beautiful one-year-old as happy and healthy as possible (I agree that pharmaceuticals do not always (most always even!) work and even harm). As much as healthy debate is essential to forwarding our thinking, I would admonish some of your responders to keep the HEALTHY in the tone of the debate. I admire your real, honest and positive responses to your critics- not backing down and not shoveling it back is refreshing and empowering.

    I am sending you a good dose of Reiki love and light and to the critics as well! Namaste!

    • Thanks for the encouragement! I have some more thinking to do about what my next posts will be on as this all might have changed the course a bit, but I sooo appreciate this. I have struggled so much with this decision. I wish I had all of my conversations with my husband on video or audio to share. They would speak for themselves.

  67. If you are going to post the accusations against Gary Young, then it seems fair that you should post his rebuttal. In my opinion.

    • Do you have a good link to them? Someone shared something with me but I found it quite hard to read. I really only posted a link to them and I think I was quite fair in stating that I was concerned with the author of the attacks so I felt that I mitigated the effect of posting the link to those accusations. What are your thoughts about that?

  68. Thank you so much for your hard work! Great info! Makes me want to ask people how well they know their essential oils? Have you heard of Butterfly Express out of idaho? I sell them and they are the best I’ve found. I always had an unsettled feeling about YL and Doterra. Butterfly’s oils are pure and the prices are wonderful! :)

  69. Elizabeth says:

    I wasn’t going to comment, but I feel the need to say something positive with all the negative that is flying around. First off, thank you for all your hard work and all of the research, time and money you have spent. I feel you are especially brave to continue posting your information with all the uproar and rude comments. I think if it was me, at that point I would just keep it all to myself and move on. So kudos to you for continuing to share despite the comments. I have read your posts with great interest, as I am always wanting to know more when it come to Essential Oils.

    Unfortunately, some of the comments by representatives of the MLM companies are precisely why the MLM companies have such a bad reputation. I’m sorry people feel the need to be so mean and nasty. It seems that wherever money is involved people tend to be that way. People need to realize that there is enough abundance to go around. I also feel there is a certain amount of “brain washing” where MLM’s are concerned, and representatives of said companies take everything the leaders say as gospel truth. At least you are trying to find out for yourself. Also, one essential oil company and their products might be a perfect fit for one person, but not the other person. That doesn’t make one evil and the other perfect. It’s just what works best for the individual and what fits best with what they are trying to accomplish.

    Having said all that, I will admit that I am a representative of one of the MLM companies that you have reviewed, and from things that you have said, I’m pretty sure it is not the company you have chosen to purchase your oils from. And that’s OK, I have still learned a lot from your research, and I appreciate that you would take the time to share it with your readers. I think you should choose the product and company that works best for you and represents the things that you feel are most important. That’s the great thing about free enterprise, right? Hopefully, all of this has helped other essential oil users to do their own due diligince in choosing what’s best for their family and or personal use.

    So, thanks again, and thanks for being gracious and kind in all of your replies, especially the ones that don’t deserve it. Looking forward to finding out your final choice. Have a good day inspite of the crazyness this post has caused.

    • Wow – thank you so much. I am in a rush here, but I wanted to say how much I appreciate your comment. Also, I will be writing more about MLMs and I do think that there are a lot of issues with them…but that not all MLMs, nor all reps are an “issue.” In fact, if you look on my sidebar you will see Lilla Rose which is an MLM–and I am a rep. A proud one. I have really enjoyed working with them. And I have really enjoyed some of the folks in both YL and DT. Well…on to other things (like dinner). Thanks again.

  70. Hi, I still haven’t found anything in your posts about butterfly express. When things die down for you a little bit, I would love to hear if you have any information about their oils. Thank you!

    • I believe it’s in the comments. If we get to the end and you haven’t heard what you are looking for, please comment again :).

      • Jeannette says:

        I’ve been through all the posts & comments twice, and found an informative comment quoting LaRee Westover about Butterfly Express, but can’t find your comments on the company or their oils. I’d really love to know your thoughts–can you direct me to where they are if I missed them, or include them here?

        • Hi there. This is one company I had someone look at for me and the response had a few points in it. They said that they are selling oils warmers, which is a red flag since you shouldn’t be heating oils as it affects the therapeutic value of the oils. Also they appear to be selling pure oils for less than one can get them on the market (I have to take this without knowing myself what the costs are). I am, like I said, not an expert….I am going by what others are saying and trying to do the research that I can do while running a household, teaching my kids, being involved in church and community and well–you get the picture. Thanks!

  71. Adrienne,
    Just wanted to thank you for all your time you’ve spent researching this topic. It’s an important one to me and this has been soooo helpful! I look forward to your next post about it and thank you for your continued quest for information and for sharing it with the rest of us! Thank you again and Happy New Year!!!!!

  72. Hi Adrienne:

    Love the work you’re doing and can’t wait to hear more. I haven’t seen anything from comments about Wyndmere oils and was wondering if anyone has heard anything about them.

    Also, I saw that you have oils for sale. Do you have any On-guard? I’m really interested in trying it. Doterra Lemon or lavender too.

    Thanks!!

    Jennifer

  73. Hi Adrienne,

    Many thanks to you for all your hard (and expensive) work. Hang in there!

    Quick question, have you looked at Heritage Essential Oils at
    http://heritageessentialoils.com/

    I have not used them myself, but this company and their oils have been recommended to me by people who do use their oils. Thanks!

  74. Hi again Adrienne,

    Re: Heritage Essential Oils

    I’m not trying to be pushy, honestly. And I’m not a customer or representative of any oil company, I am simply looking at which ones to buy. I have heard excellent things about the company and their oils (and excellent prices) from my friends and I was trying to find more info, so I went looking and found your blog.

    But I went back to Part 1 to try to find the comments you’ve made about Heritage Essential Oils because I know them to a Christian homeschooling family.

    You said there was no phone number. I called them last week to ask a question and got a live person (one of the family sons) right away (even before I saw knew about your blog series.)

    On their website, under “contact” they list their address and phone. Here it is:
    254-829-0384.

    Also, keep in mind that because this is not an MLM, but a real family business and they homeschool their children, you might need to leave a message for someone to call back.

    I haven’t gotten any further in your comments about Heritage, but did you ever end up trying their oils? I would really be interested to know if you did and what you thought.

    Here is some info from their Nov newsletter about fighting flu with EOs.

    Thank you.

    • No worries. They have come up numerous times. They didn’t have a phone number when I started all of this…or if they did it’s a toll call and I had so many questions and no free long distance that I didn’t wish to call. I have looked at them more closely and the information will be covered as we go forward. Thanks!

  75. Thanks for your reply. I’ll stay tuned to see what you think.

    Oooops,

    Forgot the link about fighting flu:

    http://heritageessentialoils.com/november-newsletterb.php

  76. I admittedly did not read through all the comments here, so sorry if this duplicates something someone already mentioned… When I first read the comments about the distillation of some of the doTerra oils, it came across as negative – like complete distillation is a bad thing. But in my looking around, I’m thinking it’s not. Especially in the case of ylang ylang (source: http://www.kgstiles.com/moreinfo/ylangylangIII.htm). If you only take the first distillation of that oil in particular, you miss out on some of the great therapeutic compounds – a complete distillation would ensure that you get all those great compounds. This might not be the case for other oils (which may be why they don’t use complete distillation for all of their oils), but it looks to be the case for ylang ylang at least. So…… I guess I just want to clarify that what has been interpreted as a bad thing, might in fact be a good thing…..

    • Good thing to bring up. I think that this article by Aura Cacia brings up perhaps more important points, or at least complimentary ones. This shows how the ylang ylang extra is the most sought after distillation. There may be things missed that are in a complete but still, if a company were to sell all varieties, the extra would be the most expensive.

  77. I use Plant Therapy – http://www.planttherapy.com and LOOOOOVE them! Would use them over doTerra/YL or any other company any day! Amazing quality, & super great prices :)

  78. Just a note about the costs for products through an MLM. I know some people say “you get what you pay for” but seriously… If you are purchasing through an MLM, you are paying not only for the product and the companies cost and profit, but also for the rep or consultant to get paid; not only on their sales but the sales of those they have recruited. When you add all that together you are paying three to four times what the product would cost from the company direct or through a retail distributor. Just saying….

  79. Even mentioning Stephen Barrett other than to say that he is an insane, old retired psychiatrist and the biggest quack himself. As well as being a shill for the pharm industry, chemical industry and western medicine lowers your credibility. In the future I would suggest not mentioning him at all. And not only that but whatever he says you should do the opposite!

    • I mentioned some of my concerns about Stephen Barrett and thought I should bring him up because a lot of folks read his information and make doubts about alternative care due to his writings. I thought I should address his writings despite the fact that I do have concerns about his writing.

  80. Can i just say kudos to those people that are just starting out with using E.O. I myself learned about E.O. from a friend and would not go without having them in my home. I do energy work and have learned a lot from using essential oils. Every single bottle of essential oil has its own energy. It starts from the ground the plant grew in, the grower,the distiller, but most of all the user. If you have love in your heart and the intent to heal… the oil picks up on that energy and it will do just that. Now imagine a mother that has a sick child and she has a $10 bottle of oil and it might not smell good or it did not come from the best source but its all she has. She puts this oil in her hands and massages it on her little one. As she is doing this she believes that this oil will heal her sick child that she loves more than anything in the world. That oil picks up on her vibrations and it will do what her intent is. We should all be grateful and feel blessed that we have a right to chose from all these different companies and be able to learn from the oils themselves. So when it comes to finding the best oil i don’t believe it is possible. As you can see everyone has their favorites and that is great! Keep using the oils and remember to respect them.

    • I appreciate your bringing up energy in the oils. I have only done a little bit of reading about that but am hoping to do more reading about the oils’ frequencies. I do think it is important to look at purity, however, because I have become aware of companies adding things like propylene glycol to their oils. Not something I want to be spreading on my child. :-(.

  81. I would love to see you look more into MRH. They really seem like a good company.

  82. I happened upon your series on the first posting. I am so impressed by your devotion. I totally appreciate it!!! I am however amazed at how some comments have become so nasty. It makes me wonder why? Why would they choose to attack unless they are afraid of what you might discover. Anyway, I am so glad you are strong enough to keep on going! I for one support you and encourage you to share your findings. I kept reading today and was amazed that it took such a nasty turn in some posts. Till next post I am looking forward to learning. It is easy to pick up a bottle at a health food store, we know who those are. I was also leaning on joining one of the other companies, the behavior today gave me alot think about, running the other way is a good choice right now . Thank you again
    Cindee

  83. Robert Pappas says:

    Adrienne, in regards to your earlier message and questions:

    1. Perfumery is a trade, an art if you will. I refers to the art of perfuming. An artists uses paint and brushes as his tools, the perfumer has essential oils and aroma chemicals as his “colors” to “paint” his masterpiece. I focus pretty much on natural perfumery these days, which only uses essential oils, absolutes, CO2s and other natural extracts. So essential oils are related to perfumery in that the oils are tools that the perfumery uses.

    2. Generally “un-retouched” oils are considered better for therapeutic use but this, as anything in life, is not an absolute. Sometimes the crude oil has things in it that are contrary to good health. Some oils are just down right toxic. Its foolish to believe that just because something comes from nature that its always good for you. Its also naive for one to think that essential oils are completely natural products in the first place (not saying that you think this, just trying to dispel some myths in general). Essential oils exist ONLY as a result of MAN’s existence. They have to be steam distilled. The oil that comes directly off the still is in NO WAY WHATSOEVER a 100% representative of the actual oil that is inside the plant. This is because there are various hydrolysis reactions that occur during the distillation process that can alter the oil anywhere from just slightly in some cases to full blown drastic changes in others, depending on the plant we are talking about. If people wanted the most representative, unchanged oil that is actually in the plant then they should use CO2s or Carbon Dioxide extracts, but that is another subject altogether. My point is, people somehow have the idea that if one further processes an oil after the initial PROCESSING of generating the oil in the first place (i.e. steam distillation), that somehow this is bad or undesirable. Usually it is not necessary but in some cases, like in the case of peppermint, there are undesirable chemicals that are best removed, not only from an odor standpoint but from a therapeutic standpoint as well.

    As for your question about the “1st distillation” I am guessing you might not have read my post completely about this or perhaps you just don’t believe me but this term is NEVER used in the industry and I would strongly recommend that you not use it either because its a misleading term. There is typically only ONE steam distillation of an oil to remove the oil from its plant material. When people say 1st distillation or 2nd distillation it conjures up images of redistilling the already spend botanical to get a less inferior oil. Nobody does this. The further processing of mint is done on the oil in a completely different kind of setup called a fractional vacuum distillation. This is not regarded as a second distillation but secondary processing. Yes the mint oil itself (not the plants) can simply be redistilled via a hydro or steam distillation to improve odor as well but this is a low tech way of doing things now days and the move advanced and improved way of improving the oil would be by vacuum fractional distillation. Furthermore, when you go to the trouble of redistilling or vacuum distilling an oil you have incurred more cost because of energy costs and because you are going to loose some of the oil in the secondary process. So the redistilled oil will obviously ALWAYS be more expensive that the crude oil. Not sure why you would think it would be the other way around. The redistilled peppermint is most definitely the most valued product. How could it be any other way?

    I am getting ready to start teaching at IU tomorrow so I may not be able to respond for a while. Just know that I am not trying to ignore anyone, just extremely busy right now.

    • First of all, sorry for the delay in getting this comment posted. As I shared in Part 6 of my series, I have been really surprised by all the comments from yourself and others on your facebook page who are really bothered that it has taken me awhile. I have never had this kind of experience before and I really didn’t mean to do anything wrong.

      When there are comments w/ information in them that I feel I need to look into, or otherwise think about, I don’t approve them or else I would forget to deal with them later.

      Anyway, here are a few thoughts about your comment.

      1. Regarding your comment of “Generally “un-retouched” oils are considered better for therapeutic use but this, as anything in life, is not an absolute. Sometimes the crude oil has things in it that are contrary to good health. Some oils are just down right toxic. Its foolish to believe that just because something comes from nature that its always good for you” —

      of course, I agree. Peppermint oil has been used for a long time to treat nausea so I don’t understand why anyone would want to remove so infinitesimal an ingredient. My thinking, and from what I have heard, is that the extra “herby” smell is just distasteful to some, which I understand. One of the owners of an oils company said that he lets the oil ago for a long time so the smell dissipates a bit. I know smell is subjective. Of course. The reason this has all come to the forefront is not because I am questioning what smells good. I am questioning why and what kind of oil I want to buy – one that is the oil alone, or one that has had something added to it, taken away fron it, or altered / adulterated in any way.

      2. I think your statement that “in some cases, like in the case of peppermint, there are undesirable chemicals that are best removed, not only from an odor standpoint but from a therapeutic standpoint as well.” is subjective as well. I have read tons of content on oils sites (some of which I cited in Part 6, and I’ve spoken with people in the oils industry and they would prefer their oils to be untouched. I am not saying that I don’t understand hydrolysis. But further change is further change. So I think the public deserves to know that if they buy doTERRA’s (or any other company’s) oil that smells like a candy cane, then they are getting an oil that has been altered further beyond what is normally done to an oil and they need to decide which kind of oil they would like to buy.

      I do think that it would be very interesting to find out what exactly doTERRA is doing to their oil and if it is, indeed, a 2nd distill, or a complete, as they said, then I think their pricing is way too high, even when taking into account their MLM extra cushion that is built in.

      3. Regarding your statement ” this term is NEVER used in the industry and I would strongly recommend that you not use it either because its a misleading term” — I think I refuted this thoroughly in my post (Part 6) but if you have further information I am happy to hear it.

      4. Regarding your claim that “the redistilled oil will obviously ALWAYS be more expensive that the crude oil”, I guess that depends what kind of redistilling we are talking about. I know that the 1st distill claims the highest price in the market. Perhaps you haven’t worked with small farmers who actually do this kind of work? From what I understand, the smaller farmers do this kind of 1st, 2nd and 3rd distillation, but then again, doTERRA themselves referred to it in the email I cited. So it is puzzling indeed.

  84. Thank you for all the time and effort you have put into these posts! I have been following them for months. I currently buy my oils from doterra. However, I’m really turned off by how aggressive and hostile the people affiliated with doterra have been on your comment board. Its strange that they are so “offended” by these posts. Like they take them personally. i think thats weird….

    When I decided to start using oils I looked at a bunch of different companies but didn’t know what made one better or worse than another. I went with doterra because I had a friend who sells it. It was convenient. If I could buy better oil, and not have to buy them from a MLM count me in!

    Thanks again. I am so grateful for your research. Don’t let the crazies out there get you down. :)

  85. Will your follow up be in blog hop or on web site?

  86. I just wanted to pop in and thank you for putting up with all of the inappropriate speaking, typing, information, actions and accusations. I have been following the series and I deeply appreciate all of your in depth questioning and continued persistence in your attempt to get the answers that many of us didn’t think to ask, wouldn’t think of or really wanted to know. The things you are asking are the reasons I haven’t delved into EO’s seriously. I have some and I have used them but not as often as I would like to if I had all the information I want/need. As someone who really does want the best for her money I need to know: Why one is better then another? What companies are not telling the whole truth? Why some are so more expensive then others? etc. I am so glad you have gotten into the mire of all of this even if others are not being respectful of your process.
    Thank you for all your hard work.

    • Again, I really appreciate the encouragement. I’m doing the best I can within a reasonable amount of time. Hang in there – I think we’ll have some good interaction with the next posts.

  87. Thank you for your work. I have been anxiously waiting for the next part in your series. I am a newby to all of this and I have been considering different companies. My gut keeps sending me back to one, which you haven’t talked about in depth yet. I am hoping you will complete this series and that you can withstand all the negativity you are getting. It really is awful and I am appalled to see some of the comments. You have spent a lot of time and energy on this, I appreciate your willingness to contribute to my knowledge search. Perhaps I will email you for the final answer – I am stressed for you with reading the comments.

    • Thanks, Karen. It has been pretty stressful but I really felt like I needed to address the comments rather than just delete them b/c they weren’t kind. Better to have the stuff out in the open (within reason). I’m curious where you are leaning!

      • I was actually leaning towards doTerra last fall – but something held me back. Several reasons, but I wasn’t so sure about taking them internally. I also wasn’t sure I wanted to join another direct sales company. I am part of one, but only buy products for myself. I don’t sell to others. I used to belong to another one that had more requirements and it got very stressful.
        But years ago, when I was first introduced to EOs, my sister bought from Mountain Rose Herbs. When I finally started using them myself, that is who I keep coming back to. I like that company and I have learned a lot by reviewing their website when I am looking at new oils. They are who I am leaning towards right now.

  88. You mentioned in one of these four posts that there are higher quality oils available than even these, but at a very high price. Did the distributor you were talking to mention the name or names of these companies? I make fragrances for men and women at home and I am always searching for good distributors of HIGH quality oils!

    • No – but I could check. Are you really willing to pay a lot? I mean more than the MLMs.

      • Yeah, it isn’t my first choice, but with certain oils you have to pay out the nostril. Because they are so expensive, everyone adulterates them (e.g. frankincense, myrrh, rose and jasmine products, etc.). EVERYONE. DoTerra and YoungLiving both have decent smelling examples of these, but they still haven’t given me quite the spark I’m looking for.

        • I don’t think everyone adulterates. Do you mean just the expensive oils?

          • Well, mostly. There is a strong correlation between the price of the oil and the chance that it has been adulterated–the more expensive, the greater the chance.

            The truly pricey oils I mentioned above (among others) are almost always adulterated. I’m studying biology in college right now, and I’ve seen the relatively cheap equipment that chemists use to analyze the chemical makeup of substances. It takes very little training to use that machinery to take apart fragrances and analyze what chemicals were used in it’s making. That’s why you see knockoff fragrances in stores that smell so close to the original. These same machines can be used to analyze what makes an essential oil smell like it does, then chemists can sythesize them. It’s never exactly the same, because there are hundreds of chemicals within the oils that are in trace amounts. These chemicals are much cheaper than the actual product, and are used to stretch oils, emphasize a certain note of a fragrance, or create a fake fragrance oil all together.

            Long story short, when you pay for ridiculously expensive oils, you pay for someone to oversee the whole process. You pay someone to watch the distillation of frankincense, the bottling, the shipping and the sale of the product, and to certify it’s quality and purity. It is intensely expensive to do that, so the price of these oils–while steep–is justified. I don’t know where you live, but I live in Utah, very near to both the doTerra and Young Living headquarters. I HIGHLY doubt that they oversee their products like they claim. I don’t know, it’s just a hunch though. Keep up the good research!

            • I have been taking that into account with the companies I have been looking at. If the oil is selling way below what it should be then it is suspect. I have not been figuring this all out myself–I have had help from a few places. I live in Michigan and was not about to travel to their farms to check things out :-).

              Can you explain why you don’t think that they do? doTERRA’s oils aren’t from Utah, but a good amount of YL’s appear to be.

              Thanks for the comment!

  89. First of all, thank you kindly for your dedication, bravery and forbearance. A lesser person would have cracked. I came into this with the same simple question and I find that some of the most long-winded and obnoxious posts fail to realize that you are doing exactly what I’m sure almost all of your readers would do if they had the time, resources, tenacity, and/or ability to do. I see alot of pretentiousness in particular posts that fail to see this. On the contrary, you have not once pretended to do anything other than find out one simple answer that will benefit so many. I know that most of us wait patiently while you deal with this issue along with the drivel, so that we can make a decision on something that we believe is vital to our lives and those of our loved ones. So please know Adrienne, that when this is over the ignorant and ill-intentioned aspects of this will fade away into the past while your good work will resonate well into the future. And, Oh Boy, are you gonna need some aromatherepy when this is over! On a personal note, I use Edens Garden, I haven’t noticed them mentioned, any word there? Also, I would love to purchase some of the higher quality more expensive oils, where would I find these? Keep up the good fight-Gods Blessings to you and again thank you for everything.

    • You are sweet and very funny. Yes, I should go grab some oils right now :-). Edens Garden has been mentioned in the comments, I believe. The really higher quality? I am not thinking you would want to. Wait ’til you find out where I am going and then we can talk about it if need be. Bless you as well.

  90. Sylla Sheppard Hanger says:

    Hi Adrienne, just catching up on this fabulous discussion you created. One thing I would like to add comments to Marge Clarks comments is the so called English vs. French vs. German methods. There is NO SUCH THING. I have used EO for going on 40 years, long before we had the term aromatherapy. These terms were invented by YL when we all got on them for blatant promoting of undiluted use in their RainDrop technique of applying irritant/sensitizing oils undiluted on the spine (the old IDMA list!). These terms were never in use before that. Gary Young decided to promote undiluted as it sells more oils, and made up these terms 20- years ago to fight our complaints saying we used the “english” method. There are people in all countries using all methods. Obviously internal use is needed when there is a systemic infection, or for stomach ache- get them right where they can work, in the gut and rectal use would fit here, used to bypass liver. Externally is fine for skin issues, relaxing, etc and inhalation is for respiratory issues duh!!. It has nothing to do with countries methods. The doctors who can proscribe internally originally were in France (Daniel Penoel, etc) but many do that all over the world. the English happened to begin aromatherapy in beauty clinics/massage so that would mean external use only, and surely we all breathe so inhalation doesn’t belong to any country though some German may have spoken about it. I really wish this terminology would decease because it is false and makes no sense. Thanks for listening.

    • This is all really interesting. I honestly don’t know what to make of all of this, especially since Marge was clearly not happy with YL and their methods. I will have to do more looking but likely it will take me awhile. Thanks! Anyone else care to chime in?

      • Sylla Sheppard Hanger says:

        Most responsible and ethical practitioners using essential oils agree some of their YL methods are alarming and unsafe; but not just YL as the other MLMs all repeat the same info over and over. No one bothers to check facts, just repeat stuff. Just for the record, for some years now there has been enough of a problem for NAHA.org to create a reporting area for cases of toxicity and skin injuries from over use. And about the terms, you can look into it all you want, but I assure you the terms I mention concerning “methods” were never used in the industry or in any literature before YL in the 1980′s I think when they started the unsafe promotion of oils?

  91. Wow, what a great find (via Whipperberry, btw). I have been using essential oils for about two years now, since I went through a very lengthy and horrible IV antibiotic nightmare for sinus infections that were resistant to oral antibiotics. In fact, at this moment, I’m sitting with cotton balls of Thieves & Lavender on my ears to relieve horrible ear infection pain. I’ve tried a lot of different brands, including YL, and have settled on using Aura Cacia for now. I’m REALLY interested to hear your final answer though, because I’m constantly hounded by friends (who distribute YL and DT) who say I should be using more pure oils.

  92. Leslie Ridenour says:

    Adrienne, I have read every segment on the essential oils, from the beginning to part 4, as well, the comments. I bought some Doterra oils at a Doterra party that I was invited to last spring. I really like the lemon for making my own all purpose cleaner and I LOVE the lavender for helping me to relax and sleep but I am merely a beginner. I had desired to get into essential oils as an alternative health therapy (I am an oncology RN) had previously read 2 books on Aromatherapy so when I was invited to the party, I thought that was a good opportunity to start somewhere. I am not committed to Doterra since that is the only essential oil I have used/tried thus far (I purchased the Family Physician Kit). I am so-o interested in reading about what you believe is the best essential oil, while also being the best bang for your buck as well. I hope later you’ll be writing about how to best use them (because I haven’t really used mine other than the lavender on my plantar foot surfaces to relax and sleep and the lemon oil to make cleaner) so would really be interested in your tips on how best to utilize them?

    • I think we’ll be able to touch on that in the future. Thanks! We all want to know more ways to use the oils safely! I’d love to know what books you read and what you thought about them. Did they not have enough usage info in them?

  93. Leslie Ridenour says:

    I’ll have to look for the books because I have no idea where they are right now? I read so many books (mostly alternative health) and they are all over the place. Yes, they did instruct how to use them, but I would still like tips and ideas. For instance, what is the best equipment for aromatherapy, as I have not bought any yet (years ago I purchased one from my personal trainer who was into the essential oils for aromatherapy and it was rather expensive and clogged up in no time flat so not in a hurry to buy another one, would rather buy one that is highly recommended). I feel by not using them in aromatherapy, I may not be utilizing them to their fullest potential (LOL, guess would have to use them period, to experience that and up to this point I haven’t even used any but the lavender and lemon, there were several that came in the Family Physician kit). I see above that Part 5 was just published but I am unable to get to it. LOL, I even thought it was my computer freezing it up (it does that a lot, so I went to another computer in the house and got on my Iphone and searched there as well. Dying to read it!

  94. Hi Adrienne!

    My son’s doctor recommends Be Young Essential Oils (beyoungeo.com), we just started using them yesterday! I have never used essential oils before and look forward to learning to more about them… I’ll have to go back and read your previous posts! Thanks for the info!

    • I wish I could have talked more about Be Young, but I don’t know as much about them. They don’t have as many requirements to join as the other 2 but the way their reps promote them as being so great b/c of the E.O.B.B.D. qualifications doesn’t seem that valid to me. I think companies should do more than EOBBD but then it appears that Be Young does.

  95. Hi! Thank you for this great info. I just want to alert you to another excellent EO company that does extensive testing, including putting the test batch # on each bottle. Sunrose Aromatics. The woman is very knowledgeable.

  96. Thank you for doing this! Great info. I was wondering if you tested Nature’s Sunshine?

    • Just to be clear, I am not testing oils. I am just checking out their sites, with help, to figure out if their oils are good quality or not. And when necessary, I contact them myself. There are ways to see if their oils are what I am looking for or not and I hope to share that with you all when the time comes – thanks!

  97. glenda resener says:

    I ordered from Appalachian Valley Natural Products and am very happy!! My skin is happy with the oils and no burning sensation. Excellent prices, without going broke!! :)

  98. This blog sounds like marketing to me and I bet DT will come out on top.

    • Hi John. Did you read Part 5? DoTERRA reps are really upset with me. I assure you this is not a marketing blog, but bloggers do make money blogging when appropriate. I only post honest opinions. I would appreciate your refraining from accusatory posts in the future. You are always welcome to ask questions. Thank you.

  99. You are doing a great job, Adrienne. I appreciate all your hard work, and most of all, making us think. I always hope that people will research and find as much info as they can whether it is vaccines or natural birth etc., so bravo for challenging the status quo and tring to cut through the “marketing lines.” Looking forward to the unveiling to hear why you chose the company you did (I think you said next week, no pressure though). I know new considerations are coming along all the time. Get out and take a walk to refresh!
    Bekah

  100. Hey! I just wanted to add a thought- most essential oils warn you not to ingest and dilute before even putting on your skin. So it might be possible different distillation methods are used for different plants so that they can be applied directly and taken internally without doing damage? I tried to read if someone posted this already in the comments, but there are many so I didn’t get all the way through! There aren’t a lot of objective posts about essential oil/companies, I appreciate all the work you do!

    • I think we can touch on all of this in the future but I don’t think this is the issue personally. Seems to me, from everything I have heard that the internal issue is how it’s produced and your own theory of usage. I think distillation method seems to be a different issue.

  101. Hi Adrienne,

    Wow, what a can of worms. Thank you for wading into so much research and evaluation for the sake of so many. I am a YL distributor, happily, and the products have served us well. I could only glance over the many hostile comments before my eyes began to glaze over. Press onward! You are an amazing person, and I believe you have integrity that is difficult to find. Don’t let the negativity of folks who wrap up their self-worth in any of this impact you, your emotions or your health. Whether you like YL or or whatever other company, the world goes on. But the points you raise are interesting and insightful. YL has been around 30 years…only 20 as an MLM. Gary’s heart is in his plants. He’s a pioneer/farmer at heart. But he is also a man of integrity. I like him. Here’s a link to a document on frankincense and cancer http://www.biomedcentral.com/1472-6882/12/253/abstract. Here’s a link to Stephen Barrett, http://www.mnwelldir.org/docs/editorial/quack.htm. Hope they prove useful. And thank you for pouring your gifts in this blog. I enjoy your topics beyond essential oils!

    • Thank you, Nancy. I hope that, in the future, whatever truth needs to come out about YL and doTERRA comes out. I appreciate the links. My husband had what I thought was a precancerous spot on his back and we used frankincense on it and it changed dramatically. I was so grateful!

  102. Thank you so much for your diligence in researching this! My interest piqued when the first post came out but I’m just now getting back to reading the rest of the posts (and I’m so sad to hear about the personal attacks, so not necessary). Just a quick blip, at the end of this post you have links to all the others except that the link for part 5 actually takes you to part 6. :)

  103. Good reading, but did I miss something? Which company do you like the best so far? Have you tested oils by “Now” and “Aura Cacia” and what were your thoughts on them? Thanks! =)

  104. I only see through part 6..? Thank you for doing all of this research by the way! =) I can only say that I have used Aura Cacia and Now, and some other unknown ones I purchased from a local “New Age” shop. I have not found displeasure with any of them as of yet, but interested in your findings.=)

  105. i am just adding a view point for thought, doTerra started a few years back, from employees of YL. Who “supposedly” took some secrets, of what I am not sure what could be secretive to steal. But that end dicision would be between the companies; What I DO know, is that I hve been using YL, and have done lots of research, and bottom line: as in anything you use – choose smart; The HUGE compliment to EO’s is to get rid of the toxins in the house/body/rx’s etc. If we go to any store, we have lots of choices to which company product we want to buy; That is why we have SO many companies and SO many choices in ALL areas; some people don’t care – and want cheap; Others, like myself want quality products and I pay for it; Is Gary Young a bad person from quack reports? I don’t know. But if you and I had our list of laundry sprawled out on the internet we would have many haters wouldn’t we?!?! everyone has something bad or not so pretty in their life. and unfortunately, we live in a society that LOVES dirty laundry instead of the GOOD in people.

    So everyone asks for the “best” EO’s.It’s all about: Choice. Opinion. Do YOUR own research. And SAMPLE things; I have read lots on the bug repellant in this article, and plain old peppermint works wonders! and it’s inexpensive! (gets rid of mice too – a few drops on a cotton ball at the entry area of where the mouse is suspected – GONE! bye bye!)
    I have not been sick in THREE and half years using YLEO and supplements. And don’t plan on changing. It works. (and no, I have used a few oils that don’t seem to be effective, but that is with ANY brand of ANYTHING you buy – it is good for some and not so effective for others).

    • I think you make a good point about the “laundry list”. That being said, if one is going to repeatedly make bad decisions and not reverse them, then that is another matter.

      I think we all have to choose what is important to us and what isn’t and what and whom we are going to believe. Thanks for sharing.

  106. Adrienne I clicked on that link but it takes me to part 6. I don’t see any part 7. =(

  107. Dawn Meyer says:

    I havent taken the time yet to read everything you researched but I do know when you support one company you will try to dig up crap about the others..Yes DoTerra did steal from YL.. A question though is does the company that you endorse let the public tour the distilling plants? If so I would like to visit the plant to do my own comparison as well..Thanks

    • I would think they would be fine with that. But they are all over the world. Give them a call:). They are going to be going there this year and doing on site filming from what I have heard.

  108. Something to consider…that even the same product from the same company may differ from batch to batch. Just like vintages of a particular wine. No one can control the weather and it’s effects on that year’s yield, nor the pollution in the air. What time of year the crop was harvested, and as has been referred to, which part of the globe it came from. I have used YL oils for years and just began trying DT. I honestly love both and don’t wish to try to prove one over the other as tempting as it is. I feel both have wonderful things to offer and both are very safe to use.
    I have purchased many bottles of Lavender oil from YL over the years. There were several that “smelled” a little different from the rest. I did have a preference about which smell I liked better, but I felt they were all theraputically just fine. What caused the different smell? My guess is when it was harvested and changes in uncontrollable weather or perhaps they have more than one lavender field, one in France, one in Utah, and it just grows differently. I don’t feel there is anything sinister going on from either company, and think it is best to focus on what is good versus unknowns that can cause damage to anyone, directly or indirectly.
    I am glad to have read all of these comments, and I am even more convinced it’s like trying to argue what kind of car is better, a Lincoln or a Cadillac. I believe our goal is the same, to find out who we can trust with our health, our family and our dollar. Every person is entitled to feel strongly about whichever company they wish. It is also possible to feel strongly “for” something without feeling strongly “against” everything else. Thank you, Adrienne, for all your hard work and trying to navigate through this. Your work helped me decide what stance to take. Blessings!

    • Thanks, Kim. Just wanted to make sure – did I saw anything about variance from batch to batch being a problem? In fact, I think it’s the opposite.

      While I think that it is entirely possible that YL and DT have good quality oils, I think that the concerns that I have brought up about both of them are significant. Issues of where the plants are grown, integrity of the company and their spokespersons and how the oils are handled during and after distilling. I am really glad that you and others are using oils for healing, but I do think that it is important to bring these things out into the open and talk about them and try to get some answers.

      I am looking into a few more things that might shed some more light on the whole thing as well so I hope you stay tuned :).

  109. No, you did not say anything about inconsistencies between batches. I brought it up because I did experience it within the same company and thought that if it were possible for that to be the case for one company all by itself, then it is possible for two companies to smell/taste different even though producing the same “product”, say peppermint.

    • Thanks for clarifying. It’s possible, but since doTERRA has already said many things about why their peppermint smells differently:

      1. complete distill
      2. from Washington
      3. from the leaves and flowers only
      4. Pappas says he thinks it is redistilled

      then I don’t think that is the case in this situation. I will add that NAN’s peppermint smells really beautiful. Sweet but with an herby undertone. Mr. Dean says it is because they age it to let some of the herby smell come off naturally.

  110. I’m a rep. with forevergreen and love our Truessence oils. The scent is great and they work. I also, at times use NOW oils due to their price and convenience to pick up at my local health food store where they also have some great books for using oils for your health. Bottom line, use what works for you and your family. Thank you for all of your research.

    • Thanks for sharing. I agree different folks can choose different things, but I don’t think the bottom line is to use what works b/c a lot of toxic things “work”. I think purity and ethics are important as well. I am not saying that you didn’t think that is important but I feel that that distinction needs to be mentioned.

      • In theory, pharmaceuticals ‘work’ too, doesn’t make them a good choice. Also, it takes 2,000 lbs of petals to distill 1 to 2oz of Rose essential oil, that’s a huge expense. That being said, what else is lurking in the $10 bottle of rose oil from your local health store? I do believe you have to pay for quality, in anything. That’s why I buy fresh veggies, instead of canned.

        Just sayin

        Tiara

  111. You had my interest until you brought up Barrett and Quackwatch! He is nothing but a shill for the medical profession and has been sued into near bankruptcy for libel and slander. I’m not a big fan of YL because of their business model for reps but you completely blew your credibility by even bringing up Barrett!!

    • I am honestly surprised at your response–did you read my entire post and what I had to say about Barrett? I brought it up because I think that his concerns / accusations are widely discussed and need to be addressed. If I didn’t, I think that would have been dishonest journalism since so many people have heard what he has to say. I also did bring up my concerns about him. However, I do think that some of his concerns need to be considered, whether or not they are reasons to walk away from YL or other alternative medicine practices. One thing I have wondered about is his discussion of the lack of licensing of the chiropractor who worked w/ Gary Young. I would love to know if you have any knowledge about that. Has that been proven or not? Thanks and I would love to hear your thoughts.

  112. ’3. Non-Indigenous Plants – Most of Young Living’s farms are located in the U.S. I think that’s fine for a company being more “in control” of their product, but not great if you follow conventional wisdom that plants grow best (and have the best therapeutic qualities) when they are grown in their indigenous locations (where they are supposed to grow naturally).’

    This is not true, Young Living sources their essential oils from the best sources. Only lavender, melissa, balsam fir and tansy are grown in the USA. YL has farms in France, Ecuador and Oman. All other YLEOs are purchased from the best source possible. That means, Spruce and Fleabane come from Canada, Oregano from Turkey and Greece, etc.
    Check out Young Living Farms
    for more details.

    Yes, I sell Young Living

    No, I don’t care if you purchase from me

    I do care about people and I love to see people make healthy choices. I know nothing about doTerra’s quality or integrity, there is bad blood between the companies.

    All I know is, I use Young Living everyday

    My asthma is all but gone,
    My colds are few and far between
    My family is strong and healthy

    Essential Oils should be a part of a healthy lifestyle. I believe YL is the best choice for that

    • Hi and thanks for commenting. I appreciate your comments very much but I will say that the info I posted is from the link that you shared. That page on YL’s site states the acreage of their US farms, but says nothing about the acreage in the overseas farms, and there isn’t anything mentioned about the spruce, fleabane, or oregano. Is there another place where you got that info from? I am for sure willing to admit that I am wrong but I didn’t see evidence of that in the link that you shared. Thank you!

  113. Santa Claus says:

    Nice smear job on Young Living.. sure, the internet is full of baloney, but why not absorb it anyway? Personally, I base my essential oil purchases on WHAT WORKS, not whether Dr. Gary Young has ever had a client pass away.. sheesh.. I feel dumber for having read this.

    • Interesting that you would leave an insulting comment and then leave a fictitious name and email. I am publishing this just so my readers can see what I need to deal with. You are stating that “the internet is full of baloney” and are insinuating that you are a seeker of truth, but you leave false information. That’s a shame. And like I have said before, something working is not the ultimate judge of purity and quality. A lot of pharmaceuticals and chemicals work but I don’t want them on or in my body.

  114. Hi, sorry about that. I have the Essential Oil Reference Guide Book that tells me where, how and when each single oil is made. Short of scanning a page and emailing it to you, not sure how to show you. Anyway, oils such as Cinnamon Bark are sourced from Sri Lanka, Madagascar and Ceylon.
    While Nutmeg sources from Tunisia and Indonesia.
    Young Living does the research and, I believe, chooses the best sources for all their essential oils and products. Even when purchasing essential oils from third parties, the product is tested to ensure it contains a certain level of components.

    Example: YL Lemon, which is sourced from California and Italy, must contain between 59% and 73% Limonene, which is the antioxidant component of all citrus fruit, or Young Living will NOT accept that batch.

    Of course, this is just my word on it. ;)

    I would happily send you a copy of this reference guide, if you wished, so you can see I’m not full of it. ;)

    All the best

    Tiara

    • Sorry it took so long for me to get back to you. I’ve been inundated w/ stuff. I have that book and see what you mean. So it looks like YL uses their own farms, but also farms that they don’t own, correct? I wonder how that affects their “seed to seal” promise. I am not trying to be difficult but a lot of their marketing points to their owning all of their farms, but from this book it looks like they, in fact, do not. The only other thing I would say is that I wonder if this is current info. From the oils companies I have talked to, sometimes they change where they ware sourcing their oils from if they start to have an issue w/ a supplies / country. For example, there is a lot of talk about more lavender oil coming out of France than they grow, indicating that there is some adulterating going on. For that reason, a number of oils producers have started getting lavender from other indigenous locations.

      I would love to know your thoughts on this. Thanks!

      • Hi Adrienne,

        Example: YL Lemon, which is sourced from California and Italy, must contain between 59% and 73% Limonene, which is the antioxidant component of all citrus fruit, or Young Living will NOT accept that batch.

        This is how YL does their quality control. Lemon is only an example,
        If, or when YL is offered a batch of any essential oil that is adulterated, it would not contain the correct components at the acceptable ranges and would be refused. This is how YL maintains
        quality, but testing every batch they receive for the company standards of each component.

        Hope that clears it up for you. It’s so nice to debate with people about this, helps me keep myself up to date.

        Spring is here!
        We’re so excited
        We wet our plants!!!

        • Thanks for responding. I was just curious about finding that YL sources from other places b/c I always thought that part of their marketing themselves as different was that they claimed to have total control of their oils from start of the seed to finish. This link shows that they are claiming that the plants for their oils are all grown on YL farms.

          Maybe you know something different, but many YL reps have made the same claim here about YL growing all of their own plants, so this is news to me.

  115. I have been reading all these posts and have just started with Do Terra because of a serious wound I got that was not healing and the drs told me I would have to have surgery and it would take months to heal. It was scary and horrible! My daughter took pictures when I went to hospital and we almost passed out it was so bad.
    So my friend brought over Do Terra for me to put on it when I could. I was going to the wound center twice a week and they cannot believe how fast it is healing. I am a kidney transplant patient and a diabetic after being on steroids. So my immune system is shot but these oils have healed it within just a month. Still have a little ways to go but is closing beautifully and drs are amazed especially with the meds I am on.
    I have friends who are with YL also and I don’t know much about oils but am learning and searched before deciding to join Do Terra. The reason I chose this company because I never heard bad stuff about any other essentials oils but YL said horrible things concerning Do Terra. That turned me off and had me look up info on both sides and about them and their president. I read an article Blythe president of Do Terra who has never spoke out about his leaving YL until he got so much negative harassment. He does not bash YL but talks about why he left and the product. That impressed me. Young Life has talked negative and after searching out oils, Do Terra was better for me. It was purer and for me and what I deal with is Inportant for me. I saw what it did with my wound which was dead and was going to cut me open and now it’s come back to life and pink with blood which it was white and no blood and dead. That was amazing for me. I guess my thing is don’t bash another company and use what you like. do Terra did for me that YL could not do as I have friends say some things work but not all in YL but they like it because they have been there for years and they heard bad things towards Do Terra. Bthats sad! Go with what your happy with and check and make sure your oils are good quality. Thanks!

  116. This is a quote from that link
    ‘Through cultivation on the four Young Living farms, Young Living Essential Oils has mastered the creation of pure, potent essential oils. The company takes this knowledge around the world to co-op farms to certify that these farms growing processes meet Young Living’s strict quality standards,

    The bolded part means that, while YL gets some products from ‘cooperative farms’,which are third party farms that YL doesn’t own, but they meet the Seed to Seal standards required for YL to purchase their oils.

    Thanks
    Tiara

  117. Theresa says:

    Personally, I love doTerra oils. I only needed one drop of melaleuca to get rid of esophageal thrush caused by an antibiotic. I had suffered nearly a week, feeling like someone had shoved nylon netting down my throat. Couldn’t breathe right and felt like my throat was shutting. Took one drop at night and was perfectly fine in the morning. One of my other favorites is Breathe–one drop on my neck/chin area opens my sinuses right up. I have been building my inventory up and will continue to use the oils for a long time.

  118. I’m very fond of now essential oils, though of course I do have reservations about them being 100% therapeutic as they say. They are on the less pricey side of the spectrum. When i was beginning dipping into the essential oils wonderful world the only brand in my neck of the woods was now foods essential oils and I do like them! So please let me know if you have tried this brand and what you think. Thank you,

    • I don’t see any info on NOW’s site about country of origin, organic or wild crafted. Of course, I don’t know their practices. I like NOW products in theory but they do use a lot of fillers in their supplements. And their oils seem quite inexpensive. I don’t believe they recommend ingesting which is a possible red flag.

  119. This is a fascinating conversation. I want to thank you for your diligent research. I am familiar with all of these companies and I currently use mostly BeYoung oils. However I am lucky to have a friend who brings in fabulous oil in small amounts and they are wonderful! I am excited to keep reading! Thanks again I really enjoy your site!

  120. I found this fascinating thread while trying to find out about the lawsuit between YL and DT. A friend of mine called me today to tell me a friend if hers told her that YL originally started the company and that doterra was started because the guy didnt want to work for a Christian company anymore so he started DT taking all the recipes and clientele, resulting in a lawsuit. On my way to look into this, since I am having a DT class on Sunday, I found your thread. I don’t see any mention of this situation on here. I am concerned. Is this true and did it happen that way and for that reason?
    I hope you can clarify for me.
    Thank you,

    • The YL and DT situation is hard to decipher. YL isn’t orthodox Christian – they are Mormon owned. And so is doTERRA, from what I know. So I don’t think that was the issue at all. There is a letter on doTERRA’s site from the owner of DT saying he was fired soon after making a trip to Ecuador where there were things shared that he didn’t agree with. There weren’t any clear details about it. You can search David Sterling doTERRA and Young Living and you can read it for yourself.

      YL asserts DT took their YL info and clients and built a new company. From what I have heard DT asserts they had a non compete and they abided by it. I don’t have any other info.

      Hope that helps. The suit hasn’t been resolved yet so I don’t know what to think.

  121. I have personally heard the owners of DT speak about their reasons for leaving YL and starting their own company. None of their reasons had anything to do with religion, and they did not say anything negative about YL. They said that after David Stirling was fired, some others decided to get together with him to start their own company, and to produce what they believed would be a higher quality essential oil–with much more testing (which is the largest expense in their budget), sourcing from around the world, and lots of education. I’ve researched this carefully myself, and from what I can tell, they did not “steal” any formulas or clients from YL, although some of their formulas have similar ingredients. Could Campbell’s soup “steal” a recipe for chicken soup that’s been used for hundreds of years? Some of the blends are going to have similar ingredients because they’ve been used by people all over the world for ages. DT merely used a marketing structure that has been used by hundreds of network marketing companies (including YL). When YL sued DT, they still said nothing bad at all about YL, and then the lawsuit mysteriously disappeared from YL’s website. I’m not sure what happened, and nobody at DT is focusing on it. They are only moving forward toward their own goal of high quality essential oils. Since DT is now the world’s largest supplier of essential oils, it does not appear that anything YL has done has affected DT’s reputation. It’s a shame that there is so much mud slinging going around. But I can tell you from personal experience that it is not coming from the owners of DT.

  122. DO you have a resource for your information about YL farms? I know they have farms in Oman and France for sure, but will be looking into this more. I was sure they were committed to growing the plants where they are indigenous.

    • I just looked on their site and took down info from there, but another rep told me that they have sourcing info in their oils book. The oils companies I have talked to change sources as necessary and I wasn’t aware of many oils growing in Ecuador so I am a little unsure as to what to think.

  123. Hi, I’m enjoying reading this… I did find some information you wrote above to not be true. #3 on the Young Living one… http://www.youngliving.com/en_US/company/farms/ The have 7 different farms… not all in the USA.
    Thank you very much!

  124. YL owns 9 farms on 4 continents. They do regular checking on any process that is not on their farms so they can give the ‘seed to seal’ guarantee, how else do you give a guarantee? What other company allows people to participate in harvesting, distilling and planting? If you are a part of YL, you can do these things and experience first hand how things are done. As to doTerra being innocent and not being the aggressor between the two parties, I had never heard of doTerra until I received an email from one of the executives making accusations against YL and how mean and terrible they were to doTerra. The only way this person had my email address was because personal info was taken at the time the 6 people left YL with blend recipes, personal info of distributors and other information. The doTerra structure from the business to the oils is a rubber stamp of YL’s so it doesn’t take much brain power to see where they came up with what the company is all about. I have used YL 9 years and the company does not ever promote, ‘go after doTerra’ as your way to introduce people to essential oils. However, I and many others with YL have been attacked by doTerra people when trying to discuss eo’s. When I teach classes and share with others, I talk about what YL oils have to offer and not how bad doTerra or others may be. In the business world, those who are the best don’t use comparison with other companies to prove themselves. Just about every other eo company compares themselves to YL, this speaks volumes.

    • I am glad to hear about the checking that YL does. I will say that NAN works direct w/ local farmers in all the countries where it sources its oils and they check on what is going on. Since NAN sources very little in the US there is no way to have the same “participate in the farming” situation that YL has….or maybe there is. But of course, it is a different situation. YL reps would be excited to do this b/c they have “bought into” the company whereas the relationship b/t NAN and its customers is very different. I think it would be a fascinating experience but it’s just a different model.

      I don’t know what to say about your claims about DT. Seems odd to me. If they took personal info that is wrong. I do wonder about YL’s US farming since my understanding is that indigenously grown plants are best. What do you think about that?

      • Hi,

        I’ll be upfront and say that I’ve been with YL for about 10 years. I’ve also been a patient at the Young Living clinic in Ecuador for 3 weeks. I love YL oils and products. I’ll admit that I’m new to your website, and I haven’t read everything, and have just skimmed over the comments, but just thought I might be able to offer a bit more clarity on some things with YL. If I’m repeating what someone has already mentioned…. sorry. I can’t speak on behalf of the company… I don’t have that authority. But what I’ll share is accurate as far as I know. I did notice on one comment that you said you couldn’t get answers to a lot of your questions with anyone from YL. I’m in Australia, and our team at the Aussie office here are great at answering questions. You are welcome to ask me the the questions, and I will endeavour to get the answers for you. (Email me if you like.) I’m not trying to persuade you to change to YL, as you are very happy with NAN. I just thought a little clarity might help.

        Young Living do have their own farms, as you have mentioned, in the USA, France, Ecuador, Oman and recently a share in a farm in Australia. Yes, YL grow a lot of their oils on their farms, but there are also a lot that are grown around the world for them. YL sell over 100 single oils, and these are definately not all grown on their farms. Marc Shreuder travels the world checking on the suppliers of their oils,(often unannounced visits so they can’t prepare for his visit) as well as travelling and researching new oils. All oils go through testing before they are available to be sold. One year we weren’t able to purchase Helicrysum oil, as YL’s supplier didn’t meet YL’s standards after a GC spec. Mr Young refused to sell an inferior oil, just so we could have helicrysum. So we went without, until pure helicrysum oil was sourced, that Mr Young was happy with. All oils have chemical constituents, and the way they are distilled, and for the length of time they are distilled affects the quality of the oil, and how many constituents are present. You can still have an organic oil, but it probably won’t do much if the consituents aren’t present to do the healing. Where plants are grown, in what type of soil makes a difference to the constituents. So YL does endeavour to grow the plants natively/indigenously. As is evidenced by the increasing number of oils that are being grown, harvested and distilled in Ecuador. For example, ocotea, ruta, dorado azul etc. YL own two farms in Ecuador, one near Guayaquil and one up in the mountains, of course the altitude and soil is different on each farm, so different plants are grown on each. Harvesting of the plants are done at specific times of day, to maximise the amount of the oil in the leaf, as well as the better it’s constituents. It like the human body…. we’re the same person all day… just at different times we’re feeling more energetic than at other times and this is refelected in our blood. Plants are the same, due to water, sunlight etc, affects the plants chemistry, so the time of day can be important when harvesting. The time of day of harvesting is different for each plant, as is how long each plant has to be distilled for. YL puts considerable time, effort and cost into getting the purest essential oil possible. Also there are many different grades of oils. But also be aware to check the botanical names. YL have Frankincense (boswellia carteri), as well as Sacred Frankincense (boswellia sacra). There are also other Frankincense varieties, and they all have different properties, so make sure you are comparing the same thing. YL’s boswellia carteri comes from Somalia and boswellia sacra comes from Oman. On the topic of distilling/purity etc, there’s a lot more that I could say…. but I think this comment is probably long enough already! If it is any help, there is a reference book called Essential Oils Desk Refence, 5th Edition… compiled by Life Science Publishing is written for YL oils and explains all YL products, their ingredients, how to use them etc. It also explains the chemistry of oils, proper distillations etc. I love this book….

        On the issue of DT…. I remember when Dr Hill (DT) did a lot of touring for YL, I also remember meeting numerous other people that are now on the DT management team but were once on YL’s board or held an executive position. It’s not very coincidental that DT’s products are very similar to that of YL’s. YL is now suing DT for numerous things. I also know people who are in YL, and have received communications from DT, without knowing or signing up for any information. Personal information that could only have been copied. If you want to get caught up in all the negative stuff about it, just google YL vs DT and you’ll find stuff from both sides.

        I hope this helps. Sorry for the length…. I didn’t mean it to turn into an essay…. :-)

        PS. I just realised that some new videos have just been posted on YouTube by YL (look for youngliving007.) Some of these explain what tests, YL put their oils through.

        • Thanks. I hope whatever is going on w/ YL and DT comes out. I personally think their oils are quite different but if there is personal info being traded that is not good.

  125. Sarah Barendse says:

    Very interesting for sure….. I am a doTERRA rep. and want to make SURE i am selling the best. I have had wonderful results with doTERRA (which is why i chose to sell it).
    But I keep hearing stuff on both sides YL and DT…. and being I am a health advocate & graphic designer rather than a scientist… I really don’t know exactly what to make of it all.

  126. Wow they really are putting you through the ringer over all this. I am fairly new to using essential oils I like you used a couple found they worked then started checking around to see what’s what. What I decided was I would rather order my EO from the UK because there they do have over site. I buy mine from a small company that is has the highest rating called Katseye blends. They are so nice and are very honest about their oils what’s in them what distillation and the price is comparable with what you pat for DT and YL. I also buy NOW and aura cacia for blending in lotions where they will be heated because seriously what’s the point of spending tons of money on something your heating anyway. I think your really brave for going through this and I wish you the very best.

  127. I was wondering if you hear of the website that sells essential oil, There’s an Oil For That .
    they are not a mlm and thought they had a good essential oil list. What do you think?

    • I think they have some good info, but their index card testing info isn’t accurate from what I have heard. I don’t know what to make of the smell test but there can be pure oils blended w/o transparency to the buyer and that would not be “something wrong” as far as physically wrong but it would be a cheap and less therapeutic option. Their prices seem to be a little more than NAN so I will stay where I am. Thanks for the info though.

  128. thanks! now a stupid question…. what does NAN stand for?

    • Oh – I thought you read my whole series…..so I abbreviated. NAN is Native American Nutritionals – the company I ended up recommending,:)

  129. thank you again. i read most of it. it was so longgggg. sorry.

  130. oh that is good. i do enjoy all the info. You have done such a great job. i learned a lot. the comments take so long, but they are good too.

  131. I am curious about your credentials. What makes you an expert on oils. Just wonder. I have studies oil for years. Many classes certificates but does not make me an expert. My daughter on the other hand has her PHD in Biochemistry. I am just an RN with my ND. I understand everyone has their own opinion and is entitled . Some of yours just is most confusing

    • Hi Gerrie.
      Thanks for commenting. However, I don’t understand your comment. I never said I was an expert on oils but I am trying to learn what I can as I can. I don’t understand what your daughter’s and your certification has to do with my situation but if you can explain more I am willing to answer your questions. What is confusing about what I have written? Thanks.

  132. Adrienne,
    Thanks for the research you’ve done and the courage to post your findings. I’m new to essential oils and I came across your blog as I began to look for information about companies and what would be considered the “best” oils to use. I’ve learned a lot and I encourage you to continue sharing these and other findings as it definitely adds value.

  133. I would like to commend you on your great work. I wish things in life were more transparent(it would make life easier). I would like to know your thoughts or feedback on Mountain Rose (essential oils) & on Stillpoint Aromatics. I’m always looking for a quality/safe product and it appears that things get blurry & confusing when looking into essential oils. These companies have appealed to me because they offer organic, wild harvested options and are not a MLM. I also like that Mountisn Rose takes a more eco appoarch( or so they claim). I’m open to hear your insight. Once again thanks for your EOs posts.

    • MRH has conflicting info on internal use. Stillpoint I looked at. I think they looked good but their focus on energies in the oil were a little too much for me. I am really happy w/ where I am

  134. hi! wow, i stumbled upon all these posts as i’ve been thinking of signing up with either DT or YL and couldn’t make my mind up which one. i’m probably more confused than ever, but i commend you on this very thorough work on this subject! in my searches, i cam across this recently published site-have you seen these studies yet? http://www.certifiedsynthetic.com I’d love to hear your thoughts!

    • I just got that in my inbox this past week. I am not sure what to think. If, in fact, they are certainly doTERRA oils, then that looks highly suspicious. However, it is entirely possible that someone could be smart enough to take a doTERRA bottle and fill it with something else and then, if they are professional enough, be able to put a top back on it. So, while I think this could be incriminating evidence about doTERRA, I can’t be entirely sure. I guess the only way to know is to get a bottle of their oils and submit it to the lab myself, b/c I am not good enough to put a new cap on :).

      • thank you for the quick response. i hadn’t even considered someone changing the contents of the bottle before it was tested, i guess that’s entirely possible! i found the site a little suspect, since it was clearly created solely to discredit doTerra. very interesting indeed, i guess i’ll continue my internal debate. :)

        • It’s hard to trust the site for me as well. Just b/c it was put together to discredit doTERRA doesn’t mean it is false information, but it’s something to think about.

  135. Hi Adrienne! My mom has been a distributor and user of YL for many many years.. 11 or more. We’ve always loved their products. We’ve read much about Dr. Young and have decided to not let that play a role in our choice to enjoy his oils. Last weekend we met a DT rep, for the first time we learned about this company. My mom felt torn. She got a really good result from using some DT oils with that rep – the pain in her atrophy arm has been gone for 5 days. So today I decided to google “DT vs YL” and your blog was the first on the results.

    I must THANK YOU for spending so much of your own time digging and digging, sampling, taking notes, spending your own money and attempting to help others along in their journey of finding the perfect EO company for them. I’ve spent the last hour of my life just reading the comments and your replies. I must give you tons of credit. I wouldn’t have taken so many precious hours of my life, as you have, to rely to most of these posts.

    We have placed an order with NAN and are excited to give them a try. I think there’s nothing wrong with being open to different brands and products, taking a bit here and there of what works best.

    We will be following your blog from now on, thanks again for all your hard work & dedication!

  136. Just a fair reminder that there is a huge difference in Essential Oils. Young Living Essential Oils are THERAPEUTIC GRADE Essential Oils and let’s not forget that they are used in over 50 hospitals in the US, including Cleveland Clinic. I think that puts some validity in the power of YL oils. I use them personally and my husband healed a form of Macular Degeneration (Macular Hole) using YL oils, NingXia Red, Asataxanthin, D3, C, Clove and Lemon (together, internally, in a capsule). There are way too many people out there that have had more of a positive affect from YL oils than negative. Furthermore, YL does not just have farms ONLY in the US. They have 9 farms total and have 3rd party growers in other countries as well. Gary Young has study for nearly 30 years….not only plants, but soil conditions that they must grow in. People believe all of the negatives they find on the internet because we choose to let fear lead us. I am a huge supporter of Young Living Essential Oils..their integrity and top quality products. If you want testimonials….there are tons of them out there. Here is one website that you can go for thousands and thousands of testimonials: Oil Testimonials. Thank you for allowing me to comment. You’ve taken a lot of time to research, but the proof is in the products. 100% genuine! Since the FDA knows nothing about EO’s and has no idea how to set the standards, at this time, EO’s are considered pure when they only have 5% pure plant oil in the product. The rest is chemically made in labs….they are only perfume grade. If you can’t put it on your skin, you should be smelling it either. Think about toxins and what you’re putting in your body. ;-)

    • Thanks for commenting. I wonder if you have documentation about the 5% plant oil factoid you mentioned. I had heard something similar but couldn’t find documentation for us. I don’t think it is fear, however, that causes people to be concerned about what they read about G. Young. Some of the information is troubling so I wish there were some way to get to the bottom of it.

  137. J. Lang says:

    Since you put so much time and research into this, and since so many people have appreciated that and taken your advice, I thought you might be interested to know that as of today doTERRA has sued Young Living. I am not trying to get you to change your mind about what oils you have chosen that work best for your family. It is your personal choice, and I feel everyone needs to do what they feel is best for their family. But people have been swayed by the things you have written about doTERRA’s Peppermint oil. Recently there was a website that was put up that had false information and false test results about our Peppermint. Certified Synthetic is now only viewable by invitation. It was discovered that the test results were not doTERRA’s peppermint at all. Unfortunately, doTERRA cannot stand by any longer and allow Young Living to defame it’s products, hence the lawsuit. I think it’s sad that people can’t just allow everyone to do what works best for them, and yes you should be informed, but when false information is spread it’s sad. There is enough abundance to go around for everyone.

    • HI there. Was it proven that YL put that info up? And how did they find out it wasn’t DT’s peppermint? I saw that and was skeptical b/c I knew it could have been anything in the bottle. I do think that Gary Young’s claims about Omani Frankincense are unfounded. The company that I recommended has the Omani Frankincense now as well so YL is for sure not the only company with it.

      • Elizabeth says:

        Yes, they were able to prove that someone from YL put the website up. The reason they know that it was not DT peppermint is because there was a third party analysis of the doTerra peppermint oil, exact same lot number that was reported on the website. There was no question that the menthol level of that lot was over 50%, and of course there was not a trace of the ethyl vanillin. The menthol level on the website report was only in the 30s. Typically DT peppermint never tests below 45% for menthol. The test results were in no way similar.
        If you want, I can email you a link to the full lawsuit that was filed.

        • You mean the original lawsuit? I am familiar w/ that to a point. I find this all very confusing regardless of whether DT is adding stuff or not, it appears their peppermint is redistilled which I don’t want.

          • Elizabeth says:

            doTERRA, as of yesterday, is now suing Young Living because of the website and their false claims about DT peppermint. I am not talking about the lawsuit YL filed against DT last year.
            Again, I am not trying to convince you to use DT oils, just wanting you to understand the lengths people will go to discredit DT.
            As far as their peppermint oil, I read all your concerns about DT peppermint and what distillation it was. I wanted to find out for myself, and wanted an unbiased opinion, so I contacted Robert Tisserand, who is recognized as a leader and world expert in aromatherapy, and asked him about 1st, 2nd and whole distillation. Here is his reply concerning re-distillation:

            “The simple answer is that there is only one distillation. Once it’s done there is no more essential oil left in the plant, so re-distilling it would be pointless.
            One exception is ylang-ylang which has 4 different qualities, and they do equate to distillation time. It’s not re-distilled, it just takes many hours, and they separate the first hour’s oil from the next and so on. They don’t have to, but mostly they do.
            Some oils are re-distilled, meaning that the essential oil, not the plant, is fractionally distilled to remove toxic or unpleasant constituents. This commonly happens with peppermint oil, and results in a finer-smelling and finer-tasting oil.
            Otherwise no, there is no such thing as a second distillation.”

            I then asked for a little more clarification knowing that there is some controversy over using a whole distillation as opposed to a first, and the thought that you would get a sweeter smelling peppermint, but that it is not as pure, or a cheaper grade than the first distillation. Here is his response to that query:

            “I don’t understand whole as opposed to first. They are the same thing!
            ‘Purity’ is open to interpretation. If you are seriously purist about essential oils, then you have to accept that bitter almond oil contains cyanide, in its naturally-distilled form. You can’t buy it because it is so toxic, this is by way of illustration. Distillation itself is, you could argue, not a natural process.
            The constituents removed from peppermint are sulfur compounds. They are not harmful, and are not especially therapeutic.”

            So my take on all of that would be that yes, DT peppermint oil (not the plant) might be re-distilled to take out the sulfur compounds, but it doesn’t change it’s purity or it’s therapeutic qualities. But, to state that the Peppermint is a cheaper grade because of that, is simply false, according to Robert Tisserand. Again, it’s your personal preference, and I’m not trying to argue or sway you on that point.

            And that is the whole point of the lawsuit. To stop Gary Young and YL from spreading lies about the quality of DT oils. Purity is their #1 concern. There aren’t any synthetics or anything else added to DT oils.

            I am grateful for Free Enterprise so that everyone has a choice to choose the products that work best for them. I Just don’t appreciate all the false and negative statements about other companies, and that goes both ways. If you choose a certain brand to work with, that’s great, tell me all the things that are great and positive about that brand, don’t try to disparage the other brand to make yours look better. This is not a personal attack on you, by the way. You spent many hours testing and experimenting and researching what would be best for your family, I appreciate that. Unfortunately, in your research you came across false statements spread by others, and that misleading information is what I am concerned about.

            • Well, if you remember from my post, I heard from doTERRA that their peppermint is a complete distill, and that was from Dr. Hill’s assistant. It was Pappas who said it was likely redistilled. So there is a difference of opinion on this and then in another video, I believe Dr. Hill said the peppermint smelled sweet b/c it is made only from the leaves and flowers and then Emily Wright is on video saying it’s b/c it is from Washington. So this is very puzzling to me. NAN’s peppermint is from Washington. And NAN says that it is rare in the industry, but their peppermint is, in fact, 1st distillation. They got this information from the person who distills their peppermint oil. I can clarify more of that if need be. Apparently peppermint is one oil that can be distilled for a long time and the best oil, and most therapeutic, comes from the first distill. So while I respect Tisserand (however, I don’t care for all of the chemicals that he has in the personal care products on his site), and I believe that the owner of NAN does as well, I think it is possible that perhaps someone knows something about oils (or an oil) that he doesn’t.

              I don’t think that I spread anything falsely said by others, but I am open to reconsider that. I pointed out the many things that those at the top (and those associated very closely w/ doTERRA–being Pappas, as the man who tests their oils and spoke at their convention) of doTERRA said about their oils. Please let me know if you think I am spreading something false b/c I don’t think so.

              • Elizabeth says:

                Sorry it’s taken me so long to reply to this. I wanted to take the time and re-read some of the things you said and those of Dr. Pappas as well.
                I guess my point with all of this was not that you misquoted anything that anyone said, but that what you said and the way you said it would have people believe that doTERRA’s peppermint is not pure, not good quality, cheaper quality, or not therapeutic quality.

                **I am putting in my replies in here so that it is easier for folks to follow along. I do think that doTERRA’s peppermint isn’t as good quality as NAN’s. That was my whole point. I find it disconcerting that so many in the upper ranks of DT have conflicting reasons as to why their peppermint smells “different” and then the scientist who tests it says that he thinks it has had compound vacuumed off, and then when I did research on the “problem” with the compound that he is talking about, it appears that he (Pappas) is spreading false information about the compound being in vomit. And even if it is in vomit, food is in vomit, so this is a totally false logical step he is making.**

                I am not an oil expert by any stretch of the imagination, but because I use oils, and share the benefits with others, I want to be as accurate as possible about the things I am sharing. That is why I asked Robert Tisserand about distillation. So, now I have two essential oil “experts”, one of whom is a PHD Chemist who specializes in testing essential oils for purity, who have both stated that there is no such thing as a 1st, 2nd or 3rd distillation except in the case of Ylang Ylang. They also state that Peppermint oil can be re-distilled, but it is the oil not the plant material that is re-distilled, and that the purpose of doing that would be to make it a better quality oil.

                **I am really sorry, but just b/c someone is a PhD doesn’t mean he is right. My husband has a PhD and he has found TONS of other folks with PhDs who have written totally wrong information about topics he is well-versed in. He has published scholarly articles on it and is taking heat for it b/c he has said that the other scholars are wrong. I know it sounds crazy, but I think Pappas is wrong on this and I think the display of his poor behavior here lends itself to my argument. I am now thinking that I will go ahead and publish his final 1,000+ word comment here this coming week so you all can see more of the nonsense that I had to put up with from him. Additionally, you will see more of his faulty reasoning.

                I can only tell you what I did about the 2nd distillation of peppermint oil. NAN says that they learned this from distillers in another country. The owner said that most distillers don’t do it this way but his does. So that means that perhaps Tisserand and Pappas can still learn something this far along in their career. Honestly, I think that it is a bad sign when someone is not open to be shown that he is wrong and I think that is the very attitude that Pappas has shown throughout this series. He has continually said that I don’t have a willingness to learn, but I think that it is he that is the one not being willing to be shown wrong here.

                I am open to being shown that I am wrong, but over and over again Mr. Dean of NAN has proven himself to be trustworthy and honest and I haven’t found anything to make me think otherwise. Again, I like Tisserand and think his oils are good quality, but he uses a ton of chemical nasties in his personal care products (in one of his body washes he has:

                1. ammonium lauryl sulfate
                2. cocomide DEA
                3. laureth-7 citrate
                4. disodium EDTA
                5. sodium benzoate
                6. Methylchloroisothiazolinone
                7. Methylisothiazolinone

                Those last 2 ingredients are 5 on EWG’s Skin Deep Database and cocamide DEA is a 7. This is NOT stuff I want on my skin. It gives me pause to think that someone who says he cares so much about purity would put that stuff in body and personal care products for people to use. Does that make sense?< /strong>

                I understand your concerns because you supposedly got three different answers from doTERRA as to why their peppermint oil smells sweet, but I would ask you, why can’t all three things be correct? Emily Wright stated it was because it came from Washington, Dr. Pappas stated that origin plays a big part in the way an oil smells, so it would make sense that one from Washington would smell different than one from India as example. Dr. Hill said it was because it was distilled from the flowers and leaves, and then there was the information that it was a complete distillation, or in your words it has been re-distilled. I would tend to believe that all three play a part in the way DT peppermint smells.

                **Again, if you read my posts, NAN’s peppermint is from Washington so this doesn’t hold any water. And no, the complete and redistill are 2 different things. Complete is distilling for the whole time that the plant can be distilled. Redistill is to stop distilling and then redistill the plant again.

                You are right that more than one thing could be the reason here, but the fact remains that Pappas said he thinks it is b/c it is redistilled and really, almost all of doTERRA’s oils have a very similar sweetish overtone so to me (and others) it seems they are doing something to all of their oils to have the same resulting effect.**

                Most people won’t take the time to read through all the comments, and so will not read what Dr. Pappas said about distillation.
                **All of what he said is in the posts, I think. And so now I think I will have to republish his comments so all can see them readily.
                **

                They won’t read the part where he says that just because an oil smells too good to be true doesn’t automatically mean it’s a bad oil. He also stated that a sweet oil is NOT a bad oil. He said the best therapeutic oils always smell the best.

                **That is totally not true and honestly, makes no sense to me. Many many oils are made to smell better by adulterating and that doesn’t make them more therapeutic. That is his opinion about what is therapeutic. Mr. Dean says that the unadulterated oils are the most therapeutic and I agree with him. Again, his statement about the compound in vomit shows that he could very well be not giving correct information about this all.**

                As for re-distillation, he said re-distilled oils are always a better quality. Further processing an oil is not a bad thing, even though it’s usually not necessary, but in the case of peppermint there are undesirable chemicals that are best removed, not only from an odor standpoint, but a therapeutic standpoint as well. He also stated that redistilling oils incurs more cost, and that redistilled will always be a more expensive oil and therefore redistilled peppermint is definitely the most valued. All of his statements would contradict what you infer, that because DT peppermint is redistilled it is a cheaper quality. So, I’m confused as to why a distiller would say his peppermint oil is a first distill if there really isn’t such thing as a first distill, according to the experts.

                **Again, I have heard about “experts” heating oils and vacuuming them and putting synthetics into oils to make them more “palatable” or reasonably priced, or to make them pass GC/MS testing. I was thinking I would have Mr. Dean on the site to talk about this. I appreciate you bringing all of this up and will likely do it now.**

                Maybe he just meant that his oil does not go through the re-distillation process to take out the compounds mentioned by Dr. Pappas and Robert Tisserand.

                **No – he meant that there is a 1st and then a 2nd distill.**

                If you want to see the GC/MS tests on DT peppermint you can see them on Dr. Pappas FB page. (**From Adrienne – sorry, Pappas and his FB followers were putting in so many links to promote his page already that I had to go back and delete them all. His FB page clearly grew off my series and I do not wish to promote him anymore after the nasty way he and his FB followers treated me throughout this series.**)

                You can also see the tests done by the same company that did the tests on the “alleged” DT oil that was posted on the certified synthetic website. They are listed as Exhibit 3 in the Lawsuit filed by doTERRA against Young Living. Here is a link to the actual lawsuit if you want to read it (**Sorry – again, I am deleting this link. The fact that there is a lawsuit is not enough reason to assume that YL is in the right. YL has a suit against DT right now so this is a faulty logical argument. I saw the info put out by whomever that was about DT’s peppermint and it looked fishy to me.**)

                I guess I just have a tough time believing that a company that started with it’s whole mission of bringing the highest quality pure essential oils to the world, would then go out and purposely market inferior quality oils. That doesn’t make any sense to me.

                **Well, you are believing that that is their mission. Another mission of all companies is to make money and doTERRA is sure doing that in a big way. I am not saying that they are lying but I am saying that it is very important to “hold companies’ proverbial feet to the fire” (that goes for politicians and others in power as well) and make sure that they are doing what they say. I think that I have brought up things that are disconcerting and that is why Pappas and doTERRA folks are angry with me.**

                And apparently, all of the negative things that are said about doTERRA, and all the lies are really having no affect on the growth of the company at all, which must mean something where quality is concerned.

                **I think this is faulty reasoning as well. It just means that they are good salesman. Of course, they might have good quality, but that doesn’t prove it. There are a lot of bad companies prospering and a lot of bad churches growing. Growth doesn’t equate with quality. I think most of the small farmers in this world are better quality than the big behemoths.**

                Again, my concern is, in trying to find the oil company that best fits your needs for your family, you have implied that DT’s Peppermint is not pure, and not good quality, and there are people who will take your word for it without ever trying to find the truth. Most people won’t read any farther and read the comments with another side to the story.

                **I hope that my responses help you see what I am talking about. And I think many read the comments. They have told me that they did. But now I think that I might take yours and Pappas’ comments and make another set of posts so that people can see all of my reasoning, front and center. I really appreciate your dialoguing with me. It keeps me sharp. If you have more thoughts, feel free to share them.**
                Thank you for your time in replying to my concerns. I appreciate it.

                • Elizabeth says:

                  I feel I should add one more comment. The fact that you not only post all the comments (both good and bad), but then take the time to thoughtfully answer each comment says a lot about your character. Thank you for “listening”.

                • Elizabeth, I have responded to your comment in with your original comment, so please come and read it. Thank you!!

                  • Elizabeth says:

                    Ok, I don’t know what else I can add to this, and am rather regretting I ever commented in the first place. I was just trying to clarify information about the lawsuit because I thought you would want to know since it involved the question of purity of doTERRA’s peppermint.
                    So basically, what you are saying is that two essential oil experts, Pappas and Tisserand, who have been working with essential oils for many more years than you or I, don’t know what they are talking about when it comes to distillation of essential oils? Forgive me if I find that rather hard to believe. Just as you were trying to find answers, that’s what I was trying to do as well, by asking experts. I guess we each just came to different conclusions.

                    • Hi Elizabeth. Sorry for the late reply. Comments about this oils series sometimes take time for me to think that I don’t have at the moment – and then they get buried :). Anyway, what I am saying is that Native American’s farmer in the US says that there are different distillations for peppermint oil–different than for other oils. I think it is quite possible that Tisserand and Pappas don’t know everything that there is to know about oils.

                      My husband has an MDiv and a PhD and an MA in English lit and he got 4.0s in all of his studies. He is a smart dude. And he knows his stuff and is constantly reading. He has been in English lit since he got out of high school and even then he was very well read. His area of focus is Milton and he has edited a huge bibliography on Milton’s works and he is working on a book and has published loads of scholarly articles on the topic. But I can guarantee that he learns new things about Milton all the time.

                      Pappas and Tisserand are smart men, but I stand by what I said about Pappas and his vomit and distillation comments. I think he is wrong and I think that his logic was off. I am open to being proven wrong, but I don’t think that I am. If you reread that post I would love to hear what you think.

                      Tisserand seems to have great oils but I am not comfortable w/ the use of tons of questionable ingredients in his personal care line. Of course, it is possible to do one thing “not pure” and another thing “pure” but I felt I wanted to work w/ a company whose whole product line (if possible) I could recommend to my readers. That is why I didn’t pursue him.

                      If you would be interested, I can have Mr. Dean write up his knowledge about peppermint distilling. He did it in rough form for me but I could have him tighten it up for you and perhaps I should just post it in a new post.

                      Thanks again for your interest and I hope you can understand where I am coming from.

                    • Elizabeth says:

                      Hi, Just came across this post about Tea Tree oil. Thought you might be interested in it. doTERRA’s oil was found to be in compliance while Native Naturals was not.

                    • Hi Elizabeth. I saw that post. Sadly, Lea tested Native American’s Melaleuca, which is Melaleuca quinquinervia. That is a different oil than their Tea Tree, which is Melaleuca alternifolia. Melaleuca is naiouli so the testing came out as one would expect. Did you know that the man doing the testing also tests doTERRA’s oils and has spoken at their convention? He is the man who commented in such nasty manner on my blog. Just thought you might not know of that connection. Thanks for commenting :).

                    • Hi again, Elizabeth. Just wanted to correct myself. Pappas did not test the oils this time for that blogger. Sorry about that :).

                    • Elizabeth says:

                      It looks like she has updated the website, and corrected the information. I was under the impression that the testing was done by a lab in France called Pyrenessences. Is Dr. Pappas connected to this lab? Even if that is the case, it doesn’t appear as if he is biased to doTERRA products as the first round of testing she posted was on Myrrh essential oil and he clearly stated that he liked sample #3 the best, which was an organic oil from Essential Vitality, and the close second was from Aura Cacia. There was no mention of his opinion of Sample #1, which was doTERRA.

                    • Hi again. I corrected myself in my last reply to you. He did some of the testing – at least the Myrrh one. I saw those results as well. He isn’t connected to the lab in France that I know of. Thanks for replying. :)

  138. Perhaps you should check again into the origins of Young Living Oils. They are sourced from all around the world. Also, if there are a few oils from a company that one has issues with, how can you trust any of them. Having just returned from the YL conference, over the course of the week, I must have smelled samples of dozens of oils, sometimes a dozen in a row. I felt just wonderful all week. At the end of the conference, I went to visit a friend in Salt Lake. She brought out all her oils, DoTerra and another “therapeutic grade” brand. I thought it might be interesting to compare them against YL. After smelling about six of hers, I was stricken with such a severe headache. Now, I can’t say with certainty it was those oils, but ….

    • Hello Janice. I did email product support at YL and was told about farm land in Ecuador and France. And leased land in Oman, which may be different now. They did not send info about any other countries. I can forward or print the content of the email if you like. In my mind, that is too few countries to source from. Perhaps you have different information?

      Sorry about the headache. Of course, I don’t know what to say about that.

  139. Susie Larson says:

    Regarding what you’ve learned about doTERRA’s peppermint. Some major untruths, and here’s the lawsuit. The negativity and lies told were all a fabrication put in motion by Young Living. This is a long document, but if you read it thoroughly, the proof is all there. Documents, emails, the fact that the claimed doTERRA Peppermint wasn’t even in a doTERRA bottle… The follow up tests by ANOTHER lab confirming that this synthetic chemical is NOT present in doTERRA.

    First, it was said that doTERRA peppermint smells like candy because it’s a second distillation. That was proven untrue… So then, it was said it smells like candy because of the added synthetic compound. YL will stop at nothing to try to defame doTERRA. Sad considering there’s enough business for both companies to be successful. I mean really. How many make-up companies are out there?

    Love your review of all the companies. I’m partial to doTERRA because it’s the only product that has worked for us. I really believe the plant’s sourcing has a lot to do with it’s effectivenes. Thank you for your research!@

    • Hello and thanks for commenting. I do think that you might be confused, however. The information that I learned about doTERRA’s peppermint did not come from the tests that you are referring to. They came from the top leadership in doTERRA and from Pappas, doTERRA’s scientist. You can read Pappas’ comments in the posts – he himself said that he thought that the peppermint was redistilled. The leadership in doTERRA said multiple things – it is from Washington (so is Native American’s peppermint), it is from just the leaves and flowers (that appears to be near impossible from the people I have talked to in the industry), and it is a complete distill (that from Dr. Hill’s assistant, so I assume it came from him).

      So it appears that they are all confused about what is really going on w/ their peppermint.

      As for the test you linked to, I thought it seemed fishy myself, so I didn’t publish anything about it. If it was falsified, then shame on them. I wish the public could know what is going on between YL and doTERRA but it is really murky. I honestly don’t have any opinions on it at this time. Some thoughts, but nothing I feel I can put in print.

      And I do think that the sourcing on the plants is important. Thanks for reading.

  140. As a qualified Aromatherapist of 24 years, there are quite a few comments from both these MLM companies that cause me serious alarm. “Essential oils are safe to ingest” there is no regulatory body in the world that recognises ingestion of essential oils as safe practice. A distributor that suggests this to a customer who suffers from high blood pressure, heart condition, diabetes, epilepsy is asking for a law suit against them. Unbelievable!
    Also the term “Therapeutic Grade Essential Oil” is a marketing tool. It is a trademark term. There is no standard used for essential oil using the words ‘Therapeutic Grade’. The quality of your Essential Oils are determined by your supplier being able to tell you, Country of Origin, Botanical name, date of crop harvested and extracted, type of extraction used, guarantee of one particular harvest per volume, shelf life, material safety data analysis reports..by this I don’t mean reports from an MLM company, but from government regulated scientific sources. Please do your own research. I don’t think I like the ethical practice of Aromatherapy being infiltrated by MLM companies..cheers

    • Susanne says:

      Hi, thanks for your critical view based on your experience for all those years. From all I have read I have wondered how such a powerful substance can be marketed to people without giving them proper education. I have been pondering the idea to study aromatherapy. Are you willing to share a little of your wisdom with me?

  141. Hi Adrienne,
    I came to your blog while reading about the Costco Coconut Oil issue. It was very well done and I appreciate the research you put into your blogs. I noticed that you wrote about Essential oils in the comment section and so I went looking for what you wrote about. I was wondering if you have read Dr. Robert Pappas’ response regarding the Ylang Ylang and Peppermint multiple distillation issue and what your thoughts on it are. Particularly where he says that the complete distillation of Ylang Ylang is best for the most therapeutic benefits. Thanks for all your hard work. By the way, I should mention that I use doTerra so I am really interested in this information. Thanks.
    -Ben

    • Oops, nevermind, I see you have already addressed my question from someone else. Thanks.

    • HI – thanks for your comment. I saw your 2nd comment so I am hoping you understand my thinking, albeit from someone who doesn’t work in the industry–but I have talked with others about it. I do think that Pappas tend to work on the chemical end and not the therapeutic healer end and Mr. Dean, who works on the therapeutic end, but cares very much about not having contaminants, says that YY Complete isn’t as therapeutic – and is less prized in the marketplace. Thanks!

  142. Michelle Patterson says:

    I have tried many different brand of essential oils and found doTERRA to be the most pure! love my essential oils!
    #oils4everyone

  143. I appreciate your relative objectivity! As a YL distributor, I’m actually saddened by the whole YL vs DoTerra thing. Maybe there is room for both? Who knows, I am not privy to the details of everything that’s gone down between the two companies. However, just to comment on the Quackwatch thing…Steven Barrett really is no source of truth. As you said, he does attack many VERY reputable alternative medicine practitioners, including Andrew Weil and Deepak Chopra. And he himself has quite a reputation (link removed…to site called Quackpotwatch) Also, YL has issued an entire document with legal documents disproving the majority of Quackwatch claims. And as someone stated before (although I did not see that anyone provided a list for you) Young Living has six farms and distilleries in 9 countries as of today. Most of their plants are actually not grown in the US. They continue to do research on the potential of bringing certain plants here, but if they do not meet the same quality specs when grown in the US, YL will continue to source from the country of origin. I’ve been to the farm and the warehouse and have seen where the research plants are, the quarantine where imported oils are kept, and where those oils are tested rigorously for quality. The list of farms is as follows: Mona Utah, Guayaquil Ecuador, St. Maries Idaho, Highland Flats (Tree Farm) Idaho, Simiane France, Salalah Oman. And yes, we have exclusive rights to export Boswella Sacra from Oman. We distill at all of these farms, and in other countries as well. All of the farms and distilleries that we do not own, but source from, have PERSONAL relationships with YL’s CEO, and are held to YL standards. There is a reason that all other companies compare themselves to Young Living. And as far as the OSHA violations, that incident is freely discussed with great sorrow. It was a horrible accident. It shouldn’t have anything to do with judging the product. As for me, I’ve tried tons of other oils. Young Living just works for me. And I hope that others judge oils in the same way. If DoTerra is for you, and it works, and you don’t have to seek out toxic medications and products…awesome! I know that there are other small companies as well that specialize in fewer oils and have great quality too. There is room for all of us, as long as everyone keeps their practices honest.

    • Hi there. Thanks for commenting. Sorry, but I had to remove the link in the comment. I have had issues where my site was flagged for malware b/c of links in comments so I am careful where I allow links to go. I agree that there is room for several companies – many, of course. But YL does not have sole rights to the Sacred Frankincense in Oman. Native American carries it as well. Here is a link to their product: Frankincense from Oman. I am frustrated reading about this over and over when it doesn’t appear to be the case.

      I hope you can understand my concerns about that.

      I don’t think that something “working” is alone how one should judge a product b/c many OTC and Rx drugs work but I choose not to use them.

      As for Barrett, I am concerned about Barrett myself and think that a lot of what he writes is problematic. I think I addressed that in my post :). Thanks again.

      • No worries at all on removing that link! I totally understand, and I think you and I are on the same page with Barrett anyways..
        I should have been a little more clear…Young Living is the first commercial distiller in hundreds of years to distill in Oman. Meaning we are the only company there distilling our OWN oil and exporting it. We know what the quality of our Sacred Frankincense oil is, because we are in control from the time the tree is cut. The research has been done so that we know how often the trees can be cut, how long they have to “bleed” before harvesting the resin, what temperature and pressure to distill at and for how long, etc. This is a testament to the way that we try to create relationships in the countries we get our oils from. Part of this relationship building is the creation of a “reforestation” project for the frankincense trees. Just this spring, several of our diamond distributors were in Oman, and planted Frankincense trees! How cool is that?! In the spring, when the World Peace Caravan happens (google it…it’s such a cool event!!) the world will see that what YL is doing is so much bigger than business. And as someone else stated, we are the only essential oils used in 50 hospitals across the country. That for me is a huge validation as far as safety is concerned. I’m sure that Beth Israel Medical center and The Cleveland Clinic have done their research. That’s what I mean when I said that the oils “work”. By “work” I don’t mean that they relieve symptoms, as over the counter meds do. They “work”, as in true healing. Family members that have gotten themselves off of digestive medications and depression medications, my mother who managed to heal her knee to the point of saving it from surgery…these are MY experiences. My experiences are what makes me choose Young Living, just as others’ experiences are what makes them choose their oils of choice.

        • And to answer an earlier question that you posed to someone else…we grow on 6 farms and distill in 9 countries, but we also have relationships with some approved brokers as well. I believe we have 15 brokers that Gary Young has personally met with, and who are in compliance with our same standards of farming and distillation. So we are sourcing from several places so that plants which are more potent in their countries of origin produce the best oils for us! Sorry for the double comment, I just know that there is a lot of misinformation out there, and wanted to clear that up :)

          • Thanks. I am still confused about what they are growing on the owned farms. It seems that there are a lot of non indigenous plants being grown there. Thanks again.

            • The farm that I visited recently in Mona, Utah, at the time of my visit was growing Lavender, of course, and Clary Sage. They were distilling both chamomile and juniper at the time of my visit as well. They also have a small area called “Research Row”, where they are growing several different plants to be tested for potency and efficacy. In St Maries Idaho – lavender, Melissa, and Tansy is grown. Highland Flats, Idaho, is a tree farm with Western Red Cedar, Pine and Balsam Fir, among other evergreens. In Ecuador, if the plant can be cultivated on the farm and still be ideal, it is. If not, it will be sustainably harvested from its natural environment. These include Eucalyptus Blue, Ylang Ylang, Ocotea, Palo Santo, Copaiba, Helichrysm, Ruta, and Lemongrass. In France, we produce Lavender, Lavendin, Clary Sage and Rosemary. And our farm in Oman is devoted exclusively to cultivating and distilling Sacred Frankincense. All of this information can be found on the Young Living website, so there should be no confusion. And as an aside, all of our farms are open to visits from distributors, and many are open to the public as well. There are no secrets.
              I hope that you will also approve my previous comment that I posted the same night as this one, as it addresses the question of Omani Frankincense. Perhaps other companies can purchase Omani Sacred Frankincense from Omani brokers, but YL is the first company in years to be able to harvest, distill and export their own oil.

              • Hi Val.

                I don’t mean to sound contentious, but I did run your comments by the owner of NAN and here is some of his response:

                Oman Frankincense has always been around. Where the confusion arises is YL was the first company in the USA to import the Advanced Technology Extracted Frankincense. When Gary went over there he looked at the technology and then started doing it himself….

                Native American Nutritionals then was contacted and we became the USA supplier for this oil. Our process have been even more refined, the inventors made some more improvements, so they say we are even supplying better oil than what YL is doing.

        • Hello again, Val.

          Again, I ran your comments about Oman and Frankincense by the owner of NAN and his response is this:

          Oman Frankincense has always been around. Where the confusion arises is YL was the first company in the USA to import the Advanced Technology Extracted Frankincense. When Gary went over there he looked at the technology and then started doing it himself….

          Native American Nutritionals then was contacted and we became the USA supplier for this oil. Our process have been even more refined, the inventors made some more improvements, so they say we are even supplying better oil than what YL is doing.

          As far as the hospitals, I don’t think they are necessarily up on what quality to use. They get approached by companies and are offered free oils to test and so they do it. doTERRA has some videos on the internet of them being in hospitals as well. I am not sure that they have “done their research” on essential oils. In fact, I would bet that they simply read the label and have no idea about all of the adulterating going on in the industry.

          I hear you on the healing issue. And again, I don’t mean to be contentious, but just b/c an oil has saved someone from surgery doesn’t mean it is the quality that the company claims it to be, or that it is the best price for the quality. I am not saying here that I think YL is junk – I am just pointing out logical fallacies.

          I have to be really careful myself not to make logical jumps and I want to encourage my readers to as well.

          Take care :).

  144. Annie Millett says:

    i signed up in Young Living some 20 years ago. I ended up also signing up in Doterra a couple of years ago as well. This is the reason why. My husband has a machine that measures subtle energy fields and vibrational frequencies, and I had him test a variety of brands of oils, comparing only lemon to lemon (for example), of different brand. What we found was, in every case, Doterra oils had a higher vibrational frequency, and zero impurities, as compared to all others tested, including Young Living. I signed up after he finished testing. We didn’t test all, and since Young Living has been around for so many years, they have far more oils and products then Doterra, which has only been around for about 5 years. I still buy oils from Young Living when I want something I can’t get from Doterra, but for any oils I want to take internally, I tend to use only Doterra. I have also found that even cheaper oils can have benefits though, so if I want to clean with them, or use as a bug spray (as in Peppermint Oil to deter spiders) I will buy bulk in larger quantities of a cheaper brand. If I’m using oils in my smoothies, green drinks, or other recipe’s that are eaten, I only use Doterra. Everyone can have different opinions on this, so I tell people try them yourself and see how they work for you. As for our family, we are using the oils that we have found to have the highest vibrational frequency. I will sell either companies oils to anyone that wants them, and I don’t make a dime, as I sell at my cost only. I’m not interested in making money off people (not that it’s wrong) but I AM interested in helping people learn about the benefits of oils, and what they can do for their family, then getting them on hand for emergencies. I like to see people become self empowered with dealing with issues of health, and not rely on running to doctors. I raised 5 kids with this philosophy, so helping people with families learn there are options to mainstream medicine is very satisfying!

  145. Dr Marilyn Joyce, The Vitality Doctor™ says:

    After years of working with essential oils, I’ll go with the company that created the market in the first place, and from a strong foundation of integrity produced the A+ products at affordable prices when it meant struggling to keep the biz afloat on their part. And they have continued to research, grow, and develop better products with each generation of products. You want to jump ship? Examine thoroughly before you do! I place a lot of emphasis on sustained track records and continual improvements for the time of inception. Young Living Essentials Oils has that! DoTerra???? Not a chance! In my books, they have along way to go to prove themselves – plus they have priced themselves out of the market! Just sayin’… And I’m not a distributor, so I make nothing based on what you decide to to do!

    • I appreciate what you are saying but I still maintain that I am much more comfortable with the company that I went with. I also find YL’s claims to being the only one w/ Omani Frankincense to be odd / untrue. The company that I chose has Omani Frankincense now.

  146. Susanne says:

    Hi, thanks for bringing this discussion to the table. It made me research the topic once more and in depth. There is indeed a lot of mis-information out there and abuse of that.
    I got introduced to doTerra oils recently and agree to your observation. They smell wonderfully and those that one can ingest taste great. I had good results with them but also wonder how they compare to other essential oils that are plentiful available. I saddens me that people choose to attack an open and critical minded person.

  147. I’ve used Young Living oils that were given to me by my cousin and she also gave me a small bottle of Thieves. I have to say I liked them very much but now you have me wondering what company is the best. I HATE WASTING MY MONEY!

    Short Story- I have had terrible skin itch which appears to be from bugs bites but I really don’t think they are from mosquito’s. These small bumps don’t seem to stop itching !! I have used thieves for relief from the itching and it has worked for a few hours and at for half a day.

    I will be emailing you for what I hope you can tell me who to order from online.

    Thank you

  148. Lisa Edwards says:

    Adrienne,

    I’ve read your articles here with great interest. I am involved with a company Youngeity whose plant-based mineral nutrition is second to none. As part of our company we have partnered with an Essential Oil company called Ancient Legacy. I am just learning about the use and benefits of therapeutic grade essential oils in health and wellness.

    Our oils hold E.O.B.B.D. certification, are grown in their native habitats and some are said to be cloned to maintain the highest quality. Many of our oils are suitable for internal use (I’m understanding that only the highest quality oils are meant for internal use).

    I was wondering if you had any knowledge or experience with our Ancient Legacy Oils through Youngevity?

    Lisa
    Lisa Edwards, RN, Advocate for Health, Youngevity

    • Sorry – no. But I did look into the EOBBD certification and while it’s good, it isn’t everything. I am not comfortable with cloning – are you?

  149. Don’t know a lot about the distillation process, but I do know that ‘menthol’ content can have an effect on the sweetness of peppermint. Certain native areas for growing peppermint produce higher menthol content, thus resulting in a sweeter peppermint.

  150. Michelle says:

    Hello!
    I just read your recent post about essential oils and was wondering which doTerra oils you are selling at cost? :)
    Thank you!

  151. S Martin says:

    I would love to hear your thoughts on Heritage Essential oils? I am so happy to have found a non MLM company that sells great quality oils for much less money. Why pay everyone in your upline jacking up the product cost? The owner is readily available to answer your questions, she even called my friend with a question about her order…when was the last time Gary Young called with with a question? LOVE Heritage!!

    • Hi there. I addressed Heritage a few times in the comments. Their oils aren’t organic or wild-crafted and appear to be sourced directly, but rather through the experts. I am going to hopefully have another post up this week that will address this further. I am sure that they are nice folks but I am sticking by the company that I chose. Thanks!

  152. Please send in any high quality essential oil to doTERRA and they will do 3rd party testing on it.

    • Did you see my most recent post on GC/MS testing and the limitations of it? I assume that is the kind of testing that doTERRA is doing – do you know any different?

      • doTerra’s 3rd party testing includes:

        1) Organoleptic Evaluation: evaluated for physical and aromatic properties, overall appearance, color, flavor, and odor
        2) Microbiological Evaluation: to make sure there is no bacterial contamination of any kind
        3) Shelf Life Testing
        4) Heavy Metal Testing
        5) FT-IR (Fourier Transform Infrared Spectrophoto-Infrared Test): “fingerprint” of the oil to make sure that the origin of the oil the area where it should be from
        6) Gas Chromatograph/Mass Spectrometer: to identify the individual components of the oil, every single component of the oil

  153. Selina Read says:

    Thank you for the information – I too am trying to figure out which essential oil is best (and most affordable for my family – it seems doterra is wonderful but it’s very expensive).

    I do wonder though why you fault Western medicine for misdiagnosis and mis-use of antibiotics. Earlier in your post you talk about making mistakes and that we all do it … even physicians are guilty of making mistakes. No physician would want to make a misdiagnosis however, physicians are people and we try to do the best we can.

    I am a physician and am grateful that we have alternative therapies, I use tons of them myself and always give my patients the options. The problem is medicine in the US is driven by evidence (hence ‘evidence based medicine’). Most alternative therapies are difficult to study and hence many US trained physicians are not comfortable prescribing them (we also have to worry about lawsuits and government oversight). Anyway, just wanted to point that out.

    • I understand the mistake thing, but didn’t they have an idea about how much damage antibiotics would do to the gut? And surely they knew that colds were caused by a virus. My mother went in to the doc over and over again and they kept doling them out.

      Today, they are still overprescribed, despite all of the info about these problems. The doctors either don’t care or give in to pressure by their patients. I think that doctors today are woefully uneducated in preventive care like good nutrition. They need a more well-rounded approach and need to be schooled in avoiding meds – not having them be the first resort.

      I hope that makes sense. I was pre-med and I love a good doctor, but now that I have seen more of the alternative therapy side I wish that there were more preventive care addressed.

      Every time I call my doctor and tell them what I am dealing with they are so thankful that I am not pressuring them for meds. And I constantly hear of friends being giving antibiotics and all other drugs without the doc trying to go to the source.

      That part I don’t think is a mistake–I think it’s an overall problem in how they are trained.

      I hope that doesn’t sound too harsh and that you can understand my thinking. I mean no harm to doctors but I think that our system is really broken – the money that’s involved and the lack of more rounded education.

      • Kory James says:

        Very interesting!!!!!! What is the conclusion Doterra or young living???? do you use both? Do u sell both? OnGuard or Theives or make my own? I have my own long story but to make it short, im fighting for this life, im not giving up. Thanks for responding.. Just me from Menahga MN in the middle of nowhere for reals

  154. Naturesgift.com. All oils are top quality and customer service is excellent

    • I’ve enjoyed corresponding with Marge and have asked her to contact me about working together but she hasn’t replied. Thanks for the suggestion though :).

  155. This is why i don’t like a fake company….
    It has recently come to light and been verified by a 3rd-party laboratory in France that doTerra peppermint oil contains the synthetic chemical additive ethyl vanillin, and doTerra lavender oil is adulterated with the synthetic additive linalyl acetate as well as geranium and chamomile essential oils. I also have questions regarding doTerra’s frankincense. Dr. HK Lin, phD who is one of the foremost scientists researching the use of frankincense oil for cancer spoke at the Young Living Convention in 2012. He is not affiliated with Young Living as a company and was there to share the status of his studies on frankincense and cancer. He has primarily used Young Living frankincense in his studies and found that it kills several types of cancer. He mentioned that he used doTerra frankincense oil for a while in his studies and found that it did not work against cancer. Ironically, I know that doTerra distributors have often called Young Living’s frankincense into question. Lastly, I was exposed to doTerra cinnamon oil at an event I did back in May and within a minute or so of standing next to the diffuser pumping out molecules of the “pure” cinnamon oil, I had a headache. In all my years with Young Living, I have never gotten a headache from the oils!
    They are a bad copy.

    • Hi Rose. I think I read that those “DT has fake oil” tests were shown to be put out by YL. I heard that now DT is suing YL about that. I haven’t looked into it but if that is the case that is really bad. Also, NAN ( the company that I am recommending now) now has Sacred Omani Frankincense and it is super reasonable. I used it this past week on a cyst (along w/ some other oils) and it was gone in 3 days.

      Hope that helps and thanks for commenting!

  156. Felicia Fernandez says:

    I would be interested in seeing your scientific research to prove the distillation theory. Especially with doTERRA. As far as I can tell, all of your “research” is just a matter of opinion!

    • Hello Felicia. I am not sure what you mean by “research” to prove the theory. I am just relating what I have heard from a distiller through an essential oils purveyor.

      I stated the troubles that I had finding out how doTERRA distills their peppermint oil with different stories being told to me. And then Mr. Pappas said himself that he thought it was redistilled.

      I would appreciate your clarifying – thank you :)!

      • Felicia Fernandez says:

        Adrienne,
        I am so sorry for the controversy you’ve had lately. Your blog was brought to my attention by a consultant of mine, and I had never heard the differences between all of the distillations, and couldn’t find any research on oils being re-distilled. I truly don’t mean to attack you, I just wanted some research that you found. All I can find is Dr. Pappas from Essential Oil University. Whether he gets a kickback from doTERRA or not, I have no idea. However, he is the only one making a statement on the differences between 1, 2, 3 and complete distillation, who is a chemist and does plenty of oil testing:

        “ESSENTIAL OIL MYTH #8: (Essential Oil University Facebook, via Dr. Pappas)
        The best quality essential oils come from the “first pressing” or first distillation of the plant material.

        FACT: First let me say if you are using terms like “first pressing” then you’ve really got some catching up to do on your essential oil education. Most all essential oils are steam distilled, in fact this is inherent to the very definition of an essential oil. The only oils that are considered to fall under the definition of the term “essential oil” and are not produced by steam distillation are the citrus oils, which are cold pressed from the citrus peel (and if its done properly there would not be any oil left in the peel for a second pressing LOL). So when one refers to the so called “first pressed” essential oils they does not even portray an accurate method of production of almost every essential oil out there, since almost every oil is produced by distillation, not by expression.”….”Nobody steam distills the mint for more than one time!! The plant is distilled for basically 2 hours and its done, no more oil is coming out so they shut the still down.”…”(by the way this is done with Ylang Ylang oil which is why there are the different grades of extra, I, II, III and complete). But aside from ylang ylang most all essential oil distillations are collected in one combined lot. And the only time I have ever seen a distiller shut down his process and restart it later was because of mechanical problems, running out of fuel, or just getting too physically tired to continue (in the case of sandalwood for example the distillation can go on for more than 24 hours and oil is still in the wood).”

        Again, I really do not mean to be so controversial. I thought your journey through essential oils was interesting and knowledgeable. Thank you for the time you’ve taken to share your thoughts!

        • Hi Felicia.

          Mr. Pappas of course gets paid by doTERRA. He is the person who tests their oils (maybe there are more) and he presented at their 2011 convention. I don’t know if there are other connections or not.

          As for the peppermint, I was told by the owner of NAN that the peppermint distiller that he uses now (and forgive me if I don’t get all of the details right) that there are some distillers who do a 1st distillation and then more. It is different from other plants.

          And Mr. Pappas isn’t the only one talking about this, but I think others might be mistaken in their understanding about it. I talked about other places where you can see the talk about peppermint distillation on this post: http://wholenewmom.com/what-to-buy/which-essential-oils-company-is-best-part-6-distillation-bias-vomit/

          I know Mr. Pappas has a lot of knowledge. But just because he has a PhD doesn’t mean he knows everything about his field. I am open to being shown that I am wrong, but his statement on vomit gives me real pause.

          Isn’t is possible that there are distillers who do it differently than Mr. Pappas has seen it done? I think so. Thanks again :)! If you have more questions you can feel free to come back again.

          • Felicia Fernandez says:

            Adrienne,
            I’m sorry you’ve been approached so negatively. Sometimes we get so mixed up in being right that we forget our purpose. The only reason why I joined doTERRA was to help heal other families, just the way mine was healed. I’ve never seen so much negativity until I’ve researched this topic. I still continue to have wonderful experiences with the company and their products. I will have to look into NAN. Again, thank you for you the experiences you’ve shared. I hope you have a wonderful day!

            • You are so welcome. I too am surprised by all of this. I never said I was an expert, but it appears there is a lot of misconceptions about oils. I really think we all need to be looking at what the truth is rather than trying to shoot each other down. Thanks and I look forward to hearing what you think!

  157. Hi Adrienne,
    Interesting reading. I work with several essential oil companies and have found some specific oils from certain companies to be better, but use many. Question I have is you mention that YL testers overwhelmingly said there was a chemical smell, while doTERRA smelled clean, and was advertised as smelling ‘crystal clean’. I am not sure if you were just trying to be humorous with your response but when an essential oil smells very clean and pure, that would be what doTERRA meant.

    • Sorry, but I am unclear as to what you would like me to respond to. I think there is a sweet / clean overtone to all of the doTERRA oils (or most of them) that strikes me as odd b/c it is in many of them.

  158. Hello! I haven’t read through all of the comments so I don’t know if this company has come up but it’s one I use and trust. It’s call Be Young Essential Oils (beyoungeo.com) The founder is Dana Young, a member of the Young family who operate Young Living. He left because of their practices in diluting oils and what not. The oils that Be Young uses are extracted from plants where they are indigenous to the area. It doesn’t cost to become a member to purchase their products and you don’t have to go through someone else to order them. I definitely think they deserve a look when comparing oil companies. I’m not sure if you are still comparing oil companies or not but if you still view these comments, and feel so inclined, please look into this company.

    • I did look into them as well – thanks! I just couldn’t be as extensive in talking about all of the companies out there. It got very muddled but I still remain w/ the company I chose -thanks!

  159. Hi! Thank you so much for the informative post! I stumbled upon this looking at reviews, trying to find the best therapeutic oils for the best price. I’m particularly interested in buying a Thieves oil blend, oregano oil and frankincense oil to make antibacterial oils. or even just the ingredients for the thieves oil. I bought some essential oils from Bulk Apothecary, stupidly BEFORE reading their reviews and how their oils aren’t certified to be therapeutic grade. Should I not use those internally or for clothes washing? And I saw where you had large stashes of oils, and were offering to sell them at cost? Are they still for sell? Thank you so much!
    -Meloni

    • I would personally stick to “not on my body” uses…like cleaning and laundry. I only have a few oils left – maybe 2 bottles. A thyme and then if there’s one bottle you want I can maybe get it. Thanks!

  160. Just a couple of things, there is no such thing as first, second & third distillation. When the plant material is put into the distiller it is steamed until the product is spent and does not produce any more oil, therefore you cannot produce anything from the plant after that. Also is a no such thing as therapeutic grade essential oils. All essential oils work therapeutically in the body but to say an oil is therapeutic over others is marketing hype to make a companies products seem better. In fact YL got in trouble for this and was asked by FDA to stop using this in their Ads but to date they still do. I see Native American doing the same thing. This is really very disappointing. Had it not been for that I might have tried their oils.

    • Hi Dee. Thanks for commenting. I have to differ w/ you on the distillation. Mr. Dean at NAN says that the farmer he works with is one of few who does this. And there are many other sources on the internet stating that there are 1st 2nd and 3rd distills of peppermint. Just that oil and ylang ylang as far as I can tell.

      If you are interested you can contact him yourself. I found it to be very interesting and I think I laid out the explanation in my post.

      As for the therapeutic statement, I think that Native American is totally right about this. Some oils are adulterated and altered so that they have had their therapeutic qualities tampered with. That is what he means. He didn’t make up a term to call his oils CPTG or anything like that. He just means that his are pure and unadulterated and from the best sources that he could get within reason.

      I encourage you to give them a try. I have more info about them coming…about how he supports the farmers where he gets his oils from. I forwarded some of the info to a blogger friend of mine who used to be with doTERRA and she said “That’s it. I am sold on Native American.”

      Take care and hope to see you around again.

  161. This website has a PDF where a number of oils were blind tested by Dr. Pappas. I know you have had issues with him in the past, but were you aware of this test. Any comments. Aura Cacia #2 in this test is available at Whole Foods Markets and much cheaper than the others.

  162. What do you think about Bulk Apothocary and Aura Cacia? I find them to be most cost effective but I’m not sure about their purity! Please advise!

    • Hi there. I’ve talked about them in the comments – try on the last post. I hope to put together a doc or new post w/ more on the other companies soon. Thanks.

  163. Hey, I just stumbled onto your blog while trying to find justification to spend a bunch (compared to my budget anyway :P) on DoTerra oils for my wife’s Christmas present…. I was wondering if you still have those oils you posted you were talking about selling at cost :D that would make my holiday season haha

    [P.S. I think my wife and I will be new frequenters to your site. Lots of really great insight on here!]

  164. Funny how my friend, April, and many others are at the YL farms right now in Ecuador where Young Living employs between two and three thousand people. Your article is loaded with misinformation

    And I’ve seen at least a dozen more.

  165. Well from everything that I have researched there is no such thing as therapeutic grade or any other grade for that matter. While they may be able to distill more than once, I still question the accuracy of this. We have no real quality controls here in the U.S. when it comes to Essential oils. The only testing that I am aware of is the gas chromatography method.

  166. Jennifer Accomando says:

    d?TERRA disclosed Terrashield ingredients on their doterraeveryday.com website. Q&A section.

    doTERRA’s TerraShield Repellent Blend contains: Citronella Oil, Cedarwood Oil, Skimmia Laureola Oil, Catnip Oil, Amyris Oil, African Sandalwood Oil, Cabrueva Balsam Oil, Wild Orange Oil, Fir Needle Oil, Eucalyptus Oil, Hawaiian Sandalwood Oil, Genet Absolute Oil, and Rose Oil in a base of Fractionated Coconut Oil.

  167. Jedidiah Smith says:

    OSHA violations should not be counted against YL. As a former California certified, OSHA safety inspector, I used to make sure there were violations every time I did an inspection as a way to justify my position and also to increase state revenue. And … good luck appealing my findings and the resulting fines. ;)

    • I think it depends on extenuating circumstances. Of course. I’m not happy to hear your comments about your position, however. It for sure doesn’t make me trust government workers more. Blah.

  168. Thank you so much for this post! I have been researching companies and been coming up
    With a lot of info that wasn’t helping! This is def a great look at both companies. I am looking for one that has purest oils and will help my families health and one that I know will work and I will want to share! Any more information relating that I would love! Drop me an email with the company you would recommend if you could based on purest. Thank you again!!!! This was a great find!

  169. Interesting but not to scientific I used many brands of oils including most that you mentioned plus a few more. Controversy makes interesting reading but creates tension likely you goal to get people to your website and it worked so great job. I have had clients that I have suggested certain doTERRA oils to contact me about your comments as it created concerns and distress for them. I have been using these oils for a year now in a number of ways with great therapeutic results, in fact the best of any oils I have used. Is it because they taught me how to use them better than the other companies, perhaps.
    I just feel if people are willing to do natural things to help themselves instead of running to a doctor it is best that the concept be supported instead of being questioned,
    I worked in emergency and other area of healthcare for over 30 years, I have never seen a case of damage done by essential oils. Yet I have seen many people deathly ill and die from vaccines, drugs and surgeries. So I feel it is best to support natural cures that do no harm than criticize them. Life is not about money but joy and comfort and if it come in the form of an oil lets not create a bunch of controversy about it just to get people to visit your website. You sound like a person who genuinely cares and I am very grateful to support your cause and will recommend your site as you are willing to say you make a mistake but just remember it is important to do no harm. People are afraid of so many things don’t make simple oils on that list because doTerra does their best to educate but many people just get ahead of their learning curve. But the potential to do harm is not as big as drugs doctors are handing out.

    • Hi Marie. I am sorry but I am not completely following what you are saying. Did you mean that you think I misrepresented doTERRA and should apologize for it? If so, please let me know what you think I misrepresented. As of now I stand by what I said.

  170. “4.Buy 100% pure therapeutic grade essential oils. For the most part you want therapeutic medicinal grade essential oils unless you are making perfume. As an example, Lavender perfume grade essential oil may only be distilled 15 minutes. Therapeutic grade may be distilled 1 ½ hours ensuring all the chemical constituents are present in the oil. Both are “Lavender oil” but the chemical content may not be the same and the therapeutic value you are looking for will definitely not be the same!” This comes from Raising Natural Kids, a blog on WordPress, by Valerie Graham. Perhaps the complete distillation comes after you have ensured all chemical constituents are present?? Thus the 2nd and 3rd distillations. (By the way she is a Certified Aromatherapist and does not work for either companies. In fact, she does not choose to work with any MSMs apparently from her post “The ‘Ins and outs’ of Essential Oils by Someone who Knows”. check it out.

  171. this pdf livinganointed.com/testimonials/quackwatch-rebuttal.pdf will show you that the accusations made by Mr. Barrett about Gary Young were proven untrue. Regarding the farms Young Living has, though they don’t have many themselves they have sub- contracted (can’t think of the proper word) with many in all parts of the world and they do only grow in the proper environments.. Finally, what you did not show to mention about doTerra oil is the fact that the owners and founders of DoTerra oils were formers employees of Young Living Essential Oils who had stolen some of the Young Living recipes and are currently undergoing a lawsuit by Young Living for the theft…
    Not trying to be rude or anything I would just like to add a little more fact to your information so that people reading can have the full truth before making their own judgement.

  172. Margie Baldwin says:

    Wow…………….
    I love you……….tee hee
    I am going to be 60 this yr and have been using oils for years. I attended an dT ……..ummm lunchen
    today. I realized it was an amway set up by the end when they (about 5) were so convincing. Or let’s say
    trying to be……… I have books. So, for my input; it seemed like a trap. I use whole food vitamins, awesome enzymes, herbs, don’t eat white flour or sugar, avoid msg, aspartame, HFC and on and on. This has all come as going to the doctors was a night mare….deluxe. I should be dead and probably would have been like my two brothers by now but; gave up docs may of 07.
    I began all kinds of research and love essential oils.
    OK, they tried to explain why theirs were so superior. I just can’t buy it. I have used all the ones except theirs. I just looked at the ingredients of thieves years ago and made my own. sha la
    Anyway Silky Scents had some I thought were good. I use a lot of them still. But I have some Aura Cacia and most of all……….Mountain Rose Herbs. So, there are even more than those but I have found for me the MRH Myrr oil is superior and the Frankenscense is good. I think it just depends on what
    kinds are not diluted in some way and have had an aweful batch of Gaia………..uck. Period.
    I could not even get my cat to take the valerian which he loves by Gaia. I had to throw away. I could not even get my money back.
    As for Youn Living……..I have not tried enough to judge but love your article so far. I do even use
    some Now oils. Geeze…….I guess I am not a ton of help. It just seems like the dT’s is a trap I am not interested in and it made me speak out. I have a whole cabinet of oils and lean to MRH ‘s and if
    HERB Pharm made more than calendula and arnica……….I would vote for them hands down.
    I love that company and their tintures. I will enjoy reading on. Thanks for the enjoyable reading.
    And as you have stated……..this is just for intertainment…….not judging any company and don’t need to be harrassed for the intertainment.. tee hee……..You have a great day!
    Should you decide to write me…………mention this as I hate junk mail and don’t open most. smile
    MB

  173. exo ra luna says:

    Do Terra, Young Living, Young Essential oils are all a part of a system relying on MLM’s. They are Utah based and family owned. They get rich by lying and telling their consultants their products are better when they are not. They have coined an essential grade EEOOCG they made this up. Oils do not have any certified process or standard they have to pass in the USA.

    Buy them If you like being in a cult and being robbed.

  174. Thank you for all your research into these oil companies. Your information was very helpful. I have a child with severe food allergies, she is also very allergic to grasses and other outside allergens. Do you use oils on your child that has allergies? One of my daughter’s allergies is peanuts and tree nuts and coconut, are their oils or companies for oils that you would stay away from?

  175. So I have a bottle of YL peppermint oil and a bottle of dT peppermint oil sitting right in front of me. The YL oil smells sickly sweet and like candy canes. The dT one smells more natural and not at all sweet nor sickly. I have given both bottles to different people to compare, and they all agree with me.

  176. Wow, I really can’t thank you enough for going to all this trouble :D !!!

  177. Adrienne – I just stumbled on your blog and was pleased at the care and time you took to go through the process of looking at all the different essential oil companies. THANK YOU. You allude to one thing – we are all on the same side here. The anti-altermative med forces are alive and well and don’t want us taking our own health into our own hands! (gasp!)

    I have worked with essential oils for more than 30 years, originally using some made in India. (I still have some of those bottles, and interestingly enough, some of them still have vital properties! Yay!)

    Great info, great site, and even great resources on the right column. Thank you so much for being a great resource and for sharing your journey.
    Beth Terry

  178. Do you have any insight about Plant Therapy. Their EOs are very modestly priced, but I don’t know how quality they are?

    • I’ll be coming out w info on other companies in one place soon (I hope) but I did answer about them in comments – part 7 I think. Do a blog search on my site. They are a “no” in my book for several reasons. One of which is synthetic lavender as best as I can tell. They also failed an oils test that they should have passed and then paid to have it redone. So they must have known they were selling bad stuff and quickly turned it around w/ other better stuff. no good.

  179. Very nice review and thank you for it. I have been looking for a review of the different suppliers of oils. However, there is a company I have used in the past that I was hoping to find a review of. It is Appalachian Valley natural Products (av-at.com). I am really curious if their quality is as good as any of the others, as their prices are very reasonable. If you know anything about them, I would be extremely grateful to hear it. Again, thanks for the work you did putting this article together.

    John
    Alaska

  180. spiritualenergetics says:

    There is a lot of speculation when it comes to essential oils and companies, as well as the term “Therapeutic”. There is no classification for the term therapeutic as of yet. There are other legit companies that have actual removed the work therapeutic from their bottles because of the back lash of users/companies and questions. If you are going to investigate a company, then go directly to its source. I’ve traveled to Utah 3 times and have been to Young Living Farms and distillery. It’s amazing. I also know Gary personally. I can tell you after much trepidation, Gary finally filed the lawsuit against DT. He didn’t want to, but after finding out that several of his executives were selling secrets to DT, he fired them and then filed the lawsuit. Gary was very close with Dr Hill as well. Dr Hill uses the same presentations that he used with YL. he just changed the products and the logo. Right after joining DT, Dr. Hill tried to recruit Urban Zen, Donna Karan’s organization. He got terrible back lash from the organization and still use YL in their clinics as well as Beth Israel Hospital.

    Other facts regarding the actual products. Young Living has developed a business relationship with the Oman government. They are the only company to source Frankincense directly from the families that own the trees, and hand pick the best resin in the world. No other company is doing that. Because of Gary’s dedication to the Frankincense trade and history as well as several archeological finds during the shooting of his documentary, the Omani government partnered with YL.

    There is no comparison to YL. The nose knows, is not really the best way to go. Everyone’s sense of smell is different and science and testing is the true answer. Although YL has tested DT’s oils as well as independently tested, I’m waiting on the actual documents to be released. We are told that DT oils are inferior and in fact NOT therapeutic based on YL’s standards. CPTG is a trademark, not an actual quality description of their oils. Do not be fooled by this. Be an educated consumer. Young Living has state of the art testing facilities in house and had their products independently tested as well.

    Don’t be fooled,
    YL is the way to go.

    • I hear what you are saying but you need to realize the lackings of GC/MS testing as well. And I think my nose is pretty good. I thought something was “up” with doTERRA’s oils, in particular their peppermint and now it has come out that they have ethyl vanillin added to it.

      Thanks for chiming in . I appreciate a good conversation.

  181. Hello, thanks for the article. However, Stephen Barrett is hardly worth citing.

    http://www.whale.to/a/goldberg.html

    http://www.quackpotwatch.org/quackpots/quackpots/barrett.htm

  182. Hi there, I use Young Living Essential Oils. I just received an article, “Young Living vs. DoTerrra”. It has a lot of information that might be useful for your research. Send me an email and I can reply and send you the file.

    Personally, I want to know every detail bout every product I use, I want to make sure it is safe for me as I have a very rare blood disorder called Bloom’s Syndrome. I have a very low immune syndrome and am susceptible to pretty much everything that can cause sickness or illness. I can end up in the hospital very easily. Since using Young Living’s Essential Oils, (March 2012) I have gotten sick only twice.

    Although YL’s oils are sometimes more expensive, I have found them to be much higher quality. I definitely use YL for the properties of the oils, there are so many uses! In my own experiences, I have not found anything better. I have also done some research on both companies and found that Young Living (YL) has so much more information about the oils.

    i.e.:
    (DoTerra) Basil Essential Oil | Ocimum basilicum
    Valued for its restorative and calming properties, basil is commonly used for soothing sore muscles and joints, to ease breathing, and as a cooling agent for the skin*. For aromatic, topical, or dietary use.
    Basil – Essential Oil 15ml | US$ 26.67

    (YL) Basil
    Most commonly used in cooking, this appetizing oil can infuse your favorite recipes with its aroma and flavor. Add a few drops to any dish and experience the benefits of Young Living Therapeutic Grade™ essential oils baked right into your favorite meals. Inhaling basil can refresh the mind and restores mental alertness, and may also sharpen your sense of smell. Also useful for fatigued or aching muscles, rub a few drops onto tense areas for relief.
    How to Use
    Apply to tip of nose, on temples and on location of stings and bites. For mental fatigue, inhale first, and then apply to crown of head, forehead, heart and navel. May be added to food or rice milk as a dietary supplement.
    Dilution recommended for both topical and internal use. Dilute before using on sensitive areas such as the face, neck, genital area, etc. Keep out of reach of children. Avoid using on infants and very small children.
    Ingredients
    Young Living Therapeutic Grade™ basil essential oil
    (Ocimum basilicum) | 15 ml – $32.57

  183. I may be commenting too soon, but I had to pause and comment when I saw that you referenced Dr Stephen Barrett. I would take ANYTHING and EVERYTHING that he writes or says with a tiny grain of salt. He has written negative things about every natural modality and procedure that has changed my life for the better, that I wonder whose payroll he is on. If I believed what he’s written about so many things, my health would NOT be as where it is today… which is pretty great!

  184. Thank you for all of your research. I’m a researcher, too. I just like to share. I found two main points while reading through the comments.

    1. Young Living is NOT the only distiller of frankincense in Oman. Check out Still Point Aromatics (search for frankincense sacra for the one from Oman) for just one other company. There are several.

    2. doTerra’s peppermint (regardless of distillation process) has been proven by third party chemical analysis to have the synthetic vanilin. That’s why it smells a little like chocolate peppermint. See learningabouteos.com for the actual test results run on several different companies’ peppermint oils.

    Again, love all your info. I’ve personally found that to find the best quality, I buy from various companies. That way I can verify, as much as possible, the organic and fair trade status of the oils.

    • Thanks. I did see the report at the eo site. then Heritage does as well. I do think there is much more to oils than the GC MS results, but that was helpful. Are the bottles for sure clean though? I thought she was emptying and cleaning other bottles for testing at the beginning of her series.

  185. Hello! Just wanted to mention a couple things – I think it’s inaccurate to say most of YL’s oils are grown in the USA. They are grown/harvested from all over the world, although the entire process is closely overseen by YL for the seed to seal process. Saying you did a “smell” test means nothing unless you’re extremely saavy in EO purity and very educated on EO’s. People that are very toxic and/or used to chemical smells/soaps/lotions/perfumes etc, will many times choose other toxic smells because that’s what they’re used to so their body is conditioned to that. Just like people that eat a lot of sugar and junk food, plain raw nuts taste nasty to them because they’re so blan… UNTIL they clean up their own diet of all the fake sugars/colorings/additives, suddenly “real” food tastes amazing. Just wanted to point that out… Interesting post though.

    • Hi Angela. I think from what I have read the most of them are in the US. According to their site they have a huge amount of acreage in the US dedicated to growing oils. If you have data on how much is overseas I would be happy to see that. I do think that my smelling chemical overtones is valid. Just like my thinking there was “something different” in doTERRA’s oils and now it is coming out that they have vanillin in their peppermint. I could smell it and their scientist thought it was just vacuuming off. So while I don’t purport myself to be some kind of expert I do think I could tell something.

      I can’t say what YL does or doesn’t do about the seed to seal but you are taking their word for it. I think the chemical smell was enough for me and some of the other concerns that I raised. I never got an answer about their Thieves documentation (i think I pointed that out) and that is really really frustrating to see them misrepresenting data that way. I hope that helps.

  186. Hey there- thanks so much for posting your experiences/insights. I’m an oils-oriented gal, however I’m not sure which brand path I’d like to trust most. I’ve heard terrible things about DoTERRA (such as them stripping ‘recipes’ from YL, where many of their founders worked initially), but you’ve brought to my attention some issues with YL as well! I have trusted friends that use one or the other, but I’m not sure they’re all necessarily educated…meaning I think they like to jump on bandwagons (though it is with good intentions that they do so). How can I make sure I stay updated with your posts and findings?

    Thanks!

  187. Very interesting read, thanks for all the great information. In doing research YL & DT were both the most frequent companies I have come across. Have you found a company you are very happy with the product and its purity ?

  188. By your comments, It seems that your will always try to find problems in something and never be satisfied and it’s a very unhealthy lifestyle. We should call you negative Nancy. The fact of the matter is that these oils are a lot healthier then the garbage you buy in the stores. They are meant to replace your medicine cabinet except in dire situations. They are both good for different reasons. Sometimes 100% 1st distilled is to strong for sensitive bodies, everyone’s bodies are different and don’t all respond the same way. Being educated is key to research not just reading posts online and scouring websites.

    • Hi “Eye Opener”. I appreciate your commenting but I would appreciate your using your real name if you are going to be so critical of someone else. You can call me what you like but the fact is that I picked a company that I like and that I think is much better quality than doTERRA or Young Living and that is less money and easier to buy. That was the point of my doing this whole series. Perhaps you read the series w/ the wrong expectations?

      If someone feels that the 1st distilled is too strong then they can dilute it w a carrier. The issue here is what you are paying for, not what might be too strong for someone. Clove oil and oregano are too strong to put right on the skin. Does that mean that I should pay the same (or more) for a lesser version that isn’t as strong? I think the answer is no.

      I am not sure what you are getting at about reading posts online and scouring websites so I won’t answer that here.

      Thanks again and try to be a little more kind if you care to come back and respond. Thanks much :).

  189. Hi,
    I am sorry, you did state that doTERRA stated their Ylang Ylang indicated theirs was
    complete on their website not on their bottle.
    Thank you again,
    Glinda

    • Hi,
      I am not sure what “my comment is awaiting moderation” is so I will
      apologize again. You did not state Complete was on their (doTERRA) ylang ylang
      bottle but on their website. I am sorry for miss speaking.
      Thank you again,
      Glinda

  190. I noticed on a doTerra website ( doterrablog.com)
    They state:” Some have asked about the difference between first distillations in comparison to complete distillations. Truth be known, almost all essential oils are distilled in a single process, so a first distillation and a complete distillation are one in the same. One exception is ylang ylang. ”

    So it is a little confusing to me. And I wonder if they are stating this on their website then why did they not just state that in the original email that you wrote to Haley. Why did she not just say this instead of acting like they were basically four different distillation processes 1,2,3, and then complete. Why did she not just say that first was the same as complete? So I’ve also written a letter to her and we’ll see what she writes me

  191. Here’s the letter I wrote to doTerra this morning
    Haylee,

    Is doTerra’s peppermint oil distilled more than once?? Basically, after you get all the oil out of the plant; do you distill (or heat) either the plant or the oil itself AGAIN?
    #2 does the peppermint oil that is in the final packaged product bottle come from ONLY first distillation??

    The reason I ask is because I have read on a blog that you (Haylee) stated there were four distillation stages to describe what peppermint can go through.
    I was told that you said as quoted below:
    “You can let her know that our Peppermint uses complete distillation.
    There is 1st, 2nd, 3rd, and complete.
    And we use complete.
    I hope this is helpful! Thanks,
    Haylee Caplin
    doTERRA Product Support

    My personal questions are:
    #1 is DoTerra’s peppermint oil distilled more than once?? Basically, after you get all the oil out of the plant; do you distill (or heat) either the plant or the oil itself AGAIN?

    #2
    Can you please describe in detail the process that doTerra peppermint oil distillation goes through?

    Thank You so much!!
    Donna lee

    Please forward this email to Haylee Caplin (assistant to Dr. Hill,Chief Medical Advisor for doTERRA).

  192. Kathleen says:

    so did Young Living essential oils come up as the best so far? and are they 1st distill?? Have you investigate “The Oil Shop” brand yet? I just found their website and everything i have read on their site sounds good and their prices are GREAT! but i am very leary about purchasing them until i find out more so i don’t get ripped off. CAn’t afford to throw any money away .. I am so interested in the Copaiba essential oil for Fibromyalgia and really need to make sure i am getting the best oil for the best price before i order it from any site. Young Living is sooooo expensive but if it truly is the best i will order form them.. Look forward to your response

  193. Thank you for your frank comparisons. I am fairly new to the essential oil thing. I’ve been slowly building a doTERRA collection–modest but delightful. My favorite in the line is the peppermint. I purchased 8 others to experiment with and add to smoothies.

    As far as wearing one for a delightful personal fragrance, which would you recommend? I know essential oils produce a more raw vibe than a typical fragrance, but I can’t figure out which might work as a clean, pretty scent maybe mixed with the fractionated coconut oil. Would you recommend their vetiver or sandalwood?

    • Here is the response from the owner of Native American Nutritionals:

      I would go with Vetiver over Sandalwood just because of the expense — however, both are very woodsy. Some single oils that are more flowery and fragrant are Ylang Ylang, Roman Chamomile, Jasmine, Rose. Blends that people like are Gratitude, Uplift, and Calming.

      Have a great day.

  194. Paula Popper says:

    I have been looking at doTERRA recently, too. My biggest complaint was the lack of specific information on which oils and other ingredients were in their various products. My contact said she could get information sheets on these that would have the details, and that is all well and good, but I think information sheets could quite easily be posted on the internet with a link back to the prettier, glossier ad page for the product.

    Blessings,
    Paula

  195. I have been researching my butt off for the past week. This is the best overview of several companies I have found! I was going to go ahead and place an order today when I stumbled upon your site/blog and now I am even more apprehensive. Thank you for all of your hard work and dedication, I can’t wait to learn more about your findings. I am dying to find out which company you have found to be the most effective; both financially and therapeutically!

  196. Cynthia says:

    Hello, Thank you for all your information. Your series has been very helpful. I have purchased from several companies over the years and have introduced my favorites to friends and family. I am considering purchasing a kit in hopes of building a business in this industry. It is my understanding that NA is strictly selling to doctors and wellness business establishments?

  197. Michelle C says:

    Have you heard of Soapboxusa Essential oils? Do you have any information about them? Thank you

  198. Just to let you know, the information on Gary Young has been fought and won, if you research the quackwatch again, you’ll see it’s no longer there… or it shouldn’t be anyway! Just thought I’d let you know!