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.

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.

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. (UPDATE – All comments by Mr. Barrett against Gary Young appear to have been removed so I can’t cite them any longer.)

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 all of the essential oils companies up, of course.  That would take a long long time and I couldn’t find them all for sure.

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 PlantsMany A good number (updated 4/2015) 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).


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 we still didn’t care for it.


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 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.”
This “first distillation” only applies to a few oils – ylang ylang and peppermint, according to what I have learned.


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

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

Most peppermint essential oils smell like the peppermint you find growing out in nature. Kind of herby and not really like a candy cane.

Candy-cane-smelling peppermint is apparently 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).

The other alternative is that something else is done to the peppermint oil to reduce the herby smell.

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 if in fact, the first distillation of peppermint oil is the most valuable, then their peppermint oil isn’t top quality.


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 (which is referred to as “extra”) is typically considered to be the quality of oil that is most sought after / of highest therapeutic quality–not the complete distillation.


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. (UPDATE – doTERRA now discloses the ingredients of their Terra Shield blend. I’m glad they are doing that.)

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.

Thanks for your patience!  This has been a long road, but I promise, we are nearing the end.

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 

**Finally, you can get my Report on Essential Oils, 10 Things You NEED to Know BEFORE You Buy for FREE by visiting here and signing up for my newsletter.**

Helpful Books from Young Living and doTERRA

Regardless of what you think about either of these companies, each of them have put out quite helpful books on essential oils and their usage.

As always, I can’t endorse everything in either of these books and if you read the reviews of each of them you will see that there are some who think that a good bit of the contents are not helpful.  And of course, each book is geared towards those who purchase their oils so there are numerous references to their exclusive blends.

But if you put that aside, you can get some helpful information from both.

(Please note that the links to these books are affiliate links. If you click on them and make a purchase I might make a commission. Your support is greatly appreciated and helps keep this free resource up and running.)

Modern Essentials – doTERRA Essential Oils Book

Modern Essentials - Essential Oils Book by doTERRA

Essential Oils Desk Reference – Young Living

Essential Oils Desk Reference Book - Young Living Essential Oils Book

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.


    Speak Your Mind


  1. mike biering says:

    Hello, Great article!! Have you heard of Ameo? I am are you have by now. I distribute them and would love for you to compare them and review. The quality they have and purity are amazing form which I can tell, and they release all the testing results to the public. They also prove and show the oils penetrating live human cells. How can I get you some samples fro you to review?

    • Yes, I have heard about them and looked into them but am not going to be recommending them for a number of reasons. I am not a scientist and only did a smell test (blind) and did digging into companies so my doing a review isn’t really what I am doing. I do appreciate your not posting your affiliate links here as other reps have done. Thank you for that :).

      • Hi There…

        This link to Doterra’s Living Magazine Spring 2014 pages 24-25:

        may be helpful in understanding why they choose the multi step quality testing process. It’s about purity, quality, grade, proper isotope profiles, etc. to have the best affect in the safest consistent outcome of these oils. Everything they say these oils will do/affect- they truly do! That is what impressed me most.. The best essential oils are suppose to get through the micro biofilm of cells for best outcome. That’s the beauty here in working with these oils. I’m impressed with Oregano oil. The combination of Oregano oil and Melaleuca handles everything from mold on grout to staph infection! YL’s Theives may be similar to DT’s OnGuard- great stuff.

        As for Steam Distillation- I’m going to research this more. I believe the Ylang Ylang 1st distillation would be too potent (used for perfume) where as at complete distill level is more appropriate for therapeutic use. I’ll try to find out more about the Peppermint process.

  2. Kim Church says:

    You stated that YL only has US farms, and you made the complaimt that herbs grow beat qhere tbey are a natice species, BUT your claim that they only have US farms is untrue…according to the map of YL farms, they have farms in South America, Africa, Israel, France, UK, Singapore, Japan, China, Australia, Taiwan, Mexico, and Canada. ?
    Here’s a good thought to investigate…how many of the essential oils companies you are investigating let you go onto their farms? DoTerra won’t…that’s questionable to me…

    • Hi Kim. I am not sure why folks keep asking me this — I did not say that they only have US farms. I said that many of their farms are in the US.

      NAN doesn’t let people go to their farms for several reasons. They feel that having a bunch of people going there would bring too much pollution (a very good point), and more. Here is a statement from someone at NAN:

      …are grown in indigenous regions to each plant. Where it is meant to grow. This means it is grown around the world. I think we only have two us farms. Most the rest are in remote areas of remote countries like Oman, Somalia, Bulgaria, etc.

      There isn’t much to see at the farms. It’s just a farm. It’s a field of plants. The distillation happens in one or two days and is so hectic you wouldn’t want an audience anyway.

      Our farms are family ran and most don’t want people to know where they are. For example we tried to do a video a while back with one farm but the family didn’t want people to know where they were in fear of {folks from other companies} coming and making accusations at them or trespassing which has apparently happened to them in the past.

      I hope that helps. Please let me know if it doesn’t.

      One thing to think about…do you not buy other products b/c you aren’t allowed to go to the production plant or farm?

    • Has this changed in the last few months? Looking on the website I don’t see China on the map for YL?

  3. Hi Adrienne! Thank you for all of your information about essential oils. I have used Mountain Rose oils and DoTerra. You mentioned Mountain Rose in your first post, but I did not see a follow up about it. Did I miss it? I am not interested in the marketing part of DoTerra, I just want to use a few oils that I find helpful. Thanks!

    • Hi there. MRH was tough to figure out. The first call I made to them they said that they weren’t for internal use b/c they weren’t made in a food grade facility and then later they said that wasn’t the case. I guess there are a few ways to think about this….they are not an oils company so it’s for sure not their area of expertise. I believe they use their own herbs to make the oils. I really love the selection that they offer but typically I buy from Frontier for spices b/c I prefer their quality across the board, so I probably wouldn’t go to MRH for oils, if that makes sense. There are more aspects to Native American Nutritionals and Rocky Mountain Oils that I love and I’ll be sharing more later. Sorry about the oversight. Once I found what I was looking for, the whole series changed and then I realized that there were so many more oils companies out there (I had no idea when I started) that I knew I’d never be able to evaluate all of them. Thanks!

  4. Kathryn Harding says:

    As a mother myself, I am always looking for natural remedies for my husband and children. I think what you’re doing is very commendable and I will be reading your posts in the future. Thanks!!

  5. Hi! I really liked your concise approach to looking into the essential oil industry. I did the same thing myself a year ago, but I did have some different conclusions on Young Living, but then everyone will that does their own digging.. I think the reason you have received so many comments concerning Young Living indeed having indigenous plants is due to the fact that you titled the section “Non-Indigenous Plants”, and your second paragraph wording of “Young Living reps tout the fact that YL farms are in the U.S. as being an advantage” seems to back up that assumption. Young Living owns three farms in the US, and now 4 around the world (they just opened a farm in Croatia). I was impressed by their commitment to making the best product, most pure, that they alone have the legal rights to distill Frankincense in Oman. I did see the questionable “family” drama about Gary Young, but since that was mostly hearsay and honestly I was like, what family doesn’t have drama?? Also I didn’t like how the leadership of DoTerra split from Young Living early on and started the SAME company, using the information they had taken from Young Living. That just seemed dishonest in my book. Just some additional trivia for you. Overall, great input! I agree, a first distill is the best, so why would I choose a lesser quality product?

  6. Are you aware of what complete distillation is? Are you aware of what the term first distillation means? You’re skimming the surface, and giving opinions based on nothing conclusive. The sweet smell of a pure peppermint oil can most definitely be attributed to origin of plant. Another reason I tell myself im not going to read ridiculous opinions based on a lack of education.

    • Hi there. Yes, I do know what they mean but of course they are complicated topics. I have talked to several experts about this. Of course the smell of peppermint can be attributed to the origin of a plant but the problem with this is that the doTERRA executive claimed that was why theirs smelled special while Native American Nutritionals gets their peppermint from the same location, and others in doTERRA claimed that it wasn’t the origin but the fact that they were only distilling the leaves and flowers that was the cause of their “special smell.” So I am not discounting origin as a reason….I just couldn’t justify that in this case with the other pieces of evidence. Does that help? I would appreciate your not calling my writing “ridiculous opinions”. Thank you.

    • And yet here you are….reading “ridiculous opinions”….

  7. Well I was re-researching EO’s tonight and came across this! So very thankful for all your posts so far. I think I did well trying do Terra. I am curious to maybe test another one. Doterra works amazingly for my family right now. Thanks so much. Do you know if there are any organic oils?

    • If you mean doTerra’s oils and if they are organic? I don’t believe that they are certified as such. All of NAN’s oils are grown using organic practices and they monitor that. Some are certified and some are not. Here is a statement from one of their employees (this is for Native American Nutritionals and Rocky Mountain Oils, the companies that I went with at the end of the series:

      We work with about 50 farms and all of them use organic practices when growing the oils. Some of them are in very remote areas and so not all of them qualify for official organic certification because it is simply not available in many of these countries we work with like somalia, turkey, and so forth. But some of them are certified and we work with all of the farms to make sure they meet our standards for “organic”. THe good news is that when you look at farms like the one i sent you pictures of yesterday in Ghana, these people don’t even know what pesticides are. So for them, they are just growing the plants naturally without fertilizers and persticides because those are products that simply don’t exist to them. So our version of organic is very natural because these plants are as natural as they come because of the nature of the farms we work with. This is another reason we like working with our small farms. About 1/3 of the remaining products are wild crafted. Again that means it is grown in the wild, so it is pure and “organic” as well.

    • Hi yes so far I Have found two Edens Garden and Mountain Rose who both offer organic/non-GMO oil selections. Which as I’m learning more and researching I feel is pretty important in regards to how each oil is processed.
      Also as I’m on this oil journey I learned neither of these companies require you to become a member and market their product. I am begging to wonder as I purchase and try different brands if YL and Doterra only markup their products in order for one to feel as if the membership gives you the discount prices (then about equal to other oil distributors) so then you also feel your getting better quality oils because its more expensive? Confusing right but take a minute to consider why does YL and Doterra require membership and or really want one to market their products…extra MONEY for them right?

      Anyone else out there wonder how much money these big companies with memberships make over the oil companies who sell without customers to sell their product? I wonder what the markup value is on YL and Doterra considering they are SO well known?

      At this point I’ve tried a few different oil companies I’m trying to remain as neutral as possible but still can’t figure out why there is such price discrepancy on the market when it comes say to YL versus Edens Garden? I feel as if Edens Garden is able to back up their product grade, how is it distilled and where each oil comes from just as easy as YL? Am I keep believing that because it is more expensive with more marketing and that it is a better quality oil? THANK YOU for your research on this blog too found it really helpful.

      • Hi there. Sorry for the delay in responding. I’ve been swamped and am trying to catch up. I don’t know about their motivation for their pricing. I have asked that question about markup and income vs the regular retailers. I don’t know the answer. I do think that contrary to what people think, some direct sales companies spend a lot more on advertising that traditional retailers. Also, some direct sales companies have phenomenal training for their reps – but that that is few and far between. YL and doTERRA sure are the biggest names out there.

        I personally did not choose Edens Garden for several reasons. I just can’t go into these things for legal reasons but suffice it to say that I did look at them. And at YL and doTERRA and I left both of them. I will be coming out with more information about the sourcing, etc., of the company that I chose. Please feel free to ask any questions. Happy to help. Oh, they do have a 5% off sale right now too. If you go here and sign up for my newsletter you will be sure to hear of upcoming sales, etc. http://wholenewmom.com/10-things-you-need-to-know-about-essential-oils-before-you-buy/ Take care!

  8. So which company is the Best? do terra, young living, or Beyoung essential oils?

  9. Vivien Cooksley says:

    I would be interested in learning whether there is actually any concrete proof that the peppermint is a complete distillation. Thank you.

    • Do you mean the doTERRA peppermint?

      • Vivien Cooksley says:


        • I have an email from the company.

          • Vivien Cooksley says:

            But the view in that email seems to contradict the general view on the subject, that there is no such thing as a 1st Distillation of Peppermint anyway. This was stated repeatedly not only by Dr. Pappas but also by others. What does differ from company to company, is the procedure to further purify the oil after it has been distilled to improve the smell apparently – but I know of NO official studies proving that one OR the other is better from a therapeutic point of view.

            Wondering whether I am not inclined to believe a chemist over a personal assistant whose primary job is probably more “office work” than anything else? Do you definitively know of any company doing multiple distillations (fraction distills) of peppermint. If so – it would be really great to see that information – because according to numerous reports I have read, that is something that is not done with peppermint.

            • I completely understand your thinking. I am just telling you that the owner of Native American Nutritionals says that there are only a few truly therapeutic distillers of peppermint oil. He said this, ” These therapeutic distillers produce an oil that maximizes the overall therapeutic chemistry but they produce a standard food grade peppermint oil too. This unique distillation process allows them to obtain the highest quality therapeutic peppermint as well as maximize the amount of oil they can extract from the plant.”

              So I am sorry that Pappas disagrees with him, but that is the case.

              I got the email from an assistant but I had contacted the officer and I would think that the assistant is getting the information from the officer of the company so it of course isn’t the information coming from the assistant herself. Personal assistants convey information but typically do not come up with the information themselves.

              The owner of Native American Nutritionals also said that most oils are made for the fragrance and food industry and so they are very picky about what they are getting and where they are getting it from.

              I completely, again, understand your skepticism, but I do not think that assistants to the heads of companies speak for themselves. Do you feel any differently?

              • Vivien Cooksley says:

                First of all, thanks for responding… Actually, I do believe that not everyone in a company is an expert in all areas of said company. Even an “officer” of the company is not necessarily a chemist. I imagine, they are well informed as to the general quality and marketing of their products but distillation procedures, how these may differ from company to company and which may be considered “best” – seems to be quite a complicated subject. I would expect a chemist to be able to explain the procedure and subtle differences but not a secretary or a public relations officer. So basically, it would depend on who exactly got the email I guess.

                Regarding the comments of people from competing companies… Well basically, you are taking his word for it right? You were told they have a “unique distillation process” but you have no idea what that is supposed to be or how it is supposed to differ from that of other companies? Anyone can say that! Unless we know how exactly the process differs and even IF the process differs – we know {expletive deleted by blog owner} basically… Except that each company naturally claims that of-course THEIR oil is better…

                And where is the proof? Has their oil been shown to be therapeutically superior in any scientific study. Was there ever a comparison to the products of other companies.

                No matter which company rep you ask they will tell you they are picky about where they get their oil from, they have the best quality bla bla bla… They all do that. Fact is: we know {expletive deleted by blog owner} about the actual production procedure. The only way to know what works best for you personally is to try both… and even then, you won’t know which is the best oil…you will only know which is the best for YOU personally. For someone else, it may well be different.

                To me personally, it is quite frustrating to see that there seems to be no internationally valid standard. People can call their oils whatever they like and make claims as to them being “therapeutic” – mostly this has not been specifically proven in studies because all companies refer to studies that actually did NOT USE THEIR OILS but may well have used oils produced, distilled and refined differently.

                Please don’t interpret this as being against any one company – I actually don’t know native american nutritionals so I can’t comment on the quality of their products. I am just saying, that without exact knowledge and proof of procedures used – there is no way to claim any one product is better than another. And I am guessing, that no real information will ever be made public because alot of these individual procedures seem to be proprietary information of each company – trade secrets that will hardly be shared with the competition.

                • Hi again. Yes, it depends on who got the email but since the email went to one of the founding executives, I would think that she is screening things for him. I followed up with another email and got this:

                  It deals with the chemistry of an oil. People choose different distillation methods depending on the compounds they are trying to isolate. If you stop the distillation at 1, the compounds will be different than doing a complete for example. We work with the world’s leading essential oil expert, Dr. Pappas, to ensure our essential oils contain the proper chemical constituents by careful distillation.

                  I hope this helps give some background.

                  Haylee Caplin
                  doTERRA Product Support

                  So it sounds to me that they are getting answers from someone in the company about how to respond to questions like this.

                  As for proof, yes, we all have to take someone’s word for things all the time. There’s almost nothing we can know for sure, unless and until we get to heaven and get to ask God.

                  If you are asking about Native American Nutritionals and if their oils have been tested against other companies, the answer is “yes” – they have. Many times.

                  Yes, so many companies say the same thing. It all comes down to digging more and trusting them. I felt that after all of the 10s or 100s of hours I spent on this that I was getting the best information from these companies so I went w/ them. I made it very clear to them that if I ever had a reason to doubt them I would rescind my recommendation and I will do that.

                  As far as working for you personally being the best guide, I disagree. Many things that are bad for us “work” but you could be putting icky stuff on your skin and so I’m not thrilled about that.

                  I hope that helps.

                  There are some testing you can do and more than that in order to get objective information, but like all sciences, interpreting the results are somewhat of an art and not just a science. This post might help you. http://wholenewmom.com/health-concerns/toxic-overload-health-concerns/essential-oils-testing-is-it-reliable/

                  Happy to answer more question / respond to more thoughts, but I would appreciate your not using expletives on my blog. Hope you don’t mind :).

                  • Vivien Cooksley says:

                    Hi Adrienne,

                    Again thanks for responding. I do have one more request/question. You mentioned in your last comment that Native American Nutritionals was tested against other companies oils… I wonder by whom? And what exactly was tested? Medicinal benefits/use? If you have any information or links to such scientific studies comparing these oils to others (like Doterra or Young Living) I would love to read them.

                    Many thanks in advance for this information.

                    On the last point: if something were “bad” for me it would seem illogical for it to make me feel more healthy, vibrant and full of energy. You would assume that something that is “bad” for you would make you kind of feel…well “bad”. Of-course that is assuming that you have a good inner radar to how things affect your body…

                    • Hi there. I would have to ask but I think they did GC/MS testing at a third party lab. There are no links that I know of.

                      I think that something can make one feel better for awhile and cause unseen / unknown damage. That is for sure the way with a lot of pharmaceuticals and natural treatments too. That’s what makes all of this confusing. Well, it’s one of the things.

                  • Vivien Cooksley says:

                    Would be great to have anything resembling proof concerning the testing that was allegedly made comparing the oils of different companies.

                    Quote: “If you are asking about Native American Nutritionals and if their oils have been tested against other companies, the answer is “yes” – they have. Many times.”

                    Where are the results of said testing? Which oils were tested?

                    • Hi Vivien. They test all of their oil by 3rd parties and they do multiple kind of testing and reject oils that aren’t up to par. They do test others just for internal information but they don’t publish this information. I ope that helps.

                    • Vivien Cooksley says:

                      Dear Adrienne,

                      Since they do not publish results, there is basically absolutely no proof on whether they test against other oils, if said tests are even valid and what said tests tell us about how NAN measures up against other companies.

                      The only way a test like this may be relevant would be if all involved companies co-funded the test, each involved oil had a representative present to ensure that their oil is not tampered with and the results were the published. Otherwise, it’s just one company making unsubstantiated claims.

                      Doterra also test their oils by a third party – one of the best known specialists worldwide in the essential oil industry… But even testing by a “third party” doesn’t mean much since the said “third party” gets their salary from the company wishing to have their oils tested? Don’t see why this would be any less true of NAN than it is of other companies who pay others to test their oils…

                      It’s obvious than NAN has you convinced – but from what I have read here so far they have presented no more proof of excellence than Doterra or other companies out there. You simply choose to believe them and distrust others.

                      There is NO scientific proof to my knowledge about peppermint that smells better being inferior therapeutically in any manner… And if I can have an oil that works therapeutically AND smells great – then I would consider that product to be superior. If you happen to have any evidence supporting the idea that peppermint that smells worse works better – then I would be very grateful to see it.

                      All the same – thanks for the very interesting blog. Thanks to you, I have been brushing up on my chemistry – which is a good thing.

                    • Who is the specialist you are referring to that doTERRA uses?

                      Thanks so much. I will get back to you shortly on the other things you mention. I have a bunch going on right now.

                    • Vivien Cooksley says:

                      Dr. Robert Pappas. Seems to be a specialist in the testing of essential oils… Even teaches courses on this subject for chemistry majors!

                    • Well, I find that interesting given this article: http://www.utahstories.com/2014/08/damning-evidence-that-young-living-and-doterras-essential-oils-are-adulterated/

                      I guess I have a few questions while I am getting more information for you and just so you know, you might have to start a new thread of questions if you wish to continue asking.

                      Currently RMO and NAN do not publish their test results but that is not to say they won’t in the future. I don’t know of many oils companies that do publish their testing results and I have heard of one company that fraudulently posted results for a different, higher quality oil, next to a lesser quality oil that they were selling. So publishing results can have its inaccuracies as well.

                      You say that I just chose to trust them and distrust others. I didn’t really say that completely though it is partially true. I asked other oils companies questions about their oils and didn’t get consistent answers, or any answer at all, despite many attempts. That is not something that sits well with me and so I felt I had to do some looking around. There were other reasons but I can’t publish all of them. I even got a cryptic threatening email about a company about a comment that another blogger published on my site about them. So this is a murky business for sure.

                      I personally don’t think that NAN / RMO’s peppermint smells bad at all. They let the oil site for a long time to have the herbiness go away, which is much different than adding something to it or vacuuming something off. I don’t mind aging. As for therapeutic effectiveness, I wouldn’t be able to do a test for that. That would clearly be outside of the scope of this blog. But getting straight answers is something I can work on and I did.

                      I hope that helps :).

                    • Vivien Cooksley says:

                      There is actually a follow up article:


                      The case will be fought out in court – but it seems that one company is simply trying to vilify another. Doesn’t change the fact that Dr. Pappas is one of the leading experts of the world on essential oil chemistry. Whether you believe him or consider him a liar – is a personal preference not a fact. Actually, a NAN oil also didn’t pass the test it seems… The results were posted in a facebook group which posts GC/MS test results….

                    • The whole thing seems crazy to me. Yes, he is an expert but he isn’t correct on everything. He has way more knowledge about oils than many people, but that again doesn’t mean he is always correct.

                      I never said he was a liar. I just didn’t like his conduct regarding my site and found it to be very unprofessional.

                      About the NAN oil that is nothing I am concerned about either. I have been talking to NAN about that this week and there is a lot going on including things that the public doesn’t know about. The oil is not Nepalese. I guess here’s another question. I have a 1000+ word comment from Pappas suggesting that I can’t know anything about peppermint oil distillation b/c I have never visited a peppermint farm. Well, perhaps he has, or perhaps he hasn’t visited a farm for German Chamomile in Nepal so maybe we should ask that question to find out if he knows enough about it.

                      I don’t mean to be nasty– just applying his logic to this dialogue about that oil.

                      I don’t know what Facebook page that is all happening on but I would be interested in seeing it. According to NAN the testing was totally fine and Pappas said it was (I think I have this correct) but he is saying it is Nepalese. Please let me know if I have something wrong here. Thanks!

  10. I really appreciate all the time and work you put into these articles! They were most interesting! However, I did have a couple concerns.

    I am currently a Young Living Distributor. I promise that is not making me prejudiced, because I am just as willing to use other oils that are good. I am mainly an Essential Oils educator, I like to show people how to use them, and let THEM decide which brand they want.

    My main concern was the basis for your arguments. Most of them appear to be based on hear-say and internet sources, with the exception of your own purchasing experiences and noses. 😀 If you go through any high-school or college English, you will find that MOST internet sources are not considered reliable and should not be used in an argument. For something like essential oils, you might want to consider using some scientifically sound basis for your arguments. I researched Young Living before I got into it, and one of the big selling points for me was that according to Dr. Herve Casabianca (Ph.D.), Chairman of the International Standards Organization (ISO) Committee on Essential Oil Standards (a European agency whose acronym is AFNOR), Young Living is the only North American company that sends samples on a steady basis to the AFNOR laboratory in France for testing against the international standards for therapeutic quality. In Dr. Casabianca’s own words, “Young Living oils are the only therapeutic grade oils, of which I am aware, produced and/or marketed by an American company.” You can contact them, and see their conclusions for yourself if you like.

    As to your point about non-indigenous plants in the Young Living section, with a little research you will find that their larger farms are in Ecuador, France, and Oman, that covers all the indigenous regions for the oils they produce.. Their total acreage in the US is only about 1,850 acres, and their farm in Ecuador alone is 2,000 acres!

    When you go by how they smell, if you grow herbs yourself, you know that the same herbs smell very different depending on where they are grown, how old they are, and what the growing season is like. I would actually be concerned if the oil I ordered on a regular basis, year after year smelled the exact same. It shouldn’t if it is 100% pure.

    Also, when you spoke of the OSHA violations for Young Living, I naturally thought you meant a violation in their processing. However when I looked up their violations, it wes not so at all! The violation was for an accident in which a piece of equipment malfunctioned and the employee was standing too close. It was an accident for the death of an employee they were written up for, NOT for processing! That one accident gave them eleven different violations, which they corrected. As far as I can find in my research, that was the only time they were written up. When you consider the danger in using large equipment of any kind, one major accident in 21 years is actually a pretty good record.

    I did also want to mention that prices do not always reflect quality, and should never be considered as far as quality goes. There was a small jewelry making business, and would try to sell good quality jewelry at a reasonable price, and didn’t sell much. However, when they upped the prices, they started selling! On the flip side, A carpenter can charge a higher price than someone else for a carpentry job, and the cheaper job wound up being such that they had to hire him to come back and re-do it! People associate price with quality, but it does it is not always the case.

    Now, I have done some research on DoTerra, but as I do not want to upset your attempt to keep the playing ground level, I would just encourage you to do some scientific research as well before you post an article describing two sides of a controversial issue.

    • Hi there. Sorry for the delay -I’ve been so swamped.

      I’m going to give a quick response b/c I really don’t have much time right now – so please excuse that.

      1. If I am not going to use internet, what would you suggest that I use? Internet sources of course are a problem but they are also very valid – just like any kind of source. As for Herve, I don’t know about him personally, but NAN and RMO use ISO and AFNOR for their testing as well.

      2. As for the indigenous plants, I called and asked about acreage and didn’t get a response – I did get answers about the places where they have farms. I guess we’d have to break down everything to make a comparison and see what exactly is being grown in the US and then people would have to decide if they want those oils coming from plants in the US or not.

      3. Of course you are right about herbs smelling different for the reasons you stated. We did a smell test for a variety of oils and continued to feel that the YL oils smelled like a chemical. I am not saying that they have chemicals added to them, but that is how they smelled to us. You are completely right about not wanting an oil to smell the same all the time. I believe I made that point, albeit indirectly, in this resource: http://wholenewmom.com/10-things-you-need-to-know-about-essential-oils-before-you-buy/

      4. As for the OSHA situation, I don’t believe that there were details there about an employee standing too close. Could you send me that resource please? Thanks. I don’t know how often there are typically deadly accidents in oils distilleries, however doing a quick internet search (I do think this is a valid method to find this out) I don’t see any other records of that kind of thing happening.

      5. Yes, you are right that price doesn’t always reflect quality, but it can.

      6. I’m not sure what you are referring to about doTERRA. If you have further comments or questions I would be happy to hear and respond when I have time. Thanks much :).

      • On #4 OSHA:
        “At the time of the accident, the material had been processing for between 40 and 45 minutes when, for some reason, the vessel began to overpressurize, causing a critical upset condition and a rupture at the lid/cover joint. Employee #1 was standing directly next to the vessel when the lid violently separated from it, discharging the pressure and material outward. He was struck in the head, and died as a result of his injuries.”

        • Hi Corey – thanks for that. This states where the employee sood, but doesn’t state that it was too close. But the fact that he was near the vessel was a problem in this case. Let me know if you have further thoughts. Thanks.

    • Rebecca, I love how you put this “I am mainly an Essential Oils educator, I like to show people how to use them, and let THEM decide which brand they want.” I’m also a YLEO user/distributor but when I share my oils and people have amazing results (sometimes within minutes-10 min) I tell them our local wellness pharmacy (People’s pharmacy in Austin, TX) carries both brands & they can get either brand there. I also order for my friends who want the discount but don’t want to sign up for the membership. I’m just very clear that it must be a therapeutic grade one to get effective results. YLEO has been a game changer for our wellness & I’m super grateful for having them in my life.

  11. Thank you so much for offering a wealth of knowledge on oils and really putting your whole heart into this search for the collective! I was hoping you could email me in regards to your opinion on Eden Gardens, I noticed on other articled you did not comment in response but emailed instead. Your guidance would be much appriciated!

    • I did look at Eden’s Garden, but didn’t go w/ them for a number of reasons. I am really sorry but I can’t publish all of the reasons why I didn’t go w/ certain companies. First of all, it would take an inordinate amount of time, secondly, companies can change what they are doing at any time, and thirdly, the oils industry is really “murky”. I even got a cryptic threatening email from someone regarding a negative comment on one of the companies that I looked at. So perhaps that helps you understand the situation I am in.

      Thanks and hope to see you around again.

      • Hugh Betcha ;) says:

        The link below has some new information that’s surfaced regarding Eden’s Garden essential oils, and it’s not good. Please don’t get me wrong, I’m not an EG hater, far from it and I’m not pro any MLM company, I’m merely a newbie who’s been doing a lot of research. I’d recently purchased 23 different oils from EG and based on what I read here (including the owners promise to refund any purchases made during 2015) I took them up on their offer and have sent my entire ED stash back. Do with this info as you will, I’m merely sharing it because it’s good to hear info form both sides of things sometimes.

        The article is a long one, but the 2nd half (or thereabouts) is focused specifically on Eden’s Garden:

  12. Are you aware that YL has 11 farms and only 3 are in the US? They also have partner & co-op farms in other countries. They do not grow all their oils in the US. They go to the source. It just happens that many times they are the source, which does give them more control.

    • Hi there. I didn’t say that they have all of their farms in the US – just many – and I haven’t looked into the acreage, that was information that I got from perusing their site. They talked about the US farms where I was looking and didn’t really mention the other farms. Since then I have gotten more information from YL – even just the other day – and I can change the post, but I would have to look into the exact acreage, which I don’t believe I can get from headquarters.

      I see that more control can be a benefit, but indigenous growth is also very important, I think. Thanks!

  13. Can you tell me the difference between all the certifications?
    Such as TPAT-(Biotone essential oils have this on the label), E-cert (which Aveda uses this label), therapeutic grade, ‘100% pure essential oil’, and CPFG (which DoTerra uses)
    Thanks in advance!

  14. I’ve used several companies’ oils for various reasons from cleaning to medically. For cleaning, I like to use the NOW Foods brand. I can get it at the health food store and just don’t see why I should pay more if I’m using it to clean.

    I have used doTerra, Young Living, and Spark Naturals. I’ve also looked into the 3 companies as far as being a rep. I’m not one to sign up for anything if there’s a requirement to purchase so much in order to rank up or be considered active. For that reason, I went with Spark Naturals.

    The only “negative” I have about any of the companies with the pure therapeutic grade oils is that doTerra reps have a bad name in the oils industry. They seem to be only out for a sale and if you even seem to possibly be a threat to them competition wise, they’ll turn on you in a heartbeat. I’ve heard of it happening in a large scale public arena as well as a smaller arena, and I’ve experienced it myself. Thing is, when it happened to me, I wasn’t even promoting the oils that I’m a rep for. I was talking about the natural health & wellness supplements that I’m passionate about and am a rep for. In no way whatsoever am I in “direct competition” with doTerra, but she seemed to feel like I was a threat to her possible business and she pounced.

    Now I know that not all doTerra reps are like that. I follow several blogs whose authors are reps who seem to be very nice people. However, as a whole, their reps don’t have the best reputation. They also tell people that they’re the largest eo company in the world and the ONLY one with therapeutic grade oils, both of which are untrue as I learned from my research.

    I suggest everyone do your own research into what reps say and decide for yourselves. And about the Young incident that a lot of people balk at, what happened was they attempted a home birth that ended up having complications. That’s not something you can predict or blame those involved. It happens. Just so happens it occurred to someone of status so it’s criticized more.

    • The claim of being the only company with therapeutic grade oils is not accurate for sure, but I guess they mean to say that they are the only company with their certification — the CPTG?

  15. kathy burkholder says:

    my question is how does these oils compare with zija oils? from what i no zija oils is the only oils on the market today that are clinically approved. i would also like to know which oil is the best for your money. looking forward to hear from you.

    • HI Kathy. I looked at Zija (ameo) and decided against them for a number of reasons. From what I can tell the “certified clinical grade” is a term they came up with themselves, similar to doTERRA’s CPTG. Do you know anything different? Thanks. This is the company I ended up with. http://wholenewmom.com/health-concerns/natural-remedies/announcing-the-best-essential-oils-company-and-a-great-sale/

      • C Wilson says:

        I just ran onto you all while researching Gary Young. I was disturbed to read of his history and decided to go to another oil source, after having signed up with Young Living. Should have done the research first, but the products have been good as far as we can tell. I just prefer to go elsewhere knowing his past. A dentist in Texas recommends Heritage Essential OIls.

        • Welcome! I did look at Heritage but decided against them. I can’t publish all of the reasons why I didn’t go with certain companies and I even got a cryptic threatening email from someone regarding something another person commented about regarding one of the companies I decided against. This oils business is very murky for sure. Thanks and hope to see you around again.

          • C Wilson says:

            Thanks…..I just looked at your other info and see that you had already addressed Heritage…sorry. Murky is a good word for it all. Keep seeking truth!

  16. Hi Adrienne, a dear friend of mine has just been diagnosed with cancer and I have been a member with YL for a while now and thought to do some research. After reading for a few hours on the net I came across a lot of negativity about Gary Young. I have used the oils for 4 years now and like them. I no longer do it as a business however. I really want to THANK YOU! For your amount of research you have provided and how you change your mind, add on to posts and showed me (well as I have interpreted) that common sense prevails. Thank you, thank you. You have rekindled the trust that I have in myself and self-education is worth every second. I really enjoyed reading all your parts of the essential oils investigation. Cheers Simone

  17. My midwife, chiropractor and the pastor that we rent our church from only use Young Living. They have access to any other company but they only trust that company. My cousin Natalie used NAN and her oils changed smell and consistency. That month she signed up with me and and got results from her frequenct migranes.
    This company owns and operates NINE GLOBAL FARMS and distilleries all over the world. Growing healthy plants starts with the soil, chemistry, and nutritional needs of the plants. If a company doesn’t understand that, they will produce a subpar plant and thus, a subpar essential oil. Geographic location, soil type, climate, elevation, humidity, temperature, sunlight, frost-free days, rainfall, and many other elements determine the health and growth of plants. In other words, what you should take from this is that even before you plant the seed, you must evaluate a location and it’s soil.

    Seed evaluation is key too. What seed species produce the most therapeutic oil? Remember, I don’t want just any oil. I want one that will not only be safe to ingest but contribute to health. What is the origin of the seed? Did it come from commercially grown plants that were babied and kept in a controlled environment or did it come from a seed produced by a plant that experienced the harshness of nature? A plant that thrived in the elements has a strong immune system whose qualities are passed on to the oil molecules (1). This company nourishes the soil and uses seeds from plants that have been grown outside.

    Composting is a key element to organic farming. It is practiced on this company’s farms. It’s nice to know that the plants that supply my oils are treated with the same love and respect that I treat my homegrown food. They utilize millions of California red worms that provide liquid fertilizer and castings for the soil. Now that’s good nutrition!

    What I find totally amazing is that this company uses essential oils for weed control. All fields are sprayed with natural herbicide made with essential oils, neem, and castile. Let’s face it folks! That’s BEYOND organic!

    There are weather stations in the middle of the growing fields that monitor weather patterns, UV hours per day, temperatures, humidity, barometric pressure, rainfall, daylight hours, and sun exposure hours per day (1). This data is verified with tests to determine daily the best harvest time and maximum growing conditions. Can you believe that? They have day by day sampling of best harvest time. Yes. They take their mission THAT seriously!

    To determine the perfect time for harvesting the crops they:

    1) test the sugars (Brix), the oil levels, the compound (constituent) percentages in the plants (As a chemist, this part gives me warm fuzzies.)

    2) watch the behavior of the plants to determine their needs in order to produce the best oil

    3) sample DURING distillation (sometimes every 30 minutes) to determine the correct distillation time (Again, warm fuzzies.)

    4) test dried plants (sometimes every 2 hours) to determine when they have the highest level of oil for distillation (Again, warm fuzzies)

    The rigor that is built into this process is impressive. Some plants are distilled immediately after harvest, some are shade dried for 48 hrs, others for 62 hrs, some are cut at mid-bloom, others are cut before going to seed, some trees need to mature for 125 days, others for 5 years (1). Lavender is harvested at 3am. Melissa herb has to be talked to gently and cannot touch the ground. It has to be walked across the road to the distillery 20 feet away or she will not produce certain therapeutic constituents. The workers are banned from cursing around her. Each plant gets its own special treatment, because the therapeutic oil qualities present themselves at a very specific time in the life cycle.

    This company is one of the last in the world to use horses to harvest trees. The horses drag the felled trees out of the forest which prevents contamination of the trees and the farm.

    For plants that require distillation immediately, it is of utmost importance to be able to distill on the farm. This company has that capability. Loading the extraction chambers correctly with plant material is critical to extraction of all therapeutic compounds. Knowledge of the correct temperatures for the extraction chamber, condenser, and separator for each unique plant are critical to producing a therapeutic product. Water temperature in the condenser, flow rate of the steam, and liquid/gas volumes must be monitored closely, so that the oil is not lost or damaged (1). If the distillation chamber gets too hot or the oil coming off isn’t cooled properly, it can fry the therapeutic constituents. It takes 5 years to train as distiller with this company. The distiller goes by sight, touch, and sound of the distillation process to ensure a quality product. It is not only a science, but an art form. The distillation chambers are cleaned with peppermint oil and are made of stainless steel.

    Are you catching on here? I know this is a lot to digest. I’ve probably made my point already, but lets get into the analysis and research part of what this company does.

    Adulteration, dilution, and mislabeling are a concern when trying to produce therapeutic grade essential oils. Peppermint is the most commonly adulterated oil. It is usually adulterated with cornmint, which even at 85%, it is difficult to detect (1). Through testing is the ONLY safety net to avoid adulteration.

    This company uses 7 tests to verify the purity of their oils (1). Hold on to your hats! Gas Chromatography coupled with Mass Spectrometry (GC/MS) provides separation of marker compounds and molecular weight information which aids in component identification. The GC/MS columns that this company uses are custom and TWICE as long as the columns used by other analytical labs. Why is that important? Because not all therapeutic compounds travel the column in a short period of time. Other essential oil companies use GC/MS, but identifying adulteration is not as simple as squirting the oil into any machine and getting accurate information. GC/MS is not sufficient, within itself, to identify adulteration. On top of GS/MS, this company performs optical rotation, refractive index, fourier transform infrared spectroscopy, specific gravity, viscosity, and microbiology testing. They have a full time in-house laboratory staff for performing all these tests. All incoming oils must pass testing in this lab. If a particular oil fails to meet this company’s standard, the oil is rejected. They also send samples out for third party testing. These standards have been developed over the course of 24 years.

    In addition to having their own farms, this company has WORLDWIDE partners that must pass very specific requirements to produce oils that this company will accept. All partner operations are monitored and audited. Oils from these partners and oils from this company’s own farms are held to the same stringent requirements. It is a simple as that! If an oil passes testing, it then gets bottled and shipped off to the happy customers. If a lot is rejected, it is not used.

    This company has 28 years in the development and discovery of essential oils for natural remedies and supplementation (1). It has 24 years in the farming, distillation, and analytical evaluation and study of essential oils. This company has oils, university tested and proven, to digest cancerous tumor cells (2,3,4). They have published research papers on their oils’ effectiveness against methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureaus (MRSA) (5,6). No single essential oil company has brought more research, education, and discovery; published more papers or more books; and created more formulas and supplements with essential oils.

    Let me say that again. This company produces therapeutic grade essential oils that have been university tested and proven to digest cancerous tumor cells! Research continues at a feverish pace. Can any other essential oil company lay claim to such a feat? No. Does this fit my criteria for safe ingestion and overall well being? You bet! There are also countless testimonies on http://www.oils-testimonials.com that illustrate their effectiveness. I don’t consider any other company’s oils to be safe enough for my family. The choice is clear! The best essential oils company is Young Living. Their Seed to Seal™ process is unsurpassed!

    One last thought….do I think these oils are expensive? In light of all the work listed above, NO. I think these oils are an incredible value and I’m delighted that Young Living can provide them to us at the cost that they do.

    • Hi Anna – sorry for the delay in responding. I have been swamped and am trying to catch up.

      I don’t have time to respond to everything you wrote, but I will respond to the comment about NAN’s oils changing in smell and consistency. That is actually the sign of good oils, or can be, as oils will change as crops change and weather changes. If an oil smells the same all the time one would think there is some kind of alteration going on to make those consistent qualities.

      I do think that lavender is possibly the most commonly adulterated oil, but that’s not a salient point here.

      I would be really careful about the claim about digesting cancer cells. I don’t know where you saw that but the FDA is not happy w/ claims of curing cancer using EOs.

      I also know that NAN / RMO do other tests beyond the GC/MS testing as well so I am confident in the purity of their oils.

      Thanks for commenting and glad that you found something that works for you :).

  18. Man, people get so cray-cray if you buck their company. Seriously, it’s ridiculous. Stop taking it personally- no matter which company you choose don’t go all postal on people who think otherwise. Gah! Chill out.
    Anyway, I got into essentail oils a year ago and chose NAN, thanks to all of your research, Adrienne. While I do like the smells of many DT and YL oils better, I would rather have the potent healing properties of a first distillation from NAN. NAN’s oils have a more herbally smell- closer to nature. If I was just interested in distilling oils for smell, I would totally go for DT or YL because they smell great. (Someone gave me a bottle of DT’s Holiday Joy and it smells SO good.) I have no doubt that they also work in healing too, but I think the effect may not be as powerful if it’s not a first distillation. I trust NAN for healing.

    • Hi Shannon. Great minds, eh? Just kidding, really. Just to be clear, and I am still learning, I don’t think that the first distill applies to many oils – just mainly peppermint and ylang ylang. I am really pleased w NAN’s transparency, however, which makes a world of difference to me. Hope to see you around again!

  19. Kia Smith says:

    HELP! I just read your article on Young Living and do Terre. Here is my problem I have people from both companies coming at me trying to get me to buy their product. I just found out about oils and I really want to buy a kit but WHO do I buy it from because I don’t want to waste my money! Please any thing you can offer to help me make this easier I would be greatful! Thank you so very much!


    • I would keep reading…..I would love to know what you think when you are done the series. Thanks!

    • Katelyn Mudry says:

      Hi Kia,

      I”m a rep for one of the above mentioned companies, and honestly one of my favorite parts is working, learning and creating a community of amazing people with the oils. If you have multiple people offering you oils I would go with the person that you feel most comfortable with sharing and learning with on a daily/weekly/monthly basis. From my experience with my company the end goal is to get people using oils, improving their health and helping others achieve that as well – regardless of the company.

    • Christina says:

      Hi Kia,

      I became interested in EOs from seeing FB posts on my news feed. I actually bought a kit from doTERRA and didn’t touch it for months. I can not incorporated oils into my day-to-day. My only regret is that I didn’t get a bigger kit (I didn’t want to waste the money if I didn’t like it or they didn’t work for me). I absolutely love my DT oils and I don’t care to try other because I’ve already seen amazing results for myself and with others I have shared them with. With that being said, if you feel that you’re going to an active oil user – get a kit, much more bang for your buck.. if you’re still unsure – start out with ones like Lemon, Lavender, and Peppermint with whatever company you choose. You can always purchase more! :) Hope that helps!

    • Hi Kia,
      I just posted that Nu Skin just launched an amazing line of essential oils this past Friday, June 26, 2015.
      I have used EO for thirty plus years and these are the best that I have ever used!
      Paul Cox formulated them.
      I have a lovely friend that reps for Nu Skin.
      Her number is (phone number deleted by blog owner) if you want to call her to get some.

      • Hello there. I actually got a message from a reader that this was launched earlier in April perhaps? In any case, there is such a small offering and in my humble opinion they are very overpriced. $28 for a 15 ml bottle of peppermint when NAN’s is only $14 – and I don’t see any info on company of origin. In any case, I also didn’t think your friend would want her phone number made public like this, so I deleted it. Also, I am not allowing folks to use this as a platform to do multi-level marketing advertising. I hope you can understand. It’s not that I don’t think other companies might be valuable, but I worked very hard for this blog to be representative of my opinions and now it has a large reach – I don’t think it is fair to have folks piggy back on that in order to market their own businesses. Hope that makes sense. Thanks!

  20. Mary Gregory says:

    Proof is in the pudding. I have tried both the Young Living and doTerra. The young living did nothing for my headaches, sinus problems or allergies. Using the same oils from doTerra, I found immediate relief.

    • I am so glad you found something to help. Fascinating. I do not at all mean to detract from your experience, but I do wish to point out that just b/c something works doesn’t mean it is pure – of course you know that OTC and Rx meds work but can be really bad for you. So on the one hand I am a “it works so use it” kind of person, but I also want to use the most pure thing I can have. Hope to hear from you again! Oh- what did you use for allergies- the traditional peppermint, lemon and lavender?

  21. My only comment here is that YL does have farms all over the world… the latest information from the company cites a bunch of different farms owned by them for things like frankinsence etc.

  22. I am also a distributor for one of the companies. I agree 100% with what Katelyn said. The goal is to get people living healthier and less dependent in chemicals to better their lives. I always encourage people to try the oils. I don’t try to push any specific brand but I do name a few that are quality brands that I have used and trust.

  23. Brittney Douglass says:

    Have you tried amèo essential oils? That is what have been using and it is wonderful! These oils are clinical grade! Please let me know what you think

    • I did hear about them and looked into them. Chose not to recommend them for a number of reasons. Thanks for reading! Sorry but I need to not share much about other companies – I even got an odd threatening email from someone about a negative comment on my blog about a company I chose not to go with :(.

  24. Thank you so much for all the time and effort you have put into your research and publishing it online for the benefit of us readers! I’ve read some of the comments you’ve received and applaud you for your courage in standing behind your work and responding with grace. I have found your posts very helpful, although I still have not chosen a company. As you said, it is a “murky” field and it is difficult to know whose claims can be believed.

    • Thanks so much – I know — it’s really hard to know what to think. But I haven’t found a reason to doubt the company I went with. I have made it very clear to them that if I do, the relationship is over. Thanks for reading :).

  25. Hi, thank you for such research and your opinions. I used to dabble in oils many years ago before it actually became very popular to do so. I have been wanting to break back into to EO’s but have struggled with going to a good company- so I value your thoughts, concerns and the guts to dig deeper to get amswers.
    I am curious if you have ever used, researched or heard of Nature’s Sunshine essential oils.? If so would you mind sharing your thoughts and opinions with me?
    Again, thank you for your efforts and your work is appreciated greatly!

    • Hi there. I looked at them a little bit – aren’t they another MLM company? I just know a little bit but I can’t put it in writing. I am really sorry but I need to very careful about what I write about other companies. I even got a cryptic threatening email from someone about a comment left regarding one of the companies I was evaluating. I wish it weren’t this way but it is. I hope that helps :).

      • kate guisinger says:

        MLM has such a bad rap ,,,, I get that …. I hate it …. but may as well get a little return on ur investment I’d say….. better than say target or try’s gettin the extra money lets just cut the middle man out….. if someone’s gonna be makin money off what I buy or sell I’d like it to b me ……… but I do get that… it’s what made me shy away from all of it at first …… any thoughts?

        • Yes, MLMs have a bad rap mainly b/c of overreaching claims and pushy reps. Not all companies are this way but many are. Yes, you can get something back for your investment, but the vast majority of people who sign up for these ending losing a lot of money. I am with a few other MLMs that I feel much more comfortable with.

  26. May I ask what your opinion of Eden’s Garden oils were? I have bounced around this blog series but cannot seem to find it. I tend to use that company due to pricing and my personal “success rate” with their products, but would love to know if you had researched them or what your findings were.

    • Hi there. I chose not to recommend them for several reasons. I am really sorry but I need to very careful about what I write about other companies. I even got a cryptic threatening email from someone about a comment left regarding one of the companies I was evaluating. I wish it weren’t this way but it is. I hope that helps :).

  27. Jodi Mulisano says:

    To begin, I’m not a spammer. I say to each his/her own 😉 If this comment isn’t allowed here…simply remove it. Nothing hurts my feelings! I’m not even sharing my site here. Anyway…..
    Oils? I’ve used them all ! At least I think I have. I’m actually still learning which is what brought me here. Lots of great info. I did find an oil that I absolutely love. My big thing is purity. I’m very concerned about our foods and environment because we live on a toxic planet and put toxins in our bodies. Stripped and depleted soils, pesticide use & GMO’s are all working together to make us over fed and undernourished. That’s why we battle bulge incessantly and why we are so sick! I have children that were sick puppies when they were small. Asthma…you name it. I started then and still am very careful as to what I offer in my home for meals, nutrition etc. we use organics when possible and I’m now looking forward to putting in my organic and heirloom garden!! Happy days!
    When oilers and essential oils began buzzing around my business, friends and Facebook…I started looking into that further. I learned that the oils out there are nearly all “perfume grade” at best. No matter what the “grade” claims. Anyone here heard of Dr Daniel Penoel? He’s a French Dr and oil expert. Like over 40 yrs in his field. (Pun) I came from a meeting last September where he was one of the speakers. His expertise in oils really enlightened me. He mentioned an oil company that is using testing standards that are now the standard and he said he’s waited 40 years for this :) That being said…that’s the oil I went for and the only one I would ingest into my body. I will also say that I still have other oils in my pharma cabinet as well. Anyway, I again don’t want to seem like a spammer so I won’t “sell” it in this comment. I would like to just finish with research really does pay off and so does taking care of your body on every level in your power. The planet and our food is not the same! Processed food, GMO’s food, Bad soils, oil spills and nuclear disasters ….. Think about it :) God bless!

    • Hi there. I have heard of Dr. Penoel – I can’t find anything on the standards that he is using / recommending. I visited a ton of links. I know what company you are talking about but can’t find any real details. There was one marketing site talking about GC/MS certificates and batch numbers, but nothing else. Thanks if you have anything else for me please leave it.

  28. kate guisinger says:

    hahahahaha has! this post is a joke!! u mention a few times that you didn’t lookup all the companies because it would take too long or you couldn’t find them all. so basically this is your opinion. it seems mayb you should do full research on each company instead of slamming the 2 you don’t like!! hahah people, I use all of these brands from aura cacia to young living…. some of my cousins even use doTerra. find a company you like and trust and just go with it. some essential oils will not be cheap , some of them may actually “break the bank” !! some of this are costly if they are pure. you use so little though , they will last awhile!!! I use mine in our cleaning products, I use them on our kids, I occasionally cook with them and I use them daily in my massage practice!! at least if you go with “YL” or “DT” you can share what you know with family and friends and get back a little of your “investment” ???????? by selling it …..

    • Hi Kate. It’s not a joke. I spent hours and hours doing this research and got entirely burned out from all of the time it took. What companies are you suggesting that I do full research on? I called many more than the ones mentioned in the posts. If you read through the comments you can see some of that. I called Butterfly Express, Stillpoint Aromatics, and more. I was explaining why I left Young Living and doTERRA – not really slamming them. I feel that the Direct Marketing oils businesses don’t really make sense for the reasons that I shared. I think they recommend using way too many oils and that it just isn’t a prudent thing to do. I hope that clarifies things.

  29. Hi Adrienne,

    Thank you so much for your insight about the best essential oils on the market.

    I totally appreciate your thorough reviews and detailed explanation about YL and DT.

    Since my yoga mentor recommended Floracopeia to me years ago, they are my go to resource for all my oils. I love the focus on sustainability and environmental wellbeing that is integral to their work and vision.

    The thing is, I’ve heard so much about DT, that I kind of wonder what all the talk is about.

    Have you ever used Floracopeia’s products? And, if so, what are you reflections as far as quality of Floracopeia’s oils vs. DT or YL?

    Thank you in advance…. I do appreciate your time. :)

    All the best,


    • Hi there. I did look at them and decided not to recommend them for several reasons. As far as them compared to DT and YL, I really can’t say. This turned out to be much more complex than I thought, with the exception being that most oils are coming from the same 5 or so sources (the “experts”). It’s just a very convoluted industry. Once I found the company I wanted to go with I did a little more digging but then I got exhausted from all of it. Take care. :)

      • Hi Adrienne. Can you explain why you chose not to recommend Floracopeia? I’ve tried to research them and been unable to find much info.

        Also, what do you think of Veriditas Botanicals? Any info on them?


        • I chose not to go w/ either of them for a number of reasons. I actually remember looking at Floracopeia but not the other one for sure – I would have to look back at my notes. Sorry but I really can’t go into whys and wherefores for all of the companies b/c there are so many of them and they could change what they are doing at any time. Plus it’s a dicey business. I got a strange threatening email about comments on my site about another company — so I just can’t do it. Thanks for understanding.

  30. Hiya,
    Have you heard of Neals Yard Remedies (NYR Organic)? If you want to buy fairly traded, certified organic essential oils then I’m surprised that you’ve overlooked this company.
    I have huge concerns about DoTerra and the way that they recommend that oils be taken internally.

    • Yes, I have heard of them. They seem like a good company but their offerings are pretty few so they wouldn’t meet the needs of most people looking to incorporate oils into their daily life. I just couldn’t cover all of the companies out there either. Once I saw how many there were I got completely overwhelmed :(.

    • Beth,

      If an oil is 100% pure you will be able to ingest it. Although it may not be recommended it will not hurt you. The oils that worry me are the ones that cannot be ingested because that means that something was added that is not an essential oil.

      • Hi Amber – just wanted to hop on here to clarify that there are some people who do recommend caution when using oils internally. There are some oils that can be used too much internally and some that shouldn’t be at all. I for sure wouldn’t want to use any that have been tainted, however, but I have talked to different people who think that you can really upset the microbiome of your gut by using the antibacterial oils for any length of time.

  31. Hello, thank you for the much needed information on essential oils. I live in Utah which is home to Nuskin and recently they released their essential oils called Epoch Essential Oils. I’m curious since Nuskin claims that the essential oils is the purest and no other company can come close. They apparently have a machine that can detect the slightest impurities. My Question to you is: have you heard of Epoch Oil? If so, would u recommend it? Epoch oils are extremely expensive so I’m wondering if I should invest in it. Thank you.

    • I didn’t look at them and couldn’t really find enough information right now. I’m sure you can understand that I just can’t look into every company. It seems there are new ones turning up every day. And no surprise w/ all the interest in the marketplace.

      I also need to really not talk about negatives of other companies – this industry is very murky and I got a threatening email about negative comments on my blog about one company. Thanks.

    • I just found them. Seems at present they are almost all just about 6 blends and their peppermint currently is $28 for a 15 ml bottle compared to NAN’s $14. I don’t see sourcing of country of origin. I don’t know, but doesn’t seem like where I would want to purchase my oils – that’s just my opinion. I want more information and a lower, more reasonable price.

  32. Eliz1212 says:

    Young living has horrible customer service.
    1. I paid extra to have shipment delivered next day. Found out next day it takes them 1 to 2 days to process order. Therefore, Fed Ex will come in a few days. At least credit me $10 to make me feel good.
    2. When I tried to cancel my order they said it will take TWO MONTHS to get my money refunded back on my card. Not cool.
    3. Now I am trying to cancel and I have to mail in or fax a signed letter. I don’t own a printer, scanner. I have no stamps. This makes it a pain in the ass to me to cancel. It would be much easier if they just accepted an email cancel.
    I can’t support company with horrible customer service. I feel bad for a friend who is doing this for a living. I hope she is getting better service from this company than me. :)

  33. Veronica says:

    I was planing to buy From DT and YL but now i feel more confuse. Could u tell me what company do u get ur oils?

  34. crosswind says:

    Thank you, Adrienne. You brought up some excellent points, especially with the 1st, 2nd & 3rd distillation process. My esthetician friend did not like the Frankincense she ordered. The scent was awful to her. I have been buying my organic pure essential oils from a local herbalist shop. I need a good back up supplier, but I’m just starting to research all the brands. it certainly is overwhelming, but should not be. there shouldn’t be so much hidden info that we have to research for days & weeks. what are they hiding? Jeesh. The prices of the MLM oils shock me too. I’ve been following facebook walls by 21 drops.com and Jade Bloom. Their oils look really nice & prices cheaper. I’m looking to find focus & calming blends sometime.

    • Hi there. Thanks for the encouragement. Which Frankincense are you talking about – from NAN / RMO? Please let me know and I will do what I can to help.

  35. stephanie says:

    Some of your information is incorrect. YL only has 3 farms/distilleries the u.s. (2 in Idaho, 1 in Utah). They in fact do not force things to grow out of their element. They also have farms in the following countries; Canada, Peru, Equador, France, Israel, Oman.and Taiwan. No where near “most” or a great deal. Which was your major concern with this company.

    • Hi there. I appreciate your comment. I updated the post to have more accurate information. When I posted this I was going off what they had on their site – and since made more phone calls to find out more. I don’t think I found out the acreage, however, which I guess would be the most accurate thing to have. Thanks! Oh, and it was not my major concern – it was just one of them. Thanks!

  36. I thank you…looks like I’m sticking with the purity and 1st distill of the purest oils…young living. They are no doubt the purest, having farms in many places not just the US and serving seed to seal!

  37. tobor8th says:

    @ELIZ1212 Call you card company now and dispute the charge. Most card companies say you must dispute within 60 days. If you wait two months to see if you get your refund it may be too late.
    @ADRIANNE My wife just discovered essential oils about a month ago and is looking to join one of the companies you researched. I decided to do some research and your blog was the second item I read(first was company website).
    I appreciate your honesty and the work you have done. From your articles and from your readers posts I have learned there is much research we need to do.

  38. Hello,
    Here is another site that talks about peppermint distillation:
    As you can see, 2nd distillation does not always mean a “sweeter” aroma than 1st. Also, if you want an effective peppermint, wouldn’t you want more menthol?? Personally, I’d prefer both the sweet aroma AND a good amount of menthol. That means it’s effective not only to my mental and emotional wellbeing but physical as well. Isn’t that the best of both worlds? Isn’t that what most customers want?? I’m confused as to why it is NOT a good thing to be a complete distill when all the desirable qualities are there!! Just some thoughts…. thanks!

    • Hi and thanks for commenting. Here is a reply from NAN/RMO that I have edited a bit:

      All desirable qualities are not there. It’s a tradeoff.

      This is a common confusion among customers.

      When an oil is tested and a costituent profile is created, we get a list of the main constituents with percentages next to them.

      Most people look at it and say, “oh wow this peppermint is 98% menthol. What a great deal. More is better, right?”

      Sort of… You want more of certain constituents, but when you get too high in one constituent then you sacrifice others. If you have 98% menthol then that sounds nice and high, except that now you only have 2% remaining for all the other constituents. So now all those other ones will be extremely low. This includes the compounds which give it a more delightful sweeter smell.

      A constituent profile is basically a pie chart. You can’t have more than 100%. So while some constituents are great, it’s possible that too much will push other desireable traits lower.

      There is a balance, you don’t want too little and you don’t want too much.

      You can not naturally get a sweet peppermint and a high menthol peppermint without additives. Menthol is not a sweet smelling compound. It is bitter. So if you have 90%+ of menthol and it still smells like candy then you have an almost certain chance that someone has added cornmint or ethyl vanillin to it. Both are generally synthetic compounds. Cornmint could potentially be produced naturally but for it to show up in peppermint would require adulteration (even if it’s natural cornmint and not synthetic) from another plant.

      The last confusion by this customer is that she is thinking that if a second distillation pulls out new constituents then that’s awesome to just add those to the ones pulled out before. This is another common point of confusion. What happens is that many of the most valuable constituents in plants can not survive multiple distillations. So they burn off and are gone. So you aren’t adding new constituents to your old ones when you do this, you are actually replacing them. Again this is a common point of confusion. Most constituents are extremely volatile. Which means they evaporate easily. So it’s another balance gAme between enough heat and pressure to extract the compounds, but not too much so that it dissapears.

  39. Shabnam says:

    I have recently started reading about the different companies providing essential oils and I decide which company I’d like to purchase oils from. I was a bit taken back when I read your comments about distillations. As an experienced chemist who doesn’t like to use harmful chemicals in my home, I can tell you that the information you’re providing about distillations and the “quality” associated with it, are incorrect. Generally speaking and in overly simplified terms, when you double, triple, etc distill things you are doing it to remove certain compounds out of the final solution. I will also note that GCMS testing isn’t as straightforward as it may seem. When you run analytical tests on an analyze, you are comparing it to a control or “standard”. The results of the data and the percentages you receive are based on the control. I’d be interested to see what analyses were conducted on the control they used for the assay, and where they obtained the control. If they are using their own oils to compare it to, then GCMS data is skewed. Since essential oils are not regulated, I will definitely be requesting the GCMS data to analyze for myself. Thank you for your reviews on these companies, it has been helpful in digging deeper.

    • Hi there. Thanks for writing. What are you saying is wrong about the distillations and I am happy to check into it for you. I know and agree w/ you that GC/MS is that way. There are different standards and of course they can be monkeyed with. Still, for better or worse, it is what more people use as a standard.

      If you want more information from NAN / RMO I can try to get it for you.
      Thanks so much.

    • Hello,

      I am actually pretty excited right now to be a representative for a trusted company called Melaleuca that recently has added Pure Essential Oils to their list of healthful products ! Tea tree oil is their claim to fame and a great deal of the products have this ingredient. They have been in business since 1985 and have taken pride in the fact that they have taken the toxic chemicals out of their products and replaced their ingredients for their cleaning supplies based on herbs and lemon. There are no child proof caps- not needed. Their nutritional products are third party tested and everything is fully money back guaranteed ! I can’t wait to try these oils and hope everyone who is interested will do the same.

      • Hi there, Tina. Hi there. Thanks for commenting. I have looked at them before but my opinion is that I wasn’t thrilled w/ some of their ingredients. Just looked again and after a quick look, I see this in their Luxury Serum Concentrate. I would have to spend more time but I am thinking that I still am not happy w/ their ingredients. http://www.ewg.org/skindeep/ingredient/700872/LILIAL/

        Let me know what you think about that. Thanks again for commenting.

      • Hi again. I just noticed something else – their drink mixes contain sucralose and some have acesulfame potassium, both of which are sweeteners that I am concerned about. Did you notice that? Thanks again.

  40. Have you heard of Melealuca Co, they just added Essential oils…wonder what you think of that Co.?

    • Hi there. Thanks for commenting. I have looked at them before but my opinion is that I wasn’t thrilled w/ some of their ingredients. Just looked again and after a quick look, I see this in their Luxury Serum Concentrate. I would have to spend more time but I am thinking that I still am not happy w/ their ingredients. http://www.ewg.org/skindeep/ingredient/700872/LILIAL/

      Let me know what you think about that. Thanks again for asking!

  41. Mary Parrish says:

    I have used Melaluca for years first off I am saying from experience.
    First off the oils I have not tried and wont.
    The vitimins do not do what they say it was a waste of money, not to mention they upset your tummy. The laundry soap for HD front loader I used less than they said to use and I had a repair man in my home at the least every 3 months when I stopped using them I no longer have a problem. The spot remover well a waste. I find peroxide works better or blue Dawn. The dishwasher soap caused pitting in my dishwasher. So needless to say would Never trust their essential oils.
    I didn’t like Melaluca customers relations department either.
    The shampoos and lotions myself and another family member broke out.

  42. Jessica says:

    Hi! I’m just now really getting into essential oils and I’m far from being made of money, so I want to make sure that if I spend it, I’m getting what I want. I was reading what you wrote about the 2nd 3rd and complete distiller oils along with other aspects of the quality of the different brands. I was wondering if you knew about edens garden essential oils and the quality of their oils. I have a few from them now and have heard they are of the best, but I didn’t even know about the different levels of distilling and all that.

    • Hi there. I did look at them and didn’t choose them for a number of reasons. I can’t talk about other companies so much b/c of several reasons — I even got a strange threatening email about a negative comment on the blog from someone else. I just have to be really careful. Sorry about that!!

      • mamaducky says:

        freedom of speech huh?

        • Hi again. I am not sure what you mean by this comment. It came in right on the heels of your earlier comment. Were you insinuating that I didn’t publish it b/c you were contradicting something that I said or that you were publishing something about doTERRA?

          I moderate all of my comments for various reasons. I get hate-filled comments and rude comments and spam that is done “smart” so I choose to do it this way. I hope you can understand. Also, freedom of speech relates to our government and not blogs. If someone posts something that I don’t think should be published, of course I have the right to not publish it. I hope that clarifies things for you. Thanks again.

  43. mamaducky says:

    I researched what you meant about 1, 2, 3rd distillation process (I like to be knowledgable too!). Perhaps this article will help you with what you may have referred to as a separate classification for ylang ylang because of its perfuming properties that are highly sought after. The distillation, due to those perfuming properties has to be different. This would be the only exception, and I don’t think it would be a just accusation to say all of doTERRA’s line are not 1st distilled or cold pressed. I whole-heartly appreciate your input, as I’m out to do the same research. I always verify information :) http://doterrablog.com/distilling-essential-oils-a-work-of-art-and-science/

    • Hi there and thanks for commenting. So I am not completely sure about what you are saying in your comment. Did you mean that ylang ylang is the only oil that has different distillations? As for doTERRA’s oils, I never said that their oils aren’t 1st distilled or cold pressed. I just stated that they claimed their peppermint was a complete distill. I hope that helps.

  44. Hello, I was wondering if you have done any research on a new company, Neal’s Yard Remedies Organic (aka. NYR Organic). They sell essential oils, supplements, teas, make up and skin care and the products are organic, non GMO, and fair trade. Just wondering if you have heard of them or use any of their products?

    • I have heard good things about them but haven’t done any research. Their offerings are a little slim for someone really wanting to “get into” oils, but that is just my opinion. As for their other products, I only tried their eye cream. It didn’t do anything for me at the time. I am currently using mainly Beautycounter’s products – their EWG score is 0-2 on all products. I don’t see any / many of NYR’s products on their currently. I love Beautycounter’s eye cream and cosmetics and their anti-aging line. They are growing rapidly. You can read more here in case you are interested in a new home business / products at cost: http://wholenewmom.com/beautycounter/

  45. I have serious concerns about pushing any product that does not have reliable data from appropriate testing, clinical trials or efficacy trials. I also have a HUGE issue with DoTerra and Young Living hiring people off the streets , that have no medical or dietary training or license to sell these products to the public, as where’s the accountability to such claims. Hence why the FDA had sent letters of warning to these companies.
    I have looked into the history of both these companies (especially the lawsuits with both companies), and they are rather interesting. I have used homeopathic products, with little to no result. Not that I am actively bashing it, but I do believe from my experience that they do make some rather strongly misleading, if not false claims.

    • HI Jim. Well, I hear you on this but don’t you think that the FDA is really overreaching in all of this? I mean, the amount of deaths from pharmaceuticals is way over anything from natural products. It isn’t even close. It seems to me that the FDA is the one that has the proving to do and not the reps. I am not a fan of their claims, but the pharmas and the physicians are making some claims and not being completely honest about a lot of things either, plus they seem to be more interested in making money than in sincerely helping people. Now, there are reps for natural companies that just want to make a buck as well, but let’s be honest – there is HUGE money in the pharmas. Thanks and I would love to hear what you think.

      • I totally agree, Adrienne. The corporate medical field (aka, pharmaceuticals) have been steering our country away from traditional herbal remedies for decades because there’s no money to be made in it, for them. Sounds like another case of the FDA trying to corner the market on “medicine” by sullying these two alternative healing companies.

  46. Melissa @Essential Oils says:

    I am not well aware of this distillation process and how does it affect the quality and essence of essential oils, if you can discuss about it in your next blog, I would love to read.

  47. I have been doing my own comparisons between Young Living and DoTerra. Both are fine companies. The fact that YL has domestic Lavender fields is not a secret and the company does not claim it to be otherwise. YL also owns many of its own farms around the world and does extensive testing on its oils. DoTerra has none of its own farms and basically repackages what others grow.
    As I stated, both are great companies but you are leading people to believe that YL is dishonest about their oil sourcing. You should add that YL also gets lavender from farms other than the one in the US.
    Please stop judging companies on half truths. It is dishonest on your part to lead your followers in such a way that does not tell the whole story.
    I found your blog because I was searching for answers and you mislead me too. I did my own research about YL’s US farms and found the rest of the story.
    I will clarify that I do not have a bad thing to say about DoTerra but I chose Young Living because of the fact that they do own their own farms worldwide and do extensive testing. They do not misrepresent themselves.
    Have a nice day.

    • Hi Dawn, I don’t think I in any way said or suggested that YL is being dishonest about their sourcing. What did I write to lead you to think otherwise?

      Thanks and I look forward to hearing from you.

  48. Ive only just recently been absorbed into doterras marketing tactics. First I was very impressed by a set of free online videos by Dr Axe proclaiming the benefits of essential oils. I was taken and I straight away wanted to go and buy some more oils.. But now he has introduced the concept that oils have to be ‘therapeutic grade’ to have any medicinal effect (this is all new to me). So I started doing online research. I looked high and low and Of course I saw doterra being promoted for their high purity. I even followed Dr axes advice and guess what? he recommends doterra! – but you have to ask by email link it’s not worth in his website! … Very clever marketing. But I couldn’t find any solid information for WHY they are better. In my research I came across information that doterras third party testing and certification body is owned by doterra…this seems fishy to me.

    The question Im left with is …why do we have to choose from these high price oils – What about the 100% pure oils available in our health shops? Is it really true that these dont have a medicinal benefit or just a marketing ploy by the big players?
    I keep hearing doterra sellers saying how the beneficial effects speak for themselves but had the been any really study to validate these Claims?
    What do you think?

    • Hi there – good questions. I think the 100% pure is something you have to figure out w/ each company. I think this resource should help: http://wholenewmom.com/10-things-you-need-to-know-about-essential-oils-before-you-buy/

      I think that how something works is only part of the picture. Pharmaceutical drugs work but they can harm you too. You really need to go w/ a company you trust. I personally didn’t get the answers I needed from doTERRA. One rep told me I could make $8000 per month w/ my traffic on my blog, but I just couldn’t do it b/c I needed answers and consistency.

      I hope that helps.

  49. christie sweet says:

    Hi! I am so thankful for the amount of work you put into this endeavor, as well as your keen insight! I was wondering, have you heard of Fabulous Frannie? http://www.fabulousfrannie.com AND Do you have any thoughts here? I sort of stumbled into the world of essential oils, and although I do love the prices and the products, I want to make sure that what I am using is high quality-especially the frankincense. Is there a brand that you would recommend for frankincense?

  50. Winnie Richards says:

    I personally do not go to the “commercial” type essential oil companies. I do my own research and buy my oils wholesale for way way less than Doterra or some of the others. I you want to know who I use for my wholesaler just email, I am not crazy about them gowning too much. I have used them since they were a very small company and they have grown a lot.
    There are several book out there about blending your own oils for what ever you need.


    • Hi there. I am really concerned about wholesalers as they are typically the “experts” who have been known to adulterate. Of course, I can’t know for sure about yours, but that is what I am hearing from multiple sources. Thanks!

  51. Hi Adrienne- Great article about essential oils in layman’s terms. Very accessible, and brings up a lot of great questions to think about when purchasing oils. I personally really like Oshadi and Miracle Botanicals oils, but I’m just a regular gal with a very sensitive nose! No experience in the industry. Thanks for your insights.

  52. Stephanie says:

    I would really like to know if anyone would choose Mountain Rose Herbs over YL or DoTerra?

  53. Thanks for your article. I am curious to learn what you have to say about Sun Essential Oils. I haven’t been able to find good information about the company, the products and why they are so cheap. You can find their oils selling for a portion of the price of most other brands on Amazon. Can you shed some light? Thank you!

  54. Great article and thank you for your diligent work.
    I have used EO’s for thirty plus years. Love them!!
    Paul Cox has recently formulated some amazing essential oils for Nu Skin.
    They were just launched this past Friday, June 26, 2015.
    These are the best that I have ever used!
    Anyone interested in trying them, I have a friend Karen Johnson, that reps them.
    She is a very lovely person!
    Her number is (phone number deleted by blog owner).

    • Hi again. I really do appreciate your kind words – thanks! I already responded to you on another comment – but I didn’t think your friend would want her phone number on my site publicly so I removed it – and I also don’t allow direct sales marketing in the comments section of my blog – thanks for understanding :). I did look at their product, but won’t be recommending them at this time. Thanks again.

  55. Samantha says:

    As a very uninformed consumer very interested in beginning a much healthier, natural way of life with use of essential oils for my family, I would just like to express my gratitude and thanks for the time & effort you’ve put into getting all of this information and publishing it for people like me.
    It is downright overwhelming to go online and shop for essential oils!
    To date, I still have yet to purchase a single oil, in hopes of making the best educated decision when I finally do!
    I don’t understand the need for all of the negativity and personal attacking towards you in comments, as it seems you are just like every mother/wife/provider wanting to buy the best possible product for her family..the only difference I see is that you’ve actually taken the time to dig deeper than your average purchaser who’d be sold by the first commission earning rep they chose to believe the most.
    I’m not knocking anyone, sometimes we just take the easier, faster path of doing things…all the more reason to appreciate the extra time and effort you’ve put into your blog posts on this topic in your journey of finding your choice of recommendation.
    From one mother/wife/provider to another, THANK YOU for your research & efforts! Much appreciated!

  56. Tiffany says:

    I purchased Rocky Mountain oils and they do not seem to be working well for me. I noticed that the dilution rate for Rocky Mountain is very different from what is recommended by Doterra and Young Living. Has anyone looking into the differences in the dilution rates and understand why?

    • Sorry you aren’t having a good result at the present. May I ask what you are using and what you are comparing your experience to? Here is a response from Rocky Mountain:

      Everyone is different, so it is extremely complicated….We actually follow the same dilution guidelines that YL and DT both do as well. Our general guideline is 4-8 drops in 1/2 tbs of carrier oil. We don’t usually get more specific than that, so we just have a blanket dilution ratio because if we started modifying it for each oil or person than it would be considered prescribing.

      If she means our blends, then we follow completely different recipes than they both do. THey do not post their dilution ratios for blends, so you have no way for sure to know exactly how much it is diluted. We have our dilution ratios on the website. The general rule of thumb with our blends is that we have diluted it to the correct amount for an adult to use 1-2 drops at a time.

      Remember that blends are proprietary between companies. People get confused when they look at our comparable blends page that these are exact copies. In many cases they actually have different oils completely. We are just matching up purposes of the oil. So for pain relief we show you that our Relieve Me is comparable to YL’s Panaway. They have different ingredients and smell different and probably have different dilution ratio amounts. But they are comparable because they both create the same outcome (relieving pain).

      Another example is Immune Strength — is completely different in ingredients to YL Thieves. The thieves blend is mostly orange EO. Which ironically was not an essential oil available to the robbers in England during the black plague like they claim….Anyway, the ingredients between these two blends are completely different, but accomplish the same goal

      I hope that helps.

  57. I live in Utah and drive by the YL farm several times a year…which is right along side the busy freeway. You can see their lavender (I think it’s the lavender) just right out there in the field along side the freeway. Wonder how that affects the purity the lavender (or whatever it is).

    • That’s an interesting comment. I guess if they are using the lavender by the side of the road then it wouldn’t be uncontaminated.

    • Allison says:

      Hello. I am currently a Young Living user. I just recently heard the story about the compitition of these two. The owener of doTerra actually used to work for Young Living. They got into an arguement about something, so they split. Young Living uses there own farm in UTAH so that they can make sure they are contaminated. doTerra does not, that is the main difference. Also the Young Living oils have been proved more pure and better for you. Hope that gets those minds working!

      Thank You,

      • I heard different things. Both of the companies say different things about the situation. I don’t know what you mean by those being proven to be better for you. What do you mean by that?

  58. I was just wondering if you had ever done research on Nature’s Oils. I have come across some in my little town of McMinnville Tn. The store owner claims it is 100% and of course I did a test. According to my aunt, who is an essential oil freak, suggests the test by a drop of oil and construction paper or cardboard. If it evaporates, then it’s 100%. If it leaves an oily spot, it has been “spiked” with something to make it appear 100%. I did this test and it passed. Just curious about your thoughts on this.


    • Hi there. I haven’t heard of them but this report shows how that testing isn’t accurate: http://wholenewmom.com/10-things-you-need-to-know-about-essential-oils-before-you-buy/

      Is this the company? http://naturesoil.com/contact-us/

      • Yes, that is the one. The lady who owns the store also claims that Nature’s Oil supplies some of their oils to do Terra. I’m not sure how accurate her information and research is. I just want to be able to purchase oils that are 100% and not worry. My aunt would ship me what she gets (I do not know the brand) but she is concerned about heat, etc, ruining the oils. I do not see her much or would just get them face to face. I guess in these days and times, shipping is how it’s done. I just really don’t know enough to know what’s good or not. I’m trying to learn all I can, but there is so much on the internet to read and what’s to believe or not.

        Thanks so much for your input.

  59. jessica galarneau says:

    I appreciate you taking the time to share all of your research. Although I am a d?TERRA girl i think there are other great companies out there, I just wanted to touch on one thing about shipping. You mentioned that both dT and YL charge too much for shipping. Through the d?TERRA loyalty rewards program, you get all the money spent on shipping back in points. These points can be used towards purchasing oils. Last month I used 200 points which is equivalent to $200 of free oils. They do charge a nominal $3 fee per 100 points used. I choose UPS ground at $9 (smart post is less money: $7. But I prefer the extra $2 to get my oils quicker) So all in all I don’t really feel that it is accurate to say that this company charges too much for shipping. Also each oil is wrapped in sticky bubble wrap to ensure the bottles don’t break. I feel that d?TERRA really takes the time to make sure your order is packed carefully. I save this bubble wrap and use it when sending samples to potential customers.
    Thank you for taking the time to read my thoughts, If there are any oils that you would like to try please let me know and i will be happy to send a sample.

    • HI there. I think they did a lot of changing of their shipping policies since I wrote the post. I still wouldn’t have stayed with them but I appreciate your bringing this up. Due to the other things in the series I am not wanting to represent them, but thanks for your kind offer.

      Doesn’t look like this is the post where I talked about their shipping though, but I will try to update it. Thanks.

  60. Adrienne, I just wanted to thank you again for doing all of this digging. I have been working my way through your posts as I have time over the last week or so, and you e already graciously responded to me. I just wanted to thank you for wading into this sticky discussion and remaining frank and gracious in all the replies ice read from you so far – that is a major challenge and you are meeting it beautifully. Forgive me if you e already addressed this some where, is there a company you could recommend with a lower price point? I looked into NAN (I didn’t know about them before, thank you for the introduction!) and I love their site and selection, and I want to use them for anything I might possibly ingest, but for things I would primarily diffuse I was wondering if there was something a little easier on our budget. I’ve looked into Eden’s Garden, but not extensively enough. They are the only other company I have considered besides NAN, DT and YL.

  61. Wally Alexander says:

    I am a Marketing Executive with Melalueca.com. They have just recently started manufacturing essential oils after over 30 years of distilling Melaleuca Oil. Our quality is first class and our prices are 30 to 50 per cent less than our competitors. Anyone using essential oils owe it to themselves to at least check us out! We also have a 100 per cent money back guarantee on all of our products.

    • Hi sir. Thanks for commenting. I don’t know what to say about the oils. I am concerned about many of the ingredients in your other products like acesulfame potassium, colorants and fragrance. What do you think about those? Also PEG 40. Thanks.

  62. Heather says:

    So what oils do you use? One brand or several? I’m at a dead end of wht brand to use.

  63. Adrienne, Thank you for your investigative reporting on something so important!!!!!! :) After all there are those of “us” (me) that want to kick Western medicine. They are as bad as the politicians; they don’t know what truth “is.” And yes I did stumble onto doTerra, but I don’t think I will continue. NAN sounds like a good choice to me. Where can a person go for questions? Thank you

    • Hi Jean. Thanks so much..and yes, I want to take as few meds as possible. I hear you on “is”. They could possibly answer questions on the phone – what questions do you have? I might be able to help. Of course, if you do phone in your order, I would very much appreciate your giving me credit when you do so – helps keep my blog running.

      Let me know…

  64. i was also researching and found a 3rd party testing site with results of testing peppermint from multiple essential oils companies. They also said doTERRA’s pepperint had a candy-like smell. Their lab results showed small traces of a synthetic. This specific synthetic has a strong sweet smell, hence the “candycane” scent that you smelled. doTERRA would not specifically comment on this finding.

    • I saw that as well. I didn’t agree with the methodology employed by that blogger but the results are very interesting indeed. Thanks for sharing.

  65. Love Life says:

    I love your comparisons Adrienne as I am on the same adventure exploring the different essential oils. I was tired of trying to find good oils from stores. I recently did purchase two starter kits from Young Living and have heard of Dottera. I to am trying to learn more and am tired of Western RX so keep your blog going I just stumbled upon it today. I am curious though, my daughter recently came back from Europe and I had informed her that traveling abroad she will find that other countries use Teas, Herbs and oils for Health and Wellness. She saw that in Europe even in the food on menus from Western chains that serve us Junk in the U.S. I am curious who distributes in those countries. That might be worth looking into since we cant get excellent products here in the U.S. do to Greed of our RX companies and those in power that control our food industry.
    Isn’t it sickening that as consumers our family’s are constantly being poisoned and lied too.

  66. I was looking for info on NOW brand oils. The quality of them. I only order YL usually. But need a couple oils now and can get the NOW brand, over having to wait for YL. I seen you mentioned NOW in your first post. But after going through the other 3 didn’t see you review that brand. Did you not get any info on them? Or did I just somehow over look it? Thanks for your time.

  67. christine says:

    hi, i am just so tired of everybody defending the doterra and young living, these are companies that basically brainwash people and take their money. these are business people and want to stay in business. the fda has filed many complaints on young living, they recommend treatments that are unsafe. if i used peppermint oil i would become very ill due to liver problems, peppermint oil is toxic to the liver. all essential oils are not safe and some are outright dangerous. i feel sorry for the people that have been sucked in by these companies, read the complaints filed by the people that were brainwashed by these companies check the complaints filed by the fda on doterra and young living. stay safe people their are no miracles, if it were true, we would all be 100% healthy, the fact is, we are not. their is a sucker born every minute and i am not one of them. now i am not saying that all essential oils are dangerous, i.e., certified organic rosehip seed oil is wonderful and their are many safe essential oils, just dont trust a company that makes people join, pay, and promote products. ridiculous! oh, and for the record, doterra and young living made up their own statements that their oils are better, when in fact, they are not. they are very misleading and take peoples money. just get some oils you want, and dont buy into the hype of a company that makes claims that are untrue and just want your money. they say their oils are the best quality, and for a fact, this is untrue again. they did their own test so they say their test is the best, untrue again. sorry for going on but i suffer from liver disease and these people who pay to buy a book and pay a company to get their oils are not experts and i am appalled by some of the ways they say to use oils, its tragic, i would be gravely ill if i followed some of their advice and that is why the fda has filed so many claims against these companies, its a beauty business, and most of them put profit over people………….sad.

  68. Hi… Just want to clarify.. I’ve studied EO’s since I was 10 (1976) and I went to a class with my mom.. I’ve several certificates :) … I’ve used many essential oil brands YL and DT among them and I continue to use several different brands depending on usage… the complete distillation is actually for some oils the best because there will be properties that will distill with complete that won’t with 1st. Like the difference between a tea and a decoction. One you brew for a few moments to a few minutes depending on the type of herb and one you brew for hours.. They decoct different properties. and a complete will have properties that a 1st will not. Hugs, great job!

  69. Thank you for sharing this information. There are so many options it can be time consuming and expensive to find the best quality for your money. I appreciate your thoughtful consideration of these products, holistic research, balanced approach, and willingness to allow for uncertainty and mistakes/change of opinion.

  70. Susannah Ziegler says:

    Hi there,
    I just wanted to say thank you. It’s so exhausting trying to educate yourself about everything in your house and what to use on yourself and your family. I appreciate your help. You did a lot of work for a lot of people. <3

  71. I am looking into doTERRA as I need to remove myself from all of the medications I now take for my asthma and severe allergies as well as high blood pressure due to to many decongestants and now being diagnosed as pre diabetic due to much steroid usage. My question is how do I know what oils I should use and how much is to much?

  72. Anne Powell says:

    Word to the wise – if you attend one of their parties, don’t get sucked into the membership which offers discounts -unless you are prepared to cancel the automatic monthly reorders. I had no idea I signed up to get my exact first time order on a monthly basis. I don’t like that business practice one bit. Something shady about it so I dropped out.

  73. Have you tried any of the Windrose/triloka essestial oils? If so, please review.

  74. Thank you for the insight on the EO topic. The blog is very educating.
    I have been given Floracopia EO by a friend. I love them. After reading your articles I wonder where Floracopia oils and company rank among the other brands.
    Has any research been done on Floracopia? Thanks again for your hard work.

  75. Oh, and one other thing, a ‘complete distill’ doesn’t mean a ‘longer’ distill than it normally would be . It just means that the steam distillation runs until all the essential oil from that plant is collected (this will be characteristic and expected for that plant). Again, all essential oils are ‘complete distills’!