The Great Essential Oils Showdown – Troubles in the Essential Oils Industry – Part 3

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!

We’re back with Part 3 of the search for the Best Essential Oils Company.

After writing Which Essential Oils Company is Best – Part One (basically, where this whole thing started) and Which EO Company is Best – Part 2 (where I outline what you should be looking for in a company), I thought that I should share how I came to find “the best essential oils company”.

Come along for the investigative adventure with me…..

Now, of course, I am only one person.  And a homeschooling mom who is battling adrenal fatigue.

And one of my kids has Aspergers’s (See The Best Autism Therapy) and life-threatening food allergies (see Food Allergies and Eczema – a Healing Story) and the other has dyslexia.

Let’s just say I am busy.

If I were only studying essential oils full time, I could possibly check out every essential oils company on the market and get back to you with a list of all of them in order of preference.

Would be nice, huh?

Well, I had no idea what I was getting myself into when I started, but if you go back and skim through the comments on Part One and Part Two, you will see that there are LOADS of essential oils companies out there.

Even for my intensely investigative mind, there needs to be an end.

At some point, I needed to be “OK with a super good, reasonably priced company” and call it a day.

That’s what I think I have and this is how I got there.

How I Chose “The Best Essential Oils Company”

All of these events kind of converge with each other, so bear with me.  It will all iron out in the end.

1.  Young Living

Here’s where it started.  You can read my post on A Skeptic Looks at Thieves Oil to see that I really thought that EO’s (as they are referred to in the oils world) were a bunch of baloney.

I finally tried them and became a fast believer.  Check out Peppermint, Wintergreen, and More to see how well they worked.

I wasn’t thrilled with some of the things that I’d read about Young Living’s Founder, Gary Young, but I spoke with a number of people about it (including one previous skeptic at Young Living) and felt that if the products were good, then I could deal with the negative.  The information in this document was particularly disconcerting to me, but then again, the author of Quackwatch pretty much has nothing good to say about any alternative modality of healing so I didn’t want to put too much stock in his words.  In fact, it appears that Mr. Barrett (the author) seems to have issue in his past to deal with as well, including ties to the FDA (from my post on “Probiotics are Dangerous! Arsenic is Safe!” you can see that the FDA isn’t really kind to “alternative” companies.

Anyway, after sharing my Young Living posts with you all, I read through all of the comments and started talking with other companies.  I just felt that I owed it to my family, and my readers, to look into other companies more.

Little did I know that the fun had only just begun :-).

I started contacting numerous companies based on those mentioned in the comments on my oils posts.

2.  doTERRA

One of the first things I did was to contact a rep from doTERRA (one of the commenters on my Best Essential Oils post) and after asking a ton of questions (really – a TON), and doing a little investigating into some of the other non-multi-level companies, I decided to take the plunge and buy a starter kit (Yes, I have spent a LOAD of money on oils).  To this doTERRA rep’s credit, she was very much “not pushy” about doTERRA and I had to even ask her if she was a rep or not.  That meant a LOT to me.  I NOT into pushy salespeople.

My first thought–their oils smelled AMAZING.  My youngest son always wanted to smell them, particularly the peppermint.  In fact, as I walked down this path, he was always asking voting for doTERRA as being the best essential oils company.  :-).

I used their oils some, but didn’t know what to think.

After awhile, I thought I’d dive in and commit to using only doTERRA oils for a bit to see what results I would get.

Some OK results and some really great ones too.

a.  A leg / groin injury.  I tried to heal this with YL’s oils for months, but it never went completely away.  doTERRA’s lemongrass and peppermint took it away.
b.  Sleep – no apparent help from either lavender or vetiver.  Sad, tired mom.
c.  Oregano – really helped with warts, but we didn’t use it long enough to get rid of them
d.  Frankincense – husband had what looked like a precancerous spot on his back and this healed it up quickly.
e.  On Guard – I never really felt that this had the same “punch” that YL’s Thieves did.
f.  Slim and Sassy – tastes great (with stevia in water), but no weight loss here.  I’m not really heavy, but would love to drop about 2-4 pounds.
g.  Allergies – no help there either with peppermint, lavender and lemon.

I do really like their educational support from reps and their company.

3.  Troubles with the Oils Industry

I contacted other companies, and went on literally a heap of essential oil company’s sites. Then, during my investigations, I ended up being asked by a company to help them choose an essential oils supplier (crazy, huh?) so I got to try out another company’s oils (for free this time) and found out more and more about oils along the way.

 As all of my testing of doTERRA and Young Living was going on, I started looking at other oils companies and talking with folks in the industry.
This is where it gets really interesting.  I don’t have documentation for all of this but here is some of the “dark side” to the essential oils industry.

– Some of the companies actually distill at high pressure and high temperature to get more oil out faster, despite it being widely known in the oils industry that low temperature and low pressure is the way to do it.

Oils are adulterated.  With chemicals, fragrances or cheaper oil.  I heard from one source that CODEX allows for oils to be labeled “pure” with only 3% of the pure oil in the bottle.  I couldn’t get documentation for that, but I can see it being true.  You’ve seen those bottles labeled “pure vanilla extract” that have a lot of alcohol and sugar in them as well, right?  The vanilla part is pure but there’s other stuff in that bottle.  One oil company owner told me he once tested a health food store brand that was labeled “pure” but it tested with 75% propylene glycol.

Basically, if the price seems too good to be true, it likely is.

False certificates – One oil company owner told me that he had sold small amounts of 2 varieties of an oil to a smaller company.  They asked for the certification of the more expensive oil, apparently for “verification”.  Later, they ordered a large amount of the less expensive oil to sell to their customers.  The first company’s owner later visited the buyer’s site and saw that the company had posted the certificate for the more expensive oil alongside the info for the “cheaper” oil they had just purchased from him.  Ugh!

Just because there is a certificate doesn’t mean that is what is being sold.

“Complete distillations” or “redistillation” vs “first distillations”.  While there is no official standard for how oils are distilled, here is very interesting information showing how one gets a “candy cane-like” smell when distilling peppermint oil.  Apparently if you distill it at a higher temperature or pressure, or redistill, you get this same “candy”-like smell.  I will refer to this later.

– I have also heard about oils being reheated to make them smell more palatable.  Remember we said “low temperature”?

Chemical Solvents – Some companies are distilling with solvents.  No more chemical nasties, right?  Ick.  There are a few exceptions, but very few.  You want steam distilled oils only otherwise.

Safety violations – There are some companies without good reputations in this arena as well.  I will talk about this next time as well.

I could go on, but again, you can see that this is a murky industry.  Kind of like the modern-day food industry.

More about other companies (and more on YL and doTERRA) in my next post, Best Essential Oils – Part 4.  Hang with me–the end is near :-).

Please note – some of the following links are affiliate links. If you click on them and make a purchase I might make a commission. Your support is much appreciated and helps keep this free resource up and running.

There is sooo much to learn about essential oils. If your appetite is whetted like mine is, you’ll want to grab this book.

I love using essential oils on my sons but I have a lot more to learn about what to use and how.  I love Valerie’s style so this book is next on my “to buy” list.

She doesn’t recommend using oils internally, which I am fine with (used with caution) just so you know.

Aromatherapy for the Healthy Child - Valerie Wormwood Essential Oils

For more in the Best Essential Oils Series:

Which Essential Oils Company is Best? – Part 1
Best Essential Oils – What a Good Oils Company Should Have – Part 2
Young Living vs. doTERRA – Part 4
Are Multi-Level Marketing Oils Worth It? – Part 5
Distillation, Bias, Vomit and More Concerns – Part 6
Announcing “the Best” Essential Oils Company – Part 7

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.

Source: - Livestrong

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  1. In my opinion you should take some courses at an accredited college and learn from people who are Registered Aromatherapist or at least certified. And I can tell you that all those companies you listed, you will find out that no one is even certified aromatherapist. Aromatherapy is very powerful and should be used with caution just as any other medication. Just because it’s natural, does not mean you can just use it any way. Get educated by the professionals and not by self proclaimed people.

    • Hi Danielle and thanks for commenting.

      This is a very common comment I’ve seen around the internet and here. Certified aromatherapists can be a valuable resource. And so are those who have spent a lot of effort researching for themselves. Saying that only a certified aromatherapist can tell you to ingest oils implies that having it come from a certified aromatherapist makes it a magical solution. Kind of like saying that if your physician says to do it then you should. Doctors are a valuable resource, but I have gotten plenty of bad advice from them and always “think” before I follow. But ingesting the oils on your own direction, which might even be in the same way a certified aromatherapist tells you to ingest them, will not work because the certified aromatherapist didn’t give it the stamp of approval. I’m always suspicious when I hear someone say “Only ______________ can say ___________.”

      Fortunately, there are 3 ways to use essential oils — ingestion, topical, and diffusion. The more people study on their own, from multiple sources, the better it is for them. Granted, many legitimate sources are going to disagree. Doctors often disagree as well. So you should always read up on why and learn what you can and ultimately, you are the one deciding what, where, and how to use your essential oils. You shouldn’t be a sheep, no matter what side you’re on.

      People have been ingesting essential oils for a few decades so I don’t think it’s a fad. However, the idea that you must be a certified aromatherapist to give any sort of advice on essential oils is much newer than the issue of ingestion. As far as ingesting Lemon oil goes, we say if you want to ingest essential oils, start slowly. Find out what works for your own personal body chemistry.Some people like to have it in their water. If so, keep it 1-2 drops in 12 ounces of water. Some would rather ingest it with a capsule. Then you put 1-2 drops in a gel capsule with Olive oil and ingest with a full meal.

      Ultimately, people need to educate themselves and not spout off what they heard someone else say — whether it be a certified aromatherapist, a sales rep for a company, or anyone in between. Maybe when they are done researching, they will agree with what they heard the certified aromatherapist say. Maybe they will find they disagree. But then they will have the research to understand what they are saying and that’s what matters the most.

      I hope that helps and would love to hear what you think!

      • Adrienne,
        You are exactly correct on self education. I became a nurse as a result of me having medical issues when I was in college and due to some horrible misinformation I received from multiple doctors. I wanted to know more about the medical field and I wanted to be my own advocate. To this day I catch many mistakes and misinformation that doctors give. I appreciate your great articles. It’s never wise to just take someone’s word as truth. Also, thank you for your patience with many peoples comments. I don’t know how you do it!

        • HI Becca – thanks so much!!! I know – I had so many issues in doctor’s offices and hospitals that were huge problems. I needed to learn and check up on things or there could have been serious consequences. Of course, I do listen to my doctor but I had to get a really good one :). Blessings! And I don’t do a good job of all of it – I am very behind!

  2. brenda johnson says:

    Personally I have researched and discovered doTerra was created from trusted execs who left Young Living and began their own business!! Being a person who had this identical experience with my own grown business and an employee contacted ALL my customers to earn their business, I know what a betrayal this is. I could never support a company with this kind of standards. I chose YL a few months ago and have had the BEST customer service and greatest products available today!!! I guess each to his own but I prefer to choose a company who isn’t built on someone elses’ ‘work and studies’.

  3. I recently bought the book Healthy Child and it mentions Sweet Thyme. Thyme Linalool. I can’t really seem to find it. Anyone have this oil and is satisfied with it? Where can i purchase this oil?

    • I am sorry but I haven’t any idea. Is it crucial to get that option or could another sweet thyme be a possibility? I am going to email the company I recommend to see what they think.

  4. Hi, I was wondering if you any info about eden botanicals( not to confuse with eden garden). I was wondering how good they are. I know you are the best person to ask.

  5. Hello Adrienne! I stumbled upon your website when looking for essential oils for a Young Living diffuser I got at a great price but which doesn’t come with EOs. What do you think about Fabulous Frannie’s oils? Price is a concern for me. I checked the ingredients of their Thieves vs. Young Living and the ingredients are the same. Of course, they say their oils are 100% pure (like everyone else does). The website is http://www.fabulousfrannie.com. Thank you!