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

 

Ever wonder how the essential oils industry works, and what makes some companies better than others? 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.

Ever wonder how the essential oils industry works, and what makes some companies better than others? 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!

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.  Problems 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.

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

 **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.**

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

These comments do not necessarily reflect the opinions of Whole New Mom, LLC.

Comments

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  1. Hi Adrienne, I sell oils, but some of them are so expensive. I have been looking for info on some of the same oils on Amazon vs the ones that I sell.. Is there a major difference in them. How can I find out if they are actually 100% pure as they claim. I don’t want to use substandard stuff myself, much less sell or give it to friends or family.
    Thank you so much..

  2. Hi there Adrienne, I hope your family had a fun and healthy Halloween. I was wondering if you knew of an essential oil that might help my granddaughter with “Restless Leg Syndrome” My daughter is certain she has it because during two different sleep studies you could see the activity on the scan of her legs. I feel so bad for my granddaughter because it prevents her from getting sound sleep. I am hoping maybe an EO rubbed on the legs may be helpful…
    Thank you in advance for your help!
    Patty

    • Hi Patty. I have read of several oils that are supposed to help support the body of someone with restless legs. However, I can’t medically advise. I will say that I have many friends who found Mg to be a big support as well.

      The oils that I have seen mentioned are Marjoram Sweet, Lemongrass, Peppermint, Roman Chamomile, Frankincense, and Lavender. I know how bad that can be. I had it for a short while. I can’t recall what helped me but I did think that Mg and K foods were part of what I added. Blessings and hope to see you around again!

  3. Nicole Hervieux says:

    Hi,
    I am desperately looking for edible pure essential oils that can be injected and included to beverages and food. I just ordered 15 sampler bottles that costed me close to 300$, TO my dismay they are not edible.
    With all your experience I would like your opinion on where to purchase such EO sold in Canada, maybe even Ontario Canada?
    It would be so appreciated if you could help me with that.
    I am a nurse and have been bed ridden for 5 yrs with chronic illnesses, we are on a very restrictive diet and I really need to find EO to change or better the taste of food , beverages etc…
    Please let me know if or where I can find those products. Someone from the States claims tat their products are edible, but I am not convinced about that.
    Help please
    Sincerely
    Nicole Hervieux

    • Hello there. I’m sorry but I haven’t looked into companies in Canada. The companies that I am recommending all have options for purchasing in Canada. I’m sorry about your conditions. Can you tell me what you are struggling with?

    • Young Living has a line of essential oils called Vitality which are labeled for ingestion; very high quality essential oils.

      • I do not recommend ingesting of essential oils.

        Here is a statement from one of the companies that I work with:

        We recommend you consult with a professional before ingesting any essential oils. Consult a Medical Doctor, Naturopath, or clinically trained Aromatherapist who knows you and is aware of your medical history, as well as any medications you are on. With this information, the professional can tailor a regimen that works for your body.

  4. There is no such thing as second distillation in the essential oil industry, so I don’t understand where that information source is from. ( At least in reputable EO companies)

  5. I recently heard that the owner of Doterra is actually related to the owner of Yung Living and had in fact worked for them. Is this true – if so they have a corner on the market for sure!

    • I didn’t know that. I wonder if that’s true.

    • There are six equal owners to doTerra, it’s true that one of them possibly two did in fact work for Young Living for quite some time, there came a time when he decided that what Young Living was doing (putting oils through the system that were not meeting all the standards of testing) became a moral dilemma for him. He decided that a more stringent testing standard needed to be put into place so that they could guarantee that what you were getting and buying was exactly 100% what the label said it was. The doTerra company no doubt had a huge amount of experience in the essential oil industry, but it shows a lot about the integrity of a company that just says “no” to cutting into quality of the product. When doTerra sources an oil, they are not only helping the people’s lives who grow the plant, but bettering their whole impoverished company through their co-impact sourcing initiative which builds schools, medical clinics, and much more. The partnership alone speaks volumes about the company and it is a fact that doTerra will search far and wide to find where these oils grow indigenously because they have found that scientifically it does make a difference in the chemical make up and quality of the product you are receiving, I’ve never heard anything about other oil companies giving back to anything like the humanitarian efforts that doTerra has created and sustained through their sourcing, If the owners of doTerra had such a good thing going while working with Young Living, then why the need for a moral dilemma? DoTerra is a debt free company and these owners put up their own money and didn’t get paid for years while they invested in creating a company that people could trust in, now I realize some people like apples some like oranges, but if in fact all oranges were created equal, why the need for the sudden change of heart? They have never spoken I’ll of Young Living or any other companies and constantly take the high road in integrity not only with their products, but with the way they interact with the rest of the world. I wanted more from my essential oil company and doTerra has proven again and again that these oils not only work, but have more going on behind the scenes than any other company I have researched.

      • Hi Anne – thanks for commenting. I would like to just add that Neal’s Yard Remedies gives back and was ranked the #1 sustainable company in the world in 2014. I know that most companies do nothing in this arena but wanted to point out one that is and there in another that I am talking to that is aiming to do more in this vein. Thanks again!

      • There are so many half-truths here that it is difficult to address your post. Most importantly the integrity issue is questionable because doTerra was built on proprietary information stolen from Young Living. DOTerra does not speak ill of Young Living because there is nothing to say…the finger would point back to their wrong doings and doTerra executives don’t want that. There is a book now out of print by Dr. David HIll (of course he wouldn’t want it circulating now) “natures living energy – a personal guide to using essential oils” and he lauds Young Living and Gary Young. Dr. Hill was a friend and confidant and showed a lack of personal integrity in not only leaving Young Living but in taking and using proprietary information; if you compare the doTerra product to Young Living you will see how Dr. Hill “copied” blends changing an ingredient only slightly. Young Living is the world leader of essential oils with their own “Seed to Seal” quality promise. They are the only company that owns their own farms and/or oversees partner farms to ensure quality.

        History speaks for itself but many are snowed by what they have been told by doTerra.

  6. I have not seen you mention testing of the pure EOs.
    I just took a two hour CE class on Essential Oil Basics. She was not allowed to mention any company names or sell anything as the community college has a policy against it. The first item she covered was the testing of the oils. Her first item of importance was that a company that sells pure, not diluted, essential oils does not test their own oils. Was wondering if that was included in any of your decisions.