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

 **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


    Speak Your Mind


  1. Debra Smitham says:

    Hi! Do you have comments or advice on Plant Therapy brand essential oils? Your information is extremely helpful.


  2. Hi, I wanted to quick share my experience. I’ve ordered from and done my research on a few companies as well. I am a pretty frugal person which wars against my desire for high quality! I’ve gone too cheap with bad results- recently ordering Frankincense from Edens Gardens. The oil was awful. It smelled like fennel and turpentine. Nothing like the other, wonderful smelling Frankincense oils I have ordered from other companies. I am wondering if anyone else has had similar experience with this company? (I actually returned it and got another bottle which smelled equally bad.) I have, on the other hand- loved the oils and value from Ananda Apothecary, Nature’s Kiss and Eden Botanicals.

    • This is from the owner of Native American:

      When a company is selling absolutes when there is a low cost alternative, that is bad. You do not want to use solvents with the oils! Solvents are only used in the two absolutes we carry — Jasmine and Vanilla — and they are listed as such. If someone is selling Jasmine essential oil, they are not telling the truth. Jasmine does not give up its oil through pressing, steam distillation, hydro distillation, or CO2 extraction. All pure jasmine oil is an absolute. A good absolute has less than 1% solvent remaining. (I’m not sure how much solvent Ananda has in their Jasmine, but they do use it.)

      • I meant that I had a positive experience with them, and my gut (and nose!) told me the oils were of the highest quality.
        In response to the statement from NAN I found this info on the Ananda Apothecary website on their use of solvents in absolutes-
        “Some plants, and particularly flowers, do not lend themselves to steam distilling. They are too delicate, or their fragrance and therapeutic essences cannot be completely released by water alone. These oils will be produced as ‘absolutes’ – and while not technically considered essential oils they can still be of therapeutic value. Jasmine oil and Rose oil in particular are delicate flowers who’s oils are often found in ‘absolute’ form.
        The processing of an absolute first involves the hydrocarbon solvent extraction of a ‘concrete’ from the plant material, a semi-solid mixture of typically 50% wax and 50% volatile oil. The concrete is again processed using ethyl alcohol (the same alcohol found in beer, wine, etc.) in which the wax is only slightly soluble. The volatile plant oil separates into the alcohol and this mixture is removed. The alcohol is then evaporated and the result is an almost pure plant extract – depending on the care taken in the evaporation process, sometimes 2% or less of the ethyl alcohol may remain. The use of solvents in the extraction process notwithstanding, absolutes can have incredibly deep and complex aromas.”
        It appears they use harmless solvents. I’m sure NAN is a great company with the very highest quality oils but that doesn’t mean that every other company is bad. I did benefit from the free shipping and other ‘freebies’ from Ananda. I didn’t feel like they were being unethical at all. More that they were showing customer appreciation, get genuine endorsements and building a loyal fan base. No more unethical than say, compensating a writer to endorse your products. Just sayin’.

        • I will get back to you when I am able. I don’t think that it is ethical to give a freebie for a positive review. What I do is ask for money for my time to do the review, but I do not take anything if I can’t give a positive review. That’s a little different than paying for the positive review. I hope you can see my point. You are buying the positive instead of paying for the time. I do appreciate your comment, however. I think I have the answers to your other concerns – I will be back with you on them.

          • Hi again- I was trying to point out the obvious parallels between you being compensated to promote a company you like on your blog (not unethical in my book) vs. me (just a regular, non-blogging consumer) writing a genuine positive review (which I would have been happy to do anyways) for a product/company that exceeded my expectations, and being ‘compensated’ with (a nominal, but still appreciated) free shipping on my next order. Both companies are compensating, if you will, positive word of mouth to help word get out about their great companies. If this blog is only open to casting one e. oil company in a positive light you should make that a bit more clear.

            • I don’t think it’s completely a parallel situation. A review on a blog takes a lot longer to do and so it’s not as easy to do a positive review to gain as it would be to write a little “I love Ananda” type thing for them. So it is like them buying a review. I have never said I was only open to casting 1 company in a positive light. I have contacted one company recently about talking about their oils but they never responded. I have no idea why.

              • Ok, I’m really just trying to point out that the claims are a tad hypocritical. You look into the best e. oil company which just happens to be one that ends up compensating you to say they are the best. Fine, whatever, it’s your blog and a free country and all that good stuff. But it is (in my opinion) hypocritical to say that a company must be junk if they are offering freebies for positive reviews. As soon as there is any sort of compensation involved there could be an alleged bias, regardless. All in good fun :)
                I just really wanted to share in my experience which companies I have had good experiences with. Disclaimer: I’m not getting any compensation for saying this. I’ve found Plant Therapy and Eden’s Garden to be low quality. On the flip- I believe (from my own research) that Eden’s Botanicals and Ananda are selling great oils at a decent price. That is all. :)

                • Hey there again. I do not think it is hypocritical at all. Tell me what you think is a problem. I made it very clear to the owner of NAN that if I ever found any reason why I thought I couldn’t represent them that I would drop them like a hot potato. And I will stick by that. I found them and liked them and after that is when we figured out a way for me to be compensated. Not the other way around. I was told by reps at doTERRA that I could make about $8000 per month with them. And I had a bunch of folks under me there and at YL but I walked away b/c of what I found out. And I assure you I am not making any $8000 per month from NAN. I take my integrity very seriously and while I wish to be polite I get offended myself that folks would insinuate that I am skewing my reviews due to monetary issues.

                  I just ditched a company that wanted to pay me $350 for a post b/c I found offensive products on their site. That was a really hard decision. Believe me. But I can’t do something that is going to compromised my integrity with my readers. Things will happen, and the ads that rotate on my site are not always companies that I love, but I am not endorsing them specifically so that is something totally different. That being said, if I find an ad that is really problematic, I take a hit in ad income and ask the ad network to take it out of rotation.

                  I hope that helps clear things up – thanks.

                  • Adrienne, let me know what you unearth about Eden’s, ok. I spose I got the impression that…eh nevermind. I do appreciate what you are doing- as a fellow Christian Mom with a son with aspergers and another son with allergies/eczema looking to treat things naturally and lead a healthful lifestyle, I appreciate blogs like yours. God bless! -Sierra

                    • Thank you Sierra. I will. I think maybe I should write another post about the money issues w/ NAN and my blog (including that info about the $350 post). I was so disappointed b/c they have some nice things but when I saw an ad of theirs elsewhere w/ profanity on the t shirts it was all over. Sigh.

                • Sierra, I completely agree with your comment. I have written a couple of post on the same subject. If this was a completely unbiased research, commonsense would be that there would be (1) a little blib about each oil brand findings with comment and
                  (2) there has to be more then one company that has exceeded her expectations. Otherwise this is just paid advertising and promotional propaganda.
                  How about the best EOs in the not so expensive category? In my opinion, however great NAN is, there prices are along the same level as those MLM.
                  im not bad mouthing NAN (I love their oils) however, its hard to accept or believe only one EO company made your research and now you have replaced the “them” to a “we” when speaking about this company. Sounds like you have stake in the company, therefore, your opinion could never be unbiased, ergo- invalid.
                  IMO if this was done with all EOs brands represented either good or bad (honestly) then I would consider your findings. Just some chick who loves and uses EOs a lot opinions. Thanks for your attention. Again, that being said, I hope you add more brands (not a story about one co won’t get back to you) research findings. This is a free blog and your opions are allowed and appreciated Adrienne.

                  • Hello again, Heidi. I am sorry but I think I explained to you in detail why I couldn’t do this. I am not willing to put myself or my family at risk. Some of these oils companies are willing to sue for almost anything.

                    Yes, I stated that there are other companies out there that I think would be good but I haven’t dug into them. I was completely exhausted after this series. And I did, in fact, reach out to a few of them and didn’t hear back. There is only so much I can do.

                    The pricing of NAN is not the same as the MLMs. I shared in response to your other comment that Young Living’s helichrysum is $133 for 5 ml and NAN/RMO’s is $160 for 15 ml. Young Living’s Peppermint is $34.75 for 15 ml and NANs is $16. That is hardly comparable. And those are YL’s wholesale prices.

                    There is absolutely no way I could do this with every brand. There are so many out there it would be an endless project.

                    I don’t understand what you mean by “this is a free blog and your opions are allowed and appreciated Adrienne”. Yes, it is a free blog, but it costs me a to run it and as I said, I need to make an income and I am in no way ashamed of that.

                    And if you think that having only 1 company represented is just “paid advertising and promotional propaganda” then I guess you should not be reading most blogs. Most bloggers will not recommend multiple sources for the same product but I think it’s fine and am working w/ 2 companies now that have similar products. You can stick around to see how that pans out if you like. I am rejecting others that don’t meet my standards even though some other very large bloggers promote them.

                    And I do think it’s relevant that certain companies wouldn’t get back to me. Customer service is important too.

            • Exactly, that is what I’ve been thinking about reading her blogs and responses. How did this unbiased research to find quality oils and reasonable prices become “ONLY NAN all NAN all the time”
              My thought is compensation!
              there are many quality brands out there, sorry but NAN dosent have the corner on that market. When did this blog not appreciate positive information about other companies. Competition is always a good thing, it brings out the best. If your blog is unwilling to add, accept, or recommend other brands besides NAN (great EO’s yes) then this is not “the essential showdown” comment and blog but the “let’s promote NAN so I can make monies, oils, kickbacks or the like” blog.
              Really wanted info not propaganda.

              • Hi again, Heidi. Sierra was saying that she didn’t think my concern about Ananda was valid but I think it is. If you disagree, that is your prerogative. There are of course other companies that are good out there, but I would argue that the field is a bit narrow since most oils are coming from very few “expert” sources. Did you read my other post and report on that? There’s a bunch of adulteration going on in this field and frankly I don’t want to pay for, or recommend, substandard oils.

                I never said it was “ONLY NAN all NAN all the time.” If you can find where I said that, please show me.

                I spent hours and hours and hours and tons of money doing this and found what I wanted. If you don’t believe me, then you are free to go and purchase / read elsewhere. If you would like to call a bunch of companies and buy their oils, then please do so.

                I totally agree w/ competition being a good thing, but I found a good thing and I am happy with it. Perhaps down the road I can add another company but I am tied up with many other things right now and since I am happy with this company I have no real reason to try to find other companies to recommend. I am sure you can appreciate that I have an exceedingly busy life.

                You know, if you go back and read post #1 in the series you will see that this all evolved while I was writing it. I had written off NAN and then ended up talking a whole lot with the owner and gradually felt it was a company that I could work with. For much of that time there was no affiliate program at all in place so it was a big risk.

                And if I found other companies I like, for sure I would see if I could be an affiliate with them. That’s how bloggers get paid. Otherwise we quit. Just because we get affiliate income doesn’t mean we can’t be trusted. You need to decide based on what you see from a blogger if you trust them or not.

                The expenses to run this blog are huge. I need to pay for that and then make money on top of it or it won’t be here.

                Thanks and if I have time I will try to respond if you still have concerns, but again, if you don’t trust me you are of course free to go elsewhere.

        • Here is the owner of Native American’s response to Ananda’s response that you quoted. I hope it’s helpful :).

          With the oils normally used by most everyone, usually there is only one sure absolute — Jasmine oil. (However some distillers are claiming they found a way to get the Jasmine oil out without using a solvent. I have not seen this personally, so I won’t comment about it right now.)

          Now with Rose oil, you do not want to purchase the absolute if you can get the steam distilled oil for about the same price. The same with other absolutes. You want to be careful with the absolutes because the “experts” play a lot of games with them. For example a lot of “experts” will turn low quality plant material into an absolute oil because they can sell it for more profit. Basically as a general rule an absolute is lower in quality and normally about 1/2 the regular price. For example: right now we sell the Vanilla absolute simply because it was 1/2 price of the distilled oil. Since that oil is already a super expensive oil, we went with that.

          All absolutes will have solvent remaining and that is not necessary good for the body. A high quality absolute will have less than 1% solvent remaining. The absolute solvent use can be a wide range of things. I have came across all types of different solvents used, like paint thinner for example. For most all absolute extractions on the market, I find they don’t use the “harmless” solvents.

          So here is the simple version:
          1. Purchase a absolute only when a low cost distilled oil is not available.
          2. Make sure your absolute has less than 1% solvent remaining.
          3. The absolute you purchase should be about 1/2 the price of the regular high quality distilled oil.
          3. Make sure your supplier knows what solvent is being used in the absolute and just isn’t giving you the standard marketing hype.

          • Thank you for the helpful info. I have purchased a vanilla absolute (Plant Therapy) that smelled funky, like alcohol or chemicals. I also sampled coffee, for fun- but it smelled like old coffee grounds to me. I have a cocoa absolute that smells awesome but I’m not sure how to use it!

            • Yes, you might want to look at the comment I just approved about Plant Therapy.

              • Can you post a link? Thanks!

                • Here it is: There are a number of things I am not comfortable with with this company. I am sorry but I can’t comment publicly about it. I had some negative information about an oils company on my site and got a threatening email regarding it. I can’t risk things for this.

                  You can go to this report

                  or this post to see more.

                  They do sell (at least at time of posting) lavender 40/42 which you can read about in the report.

                  Thanks for your understanding.

                  • Good to know!

                  • Have you contacted the owners of PT to ask them about their oils? Their organic lavender oil is the 40/42 so it can’t be synthetic, right? Also, just because the frankincense and helichrysum aren’t a particular type, doesn’t mean the type that they do use is not pure. When researching oils, i emailed the company and this is what they told me: “Therapeutic grade is a made up term in the essential oil industry. There is not government entity or any other entity that grades or certifies essential oils. It is important that the oils are pure, undiluted and don’t have any chemicals in them. This is the case with all of Plant Therapy’s essential oils. We ensure this by having a third party test each batch of oil using GC/MS testing. We also work with a world renowned essential oil expert who tests each batch of oil. Please let me know if you have any other questions. ”

                    They seem like a great company with great oils, even though they do seem too cheap to be true. Thoughts?

                    • If the oil is 40/42 then it has to be adulterated on some level or it can’t be standardized like that. I have heard from several sources that 40/42 lavender is almost always adulterated w/ synthetic stuff. Also, there was a recent test that PT ended up w/ not being compliant in in the GC/MS testing. They went and resubmitted more oils so clearly they know that their oil was bad and they went out and got something else. I can’t think of another explanation. When did they send that information to you? I find that interesting considering they failed that other test. If it is too good to be true it just might be. Depends on how cheap it is, you know?

                    • Wow, thanks for the quick reply!! They sent that to me about a month ago. I thought they would be a reputable company because I found out about them through village green network.

                    • I am not sure what to say but just because a blogging network recommends something it doesn’t mean the product is good. This is what PT told a blogger friend of mine that Plant Therapy said when she asked about their lavender:

                      Our Lavender 40-42 is for fragrance. There will be some therapeutic properties to it because it is just a mix of Lavenders to get the best fragrance. Our Lavender Population is the one that you would want for the cradle crap and for the more therapeutic properties. It is the “real” lavender.

                      So it seems that their 40/42 is the type that is typically regarded in the industry as being adulterated either blended or artificial or otherwise but you would need to ask them. I can’t say that that is or isn’t what they are doing.

                      I just really am swamped and can’t keep up w/ all of this but I appreciate your interest in what I think…I’m a mom trying to make the most sense of it myself :)!

                      Thanks and stay tuned!

                  • Hi question, isn’t a Lavender 40/42 synthetic? I have always thought that was the point of the 40/42, it has little to no therapeutic (for lack of a better word to describe the constitutes that Lavender has naturally that is good for you) value. Wouldn’t just saying its 40/42 in a sense saying that it’s not “pure”
                    Sounds like you are trying to find something to complain about. I’m not incredibly familiar with this brand but I don’t like to see sideways bad mouthing.
                    Please correct me if I’m wrong but ALl Lavender 40/42 is adulterated whatever company sells it? Not sure that’s a question. Thanks

                    • Hi Heidi. I am not sure I understand your comment. Yes, I was saying that I don’t consider 40/42 to be a good oil since the oils are being blended to make a desired smell and apparently there is a lot of adulterating going on w/ that blend, however I can’t verify that. I am really not understanding what you are saying as I said there is a problem with it and you are apparently agreeing with me and yet you are saying that I am just “trying to find something to complain about”. I personally don’t want to buy oils from a company that sells 40/42 and that is what I am saying but I don’t understand what you are asking. Thanks.

  3. In your research of companies, did you read about new direction aromatics? I’ve had horrible luck with YL and a friend suggested new direction. Just not sure about their quality since cost is a lot different than YL.

    • I did look at them. Many issues from the owner of Native American:
      1. On their home page the first thing I see is they do soaps and candles. This normally is an indication to me of low quality or adulterated essential oils. This is simply because you do not want to use the therapeutic oils for soaps and candles.
      2. The next thing I see on their home page is they sell Coconut Oil that is refined, bleached and deodorized. This is not a good product and should be avoided. I also see they carry quite a few products that are not good like this.
      3. Going into their oils I see they sell “Fragrant Oils” and they admit they are synthetically compounded. So at least they admit that, but the sad part is they don’t tell you that they are toxic. (Most all Fragrant Oils are toxic and extremely harmful to the body.
      4. Going into the oils and straight into lavender — I see they sell low quality perfume grade Lavandin. I also see the don’t sell hardly any organic products at all. I also see they sell the synthetic lavender 40/42. — I see, at least to me, they are trying to market the 40/42 as pure oil even though it is synthetic. They do admit that “its therapeutic levels are the lowest” but they don’t tell the customer this is because it is 95% synthetic. They go into that it explaining that it is “standardization of both Linalool and Linalyl acetate esters” but they do not explain that the standardization process is take 5% pure oil and then mix 95% synthetic Linalool and Linalyl to the batch to make 40/42. (So they admit to selling synthetic oils but they try to sneak in Lavender 40/42 as a pure essential oil.
      5. Ok looking at their citrus I see they sell a lot of adulterated citrus oils with the “folds”. Looking at this I see Vanilla (10 Fold). This is an adulterated Vanilla and after checking on the price I see the pricing is not for the real stuff.
      6. Jumping over to Frankincense. With all their frankincense oils they sell the steam distilled type. This is the lowest of the therapeutic qualities. Since frankincense is also one that normally adulterated by the experts, I look at their pricing. The frankincense is priced to low for it to be absolute pure essential oil.

  4. phill herbert says:

    I have recently placed an order for EO’s with bulkapothecary. This is due to the fact I am very new to this and decided to ‘try’ EO’s on a budget first.
    I also placed an order for some carrier and base oils.
    Has anyone had any experience with this
    company and how do you rate their products.

    I found your 7 part series to be outstanding and loved your research and knowledge. Thank you so much

    • PicklesnMarshmellows says:

      I know this is like a year old, but for anyone reading this now, Bulk Apothecary has several reviews on how their EO have shown up with bits and pieces in it and not properly sealed. I recently just went through this company and for the safety of others DO NOT get your EO’s there. DO NOT trust the reviews on the site, for very rarely do they EVER post reviews less than 4 stars. None of my EO’s were sealed properly, one had looked like it had been used multiple times. I ended up sending it back just because I was terrified to use it in any of my products.

  5. AbsoluteTruthiness says:

    I had gone through your postings with great interest. I am of course, still learning about EO’s but have been using them for over 20 years in a limited manner.

    I just made a decision today, after wringing my hands, worrying about this or that brand, that perhaps the old basic Aura Cacia is just fine. I have an aged vetiver from them that is to die for! I’ve used products fromm Eden Botanicals (not to be confused with Eden’s Garden) for 20 years and have always been pleased with them. I also just bought a few things from Native American Nutriceuticals and was very pleased with the service.

    There are some sellers online, though, that are problematic IMHO. I just received a Helichrysium that was a thin oil and smelled like a petro chemical, not like the thick, rich Helichrysium I’m used to. I also received a Frankincense Sacra from them that smelled funky too. I received no tracking and it took 4 emails to get a tracking ‘screen shot’, and then it showed that it tracked to a different location. I’ve had a lot of ‘attitude’ from these women, and when I questioned their product, they became insulted and claimed to have called me a several times, but only one showed up on my caller ID. Bottom line, it was a bad experience. This company, BTW, normally charges a 15% re-stocking fee and requires that you return items at your cost. They said they would not charge me the re-stocking fee.

    So, the reason for my diatribe is to warn to do some background research on anyone you do business with. I did not research these people adequately, and now, looking back, I see that there is nothing online about them nor their products. All I find in a search is their own site and pages within.

    I’ll continue to follow this blog with interest. I’m always thrilled to learn something new!

  6. Hi, i was introduced to essential oils about 2 years ago (in form of doterra). I signed on as a consultant and have introduced many people to EO now. I have been amazed at the positive results with these oils. However, due to cost, have been looking into other oils. Can you tell me what you discovered about mountain rose herbs oils? Or what made you not choose them? Thanks for all your hard work!!

    • Hi there. I answered about them in the final comments. Mainly inconsistent answers about internal use. I like them but I prefer NAN’s transparency. I stopped digging when I had that problem w/ them.

  7. Lisa Allen says:

    I just spent an entire (long awaited) afternoon to read your entire series on which essential oil is best. I truly appreciate all the time and research you put into it to my benefit. Above, you mentioned using Frankincense successfully on your husband’s, what appeared to be, a precancerous spot. Did you apply it directly, undiluted? Now that I’ve decided on a company to buy oils from (NAT), I need to educate myself in the use of them. Thank you very much.

  8. Lisa Allen says:

    One more question…I received an order of oils today from Essential Depot (ordered before reading your series). From your research does this statement about their oils put up any red flags? My red flag is if their lavender oil is $6.29, how can it be as pure and effective as NAT’s which is over $20.

    Thank you again…

  9. Do not buy from Bulk Apothecary they misrepresent their product. They give the run around about returns.

  10. Hi,

    I tried read through all the responses below but was wondering if you looked at NYR Organic (Neal’s Yard Remedies) Yes we are a direct sales company in the US (NYR Organic). Neal’s Yard Remedies has over a 33+ year history in the UK. Our owner Peter Kindersley does own a Certified Organic farm where we grow as many of the herbs as possible and has a long history of working with small farmers for herbs that are not indigenous. If you have not researched NYRO I’m happy to put you in contact with our product director. Thank you for your research and information.

  11. Above you mention that some of the oils from YL and doTERRA didn’t work that well or give you the results you were expecting. Have you had this experience with any of the oils you have gotten from Native American Nutritionals?

    This blog series has been very helpful for me as I’m just getting into this EO thing.


    • I don’t recall at present but of course, sometimes you will not get what you want b/c possibly you are using the wrong oil or you need something different. Right now, I can’t think of it but I am sure I had some experience like that. Thanks!

  12. Deanna Scott says:

    has anyone heard of The Bulk Apothecary? I have read wonderful articles from people who buy their products and they state rave reviews not only for the price but also for the quality. I have purchased from them and can’t wait to try them to give my feedback. I used to sell young living but found that the people there are money greedy. They demand you become a distributor AGAIN to get $100 of oil promised to you in previous years yet their certificate says no expiration date. I’ve yet to hear from them. A distributor said if I rejoined he’d get me the $100 owed to me yet Young LIving knew nothing about it. BIG RED FLAG! So I found this sight. While not every single oil is distilled I found most of them are and the reviews caught my attention Food for thought! I can hardly await to see how their products hold up to my tests!

    • Bulk Apoth is buying from experts and I don’t trust them. There are other red flags, like their selling “scents”. I think it is very important to buy from someone who purchases directly from the farmers. Thanks :). I do get their cocoa butter though :).

  13. Hi, I am very new to EOs and not a fan of MLM so I was lead to find other quality oils. My initial research lead me to RMO so I was thrilled to see someone with far more knowledge than me recommend and endorse it as well as give all the good and not so good about other companies. I too am looking for a quality oil at a reasonable price; paying an unknown number of people above me seems to add to my cost.

    That said, I looked on RMO and NAN websites. If they merged why do they still have two totally different sites?


    • This is from the owner of NAN:
      The original plan was bringing NAN over to RMO. We were working out all the programing and such but then things completely changed. After much discussion we are going to keep the two different companies. They will carry the same oils, but be under two completely different labels. We are going to have NAN deal with more of the “Spirit” of the oils and RMO more of the “Facts” of the oils. So different people will be attracted to different companies. I’m not sure about the RMO customers buy my old NAN customers really wanted us to be different.

  14. Can you help me out with something? If a company claims that their oils are 100% pure, unadulterated, etc. And they have the GC/MS testing saying that their oils are good. What makes their oils inferior or less effective? For example I saw that you don’t recommend NOW Foods. Here’s a page from their site:
    It even says they can be ingested if need be. So are these just not grown in their native regions? Or is there other tampering that happens that we don’t know about? Or are they really just as good as a $30 bottle of oil? That’s the point that I’ve been most confused about with deciphering which company to use. They all make the same claims, but there’s such a vast difference in prices and quality.

  15. Hi, I’ve just read most of this series on essential oils. I’m doing some research myself, because I have a friend who just recently joined doTERRA, and she has been (obviously) raving about them. I just can’t stomach the thought of spending that much money on a single oil, much less a blend. So I have been trying to find a really good “cheaper” oil.. one that is good quality, and essentially does what it says it does, without the high cost (but retaining the quality, I hope). I was really hoping that you would spend more time speaking about companies like Eden’s Garden, Aura Cacia, etc. I am new to oils (outside of Melaleuca oil, which I get directly from Melaleuca, and not including those I use for home diffusers). I had been hoping your “series” about essential oils would give more thought to these less expensive brands (that do get pretty great reviews on Amazon, for example).. and was somewhat disappointed when you ended with a company you have just signed on to sell through. (Not that I’m against it). I do find your site quite interesting, and have been checking out your Pinterest page. I’m interested in some of your information on Asperger’s, as my son has high functioning Autism (among other issues) and I absolutely detest the guinea pig he’s become with doctors. Thanks for all of the helpful information, and if you did point out your thoughts on some of the less expensive brands (and I simply missed it), please let me know where you’ve posted so I can check it out. Thanks!

    • Thanks for writing. I “signed on” while trying to figure this all out. But keep in mind I had about 19 folks under me at Young Living and was courted by doTERRA reps w/ one saying I could make $8,000 per month with them. I assure you that I don’t make that now. In a sense, I took a pay cut to go this way. I was really stressed about it but did it anyways.

      The cheaper oil companies buy from “experts” and I think it is important to go w/ someone who buys direct from the farmers. That way you aren’t dealing w/ someone who might blend an oil w/ something else. Let’s just say I have heard some interesting stories about heating and mixing oils, and more. I prefer unadulterated. Thanks.

      • I’ve been reading your posts recently and they are very interesting and helpful. A huge thanks for all the work that obviously went into this project. I see many, many posts asking you about certain suppliers…so I wonder, for those of us who have oils from suppliers not on your final list, would you consider posting a list of the suppliers you reviewed and the results of each, or how they ranked and any “red flags” or positives about those. It would help those of us less knowledgeable folks who now sit and wonder if the oils we have are inferior because they aren’t on your top supplier list. If this is too much to ask :-), I’ll join the other posters and just ask about the oils I have purchased that I’d like to verify their quality as I try to build my own essential oil kit….Heritage E.O.’s, Ananda Apothecary, Nature’s Alchemy, Simplers Botanicals, Organic AuraCacia, Bulk Apothecary, and Creation Pharm. Any info you are able to share would be appreciated! Thanks!!!

        • Hi there. I am sorry but I am trying to figure out the best way to handle this. Just not sure yet. If you read my GC/MS post you can see what things are important to look for (in my opinion) and then you can evaluate the oils themselves. But I might be trying to do something – hang in there :).

  16. This blog was so helpful as I want to learn more about using EO. I made a purchase from NAN. This is my very first EO purchase so I am anxious to see how well the blends work. I will be sharing your blog with other moms.

  17. Paula Popper says:

    I have a few comments regarding oil purity, based on your paragraph about it above.

    For an oil to be “pure” in the CODEX or retail sense, the only oil in it is the one listed. Most oils need to be “cut” with a carrier oil. Some by tremendous amounts, simply because the practical ability to use a dropper that will deliver the miniscule amount needed of certain oils (because they are so strong) is almost nil. The ultra small droppers are hard to get into the hands of the retail consumer, they are challenging to use, and with the strongest oils, going over the amount can be truly toxic. So, a carrier is use (such as a jojoba or almond oil) to dilute it to the level that is more easily administered by the retail consumer. This is the case with any essential oil, whether used for flavor, scent or medicinal purposes.

    Baking vanilla is a pure if it has only the vanilla and the alcohol. The label will be required to lists the mgs of sugars present because alcohol is pretty much a liquid sugar.

    And then there is the fun part: the word pure cannot be copyrighted or trademarked. There is no definition of what is actually pure. Your definition of pure being only that essential oil and nothing else is certainly a valid description, but not even remotely possible in realistic consumer use. So, pure for an essential oil should be only the EO listed on the label and the carrier – whether an oil or an alcohol (there are reasons to use one over the other).

    Just adding to the knowledge and the fun of exploring essential oils.

    Paula Popper
    Holistic Life and Health Coach

  18. In case it helps anyone, there is a phone number listed for Eden’s Garden on your packing slip when you get your order in the mail. It’s 949-388-1999. Hope that helps!

    • I’m not sure what the phone number is useful for here -could you explain please?

      • Christina says:

        I think it was shared because others had mentioned concern over that fact that the Eden’s Garden website had no phone number listed for contact. Similar to the concern you had with Heritage Oils.

  19. Shawn Lagacé says:

    I would like to ask you a question, when you said you asked a ton of questions, did you ask about their process of how they make their essential oils… Because the more pure it is, the better it works… like for example is their oil process Steam distilled(to a certain temperature 150 degrees Celsius), some of the oil’s out there are extracted with alcohol, witch might screw up the nature of the Essential oil… I am happy with the work you’ve done so far, part of the reason why some oils might work better than others is because maybe they have a different process for how it’s done. {Like for example with chicken (To get their meat) you can pluck them or you can skin them…}

  20. Isabella B. says:

    Thank you for this informative article. I used to work in a spa and was in charge of researching a healthy essential oil provider. After extensive deliberation I narrowed it down to Elizabeth Van Buren essential oils. They are known as beyond organic and do extensive testing on their oils also known as GC/MS- gas chromotograph, mass spectrometer. You can google it. Pretty much means it filters out the harmful impurities making it much healthier for you and your clients when using. Their owner , Elizabeth Jones, is the director at the College of Botanical Healing Arts in California. Now isn’t this the type of business you would want to buy from? Not to mention their price points are SO reasonable. Their pms blend is incredible. My cramps disappear upon application onto the abdomen. You just feel so healthy using their products. I love using their roll on blends. Good health and happiness to all!

  21. Rev Keith Pace says:

    To help with adrenal fatigue and symptoms of autism check out and read the book ” Treating the symptoms known as Autism” by Kerri Rivera.
    I Know both authors personally and I know what they say works.
    Happy trails- Rev Keith Pace

    • Sorry to have not responded sooner – I’ve been going through old comments to address the ones I missed. I am reading that they use chlorine bleach for treatment – is that true?

      • Actually it’s Chlorine Dioxide ( oxidizer ) is as different from Chlorine ( chlorinator ) as Sodium Chloride ( table salt ) from Sodium Hypochlorite ( drain cleaner ), sounds similar but big difference.
        Chlorine Dioxide at the correct ppm is used to clean water, meat, seafood, fruits and vegetables it is also used to clean surfaces of Ebola the list goes on.
        After accidentally curing malaria it was discovered that it help healing in general as well as detoxifying the body including heavy metals.
        Check out testimonials at

        Lets heal the world together- Rev Keith Pace

        • Interesting. A friend just came by yesterday telling me her son has been greatly helped by Chlorine Dioxide treatment. She is under the care of a physician. So I am curious if most folks do that or if they try to treat themselves. She said it has cleared her son of tons of parasites. Wouldn’t they just come back later?

  22. Hannah C. says:

    I’ve been using the DT oils since November last year. In addition to some other incidences where they’ve worked amazingly well, a special oil combo taken internally healed my dad from Shingles in a week and they’ve helped me a lot with depression and healing up from a concussion. However, I’m not completely sold on them for a lot of the reasons you listed. I too am trying to find the best alternative healing options and I know that EOs have a lot of power. I’d love to find out more about your research!

  23. If you truly have adrenal fatigue and haven’t been misdiagnosed you need to remove TB from your adrenals before you heal. You will never heal if you do not do this. My naturopath here in Austin, TX healed me of that in one week. To him adrenal fatigue was no big deal and it wasn’t. Another point, if you have adrenal fatigue you have other glands involved. You can’t just treat the adrenals.

    • What is TB? Do you mean tuberculosis?

      • Yes – tuberculosis. Also, you can’t just treat the adrenals. You have to treat thyroid as well among other things.

        My doctor in Austin Texas does phone consults :-)

        • So you are saying that anyone w/ adrenal issues has TB issues? Thanks.

          • Why Do I Still Have Thyroid Symptoms? when My Lab Tests Are Normal: a Revolutionary Breakthrough in Understanding Hashimoto’s Disease and Hypothyroidism

            I believe it states tb in adrenals for adrenal fatigue. Must treat tb first to heal. I bought this for my medical doctor and chiropractor after my new naturopath healed me in like a month of adrenal fatigue. I had gone to my chiro for over a year for treatment for adrenal fatigue With no relief. I bought it for my medical doc because she is a woman and felt she could benefit from it.

            When I was diagnosed with adrenal fatigue everyone scared me to death about it. They were like oh my gosh you have adrenal fatigue. So hard to get rid of. Etc etc. When I went to see this naturopath I shared with him all my fears and he was like so upbeat and assured me no biggie and heal quickly. Trick is to get rid of the TB. Within a month or so I had so much energy and sleeping so much better. He didn’t just focus on adrenals either. He worked on other different things. I was really sick. I grew up on industrial farm in middle of Iowa. Parents and grandparents smoked. Worked with pesticides and herbicides and in grain bins with black mold with no protection – EVER. Had mono in high school. I just had my second child and could not get off the floor. My body was full of pain. Before I went to see naturopath my chiropractor helped me do some intense detoxing. Many different types of detoxing from standard process 21 day to drinking tea from a Mexican witch doctor (I say this with a laugh. They have a specific name can remember it) and another one with supplements and colonics. It has been 4 years since the healing of the adrenals. I still do detoxing but mainly thru foods and juicing now.

            I have also had 3 dental surgeries to remove all mercury, I had 4 cavitations cleaned out and a root canal removed. Lots of bacteria and viruses (micro organisms) to clean out of body.

            I also did Julia Chang detox from Canada. I think her website is Google Julia Chang and detoxing.

            My next thing I am going to invest in is an ionic footbath. I will get the one from Indian in the machine. Works on lymph and circulation and helps body get water into the cells.

            My naturopath here in Austin really thinks outside the box. I have been to many naturopaths and he is like no other. He uses a variety of supplements from a variety of companies. He monitors your health closely and I liked that too. A normal naturopath is like here are your supplements see you in a month. I was so sick I needed to be seen at least weekly if not more.

            God bless and pray for your healing.

            • Thanks and sorry for the delay in responding. I was thinking about your comment and didn’t approve it as I wanted to do more thinking. What did you do for the TB? And why did he think you caught it? This is very interesting. I assume he doesn’t work w/ people long distance? Thanks!

  24. Love all your research . Have you heard of organic infusions? , an online sight . I think the prices are reasonable compared to yl and doterra, but that makes me skeptical. They also have a huge selection. Would love to know what you think Thankyou!

    • Sorry but I just can’t comment on all the companies – I’m swamped :). I would check out this post to see if they measure up and I hope to write more soon. Thanks!

  25. How about Organic Infusions ? They are reasonable and have a huge selection. I am skeptical and would love to know your thoughts

    • So sorry but I am so swamped = with tons of requests to look at different companies. Maybe look at this post and see if they measure up. I hope to write more in the near

  26. I live in Canada, and I’ve been pretty happy with a Canadian aromatherapy (oils, blends, etc.) shop called Taiga Therapy ( Pure oils at good prices. Used to shop at Escents but their prices are way too high. Seems you have to make a special order if you wanna ship to the US, though..

  27. Based on my husband biology major… My question is how many times has it been distilled ??? hence, the more times it’s distilled, the better the quality and getting rid of the stuff you don’t want or by products .

    • That’s a different concept than in oil production. In one case you are distilling to get rid of by products but in oils you are supposed to (in the case of organic especially) be starting w/ high quality and just getting the strongest oil (most prized) at the beginning and lesser later. In any case, this really only applies to 2 oils – peppermint and ylang ylang.

  28. Have you heard of Dr. Sabina DeVita? She has a book out about EOs called Vibrational Cleaning. She has a website that takes you to Young Living if you choose to order oils. I heard of her thru a web radio show called Sanitas. I told my cousin about this as she is into EOs and quite knowledgeable as well. When I mentioned Gary Young she immediately thought it was a scam as she heard about his long rap sheet. So I am very skeptical of Young Living EOs. I am on your site because I am investigating him and learning more about EOs. Thanks for your work on this.

  29. I see that you endorse Native American Nutritional Oils. I am not affiliated with any essential oil company or distributor, and I signed up for emails from the above company after I saw your review. Do you agree with their practice of making healing claims for their oils? Obviously you know much about essential oils and I admire the credible research you have done. This was recently in an email from Native American Nutritional:

    “Overcome severe illness with oils for severe illnesses”


    “Nerve Repair
    Heal all types of nerve damage with this unique blend, specially created for you by a Native American Medicine man. ”
    I am just wondering about your thoughts on healing claims. (Hey, it’s certainly all right with me if they do “heal”).

  30. Lois A Bisbee says:

    I have a few shot glass recipes and one in particular helped me tremendously. I awoke with a throbbing sinus headache, sore throat and aching muscles. I took a shot glass and added the suggested oils, then I rubbed doTerra Lavender, then peppermint to my forehead, and went to bed diffusing breathe. Within 10 mins, my headache was gone, my sinuses began to open up, and what was usually the signs of a 1 to 2 week struggle, turned into a day and a half. One happy gal, here.
    I have an 8 year old grandson in Texas who has been struggling at school. He would just tune out and couldn’t seem to think straight. I sent “In Tune,” which is a focus blend to him, and I told my daughter to add Rosemary and Peppermint to his terra cotta necklace. That was 4 weeks ago. For the first time in the past 2 years, (the school wanted to keep him back in the 2nd grade this year), his reading is where it’s supposed to be. He came home with 4 – A’s yesterday. His spirits have been so lifted. He face-timed me to let me know mom and dad were taking him to his favorite pizza place to celebrate. I am so happy with the oils.
    Also, since diffusing doTERRA oils, my daughter has been able to go off her anti-depressant medicine. I am recieving good reports left and right from people who have been helped with joint pain, stress, headaches, etc.
    I always keep an open mind, and I am enjoying your articles.

    • That is so good to hear. I never tried their In Tune – I think Native American has something that is supposed to work similarly. Thanks for your kind words!

  31. I am totally new to using EO, I have two children with Autism, and Im at the point where I will try anything! I have a friend who gave me some samples to try from YL and they did seem to help my kids sleep better. It was too pricey for my budget so Im happy to hear there are more affordable options out there. I would really appreciate if you could recommend which oils to get and how often to use them. I’m so green when it comes to these so how exactly do you dilute them? Thanks! :)

  32. I am excited to read your post. I am a fan of essential oils. It all started with Lavender which helps me to have a good night sleep or calms me when I was really stressed out by work.
    Now being on a spiritual journey, I was introduced to Young Living, Earth Magic and Doterra.
    I just signed up for Young Living Wholesale Distributor Starter Set. Not that I have a business, but since I love essential oils. Why not do it like a hobby?

    I am also looking out for alternative brands. Noticed NOW brands are priced so much lower. And yet the word Pure etc is always written. I am now confused.

    Your research is so helpful and going to be so helpful.
    I am so following your blog!

    • Did you end up finishing the series? This guide might be of interest to you and will answer more of your questions I think:

      • Yes Adrienne, I completed the series. I also read the “oily drama” part 6. :) And it was good that you were very open about it. Most readers are able to discern. There will always be disagree-ers and haters, and also lovers of your work :)

        Reading the entire series, it helps me to look out for the terms used on the labels. Words like Pure, Therapeutic should really be questioned on their meaning.

        I also came across these websites.
        1. Describes the distillation methods, no mention about how many distillations can occur.

        2. He mentioned that you cannot re-distill the plant material. Possibly re-distill the collected oil for further purification and only necessary for certain plants.

        3. Another site mentioning about re-distillation of plant materials

        Being a science teacher (not chemistry though), I am vaguely familiar with concept of distillation.
        Re-distillation did sound a little odd as the volatile liquids would be able to vaporize upon reaching the temperature and pressure they can vaporize. (I will keep reading …….. )

        I am from Singapore so we have shops that sell essential oils like this one and they re-bottles and re-brand the essential oils. So when I ask the shop assistants, they do not know exactly where the essential oils come from.

        I am not sure if Native American Nutritional ships to Singapore. I would be keen to give that a try.

        I really appreciate your reply to my comment. :)

        • HI there and so sorry for the delay in responding. I’ve been swamped (will share more later) but am trying to catch up now.

          I will ask for more information based on your inquiry. I do think that NAN ships to Singapore so hope you give them a try. Take care!

      • I just realised that NAN does ship to Singapore. After my current batch of essential oils, I probably give NAN a try. :)

  33. I have found a Great site to purchase your oils from they sale 100% pure essential oil and have great prices this site is defiantly the best i have found throw my hours of searching. hear is the link this site is a most see.

    • Hi there. Sorry but it looks like you are trying to promote your own oils site which I would prefer folks not do. If that’s not the case feel free to respond and I can respond to you. Thanks!

  34. I found this article and immediately went on NAN website and purchased a couple of oil blends. Do you recommend a place to buy carrier oils in bulk? I want to start using almond oil as a moisturizer but it is not available on NAN. I found it on Mountain Rose Herbs Camden-Grey and Bulk Apothecary but not sure which is best?

    • I don’t know – are any of them organic? Might be worth spending extra. I did mention to NAN and RMO that they should consider getting it – thanks!

  35. While NYR Organic is not strictly essential oils, they have a great selection and are a very ethical company with high quality organic products. I would really like to see your review on them.

  36. 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!

      • First, Registered Aromatherapist is a specialist & lives by “First, do
        no harm”…From what I have been learning, a registered aromatherapist will
        NOT suggest ingestion nor apply directly on skin unless the oil is skin
        patch tested and is able to apply directly, which only a few are. If you
        want to take orally or directly it is best to be GUIDED by a ND and a
        registered aromatherapist. That is another golden rule. They don’t prescribe a client to take it by mouth, if the client wants too, then it’s their responsibility to go over with their ND also. Essential oils have a VERY low therapeutic margin. Anyone can ingest too much just by a drop, that is why it’s advised to use with a ND and Registered Aromatherapist. Watch for constraints and know the chemicals in each oil. You don’t get all that online. And yes people have been taking them orally for awhile, but have you personally talked with many of them? See if there is any type of reactions or none? I’m guessing not. You wouldn’t go to your regular doctor for treatment for cancer, you will see a specialist where and what type of cancer you have. Then you will research based on the specialist recommends. USA is years behind in
        aromatherapy compared to other countries, so just researching online isn’t
        the best…read textbooks on aromatherapy, journals, studies by their Latin
        name, talk to professionals. And if you want to compare my doctor telling me to take Rx and not do
        any type of research, it’s like you going to a restaurant asking your chef
        what did that cow eat because the menu says agnus beef, and most people think agnus beef is high quality, but eat GMO grains. You would ask which ranch and do research on that
        ranch. And I can guarantee you that i aint no sheeple either…..I would never take
        advice from anyone over the internet that don’t cite where they are getting
        their info from nor have any type of training. Yes, there is a lot of
        information that true online but, if you read them, cite them, so others
        can see for themselves. Putting things like this for others to read and
        not understand the true depths of essential oils is scary and may hurt
        others. Specialist are ones who study and continue to study on particular
        career….You wouldn’t want a jack-of-all-trade installing electrical wires
        in your home just because what the person did a lot research online how to
        do it. Your family is at risk…just like not having good guidance with
        any type of specialist and ND. I have several specialist in my family
        health, I have a ND whom is also a MD (there are times that western meds is
        needed), I have an acupuncturist, chiropractor, and a massage therapist. I’m a certified food nutrition specialist, certified personal trainer, and currently attending college and married for 20 years with three children. So I have been there, done that…..The only difference is that I want to learn from professionals and teach others from a professional stand point because that is what everyone deserves.

        • Hi there. I am sorry for not responding sooner — trying to play catch up on old comments that I didn’t get to. I think this is a very fine line. Saying we all need to go to an ND for all of these decisions is putting professionals up on a pedestal a bit perhaps. I don’t know. I have been to many natural practitioners who steered me the wrong way — and mainstream docs as well. I had to do a lot of research myself and try to make sense of what I should do. But I do appreciate your perspective. Thanks!

      • 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!

  37. 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’.

  38. 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.

  39. 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.

  40. 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 Thank you!

  41. Did you do research/experimenting with Eden’s Garden?? Can you give any feedback?

    • Hi there. I just looked at their site today – I only see about 6 options for organic oils and no mention of wild crafted and I would prefer oils w/ those qualities. I would like to possibly talk to them if I have time but I don’t see a phone number of their site. Maybe I am missing it? Thanks! This post will show more of what I am looking for personally re: an oils company.

    • Korenne says:

      I have used Edens Garden for the past year….and LOVE them! The price is great too. I have also tried DoTerra, NOW, and an off brand (just out of curiosity). I found that Edens Garden is my favorite. I liked DoTerra also, but found that Edens Garden was just as good and not to mention cheaper and they have a larger variety of oils. Also LOVE that they give 10% of their sales to charity. Hope this helps!

  42. I’m a little irritated that you go on this long winded explanation of the best essential oil company yet you don’t even give them a chance to really work. You even say you didn’t try them long enough to know. You try 1 or 2 oils for sleep or allergies and say whelp that was a wash. If you went to a Dr they would have 10s of medicines to try before saying whelp that was a wash. They also talk about consistency and how you take medicine. What would give you the impression that essential oils are different? Lavender is amazing for sleep AND it’s not for everyone. There are so many oils that are wonderful sleep did you try all of them? Not that you mention. I get that you were a skeptic and it sounds like you may still be one and that is this your journey. Congrats for you. I do not like seeing people giving out their journey as fact and that you somehow are an expert somehow. Also it would be nice of your investigator side to provide some of your findings not just your ramblings. There is ZERO source information aside from the name of a company. Something helped with a spot on your husbands back. Did you take before and afters? Those are really helpful when telling someone something worked. Give them an idea of what you are referring to. Also there are books that talk about the ingestion of oils you might want to try suggesting some of those. Not just that you think hey I think they are safe so be cautious and use your best judgement. Even with the most pure essential oils some are still not safe to be ingested. Check out Modern Essentials it’s a helpful book.

    • Hi there. I am sorry you are irritated with me. I am not sure what you mean about my not using them enough to let them work. I had success with many of the oils and many brands so perhaps you are mistaken.

      I wrote about it in parts of the series as well as in this post:

      and in this one:

      Of course I didn’t try all of the oils, but I am not sure why you think that is a problem.

      I am not a skeptic about oils working – in fact I use them daily. It is that I think that other things are great too.

      As for the before and afters of my husband’s back — I forgot. I was really worried about his back and was intent on getting it taken care of. That’s a common problem with bloggers….sometimes we forget to photograph what we realize later that we should have :).

      I have the Modern Essentials book but most of my readers wouldn’t be happy w/ it b/c it is geared so heavily towards doTERRA oils. That is the essence of most of the negative reviews on Amazon. People are looking for books that are helpful across many brands.

      If you have more concerns I am happy to address then but I do think that you misunderstood much of my writing. Thanks.

  43. It’s a little frustrating to follow the 3 articles and then get to the end and find you haven’t actually named the ones you found to be the best? It seems like just a trail of stuff you looked into but no actual final results or conclusions. Not sure what the point was? Did I miss something?

  44. Thoughts & Opinions of the ‘Plant Guru’ essential oils?
    I’m wanting to get a ginger, grapefruit, lemon, and maybe a cinnamon essential oils for weight loss. I know those are the best. I haven’t tried any company so far, but I did look into the YL and doTerra that you mentioned. I found Plant Guru, and was wondering if it is actually pure & organic. I googled review for people who’ve tried it and actually lost weight, but haven’t found any. If you have any thoughts or suggestions, I’d love to hear!

    • Hi there. I really can’t comment on other companies b/c they can change what they do and I even got a threatening email regarding one of the companies I published a negative comment about (that comment wasn’t even from me). I don’t think that weight loss technique works and I think it’s way too much oils to be taking internally. These are strong things. I think that some of those companies recommend internal use so they sell more – that’s just my opinion. If they aren’t saying it’s organic it likely isn’t . They currently don’t have enough selection for me to look any further. Please read this report – it might give you more information about the company:

  45. Christopher says:

    My family can source essential oils from Madagascar. Please share with me what you learned about oils from Madagascar? Which companies source oils from Madagascar. What products, etc

    Thank you!

  46. Hi there, I think that all this information is fabulous, thank you!! I was wondering, you picture and mention many different types of oils, but I am not seeing a review of all of these companies. Did you try many of them out, or test similar products even by smell and the kleenix drop test? There are not as many options here in Canada and the ones I have been interested in are Eden’s Garden, Fabulous Frannie, Aura Cacia and Now.

  47. I have been using doTerra for several months with generally good results. I especially like the Breathe and mix it with a NOW product which combines Tea Tree and Lavender–works well at night in a diffuser. However, because doTerra does not have neroli oil available, I went searching online for it, I discovered Eden’s Garden. Their oils are so much cheaper than doTerra, NOW, Aura Cacia, and Mountain Rose Herbs that it seems impossible they could be of the same quality. Nevertheless, I may go ahead and order neroli from them just to try. Neroli is generally one of the most expensive of all oils. doTerra cannot tell me why they do not have it available.

    • Hi there, Juliana. I asked NAN about neroli and here is their response. They said that neroli flowers are very expensive…:

      there is the labor intensive process of extracting the oils from it. If they are selling it for $19 then that means that their costs collectively have to be in the $10 range (assuming a general 50% markup which is standard in all businesses, hard to stay in business going any lower than that).

      …But oils are expensive. When done right they are very labor intensive to produce. There is just no way around it without cutting corners. ….

      One of the reasons that Neroli is so expensive is 1) the flowers are really delicate and must be picked by hand meaning that labor is much higher, 2) it can only be harvested at a certain time of year right before the oranges start to grow, and 3) it takes a ton of neroli flowers to produce a small amount of oil. Add to that the fact that harvesting is more expensive (because it must be done by hand) and the costs add up fast. These are basically the same reasons that any flower oil is expensive (rose, melissa, jasmine, neroli, etc). They are delicate, have very little oil in the petals meaning you need a ton of it, and they have very narrow harvest times. That is why all flower oils are over $100 a bottle. The tradeoff is a great essential oil of course, but they are not necessarily for everyone.

      What I would suggest is our “blend of neroli” product. It is our really good neroli that is > $100 a bottle and then we add FCO to it to get the price down. I believe it is 10% neroli and 90% FCO. Most people would be diluting their single neroli to these levels anyway with FCO, so we sell it to you direct that way. This lowers the price and gets it into that $20 range. Plus you can rest assured that it’s actually real neroli, and not some synthetic knockoff …

      We’re not making any claims about Eden’s Garden oils – but hopefully this information is of help to you. Maybe this resource would be of help to you:

  48. Stephanie Simmons says:

    I noticed in your article that you tested Oregano to get rid of warts and was unsuccessful, I realize it has been awhile since you wrote this, thought I’d share my remedy for wart removal……Eggplant! For next 3-6 nights at bedtime cut about an 1/8 to 1/4 piece of eggplant leaving skin on one side place over wart and wrap area real good so keep eggplant in place while sleeping, remove in morning, repeat for next 3-6 nights. First night not so bad, but the next several night it will burn a little, we could only handle 3 nights but the eggplant turns the wart brown/black (looks like it brings everything to surface) let it dry up and within a week it falls off an they never return. My daughter as a child had 13 warts on one hand, we had to do this over a period of time but they have all fallen off and have never come back. Thanks for letting me share.

  49. Thank you for your blog on the essential oil industry. I experimented with EOs in the mid 1980s and am just now getting back into the flow. I use EOs mostly just for the sensual delight of great aromas, and only in a small way for health.

    Subjects I would love to see you and others address…

    1. Scientific/legal/industry newsletter: If what chemist Dr. Pappas says is correct and adulteration is not uncommon, then who is providing the following service (even at a high subscription price) – a newsletter that monitors EO companies’ products, naming names according to expert interpretation of scientific testing. If company A has a 90% reliability rating, company B 100% and company C 10% I want to know about it! Has it improved or gotten worse than 6 months ago? And if fraud is occurring why are prosecutions not taking place?

    In the 1980s I was studying coloured stones (gems). However, I stopped my studies because I decided that the industry was too esoteric. Even with Specific Gravity and Refractive Index measuring devices experts can be fooled. So, what of me? Problem is, whenever there is money to be made, whenever products are rare and appealing, there is bound to be cheating. It is the nature of the commerce. So, I think a private or public subscription service could be very good value, even if it costs $500 a year.

    2. Aromatics investment newsletter: Years ago when I learned that some precious oils (patchouli, sandalwood and aloeswood especially) increase in value over time when properly stored, I wondered ‘where are sources of investment information on essential oils and other aromatic compounds like absolutes?’ By that I mean not a scientific/legal newsletter as above, not even an industry business newsletter, but something with the beginner or astute investor in mind. Someone who wants to set aside aged Mysore sandalwood for a few decades or even peppermint for two. Technical and fundamental analysis. price trends, assessment of funds and companies, EO research and development, perfume company news even. The little guys ears (nose?) to the ground not for aromatherapy or perfume business, but a financial newsletter.

    3. Fragrance news: Economic, political and legal news from Morocco, Egypt, France, Iran, Italy, Bulgaria, USA, etc as relevant to perfume and aromatics in general. If lavender fields are about to be nationalized, I want to know about it from the insider grapevine. How to *profit* from wholesale EOs and I don’t mean by MLM networks and selling perfumed candles.

    4. Distillation: I am about to buy Heartmagic’s glassware kitchen still. But I have serious reservations. because whenever I see people on Youtube making their own, while they do know the source plant they get something like a thimble full after several hours of using fuel and their time. Yet, I can order the same made in Sri Lanka from NEW DIRECTIONS AROMATICS in Canada for $2 (now, there is a company I would like to get the ‘skinny’ on – how can they sell EOs so cheap?). Micro yields, I kid you not. Economy of scale works against the artisan unless he is selling high-end beeswax soaps to upper middle class housewives wanting aromatics harvested at the new moon according to Rudolph Steiner philosophy and run by collectives of lesbian aboriginals. OK, I am being faecetious, but you get my tone. But are those stills operating in highland Assam or lowland Madagascar adulterating their EOs? Not to mention not having dental plans.

    In other words, I am seeking the male aspect to what is largely female in the aromatherap mileu. I live half the year in Asia. Periodically I come across wonderful fragrant products such as fragrant orchid oil in Thailand and diseased wood (agar) in Cambodia that smells like perfection. Or heavenly frankincense nuggets in Oman. And my first thought is always ‘how can I make money from this without studying for ten years and taking lots of chances?’

    • postscript…

      How about RAINIER in Washington state? That company sells a variety of copper and standard metal stills for doing more serious amounts? A significant investment. I get the impression that a majority of its users are creating herbal oils of, what shall I say, an ‘underground’ nature (and I don’t mean curcuma longa). Is there any money to be made by distilling conifers, wild plants and weeds? How can one compete with villagers in Java? Will globalization work against me? Yet, I go strolling in the forests and when I come across some wonderful aroma my first thought (after the feeling of ‘ahhhh’) is ‘how can I capture that? Who would buy it?’ Even today a simple empty lot of red clover had me in olfactory bliss. But maybe the finest smells can only be had via enfleurage? I need to do some reading and experimenting!

    • Hi there. I will try to respond:

      1. There isn’t anything like that. I don’t know about if it has gotten worse but I would suspect so as more and more players enter the field. As far as prosecutions, the industry isn’t regulated so that is why it isn’t happening.

      2. I have no idea about investing. I would think they don’t increase in value enough for that to be a real viable option, but I don’t know for sure.

      3. I would assume there are some kinds of news about this – but not sure.

      4. I have heard over and over that home distilling isn’t really viable, but if you want to try it – go for it. :).

      Sorry I couldn’t be of more help.

  50. I have been reading e-mails and your investigation on essential oils because I have cancer and have been hearing a couple things from a few on our support site, a couple e-mails from alternative sources and a link a co-worker sent me. Appears it is meant to be for me to use a couple.
    I was leaning towards doTerra as most on support site using them and Dr. Axe recommends them, but now I have read your report.
    What was in your report about your uses of doTerra wasn’t that bad, there was some good. What was not in your report was your experiences with the companies you recommend which leaves me confused.
    Could you please tell me what your experiences are with the oils of the company you recommend?

    • Hi there. I am a little confused by your comment. Do you mean that you wonder what my experiences have been w/ the oils from Rocky Mountain Oils and Native American Nutritionals? I use them and them only (except for a few bottles I have left of a few random companies, and even those I often forget that I have, and I only use them for cleaning — not for therapeutic uses). I am quite happy with them. I love diffusing them and I am using oregano on a few spots, etc. on my skin that I would like gone. I am using helichrysum on some acne scars on my face, and peppermint, ravintsara and rosemary on my scalp for hair growth. My sons love the lavender at night. And I have used the peppermint and lemongrass on my achilles that I am working on healing. I hope that helps.

      I think these are good companies with strong ethics and they do a lot of work to source their oils from good places and I trust them. I told them in no uncertain terms that if they gave me reason not to trust them I would not recommend them any longer.

      Let me know if I can help further.

  51. Dear…,
    Your logic, experience and effort, technical details and information on the essential oil industry and what to consider in choosing a high quality essential oils is great and very convincing. The only thing is that your articles have no name or tel number so I don’t even know your name, but I am glad that the comments link is available. Can I contact you for free consultation and how?

    • Hi Diana. I am sorry but I do not do phone consults and can’t do consults for free. I spend an inordinate amount of time on my blog and have to protect my family. Feel free to ask your questions here and hopefully I can help. Thanks! I do not consider myself to be an expert, however…just a mom who likes to do research who was trying to figure out where to buy for my family and what to recommend for my readers. Thanks!

  52. Have you heard of a company called Sun Organics? I bought a few from them off of and have enjoyed them via my oil diffuser but feel they lack something….Would love to get your feedback. Thank you! This was a great series to read!

  53. Compared both doTERRA and young living essential oils by their website. doTERRA’S website is easier to navigate. Young living’s website asks for your tax I’d it ssc# to become a member. Ridiculous! I ended up purchasing from doTERRA because it was hassle free and affordable.

  54. You didn’t mention anything about neal’s yard… Also At the end which brand would you use for yourself and children? I have a 6 months old baby… I decided to turn to natural products now that I have a baby but so many people and websites say so many different things…. I feel so confused

  55. I was wondering if youve done any research on plant guru essential oils? Their prices are good so i figured its probably too good to be true??