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


Ever wonder how the essential oils industry works, and what makes some companies better than others? What about the "Therapeutic Grade" claims the MLM oils companies make? Come find out all you ever wanted to know about oils companies and more!

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

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

Come along for the investigative adventure with me…..

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

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

Let’s just say I am busy.

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

Would be nice, huh?

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

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

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

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

Ever wonder how the essential oils industry works, and what makes some companies better than others? What about the "Therapeutic Grade" claims the MLM oils companies make? Come find out all you ever wanted to know about oils companies and more!

How I Chose “The Best Essential Oils Company”

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

1.  Young Living

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

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

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

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

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

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

2.  doTERRA

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

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

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

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

Some OK results and some really great ones too.

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

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

3.  Problems with the Oils Industry

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Aromatherapy for the Healthy Child - Valerie Wormwood Essential Oils

For more in the Best Essential Oils Series:

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

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

I’d love to hear your thoughts!  

The information here is for entertainment purposes only. Please consult a medical professional before changing your diet, exercise program, or before trying any natural remedies.

Source: – Livestrong

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


    Speak Your Mind


  1. Toni McAdams says:

    I love reading your articles and have wanted to get a message to you since i first read them last year… my point..just because a company isn’t an “Essential Oil” company doesn’t mean they don’t have top notch Nature’s Sunshine Products.
    Since your last article they have revamped the line and have an amazing array of oils..done right (we’ve had them for twenty years).
    I would love your opinion because of all your research. (For sleep… And because depression and high blood pressure were in the picture, we used Neroli..amazing!) Toni

  2. Mary Hilsman says:

    I remember the flower essence craze, that no one even talks about now. Is essential oils, although now resurgent, just another craze. Does anyone actually let you try samples? Miracle essential oils is affordable and claim purity. You don’t mention them in your writings. Why?

    • Hi there. Some companies may have samples, but the company that I ended up recommending has a great 90 day return policy now, so really there is not reason for samples. I have never heard of that company – but note that many claim purity and they are not. Thanks!

  3. Do you no anything about Plant Guru essential oils?

  4. Thank you for all you are doing to help us all understand. I believe we all have to work together and share as a whole to eat and use healthy products our bodies need. Please keep sharing your knowledge…. I am wanting one book on oils that will be my bible guide to healing. I clicked your book link but both of your links go to the childrens book. Best wishes to your family for complete healing. Thank you.

    • Hi Debbie. Thanks for your kind words. Did you mean that both links on this post go to the children’s book? If so, that is correct. There are a bunch of other good books at the bottom of each of the posts (some aren’t books) and at the bottom of other essential oils posts. Just search “essential oils” in my search bar. I will try to put a book guide up in the near future. Thanks!

  5. Are you serious?? This is the most biased article I’ve ever read. You work for them, get a commission for every product sold or link clicked on.! Unbelievable. And no, their products are not cheap! E.g. helichrysum oil they sell 15ml for 144$. You can get 1kg from Slovenia for 267$ ( and no, I don’t work for them. How can you really give your name for such BS? Cheating customers but only looking for ca$$. Shame on you!

    • Hi there. Yes, I am serious. And I do not get anything for every link clicked on. I don’t know where you go that idea from. And helichrysum is one of the most expensive oils around. One thing to keep in mind is that there is a lot of adulterating on the market. I am not saying that Essential Depot does that, but NAN / RMO test all of their oils and they reject oils often b/c they don’t pass the test. And I in no way am cheating customers in order to get cash. I was told by a doTERRA rep that I could make $8K per month as a rep with doTERRA but I left in order to go with a company that I really believed in.

      I hope that addresses your concerns and am happy to answer any other concerns / questions that you have. Thank you.

      Oh -this report might interest you as well. I am very leery of prices that seem too good to be true.

  6. Hi Adrienne
    I just read your 7 part series on essential oils. Thank you so much for writing this. Being new to the essential oils world, you have really opened my eyes. I am so happy that I didn’t have to go through the leg work to get the answers I was looking for 😉
    I am from Canada(southwestern Ontario) so I was wondering, before I go ahead and buy from Native American Nutritionals, did you come across any Canadian companies that you would recommend?
    thank you, and I look forward to spending some time browsing your web page and FB page.

  7. Is there a list of all the companies you looked into? I skimmed over most of your articles and did not see one about WFMED.

  8. I have been researching today and I was hoping to get outside feedback on Essential Depot. It seems they would be a worthy company to look into. While their prices are lower than most. It seems they have a valid reason to be. They do publish testing results, and talk about their oils in a straight forward way. Adrienne, if you do get curious and decide to research them more I would be grateful to hear your results.

  9. Sh'reen Morrison says:

    There are a number of reputable companies out there. I agree with one of the comments – that you started with a basis toward the company with which you were already connected.

    I signed up under a friend ( who has had a health food store for more than 18 years ) with Doterra. She was teaching classes for a while until she was making tons of money and focused on that. When I decided to attend Aromatherapy school in Sedona, AZ her comment was – Work on your downline. The less you know the better.

    Well, I went to school for 3 weeks and came back knowing that as a Doterra Wellness Advocate ( $35.00 to sign up ) and first expensive purchase hardly qualified me to tell anyone anything about how to live with essential oils.

    During our class we discussed various companies – Doterra, Young Living, Mountain Rose and a few others. We also talked about Robert Tisserand who no longer owns his company but is thought of highly in the Essential oil world as well as his daughter Maggie Tisserand who wrote the book Aromatherapy VS MRSA. Robert’s book is expensive but worth it and Maggie’s is a very informative and well written book about the expanding problems with antibiotics and that relationship with essential oils.

    I do buy Doterra but do not wish to be tied to WHEN my order must be placed and get POINTS ! I will buy the basic ones from them and also found the Deep Blue was very successful in decreasing pain for a number of my friends. I didn’t try it since I have no pain but they all loved it. I now make my own blends one-on-one for my friends and family.

    I buy mostly from Stillpoint Aromatics in Sedona, AZ. Those are the women from whom I took the 3 week class last summer. Sedona is a lovely place to be in the summer – beats Yuma any day of the week ! I also have bought from Young Living, Mountain Rose, Plant Therapy, Tisserand and a few companies outside the US.

    It is my opinion that there is no such thing as THE BEST ESSENTIAL OIL COMPANY IN THE WORLD in terms of the oils they sell. Obviously there may be other considerations like just ” feeling ” better about them for some reason ( which is fine ), loving the GC/MS organic chemist for some reason especially if he is French, liking the idea of the MLM aspect for potential earnings ( given some are pricy like Rose Otto ( Rosa damascena ) which is steam distilled as opposed to Rose Absolute ( Rosa centifolia ) which is solvent extracted – article about the differences of these two is found on website, or having a strong personal connection like I have with Stillpoint Aromatics in Sedona. Stillpoint has about 288 essential oils plus absolutes, carrier oils, hydrosols, etc.

    A friend of mine is also with Doterra but noted that their 5ml Helichrysum ( Helichrysum italicum ) was $75.00 and Stillpoint Aromatics was $85.00 ( without my student discount ). We have not smelled them side by each to see which we like better or if they are simply ” different.”

    Stillpoint Aromatics distills their own pines and firs since they are native to Sedona. All the rest come from small farmers and distillers worldwide. In addition, they have a GC/MS report button for each essential oil which has been sent to them by the organic chemist ( in France, of course ) with whom they have dealt for many years. You can read it there or print it out. I have never seen that with any of the essential oils I bought from other companies.

    • Hello there.

      Thanks for commenting.

      I think that I addressed this numerous times, however, but I did not have a bias towards any one company when I started, except towards doTERRA b/c I was told that I could expect to make about $8,000 per month by staying with them. I didn’t want to leave as that was attractive.

      You can see in the first post that initially I basically wrote off Native American Nutritionals, but later talked to the owner at great length (many many hours) and stayed with them. After I chose to go w/ them they said that they would get an affiliate program in place, but it was very primitive at first.

      I am sure that Sedona is lovely and I do think that I looked at Stillpoint, or perhaps just heard of them on the way.

      Of course there is no “best” essential oils company. I thought I could possibly find such a thing when I started out, but then it became clear that there are too many companies, but I choose what I felt most comfortable with and where I felt I could trust the owner. Now the field is opened even wider and it’s crazy out there. Simply crazy.

      As for the GC/MS reports, they are available through RMO/NAN and more is coming in that arena. I think you’ll like what you see.

      May I ask why you said “In France, of course) about the GC/MS? You can have qualified testing done in many places.

      Thanks again.

  10. Michelle Cook says:

    Hi Adrienne,
    I read a portion of your series from a link I found on Pinterest only two months ago. The part in the series actually compared amounts of oils needed during an illness vs. an antibiotic and cough med. I can no longer find it! Am I crazy? Please help. It really interested me as a pharmacist loving alternative medicine!

  11. Hi! I didn’t see you mention in your article that the founder of doTERRA used to work for Young Living! Young Living owns their own farms which I love and doTERRA does not. If you look into it you will find a great many shady things about David Hill. Research the documents and books he wrote, the time he said he was a licensed chiropractor. how many people he said he treated in the state he was licensed in, and how long he was actually there. There are many things that just do not add up! There is also a lawsuit between doTERRA and Young Living because doTERRA basically copied them.
    I buy from Edens Garden. I absolutely love them, but if finances allowed, I would be getting all my oils from Young Living.

  12. I was wondering what brand of essential oil diffuser you would recommend. There are so many of
    them out there.

  13. Betty Ishoy says:

    I’d love to know what your research shows about Melaleuca’s PURE Essential Oil line. They seem more reasonably priced than doTerra or YL, but is the quality the same? Thanks

    • I didn’t really look at them b/c of the unsavory ingredients in their other products – acesulfame potassium, artificial colors and flavors.

      • I would like to know what research has been done on Melaleuca PURE EO’s. I bought some and love them, but recently, my friend told me her Doterra is much more potent and that Melaleucas smell weak. Tonight, I smelled another friends YL Thieves, it was way more potent (Cinnamon)smelling than my Melaleuca Armor. Is this because the company is diluting it, or has different amounts of a particular oil in the blend? I’m scared I have an inferior product.

        • Hi there. I haven’t researched Melaleuca b/c I see they have artificial flavors and fragrance in their products. Plus they use acesulfame potassium which I have concerns about. I hope that helps. If an oil is pure then potency shouldn’t be an issue. Thieves has a higher concentration of clove which smells very intense. Melaleuca’s main ingredient is cinnamon oil.

  14. Linda L. Suraci says:

    Hi, thanks for all the info. Just took my first class on chakras & oils, the teacher, after using other oils is now using Edens Gardens & they sound very moral & ethical. So I will try theirs. I have had autoimmune issues for over 30 years & it’s time to try something else for pain & fatigue!!

  15. I would like to know if you looked at Edens Garden oils and how good they are.

    • I did look at them. I decided against them – I haven’t really looked again since then. Thanks for reading.

      • Hi,
        May I ask why? I’m not looking to debate. I was looking at them to purchase from but haven’t pulled the trigger yet before looking at some reviews. It would be helpful if you wouldn’t mind explaining why you decided against them. Thank you!

        • Hi there.

          Things in this industry change so fast — I would have to look back over my notes from 2013. From what I see, companies are changing what they do fairly regularly – where they are sourcing from, how they are extracting, etc. – so even if I did share why, much of that can change at the drop of a hat. One thing I can say is that I think that the company that I went with has top of the line quality controls even to batch tracking — so you can actually get the GC/MS test for the exact bottle that you have. They also have a very generous 90 day return policy. I hope that helps.

  16. Hi, I was wondering if anyone has ever heard of “FABULOUS FANNIE essential oils….and if so are they reputable?

  17. Sorry if I’ve missed it … interested in your findings on Edens Garden Essential Oils.

  18. Ray Santos says:

    We as distributors and customers, are requesting the following answers from Young Living Essential Oils, regarding the cinnamon bark testing of Young Living oil.
    1. Please provide a response to the C-14 testing done showing 56% synthetics by the University of Georgia on Lot#15B10032
    2. Why have you not provided the mass spectrometry output and tabulation for the testing done by Chemtech, in house testing, or Herve Casabianca?
    3. Why was the test preformed by Chemtech only a 20 minute test, when industry standard is 90-120 minutes for complete separation of co-elution?
    4. While coumarin can be expected in cinnamon bark, the LEVEL of coumarin suggests this is cassia oil. Remarks?
    5. In the Chemtech testing, the compound (1-Ethylbuta-1,3-dienyl) benzene is actually the Phenylpentadienal, it is not present in the NIST library. It also should not be present in the oil. Why is it in there?
    6. Chemtech is a lab not associated with the testing of essential oils. Why was this lab used?
    7. Why have you not provided us with the detailed ‘in house’ test results, or the test results from Herve Casabianca?
    8. Although plinol has been found to naturally occur in grapes, the analysts who issued the ‘failed’ report have stated that plinol is not a compound that occurs in cinnamon bark oil. Why is this found in our oil?
    *** 9. Can you explain why your own 3rd party testing lab, Chemtech-Ford Laboratories, found 1,2,4,5 – tetraethyl-benzene (Durene) which is a petroleum by-product of gasoline production was found in the oil tested by that company?

    • Wow Ray Santos: Where did you get this info? You sound like you know you chemostry and i’ve used every-company out therie except doTerra. What is you take on the “Population Lavender” sold by Bulk Apothecary and New Directions? I have personally purchased Lavender from all the major E’O companies but Population Lavender is incredibly strong and heals wounds and my sunburns so much quicker. Do you know of this “Population Lavender” I think it was New Directions or Bulk Apothecary that has a GCMS on it. does it have the right stuff?

      • Hi Nicholas. Ray is, I think, talking about information that has been around about Young Living’s oils that were thought to have been adulterated. I don’t think he would have information on Bulk Apothecary and New Directions. I would personally, however, not purchase an oil that I wasn’t sure I was able to see the GC/MS of that batch, however. I just got an email from a company that sells a lot of oils and they said they had been trusting their suppliers. However they just started doing the GC/MS testing and now they find that there were synthetics in some of their oils- including some that were certified organic. So we really have to be careful about where we are buying our oils.

    • Thanks for the rapid response. I really like YL but even as a membor I find their prices a bit high. You mentioned you spoke with the owner of RMO/NAN, someone said “Paul” quit working there because of some practices or quality issues he disagreed with. Was he the one you spoke hours with? Once I heard that, I saw everything change on their website, bottles etc. I’m also seeing YL having oils like Valor II. Honestly, for the cost, is there any Bulk essential oil company you trust? i want more than 15ml of the essential oils I use which is only Peppermint, oregano, cypress, lavender and frankincense sacra.

      • You are welcome. I have spoken with the owner of both companies. Paul at NAN and Michael at RMO. I am not sure what you mean about Paul quitting working there. He was the owner of NAN. Then the companies merged and RMO bought NAN. I am a little confused.

        They have gradually changed things. Now they have a whole new look. I am currently looking into other companies to meet the needs of my readers. I am not done, but working on it. How much do you need? I do think that RMO is working on having more bulk options.

  19. Are Edens Garden Oils Legit? I use them and like them but now I’m wondering!?!?

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