Which Essential Oils Company is Best? ~ Part 6–Personal Attacks, Bias, and Distillation

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!

Before I move on to the controversial issues in this post, here are the links to the other posts in this series.

Which Essential Oils Company is Best? – Part 1
Best Essential Oils -What a Good Oils Company Should Have – Part 2
Which Essential Oils Company is Best – Troubles with the Oils Industry – Part 3
– Young Living vs. doTERRA – Part 4
Are Multi-Level Marketing Oils Worth It? – Part 5
Announcing “the Best” Essential Oils Company – Part 7 **

**Attention** – Some readers say that they can’t access the Part 7.  If that is a problem for you, could I ask you to comment or email me at wholenewmom{at} gmail {dot} com, and you can go to this post to get access to the company that I chose.  Is Essential Oils Testing Reliable?

Now, back to the controversy.

I am typically not a fan of sensationalist titles for posts, but in this case, I kind of couldn’t resist.

Ads by Healthy Ads

First of all, I need to apologize that I am going to have to push out the “announcement” day of the Best Essential Oils Series–just one more day.

Why?  Let me explain.

I really didn’t want to do this, but I felt that with all the controversy going on regarding my review process that I should take time to address more issues that have come up during this series.  I want you to know that I am doing my homework and that I take what I am doing very seriously.

If you’ve been following along with the whole Best Essential Oils series, and have read the comments, you’ve seen that there have been a number of statements made, mostly by Dr. Robert Pappas.  What you may not know is that he has been commenting about my posts, and my blog, on his Facebook page, and has private messaged me on Facebook a number of times.

I’ve had a load of stuff on my plate these past few weeks (meh–still do), so it has taken me awhile to do enough research into some of his more scientific statements so that I could respond intelligently.

Today I am going to do so.  Because of the subject matter, this is going to be a much more lengthy post than usual, but I really thought it all needed to be addressed.

 1.  Source of Information

Pappas has insinuated, or directly asserted, that some of my statements with which he disagrees originated with Young Living (YL).  That is completely not true.  Here is one of his quotes from the comments on Part 4 of the Best Essential Oils Series:

Hi, just wanted to clear up some things concerning your comments about 1st, 2nd, 3rd distillations because this is an area of misinformation that, as far as I can tell, originates from the YL reps going back quite a number of years and just never seems to die down.

This is just one of many claims that I am repeating information from YL.

Yes, I was a Young Living rep, but interestingly enough, the information that I got about these distillations of peppermint came from doTERRA’s support.  You can see this in the next section about distillation.

2.  Distillation of oils -1st, 2nd, 3rd and Complete

At the center of a lot of the controversy regarding my oils series is the distillation methods of oils, particularly peppermint.

I stated in Part 4 that doTERRA’s peppermint oil was a “complete distill.”  Here is Pappas response from the comments:

“Who was it that told you their oil was “complete”? The word “complete” is not even a word that anyone in the essential oil industry would even use to describe a peppermint oil. Complete is used to describe a grade of Ylang Ylang oil and thats [sic] about it. Generally the best therapeutic oils also smell the best, at least thats [sic] been my experience.”

Here is an excerpt from the email that I received from the assistant to Dr. Hill, Chief Medical Advisor for doTERRA.  Please note that she both uses the word “complete” and also discusses the 3 distillation stages to describe doTERRA’s peppermint.

Please apologize to her [Adrienne], I’m not sure why she didn’t receive the
response.  You can let her know that our Peppermint uses complete
distillation.  There is 1st, 2nd, 3rd, and complete and we use complete.

I hope this is helpful!

Thanks,


Haylee Caplin
doTERRA Product Support

Pappas also commented:

Anyway, regarding peppermint (and essential oils in general for that matter), there typically is no such concept as a 1st, 2nd or 3rd distillation.

and then later in a comment that I hadn’t approved until now (because I wanted to do more research before putting the information out there):

As for your question about the “1st distillation” I am guessing you might not have read my post completely about this or perhaps you just don’t believe me but this term is NEVER used in the industry and I would strongly recommend that you not use it either because its [sic] a misleading term. There is typically only ONE steam distillation of an oil to remove the oil from its plant material. When people say 1st distillation or 2nd distillation it conjures up images of redistilling the already spent botanical to get a less inferior oil. Nobody does this.

Well, this is a lot of info to digest, but here goes.

First of all, there are a host of references to these 1st, 2nd, and 3rd distillations that I found.

References to 1st, 2nd, and 3rd Distillations from Oils Companies

These are references to this kind of distillation that I easily found doing an internet search:

1.  “Even an oil which is quite truthfully described as pure may be of poor quality, and therefore of less value  therapeutically.  IF AN ESSENTIAL OIL COSTS MUCH LESS THAN YOU WOULD NORMALLY EXPECT  TO PAY FOR IT, the oil may well be a third or fourth distillate from a batch of plant material which has already  yielded the greater part of its properties to the first or second distillation.” Aromatherapy An A-Z, by Patricia Davis, 1988, reprinted 1994, Saffron Walden, The C.W. Daniel Company Ltd., England, pp. 278-280.

2.  “LOW PRICES MAY ALSO MEAN THE OIL IS A SECOND OR THIRD DISTILLATION OF THE PLANT  MATERIAL, in which case it will have far less therapeutic value.” – from Holistic Aromatherapy, A. Berwick, 1994, Llewellyn Pub., St. Paul, MN pp. 168.

3.  Brambleberry.com sells different distillations of peppermint oils.  From their site: Peppermint Essential Oil (1st distillation)This is an herbaceous, sweet smelling peppermint. It is less brisk smelling than the 2nd distillation and contains slightly less menthol

4.  From Mountain Rose Herbs’ website: “All of the oils offered by Mountain Rose Herbs are derived from the first distillation–never the second, third or fourth!”

5.  From The Herbs Place:  “Oil comes from the first distillations of the raw plant material.” when referring to why their oils are therapeutic grade.

I personally spoke with several people in the EO field and this is what I have heard (of course, given the scope of this post, this is a summary only).

1.  Most plants are distilled only once because they don’t produce enough oil for multiple distillations.

2.  Peppermint is an interesting plant in that it yields more oil than most others.  As such, large farms and distilleries extract a bunch of oil from the peppermint plant

Smaller farms do a first distillation of peppermint that they sell to oils companies for the highest price.

The peppermint is then re-distilled at a higher pressure and higher temperature for a 2nd distill, and the resulting oil is sold for less money to soap companies, and the like, that want a lower cost oil, but still desire a slightly “herby” smell.

The plant is then re-distilled one more time at a yet higher temperature and pressure for a 3rd distill, which is sold to companies wanting the candy-cane smelling oil.

3.  Ylang Ylang is an exception to this rule.  It is distilled first for a short time, yielding the most coveted “ylang ylang extra.”  The distiller is shut down, the oil collected, and then it is distilled further to produce “ylang ylang 1.”  (UPDATE: I just heard that most distillers don’t shut down the distiller, but merely change out the containers to keep the oil grades separate and continue distilling.)  This continues to subsequently produce “ylang ylang 2” and “ylang ylang 3.”  Then, all 4 varieties of ylang ylang are combined to make “ylang ylang complete,” which is preferred by some, but is priced lower than “ylang ylang extra.”

 3.  Bias and Motivation

On his Facebook page, Pappas and his followers have talked about what my motives are:

Perhaps it will all be clear on Tuesday when she makes her great reveal….I can’t help but question the motives here.

There were also numerous statements by Pappas that his company doesn’t sell oils, but that he is merely an unbiased chemist who educates and tests oils for various companies.

He is the man who tests oils for doTERRA.  That means he is inherently biased.  doTERRA pays him to authenticate the quality of their oils so, I don’t see how it could be that he doesn’t have an interest in their oils being represented as being superior.

If doTERRA does well, Pappas does well.  At least on some level.

Again, as for my bias, it is for finding an oils company with the best qualities that I can find, at the best price.

Nothing more.  If the company that I recommend ends up having ethical or quality issues, then I won’t recommend them anymore.  Plain and simple.

There are loads of money-making opportunities that I have passed up because I can’t, in good conscience, take them.  I have blocked the URL’s of companies whose ads I disapprove of, all which have led to less income for me.

One other point that I am a little confused about: Pappas has said over and over again that he is very concerned that I am putting out wrong information about the oils.  I am a lover of information as well, so I appreciate that.

However, in one of his comments to me, regarding my questioning why Emily Wright and David Hill are spreading apparently incorrect information about their peppermint oil, his reply was:

What they say in their marketing is not something I concern myself with with, just as its not my concern what any other company who sends me samples for analysis does with their marketing descriptions.

I don’t understand why Pappas thinks it’s crucial to correct apparent misinformation that comes from me, but not misinformation that comes from what is likely his main employment source, and one of the biggest sources of EO information in the U.S.

4.  Vomit and Peppermint Oil

Sorry for the sensationalist title here.

In the comments section of Part 4 of the series, Pappas states:

The thing about peppermint oil is that when its [sic] freshly distilled it contains very tiny amounts of some sulfurous components as well as some small aldehydes (namely isomers of isovaleraldehyde, also found in vomit) that, while minuscule in percentage, are such powerful components that you can smell them at ppm levels. The effects of these components can be minimized with age and evaporation because they are very volatile, but another way to get rid of these undesirables is to take the crude freshly distilled oil and then use a different distillation setup to fractionally vacuum distill away this tiny amount oil, thus giving the remaining oil a much better flavor, sweeter aroma…

Well, again, I am not an expert here, but I looked up isovaleraldehyde and vomit and there were no mentions of isovaleraldehyde being in vomit.  The only connections between the two seem to be that exposure to isovaleraldehydes can lead to vomiting.  I would need to see sources for this information because I couldn’t find any.  In fact the main (almost all) results of my search were only Pappas stating this on my blog and on various Facebook pages.

Additionally, even if isomers of isovaleraldehyde are in vomit, that does not make them problematic.  For example, water and stomach acid are in vomit and so is food.  I drink water and eat food daily and I even take stomach acid to aid digestion and it basically served as a cure for rosacea for me.

I can understand some people finding the “herby” smell of 1st distill (or non re-distilled) peppermint to not be as pleasing as the “candy cane” smelling peppermint (like doTERRA’s).  However, that does not mean that it induces nausea.  In fact, peppermint oils that have not been redistilled, or adulterated / changed by vacuuming are regularly used for nausea and digestive upset.  See my post on Peppermint and nausea.

5.  Moderating of Comments – Am I Just Censoring?

Pappas and his followers have commented numerous times that I am not approving his and other related comments.

Here is one quote from his Facebook page (which contains numerous postings which insult me):

In case anyone has been following the discussion over at The Whole New Mom blog there was a post from Adrienne directed to me that never did get answered. I actually did answer her questions but for some reason my answer was never approved to be public. Since there where people here waiting for my response I am posting it here how it should have read, in case anyone was wondering what my answer was.

and this:

Wonder why she is too afraid to let me post unmoderated and she let you right on through. This is just too weird. It feels like I am dealing with YOU KNOW WHO LOL

The “YOU KNOW WHO” that Pappas is referring to is Young Living, at least that’s the best I can ascertain, based on his previous comments.

and this:

Thanks Syl [meaning Sylla Shephard Hangar, mentioned below] great to see you back into things as well. She had posted here, unmoderated I might add LOL

First of all, comments on Facebook, to my knowledge, can’t be moderated once they are posted.  They can only be deleted (or edited) by the admin of a page or edited or deleted by the person who posted them.  So Facebook comments and blog comments are completely different things.

On my blog, I do have all comments moderated.  I do that so that I can monitor what is going on on my blog and keep folks from link dropping (some of which can go to places w/ malware or simply be blatant self-promoting), plus I keep foul language, etc. off of my blog.

When there are particularly intense comments, I take awhile to respond and yes, sometimes comments fall through the cracks.  But I am not moderating them in order to censor people.  To the contrary, I think that I approve many more negative comments than most bloggers.  I enjoy the back and forth of ideas and think it’s healthy for the “marketplace of ideas.”  Many bloggers consider negative comments to be from trolls and so they delete and and all – but I don’t do that.

But I do not think verbal abuse and rude behavior is OK.

Many bloggers moderate comments and I have only once, in 2 years of blogging, had someone email me to ask why I hadn’t approved their comment.  In this case, Pappas private messaged me on Facebook several times, asking me why I wasn’t approving his.  (I have heard that now you need to pay to private message non-friends on Facebook, but I haven’t verified this yet.)

However, one thing that really concerns me is his (and his followers’) accusations on his Facebook page  that I am not willing to get the truth out or that I have something to hide.  To the contrary, that is why I held comments in moderation–because I wanted time to get to the bottom of things as best as I could before posting their information.

Some examples of what has been said about me:

By Pappas:

Wow, I guess this is what happens when people start fearing having other people around who know more than they do. Instead of wanting to learn more themselves they turn to protection mode so they can be the star of the show. Sad really. I tried to give her the benefit of the doubt, even defended her a couple of times. It is upsetting though when she directed questions specifically at me and I attempted to answer but she won’t let me respond so people think I just chose to ignore her. Oh well, I have enough to keep me busy anyway. Thanks for trying.

I am not someone who fears having others with whom I disagree around.  I thrive on learning and have been interviewing many companies in preparation for this series.

And I will do so again in a future series on Heavy Metal Toxicity.

Here is another comment by Ann McIntire Wooledge:

She has really started a stir and I guess that’s what she planned on, but she is ultimately making herself look rather uninformed and UNeducated. The best thing she could do now is to just admit she doesn’t even know what a chemical constituent is and much less how to decide where would be the best company to buy essential oils – and stop this stupidity.

and more (this by Pappas):

That blog site is the most confusing I have seen in a while. I cannot even see a link to Part 5, how the heck did you find it?

and yet another (by Sylla Sheppard-Hanger):

scrolled thru the nonsense of her facebook page to find

one more by “Cher Aromapothecare”

Excellent reply Dr. P. (The girl could use a class). I agree, CO2 (or perhaps florasols) would be maybe a little closer representation of a plant but even that’s a stretch.

more (this by Pappas):

What really ticks me off about is that she makes some honest mistakes concerning essential oils in general that alot [sic] of people make, then I go on there and write an in depth post to clear some things up and she doesn’t let it through. I don’t know maybe I am taking this too personal. I really don’t care who she concludes is the best oil company I only wanted to clear up misconceptions and general points. It reminds me of when I posted on some YL rep sites to get them good info only to be banned because the facts were not jiving with the programming from their messiah [sic].

and finally (again by Sylla Sheppard-Hanger)

 all we can do is expose her and better yet the statements….its given me plenty of fodder for my new blog series!!!

Enough,eh?  I frankly am really disgusted by this behavior.

I am really disappointed at the behavior and negative comments thrown my way throughout this and hope that they will stop.

6.  About Me

Just to set the record straight, I don’t typically post my own “credentials,” but in this case I think they are warranted.
I don’t have an advanced degree, but the learning I have done since my undergraduate degree has been extensive.

Here is my background:

1.  Top of my class in high school from a top level school.
2.  Phi Beta Kappa from The University of Virginia, one of the top 15 schools in the country.
3.  Echols Scholar at The University of Virginia.  Admission to the Echols Scholar program is made based on “In brief, the Office of Admission looks for academic excellence, intellectual leadership, and evidence of the ability to grapple with complex topics.” (Source).  Apparently this group is representative of the top 2% of the University.  Graduated with a 3.97 GPA.
4.  Taught Equity Options Valuation at the Chicago Board of Trade to options traders and MBAs
5.  Worked as a Manager in Employee Benefits
6.  Independent Life, Health, and Disability Agent for 7+ years
7.  Taught in Japan for one year and achieved near conversational fluency.
8.  Research-minded mom of a child with life-threatening food allergies.
9.  If I might jokingly add this, one of my local friends has called me the “investigative reporter” of health food and products.  ;-).

Basically, what I am saying here is…I am not a genius, but I am not an intellectual slouch either.  I don’t mean this to discredit anyone else, but I am a deep thinker and am very concerned about excellence in research and learning and in conveying accurate information to you.

One final point.  A few folks on Pappas’ Facebook page have commented that I have removed links to Pappas’ Facebook page and website.  At first, I left all links left by Pappas and his followers, but I ended up going back through and deleting them because they were:

1.  excessive and
2.  resulted in basically blatant self-promoting.

Pappas doesn’t allow advertising for oils companies on his page and I am choosing not to permit promotion of sites that deride my character in this manner.  At the beginning of this matter, Pappas seemed to be congenial, but as you can see from the comments above, that has changed.

If Pappas’ and his followers’ behavior changes and I receive an apology that is not followed by more maligning, then I will consider allowing the links.

7.  Troubling Questions

One thing that surprised me is that I think that the concerns I posted about Young Living were more controversial, and yet, to my knowledge, I haven’t received any negative comments from any YL reps.  When I signed up with doTERRA I heard from a lot of reps how negative and accusatory they felt the YL reps were.
Not in my experience.

Just to make it clear: I am not saying that Robert Pappas doesn’t have significant qualifications.  He has extensive studies in the chemistry of oils and I don’t.  Clearly there must be a reason or reasons for the differing facts here, or at least there is a different way of looking at the industry.

– Is it because he is mainly a chemist and the former owner of The Perfumery?
– Is it because he worked for / was closely connected with doTERRA?
– Why does he concern himself so much about what “little old me” says when the owners of doTERRA contradict each other–and him–while speaking around the world, via meetings, videos and more, to audiences much bigger than mine?
– Why has he spilled so much electronic ink to challenge and insult me when none of the other oils companies that have been critiqued in my posts have expressed any concern?

I don’t know.  I am just trying to share what I am learning so that you can make a better decision about what kind of oils you want to use for therapeutic usage for your family.

To see the other Best Essential Oils Posts:

Which Essential Oils Company is Best? – Part 1
Best Essential Oils -What a Good Oils Company Should Have – Part 2
Which Essential Oils Company is Best – Troubles with the Oils Industry – Part 3
– Young Living vs. doTERRA – Part 4
Are Multi-Level Marketing Oils Worth It? – Part 5
Announcing “the Best” Essential Oils Company – Part 7 **

**ATTENTION!!!** – Some readers say that they can’t access the Part 7.  If that is a problem for you, could I ask you to comment or email me at wholenewmom{at} gmail {dot} com, and you can go to this post to get access to the company that I chose.  Is Essential Oils Testing Reliable?  I apologize and we are working hard to rectify the situation.**

I’m sure your head is spinning just like mine was.  I really only wanted to find the company that would provide high quality oils for my family at a decent price, without a bunch of headaches and extra costs attached to it. But I ended up with quite a headache here.
One thing that really interests me is making my own essential oils blends.
This book has loads of essential oils blends in it as well as information about sourcing your own medicinal herbs.  Fascinating!
The link to this book is an affiliate link so if you purchase after clicking on it I might make a commission. Your support of my blog is much appreciated and helps keep this free resource up and running. 
The Essential Oils Book
 Thanks for hanging in there with me.  
I’d love to hear your thoughts (but I reserve the right to moderate comments :-)).
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.

Comments

    Speak Your Mind

    *

  1. Katie Haley says:

    I’ve enjoyed reading all of your blog posts, I have a small essential oil company which I have run for 15 years, educating people when not too many knew about it. Many of us in the business don’t take YL or DoTerra very seriously for a multitude of reasons, however I believe in the power of Mother Nature and the aromatic plants are gifts for us. In the end as long as we find and cherish them, that’s all the matters. Thanks for taking a good look and informing others to do the same. Wishing you and your children health & happiness.

    • Thank you!!

    • So Katie, what is the best company?

    • The person doing this blog works for the company she reccomends. The second I saw that, all information/opinions given went out the window. I cannot in good conscience, for example, tell a friend, “oh, this person reccomends company xyz… and by the way she works for them too.” I suspect that because you were offered a job, that there is absolutely no conceivable way you could ever say anything against them. or you’d lose your job.

      • Hi Sherry. I don’t work for anyone but myself. As I mentioned before, I was with Young Living and doTERRA and the doTERRA rep I signed up under told me that I could make $8K per month with my blog traffic. As I learned more about the company and asked questions that weren’t answered the way that I wanted them, I felt I needed to leave and started making calls to other companies. It was a very very long process and it was literally agonizing. I told my husband that it was hard to turn down that money b/c going w/ NAN and RMO meant I had no idea what. They didn’t even have an affiliate program but they said they would start one with me.

        So it was a big risk. I have told them on no uncertain terms that if I find a reason that I can’t trust them then I will dump them like a hot potato. And I will. I’m doing the best I can to be honest and upright in everything I do. I have dumped other companies that I am affiliated with before and I will do it again if need be. I hope that helps you understand the situation.

        As for not saying anything against a company, if you check out Young Living’s contract, you aren’t even allowed to recommend another company for 1 year after terminating with them. Even if you don’t make money off of the new company. I have no such agreement with NAN and RMO. Thanks and hope that helps. Happy to answer more questions if you have more.

  2. I just came across all this great information. I am a complete skeptic that started using YL oils about a month ago with some excellent results. I appreciate all this work and research and am appalled at the treatment you received. Knowledge is power! Keep up the good work!!

  3. I recently signed up with one of the companies you reviewed and just now found your blog. I found your review to be objective and full of good information. I was amazed at the negative comments in your post for Part 6. I hope my comment will be an encouragement to you. Thanks for sharing all that you learned!

  4. Hi. WOW ! I just now stumbled onto this about EO’s……… I am with Doterra but DO NOT sell it. I only use it for me and my family. The oils are too costly to share with others (unless they buy) and I don’t have any interest in making a profit off of people’s health. I don’t feel qualified for this either. I get lots of pressure to “sell” but refuse. I also HATE MLM type companies and DT is one of them. That is ME though. Oh- I also found another VERY reputable company to order oils from- GOOD oils that isn’t an MLM, just so you know.
    Anyway, I don’t have time to read all of your “posts” WOW ! I am blown away just by the ONE I shimmed……So, which oils ARE the best ? Please tell me there is a simple answer and if Doterra is “bad” in your opinion ? TIA

    • Hi there. I hope you got to the end…. I don’t mind all MLMs, but I don’t care for the oils ones. http://wholenewmom.com/health-concerns/natural-remedies/announcing-the-best-essential-oils-company-and-a-great-sale/

      • I need to figure out how to read until the end. :) As for your personal attacks……Sorry. No one deserves that just for sharing their opinions and facts with others BUT……I’m not surprised either. Again, I’m with Doterra oils and HATE the fact they are an MLM type company. Really, I do. I don’t “feed” into all their classes either. I guess one could say I’m not all that informed about them ? This is one reason I refuse to sell them. Anyway, I do hope I can find your conclusion soon. :) Blessings to you and THANKS for all you do !
        Oh- about the Lymes……..This comes from TICKS. Malaria comes from mosquitoes. :) I do research some things- NOT in any detail as you but I’ve never heard of mosquitoes carrying Lymes ?………..yet. LOL

        • Hi there. I don’t mind all MLMs but I couldn’t work w/ the oils ones. Did you find the final post :)?

          As for mosquitoes, it’s something a lot of blogger friends have been talking about and I do think some of their practitioners have been talking about. It makes sense – if it’s blood born and the mosquito bites a deer, then the Lyme virus is in there, right?

        • Not even a class on how to cook with oils? The one I went to was fabulous with a ton of ideas how to work oils into food and drink! And if you “HATE” the MLM type thing, just dont do it. Nothing really to get that worked up over.

  5. You did a whole series and chose native American nutritionals as the best oil company. But I see you are promoting Ava Anderson products and they have their own essential oil line. What is your feeling on their essential oils?

    • HI Chris – Ava doesn’t really have their own EO line. They just have a hostess gift set. I have done some research into their oils, but not as extensive as what I did w/ RMO / NAN. So far, they seem to be quite good and I did get the set for myself about 1 month ago. I think that Ava is particular about ingredients and I am confident using them. From the retail pricing that they put on the hostess gift, it appears that they have a higher price point than NAN / RMO do. I hope that helps. I do really like Ava’s products — a lot. If you’re interested in anything at all I would be more than happy to help with any product questions or help you regarding the business opportunity. I’ll shoot you an email as well so you have direct access to me. Take care.

  6. Thank you thank you thank you for all the unbiased leg work! i own a wellness center and do not like MLM because in a medical practice it is less professional so I’m ordering most of my oils from Native American. Again, thank you!

  7. Patrick Smith says:

    I am interested in what you found regarding NOW essential oils. Really enjoyed reading this blog series and appreciate the work you have done. Thanks and have a nice day.

  8. I just have to thank Robert Pappas for helping me understand the business better… and eliminate doTerra definitelly from my list even though my very best friend is a rep.

  9. Hello,
    I have just come across your blog and love this series! I have been researching EOs for a little bit while in school. Surprisingly I am in school for Pharmaceutical Sciences … making drugs not handing them out. (how I describe it :) ) I really take an interest in your desire to look for what else is out there and for quality in the EO brands. As a budding scientist I do not have the fancy degree titles(yet), but I do feel that alternative medicine can help where Western mess have failed or made matters worse! Example is when I was given a drug to help my depression/anxiety (on top of 2 others), it made me swing to the dark side of the spectrum. Funny enough I had taken the particular drug before and no ill effects! But when I told my doctor what was going on they just wanted to prescribe another drug, to fix the symptoms of the other!! So long story short(ish): changed doctor (Ph.D. In pharmacology & psychiatry), he took me off those two drugs and prescribed exercise, whole foods, and yoga.
    So reason 1 for me posting this is a thank you to you. A note that even doctors mess up or get things wrong unintentionally. And that I applaud anyone who is trying alternative treatments. (Long 1st reason right?)
    2nd reason- and this is my BIG reason for posting this…I have a problem with this post! But not what you say, it’s what Pappas said. I learned in Organic Chemistry 1(lecture and lab), about the different parts of distillation! We even got to do cinnamon and clove distillations! So cool. But for someone who is a chemist for companies (as apparently 3rd party) to say that this is not a “thing” is totally untrue! I can’t believe he would even say that! Just letting you know that in basic Org Chem 1 (which any biology, pharm sci or chemistry major must take) we are taught about the types of distillations and even go over the best one is the 1st distillation!!

    P.S. Sorry if this is long and rambling, it is late, I’m not proof reading my comment, but I had to say it.
    Thanks again for this article and the FRIENDLY inquiries and discussions it has ignited.

    • You are so welcome. So glad to hear that you are doing well! I appreciate what you wrote about distillation. I am not the caliber of scientist that you or he are, but I do appreciate this – thanks!~!!! Not rambling at all :). Hope to see you around again.

  10. I have to put in my 2 cents. I own an essential oil company and have a still and do a lot of distilling myself. Dr. P IS CORRECT that there is false information reported over and over by those who have never distilled a plant in their life. Once you squeeze all the juice from a lemon, it has nothing more to give. Same with plant material and distillation. Once the oil is extracted there is nothing left to give. Now several plants need to be distilled for long period of time and some have a lot of oil to give but once it’s done, it’s done. The terms of first second etc distillation are used by those who have never experienced it themselves nor questioned this. It’s the same with the term ‘therapeutic grade’. It means nothing yet it’s become something because of enough repetition yet those truly in the EO industry and not just sales people understand this. The only people in the industry that don’t respect dr. P AND HIS knowledge are those who truth don’t understand HIS role in the EO community. Yes he can be an ass and speaks his mind but it’s because of him so many fraudulent oil companies have been exposed. Perhaps you need to join the blue tansy analysis Facebook group and learn from the true experts in this field.

    • Hi there. Thanks for commenting.

      I do agree with you that there is false information from people who don’t distill – and there is also false information from those who do.

      I do respect Mr. Pappas and his knowledge, and I do understand his role in the EO industry, but there are some things he says that appear to be not accurate. Just like anyone w/ a lot of knowledge, even in one’s field this is possible. Did you see the comment about the chemical in vomit? I can’t find that to be validated anywhere. As for the distillation, there has been more information coming in about that and so I still stand by what I said. Open to being proven wrong, of course, but I don’t see a reason to concede at this point.

      My husband is a PhD as well and is well respected in his field, but he isn’t right about everything in his field and there are plenty of those in his field who are less on the ball than he is. One of them was from a high ranking university – I attended a talk that he did on my husband’s expertise, and even though I am a math / science person and not Liberal Arts, I could tell his errors immediately. It goes to show that one is not always correct despite the letter by his / her name. I hope that makes sense.

      I know about the Blue Tansy group and appreciate their attention to quality information. I still assert that RMO / NAN are high quality oils and among the best in the industry. Happy to dialogue more.

  11. Hello
    Thank you.
    I have been following your blog with interest and appreciate the work and time that you have devoted to this.. I am newly becoming involved in buying essential oils (EO) for my home and have already made a few purchases on the net that I regret……………hindsight is a wonderful thing.

    Since my first little (unsuccessful) foray into the world of EO, I am becoming more discerning when I look at oils. The internet can be useful or full of rubbish, frankly some of the misrepresentation about certain oils is astounding. I read of a the study on the use of EO for Autism spectrum disorder and noted that lavender was touted as highly successful and subsequently highly represented in blogs and for sale So I went and found that study and found that in fact lavender was the least successful. for that particular protocol.

    Knowledge is power and with it often comes controversy and robustness in discussions…… to thank you again.

  12. Treacy Gumeson says:

    Adrienne, a colleague and I just had a similar experience. We were verbally abused and insulted when we posed the simple question: “Why can’t I obtain the batch specific GC/MS test results from doTERRA that I need to have for the oils used in our aromatherapy certification courses?” I have a hard time believing that it is actually Dr. Pappas replying on his Essential Oil University Facebook site because his CV would indicate that he has a higher level of intelligence and critical thinking ability than that shown by whomever is posing as an experienced chemist on that page. We are both doTERRA Wellness advocates and our upline referred us to Dr. Pappas. In spite of this, we were even attacked by other doTERRA Wellness Advocates and told to leave his site and advised not to “let the door hit us where the good lord stitched us” by one of Dr. Pappas’ followers! If Dr. Pappas and his followers represent the professional business culture of doTERRA, then doTERRA has just lost credibility and a couple of good customers who have spent thousands of dollars on doTERRA products over the past year.

    • I’m so sorry about that. Very odd. Of course, someone else could be talking on the FB page but it for sure seemed to be him when my series was going on. Currently I have an assistant who helps me with my Facebook page, but she always states that she isn’t me when she responds to someone. At least I haven’t seen a time when she hasn’t :).

  13. I don’t see too many negative comments as you say you allow them through! Funny you didn’t mention you were an affiliate when you revealed your choice of oils. Totally shameful nonsense

    • Hi Linda. There are plenty of negative comments – including in the post you are reading. Not sure why you haven’t seen them?

      And I was very clear about the affiliate relationship. This paragraph is in the post:

      (Disclaimer. Just to be clear, I did not choose this company because I was able to become an affiliate for them, but I am one. I decided to work with them and then we made an arrangement where I could partner with them via my blog. If you make a purchase after clicking through to their site from mine, I will earn a commission, but your price remains that same.)

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