Most of you tuned in for my recent posts on essential oils in which I talked about:
- How I originally thought essential oils were a scam) and
- How we used essential oils for headaches and tummy aches and more (with more of my skeptical thoughts)
From all the comments and enthusiasm about this giveaway and the other posts, I can tell you are just as interested in learning about essential oils as I am.
I think you could also tell by those posts that I am a skeptic at heart and pretty detailed when it comes to sorting through all the information out there to find out what really works. One of my readers (a friend of mine) once called me an “investigative reporter” of sorts. My husband says that I “second guess everything.”
Well, not everything :-).
In one sense, second guessing is a good thing. I've saved our family a lot of money by avoiding problematic purchases.
But sometimes I can go overboard and spend waaaaay too much time analyzing a product or purchase. (Kind of like driving all over town to save a few pennies. Not smart, especially as I saw gas at $4.11/gallon coming home from church last night. Deep sigh.)
With the essential oils issue, I tried not to be too analytical at first. But then…..
You read in the Are Essential Oils a Scam? – A Skeptic Looks at Thieves Oil, how I held off trying really any oils at all for years before trying Thieves.
(Well, truth be told, I do have a few old bottles of essential oils in my linen closet. One bottle each of orange, eucalyptus, tea tree oil, and rose oil, which I bought for topical use to brighten up my laundry [ended up never using it] and for my Homemade Decongestant Rub and Homemade Rose Water Spray [which I love, by the way].)
This time around, before buying the Thieves oil and signing up as a Young Living Distributor, I dug around a little, but not too much. I asked about all the rumors surrounding Gary Young, the founder of Young Living and I also asked some questions about purity of their essential oils.
I got some satisfactory answers and I figured that well, this stuff worked really well. And I was thrilled to have great resources in my natural health care arsenal. I mean, who wants to put more toxins in your body if you don't have to, right?
However, after my post on Young Living's Thieves and the other oils (Wintergreen and Peppermint, etc.), a number of readers started asking me about other oil companies–if they were good enough, or not that great. And so I started wondering.
At first, I thought, “This stuff (Young Living) works great, and I'm pretty worn out right now, so I am just going to leave this alone.”
But the “investigative reporter” in me just couldn't leave. it. alone.
So I started poking around.
Today I'm sharing with you the beginning of my investigation.
There were some essential oils companies that I knew of, and some that a few readers recommended to me.
One of my readers was a doTERRA rep who said I really should check out their company to see how it measured up to Young Living.
Little did I know what lay ahead of me.
The world of essentials oils is big. Very big.
It did start out quite small for me, however. Just a small list of companies. I started out looking into these companies, but the list quickly grew as the series went on and as more and more readers commented and as I went down more and more rabbit trails. I think you will find the whole thing interesting and I hope you will learn a thing or two about essential oils and the companies that sell them.
(UPDATE: A lot changed after I started this series. Please follow the links at the bottom of this post to see how interesting everything got – you can hop on over to read Part 2 of “The Best Essential Oils” here.
To start off, following are the essential oils companies that were “on my radar” and so I started with these, wondering if I should stick with Young Living or switch to another company to be my family's “best essential oils company” of choice.
- Heritage Oils
- Native American Nutritionals
- North American Herb and Spice
- Mountain Rose Herbs
- Aura Cacia
- Young Living (the one being challenged)
- and more. Truth is, I called a TON of companies and read up on others. These all included NOW oils, Butterfly Express, Spark Naturals, Edens Garden, and on and on. My head really started to spin with all of the phone calls and notes I was taking, but I started with just the 7 listed above and went from there.
There are a TON of essential oils companies out there. After writing this series I felt like I really opened a can of worms, but these are the companies that I started with. Hang with me – it gets pretty interesting from here on out.
1. HERITAGE OILS
A few readers mentioned this company in the comments section of my post on Are Essential Oils a Scam ~ A Skeptic Looks at Thieves Oil. They said that their oils were very high quality and inexpensive.
Since high quality and inexpensive are right up my alley (but they typically don't go together, right?), I looked them up.
Problem #1. No phone number. (UPDATE: A few readers have mentioned that they do have a phone number on their site. I did not take a screenshot of their site so I am not able to prove one way or another that there was or wasn't a phone number on the site. It's possible that there was and that I missed it or that it was a long distance phone number and we didn't have free long distance at the time so I didn't want to pay to call (being the frugalista that I am :)). In either case, I tried to contact them a different way.)
Oh well, I tried to contact them through their Contact Form.
Still – over two weeks later–no response.
THE VERDICT: Since I couldn't get a timely response, I decided not to go with this company.
- I've had allergic reactions to a few oils and Young Living has promptly refunded my money over the phone.
- I've also had 2 bottles of oil leaking on arrival and I've gotten replacements for them on the spot.
I LOVE good customer service and I am willing to pay extra for it.
Also, customer service aside, if a company is that hard to get a hold of, then I really don't feel comfortable using their oils internally on mine or my children's bodies.
UPDATE: Several readers have commented that Heritage has great customer service and that I made unfair comments about them. First, that they do indeed have a phone number on their site, and secondly that they have fabulous customer service.
First of all, I only reported what happened to me. I contacted Heritage on 3/12/2012 and didn't hear back from them until 5/22/12, well after the publication of this post. I have the emails in my inbox from them to prove it. I am sure you can understand that I felt that I didn't receive good customer service. Linda, the owner, was very kind when she responded and said her response had been sitting in her draft folder.
Regarding them not having a phone number, I can only say that I didn't notice one. It is possible that they put it up later. It is also possible that I didn't notice it or that it was a toll call and I didn't have free long distance at the time. I do not like paying for phone calls and really didn't at the time of this posting.
I hope this clears everything up.
2. NATIVE AMERICAN NUTRITIONALS
When I first contacted this company, I thought that their prices seemed a little high for a non MLM (multi-level marketing) company, but the more I talked to them the more interesting it all got.
You'll have to read more in the series to see what happened.
Probable high quality with no apparent earnings opportunity. Need to check into this company more.
3. NORTH AMERICAN HERB AND SPICE
From all I could figure out, this is a great company.
Trouble is, all they make is oregano oil.
So if you just want oregano oil, then this is a good place to turn.
THE VERDICT: Oregano is a pretty amazing oil, but I want more than just that in my natural healing arsenal.
4. Mountain Rose Herbs
I like Mountain Rose Herbs' mission and have a few bottles of their oils. When I contacted them they told me that they did not recommend internal use of their oils as they were not produced in a food grade facility. Much later (after this whole series was done) I contacted them again and they said that this was not the case. I need to do more looking in to their sourcing, etc.
5. Aura Cacia
Aura Cacia is adamant about not using their oils internally.
I personally have a number of Aura Cacia's oils that I bought prior to really digging into oils. I can't say anything except for my personal experience which is that they don't smell as potent as some of the other oils that I have. I do like the company and I purchase from Frontier Co op regularly, but I'm not choosing to get my oils from them. That being said, I think that they have a lot of great information about oils and their use.
Well, this is a long enough post already – thanks for sticking with me!
Onto the other competitors in the next post and see what happens!
Looking for more information on Essential Oils?
There are sooo many books out there. I have a bunch, but this one, Advanced Aromatherapy, is in my shopping cart at Amazon now. Comes very highly recommended.