The Great Essential Oils Showdown ~ Which Essential Oils Company is Best? – Part 1

The information provided in this post is for informational purposes only and should not be construed as medical advice.
It is not a substitute for your doctor's care plan or advice.

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!

Post Updated 2/28/17

Essential oils are all the rage these days.  People say that they can do everything from being a natural ear infection remedy, to helping with weight loss, to healing eczema, and more.

Most of you tuned in for my recent posts on essential oils in which I talked about:

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.

Wonder who sells the BEST essential oils? I went on a search to find pure essential oils at a reasonable price. What I found surprised me.

The Competitors: 

(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
  • DoTerra
  • 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.

The Challenge:

1. HERITAGE OILS – (Now Hopewell 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.

Why?

  • 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 on mine or my children's bodies.

UPDATE:  Several readers have commented that Heritage (now Hopewell) 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 (now Rocky Mountain Oils)

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.

THE VERDICT:  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.

Advanced Aromatherapy

The Rest of the Best Essential Oils Series:

– 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
– Distillation, Bias, Vomit and More Concerns – Part 6
Announcing “the Best” Essential Oils Company – Part 7***

or read this post on Essential Oils Testing which gives you the company I went with.  Some readers are having issues reading the last post so you can try here if need be.

Free Essential Oils Report and VIP Newsletter Access

Also, if you go and grab my Free Report on 10 Things to Know About Essential Oils Before You Buy, you will not only get more myth-busting essential oils information, but you'll get access to my VIP newsletter as well–complete with updates, great healthy living offers, of course new posts on essential oils, and more.

Wondering about essential oils? I sure was. Get this guide to buying the best essential oils from a mom blogger who dug deep into the industry to find out what's really going on. Fascinating information including some real debunking that saved me a ton of time and money.

Post Updated 6/1/17

What are your thoughts?

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

Comments

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  1. Have you heard of Essante Organics?
    They have 100% certified organic and wildcrafted products that
    have been approved by the USDA. They have 3rd party verification
    that these products are organic from the start of the plant to the
    distribution to the consumer. The best a person can buy!

  2. Hi, please have you tried Hemani oils? It’s really affordable and so it’s scary to think it may not be pure.

  3. Have you heard of Sleepy Hollow Farm?

  4. First, I sooo appreciate the time you took to research well – everything! I just wanted to add some thoughts on some things. As far as some of the oils being gathered/processed out of the country, for me personally, I want the plant from it’s indigenous country. I don’t want vetiver from a farmer in Oklahoma but Haiti. I believe the wonderful properties come from the region so this is hugely important to me. The other plus here is a lot of these countries are completely poverty stricken and this gives them an opportunity to have work provided and who better to gather and process the wonderful plants but someone from that region? That’s just my thoughts and again, thank you for this wonderful research you have provided for us! I did a LOT of research but at a kindergarten level compared to yours…. LOL!

  5. Hannah Jones says:

    Please include Plant Therapy in your next comparison. Would like to see how they compare.

  6. I have a few friends recommending the Melaleuca brands for essential oils. Do you have any research for this company? I understand that they may be a little more expensive but I am more interested in the quality of oils and not the price.

    • Yes, I looked into their products. They have artificial colors and fragrances in their products so I am not interested. Some reps insist that they are not artificial fragrances but are natural ones blended to make certain smells, but that doesn’t make any sense to me.

      • I am a Melaleuca Marketing Executive and have been a part of Young Living and doTerra and now with Melaleuca. I can promise you there is not a single artificial color or fragrance in ANY of their oils. I have been brought up since birth on oils and herbs and I know what to look for and compare. They are a 100% PURE oil, from a traceable botanical source. and surpass the stringent standards of the most proclaimed oil companies, offer a third party testing and SEVEN steps of purity which far surpasses Young Livings 3 steps and doTerra’s 4 steps process. Every bottle is marked “Pure” on the bottle. And as wealthy and debt-free as Melaleuca is…. SOMEONE would have challenged or taken them to court by now if that were not a true statement. I’m sorry, but you are greatly misinformed.

        • Hello Kallie.

          I never stated that they had artificial colors or fragrance in their oils – I stated that they had them in products. I have never heard of a company putting artificial colors in essential oils but I have heard of them putting artificial fragrances in.

          I appreciate what you are sharing but putting “Pure” on a label doesn’t mean anything. So many companies write 100% pure etc on so many things.

          I am glad to hear that they have an apparently good purity testing standard. Do you have more information on that? I have been unable to find it.

          Hope that clarifies what I said. Thank you.

        • Joyce roundy says:

          Hi kallie,are you still doing the essential oils for Melaleuca I really enjoy Melaleuca.. I love the diffuser, and I have been using their products off and on for 12 years if I can just get out of my way and start making money with them again I’d be in good shape. It’s a good company I like them a lot. Now I’m trying to learn how to get myself a like page. Wish I had somebody close by here I can work with I’m a little rusty and need a little bit of help getting going again. Thank you. Best wishes to you

  7. Phillipa Munari says:

    I like that you do mention mlm companies are expensive. I totally understand why, they pay their reps with that (what I consider) ridiculous pricing. If you’re not joining as a rep it’s just not worth it. So what are the best non mlm oils? I refuse to pay twice as much.

    • Head to the end of the series :).

    • I would NEVER purchase ANYTHING from MLM outfits. Sure, they may have some great products, but one thing that is consistent is their prices are WAY TOO HIGH. With a little effort, you will be able to find something just as good for less money.

      As for Essential Oils, DoTerra and Young Living do have great offerings. Technically, DoTerra has marginally higher quality oils due to their higher standard of ensuring the oils are the very best. HOWEVER, once again, you can purchase Essential Oils that are just as good for 1/2 the price.

      I purchase my oils from the company that started it all back in 1985, years before any of the other companies jumped on the bandwagon. I pay half the price for oils that are just as good and sometimes even better. I buy them directly from the manufacturer. There are no “distributors”. Actually, you have to agree not to sell their products. This makes sense to me because people would be buying and selling them.

      Anyways, if I can get 100% pure oils for 1/2 the price, that’s the route I will go and do.

      • Hi Janice. I would add that there are some products from some MLMs that you cannot find, or it would be very difficult to find, comparable products in the retail marketplace. Some of the MLMs are not priced higher than their competitors that aren’t MLM. I work with several personal care companies and did a big spreadsheet of cost comparison and found this to be true. But yes, many have bad pricing and you can just get the same quality elsewhere. Thanks for reading!

      • Hi Janice, where do you buy your oils at?

        Thanks!

  8. Have you heard of Ovivo and Plant Therapy brand essential oils? If so, would you please tell me what your opinion is of them.

    Thanks

  9. What is piping rock like

  10. Sue McCarthy says:

    Have you heard of Nature’s Sunshine Essential Oils?

  11. I want to know more about using essetiual oils for health. I definitely want to know what company is the best.

  12. Hi,
    Do you know Dr Axel and the esential olí company that he recommend Namu?

  13. link deleted by blog owner

    Elizabeth Van Buren oils are the ONLY oils safe enough to ingest and use as a direct inhailant. Read about her and her process please please please educate yourself!!!!!! Especially if you are dealing with larger illnesses such as a cancer or auto-immune issues these are the only ones that don’t have trace amounts of crap in them. I also love her wellness blends for health.

  14. The FDA does not recommended the use of any oils internally or topically. No oil company should be recommending their oils for this purpose.

    • Hi and thanks for reading. So what do you make, then, of the FDA approving internal use labels for some companies?

    • Wrong, Young Living’s Vitality Line IS FDA approved for Internal use!!!! They are classed as a dietary supplement.

      • Terry, this is a function of the FDA rules – that it is merely labeled as such. My understanding is that YL pursued this labeling b/c the FDA only allows a label to have 2 functions on it and the company’s other labels had aromatherapy and topical use on them so the company couldn’t have “internal use” on it as well. The FDA is not saying that they think it’s OK to use these particular oils internally. Essential oils have been used in foods for a long time and that is all that this label means.

        Just b/c the FDA has said something is labeled as able to be used in a certain way doesn’t mean that they have tested a product re: what is actually in there or isn’t in there and they don’t do ongoing testing either as far as I know. It’s interesting that many who are touting the FDA label on such oils are the same people who are angry about the FDA approving drugs that have known dangerous side effects.

        Basically, saying that something is approved for use is different than recommending it for that use.

        • It would appear the FDA will approce things when it suits them. Does anyone really know what is in their prescribed drugs

    • Rotti 975 says:

      If you want to get well, don’t go by anything the FDA says.They are known to repress anything that may improve your health.The big Pharma pay their saleries.

  15. Cristina micallef says:

    I read your article and non explained which oil was better ? Which one was healthier, which one was organic or non .. only about customer service ? Especially a long page to ad like this , I thoight it would have better answeres . I was still left confused which produce to buy… I don’t care about customer service unless I do have a question to ask .. I care about the product I’m purchasing .

  16. Terry Narvey says:

    Hi Adrienne. Enjoyed reading your blog and all the information you provide on purhasing and using essential. A friend of mine recommended an Essential Oils Company named “Honeycomb Industries.” Are you familiar with this company, if so, is there anything I should know about this company? Thanks in advance for your response.