The Search for the Best Essential Oils Begins - Part 1
Are you wanting to start using essential oils, but you don't know where to start? You're ready to buy, but don't know what company has the best essential oils?
You've come to the right place.
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:
- Are Essential Oils a Scam and
- Using Essential Oils for Tummy Aches, Head Tension and More (with more of my skeptical thoughts)
From all the comments and enthusiasm about these and other posts, I can tell you are just as interested in learning about essential oils as I am.
You can 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."
I'm not sure which one is right :).
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 issue of the essential oil, I tried not to be too analytical at first, and simply used what had worked. But then, things changed.
The Search for the Best Essential Oil
In the Are Essential Oils a Scam? - A Skeptic Looks at Thieves Oil, I shared how I held off trying really any essential oils at all for years before trying Thieves® from Young Living.
(Well, truth be told, I did have a few old bottles of essential oils in my linen closet. One bottle each of orange, eucalyptus, melaleuca (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 Chest 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 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 too 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 and not start digging for more information"
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.
Other Essential Oils Companies
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
- Mountain Rose Herbs
- Aura Cacia
- Young Living (the one being challenged)
- Heritage Oils
- Native American Nutritionals (now Rocky Mountain Oils)
- North American Herb and Spice
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
- North American Herb and Spice, 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 those 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.
I'm updating this post years later to add important information. I do not have all of the information in this series on why I didn't choose certain companies so I would appreciate you not accusing me of coming to silly conclusions. I have gotten threatening emails (some of they cryptic threats), and have been warned about being sued if I published certain things.
My family is important to me and while I don't like to succumb to this kind of bullying, I have to weigh the cost of all of this. I am trying to be as upfront as I can about my decisions. Just know that what you are reading here is not the whole story.
Following are some of the companies that I looked into.
1. Young Living Oils
I first tried Young Living when I thought that essential oils were a scam. I used them for awhile and since I wanted to get as many savings as possible on the oils, I purchased monthly, took advantage of discounts, and stocked up quite a bit. I will talk about this company more in the future.
2. doTERRA Oils
Just before starting this series, several of my readers told me that I should really look into doTERRA as well, before making a hard and fast decision about which company to go with long term. So, I signed up with doTERRA as well. Follow along and you will see what happened next.
3. 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. The company also told me several times at later dates that they didn't test their oils but trusted their sources.
4. Butterfly Express
This seemed like a good company to check out, but I ran into quite a bit of trouble getting information from them. When I called to ask them a number of questions, I was able to get some information, but then I was told that they didn't have time to talk with me.
5. 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.
Probable high quality with no apparent earnings opportunity. Need to check into this company more.
6. 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.
7. Aura Cacia
Aura Cacia is adamant about not using its 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 but for now, 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 so many books out there on essential oils, that it's hard to know what to buy. I have a bunch, but this one, Advanced Aromatherapy, is in my shopping cart at Amazon now. It comes very highly recommended by many aromatherapists.
At the bottom of each of my posts in this series are books or other kinds of products that I love that relate to essential oils.
Which Essential Oil Company Do I Prefer?
If you're in a hurry to find out which essential oil company I went with at the end of this search, read this post:
- Announcing "the Best" Essential Oils Company - Part 7
you can also read the other parts of the series here:
The Rest of the Series:
- Best Essential Oils - The Qualities that 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
or read this post on Essential Oils Testing which gives you more information on how essential oils are tested for purity.
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.
What are your thoughts?
Great article, I liked it very much!
Thank you Adrienne for your engaging report. It woke me up! I've been using Neil's Yard for years without questioning any of the issues you researched.
I will place my 1st order with RMO through your link. Would you please recommend one of the best diffusers on the market.
So glad to help. Diffusers are hard. Really depends on whom you are following, etc. I would for now try one of theirs but I hope to revisit this soon! Here is a link to check out: https://wholenewmom.com/Diffuser
Might I suggest that rather than write a lengthy post on essential oil brands, only to keep repeating “need to look into this one more” just wait and look into them more? That was not very informative at all.
Hi there, Joanna. Thanks for reading. This series took on a life of its own. I am sure you can see that if you read beyond the first part.
Actually you are incorrect that I kept repeating "need to look into this one more." I said that a few times, because that was the case. If you keep reading, there are more things that come out. I will add that some things I didn't write on the site b/c I would get sued. It's not worth it to me. I wish it wasn't the case that lawsuits can happen such as that. I did what I could.
I did just add a tad more information about Mountain Rose Herbs that you might want to read.
If you read on you will learn more and I hope to come back to this topic in the future. Stay tuned :).
I love your posts about essential oils. Although I didn’t read all your posts/series on it. I did read 4 of them and why you decided to go with Rocky Mountain. I’m curious though, have you ever used Melaluca Pure Oils? I heard Melaleuca came out with their essential oils in 2015. I’ve already been using Melaluca oil since 1999 because my Parents are still to this day customers to them. But I’m curious as to what your t thoughts are and if you’ve researched them?
Hi there. I didn't dig into them b/c I was disappointed in the plethora of rep responses that I got about their purity--things like saying that apple fragrance was essential oils blended to smell like apple, etc. That's completely not true. So I didn't bother going any further. I do plan to revisit this soon hopefully so stay tuned!
Thanks for this series and all your hard work to give us the information. I do not have the patience or tenacity to ask so many questions about anything, and I look to your blog for lots of information because YOU DO! I’ve been buying from RMO ever since I first read this. I hope people are not threatening you any more. So rude!
Awww Jill - thanks much! You are so sweet. Stay tuned.....more stuff to come about oils. Have you by chance used my link when you buy? Every little bit helps. Thanks for your ongoing support and sorry for the delay in responding!
Thank you so much for posting this info of the Essential Oil market. It really opened my eyes.
Please keep up the good work.
With kindest regards
You are so welcome! Thanks for the kind words. I hope to revisit this topic in the near future. Working on a lot of things! If you'd like to subscribe to updates you can do so here: https://wholenewmom.com/about-me/
Hi Adrienne, I've read your EO series before but came back to it for reference and the link to part 4 in the series seems to be broken. It keeps taking me back to the first article in the series. Just wanted to let you know!
Hi there. Oh my goodness that is really upsetting. I know that post needs work (as do all of them) but I have NO idea how that happened. I just got it fixed. Thank you SO much for alerting me!!
Hello Adrienne. I 1st became interested in essential oils working as a therapist (LPC, LMAC-T) in Colorado. One of my clients and I worked out an arrangement (sanctioned by my supervisor) to trade "therapies". She would offer a session of Reflexology for a mental health session. She used essential oils for diffusing & for massaging. From then on....20 years ago, I was hooked. I have tried just about every oil on the market (close, anyway), & I have settled on the NOW brand. The price & quality seem to be very complimentary. I am just curious as to what you feel about the NOW brand. I have not had the time to do the amount of research that you have. So, I'd like to take advantage of your insights & input. (if you will) Thanks for your consideration and hard work, sincerely, K.H.
Hi there! I think NOW is a decent brand. I haven't looked as much in depth recently but I like them overall. I hope to revisit this in the not too distant future. 🙂 Sorry for the delay!
After reading your blog about Young Living I felt you were in error so I emailed Rocky Mountain oil for clarification. This is what they sent me on my question on their distillation method.
Thank you for contacting Rocky Mountain Oils.
To obtain that liquid, we must perform various extraction methods, depending on the type of plant. The main methods that we procure are the following: Steam distillation (most oils), Cold press/expression (citrus oils), and Solvent extraction/absolute (Jasmine and Vanilla).
Young Living develop their own patented method of cold pressing distillation for their plants. ANY HEAT like say... STEAM distillation that Rocky Mountain says in their email, that they use for MOST of their oils....it’s a known fact that HEATING the oil will destroy any therapeutic benefits of the oil...so the end result of STEAM distilled oils are oils that smell good but won’t do much else for your body. Most oil companies steam distill their oils because it’s faster and cheaper to do it that way...most fragrance companies use steam distillation too. So I prefer a company that is more expensive but that their oil is therapeutic and actually helps my body rather than. One that uses fragrance company type distillation practices.
Hi Diane. My understanding is that there is a broad temperature range for steam distilling and the lower end is fine. I'm not sure what you mean by "fragrance company type distillation practices" since you mentioned that most fragrance companies use steam distillation as well. Please let me know what you mean. Thanks!
Young Living has farms and land all over the world to collect their oils. Do Terra does not, They test all the oils they buy but their source is not from personally owned property. I have been a member of young living for almost 20 years before which I was poisoned on formaldehyde that damaged my. immune system and I was chemically sensitive and very ill. And desperate until a friend shared Young Living Essential Oils with me! I feel and tell everyone I can the they saved my life. Not only do they have wonderfully effective and pure oils, but they have wonderful and pure personal care products and other products, snacks and more. I love Young Living and am very very grateful I was able to have them so long ago. In fact I feel they have helped heal my damaged immune system and Thank God every day that I have them. So don't think they don't get their oils from the appropriate places, they grow their own on their own farms, they do not buy them from other suppliers that many times are not pure and are extended with solvents which do not not work and can make people toxic. I just wanted you to know. Please do not say bad things about YLEO, they are a wonderful company.
Hi there--if you see in this post, they actually do share some sourcing: https://wholenewmom.com/what-to-buy/best-essential-oils-company-young-living-review-doterra-review/
YL actually doesn't grow all of their own plants, but I'm glad you have had such success with them.
I have used many eo from different companies. I will not purchase from a mom company because their prices are higher but does not mean their quality is higher or their testing is any different. Plant Therapy is always my go to eo company and always will be.
Hi there - I assume you mean not purchasing from an MLM company, correct? If so, I don't prefer the MLMs in the EO industry, but just wanted to point out that some Direct Sales (MLM) companies do not have overpriced products. I work with a few of them. Agreed that sometimes higher price doesn't mean higher quality or better testing however :). I hope to revisit this topic soon so stay tuned!
What do you think of these essential oil brands?: Nature's Truth, Plantlife, Woolzies, Ellia, Artnaturals, Lefleuria, Tisserand.
Hi there. I have looked at several of those--some I would never purchase. Have you looked into the testing of them and the 3rd party results?
I am new at the use of essential oils and I have read all your posts on them. But I live in Brazil and sometimes it's hard to find sites that allow you to search (especially when they see the .com.br on my email). How can I check on these distributors? Many of them I have checked with your suggestions: plant origin, 100 % with no additives, extraction method, etc. but none of them are on any lists online and it seems that the ones you suggest are the ones most suggest too. Can you suggest a site or ??? who could help me determine what I have already. If I should use them or just discard them and go for a better tested and approved oil.
Can you get a different email, then? Are you hoping to buy something from Brazil? If not, you could buy from the company I recommend here and I do plan on returning to this topic soon so you can get more info then. https://wholenewmom.com/announcing-the-best-essential-oils-company-and-a-great-sale/
You could also sign up for updates if you'd like. You can do that here: https://wholenewmom.com/10-things-you-need-to-know-about-essential-oils-before-you-buy/
I have purchased Young Living Oils for many years but have recently been told that Thieves Oil contains BMAA. Have you heard anything about this?
?-Methylamino- l-alanine, or BMAA, is a non-proteinogenic amino acid produced by cyanobacteria. BMAA is a neurotoxin and its potential role in various neurodegenerative disorders is the subject of scientific research.
Hi there. I haven't heard that. Where did you hear that?
I have been using Thieves and am now a little concerned. Would like more information as I was going to place another order with YL very soon. Thank you
Hi there. Did you see the follow up posts to the series? What are you concerned about?
I thought you would nail down the best oils for use as brand. The article just informs an opinion on products but does not specify say what is best according to brand of oil or specific uses of oil. It seems you like them all but haven’t proven or found data to understand what is the purest oil and it’s benefit. The same seems to be true for Copaiba & CBD oil comparisons.
This post should help regarding testing, but there might be more that I can add later: https://wholenewmom.com/health-concerns/pure-essential-oils-testing/
Are you saying that the CBD / Copaiba post didn't help you? If not, please tell me why. I think that that was one of the better researched article on my site. Thanks!