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

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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 adrienne {at} wholenewmom {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.

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.

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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.

Facts About 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!


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 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 also spoke with several people in the EO field and this is what I heard (of course, given the scope of this post, following are only summaries of these discussions).

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

b. Distillation of Peppermint Oil. I was told that peppermint yields more oil than most other plants and that small farms sell the first distillation for a higher price and that it’s then redistilled at a higher pressure and temperature to be then sold to soap companies, etc. This later distillation will have a less herby smell.

It’s distilled again for a 3rd time for a really sweet smelling, candy cane smell.

I tried to find out the validity of these remarks and why some peppermint smells like candy, while others smells herby, but I couldn’t find any consistent answers despite hours and hours of research.

Pappas has a lot of knowledge about essential oils that I don’t have, but there are a lot of people using these terms in the industry, including those at doTERRA.  So it’s clearly a very complicated matter that people have different opinions (including professional opinions) about.

UPDATE 8/16:

Since this series was published, I was given more information from other experts (a distiller and chemists) in the field stating the following about essential oils and the distillation process:

However it is possible to distill one charge of plant using different configurations. The [sic} distiller … could be, for example, performing an atmospheric pressure distillation of the plant for 10 minutes, then increasing the pressure for another period and so on. As long as there is still essential oil in the plant matter this is possible. The more volatile and nice smelling aromatics will be trapped within the first “phase” of an operation like this and subsequent processing will extract higher boiling point components; as the distillation progresses, the compounds will become less desirable, therefore cheaper.

Basically, it’s a very confusing issue as to why some peppermint oils smell ultra sweet and others do not.  Perhaps something is being taken out of the oil after distilling. In the case of oils that are not pure, something may be added in.  There might be some peppermint oils that are referred to as this “first distillation” that are being sold as being therapeutically superior, but that would be a subjective decision and likely most aromatherapists would want all of the components of the oil, except in the case of ylang ylang (see the following information).

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.”

The basic thing to keep in mind through all of this is that you want to purchase your essential oils from a company that you trust to sell only quality, pure, unadulterated oils from indigenous locations.

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.

(Please note that Pappas’ relationship with doTERRA changed since the initial publishing of this post and he no longer tests their oils apparently.)

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 of 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.

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.

Moderating of Comments–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 seems to be a large essential oil Direct Sales Company, or 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 keep malware, blatant self-promoting, and 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 to debate.  Many bloggers consider negative comments to be from trolls and so they delete and all – but I don’t do that.

But I do not think verbal abuse and rude behavior are 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.  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 were thrown my way throughout this and hope that they will stop.

About Me

Just to set the record straight, I don’t typically post my “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-promotion.

Pappas doesn’t allow advertising for oils companies on his page and I am choosing not to permit the 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.

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 by any means.  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 essential oils you want to use for your family.

The Essential Oil Company I Chose

To find out which essential oil company I ended up 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:

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 

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.

A Great Essential Oils Book for Your Library

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!

I Recommend
The Essential Oils Book: Creating Personal Blends for Mind & Body

The Essential Oils Book: Creating Personal Blends for Mind & Body


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.

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    1. Hi Robie, there are a lot of thoughts about this out there. I used to think it was totally fine, but now I think one has to use caution. I have more written in this post but if you choose to do so, it’s very important that you dilute it appropriately. Hope that helps.

  1. I would like your take on Ning’s Red product . Your blog was a eye opening and saved me $$$ and gave me a lot to think about!

    1. I personally think that you can get almost all of the ingredients (organic–these ingredients in the Ningxia Red are not organic that I know of) at a much cheaper price from other sources–the only one that I couldn’t find was the organic plum. Hope that helps!

  2. Brilliant. Fair. Honest. Clear.
    I could go on, you get the point. I thank you for your work, your diligence, and your compassion.
    I first read your series at least a year ago. I still use doTERRA oils, and like you want only the best I can find, in quality of product and of company.
    I revisited your series because I know there is more, and I value your work.
    And, I have a question. Have you heard of ASEA? In my experience in the wellness industry [more than 40 years], I have come across lots of garbage and clever marketing. ASEA is neither.
    You may find ASEA useful in your journey to help your family and the challenges you are so courageously addressing.
    I actually hope you do hold this post aside, or at least edit it, as even though there is promotion, my intention is only for your review, not your reading public.
    All the best.

    (name and ASEA website removed by blog owner)

    1. Hello there.

      Thanks for commenting and for the kind words. I haven’t tried it. I had 2 people recommend it to me but I couldn’t wrap my mind around it and some of the “research” didn’t seem to add up to me (nor, eventually, to the 2nd person who recommended it).

  3. This is a very interesting read, to be honest I have bought oils from young living, doterra, plant therapy, Rocky Mountain oils and edens garden.

    I tried to buy the same oils so I can compare. YL oils are too strong in terms of smell but they are potent. They also have some oils that others don’t so I only get those.
    Doterra peppermint does have a better smell, it is also more effective with clearing headaches compared to Rocky Mountain which just gave me a hot/cold sensation without the same effect. YL peppermint makes me nauseous so there maybe something to the claims

    Rocky Mountain blends I loved a lot and they are very effective (esp the breathe ease for kids), their roller bottles arrived leaking several times and seems to be a bottle quality issue.

    Plant therapy oils are reasonably priced and their blends are effective, however some smells I didn’t like (Roman chamomile and the kids breathe blend for example).

    Eden’s garden oils are heavier from my experience, their prices are decent but I didn’t feel the urge to buy again.

    In conclusion I still use all companies for the things I prefer best in their range and the oils that only they sell. I think all have pros/cons. Although I find the MLM concept to be absurd I still feel they do put a lot on research and quality control. Internally I only use YL and doterra.

    Will I stick to one company only? Probably not .

    1. Welcome and thanks for reading.

      I am not a fan of all of the companies you are using but yes, for sure, there are other companies that have good quality. I hope to revisit this topic shortly so please do stay tuned :).

      I don’t think that the MLM concept is truly absurd–I think it’s in how you do it and it can in fact be very ethically done. Just like retail can be unethically done. But I have real problems with quite a few companies from both models. Hope to see you around again!

  4. I really appreciate all you research and effort you put into this. As a fellow homeschooling mama with health issue and children(I have 8) with food issues and health concerns, I totally get how much you have going on. I read this investigation you did several years ago and decided to purchase my oils from Hopewell Essential oils formerly Heritage. I came back to your site to forward it to a friend and I noticed that there is no URL for Hopewell/Heritage and I was wondering why. I can’t remember if there used to be or not. Youay have already addresses this I just don’t want to fish thrugh 900 some comments.

    1. Thanks, Heidi! I really appreciate the kind words. Yes, I removed some companies from my site for certain reasons.

      1. Would you mind pming me and telling me why. I’m curious. I love their oils and ha vent had any problem and love the educational aspect of the site But I want to be sure I’m not blinded about thing that could hurte my family.

        1. Hi again–I’m sorry but I can’t. There are things that have happened w/ many companies (not just essential oil companies–personal care, air filter, food, and more) and I have to consider a lot of things regarding my brand and more regarding what I put in print. I am not saying that I would only remove a company b/c the products are harmful either. I take a lot of things into consideration and spend endless hours doing research–there is so much to consider. I’m not perfect–just doing the best I can with the time that I have. 🙂

          1. I would like to know why you feel you can’t give an explanation as to why you would remove your recommendation of any company from your web site. I feel like you are avoiding answering Hiedi Wilson’s question which makes me question your motives as to why. If you have a deal with another company to not talk about them which I know some other’s blogs that I have read have mentioned that, so I understand why they no longer mention that companies products, but for you to have no reason really leaves me wondering about everything that I have read that you have written. I will watch to see if you respond with an explanation as to your refusal to answer Hiedi’s question.
            I personally do not like MLM companies and won’t do business with them on principal. I feel that they are unfair to the public as a whole by not allowing anyone and everyone to purchase their products equally. I use several brands but most are Plant Therapy oils.
            All that aside I am planning on trying your hand and body lotion this weekend.

            1. Hi Maggie. First of all, thanks for reading.

              I never made a recommendation of the company in question. Does that help at all or would you still like your concerns to be addressed? Does that change your concerns at all? Thanks much!

  5. (4) I have no doubt he had some good information to share, but he should have revealed any potential bias from the start (which it seems there definitely was and, assuming the one side I’m seeing here is at least mostly accurate, definitely appears to have played a role in his actions), he should have read the blog more carefully (he states that the “word “complete” is not even a word that anyone in the essential oil industry would even use to describe a peppermint oil” despite your quoting doTERRA saying just that, unless you added that quote after the fact), and he probably should have been more polite and respectful, though as I mentioned before I can certainly understand the frustration from being blocked from providing input into the conversation, and honestly can’t completely blame him here.

    One more note: on the topic of disclosing bias, you mentioned in an earlier part to this series that you appreciated how a rep wasn’t pushy and that they didn’t even tell you they were a rep until you asked. I was surprised that you considered that a good thing, as to me it was simply a case of bias non-disclosure until they had to due to being asked. If someone is talking up a product or brand, I want to know if it’s (possibly) because they’re incentivized to do so, and not only if I ask them if that’s the case.

    1. Hi again, Steve. I don’t recall now if I added it after the fact and the way my blog stores post updates I can’t find it any longer since the originals were accidentally deleted by a person who was doing IT work for me.

      I just went back to see how our conversation started and she didn’t talk bout being a rep. However, she was very well versed in MLMs and had a very interesting perspective about them. You can see our conversation here: https://wholenewmom.com/what-to-buy/which-essential-oils-company-is-best-are-multi-level-marketing-oils-worth-it-part-5/comment-page-12/#comment-19694

      Hopefully seeing the context will help you see why I found it to be refreshing. Thanks for your thoughtful comments!

  6. (3) I did see one other commenter (Gwen on 01/01/2018) who mentioned the apparent disparity between his statements of there being no such thing as multiple levels of distillation and then his mentioning of the fractional distillment with peppermint oil to remove the isovaleraldehyde. In fact, when I read that in the article, I was expecting somebody to bring it up. The two are completely different processes. The first is the act of repeating the distillation on the same original material (herbs, leaves, flowers, etc) at increasingly higher temperatures and pressures in order to “squeeze out” every last bit of oil, whereas the second would involve performing this initial distillation (presumably only once according to Pappas, though who knows), then taking the resultant oil and performing a second distillation on that, NOT on the original material. This would, in theory, allow the separation of the offending molecule (isovaleraldehyde) from the rest of the oil, either due to it evaporating at a lower temperature than the rest of the components and therefore being the one that’s distilled out and ends up in the condensing container or by evaporating at a higher temperature, in which case it will be left behind in the tube/beaker/whatever that’s heated and the oil minus that molecule will be collected in the condenser. The first situation seems more likely since, if the isovaleraldehyde has a higher boiling point than the rest of the oil, it would have never distilled out in the first place.

  7. (2) I didn’t read through all the comments or search them, due to only a handful being displayed per page, so this may have already been mentioned, but I suspect Pappas’ reasoning for mentiong that isovaleraldehyde is found in vomit is not to insinuate that just because it’s found there it must be bad, and so its presence in oil is bad, but rather that it contributes to the smell of vomit and, due to its aroma, is not desired. Pubchem describes it as having an “apple-like odor,” a “powerful penetrating, acrid odor,” a “pungent odor,” and a “weak suffocating odor” that “produces an irritating vapor.” It also says it is “normally found in humans, particularly in the gut. The ACS states it “is a pungent liquid.” So based on that, I don’t find that statement by Pappas difficult to believe, though I do think that, if that’s actually what he meant, he should have been more clear about it.

    1. Hi again. The problem I have is that I don’t see that it is in vomit. Can you find that information?

      1. I didn’t see anything specifically about that, but if it’s in the gut, it’s possible it would be in vomit. Ultimately, I don’t think it’s worth worrying about, since whether or not it’s in vomit doesn’t really matter. I was simply speculating on why it might have relevance and why he mentioned it. Even if something could be found stating that it’s in vomit, that wouldn’t do anything to answer the question of why it matters, whereas the info I did find about it regarding its apparently unpleasant odor does provide valid reasoning for removing it. As I mentioned, it would have been helpful if he had explained it more, but again, I don’t think it really matters. I was just trying to provide some insight into what he might have been thinking. Sometimes when attacked we can get defensive and try to pick apart and disprove everything the other person says, and often it’s just not worth it. I wouldn’t get too hung up on the vomit aspect.