What to Look For When Buying Essential Oils

Jacqueline Rosenhek

November 1 2017


Aromatherapy is regaining some popularity these days and for good reasons. You surround yourself with pleasant smells of your choosing and you can reap physical, emotional and mental benefits from it as well. Of course it’s only normal to want to get good quality essential oils if we really want to benefit from them. Essential oils come from all over the world, and suppliers or companies usually obtain oils from farmers or wholesalers whose practices they have come to trust over time. You would probably not be aware of (or have the capability to assess) those relationships and practices which would give you intimate details about the quality of the essential oils you would be purchasing.

The way essential oils are regulated under the Federal Food, Drug, and Cosmetic Act and the Dietary Supplement Health and Education Act, the Food and Drug Administration (FDA). The legal difference between these categories is determined by the product’s intended use and essential oils tend to fall under a medicinal category or a cosmetic category. Compare the smell of different brands of oils to get an idea. Don’t put your nose right up to the open tester and sniff, the undiluted oil is strong and can give you a headache. Instead, hold the lid at least 5 inches away from the nose and sniff. This way you won’t be bombarded by the smell and you will be able to get a better idea as to what the essential oil might smell like once diffused. It is also wise to avoid essential oils that have been diluted with vegetable oils. To test, place a couple of drops of the essential oil on a piece of paper. If the oil leaves behind an oily stain, it has likely been diluted with vegetable oil. Another thing to check out with your essential oil is the name. Somewhere on the bottle (typically in the front or in the back in the ingredient section) should be the Latin name of the plant that the essential oil is made from. Speaking of ingredients, there should only be one, and that is the extraction of whatever plant is supposed to be in the essential oil! Quality is something that you will want to be aware of when you get your essential oils and that is why you, as an aromatherapy enthusiast (or even just someone who wants to get a couple of oils) should know what quality essential oils are.





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