What You Should Know About Essential Oils

Unfortunately not all essential oils are created equal. In fact many, if not all the oils on the market are what is called “perfume quality”  or “4th & 5th quality oils.  These are over-processed, chemical laden, highly adulterated & de-natured products that, in reality, are little more than cheap perfume made from various odorous plants. This includes oils found in health food stores.  Many people think that when they buy an oil that is labeled as “100% pure” they are getting good oils. This is far from true.

Pure unadulterated essential oil is very hard to come by & can be very expensive.  One reason for this is because it can take as many  as 500 to 2,000 pounds or more of raw plant material to produce  just a pound of pure essential oil.

To maintain all of the therapeutic qualities, it must  be extracted by steam distillation using extremely low pressure & low heat so as not to defile the quality of the oil.

There are 4 grades of essential oils

PURE – This means the oil was not diluted with a lesser quality essential oil. For example: lavender oil is often cut with lavendin, which has very little therapeutic quality. “Pure” does not  mean it has no chemicals added to it. It could be 75% vegetable oil & 25% essential oil & still be labeled “100% Pure.”

NATURAL – This means the oil was not adulterated with vegetable oils, propylene glycol, SD Alcohol 40 or other chemicals.

COMPLETE – This means the oil was distilled at low heat & low pressure so that all the therapeutic properties are there. They have not been rectified or purified (which means stripped or redistilled.) Essential oils are often redistilled to make a small amount of oil go farther. They can make more profit that way. The problem is, when you redistill the oil you lose the therapeutic properties. It’s like using a tea bag over & over again. An example: France is the number one producer of lavender oil. In 1997 they produced 25 tons of lavender and 67 tons were shipped to the U.S. Melissa oil is another example.  It is very hard to produce. Out of 52 pounds of  pure melissa oil, 1000 pounds were exported.

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** There are anywhere from 200 – 800 chemical constituents that ake up a single essential oil.  When the oil is not distilled properly, you will be left with as few as 10.   Some of the most powerful healing constituents are at the end of the process.

GENUINE or GRADE A  – These are the cream of the crop. Great care is taken at every step of the process. Seeds- not from hybrids, soil- organic soil that never has chemicals put on  it. Chemicals are never used on the plants in the field.

Distillation by steam at low pressure & low temperature in upright containers & no chemicals are ever used in the process. Must have clarity of definition (one plant could have 200 species.) The time in the distiller is also important- cypress oil needs to be distilled for 24 hours.  Many companies will distill at higher temperature for a shorter time. This will destroy the quality of the oil. The distiller must be no more than 50 miles away from the sight where the plants were harvested, must have Gas Chromatograph readings with an embossed seal that does not come from their own lab. Then & only  then can they have the words “Grade A” on the label.

Young Living’s oils are GRADE A oils.  They are one of the few companies in the world that grows plants from seed, distills & bottles their essential oils.  Young Living is the largest grower of essential oil plants in the world.

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